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China Shipping Develop
19 октября 2016, 16:00

Forget Profit in Q3, Bet on 4 Stocks with Rising Cash Flow

Looking beyond profits to a company's cash position will be far more rewarding because this indicates its true financial health.

30 мая 2016, 19:10

Lenders help share index to close up

SHANGHAI stocks edged up yesterday, helped by banks while transport and property shares sank as uncertainty over monetary policy clouded trading sentiment. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.05 percent,

10 мая 2016, 19:10

Shares flat but growth worries cloud sentiment

SHANGHAI stocks were little changed yesterday but investors’ aversion to higher risk and concerns over economic growth continued to cloud the market. The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.02 percent

Выбор редакции
14 декабря 2015, 11:14

In China Shipping Revamp, This Oil Tanker Operator Is Slickest

China Shipping Development should stand out as China reorganizes its shipping industry.

19 декабря 2013, 11:18

Утренний брифинг от Saxo Bank: обзор рынков на 19 декабря 2013 года

Форекс: Доллар США торгуется с повышением  Этим утром доллар США торгуется с повышением относительно большинства своих главных конкурентов после утренних сообщений о сокращении Федрезервом объёмов покупки активов на 10,0 миллиардов долларов и удержании процентной ставки на уровне 0,0-0,25 процента. Сверх того, заявление председателя ФРС Бена Бернанке (Ben Bernanke) о том, что денежно-кредитная политика останется аккомодационной с указанием на необходимость улучшения экономических данных в 2014 году, носило сугубо «голубиный» характер. Между тем, внимание инвесторов привлечёт ряд экономических данных, которые помогут с выбором дальнейшего направления. Что касается европейской части света, то министры финансов Евросоюза договорились по поводу схемы работы единого механизма санации проблемных банков, утверждение которой намечено на заседании Европейского совета. В 6 часов утра по GMT евро и британский фунт потеряли по 0,2 процента против американского доллара, торгуясь по цене 1,3666 доллара и 1,6375 доллара соответственно. Японская иена выросла на 0,5 процента и 0,2 процента по отношению к евро и доллару США соответственно. Австралийский доллар опустился на 0,2 процента в сравнении с американским долларом. Европа: Рынок откроется в «плюсе» Открытие германского фондового индекса DAX и французского CAC ожидается на 80-85 пунктов и 37-40 пунктов выше соответственно. Индекс Британской фондовой биржи FTSE100 откроется повышением на 63-64 пункта. Публикация баланса счёта текущих операций в Еврозоне и Португалии; торгового баланса в Швейцарии; инфляции, вызванной ростом заработной платы в Италии; уровня безработицы в Греции, а также объёма розничных продаж в Великобритании. Между тем, в фокусе рынка – квартальный бюллетень Национального банка Швейцарии и экономические прогнозы от SECO. Compagnie des Alpes SA (CDA), IBS AG (IBB), Analytik Jena AG (AJA), Carnival (CCL) и Goodwin (GDWN) объявят о своих результатах. Согласно сообщениям «Reuters», Dish Network Corporation ведёт переговоры с Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) о потенциальной сделке по поглощению дочернего предприятия последней – T-Mobile US. По данным СМИ, Dish Network, возможно, подаст заявку в первой половине 2014 года. Carlyle Group LP наняла Credit Suisse Group (CSGN) для консультирования ввиду возникшей дилеммы: либо продать или же провести первичное публичное размещение акций компании PQ Corporation, специализирующейся на производстве химического сырья, – сообщает Reuters. По словам бразильского министра обороны Сельсо Аморима (Celso Amorim), Бразилия подписала с фирмой Saab AB (SAABB) контракт на 4,5 миллиарда американских долларов для поставки 36 реактивных истребителей. По информации Reuters, в течение последних нескольких месяцев Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) продала свой портфель «морских» займов за миллиарды долларов с целью выхода из этого сектора и укрепления своего баланса. Служба Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) по финансовым рынкам запретила использование многоканальных дилерских чатов в ответ на давление регулирующих органов, – передаёт Bloomberg. Главный исполнительный директор Vale SA Мурило Феррейра (Murilo Ferreira) заявил, что решение по совместным никелевым проектам Sudbury его консорциума с Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) окончательно должно быть принято в первом квартале 2014 года в целях создания единого предприятия. Азия: Торги в основном в «зелёном» Этим утром азиатские рынки торгуются преимущественно на положительной территории после того, как Федеральная резервная система США снизила темпы своей программы QE3, сославшись на улучшение на рынке труда в стране. В Японии Tokyo Tatemono (8804) выросли после повышения компанией прогноза прибыли на полный год. Nintendo (7974) пошли вверх на новостях о возможном расширении фирмой своего бизнеса по производству смартфонов и планшетов. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306) подорожали ввиду приобретения компанией 72-процентной доли в тайском Bank of Ayudhya примерно за 5,3 миллиарда американских долларов. Tokyo Electron (8035) прибавили в цене несмотря на предупреждение компании о чистом годовом убытке в связи с частичным списанием материальных ценностей, используемых её бизнесом в сфере производства солнечной энергии. В 6 часов утра по GMT индекс Токийской фондовой биржи Nikkei 225 торгуется на 1,6 процента выше на отметке 15836,0 пунктов. В Гонконге акции сектора недвижимости China Resources Land (1109) и China Overseas Land & Investment (688) поднялись на новостях о том, что в начале следующего года правительство Гонконга в ходе аукциона продаст 12 новых земельных участков. В Южной Корее S-Oil Corporation (010950), напротив, упали в силу планов Hanjin Group продать около 28,4 процента доли в компании. В Китае рынки торгуются ниже на фоне опасений относительно затраты на консолидирование долга. Ценные бумаги судостроительных компаний China Shipbuilding Industry (601989) и China Shipping Development (600026) зафиксировали убытки. США: Фьючерсы торгуются ниже В 6 часов утра по GMT фьючерсы на S&P 500 торгуются на 3,7 пункта ниже. Публикация числа первичных и повторных заявок на получение пособия по безработице, изменения объёма продаж жилья на вторичном рынке, обзора производственной активности от ФРБ Филадельфии и индекса ведущих экономических индикаторов планируется на сегодня. Nike (NKE), Accenture (ACN) и ConAgra Foods (CAG) объявят о своих результатах сегодня. В среду в рамках продлённой торговой сессии Paychex (PAYX) и Oracle Corporation (ORCL) прибавили два процента и 1,3 процента соответственно благодаря результатам второго квартала, оказавшимся выше рыночных ожиданий. Доход, превзошедший ожидания аналитиков, за третий квартал обеспечил рост Steelcase (SCS) на 4,4 процента. AK Steel Holding (AKS) выросли на 7,4 процента ввиду оптимистичного прогноза прибыли на четвёртый квартал. Alimera Sciences (ALIM) и pSivida Corporation (PSDV) «взлетели» на 84,3 процента и 58,3 процента соответственно после объявления компанией Alimera о проведении переговоров с Управлением США по пищевым продуктам и лекарственным веществам (FDA) в отношении маркировки препарата Iluvien, предназначенного для лечения глазных заболеваний у пациентов с сахарным диабетом. Кроме того, FDA указало, что компании не требуется проводить никаких новых клинических испытаний для утверждения Iluvien. Акции Herman Miller (MLHR), напротив, отступили на 2,4 процента в силу слабого прогноза прибыли на третий квартал. Сокращение прогноза дохода и скорректированной прибыли на четвёртый квартал привели к падению Semtech Corporation (SMTC) на 17,0 процентов. Во время вчерашней регулярной торговой сессии американский фондовый индекс S&P 500 повысился на 1,7 процента после сделанных Федрезервом США первых шагов по сокращению объёмов ежемесячных покупок активов на 10,0 миллиардов долларов с января 2014 года ввиду улучшений на рынке труда. Вдобавок, ФРС информировала об удержании процентных ставок на низком уровне в ближайшем будущем. D.R. Horton (DHI), Lennar (LEN) и PulteGroup (PHM) подскочили на 6,4 процента, 6,3 процента и 2,2 процента соответственно вслед за позитивными ноябрьскими данными по жилью в США. Кроме того, Lennar опубликовала благоприятные результаты за четвёртый квартал. Gilead Sciences (GILD) продвинулись вперёд на пять процентов на сообщениях компании о планах подать заявку на регистрацию нового препарата для лечения вируса гепатита С в FDA в первом квартале 2014 года. CVS Caremark (CVS) пошли вверх на 4,3 процента в результате утверждения Советом директоров компании программы обратной покупки акций примерно на шесть миллиардов долларов и повышения квартальных выплат дивидендов. Ford Motor (F) опустились на 6,3 процента по причине прогноза компании о снижении балансовой прибыли в 2014 году. Jabil Circuit (JBL) «рухнули» на 20,5 процента из-за пессимистичных показателей по прибыли за первый квартал и более низкого, чем ожидалось, прогноза дохода и прибыли на второй квартал. Сводка последних новостей ФРС сворачивает стимулирующую программу ФРС США приняли решение о сокращении своей программы покупки облигаций на 10,0 миллиардов долларов США – с текущих 85,0 миллиардов до 75,0 миллиардов долларов США с января 2014 года, ссылаясь на улучшения на внутреннем рынке труда. При этом центробанк оставил базовую процентную ставку в диапазоне 0-0,25 процента, добавив при этом, что краткосрочные процентные ставки будут находится в размере около нуля до тех пор, пока безработица не упадёт ниже 6,5 процента, особенно если инфляционные ожидания останутся ниже целевых двух процентов. Б. Бернанке: В 2014 году ожидается «умеренное» количественное смягчение  Представляя детальный график по сворачиванию стимулирующих мер на следующие несколько лет, глава ФРС Бен Бернанке (Ben Bernanke) заявил, что центробанк будет определять меры дальнейшего сворачивания на каждом заседании в случае, если экономика продолжит демонстрировать улучшение. При этом он добавил, что Федрезерв не исключает пауз в сворачивании при негативных событиях в экономике, также и ускорения, если экономический рост резко пойдет вверх. Говоря об американской экономике, Бернанке подчеркнул, что экономике ещё «предстоит долгий путь» и что «восстановление, несомненно, далеко от своего завершения». ФРС пересматривает прогнозы по экономическому росту и безработице В своём обзоре экономических прогнозов на 2014, 2015 и 2016 годы ФРС США определила рост ВВП в стране в диапазонах от 2,8 процента до 3,2 процента, от 3,0 процента до 3,4 процента и от 2,5 процента до 3,2 процента соответственно, тогда как ранние прогнозы говорили о диапазонах на 2014 год – от 2,9 процента до 3,1 процента; на 2015 год – от 3,0 процентов до 3,5 процента; на 2016 год – от 2,5 процента до 3,3 процента. Более того, ФРС ожидают, что уровень безработицы понизится до 6,3-6,6 процента, тогда как сентябрьский прогноз говорил о 6,4-6,8 процента. Кроме того, в 2014 году инфляция потребительских цен по прогнозам должна также упасть до 1,4-1,6 процента по сравнению с диапазоном 1,3-1,8 процента, предсказанным в сентябре. Сенат США одобрил проект бюджета Американский сенат одобрил двухлетний проект бюджета, за его принятие проголосовали 64 сенатора против 36, и теперь он будет направлен президенту Бараку Обаме (Barack Obama), который уже высказывался в его поддержку. Министры финансов ЕС определили механизм санации проблемных банков Министры финансов Европейского союза (ЕС) заключили соглашение о создании единого механизма санации проблемных банков (SRM). Данной схеме предстоит пройти процедуру утверждения на двухдневном заседании Европейского совета, которое начнётся сегодня. Экономика Новой Зеландии растёт больше ожиданий На последовательной основе новозеландская экономика в третьем квартале 2013 года продемонстрировала повышение на 1,4 процента, опередив рыночные прогнозы, тогда как в предыдущем квартале рост составлял 0,3 процента. Новая Зеландия фиксирует профицит торгового баланса В Новой Зеландии впервые с 1991 года в ноябре был зарегистрирован профицит торгового баланса на уровне 183,0 миллионов новозеландских долларов; при этом согласно пересмотренным данным за октябрь, был зафиксирован дефицит в 173,0 миллиона новозеландских доллара. Материал предоставлен Saxo Bank http://ru.saxobank.com

10 декабря 2013, 11:18

Утренний брифинг от Saxo Bank: обзор рынков на 10 декабря 2013 года

Обзор Форекс: Евро торгуется с повышением  Этим утром евро торгуется с повышением относительно большинства своих главных конкурентов. Учитывая малую загруженность сегодняшнего календаря экономическими данными, в поле зрения инвесторов сегодня – пересмотренное значение объёма итальянского ВВП и уровни промышленного производства в Великобритании, Франции, Италии и Греции, которые помогут определить будущее направление. Кроме того, выступление главы Европейского центрального банка Марио Драги (Mario Draghi) также представляет интерес для участников рынка, поскольку сможет дать некоторую наводящую информацию касательно степени восстановления экономики в регионе. Тем временем, недавние заявления представителей Федрезерва США – Джеймса Булларда (James Bullard), Ричарда Фишера (Richard Fisher) и Джеффри Лэкера (Jeffrey Lacker) прозвучали как поддержка началу сворачивания программы QE3 в ближайшей перспективе. В 6 часов утра по GMT евро поднялся на 0,2 процента против доллара США, торгуясь на отметке 1,3756 и при этом опустился на 0,1 процента в сравнении с британским фунтом, составив 0,8357 фунта. Японская иена упала на 0,2 процента по отношению к евро и осталась близ прежнего уровня относительно американского доллара. Европа: Торги большей частью без изменений Открытие германского фондового индекса DAX и французского CAC ожидается практически без изменений. Индекс Британской фондовой биржи FTSE100 откроется понижением на 6-9 пунктов. Публикация объёма фабричного и промышленного производства в Великобритании и Франции; ВВП в Италии; объёма промышленного производства в Италии и Греции; сальдо баланса видимой торговли и общего сальдо торгового баланса в Великобритании запланирована на сегодня. Кроме того, в Великобритании внимание рынков обращено на оценку изменения ВВП от Национального института экономических и социальных исследований (NIESR). Schaffner Holding AG (SAHN), Svolder AB (SVOLB), Aragon AG (A8A), TUI Travel (TT/), Ashtead Group (AHT), Victrex (VCT), Polar Capital Technology Trust (PCT), Photo-Me International (PHTM), Carpetright (CPR), iomart Group (IOM), Eco Animal Health Group (EAH), Litebulb Group (LBB) и Zytronic (ZYT) объявят о своих результатах сегодня. В целях повышения конкурентоспособности European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. NV (EAD) представила план реструктуризации в Европейский производственный совет, подразумевающий сокращение 5800 рабочих мест в оборонном и космическом секторах, а также корпоративных функций до конца 2016. Credit Agricole Assurances – страховое подразделение компании Credit Agricole SA (ACA) – объявило о приобретении 50-процентной доли в ветроэнергетических активах GDF Suez SA (ГСЗ), – сообщает «Bloomberg». Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) сообщила о продаже оставшейся 21-процентной доли в компании по управлению активами St. James’s Place (STJ) для увеличения капитала и сосредоточения всего внимания в сторону своего основного розничного и банковского бизнесов в Великобритании. Tesco (TSCO) объявила о приобретении миноритарного пакета акций поставщика непродовольственных товаров Lazada International с тем, чтобы поддержать своё международное присутствие в онлайн пространстве, – передаёт «Bloomberg». Как сообщил «Sky News», Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) планирует внести некоторые изменения в состав Совета директоров, что может подорвать хрупкое перемирие с её основными инвесторами. Азия: Рынок торгуется в основном с понижением Этим утром азиатские рынки торгуются преимущественно на отрицательной территории. В Японии Toyota Motor (7203), Honda Motor (7267) и Hitachi Limited (6501) торгуются на отрицательной территории. Nomura Holdings (8604) продемонстрировали падение. Компания объявила о планах нанять около 20 банкиров в США в попытке вернуть себе утраченную долю на консультативном рынке слияний и поглощений. Shimizu Corporation (1803) и Yahoo Japan (4689), напротив, зафиксировали рост на повышениях брокера. В 6 часов утра по GMT индекс токийской фондовой биржи Nikkei 225 потерял 0,3 процента, торгуясь на отметке 15609,7 пункта. В Гонконге PetroChina (857) отступили в соответствии с сокращением цен на сырую нефть во время ночных торгов. China Mobile (941) упали после понижения брокера. Акции банковского сектора Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (1398), China Construction Bank (939) и HSBC Holdings (5) также потеряли в цене. China Shipping Development (1138), напротив, выросли на фоне повышения брокером целевой цены Х-акций компании. В Южной Корее Doosan Infracore (042670) подешевели в связи с планами компании начать продажу 40,0 миллионов новых акций, которые будут включены в листинг в Сингапуре. В Китае Shanghai International Port Group (600018) пошли вверх на фоне намерений компании приобрести долю в Банке Шанхая. Фондовые рынки США: Фьючерсы торгуются выше В 6 часов утра по GMT фьючерсы на S&P 500 торгуются на 1,4 пункта выше. Публикация объёма оптовых запасов, индикатора оптимизма в сфере малого предпринимательства от NFIB и индекса розничных продаж от Johnson Redbook планируется на сегодня Autozone (AZO), H & R Block (HRB), HD Supply Holdings (HDS) и NCI Building Systems (NCS) объявят о своих результатах сегодня. В понедельник в рамках продленной торговой сессии General Motors (GM) выросли на 0,8 процента после сообщений Министерства финансов США о продаже своей оставшейся доли в компании. Comtech (CMTL) прибавили 6,6 процента в связи с превзошедшими ожидания результатами за первый квартал и ростом прогноза прибыли на полный год. Компания также увеличила программу выкупа акций на 50,0 миллионов долларов США и повысила годовой дивиденд. Pep Boys — Manny, Moe & Jack (PBY), напротив, упали на 12,4 процента ввиду не оправдавших ожидания рынка результатов за третий квартал. Analogic (ALOG) сократились на 11,5 процента ввиду потерь в первом квартале. Icahn Enterprises (IEP) отступили на 7,3 процента на сообщениях компании о продаже двух миллионов депозитарных расписок для привлечения инвестиций в одну или несколько из девяти своих подразделений. Американский фондовый индекс S&P 500 во время вчерашней регулярной торговой сессии повысился в цене на 0,2 процента в то время, как инвесторы ожидали от Федрезерва каких-либо намёков о вероятности сокращения программы стимулирования в ближайшее время. Sysco (SYY) пошли вверх на 9,7 процента после согласия компании на покупку своего конкурента US Foods примерно за 3,5 миллиарда долларов наличными и акциями. Gilead Sciences (GILD) подорожали на 1,6 процента вследствие одобрения Управлением по контролю за пищевыми продуктами и лекарственными препаратами США препарата для лечения хронического гепатита С «Sovaldi». Edwards Lifesciences (EW), напротив, пошли вниз на 5,4 процента на фоне более низкого, чем ожидалось, дохода на акцию по итогам года. McDonald’s (MCD) потеряли 1,1 процента после того, как уровень сопоставимых продаж не оправдал консенсус- прогноз рынка. QEP Resources (QEP) снизились в цене на 1,5 процента. Между тем, компания согласилась на покупку нефтегазовых активов в Пермском бассейне приблизительно за 950,0 миллионов долларов. Сводка последних новостей Дж. Лакер: Частые корректировки темпов QE3 «нереалистичны» Как отметил президент Федерального резервного банка Ричмонда Джеффри Лакер (Jeffrey Lacker), было бы «нереалистичным думать, что Федрезерву США, вероятно, удастся часто вносить корректировки в темпы покупки облигаций». Он также добавил, что затягивание с сокращением программы стимулирующих мер несёт в себе риски и свести на нет все положительные изменения. Р. Фишер: Федрезерв должен начать сворачивание QE3 при «первой возможности» По словам Ричарда Фишера (Richard Fisher) – президента Федерального резервного банка Далласа – Федрезерв должен приступить к сокращению ежемесячных покупок активов при «первой же выдавшейся возможности», а также иметь в своём распоряжении «чётко определённый» календарь по планомерному сворачиванию QE3 и её полному завершению. Дж. Буллард призывает к «небольшому сокращению» в декабре Президент Федерального резервного банка Сент-Луиса Джеймс Буллард (James Bullard) высказался по поводу того, что в ходе предстоящего заседания Федрезерв может объявить о «небольшом сокращении» своей ежемесячной программы стимулирования экономики, дабы окончательно убедиться в улучшении на рынке труда, и уже потом в первой половине 2014 года произвести переоценку ситуации. Британские цены на жильё идут вверх По данным Королевского института сертифицированных оценщиков (RICS), сезонно скорректированный баланс цен на жильё в Великобритании поднялся в ноябре до 11-летнего максимума – 58,0 пунктов, против октябрьских 57,0 пунктов. Промышленное производство Китая идёт вниз, розничные продажи – вверх На годовой основе промышленное производство в Китае сократилось в ноябре на 10,0 процентов по сравнению c ростом на 10,3 процента в октябре. Кроме того, ноябрьские розничные продажи в Китае поднялись на 13,7 процента; в предыдущем месяце повышение составило 13,3 процента. Денежная масса M3 Японии повышается На годовой основе агрегат денежной массы M3 повысился в ноябре на 3,4 процента, отстав от ожиданий рынка, в предыдущем месяце был засвидетельствоан рост на 3,3 процента. Настроение в крупных промышленных компаниях Японии ухудшается В четвёртом квартале 2013 года индекс BSI деловых настроений в крупных промышленных компаниях Японии опустился до 9,7 пункта относительно уровня третьего квартала 2013 года 15,2 пункта. Неожиданное снижение активности в сфере услуг Японии С учётом сезонной корректировки индекс деловой активности в сфере услуг Японии неожиданно упал в октябре на 0,7 процента в месячном сопоставлении по сравнению с пересмотренным нулевым показателем предшествующего месяца. Объём ипотечных кредитов Австралии растёт медленными темпами Учитывая сезонную поправку, в Австралии объём выданных кредитов на покупку жилья увеличился в октябре на один процент, совпав с прогнозами рынка, в то время как пересмотренные в сторону понижения данные за сентябрь сказали о росте в 3,5 процента. Материал предоставлен Saxo Bank http://ru.saxobank.com

19 сентября 2013, 00:46

Guest Post: Is The Fed Ready To Cut America’s Fiat Life Support?

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog, It is undeniable that America is thoroughly addicted to fiat stimulus. Every aspect of our economy, from stocks, to bonds, to banks, and by indirect extension main street, is now utterly dependent on the continued 24/7 currency creation bonanza. The stock market no longer rallies to the tune of increased retail sales, growing export markets or improved employment expectations.  In fact, “good” economic news today is met with panic and market sell-offs! Why? Because investors and banks still playing equities understand full well that any sign of fiscal improvement might mean the end of the private Federal Reserve’s QE pajama party. They know that without the Fed’s opiate-laced lifeline, the economy dies a fast and painful death. All mainstream economic news currently revolves around the Fed, as pundits clamor to divine whether the latest signals mean the free money will flow, trickle, or dry up. Most expect the central bank to make an announcement today on the details of its reduction in stimulus initiatives. Generally, the Fed does not have a tendency to slip information to the media on the possibility of a policy change unless they plan to follow through. Every bailout and QE announcement over the course of the past five years has been preceded by weeks and even months of “rumors” acclimating the mainstream and the markets to the idea of each action long before it was ever implemented. If the Fed avoids clarity on the taper in the coming week, I expect that they will still assert stimulus cuts before the end of this year. Certain developments, though, are giving false hope to the markets that the stimulus fantasy will go on forever. The resignation of Larry Summers from the “running” for Fed Chairman (as if Obama isn’t being told exactly who he is to pick for the position) has so far put a dash of cheer into the Dow Jones. Strangely, investors seem to believe that without Summers, continued quantitative easing is assured. The reality is that the decision to cut stimulus has likely already been long established and the face of the new chairman will have little relevance. The idea of the Fed being divided by “hawks” and “doves” is absurd propaganda designed to give the public a false impression that central bank decisions follow some kind of democratic course. Central banks are highly centralized and highly coordinated corporate entities, not governmental councils prone to “debate.” And like any corporation, it is certain that decisions are handed down from the top of the pyramid in totalitarian fashion. Who is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the Fed? Only a FULL audit would reveal the truth, and a full audit has never been enforced in the 100-year history of the bank (the only meaningful partial audit ever conducted examined the TARP bailouts, uncovering over $16 trillion in crazed currency printing in that program alone). The point is, the Fed is not a public institution (nor “quasi-public”), it is private, and this private bank is now dominating every miniscule fluctuation in the health of our financial system, openly. Two questions loom like a black cloud over the stock exchange picnic: 1) Will the Fed cut stimulus soon, and if so, by how much? 2) If the Fed continues stimulus, how long can it last before the dollar’s value is decimated? As I have been saying since the bailouts began in 2008, the Fed has conjured a perfect Catch-22 scenario for the U.S. economy. If the Fed cuts QE while conditions remain tenuous, the stark reality that we have been living on borrowed time will be revealed. If the Fed continues stimulus the catastrophe will take longer to unfold. But eventually, foreign creditors will finish their strategy of dumping the dollar in bilateral trade and our economy takes a dive anyway. Cancel stimulus and we croak. Continue stimulus and we croak. Obviously, given the total dependency the investment world has shown towards QE, the markets will plummet without stimulus. Some predict a “manageable” break in stocks, while others predict freefall. In any case, those who think QE reductions are already priced into the markets are fooling themselves. Keep in mind that before QE3 was announced in September of last year, the Dow was struggling due to a lack of any credible recovery signals within the system. Nothing has changed since. There are no new developments that give clear indication that our economy is any better off than it was a year ago, let alone five years ago. One thing I have learned in my time as an analyst is to never underestimate the power of blind human optimism. With a QE taper announcement this week, it could take months before the general public and the investment sector finally grasp the fact that the carpet has been pulled out from under them.  The slide of the Dow would be slow, but cumulative. There are many people out there who actually believe the recovery hype being promoted in the mainstream, and I have to say, things are getting a little schizophrenic. Some pundits are focusing on negative data because they think it will influence the Fed to keep QE alive.  Other organizations appear to have a different agenda. Ratings and analytic firm Moody’s, for instance, has recently released a report claiming that all risk of returning recession has been essentially eliminated in the U.S. This is, of course, news to most of us in the field of alternative economics, being that according to the fundamentals, we NEVER LEFT the original recession which officially began at the end of 2007. I would also point out that Moody’s was one of the same agencies that played a considerable role in the derivatives collapse. Would you trust a company that stamped every toxic derivative it examined a few years back with a AAA rating to tell you what shape our financial structure is in today? Now, maybe it’s the “conspiracy theorist” in me, but I find the release of this Moody’s report rather suspicious, just as I have found the majority of the Labor Department’s overly optimistic (skewed) unemployment reports suspicious. It is highly likely that these fabricated numbers hailing green-shoots recovery are being released in order to give the Fed false precedent to begin cutting stimulus while distancing themselves from blame over the eventual catastrophic results. In fact, I guarantee that the Fed will cite reports like those produced by Moody’s in order to vindicate taper actions. So, why would the Fed use erroneous data to justify QE cuts today (or the next few months), knowing that our system is addicted to fiat and will shrivel like a raisin in the sun without it? Here’s the thing: The world is changing rapidly, and the course of the next decade (if not the next century) may be decided before this year is out. The Syrian crisis is far from over. In fact, Russian diplomatic measures have only raised the stakes. Russia’s overt involvement proves beyond a doubt that any military action on the part of the U.S. will create escalation.  Both the U.S. and Israeli governments have stated openly and unequivocally that their goal is not just chemical disarmament, but the toppling of Assad.  Russia has recently position three more ships to their fleet near Syria, to double the amount of U.S. ships in the region. The conflict is no longer only about President Barack Obama vs. Bashar Assad. Now, it is the U.S. vs. Russia, Syria, Iran, China, etc. If diplomacy fails (the White House and Israel appear intent to ensure it fails), the dire results will be clear to the majority before this winter is over. Even more disturbing is the build up towards the final debate on the U.S. debt ceiling.  Barack Obama has now stated that he will NOT negotiate with Republicans on the terms of an increase in the level of allowable national debt, meaning, it's his way or the highway.  Republicans have responded with the threat of government shutdown.  Perhaps this is yet another coincidence, but the Fed's possible decision to taper QE perfectly parallels with the government debate over increased federal spending.  Of course, if the government reaches an impasse over debt, the call for a considerable portion of Fed stimulus ends.  On top of that, the uneducated public will be utterly confused as to who is actually responsible for the gridlock, the fed or the politicians (hint - they are BOTH responsible). There are many who believe that neither the government nor the Fed will ever willingly stand in the way of endless fiat creation.  However, if the goal is to kill the dollar's world reserve status quickly, or to manipulate the masses into demanding further Fed action, a taper of QE makes perfect sense in the mid-to-long-term. SEC regulators have called for the institution of "exchange kill switches”, which will be finalized over the course of this winter. A recent Nasdaq shutdown caused by what regulators label a “software glitch” is being used as the excuse for this centralized kill option which will remain in the hands of… nobody knows yet. I would note though that a streamlined kill switch option for stocks would be useful in the event that a market crisis occurs and the establishment wishes to control how much value in equities is lost from day to day. China has recently announced that a “second economic revolution” will be set in motion this coming November. While the details of this policy shift are not yet certain, the Chinese have established that they plan to move away from export reliance and place more energy into consumer growth. This means FAR less interest in the U.S. consumer and the U.S. dollar as a world reserve currency. Ben Bernanke’s term as Fed Chairman is set to end in January of 2014, and it is my observation that detrimental policy changes commonly take place while the responsible organizations are in transition, or just past transition. Any debilitating consequences of QE cuts can be placed at the feet of Ben Bernanke, while the Federal Reserve as a whole remains shielded from reproach. And why should he care? Old Ben will be sitting on a beach in the Caymans sipping mojitos while the rest of us are suffering through dollar devaluation and market chaos.  Also, a very important question is being wholeheartedly ignored lately; who, exactly, will take the Fed's place as the world biggest buyer of U.S. debt (and U.S. stocks) once the Fed reduces or cuts QE?  The fact is, there is no foreign buyer that will fill this void.  In the end, the "taper", regardless of how quickly it is implemented, will eventually lead to financial tragedy within our nation. In the meantime, the Syrian crisis continues to quietly grow, and the U.S. may be in the midst of global economic war, or a shooting war in the near future, drawing all attention away from the central banks as the culprits behind America’s fiscal demise. Ultimately, QE cuts will be detrimental because they are MEANT to be detrimental, and this is in pursuit of one of only two possible goals: Either the Fed is seeking to deliberately undermine the U.S. economy in order to set in motion a final collapse, or, the Fed wants to create just enough desperation in order to force the American people to beg for more stimulus, and thus force us to accept partial responsibility for the eventual inflationary demise of the dollar. In either case, the Fed's tactics serve one purpose – to secure the globalization of America by any means necessary. A wounded America is more liable to embrace centralization and abandon sovereignty than a strong America. I’ll let George Soros explain one more time just to drive the point home: The process of globalized economic and political governance has been a long and carefully planned one, and the existence of a prosperous U.S. is not a part of the program. There have been many events over the past several decades that we can look back on objectively and understand the role they played in the destruction of the U.S. as a sovereign nation. At the edge of the Federal Reserve’s 100th anniversary, it is vital that we see the current developments for what they really are – history changing, in a fashion so violent they are apt to scar America forever.         

18 сентября 2013, 22:42

Is The Fed Ready To Cut America’s Fiat Life Support?

Brandon Smith Activist Post It is undeniable that America is thoroughly addicted to fiat stimulus. Every aspect of our economy, from stocks, to bonds, to banks, and by indirect extension main street, is now utterly dependent on the continued 24/7 currency creation bonanza. The stock market no longer rallies to the tune of increased retail sales, growing export markets or improved employment expectations. In fact, “good” economic news today is met with panic and market sell-offs! Why? Because investors and banks still playing equities understand full well that any sign of fiscal improvement might mean the end of the private Federal Reserve’s QE pajama party. They know that without the Fed’s opiate-laced lifeline, the economy dies a fast and painful death. All mainstream economic news currently revolves around the Fed, as pundits clamor to divine whether the latest signals mean the free money will flow, trickle, or dry up. Most expect the central bank to make an announcement today on the details of its reduction in stimulus initiatives. Generally, the Fed does not have a tendency to slip information to the media on the possibility of a policy change unless they plan to follow through. Every bailout and QE announcement over the course of the past five years has been preceded by weeks and even months of “rumors” acclimating the mainstream and the markets to the idea of each action long before it was ever implemented. If the Fed avoids clarity on the taper in the coming week, I expect that they will still assert stimulus cuts before the end of this year. Certain developments, though, are giving false hope to the markets that the stimulus fantasy will go on forever. The resignation of Larry Summers from the “running” for Fed Chairman (as if Obama isn’t being told exactly who he is to pick for the position) has so far put a dash of cheer into the Dow Jones. Strangely, investors seem to believe that without Summers, continued quantitative easing is assured. The reality is that the decision to cut stimulus has likely already been long established and the face of the new chairman will have little relevance.  google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60;  The idea of the Fed being divided by “hawks” and “doves” is absurd propaganda designed to give the public a false impression that central bank decisions follow some kind of democratic course. Central banks are highly centralized and highly coordinated corporate entities, not governmental councils prone to “debate.” And like any corporation, it is certain that decisions are handed down from the top of the pyramid in totalitarian fashion. Who is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to the Fed? Only a FULL audit would reveal the truth, and a full audit has never been enforced in the 100-year history of the bank (the only meaningful partial audit ever conducted examined the TARP bailouts, uncovering over $16 trillion in crazed currency printing in that program alone). The point is, the Fed is not a public institution (nor “quasi-public”), it is private, and this private bank is now dominating every minuscule fluctuation in the health of our financial system, openly. Two questions loom like a black cloud over the stock exchange picnic: 1) Will the Fed cut stimulus soon, and if so, by how much? 2) If the Fed continues stimulus, how long can it last before the dollar’s value is decimated? As I have been saying since the bailouts began in 2008, the Fed has conjured a perfect Catch-22 scenario for the U.S. economy. If the Fed cuts QE while conditions remain tenuous, the stark reality that we have been living on borrowed time will be revealed. If the Fed continues stimulus the catastrophe will take longer to unfold. But eventually, foreign creditors will finish their strategy of dumping the dollar in bilateral trade and our economy takes a dive anyway. Cancel stimulus and we croak. Continue stimulus and we croak. Obviously, given the total dependency the investment world has shown towards QE, the markets will plummet without stimulus. Some predict a “manageable” break in stocks, while others predict freefall. In any case, those who think QE reductions are already priced into the markets are fooling themselves. Keep in mind that before QE3 was announced in September of last year, the Dow was struggling due to a lack of any credible recovery signals within the system. Nothing has changed since. There are no new developments that give clear indication that our economy is any better off than it was a year ago, let alone five years ago. One thing I have learned in my time as an analyst is to never underestimate the power of blind human optimism. With a QE taper announcement this week, it could take months before the general public and the investment sector finally grasp the fact that the carpet has been pulled out from under them. The slide of the Dow would be slow, but cumulative. There are many people out there who actually believe the recovery hype being promoted in the mainstream, and I have to say, things are getting a little schizophrenic. Some pundits are focusing on negative data because they think it will influence the Fed to keep QE alive. Other organizations appear to have a different agenda. Ratings and analytic firm Moody’s, for instance, has recently released a report claiming that all risk of returning recession has been essentially eliminated in the U.S. This is, of course, news to most of us in the field of alternative economics, being that according to the fundamentals, we NEVER LEFT the original recession which officially began at the end of 2007. I would also point out that Moody’s was one of the same agencies that played a considerable role in the derivatives collapse. Would you trust a company that stamped every toxic derivative it examined a few years back with a AAA rating to tell you what shape our financial structure is in today? Now, maybe it’s the “conspiracy theorist” in me, but I find the release of this Moody’s report rather suspicious, just as I have found the majority of the Labor Department’s overly optimistic (skewed) unemployment reports suspicious. It is highly likely that these fabricated numbers hailing green-shoots recovery are being released in order to give the Fed false precedent to begin cutting stimulus while distancing themselves from blame over the eventual catastrophic results. In fact, I guarantee that the Fed will cite reports like those produced by Moody’s in order to vindicate taper actions. So, why would the Fed use erroneous data to justify QE cuts today (or the next few months), knowing that our system is addicted to fiat and will shrivel like a raisin in the sun without it? Here’s the thing: The world is changing rapidly, and the course of the next decade (if not the next century) may be decided before this year is out. The Syrian crisis is far from over. In fact, Russian diplomatic measures have only raised the stakes. Russia’s overt involvement proves beyond a doubt that any military action on the part of the U.S. will create escalation. Both the U.S. and Israeli governments have stated openly and unequivocally that their goal is not just chemical disarmament, but the toppling of Assad. Russia has recently position three more ships to their fleet near Syria, to double the amount of U.S. ships in the region. The conflict is no longer only about President Barack Obama vs. Bashar Assad. Now, it is the U.S. vs. Russia, Syria, Iran, China, etc. If diplomacy fails (the White House and Israel appear intent to ensure it fails), the dire results will be clear to the majority before this winter is over. Even more disturbing is the build up towards the final debate on the U.S. debt ceiling. Barack Obama has now stated that he will NOT negotiate with Republicans on the terms of an increase in the level of allowable national debt, meaning, it's his way or the highway. Republicans have responded with the threat of government shutdown. Perhaps this is yet another coincidence, but the Fed's possible decision to taper QE perfectly parallels with the government debate over increased federal spending. Of course, if the government reaches an impasse over debt, the call for a considerable portion of Fed stimulus ends. On top of that, the uneducated public will be utterly confused as to who is actually responsible for the gridlock, the fed or the politicians (hint - they are BOTH responsible). There are many who believe that neither the government nor the Fed will ever willingly stand in the way of endless fiat creation. However, if the goal is to kill the dollar's world reserve status quickly, or to manipulate the masses into demanding further Fed action, a taper of QE makes perfect sense in the mid-to-long-term. SEC regulators have called for the institution of "exchange kill switches”, which will be finalized over the course of this winter. A recent Nasdaq shutdown caused by what regulators label a “software glitch” is being used as the excuse for this centralized kill option which will remain in the hands of… nobody knows yet. I would note though that a streamlined kill switch option for stocks would be useful in the event that a market crisis occurs and the establishment wishes to control how much value in equities is lost from day to day. China has recently announced that a “second economic revolution” will be set in motion this coming November. While the details of this policy shift are not yet certain, the Chinese have established that they plan to move away from export reliance and place more energy into consumer growth. This means FAR less interest in the U.S. consumer and the U.S. dollar as a world reserve currency. Ben Bernanke’s term as Fed Chairman is set to end in January of 2014, and it is my observation that detrimental policy changes commonly take place while the responsible organizations are in transition, or just past transition. Any debilitating consequences of QE cuts can be placed at the feet of Ben Bernanke, while the Federal Reserve as a whole remains shielded from reproach. And why should he care? Old Ben will be sitting on a beach in the Caymans sipping mojitos while the rest of us are suffering through dollar devaluation and market chaos. Also, a very important question is being wholeheartedly ignored lately; who, exactly, will take the Fed's place as the world biggest buyer of U.S. debt (and U.S. stocks) once the Fed reduces or cuts QE? The fact is, there is no foreign buyer that will fill this void. In the end, the "taper", regardless of how quickly it is implemented, will eventually lead to financial tragedy within our nation. In the meantime, the Syrian crisis continues to quietly grow, and the U.S. may be in the midst of global economic war, or a shooting war in the near future, drawing all attention away from the central banks as the culprits behind America’s fiscal demise. Ultimately, QE cuts will be detrimental because they are MEANT to be detrimental, and this is in pursuit of one of only two possible goals: Either the Fed is seeking to deliberately undermine the U.S. economy in order to set in motion a final collapse, or, the Fed wants to create just enough desperation in order to force the American people to beg for more stimulus, and thus force us to accept partial responsibility for the eventual inflationary demise of the dollar. In either case, the Fed's tactics serves one purpose – to secure the globalization of America by any means necessary. A wounded America is more liable to embrace centralization and abandon sovereignty than a strong America. I’ll let George Soros explain one more time just to drive the point home:  The process of globalized economic and political governance has been a long and carefully planned one, and the existence of a prosperous U.S. is not a part of the program. There have been many events over the past several decades that we can look back on objectively and understand the role they played in the destruction of the U.S. as a sovereign nation. At the edge of the Federal Reserve’s 100th anniversary, it is vital that we see the current developments for what they really are – history changing, in a fashion so violent they are apt to scar America forever. You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected] Alt-Market is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better. 

09 сентября 2013, 10:30

A mini-meltdown in the uranium market

The uranium market is a quieter cousin to the larger global markets for gas and coal.  But despite the post Fukushima shift in public opinion away from nuclear generation, there are still 152 operational nuclear power plants in Europe (ex Russia) totalling 138 GW of capacity.  So uranium is a key source of fuel for European power generation. The uranium market has had a wild ride over the last decade, buffeted by the commodity supercycle, a push for a new generation of nuclear plant and the Fukushima disaster.   A precipitous decline in prices in the last year has resulted in price levels well below the long run production costs of new mines.  We do not pretend to be experts in the uranium market.  But there a few interesting top down observations that can be drawn as to the current state of play. Uranium market 101 The most liquid traded form of uranium is U308.  This is a uranium compound that has undergone initial processing into the most common form of yellowcake (uranium concentrate powder) for shipping to nuclear power stations.  The market for U308 (which from here on we refer to as uranium) consists of both spot and long term transactions.  Spot commonly refers to deals for delivery within a three month horizon.  The long term market typically focused on deals with delivery over a two year horizon or longer. Given the long term stable nature of nuclear plant output and fuel usage, the focus of market liquidity is firmly on long term contracts.  The uranium spot market typically exhibits low levels of liquidity and can deviate significantly from the term market depending on shorter term supply/demand balance of market participants.   Current supply/demand balance Like most commodities, uranium was caught up in the exuberance of the commodities ‘supercycle’ bubble of 2006-07 with spot prices soaring to above 130 USD/lb.  Production costs rose and demand projections were strong on the presumption that a new generation of nuclear power stations would be developed as part of a global fight against climate change. Much like the US gas market, the uranium market faced a near perfect storm from 2008-11: The financial crisis popped the commodities bubble, reducing production costs and power demand projections. The development of a commercially viable next generation nuclear technology suffered a number of setbacks with project delays, costs overruns and cancellations. Fukushima saw Japanese demand for uranium erased almost overnight and a global shift in public sentiment away from nuclear generation (e.g. Germany’s decision to accelerate nuclear closures). The evolution of price over this period is illustrated in Chart 1 Chart 1: Spot and term uranium prices 2009 to date Source: UxC The decline of uranium prices has left several newer, higher cost uranium producers in a precarious position.  Cash strapped and struggling to find term buyers at healthy price levels, they have been forced to unload product in the spot market.  This appears to be creating a positive feedback loop in acting to further drive down term prices. Risk vs reward at current prices? What is interesting to note over the last 5 years is the sharp recovery of uranium prices in 2010. This brief period of market tightness prior to Fukushima reflects the increasing production cost structure of incremental uranium supply.  Long run costs for new production are currently estimated to be around 70 USD/lb.  It is a consistent feature of commodity markets that the link between prices and long run production costs can breakdown over long periods.  This is particularly the case during periods of spot market stress.  But long run costs tend to exert an influence on prices during periods when a market anticipates a requirement to deliver incremental supply.  That impact was felt in 2010 in the uranium market, although it dissipated quickly as global demand was revised downward after the Fukushima crisis.  But there are a number of demand side drivers that may act to draw prices back towards long run production costs over the medium term: The Russia-U.S. ‘Megatons to Megawatts’ program ends this year and is unlikely to be renewed.  That removes 24 million pounds per year of secondary supply from the market, around 15% of global supply. There are 60 nuclear power plant currently under construction globally, focused in China and Russia.  Nuclear generation remains the only large scale baseload form of low carbon production. Despite recent delays, Japan is progressing slowly towards restarting its fleet of 50 nuclear plant (~45GW). None of these factors will necessarily cause a near term recovery in prices.  Indeed stress in the market currently appears to be firmly on cash strapped producers.  But downside cleanouts that cause producers to fail or consolidate often mark turning points in commodity market price cycles.  Given the structural demand drivers at work, there does not appear to be a very compelling risk/reward trade-off from positioning for further price falls. Relevant articles: Japanese nuclear restarts and the global gas market Global commodity markets (Part I): a paradigm shift?  

01 апреля 2013, 16:49

5 of 10 Top Economies in the World Drop the Dollar

Activist Post The U.S Dollar is quickly losing its status as the world reserve currency. Five of the top ten economies in the world, plus a few others, no longer use the dollar as an intermediary currency for trade. This trend poses a huge risk to the dollar and the United States along with it. ZeroHedge points out today that Australia, the world's 12th-ranked economy, has now joined a growing list of nations that have agreed to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade with China. China, ranked 2nd behind the U.S., also has similar agreements with Japan (3rd), Brazil (6th), India (9th), and Russia (10th). Although unilateral agreements have been in place for some time between China and the countries listed above, last week the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) agreed to set up a development bank to compete with the IMF, indicating it's gearing up to compete in a post-dollar world.Additionally, Brazil, who agreed in principle to drop the dollar with bilateral trade with China some time ago, just made it official with $30 billion in annual currency swaps which will facilitate around 50% of all trade between them. Besides those agreements with China, some of these nations have made other similar agreements with each other. India and Japan began swapping $15 billion in each other's currency in 2011 to handle their bilateral trade. And the sanctions against Iran haven't stopped them from trading oil with China, Russia, and India in anything but the dollar. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; Here's how the current reign of the US dollar compares to previous world reserve currency:Source It appears that the dollar is certainly nearing the end of its reign, which could lead to severe economic hardship for the United States. Dave Hodges writes: The United States’ good economic fortune is due solely to the fact that world must use the dollar, the Petrodollar if you will, in order to make their nation’s individual oil purchases; this provides the only source of backing for the U.S. dollar that the Federal Reserve requires in order to somewhat sustain our back-breaking debt that the banker-occupied United States government has passed along to the American taxpayer in the form of bailouts. And Marin Katusa of Casey Research writes: If the US dollar loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences for America are dire. A major portion of the dollar's valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry – if that monopoly fades, so too will the value of the dollar. Such a major transition in global fiat currency relationships will bode well for some currencies and not so well for others, and the outcomes will be challenging to predict. But there is one outcome that we foresee with certainty: Gold will rise. Uncertainty around paper money always bodes well for gold, and these are uncertain days indeed. America's imperialism, combined with its ultra-fiat status of unending debt creation, appears to have created a final downward spiral that has caused many of the top economies to abandon a sinking ship. It might not be too much longer before the rest follow suit. Now might be a great time to consider diversifying into other currencies, and even digital currencies, to mitigate growing losses in the U.S. dollar.Read other articles by Activist Post Here var linkwithin_site_id = 557381; linkwithin_text='Related Articles:' Enter Your Email To Receive Our Daily Newsletter Close var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: FFEEEE none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font- weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz- initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: FF0000;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json? u=3ac8bebe085f73ea3503bbda3&id=b0c7fb76bd&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields [1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_; html = ' '+msg+' '; var input_; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } BE THE CHANGE! 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27 марта 2013, 22:46

The Consequences of a Leaderless Economy

Originally appeared on Yahoo! Finance What happens when there’s no leader in the global economy? That’s what the world is finding out right now. Since the 2008 financial crisis the countries that sit atop the world economy – the United States, China, and Germany – have failed to cooperate and fix a broken system that is creating unnecessary suffering. At the heart of our global economic problems is a failure to lead by the world’s most important countries and the absence of an international regulatory framework with the power to encourage them to do so. For the latter part of the 20th century, we lived in an economic world orchestrated by the Washington consensus. While this system had many losers and fed and subsidized financial institution profits, it also provided a semblance of order for the global economy. But for many, the 2008 crisis signaled that the long period of U.S. hegemonic leadership was coming to a sputtering end. The U.S. consumer is tapped out in the aftermath of the credit crisis. Yet the export-heavy growth strategies of the world’s next two largest economies have left them with consumer classes that are unwilling or unable to fill the gap left in the wake of collapsing wealth in the U.S. The necessary rebalancing in this situation has long been clear: the expansion of domestic demand in the export surplus countries, particularly Germany and China. But none of their political economies have been able to overcome internal opposition to this transition. In Germany, there remains fierce domestic resistance to providing necessary assistance to the euro zone periphery, even though the euro countries that are now suffering got into their current mess in part because of overzealous lending practices by many German banks. The Germany that so recently benefited from the euro zone’s collective largesse is now crying moral hazard when asked to step in and help their neighbors adjust like Germany did with the help of the Southern countries vitality after reunification. Meanwhile, China, following the example of Japan and the Asian tigers before it, has built its vitality on the back of exports to the West. Most pointedly, China has exploited a flaw in the international monetary system to its benefit. China unilaterally sets the exchange rate between the renminbi and the U.S. dollar to benefit its manufacturing exports. The practical result is that RMB undervaluation is exporting deflationary pressure to the developed world. The contradiction in this system is that in the long term China depends on consumers in the developed world countries to continue buying Chinese exports while China’s economic competitiveness is deflating the incomes of precisely those same consumers. This is the wall that the global economy hit in 2008 when the credit bubble in the U.S. collapsed. As the current worldwide economic downturn shows, this paradox is a significant problem. China is not a tiny vessel being towed along by the global economy; it has become an enormous anchor that is sinking the global economic ship. Only rising wages and living standards for Chinese citizens can power the world’s economies into the future and take stress off of the developed countries as they rebalance. It’s important to remember the historical context that gave rise to China’s economic strategy. China’s growth model is in many ways a response to the 1997 Asian crisis, when the developed world – led by the U.S. – used institutions like the International Monetary Fund to squeeze Asian countries, causing them unnecessary pain so Western financiers could get paid. This is where America has failed. After the Cold War, the U.S. had the opportunity to lead the world into a truly stable global economic system. But no longer facing the looming threat of Communism, the U.S. instead turned the world into a plaything for financiers and multinational corporations in search of lower labor costs and lax environmental restrictions. American financial elites sowed the seeds of their own system’s destruction. And now the damaging effects of the elite class’s predations have arrived at home. The unsustainability of the Reagan- and Clinton-era economic models of continuous financial deregulation, pumping wealth upward, and subsidizing foreign direct investment in low-wage developing countries, has become obvious. The current system is simply not sustainable for the U.S. and, as a result, for the exporters who depend upon a vital American consumer, particularly China and Germany. Of course, changing to domestic-led demand-based growth strategies will take time and will have to overcome fierce political resistance from both American multinationals addicted to artificially low-cost climates and China’s and Germany’s overgrown export sectors. But the reality is that continuing along this path is not in China’s interests, regardless of how reluctant its leaders are to relinquish their model of success. The same can be said for Germany, which must adjust its economic strategy to save the euro zone or it will sink along with it. It is important to recognize that many of these problems are not just domestic malfunctions. Rather they are symptoms of a chaotic and incoherent international financial system. And it is by no means certain that China or anyone else will emerge as a new leader of a cohesive global economy. This uncertainty is making the world an increasingly dangerous place. It’s why the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s upcoming conference in Hong Kong is called “The Changing of the Guard?” Because it’s unclear who is going to lead the way forward. The price of the current disorder is simply too ominous to endure. There is a way. We must find out if there is a will.

25 марта 2013, 23:50

China's Xi tells Africa he seeks relationship of equals

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - China's new president told Africans on Monday he wanted a relationship of equals that would help the continent develop, responding to concerns that Beijing is only interested in shipping out its raw materials.

25 марта 2013, 23:50

China's Xi tells Africa he seeks relationship of equals

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - China's new president told Africans on Monday he wanted a relationship of equals that would help the continent develop, responding to concerns that Beijing is only interested in shipping out its raw materials.

25 марта 2013, 16:26

China's Xi tells Africa he seeks relationship of equals

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - China's new president told Africans on Monday he wanted a relationship of equals that would help the continent develop, responding to concerns that Beijing is only interested in shipping out its raw materials.

25 марта 2013, 16:26

China's Xi tells Africa he seeks relationship of equals

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - China's new president told Africans on Monday he wanted a relationship of equals that would help the continent develop, responding to concerns that Beijing is only interested in shipping out its raw materials.

23 марта 2013, 19:37

Aung San Suu Kyi's "Saffron Monks" Stalk Streets With Machetes - Mass Slaughtering Refugees

Tony CartalucciActivist PostImage: Aung San Suu Kyi's "Saffron Monks" are committing genocide in Myanmar. The West has both created this movement and is silently supporting it, hoping to disrupt and ultimately drive out extensive Chinese interests found at the epicenter of the violence. In Southeast Asia's Myanmar, already 20 are reported dead in the latest genocidal violence carried out by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's "Saffron monk" political movement. CNN's, "Armed Buddhists, including monks, clash with Muslims in Myanmar," reports that: Buddhist monks and others armed with swords and machetes Friday stalked the streets of a city in central Myanmar, where sectarian violence that has left about 20 people dead has begun to spread to other areas, according to local officials.The article also added that: In the western state of Rakhine, tensions between the majority Buddhist community and the Rohingya, a stateless ethnic Muslim group, boiled over into clashes that killed scores of people and left tens of thousands of others living in makeshift camps last year. Most of the victims were Rohingya. "The ongoing intercommunal strife in Rakhine State is of grave concern," the International Crisis Group said in a November report. "And there is the potential for similar violence elsewhere, as nationalism and ethno-nationalism rise and old prejudices resurface."CNN's citing of the corporate-financier funded "International Crisis Group," which has supported and engineered similar strife elsewhere around the world, including Egypt in 2011, is particularly foreshadowing.And as in previous spates of recent violence, Aung San Suu Kyi has once again allowed opportunities to call on her own supporters to stand down, slip by in silent complicity. google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; Rakhine state is the site of an expanding Chinese presence, including a port and the terminal of a Sino-Myanmar pipeline and logistical network leading to China's Yunnan province. The violence unfolding in Rakhine over the past months appears to be the execution of the well-documented US "String of Pearls" containment strategy versus China, and mirrors similar violence being carried out by US proxies in Pakistan. Suu Kyi's "Saffron Monks" Similar violence in September of last year revealed the name of one of the leading "monks." AFP's September 2012 article, "Monks stage anti-Rohingya march in Myanmar, refers to the leader of these mobs as "a monk named Wirathu." However, this isn't merely "a monk named Wirathu," but "Sayadaw" (venerable teacher) Wirathu who has led many of "democratic champion" Aung San Suu Kyi's political street campaigns and is often referred to by the Western media as an "activist monk." In March 2012, Wirathu had led a rally calling for the release of so-called "political prisoners," so designated by US State Department funded faux-NGOs. Wirathu himself was in prison, according to AFP, for inciting hatred against Muslims, until recently released as part of an amnesty, an amnesty US State Department-funded (page 15, .pdf) Democratic Voice of Burma claims concerned only "political prisoners."Image: Real monks don't do politics. The "venerable" Wirathu (front, left) leads a rally for "political prisoners" loyal to Aung San Suu Kyi's "pro-democracy" movement in March, 2012. Wirathu himself has been often portrayed as an "activist monk" and a "political prisoner" who spent years in prison. In reality, he was arrested for his role in violent sectarian clashes in 2003, while Suu Kyi's "pro-democracy" front is actually US-funded sedition. Wirathua has picked up right where he left off in 2003, and is now leading anti-Rohingya rallies across the country. Human Rights Watch itself, in its attempt to memorialize the struggle of "Buddhism and activism in Burma" (.pdf),  admits that Wirathu was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to 25 years in prison along with other "monks" for their role in violent clashes between "Buddhists and Muslims" (page 67, .pdf). This would make Wirathu and his companions violent criminals, not "political prisoners." While Western news agencies have attempted to spin the recent violence as a new phenomenon implicating Aung San Suu Kyi's political foot soldiers as genocidal bigots; in reality, the sectarian nature of her support base has been back page news for years. AFP's recent but uncharacteristically honest portrayal of Wirathu, with an attempt to conceal his identity and role in Aung San Suu Kyi's "Saffron" political machine, illustrates the quandary now faced by Western propagandists as the violence flares up again, this time in front of a better informed public.Image: An alleged monk, carries an umbrella with Aung San Suu Kyi's image on it. These so-called monks have played a central role in building Suu Kyi's political machine, as well as maintaining over a decade of genocidal, sectarian violence aimed at Myanmar's ethnic minorities. Another example of US "democracy promotion" and tax dollars at work. During 2007's "Saffron Revolution," these same so-called "monks" took to the streets in a series of bloody anti-government protests, in support of Aung San Suu Kyi and her Western-contrived political order. HRW would specifically enumerate support provided to Aung San Suu Kyi's movement by these organizations, including the Young Monks Union (Association), now leading violence and calls for ethnic cleansing across Myanmar. The UK Independent  in their article, "Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned," mentions the Young Monks Association by name as involved in distributing flyers recently, demanding people not to associate with ethnic Rohingya, and attempting to block humanitarian aid from reaching Rohingya camps. The Independent also notes calls for ethnic cleansing made by leaders of the 88 Generation Students group (BBC profile here) - who also played a pivotal role in the pro-Suu Kyi 2007 protests. "Ashin" Htawara, another "monk activist" who considers Aung San Suu Kyi,  his "special leader" and greeted her with flowers for her Oslo Noble Peace Prize address earlier this year, stated at an event in London that the Rohingya should be sent "back to their native land." Image: Hands up for recolonization and genocide. One of the US State Department's favorite "activism 2.0" gags is having activists write on their hands and photographing it to show solidarity for a cause across social media. Aung San Suu Kyi (photo courtesy of Soros.org) herself promoted the recolonization of Myanmar by Western interests in this way. Ironically, her supporters who had used the tactic to support Suu Kyi and others in her movement, are now writing pro-genocide slogans on their hands. The equivalent of Ku Klux Klan racists demanding that America's black population be shipped back to Africa, the US State Department's "pro-democratic" protesters in Myanmar have been revealed as habitual, violent bigots with genocidal tendencies. Their recent violence also casts doubts on Western narratives portraying the 2007 "Saffron Revolution's" death toll as exclusively caused by government security operations.   While in late 2012 the Western media attempted to ignore the genocidal nature of Suu Kyi's "Saffron Monks," now it appears that more are catching on. The International Business Times published recently an article titled, "Burmese Bin Laden: Is Buddhist Monk Wirathu Behind Violence in Myanmar?" stating: The shadow of controversial monk Wirathu, who has led numerous vocal campaigns against Muslims in Burma, looms large over the sectarian violence in Meikhtila. Wirathu played an active role in stirring tensions in a Rangoon suburb in February, by spreading unfounded rumours that a local school was being developed into a mosque, according to the Democratic voice of Burma. An angry mob of about 300 Buddhists assaulted the school and other local businesses in Rangoon. The monk, who describes himself as 'the Burmese Bin Laden' said that his militancy "is vital to counter aggressive expansion by Muslims". He was arrested in 2003 for distributing anti-Muslim leaflets and has often stirred controversy over his Islamophobic activities, which include a call for the Rhohingya and "kalar", a pejorative term for Muslims of South Asian descent, to be expelled from Myanmar. He has also been implicated in religious clashes in Mandalay, where a dozen people died, in several local reports.The article also cites the Burma Campaign UK, whose director is attempting to rework the West's narrative in Myanmar to protect their long-groomed proxy Suu Kyi, while disavowing the violence carried out by a movement they themselves have propped up, funded, and directed for many years. Like their US-funded (and armed) counterparts in Syria, many fighting openly under the flag of sectarian extremism held aloft by international terrorist organization Al Qaeda, we see the absolute moral bankruptcy of Myanmar's "pro-democracy" movement that has, up until now, been skillfully covered up by endless torrents of Western propaganda - Aung San Suu Kyi's Nobel Peace Prize and recent "Chatham House Prize" all being part of the illusion. And just like in Syria, the West will continue supporting and intentionally fueling the violence while attempting to compartmentalize the crisis politically to maintain plausible deniability. Aung San Suu Kyi is a Western Proxy In "Myanmar (Burma) "Pro-Democracy" Movement a Creation of Wall Street & London," it was documented that Suu Kyi and organizations supporting her, including local propaganda fronts like the New Era Journal, the Irrawaddy, and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) radio, have received millions of dollars a year from the Neo-Conservative chaired National Endowment for Democracy, convicted criminal and Wall Street speculator George Soros' Open Society Institute, and the US State Department itself, citing Britain's own "Burma Campaign UK (.pdf)."Image: The Myitsone Dam, on its way to being the 15th largest in the world until construction was halted in September by a campaign led by Wall Street-puppet Aung San Suu Kyi, a stable of US-funded NGOs, and a terrorist campaign executed by armed groups operating in Kachin State, Myanmar. And not only does the US State Department in tandem with Western corporate media provide Aung San Suu Kyi extensive political, financial, and rhetorical backing, they provide operational capabilities as well, allowing her opposition movement to achieve Western objectives throughout Myanmar. The latest achievement of this operational capability successfully blocked the development of Myanmar's infrastructure by halting a joint China-Mynamar dam project that would have provided thousands of jobs, electricity, state-revenue, flood control, and enhanced river navigation for millions. Suu Kyi and her supporting network of NGOs, as well as armed militants in Myanmar's northern provinces conducted a coordinated campaign exploiting both "environmental" and "human rights" concerns that in reality resulted in Myanmar's continual economic and social stagnation. The ultimate goal of course is to effect regime change not only in Myanmar, but to create a united Southeast Asian front against China. The unqualified "progress" the US claims is now being made in Myanmar moves forward in tandem with Myanmar's opening to Western corporate-financier interests. As reported in June, 2011's "Collapsing China," as far back as 1997 there was talk about developing an effective containment strategy coupled with the baited hook of luring China into its place amongst the "international order." Just as in these 1997 talking-points where author and notorious Neo-Con policy maker Robert Kagan described the necessity of using America's Asian "allies" as part of this containment strategy, Clinton goes through a list of regional relationships the US is trying to cultivate to maintain "American leadership" in Asia.Image: (Top) The "Lilliputians" though small in stature were collectively able to tie down the larger Gulliver from the literary classic "Gulliver's Travels." In the same manner, the US wants to use smaller Southeast Asian nations to "tie down" the larger China. (Bottom) From SSI's 2006 "String of Pearls" report detailing a strategy of containment for China. While "democracy," "freedom," and "human rights" will mask the ascension of Aung San Suu Kyi and others into power, it is part of a region-wide campaign to overthrow nationalist elements and install client regimes in order to encircle and contain China. The US backing of puppet-regimes like that of  Thailand's Thaksin Shinawatra, his sister Yingluck, or Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, installing them into power, and keeping them there is central to projecting power throughout Asia and keeping China subordinate, or as Kagan put it in his 1997 report, these proxy regimes will have China "play Gulliver to Southeast Asia's Lilliputians, with the United States supplying the rope and stakes." Two of these "Lilliputians" are Yingluck Shinawatra and Aung San Suu Kyi, the rope and stakes are the street mobs and disingenuous NGOs funded by the US State Department to support their consolidation of power. It is essential to look past the empty rhetoric of "democracy," "human rights," and "progress" used to justify foreign-funding and meddling to install servile autocrats like Thailand's Thaksin, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, or even Malaysia's proxy dictator-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim, and see the greater geopolitical game at play. It is also essential to expose the disingenuous organizations, institutions, and media personalities helping promote this global corporate-fascist agenda. With Suu Kyi's movement now being exposed as violent, sectarian-driven mobs rather than the "pro-democracy" front it was claimed to be by its sponsors in the West, it remains to be seen whether well-meaning people worldwide turn their backs on this carefully crafted hoax and the corporate-financier interests that created it - and instead seek genuine causes that abandon political struggle for pragmatic solutions.Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg. 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20 марта 2013, 20:00

6-ship order to tap rising LNG demand

CHINA Shipping Development Co's venture will order six liquefied natural gas tankers worth about US$1.2 billion by June to tap the nation's rising demand for cleaner fuel, Chairman Li Shaode said yesterday.

14 марта 2013, 20:20

"Taranis" Stealth Bomber Keeps England In The Drone Arms Race

Update on the global drone arms race. War profiteers unite to build the latest stealth drone bomber - TaranisNicholas West Activist Post It has been predicted that the development of drone surveillance by the U.S. would spark a global race to develop new drone capabilities, leading to a potentially dystopian future of drone wars where combat and even assassinations can be performed by fleets of insect-like microbots. The Washington Post reported in July, 2011: More than 50 countries have purchased surveillance drones, and many have started in-country development programs for armed versions because no nation is exporting weaponized drones beyond a handful of sales between the United States and its closest allies. (Source)The number of countries has now risen toward 90 as Pakistan recently entered into the market, plus the United Nations itself has launched its own fleet of surveillance drones.  It was also recently announced that China had successfully tested their first combat stealth drone, which is detailed in updates below. Perhaps to keep up with an announcement that the U.S. Air Force revealed testing a "top secret" stealth drone at Area 51, England has taken the lead by announcing that their own large stealth drone known as Taranis is now ready for action, seen in the video below. Taranis was actually uncovered in 2010 as a £143 million project of BAE Systems that was initiated as far back as 2006 - a cost that has now escalated to £185 million, according to BAE's website. At the time, it was announced that test flights would begin in 2011. This "Inspiration for a Nation" certainly conveys its intentions as it's named after the Celtic god of thunder - we should expect more shock and awe to be on the way. With a 10-meter wingspan, the aircraft is larger than you might expect for an unmanned vehicle; the logistics of both stealth and long-range flight push the design toward a large, mostly flat-ish belly and wings. While the building material is not currently known (and won’t be for many years) it likely incorporates specially light- and radar-deadening materials to weigh in, as it does, at just eight tonnes. With a budget of more than $300 million and more than a million man-hours invested, Taranis is a major part of the UK’s overall strategy for evolving its military in the coming decade. The country has already identified drones as one of the drivers of its next-generation fighting forces, and stealth drones are a necessary component of that push. (Source) (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});  First test flight footage:  And here is the official promo video from BAE Systems calling Taranis "The Future of Aviation Technology." Comforting.  The race is on to capitalize on the surge in the drone market around the world. You can read about that history in updates below. BAE systems states on its website that this new development actually puts England at #1 for the time being: The findings from the aircraft’s test flights show that the UK has developed a significant lead in understanding unmanned aircraft which could strike with precision over a long range whilst remaining undetected. [emphasis added] (Source - BAE Systems)One thing is for certain: by the time we know for sure about what is flying through our skies and who really has the lead in the drone arms race, chances are it's already been developed. For those who might doubt that statement, please view the final video below from General Atomics which discusses plans for 2017. Hint: they don't include peace or disarmament. War 2017: next-generation drones ensure it:  ________________________________________________________________________ U.S. Air Force Testing New Stealth Drone at Area 51  image sourceAviation Week is reporting that a new stealth drone called the RQ-180 will succeed the now-retired SR-71 Blackbird stealth drone and have a longer range with additional stealth capabilities beyond the current RQ-170. Northrop Grumman is the beneficiary of taxpayer dollars this go-round. The drone, funded from the Air Force’s classified budget, was developed by Northrop Grumman aerospace and defense technology company, which won the competition from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company apparently began working on RQ-180 in 2008 when it revealed a $2 billion increase in its order portfolio, the magazine claimed. The new unmanned aerial vehicle is currently performing test flights at the Area 51 in Nevada known as most secure known operating base of the US Air Force, Aviation Week said. Both the Air Force and Northrop Grumman refused to comment on the secret project when they were asked by journalists. [...]The new drone is similar in size to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk non-stealthy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is currently used in Iraq and Afghanistan, but is likely to retire next year. The RQ-180 weighs nearly 15 tons and can operate for 24 hours, 1,200 nm from its base, exceeding its smaller predecessor RQ-170, which can stay in the air for five to six hours. The new drone is seen as key for the shift of US Air Force ISR assets away from ‘permissive’ environments such as Iraq and Afghanistan toward operations in ‘contested’ or ‘denied’ airspace. (Source)One is left to imagine where this "contested" airspace might be, but with China's recent imposition of a no-fly zone over a group of Japanese islands sitting atop potential oil reserves, there are some hints. That no-fly zone was subsequently breached without incident, but perhaps there is anticipation of what the future might hold ... especially as China continues its own development of war drones amid heated economic warfare that lies on the horizon. The U.S. seeks to make the RQ-180 operational by 2015, which puts it ahead of the next drone in line for 2018 -  the world's first hypersonic drone being developed by Lockheed Martin. The race continues among countries and among their suppliers to lead the way toward the autonomous wars of the future. This is taking place in both air and sea, as myriad unmanned drones are taking flight from research laboratories across the world.  Drones have even taken to the high-seas, as navies begin to "build fleets of crewless boats capable of missions on and under the water, according to maritime experts," as discussed at Military.com. And just yesterday it was announced that to specifically thwart China, tiny drones can be launched from submerged submarines. It's all about full spectrum dominance . . . and a race to the finish line. ______________________________________________________________________________ United Nations Launches First Fleet of Surveillance Drones image sourceThe latest news shows drones going truly global: the United Nations has launched surveillance "peacekeeping" drones to fly missions above the violence-infested Congo. The United Nations has launched two drones with plans for more in 2014 that will be used to assist the army in their suppression of rebel groups in DR Congo.  UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told the BBC that the drones, or "unarmed, unmanned aerial vehicles" would be the "tool of choice" to monitor the activities of armed groups and the movement of civilians. "We need to get a better picture of what is happening," he said. He said that if they were successful in DR Congo, they could also be used in other UN peacekeeping missions. (Source) This is a flat-out admission of a beta test and a portent to a potential full rollout of UN drones across much of the conflict-ridden planet. It doesn't take much imagination to foresee how their widespread use could become justified in the wake of increasing criticism of their unilateral use by the United States. The fact that the first test of U.N. drones should take place in Africa very well could also tie in to the billions of dollars that has been pledged to boost Africa's infrastructure as globalists prepare the region for corporate expansion. It's a strategy long in the making, as the former link details. One has to wonder what might happen if one of these unarmed drones gets shot down. Would weaponization be the next step? Many people in the "conspiracy" circles have always worried about the day that blue-helmeted U.N. troops would arrive to knock on the doors of Americans. The boots on the ground approach might not prove necessary at all. Weaponized U.N. drones patrolling the planet might do the knocking. For now, though, it's just another conspiracy theory.  ________________________________________________________________________ Pakistan Makes Entrance Into Global Drone Arms Race Shahpar surveillance drone image sourceThe number of countries with drones has now risen to nearly 90 as Pakistan has now announced its entrance into the global drone arms race with two surveillance drones called Burraq and Shahpar. The citizens of Pakistan have been outraged of the hundreds of drone bombings by the U.S. that have taken place inside their country in the wake of 9/11. To make matters worse, it was recently announced that the Pakistani government has had a secret pact since at least 2007 that demonstrates complicity in the bombings against their own people. This has all led to 10,000+ Pakistanis taking to the streets to protest. Now the Pakistani military is claiming the launch of two surveillance drones, which marks a new level of military capability. While the drones are not yet armed, their launch is being hailed as a massive success: The development of the drones, thought to have a range of about 75 miles, represents a milestone for the country’s military and scientists, Pakistani and Western analysts said. “It is a landmark and a historic event, wherein a very effective force multiplier has been added to the inventory of the armed forces,” the Pakistani military said in a statement. (Source)Regardless of their limited effectiveness compared to the capabilities of those owned by the United States, Israel and Britain, it shows the intent to not be left out of the drone market. It is a market that is expanding across the planet, which ironically (or coincidentally) has the CIA concerned -- yes, the very CIA that helped orchestrate the planned bombings in Pakistan with the Pakistani government. More generally, this is most likely another problem-reaction-solution scenario; this time a solution for Pakistan in an attempt to thwart further encroachment by the United States and her allies. In turn, drone development in Pakistan will serve as further justification for the U.S. to deploy their drones inside Pakistan. It is truly a theater of war, where the military-industrial complex -- which is global -- continues to orchestrate and manage the various players, while laughing all the way to the bank as they further enslave the citizens of planet Earth. You can read previous updates below, as China begins to approach the drone capabilities of the United States... _________________________________________________________________________ China Adds Stealth Combat Drone to Growing Arsenal  China in particular has embraced their use. A report from 2011 indicated that there were at least 280 active drones, and that China was also experimenting with autonomous drone swarms (you can read that story in a previous update posted below). Now Chinese media is announcing the first successful test of a combat-ready stealth drone called "Sharp Sword." The new stealth drone goes beyond surveillance capabilities and marks China's first known weaponized UAV. It has been noted that it could be used in conjunction with China's first aircraft carrier that went operational in 2012. While not specifically mentioned, this development could mirror the United States' first successful test of an autonomous drone landing at sea aboard its own aircraft carrier. The Sharp Sword might be intended for eventual use with the aircraft carrier and for "long endurance" surveillance missions, said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the US-based think tank International Assessment and Strategy Center. "This demonstrates the enormous investment that China is making toward building a world class level of military power," he said in an email. This type of aircraft "will greatly complicate the defence" of other countries, including Japan and the US, he added. [...] The flight "implies that China has made the leap from drones to combat drones", it said, calling it the move of "major significance". (Source) China's defense spending is second only to the United States, so it is to be expected that the drone arms race sparked predominately by the United States and Israel will continue to move forward. It is a development that now has the CIA concerned, which you can read from the last update to this post. _____________________________________________________________________________ CIA Concerned Over Drone Expansion Across the Planet  The Washington Times is now reporting on the further proliferation of drones in countries across the planet. The number has moved from 50 to 87, and apparently has the CIA concerned. In what appears to be another classic example of problem-reaction-solution, the very same military-industrial complex that was responsible for encouraging the proliferation of drones is issuing a warning about "rogue" nations getting a hold of the technology. The Washington Times makes a stunningly truthful comment that highlights the irony of the concern: The U.S., Britain and Israel are the only nations to have fired missiles from remote-controlled drones, but the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles has become so prevalent that U.S. intelligence sources and private analysts say it is merely a matter of time before other countries use the technology. [...] “Many countries acquired their UAVs from Israel,” said the report. It said Germany, France, Britain, India, Russia and Georgia have either leased or purchased Israeli drones, including the Heron, a model that many foreign militaries see as a good alternative to the American-made Predators and Reapers.The Times also highlights that America's policy of offensive drone strikes, which have killed civilians at a greater rate than supposed terrorists, doesn't bode well for how other countries are likely to employ their drones. The Times goes on to say that it is China and Iran -- the usual suspects -- who are the greatest potential threat. And here is where the solution comes in ... more drones, naturally. Although there is concern in Washington that China will sell the technology to American adversaries, sources say, the U.S. also is pushing ahead with development of its own secretive “next generation” drones. Today’s models emerged in the post-9/11 era of nonconventional conflict — a time when American use of both weaponized and surveillance-only drones has been almost exclusively over chaotic patches of the planet void of traditional anti-aircraft defenses. With little or no need to hide, relatively bulky drones such as the MQ-1 Predator dominated the market. But the “big secret,” Mr. Zaloga said, “is that the U.S. is already working on both armed and unarmed UAVs that can operate in defended airspace.”And develop they are. Recently we have seen the Navy successfully test autonomous drone takeoffs and landings at sea, Boeing has begun to retrofit its decommissioned F-16s into pilotless fighter jets, and solar drones have been developed that can stay aloft for years at a time. The latest addition to the roster is the proposed hypersonic drone from war profiteer defense contractor Lockheed Martin, which intends to improve upon its SR-71 Blackbird - the fastest production plane ever devised. (source) This drone is capable of flying at Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound, roughly 4,500 mph). The prototype is set to become reality by 2018 and fully operational by 2030; it should fit nicely into the next generation of drones that is is set to transform war, as one can see in a General Atomics video presentation here. Whether or not all systems become a reality, it is clear that investment in permanent war continues unabated. It is also worth mentioning that as we approach the full-fledged introduction of drones into American skies, as Congress has agreed to by 2015, the selling point to counter any debate about surveillance of citizens might get quashed by this "emerging threat." They won't be surveillance drones -- they will be a defensive fleet to protect us against the inevitable attack by a rogue nation. And the script continues... You can read the full report from The Washington Times here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/10/skys-the-limit-for-wide-wild-world-of-drones/?page=1 ______________________________________________________________________________ China's "Drone Swarms" Highlight Global Robotic Warfare Arms Race Much like nuclear weapons, it seems as though this genie is not likely to find its way back into the bottle. A new report released by Project 2049 Institute reveals that China has taken the rise of the American drone quite seriously and has been investing just as heavily in drone surveillance and weapons capabilities. All indications are that they are quickly catching up to the world's leader. According to the report entitled, "The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s  Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Project: Organizational Capacities and Operational Capabilities," China has developed a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicles across all military branches. image sourceDomestic competition for military contracts appear to mirror U.S. capabilities: Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance:  electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and signal intelligence (SIGINT) sensors. UAV SIGINT sensors include both communications intelligence and electronic intelligence sensors with a strong emphasis on developing UAVs for locating, tracking and targeting U.S. aircraft carriers in support of long range anti-ship cruise and ballistic missile strikes.Precision strike missions. Design concepts include numerous antiradiation and combat type UAVs. During operations they would theoretically be supported by decoy drones whose roles would be to aid in defense penetration by helping to overwhelm and confuse enemy air and missile defenders.28 According to Chinese writings, they would also be supported by electronic warfare UAVs.Electronic Warfare Missions: UAVs for jamming satellites, airborne early warning plane communications and radar systems, and ship based early warning, communications, and air and missile defense systems. Data Relay Missions.  In particular, Chinese researchers note that UAVs could provide a critical link between landbased command and control facilities and anti-ship missiles engaged in long range over-the-horizon attacks. One study also posited that high altitude UAVs equipped with data link payloads could substitute for communications satellites in the event of enemy antisatellite attacks. (Abridged from original report, which can be read in full with citations at the article title link above).The report further indicates that China already has 280 UAVs in service, and that number is from mid-2011, making it one of the world's largest fleets. Furthermore, technology "in development" includes autonomous drones swarms: Chinese strategists have also discussed using swarms of drones to overwhelm the U.S. Navy's carrier groups in the unlikely possibility of a shooting war. The drones could act as decoys, use electronic warfare to jam communications and radar, guide missile strikes on carriers, fire missiles at U.S. Navy ships or dive into ships like kamikaze robots. (Source)This capability is very likely to already exist in China, as the "kamikaze robots" have been used successfully by The United States in Afghanistan for at least a couple of years; it's known as the Switchblade drone. No one really knows the full level of drone development across the world, due to the obvious secrecy surrounding military technology. The London Guardian has compiled reports of all known drone stocks in the world and offered maps and graphs that illustrate an indication that a drone arms race is fully under way. There are a minimum of 56 drone models used in 11 different countries, with the U.S. leading the pack at 678 operational drones. A new U.S. study by the Association For Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) shows why drone proliferation continues to ramp up at a nearly exponential rate: it has become one of the fastest growing areas of the U.S. economy. A report entitled, "The Economic Impact of Unmanned Aircraft Integration Systems in the United States" is clear in its conclusion that competition for jobs and tax dollars created by drone tech development is likely to provide the impetus to loosen state regulations on drone use. The AUVSI is projecting 70,000 new jobs in the first three years of full integration. While we project more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025, states that create favorable regulatory and business environments for the industry and the technology will likely siphon jobs away from states that do not.The full study can be found at the title link above, but the bullet points as noted by the Association are as follows: In the first three years following integration into the NAS, more than 70,000 new jobs will be created. In the first three years following integration, the total economic impact stemming from the integration is projected to surpass $13.6 billion and will grow sustainably for the foreseeable future, cumulating in more than $82.1 billion in impact between 2015 and 2025. Economic impact includes the monies that flow to manufacturers and suppliers from the sale of new products as well as the taxes and monies that flow into communities and support the local businesses.The study projects integration will lead to 103,776 new jobs nationally by 2025. Many of these jobs are portable and will gravitate toward states with favorable regulatory structures and infrastructure. Future events – such as the establishment of FAA Test Sites – will ultimately determine where many of these new jobs will flow.Additional economic benefit will be seen through tax revenue to the states, which will total more than $482 million in the first decade following the integration. Every year that integration is delayed, the United States loses more than $10 billion in potential economic impact. This translates to a loss of $27.6 million per day that UAS are not integrated into the NAS. (Source)Naturally the AUVSI has a vested interest in promoting drone use despite their "non-profit" status. From their About Us page on their website, they don't hide their goals and connections: The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International is the world's largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotic technologies. AUVSI members support defense, civil and commercial sectors. Mission Statement Advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community through education, advocacy and leadership. Vision Statement To improve humanity by enabling the global use of robotic technology in everyday lives. AUVSI's Strategic Goals Inclusive Community – AUVSI will be an inclusive and accessible global organization encompassing the robotics/unmanned systems community. Global Focus – AUVSI will be the essential partner in the growth and reach of the global robotics/unmanned systems community. Education and Outreach - AUVSI will facilitate the expansion of robotics/unmanned systems knowledge and will promote educational opportunities. Knowledge Source – AUVSI will be the preferred robotics/unmanned systems knowledge source. Advocacy and Influence – There will be recognition of AUVSI by governments, industry and academia as a powerful advocate for robotics/unmanned systems. Member Services – AUVSI will provide value-added services to its current and potential membership. (Source)Despite their stated concern for humanity and desire to foster global economic opportunity, drones and robots are already eliminating many jobs, including military personnel and affiliated tech work. Autonomous intercommunicating systems are being developed by the U.S. and now apparently the Chinese with the capability for unilateral threat assessment and war theater decision making. It is often cited that robotic warfare lessens the dangers to humans, but at some level it becomes an outright replacement, such as DARPA's amazingly human PETMAN and other warbots. Next generation drones have the stated goal of reducing or eliminating the human element altogether as the promotional video from General Atomics below highlights for 2017.  Similar to the machines in a factory, robots don't have human frailties such as sickness, tiredness, mental health issues, clouded judgement based on emotions ... or conscience. Where do the human resources of war go when they have been outsourced? It is possible that during the initial phases, it will appear as a boon to the economy, but the cascading effect of a global robotic arms race is likely to reach a tipping point and get out of hand very quickly. Clearly, even as resistance to drones in American skies heats up, especially following the Rand Paul / Eric Holder debate about the constitutionality of killing Americans on U.S. soil, the military-industrial complex continues to invest in robotic warfare as though global proliferation is a foregone conclusion. The world's two leading superpowers and the feedback loop they have created ensure it. ______________________________________________________________________________ The Drone Arms Race Heats Up: World's First "Beach Ball" Surveillance Drone Developed in Japan Researchers in Japan have provided the latest in all-seeing eye technology: the drone "beach ball".  This might be the clearest evidence yet that we have entered a world which resembles bad science fiction, but, nonetheless, it's true. Homeland Security Newswire reports that the new Spherical Air Vehicle (SAV) "weighs 350 grams (12.3 ounces) and has a diameter of 42 centimeters (16.8 inches); it can reach a speed of 37 miles per hour." The developer from the Technical Research and Development Center of the Japan Defense Agency has amazingly constructed this vehicle from parts that can be found at electronics shops for a cost of around $1,400. (Source). The DIY flying spy camera can bounce, roll, hover and turn corners in any environment using components such as a modified plastic bottle, propeller and control flaps.  All operated by remote control. (Source) Naturally, this has led the researchers to speculate how it can be used in search-and-rescue missions.  This is the exact same justification we have heard from military and police sources in the United States to justify the use of micro-drone surveillance over the interior U.S. in violation of the Constitution. Nonetheless, the technology continues to be developed as competition soars between nations to catch up to the United States.  As we wrote about previously, the miniaturization of surveillance and weapons of war is not nearly over.  President Obama (signed off on by John P. Holdren) has issued the comprehensive, 60-page National Nanotechnology Initiative 2011 Strategic Plan, calling for investment in nanotechnology to be used in everything from remote sensors for bioweapons detection, to surveillance and traffic control. The world of science fiction has indeed become our reality. We would be well advised to put pressure on world leaders and the scientific community to use the greatest caution when racing toward a unmanned future that science fiction warns can end rather unpleasantly for the human race. Here's the demo (in Japanese)  Updated: 2/12/2014  

13 марта 2013, 22:43

James McQuivey: Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation (EXCERPT)

Thomas Suarez is a typical twelve-year-old working his way through the sixth grade in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. He describes himself this way: "I've always had a fascination with computers and technology." Always for him goes all the way back to the fourth grade, when Thomas decided that he wanted to program something. His first app, Earth Fortune, went live in 2010. It has been rated 127 times and earned a respectable three-star rating in the iTunes App Store. It's a fortune-teller that's kind of cute, a bit like the origami "cootie catcher" we used to play with when we were in grade school, that told arbitrary fortunes to those willing to believe them. But the story here is not the app, it is Thomas himself and the many Thomases yet to come. Young Thomas gave a talk at the Manhattan Beach TEDx conference in October 2011, during which he explained, "My favorite and most success­ful app is Bustin Jieber, which is a Justin Bieber Whac-A-Mole!" This app was posted just before the holidays in 2010, and while it hasn't earned as many reviews as Earth Fortune, it certainly garnered laughs from the TEDx audience. Bustin Jieber won't change the world. The top review, last time I checked, gave it one star and called it "crap," adding that, "When u take money from me for crap, I'm upset no matter how old u r. Put down the programming books and read up on user experience and usability and then sell something for a dollar." The second review gave it five stars and said, "I just donated $99 cents [sic] for your future games ;-)." While they disagree, both reviewers are taking seriously the fact that Thomas is a twelve-year-old app developer. If you just play his apps, you might be tempted to discount Thomas. You might conclude that the two million views his TEDx video has scored on YouTube or the write-up about Thomas in the Huffington Post are just hype. But the real story is best illustrated with a third review--another five-star rating--which read, "I had $1 left in my iTunes account and decided to spend it on this, just because I'm just like you. I'm 13 and trying to learn iOS/Cocoa development, and this is really encouraging. Thank you." Why did Thomas's talk garner two million video views? Listen to what he says: "A lot of kids these days like to play games. But now they want to make them. And it's difficult, because not many kids know where to go to find out how to make a program. I mean, for soccer, you could go to a soccer team, for violin, you could get lessons for a violin. But what if you want to make an app? Where do you go to find out how to make an app?" Thomas explains how the iPhone SDK (the software development kit that Apple makes available for app developers) "opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. And after playing with the software develop­ment kit a little bit, I made a couple apps, I made some test apps." One of them was Earth Fortune. When he was ready to put his new app up on the app store, he had one last hurdle to clear. "I persuaded my parents to pay the ninety-nine-dollar fee to be able to put my apps on the app store. They agreed, and now I have apps on the app store." And this is the point. The distance between an idea and the digital realization of that idea is now so short--so cheap and so quick--that a bright twelve-year-old can do it. Thomas and his thirteen-year-old reviewer on the App Store have access to the tools. And they have the right mindset, one that compels them to use these tools in disruptive ways. They are the next step in the evolution toward a digitally disruptive economy--a world in which everyone has the tools they need to bring their ideas to the market, test them, refine them, and eventually disrupt something. What tools does Thomas need to pursue his digitally disruptive goals? A computer? Check. An internet connection? Check. A programming language and SDK? Check. A friction-free digital platform for distributing and making money from his innovations? Check. The number of homes in the United States that have a computer with internet access is now better than 77 percent. App Store entry fee is $99. Thomas and a good portion of his generation have access to better tools than Bill Gates (or I) had. Just as millions of kids already grow up playing soccer or learning a musical instrument--comparisons Thomas invoked, very appropriately--millions of kids like Thomas will routinely learn how to engage in digital disruption. And at almost no cost. The right mindset combined with the right tools, continuously adapting and disrupting. Multiply Thomas by mil­lions and you get a sense of why digital disruption is so terrifying. What has changed about invention is this: disruption was previ­ously done to and through physical things, things like the assembly line, the commercial jetliner, the heart transplant, flat-panel LCD screens, and so on. These physical disruptions are just as important as the digital disrup­tions this book focuses on. But because traditional disruption depended on changing how physical resources were manipulated or combined, the disruptions, though powerful, were rare. They cost a fortune to develop and distribute, a fortune that kids like Thomas Suarez simply would never have. To put this in context, let's look at the seminal work of Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen, the father of the concept of disruptive innovation. Beginning with his 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma, Christensen brought the topic of disruptive innovation into the minds and mouths of business practitioners around the world. Clay describes how a disruptive innovation is an advance that creates new market value, in the process disrupting and replacing an existing market. With illustrations from the disk-drive industry and the hydrau­lic excavator market--both very physical markets--he shows how dis­ruption starts with cheaper or more convenient solutions that gradually move upmarket, eventually destroying stable industries. Clay shows that the traditional disruptive innovations he stud­ies typically take years or even decades to disrupt markets. As his case studies show, physical disruption requires the painstaking manipulation and alignment of physical resources. The resources themselves are often expensive, as is the factory that makes the new product. They can only become profitable by achieving scale, and scale requires massive initial investment to succeed at disruptive prices, and this holds whether you're making a mousetrap, a CD player, or an electric car. This takes time. And it takes money--lots of it. Digital disruption will change that. But not just in software or apps. In fact, the power of digital disruption is that it can disrupt any aspect of any product or service, including processes deep within companies focused on physical things, processes that govern partnerships, data col­lection, pricing, and the management of labor or capital resources. In fact, digital disruption's power multiplies precisely because it can apply to industries that are not even digital. In this way, digital disruption hap­pens to and through digital things, which then accelerate the disruption of physical things. Take Guy Cramer, who uses digital tools to get better military camouflage designs to governments around the world, faster and way cheaper than other suppliers. Then there's Travis Bogard, head of product strategy at Jawbone, a company that pivoted rapidly from blue­tooth headsets to mobile speakers, challenging accepted notions of what consumers want from an audio product and then creating a best-selling speaker in the category it redefined. Dave Dickinson, CEO of Zeo Inc., found a way to rethink expensive ($3,000) studies in sleep labs by offering a hundred-dollar product you can use to analyze your sleep every night, right at your bedside. These disruptors know that digital disruption is far more potent than old disruption, regardless of the industry. These cases, and more like them, will show that digital disruption beats old disruption hands down, no matter the industry. It does this in a straightforward way. Under old disruption, only a very small number of innovative companies can amass the tremendous amount of capital nec­essary to develop and bring a small number of possible ideas to market. Capital is the first constraint. You can raise capital through bank loans or IPOs or private investment, but as long as you have to spend money to make money, the market can only fund so many innovations. The second constraint is information. Because only a few ideas will make it to capitalization, people keep ideas secret, floating only those ideas that have immediately obvious economic merit. And the only inno­vators who get funded are those who have access to holders of capital and are willing to jump through whatever hoops investors deem necessary to prove their ideas have merit. But what if it didn't take money to make money? What's terrifying about the digitally disrupted future is that this rhetorical question is already being concretely answered. The mindset of the digital disruptor accelerates every possible process by exploiting digital toolsets that are free for tinkering. Economists talk about trends that reduce barriers to entry. The force of digital disruption doesn't just reduce these barriers, it obliterates them. This allows the disruptor to take new ideas of any size and potential impact and rapidly pursue tar­get customers at almost no cost and in the space of a few days, rather than years. That's the power of digital disruption, and it will happen to every industry on the planet, whether that company makes digital products or not. That's why the rise of millions of digital disruptors like Thomas Suarez, whether they go it alone or choose to disrupt on behalf of mas­sively physical firms like Verizon and Unilever, matters so much. These disruptors will do what they do in whatever industry they find themselves planted, ultimately generating significantly more innovation power into the marketplace. How much more innovation power? I'll make it as simple as possible. Imagine that with all the free tools and platforms available to Thomas Suarez and millions of others like him, we get ten times as many people bringing innovative ideas to market--a highly conservative estimate. Then assume that the average cost to develop and test those ideas falls to one-tenth as much per idea as in the past (also conservative). The result would be one hundred times the innovation power. That means you and your business are facing at least one hundred times the competitive threat. That's two orders of magnitude more innovation power than before. Digital disruption accelerates competing ideas even as it facilitates the entry of a previously impossible number and magnitude of ideas. The cumulative effect is devastating to any company operating under the rules of the prior century. Consider an analogy: what China did to the manufacturing business. China is now poised to overtake the United States as the largest economy in the world. It has achieved this position principally by becoming a low-cost manufacturing center for goods the rest of the world desires. But China's success is not just a function of cheap manufacturing, the way Japan, and later Korea, rose to prominence in the twentieth century. China's success depends on a very fortuitous (for China, anyway) set of circumstances. First, with its population of over 1.3 billion relatively impoverished people, China has a very motivated base of workers who are willing to work very hard for very low wages relative to other parts of the world. Add to that the fact that these workers can expend their efforts to produce and distribute goods using technologies, distribution partners, supply chains, and physical infrastructure, such as international shipping companies and container ships, that China didn't have to pay for because the rest of the world had already seen fit to create them. Meanwhile, the American manufacturing companies that China was competing with had high labor costs and rigid structures that required them to keep working pretty much the way they always had. China lever­aged its advantages and its competitors' inability to change. It came in and decimated its manufacturing rivals. Let's condense this. The formula is: People willing to work for nearly nothing, plus a completely developed, relatively friction-free infrastructure for value delivery, equals competitive disruption. People + infrastructure = disruption. That two-step formula is sufficient to explain the rise of China and the subsequent destruction of much of American manufacturing. What's happening now in digital is completely analogous and much faster. Worldwide, there are even more people like Thomas Suarez, will­ing to work for practically nothing. And like the Chinese, they can take advantage of a digital infrastructure--already built by some of the world's most powerful companies--to launch their work into the world and see what happens. If you thought the impact of the rise of China was tremendous, the rise of digital disruptors--toiling away for free in any country, speaking any language, coding for whatever platform they deem worthy of their time--will be far more comprehensive across more industries at a more rapid pace, just like China's impact on US manufacturing, but across every industry. The friction-free infrastructure that they will leverage includes the Apple App Store, which has already generated 650,000 apps and $5 billion in payments to thousands of developers. This friction-free infrastructure is spreading like a virus to many other domains. Facebook's developer platform is a similarly powerful global outlet for idea generation, gen­erating more than 9 million Facebook apps. If your innovative idea is not one that can be developed in software alone, you have the emerging Kickstarter fundraising platform to pitch and refine your concept, as more than twenty-eight thousand people have done, receiving $274 million in pledges. If your powerful idea is not about a product as much as it is about how to market and communicate an existing idea, you can register as an individual to advertise your site, your app, or your eBook through Google AdSense or Facebook Ads. Want to set up your own shop to sell your own or others' products? You can join 1.3 million sellers on eBay or you can sign up as an Amazon-enabled merchant. These friction-free elements of the digital world are scaling up in every domain, drawing wannabe digital disruptors rapidly into the fold. If people + infrastructure = disruption, then digital innovators + digital infrastructure = digital disruption. Massive digital disruption, at a scale and a pace most are simply not prepared for. Sometimes people make themselves feel better about their lack of preparation by pointing to spe­cific failures along the way, such as the falling stock price of Facebook after its IPO or the inability of Groupon to figure out its business model. But behind them are thousands of others willing to take their places. It's all part of the process. Just as in China, where the occasional failure of a single factory or centrally planned community amounts to a minor glitch in the overall outcome. This will be true of digital disruptors as well. Digital disruptors fail frequently. When I propose that there will be one hundred times the innovation power resulting from the rise of digital disruption, I realize that the majority of those additional ideas will come to naught. Some will fail spectacularly. But if ten times as many people can participate in bringing ten times as many ideas each to market, only one or two percent of those ideas need to succeed in order to completely disrupt your business. And what if their success rates are five times that high? That would be half the success rate of typical venture capital investments. But it would be five times the volume of successful idea generation that you cur­rently experience. That's innovation power defined. Because if you pick any single exam­ple of an idea generated through digital disruption, you may or may not be impressed. Thomas Suarez's Bustin Jieber app, for example, may not move society forward. But it does move Thomas Suarez forward--on to his next app, which will certainly be better than the one before. At the rate he's going, he may have twelve more apps under his belt by the time he gradu­ates from high school, or he may have just one more app that is twelve times better. Again, multiply him by millions and you have some sense of what is coming and why it will generate innovation power that should motivate you, hopefully into joining the ranks of the digital disruptors. Excerpted from Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation by James McQuivey. ©2013 by Forrester Research, Inc. Published by Amazon Publishing.

13 марта 2013, 05:35

Guest Post: China’s Military Development, Beyond the Numbers

Submitted by Andrew S.Erickson and Adam P. Liff of TheDiplomat.com, Given China’s rapid rise in all aspects of national power, as well as its reluctance to release specific details about many important aspects of its military spending, its annual budget announcement rightly attracts worldwide attention. Last week, China revealed its projected 2013 official defense budget: 720.2 billion yuan (roughly $US114 billion), a figure that continues a trend of nominal double-digit spending since 1989 (the lone exception: 2010). Although China’s limited transparency about specific defense budget line items matters, it shouldn’t distract observers from seeing the bigger picture concerning China’s military development: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) increasingly has the resources, capabilities, and confidence to attempt to assert China’s interests on its contested periphery, particularly in the Near Seas (Yellow, East, and South China Seas). This development has the potential to seriously challenge the interests of the U.S., its allies, and other partners in the region, as well as access to and security of a vital portion of the global commons—waters and airspace that all nations rely on for prosperity, yet which none own. That’s why the PLA’s development matters so much to a Washington located halfway around the world. Yet beyond China’s immediate periphery the actual impact of PLA spending growth overall may be far less impressive than the headline numbers suggest. The PLA would need far greater resources and capabilities to pursue high-intensity combat capabilities much further away from China’s borders and the territory it claims. At least at present, Beijing is not prioritizing such capabilities. There’s no need to wait for China to achieve full transparency to see this; manifest trends, properly interpreted, speak for themselves. Meanwhile, the development of lower-end capabilities useful for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as protection of sea lanes against non-state actors, bode well for the PLA’s growing role in cooperative security. Hence, even as the Near Seas become more contested, there is significant potential to build on nascent developments in more distant waters—where Beijing has no claims—and further cooperation among China, the U.S., and other nations. These are the key characteristics of China’s military development. Properly understood, they can inform constructive responses in a challenging time. Misunderstood and conflated, they can confuse and inflame. A case in point is commentary about China’s defense budget, a very important issue about which Chinese and foreign media coverage often produces more heat than light. On the one hand, Chinese media reports tend to summarily dismiss reasonable foreign (and some domestic) concerns about the limited transparency of China’s defense spending and rapid military development, failing to recognize the destabilizing effects that such opacity engenders unnecessarily, the potential threat that China’s increasingly capable military poses to its neighbors, and the fact that these neighbors have legitimate rights and interests of their own. Especially in the case of China’s official mouthpieces, there is severely limited room for alternative views or expressions of concern about recent developments and their external consequences; criticisms are routinely dismissed as allegedly insincere machinations of anti-China elements aimed at hyping a “China threat theory” for ulterior motives. Conversely, foreign commentary on China’s defense spending sometimes presents an incomplete picture of reality, exaggerating some factors while overlooking others entirely and frequently missing the forest for the trees—and often some fairly non-representative trees at that. In particular, some commentators conflate rapid development of high-intensity military capabilities aimed primarily at enforcing longstanding irredentist territorial claims in the Near Seas with slower, lower-intensity( but still very expensive) development of platforms primarily useful in low-intensity missions far beyond China’s shores. Other critics employ inflammatory language that distracts and detracts. Given all this noise, it’s important that in-depth research on China’s defense spending and military development enters into the policy discussion. Our forthcoming article in the peer-reviewed journal The China Quarterly draws on several years of intensive research based on over 100 discrete Chinese-language sources, including various government and military publications, to explore related questions. The analysis below further synthesizes and supplements several of the key findings from this research. Strategic Geography, Basic Trajectory, and Key Priorities One crucial observation often absent from the commentary about China’s military development is the simple reality that its defense planners face a complicated strategic calculus, owing largely to geography. Land borders with more than a dozen countries (including multiple nuclear powers), a string of island nations interposed between its eastern seaboard and the western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and ongoing island and/or maritime disputes with all of its maritime neighbors, coupled with decades of economic and military inferiority, have largely compelled China to maintain relatively limited, consistently-defined strategic objectives for most of the period since 1978. Since witnessing Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and directly experiencing the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait crises and the 1999 Belgrade Embassy bombing, Beijing has funded and built its military for the reasons it says it has: to compensate for past neglect—which meant that well into the 1990s the PLA consisted largely of obsolete 1950s-era Soviet military equipment and a bloated land army—that severely limited the PLA’s ability to cope conventionally with even a moderately-capable adversary or project even minimal naval or air power beyond its land borders, even to assert its long-standing territorial and maritime claims a few miles offshore; and to take what its leaders see as China’s rightful place as a great power with “a seat at the table” and commensurate regional suasion and global influence. Despite its relative military inferiority throughout much of this period, by largely, if decreasingly, focusing on potential conflicts in the Near Seas, the PLA has rapidly exploited its geographical proximity and the vulnerabilities in potential adversaries’ military technologies, achieving asymmetric capabilities that are disproportionately efficient in asserting its interests, even though its overall defense spending remains significantly less than that of the U.S. In the words of leading China scholar and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Thomas Christensen, writing in 2001, this core focus has enabled the PLA to “pose problems without catching up.” Over the past decade, continued rapid economic growth and technological development has facilitated military development that now far outpaces, and the acquisition of capabilities that in most cases are far out of proportion to, those of most of China’s neighbors—Russia and Japan, arguably, excepted. In short, for most of the past two decades, China’s military development had mapped closely to a relatively limited set of basic objectives and, at least until its disruptive assertiveness post-2009—Beijing had played a mixed hand with remarkable effectiveness. Proportional, Sustainable, and Increasingly Accurate When compared to the overall size of its economy, China’s military spending is proportional to present objectives and sustainable, at least in the near- to medium-term. Even during the past decade of rapid increases to defense spending, the official defense budget has held steady at roughly 1.3-1.5 percent of GDP—when calculated based on high-end foreign estimates of actual total defense spending during the same period the figure still falls between 2 and 3 percent of GDP. Although local government debt in China is a growing concern, up to this point—and in stark contrast to the fiscal situation in the United States and many other advanced economies—swelling tax revenues concomitant with surging GDP have allowed Beijing to increase (aggregate) spending on other government priorities even faster than the defense budget, a trend which hardly creates fertile ground for impassioned advocacy of cuts to defense spending. In fact, investment in China’s military development often is explicitly linked to furthering the Chinese leadership’s explicitly-stated objective of achieving the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” an abstract goal which nevertheless resonates powerfully, and emotionally, with much of the Chinese public, further buttressing popular support for investment in the military. A Long and Increasingly Costly Road Yet despite remarkable progress and while impressive in its own right, China’s rapid increases to its defense budget haven’t necessarily translated as smoothly into commensurate improvements to actual warfighting capabilities as the headline-grabbing double-digit nominal figures might appear to suggest. The PLA’s development over the past 35 years has followed a tortuous path to reach its current conditions. A first step was Deng Xiaoping’s abandonment of Mao’s disastrous decades-long policies in the late 1970s, which went far toward freeing the PLA from ideological distraction. A second step was the reversal of neglect of the military during the 1980s, beginning with a long-delayed return to increases to defense spending in real terms in 1989. But to a large degree it was not until the latter half of the 1990s that a relative victory in the war against inflation run wild, coupled with Jiang Zemin’s mandate that the PLA exit most commercial activities, resulted in China’s defense spending growth beginning to pay significant dividends and the PLA finally being placed firmly on a path toward becoming a modern fighting force. Yet even in the new millennium the actual impact of PLA spending growth may be far less impressive than the headline numbers suggest. First, after two decades of the PLA focusing like a laser on explicitly-defined strategic objectives and clearly-defined threats, a growing percentage of the defense budget pie appears to be devoted to big-ticket items that represent prestigious additions to round out a rising military power’s portfolio but may offer an increasingly elusive bang for a much larger buck. Exhibit A is China’s commissioning on September 25, 2012 of its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning. While even far less powerful navies have carriers of some sort, China had to start somewhere, and although Liaoning will be able to support a variety of peacetime missions in the near future, from a high-end warfare perspective Liaoning is likely to represent a far greater target than a targeter. Even U.S. carrier battle groups, which the U.S. has been operating for more than seven decades and which are far more advanced than anything China can hope to field anytime soon, are increasingly criticized as “big, expensive, vulnerable,”—even “irrelevant” to modern-day warfare. Second, PLA funds are wasted on corruption and lavish functions to an extent that appear to make last year’s revelations about profligacy at the U.S. General Services Administration look like amateur hour. These problems are so severe that in November 2012 Hu Jintao warned publicly that corruption poses an existential threat to the Party and the State, and his successor Xi Jinping is ordering improved adherence to regulations in precisely these areas. Diminishing Bang for the Buck To be sure, rapidly-increased spending has allowed the PLA to achieve significant capability improvements; and it should be noted that even the world’s most advanced militaries are frequently on the receiving end of criticism concerning how resources are allocated. In the U.S., for example, one has only to consider recent discussions of mounting costs and potential limitations of the Littoral Combat Ship and F-35. Yet even for China competing priorities impose limits on defense-related spending. It must likewise be acknowledged that China still has a few remaining opportunities to increase efficiency that earlier-developing states generally seized long ago. Most recently, the announcement that a unified coast guard would finally be established under the State Oceanic Administration should improve coordination and reduce organizational redundancies. Moreover, by allowing civil maritime organizations to operate more effectively in the Near Seas, China’s navy may have greater freedom tofocus more beyond. Other options open to China that other militaries are unlikely or unable to emulate include reducing or eliminating its seven military regions with their large staffs and restructuring its fleets to develop a two-ocean (Pacific and Indian) navy. However, such large and obvious targets are now the exception rather than the rule. Just as laborers’ migration from China’s countryside to cities has furthered China’s economic growth but is not unlimited, so too are areas for military restructuring. On balance, as in so many other areas in China, progress achieved under today’s steady budget growth and resource mobilization may not be matched in the future, especially if the rate of spending slows. Diminishing Returns, Increasing Headwinds Looking into the future, accelerating efforts to significantly improve high-intensity combat capabilities and missions beyond the Near Seas and pursuit of platforms and policies aimed explicitly at acquiring the trappings of a military great power simply cannot deliver concrete improvements to combat capabilities at anywhere near the same level of efficiency that China’s focus on the Near Seas has heretofore. In keeping with a larger contemporary Chinese pattern, rapid military development remains the envy of the world, but technology-intensive development and—with a few notable exceptions—innovation remain elusive. With respect to approaching the leading edge in military hardware with some degree of comprehensiveness, acquisition, indigenization, and emulation of foreign technologies may clear a path toward the leading edge, but the path disappears in brambles well short of the ultimate goal. In short, China’s previous “advantages” of being a late developer will evaporate progressively with distance, time, and level of ambition. Even if historical and other factors continue to stimulate Chinese efforts to become a military great power by capturing the imagination of the Chinese people and securing widespread domestic support; and even if leaders appeal to such a “strong nation dream” to distract the public from worsening domestic problems and thereby attempt to insulate defense from tightening government spending in coming years; technical factors will nevertheless tend to complicate and slow actual progress with respect to the development of high-end combat capabilities far from China. Moreover, additional headwinds stem from proliferating domestic challenges that will likely impose claims on national spending priorities with which nebulous military objectives beyond the Near Seas will probably have greater difficulty competing. Especially salient are the rapidly expanding demand for social spending because of China’s slowing birthrate and an aging society beset with rising expectations and rates of chronic diseases exacerbated by yet another area where China now ranks as a world-leader: pollution. Coupled with the widely-predicted slowdown in China’s economic growth rates over the next decade, Chinese leaders will face increasingly large opportunity costs and difficult trade-offs concerning defense spending. Rising income inequality, ethno-religious tensions in strategic borderlands, and the political system’s uncertain future, have already caused China’s leaders to spend more on (domestic) “public security” than on the PLA. Domestic instability, already a primary concern of China’s leaders, may worsen in the future—particularly if there is less economic growth to otherwise bolster the Communist Party’s grip on power—and leaders may judge that public security spending requires still-greater investment. Balance Sheet Regardless of the headline numbers or specifics, China’s present defense spending levels afford the PLA high-end firepower in its neighborhood, posing growing potential challenges to its neighbors’ interests and America’s regional position. At the same time, however, today’s PLA remains structured and equipped to pursue only lower-end operations further afield. And no matter how Beijing’s goals expand or defense spending rises in the future, the PLA will be hard-pressed to assume an extra-regional role on a par with that of the U.S. military, whose extremely ambitious military posture is facilitated by multiple factors which China will probably never be able to replicate: developed, friendly neighbors with similar political systems; massive oceans on both sides; scores of allies and close security partners around the globe, as well as forward-deployed forces due to unique historical circumstances; abundant natural resources; and an innovative, highly-resilient and relatively young society that remains the world’s most attractive destination for the best and brightest from around the world. Accordingly, militaries operating nearby and far from China thus effectively face different PLAs. While it deploys law enforcement and naval forces to assert its territorial and maritime claims close to home, China is also cooperating with the U.S. and other navies in the Far Seas (e.g., Gulf of Aden antipiracy operations). China’s Near Seas neighbors already feel increasingly threatened, while nations much further away have little to fear, and in fact may benefit significantly, from the PLA’s growing involvement in cooperative security. Dr. Andrew S. Erickson is an Associate Professor in the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). Adam P. Liff is a Doctoral Candidate in Princeton University’s Department of Politics. For further in-depth analysis by the authors of China’s defense spending and its significance, an Accepted Manuscript (AM) version of their forthcoming peer-reviewed article in The China Quarterly can be downloaded here.