Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, Last week, I penned the following: “Now, you would suspect the possibility of nuclear war might just be the catalyst to send markets reeling, but looking at the market’s reaction on Thursday, I suspect there will be t-shirts soon reading: ‘I survived the threat of nuclear war and the ‘great crash of 2017’ of 1.5%'” Of course, as markets touched on their 50-dma, the algos kicked in hard on Monday morning sending the markets surging higher. The reason, according to the media, was the reduction in global risk as Donald Trump briefed Kim Jung-Un about the U.S.’s retaliatory response should North Korea decide to attack Guam. I was able to acquire a copy: And with that…. “NOMO NOKO” as Kim Jung-Un backed off his more aggressive posture, letting traders rush back into the markets to once again “BTFD.” That excitement was short-lived. On Wednesday, following a conflicted response by the White House to the Charlottesville, VA. protest, numerous CEO’s resigned from Trump’s economic council. The resignations eventually led to its full dismemberment. Surprisingly, and as we have addressed in recent weeks, this was the catalyst that sparked a sharp decline on Thursday? Have investors “Lost The Faith?” With President Trump embroiled in one entanglement after another and constrained by a deeply partisan legislature, the ability of the Administration to pass legislative agenda seems to be fading. The reality is this was the headline. Over the last couple of months, the markets have remained on a weekly “sell signal,” at a very high level, even as stock prices continued to struggle higher amid eroding internal measures. However, the break below the “accelerated advance trend line,” as noted, suggests the current correction could accelerate IF the markets don’t regain their footing by Monday. One note of importance is that outside of the speculative enthusiasm of investors, there has been a continuing pressure in earnings as the lack of legislative agenda advancement is beginning to weigh on Q3 estimates. 33% of surveyed asset managers in latest BoA ML GFMS believe corporate profits will improve, down from 58% earlier in year $SPX $SPY pic.twitter.com/u8HC2l6PTB — Babak (@TN) August 15, 2017 Given the bulk of the upward push in earnings estimates since the election was based on hopes of tax reform/cuts and infrastructure spending, the realization such will not occur soon is elevating the “risk of disappointment.” Without a driver to push economic growth higher, the market has likely priced in the majority of expectations. The repricing of expectations could be fairly brutal. Just remember, the “running of the bulls” was the method to transport the bulls from the fields to the bull ring where they were killed later that evening. As with the market, it’s great to be the “bull” until you get to the end of your run. Here’s what I am reading this weekend. Politics/Fed/Economy Greenspan’s Legacy Explains Current Conundrums by Danielle DiMartino-Booth via Bloomberg The Fed’s Job Is Getting Tougher by Lawrence Summers via Washington Post Fed’s Idiosyncratic Excuses by Caroline Baum via MarketWatch Debt Ceiling Fight, This Time Is Different by Michael Hiltzik via LA Times Basic Questions For GOP Tax Reformers by Albert Hunt via Bloomberg Danger Of A GOP Bailout Of ACA Is Mounting by Stephen Moore via The Washington Times Why Tax Reform Won’t Get Done by Jake Novak via CNBC Surviving America’s Political Meltdown by Jeffrey Sachs via Project Syndicate What Happens In Washington Matters To The Markets by Komal Sri-Kumar via Bloomberg The False Premise Of GOP Tax Cuts by Editorial via New York Times Greenspan: Irrational Exuberance Then & Now by Alex Pollock via Real Clear Markets Fed Just Released A Stark Warning About Stocks by Joe Ciolli via BI Trump’s Economy Looks A Lot Like Obama’s by USA Today Will The Economy Recover In The 2nd Half? by Bryce Coward via Knowledge Leaders It’s Over Between Trump & The GOP by Sara Fagen via CNBC Thoughts On Long-Term Investing Markets Charts Say S&P Headed For A Pullback by Avi Gilburt via MarketWatch Hussman Predicts Massive Losses As Cycle Completes by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge Rally Won’t Last Without Some Help by Komal Sri-Kumar via Bloomberg Shiller vs Siegel by YahooFinance 6-Reasons Selloff May Just Be Getting Started by Michael Brush via MarketWatch 5-Charts That Suggest Bubble Still Growing by Craig Wilson via Daily Reckoning Markets Don’t Crash From All-Time Highs by Charlie Bilello via Pension Partners Consider This A Wake-Up Call by Michael Kahn via Barron’s The Outlook For Stocks For The Rest Of 2017 by Simon Constable via US News Single Biggest Bullish Catalyst For Oil by Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com A Bear Market Could Hit Stocks At Any Time by Mark Hulbert via MarketWatch Worst Thing You Can Do Right Now by Michael Foster via Forbes After 100-Months Of Buying Dips, Peak Crazy by David Stockman via Daily Reckoning Not Contrarian Just To Be Contrarian by Doug Kass via The Street This Is Why It’s So Hard To Be A Contrarian by Stefan Cheplick via Medium Research / Interesting Reads When Will The China Bubble Blow Up by Wolf Richter via Wolf Street Taxpayers Are Getting “Conn”ed By FoxConn by Michael Hiltzik via LA Times The Transformation Of The American Dream by Robert Shiller via NYT Economic Reality Hits “Fight For $15” by IBD Risks Are Rising While Low Risks Are Discounted by Ray Dalio Lessons From Stanley Druckenmiller by Macro Ops FLASH CRASH: Seth Klarman Weighs In On HFT by Jody Chudley via Daily Reckoning Bitcoin Will Never Be A Safe Haven by Mark Spitznagel via Mises Institute Is The Dream Of Ownership In Decline? by Heather Long via Washington Post SEC Concludes Volker Rule’s Effects Are Unknown by Peter Ireland via Economics21 Exposed: Elites Plan To Freeze The Financial System by James Rickards via Daily Reckoning 3 Signs Of Retirement Disillusionment by Donna Fuscaldo via Investopedia Still Too Much Risk In The Financial System by Mohamed El-Erian via Bloomberg Singer: “I’m Very Concerned About The Global Economy by Tyler Durden via ZeroHedge Investors Shifts Have Foretold Of Past Corrections by John Hussman via Hussman Funds Tech Rally Getting Thin? by Dana Lyons via Tumblr The Great Passive Investing “Bait & Switch” by Jesse Felder via The Felder Report “While some might mistakenly consider value investing a mechanical tool for identifying bargains, it is actually a comprehensive investment philosophy that emphasizes the need to perform in-depth fundamental analysis, pursue long-term investment results, limit risk, and resist crowd psychology.” – Seth Klarman
Authored by Henrik Choy via NationalInterest.org, Can common enemies and threats keep Britain and the United States together for decades to come? British prime minister Theresa May’s narrow victory in the 2017 general election has earned her the reputation of a “dead woman walking,” given that her failure to win a Conservative majority in the House of Commons has drastically slimmed her chances of executing her party’s manifesto. Across the Atlantic, President Donald Trump is facing domestic and international problems of his own. Faced with polarization in both their parties and respective countries, Trump and May face uphill battles to achieve their political agendas. Appealing to the more nationalist and populist elements of society, Trump and May have entered uncharted territory by promising to tackle issues in ways that differ from their predecessors. For decades, Britain and the United States have been bound together in a unique relationship through their common vision of a world they wish to create, the external and internal threats they share, and the personal relationships their leaders have developed. Today, the changing mood in both Washington and London is forging an unusual new chapter in this long standing “special relationship.” Trump and May face an uncertain future, but they can still look back to see how their predecessors maintained the Anglo-American special relationship during the tumultuous and transformative years following World War II. 1941: A Grand Vision Coined in 1946 by British prime minister Winston Churchill, the term “special relationship” between Britain and the United States describes a bond born out of common cause in defeating the fascist powers in World War II. Since then, it has endured strain and a cyclical reinvigoration of mutual understanding and commitment. While the origins of this relationship precedes World War II, it was solidified in 1941. That’s when Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt came up with eight principles that were to promote world peace and spread democracy worldwide: the Atlantic Charter. These principles, with a general emphasis on Wilsonian style self-determination and economic liberalization, would act as a foundation for the Anglo-American special relationship well into the twenty-first century. World War II left a power vacuum that the North American superpower quickly raced to fill at the encouragement of the exhausted Brits. Under the guidance of the Atlantic Charter, both Britain and the United States utilized their power and influence to create the United Nations and develop other international organizations based on the liberal Western democratic vision of the world. The Soviet Union and its allies challenged this vision, creating a common threat against which the United States and Britain could consolidate the anti-Communist bloc under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In addition to pursuing a common cause, British and American leaders developed personal bonds that were crucial in the early days of the special relationship, as demonstrated by Churchill and Roosevelt. Away from the war maps and professional public atmosphere, the two men had their personal bonding moments, such as when the president accidentally walked into the prime minister’s room in Washington to find him naked shortly after showering. The joyful Brit assured the embarrassed Yank that he had nothing to hide. The close-knit relationship was not always smooth, as disagreements erupted early over how to honor the principles of the Atlantic Charter. On one hand, Britain was very reluctant at first to grant independence to its colonies, while the United States appeared idealistically hypocritical with its increased military involvement in Vietnam throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The Suez Crisis of 1956 represented the low point in bilateral relations, when Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s decision to send troops to Egypt along with French and Israeli forces angered President Eisenhower. Unlike his predecessor, Eisenhower did not have the best relations with Churchill during World War II and was suspicious of British colonial interests after the conflict ended. The Suez Crisis demonstrated that the former general had had enough of dealing with British politicians, angry that his counterparts in Westminster had not given him prior notice of this military venture. 1980s: Cold War Hawks By the early 1980s, new leadership on both sides of the Atlantic reinvigorated the special relationship in a way not seen since the end of World War II. President Ronald Reagan and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher both came to power with the intention of reintroducing the old school Anglo-American way of thinking, with an emphasis on free-market capitalism, less government intervention, and a hard-line foreign-policy stance against the Soviet Union and Communism. The two had each other’s back in times of international crisis, with the United States supporting Britain in its 1982 war over the Falkland Islands, and Britain allowing the United States to use its airbases during the latter’s bombing campaign against Libya in 1986. It was this ability to see eye-to-eye that made it easier for them to cooperate in the struggle against Communism and engage with Mikhail Gorbachev and his attempts to reduce tensions with the West. This would help bring down the Berlin Wall and, eventually, the whole Eastern bloc. For Reagan and Thatcher, their ideological perspectives made them ideal partners but also created numerous disagreements. Reagan was initially reluctant to support Thatcher’s war against Argentina’s military junta in 1982, as Buenos Aires was a key anti-Communist ally. In 1986, Thatcher flew to Iceland to convince Reagan to forgo the Reykjavik Summit due to her fear of the security consequences of nuclear disarmament. Nevertheless, both leaders managed to contain any bilateral dispute that came in the way of the special relationship, which they both needed in order to sustain a hard-line approach against the Soviet Union. Their unwavering friendship hastened the end of the Cold War, bringing a new chapter for the special relationship and opening up new opportunities for their successors to implement the ideals of the Atlantic Charter. 1990s–2000s: New Idealists The United States found itself being the world’s undisputed superpower in the early 1990s, with Western capitalism attempting to fill the vacuum left as a result of the collapse of the Eastern bloc. The “Washington Consensus,” a term coined by British economist John Williamson, was essentially an expansion of the Atlantic Charter’s principle of economic liberation. Interestingly enough, it was not the Thatcherites or the Reaganites who brought this new “consensus” into the twenty-first century, but the traditional left-leaning political parties and politicians who accelerated the transition towards globalized capitalism. President Bill Clinton’s “New Democrats” and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “New Labour” party revealed their firm idealistic views for a new world order based on the Atlantic Charter, which meant encouraging developing countries to open up their markets to Western capital investments, as well as military interventions (very reluctantly in most cases) to stop the rising power of authoritarian leaders. The most notable foreign-policy issue of the Clinton-Blair years was the successful intervention in Kosovo in 1999. The joint Anglo-American decision to pressure Yugoslav president Milosevic to end hostilities proved to be the decisive move that tipped the balance against the use of mass violence to achieve political objectives in the Balkans. This active interventionist policy carried over when George W. Bush took over as president. Despite coming from different political backgrounds, the new president and Blair got along well and bolstered the special relationship as they joined together to fight the War on Terror in wake of the 9/11 attacks. Their unshakable belief in promoting democracy led to their fateful decisions to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. As the conflicts dragged on with increasing loss of life and money, both leaders faced mounting political backlash for being overly ambitious and perhaps carried away in their idealistic military crusades. By 2008, the war-weary public gave their optimistic leaders the boot when the housing market crashed and a worldwide recession brought tensions to a boiling point. Bush and Blair left office with controversial scars on their political legacies and domestic populations that today are increasingly skeptical of the global neoliberal economic system and the interventionist military policies they pursued during their leaderships. 2010s: Reluctant Partners By the time Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009 and David Cameron took his first steps to 10 Downing Street in 2010, the special relationship was at risk of being pulled apart by dissatisfied populations on both sides of the Atlantic. These new leaders took measures to resolve the problems that their predecessors left behind, although they had stark disagreements regarding the best methods to tackle them. Starting with the economy, the Obama administration implemented deficit spending to bail out the nation’s most troubled banks, acquire debt-ridden assets, and ultimately pull the nation out of recession. Across the Atlantic, Cameron pushed through a series of austerity measures that gradually reduced Britain’s deficits, but nonetheless caused major contractions in the economy. The arduous task of restoring public confidence in the global capitalist system was quickly followed by the problems related to the War on Terror and other matters of foreign policy. Cameron resembled his predecessor more than Obama resembled his, opting for direct intervention where there was trouble. The prime minister took the helm with French president Sarkozy in the overthrow of Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011, with reluctant support from the Obama administration. It was the crisis in Syria that brought the biggest challenge to both Obama and Cameron and ultimately the Anglo-American special relationship. In August 2013 both governments were ready to use military force in response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Their plans fell apart after a vote from both Parliament and Congress shut down the idea, a reminder that the public had not forgotten the long drawn-out wars from the Bush and Blair years. Relations between Obama and Cameron did not improve much. The Brexit referendum in June 2016 and the election of president Donald Trump in November of that same year saw the end of their administrations and also the end of the world they both knew. As much as Obama and Cameron differed in the best course of action when responding to crises, they both shared the vision that their predecessors had and openly sought policies that promoted democratic values and globalized trade. Their legacies will be saturated with the failure to bring peace to the Middle East, unpopular economic policies that stirred populist sentiment, a divided Europe in wake of the Brexit referendum, the growing scarcity of jobs available for the working and middle classes, and ultimately the end of the Atlantic Charter establishment as we knew it. Today: A New Type of Special Relationship? Where does that leave the special relationship today? To start off, neither the Atlantic Charter nor any of its post–1941 evolutions appear to be the guiding principle for today’s Anglo-American special relationship. President Trump and Prime Minister May share a vision of the world that departs from the neoliberal policies of their predecessors and focuses more on protecting jobs at home and the public from terrorism. Both leaders are suspicious of twenty-first century globalization, and they hope to challenge this trend by implementing policies that reflect the interests of the nationalist and populist sectors. Economically, Trump and May have already begun pursuing such policies, with the former having withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating the U.S. position in the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the latter having activated Article 50 in March of this year. We will most likely see a general shift in preference towards bilateral free-trade agreements and away from multilateral ones. This will allow them to pick and choose which nations they would like to trade freely with and also provide more leverage in negotiating trade terms. Both leaders, however, may find it difficult to maintain such policies. May’s weakened position following the 2017 general election and the creation of a coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party may pressure her to compromise on the “hard Brexit” that she originally sought, potentially leaving the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as an EU-style free-trade zone. Should this happen, an ideal response would be for both nations to prioritize a U.S.-UK free trade deal. This has already been put on the table, as both leaders have expressed great interest during the recent G20 Summit in Hamburg. Such a deal could potentially open up new bilateral deals with other nations worldwide, with an emphasis on the Commonwealth of Nations, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as with wealthy developing economies throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa. Common enemies and threats have kept Britain and the United States together for decades. Today’s leaders agree that global terrorism is a major threat that has to be dealt with. Trump and May have pledged to continue the War on Terror in response to the recent terror attacks that hit Britain. Although Trump himself did not explicitly endorse NATO initially, he has since backtracked from his previous remarks during the joint press conference with the Romanian president in June, ensuring that the United States will continue to be a major player in military global affairs. Even before changing his opinion, Trump has demonstrated his willingness to use force after his decision to strike a Syrian airbase in April of this year. While May has promised to increase defense spending, she has a long way to build up her credibility due to the major defense cuts she oversaw as Home Secretary under Cameron’s administration. Considering both nations have shaky relations with the EU, they may have little choice than to rely more on members of the Five Eyes intelligence pact for information, binding the major English-speaking nations closer than ever before. Trump and May appear to have started off well in a long-term partnership, given that they are both struggling to deal with domestic problems and shaky international reputations. Their suspicions of modern globalization, in particular towards free trade and immigration, will cement their personal bond. But that does not mean they will entirely escape the looming possibility that their shared vision of a post–Atlantic Charter era may follow up with disagreements. Disputes regarding intelligence sharing after the Manchester attacks in May of this year have opened up potential weak spots in the struggle against terrorism, and the pursuit of bilateral trade agreements may not be enough to sustain economic growth in the long run. Trump and May’s vision to roll back post-war Atlantic Charter ideals may become compromised should their execution strategies conflict with one another. For the moment however, the current leaders of the Anglo-American partners seem content with one another and will put their differences aside to tackle bigger problems that lie ahead. May’s stiff manner may clash with Trump’s blunt character, but their common interests and the threats they face will more than overcome the obstacles in developing a resurgent special relationship. Their desire to create new economic models, fight global terrorism, and promote democratic values without excessive military intervention will ensure the transatlantic alliance does not falter. If Trump and May are serious about transforming the world, then perhaps it is time for them to fully understand the significance of the special relationship and to realize the potential impacts they could have on a global scale.
Britain has vowed to keep an open frontier but remains vague about how to accomplish that while exiting the European Union’s single market and customs union.
The Brexit position paper feels more like an early move in the blame game than a credible plan. But this is not a game, it’s deadly seriousSweet nothings are lovely while they’re being whispered in your ear. The problem is that a sweet nothing is still nothing. The British government’s long-awaited position paper on the Irish border after Brexit is really rather lovely. It tells Irish people of all political persuasions exactly what they want to hear: that there will be no physical border of any kind across the island and that free movement between Ireland will go on as if nothing had happened. But behind all of these delightful reassurances, there is sweet FA. Related: UK to seek Irish border waivers on customs and food safety after Brexit Continue reading...
Britain reveals plan to ask for exemptions for all small traders and farmers as it pursues goal of avoiding EU border postsBritain will seek a series of waivers for goods and people crossing the Northern Ireland border under new plans that risk creating a “back door” with the European Union after Brexit.The government aims to avoid the need for border posts with Ireland when the UK leaves the EU, an ambitious goal seen as essential to preserving the Good Friday peace agreement. Continue reading...
Northern Ireland secretary says proposals are realistic as Theresa May insists UK will work to maintain ‘special ties’ with IrelandThe UK government has dismissed claims that its plans for a new customs relationship with the EU are a “fantasy” as it restated its opposition to the reintroduction of checks at the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.The Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, said the government’s plans to minimise customs checks with the EU after Brexit were realistic and that Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s lead Brexit negotiator, was wrong to describe them as unworkable. Continue reading...
Граница между Республикой Ирландия и Северной Ирландией должна оставаться прозрачной без каких-либо пограничных постов после выхода Великобритании из состава Евросоюза. Такой позиции придерживается британское правительство, сообщает Европейская правда со ссылкой на ВВС. Правительство в среду […]
Запущенная Лондоном процедура выхода из Евросоюза должна завершиться в 2019 году. Наряду с финансовыми вопросами и темами статуса британцев в ЕС, камнем преткновения стала граница между Ирландией и Соединенным Королевством. Лондон хочет сохранить нынешний формат отношений с Ирландией, но для этого придется пойти на серьезные уступки перед Брюсселем.
Policy paper says government hopes to agree upfront with EU there will be no need for physical infrastructure at borderThe UK government will insist there must be “no return to the hard borders of the past” as it publishes its proposals for ensuring goods and people can continue to travel freely between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit.In the latest of a series of papers covering different aspects of Britain’s future relationship with the EU, David Davis’s Brexit department will say it hopes to agree upfront with the EU that there will be no need for “physical infrastructure” such as new border posts. Continue reading...
Authored by Valentin Schmid via The Epoch Times, There are few entertaining economists, and fewer still work on Wall Street. Willem Buiter, the chief economist of Citigroup, is one of them. He is not only entertaining, but also outspoken—and his analysis of key economic trends and themes is second to none. The Epoch Times spoke with Buiter about Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate policy and the surprising strength of the euro, as well as the impossibility of a Chinese soft landing. The Epoch Times: What is the Fed up to? Willem Buiter: Well, there is very little tightening. The Fed has been raising its policy rates, unlike most of the central banks, who’ve been keeping them constant or are still cutting. But in real terms, policy rates are no higher now than they were before—maybe slightly less expansionary than they were, but there’s very little restraint. You have the anticipation of balance sheet shrinking being announced probably in September. But that itself is not a major issue for markets in the most liquid assets in the universe. Long-term rates are low, the stock market is booming, the currency is relatively weak, and policy rates are edging up in nominal terms very, very slowly. We’ll see one more rate hike, probably at the end of the year. So that is technically tightening relative to a situation we didn’t have, but there is very little absolute monetary tightness. Financial conditions and monetary policy continue to be very supportive of economic activity in the United States. [ZH:In the eyes of The Fed, their monetary policy has not been this 'tight' since October 2008. However, in the eyes of the market, financial conditions just hit their easiest level in history (easier than the September 2005 previous record easiness level).] Most of the commentators have never seen a rate increase before. The last time the Fed started hiking was nine years ago, so any rate hike looks dramatic, when in fact it is very little on top of almost nothing. The Epoch Times: Why is the dollar so weak? Mr. Buiter: I think financial conditions at the moment for the United States are probably too easy. They encourage financial froth and speculative behavior. So taking some of this excess liquidity out of the system is beneficial for financial stability. With respect to the dollar, I think it is mainly a euro and Canadian and Australian dollar strength story. The Canadians have been more restrictive with policy than anticipated. Their decision to raise rates 0.25 percent and probably more in the not-so-distant future was unexpected. In the euro area, we see growth this year—likely again around 2 percent—of the kind that you haven’t seen for years and years and years. In fact, last year the eurozone outgrew the United States, and it’s not inconceivable it will do so again this year. And the European Central Bank (ECB) hasn’t done anything except verbal tightening. It’s clearly hinting at the fact that there are circumstances in which it would actually end the balance sheet expansion and even conceivably circumstances where it would raise rates, although we don’t expect that until the middle of 2019. The unexpectedly rapid growth in the eurozone especially is undoubtedly pro-euro. Remember the political news on the eurozone has reversed and has all been positive. The Netherlands didn’t go populist, France didn’t, and Germany’s recent elections showed continuity. So there is a market sense that maybe populism in Europe has peaked. I think it’s premature, but it looks like its inexorable advance has been halted and slowed down. The eurozone has been a net positive surprise; I think Europe has done surprisingly well in terms of their economic performance. The Epoch Times: Who are Europe’s best performers and why? Mr. Buiter: Ireland and Spain are the fastest growing. The growth of 2 percent for the euro area as a whole depends on the big beast, Germany. In Ireland, it was simply undoing the damage caused by the largest banking bubble and real estate bubble that probably Europe has ever seen. And all they had to do was to clean up the financial mess. They did so, and now they’re growing again. The Spaniards had a much more difficult challenge because they didn’t just have a massive banking and real estate bubble, very much like Ireland. They had a supply-side problem: labor markets, regulation, tax system. It was horrendous, and they needed serious supply-side reforms, including limited privatization, deregulation, and labor market reform. There’s always more that you’d like to see, but they’ve done more in terms of structural reform than any European country since the Great Financial Crisis, and they’re reaping the rewards. The Irish partly took the financial sector balance sheet on the public sector balance sheet. That was a mistake, but they did it, and they restructured. They still have the Irish taxpayer footing the bill. But given the fact that it had to be sorted out, they moved early and fast. And the rest of Europe is still trying to sort out their balance sheets. Look at Italy, Germany, and Austria—these countries still have major under-resolved banking issues. According to some estimates, there is a trillion euros’ worth of nonperforming loans on the eurozone banks’ balance sheets—and this is nine years after the Great Financial Crisis. So this is asking for Japanification, and there’s some evidence there’s actually going to be a response now. The ECB is pushing for a response, and the European Commission is pushing for addressing the nonperforming loan issue in the eurozone as well. Denial is a popular river, but it’s not the river that you want to drink from. You have to face the pain early. The Epoch Times: There is another country that has a big debt problem but so far refuses to solve it. Mr. Buiter: China, against my expectations, actually upped its growth in the first half of this year, and most estimates, our own included, implied a slowdown in the second half. The growth rate for this year is probably 6.8 percent, which is way above what I think is the sustainable growth rate for China. Excessive leverage is still rising fast in the corporate sector and local governments, and now also for households. Household debt is headed for 50 percent of GDP. One should not just look at the level of household leverage in China—because it is still not high—but on how fast it rises. The speed at which it rises tells you something about the quality of the credit that has been issued. And then there is excess capacity. It’s been addressed in steel, in coal, and to a certain extent maybe in aluminum. In most other sectors, massive excess capacity is being addressed by adding to it. So it’s unsustainable. It will end. When? They will keep the show on the road almost certainly until after the 19th Party Congress this fall. And then I assume that the authorities, if sufficient consolidation of political power has taken place by then, will move to restructure the bad assets and probably again create asset management companies—bad banks to deal with this overhang of bad assets accumulated since 2008. They will—and should—be able to tell local and regional governments to address excess capacity in their important industries and have these orders actually followed and not ignored. Like in the old style, you know, “the mountains are tall and the emperor is far away”—that was very much true in China over these past four or five years, when the center wanted to get the regions to address excess capacity or excessive leverage. But I expect this will be different. Now, assume they do this, they address leverage and excess capacity. Can they do it without creating at least a cyclical hard landing? Possibly yes, but it’s never been done. The Epoch Times: So the Chinese should just do what the Irish did? Mr. Buiter: Yes, they of course have a small problem that the Irish don’t have: Whatever they do has global repercussions and feeds back to them through trade balance, commodity prices, and even through the admittedly slightly obstructed capital account. So it’s easier to be radical when you’re small. To be big and radical is hard. But yes, it is still the only way to minimize the amount of avoidable pain.
The VIX tumbled by nearly 3 vols, down to 13.10 last, or over 18% lower and global stocks and S&P futures rebounded sharply on Monday as tensions over an imminent conflict with Pyongyang receded after U.S. officials played down the likelihood of a nuclear conflict with North Korea, recovering from fears of a U.S.-North Korea nuclear standoff drove them to the biggest weekly losses of 2017, while the dollar too rose off four-month lows it had hit against the yen. As DB summarizes the latest events in the ongoing N.Korean crisis, this could be a pivotal week in the stand-off as last week Kim Jong-un did say that they would be ready to attack Guam by "mid-August" which if we are being literal is this week. However a lack of much news on the story over the weekend is surely a positive for now. Indeed the CIA’s director Pompeo tried to calm nerves by speaking to Fox news on Sunday, noting that “…I’ve seen no intelligence that would indicate that we’re in (the cusp of a nuclear war) today…” and would not be surprised if NK tested another missile. Further, national security adviser McMaster also said there’s no indication war will break out. Perhaps these comments were a response to Trump’s comments on Friday that “military solutions are…locked and loaded, should NK act unwisely…”. European shares bounced after falling nearly 3% last week, with the STOXX 600 up 0.7% following on from a 0.9 percent jump in MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed for its first gain in four days, tracking increases across markets including South Korea. As the chart below shows, Still, Europe may be due for a pullback: the MSCI Europe Index hasn't had a 10% correction in more than a year. Gains were led by bounces in Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea while the MSCI world index rose 0.2%. That said, as the following chart from Cantillon Consulting shows, the MSCI world index is finally testing the support of the channel established during the Trump reflation move: it either snaps or rebounds to new highs. Japan failed to partake in the region's gains however, slipping 1 percent to three-month lows despite an impressive GDP print showing robust 1.1% Q2 growth in Japan (more below), driven by worries over the potential impact of the yen's recent surge against the dollar. Japanese investors also repatriated cash held overseas, keeping the USDJPY below 110. The dollar rose 0.5 percent to 109.70 after slipping to 108.720 on Friday, its weakest since April 20. Against a basket of currencies it firmed 0.2 percent, rising off last week's 10-day lows . "As long as the geopolitics ease, we look for dollar/yen to gradually grind higher, back above the 110.00 level, along with gently rising U.S. yields," ING Bank analysts told clients. "The risk aversion has stabilized and investors have gotten used to the North Korea situation a little bit - as long as it doesn't escalate further," said Daniel Lenz, a strategist at DZ Bank in Frankfurt. That said, expectations of an all clear may be premature: North Korea's Liberation Day celebration on Tuesday to mark the end of Japanese rule could see tensions rise again, markets are relieved that the weekend had passed without more rhetoric. This may be reflect in the ongoing surge in bitcoin, which jumped for the second consecutive weekend, and hit a new all time high above $4,200 this morning. In overnight data, Japan printed the strongest GDP in over two years, after the economy was said to have grown at a 4% annualized rate in Q2, a 6th consecutive quarter of growth. Meanwhile, economic data out of China disappointed across the board as Chinese retail sales and industrial production for July missed estimates. South Korea’s won led a rebound in most Asian emerging-market currencies after several top U.S. national security officials said a nuclear war with North Korea wasn’t imminent. The MSCI Asia index ex Japan advanced for the first time in four days amid steady sovereign bonds. “With the geopolitical concerns surrounding North Korea appearing to stabilize a little, we could see the USD/Asia complex be fairly range-bound today with a slight downward bias,” said Julian Wee, a senior market strategist at National Australia Bank in Singapore. Japan’s yen weakened, after rallying the most since May last week on haven demand. Gold halted its advance amid the efforts by U.S. officials to soothe the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index jumps 0.23%, first gain in three days In China, the yuan gave up earlier gains with the offshore exchange rate falling most in six weeks as the dollar jumps and the People’s Bank of China sets a weaker-than-expected daily reference rate. The CNY dropped 0.05%, erasing an advance of as much as 0.16%, to 6.6700 per dollar, after the PBOC strengthened the yuan reference rate 0.06% to 6.6601, weaker than Mizuho Bank’s est. of 6.6573 and Nomura’s 6.6562. In rates, 10-year TSY yields inched higher after falling on Friday to six-week lows following data showing that U.S. consumer prices rose just 0.1 percent last month, below economists' forecast of a 0.2% gain. Euro zone bond yields also rose, with investors interpreting the robust Japanese data as a sign that the global economy is indeed on the mend. While Japan is not expected to dismantle its stimulus program any time soon, analysts reckon that signs of global recovery gives euro zone and U.S. central banks a reason to start rolling back some of their asset purchases. The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond was up 4.5 bps to 0.43%, a move mirrored by most other euro zone debt. Commodities trading was mixed overnight with safe-haven gold (-0.2%) pulling back from 9-week highs amid the improved risk sentiment. Demand for copper was subdued alongside weaker iron ore prices after Chinese Industrial Production data for July missed expectations, while WTI was quiet overnight with prices unchanged during Asia trade. Crude prices seeing a modest move lower, however prices are still up significantly from last week's gains with Brent remaining above $52. Much like fixed income, gold and silver prices are bearing the brunt of a more risk on environment. Libya's top oil field is said to drop on security threats. Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk Equities in the Green Brexit Whispers Once Again Begin Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 2,454.30 VIX down 2.94 to 13.10, -18.33% STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 375.08 MSCI ASIA down 0.1% to 158.25 MSCIA Asia ex Japan up 0.8% to 520.33 Nikkei down 1% to 19,537.10 Topix down 1.1% to 1,599.06 Hang Seng Index up 1.4% to 27,250.23 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,237.36 Sensex up 0.9% to 31,494.28 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 5,730.41 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,334.22 German 10Y yield rises 4bps to 0.42% Euro down 0.2% to 1.1803 per US$ US 10Y yield rises 2bps to 2.21 Italian 10Y yield falls 1bp to 2.02% Spanish 10Y yield fell 2bps to 1.44% Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,281.92 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.3% to 93.32 Top Overnight News Two top U.S. national security officials sought to assuage fears of imminent nuclear war with North Korea following days of heightened rhetoric by President Donald Trump, as America’s top general prepares to meet with South Korea’s leader Patrick Drahi’s Altice NV is considering asking Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and BC Partners to help fund a potential bid to buy cable broadcaster Charter Communications Inc. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is proposing to charge as little as $10,000 a year for equity research, the lowest price to emerge so far, as the Wall Street giant seeks to grab market share when a European ban on free analysis for clients is imposed Venezuela will defend itself from the “madness” of Donald Trump, its defense minister said, a day after the U.S. president said he’s considering a military option in response to the escalating political and economic crisis in the oil-producing nation The pros who make their living forecasting the economy overwhelmingly expect President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans to push through tax cuts in time for next year’s congressional elections Rovio Entertainment Oy is planning an initial public offering as early as next month that could value the maker of the Angry Birds mobile games and movie at about $2 billion Angry Birds Maker Is Said to Plan IPO at $2 Billion Value Toshiba Chip Sale Talks Are Said to Stall On Payment Timing Cathay ‘Begging With Golden Bowl’ to Win Back Chinese Fliers Alibaba and Tencent Looking Riskier And Placing Bigger Bets Stada Appeals to Hedge Funds to Push Through Bain, Cinven Bid MGM Resorts Bets on Wealthier Masses to Catch Up in Macau Survival of Brokers’ Morning Notes in Balance as MiFID Looms China Economy Loses Momentum as Factory Output, Investment Slow China July industrial output 6.4% vs 7.1% est; retail sales 10.4% vs 10.8% est; fixed-asset investment 8.3% vs 8.6% est Japan 2Q GDP 1.0% vs 0.6% est; y/y 4.0% vs 2.5% est; business spending 2.4% vs 1.2% est; private consumption 0.9% vs 0.5% est RBA’s Kent says interest rates unlikely to rise any time soon; RBA will be cautious when time to normalize New Zealand 2Q retail sales 2.0% vs 0.7% estimate Macri candidates leading key provinces in Argentina’s primaries Asian equity markets traded mostly higher following the rebound of US stocks last Friday on Wall Street where the NASDAQ outperformed amid tech strength, while a miss on CPI dampened prospects of a December Fed hike. The improvement in risk sentiment was also supported as some geopolitical concerns abated which saw ASX 200 (+0.7%) and KOSPI (+0.6%) positive throughout the session, however Nikkei 225 (-0.8%) bucked the trend despite strong GDP numbers, as Friday's Asian session losses caught up with the index on its return from a long weekend. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+1.2%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.4%) were positive following a firm liquidity operation by the PBoC, although gains in the mainland bourse were capped as Industrial Production and Retail Sales data added to the recent trend of disappointing Chinese data releases. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded flat as participants mulled over strong GDP numbers and losses in Japanese stocks, with demand also dampened from a lack of a Rinban announcement by the BoJ.Japanese GDP (Q2 P) Q/Q 1.0% vs. Exp. 0.6% (Prey. 0.3%). Japanese GDP Annualized (Q2 P) 4.0% vs. Exp. 2.5% (Prey. 1.0%); Chinese data reported overnight was weak across the board: Chinese Industrial Production (Jul) Y/Y 6.4% vs. Exp. 7.1% (Prey. 7.6%). Chinese Industrial Production YTD (Jul) Y/Y 6.8% vs. Exp. 6.9% (Prey. 6.9%). Chinese Retail Sales (Jul) Y/Y 10.4% vs. Exp. 10.8% (Prey. 11.0%). Chinese Retail Sales YTD (Jul) Y/Y 10.4% vs. Exp. 10.5% (Prey. 10.4%) PBoC injected CNY 110bln in 7-day reverse repos and CNY 100bln in 14-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.6601 (Prey. 6.6642) According to the China Commerce Ministry, China is to ban some imports from North Korea based on US resolution, the ban is to include imports of Iron ore, Coal, Lead and seafood (effective Tuesday August 15th) Top Asian News Hong Kong Stock Exchange Trading Hall to Close in October: SCMP Alibaba, Tencent, Telstra Options Overprice Earnings-Day Moves Gold Giant Gains to Record as India’s Tax Shift Seen as Plus HSBC Lowers USD/SGD Forecast With MAS Seen Tightening in April Sunac Is Said to Consider Strategic Investor for Leshi: Caixin A relief rally in Europe to begin the week with much of the gains stemming from financials, while RWE is making solid gains after strong earnings results. Elsewhere, Danone are among the best performers this morning following reports that Kraft and Coke are seen as possible buyers for the company. Demand for riskier assets amid the quiet newsflow over tensions on the Korean peninsula has subsequently hampered EGBs. German curve has been bear steepening this morning, while peripheral spreads are slightly tighter. UK Chancellor Hammond and Trade Minister Fox stated that the Brexit transition period will be limited and will be intended to avert a cliff edge. The ministers also added that the transition period cannot be an alternate path for staying in the EU. Markets have been unfazed by the speech, with the indecision and uncertainty continuing to be evident in sterling. Top European News Hammond, Fox Say Transition Won’t Be Back Door to Staying in EU Pandora Shares Fall; Carnegie Says FY Guidance Is ‘Stretched’ Draghi Gets Help From Euro Zone’s Northerners Wanting More Pay London’s Big Ben Bell to Fall Silent Next Week for Four Years Merkel’s Election Rivals Roll Out the Big Guns to Narrow Gap Allianz Looks to Buy Bunds After ECB Gives Tapering Steer Brace for Pound Turbulence as Economics and Politics Collide In currencies, as newsflow covering the spat between North Korea and the US simmers down, the USD index has been trading at better levels against the Yen which has pressured major pairs. In turn, EUR tripped through 1.18 to hover near session lows. Poor data out of China damped AUD, as Chinese Industrial Production and Retail Sales missed across the board. As the data was digested, AUD/USD came off best levels, and trades around session lows, through 0.79 once again. A clear break through 0.7840 is needed to indicate any clear change of direction. Yen has seen some unwinding of the risk off positions taken throughout last week's trade, amid the growing geopolitical tensions. USD/JPY's June's low just through 109.00 saw some bids waiting, as the pair has come off best levels, with bulls likely to look to test 110.00. The pound has seen rangebound trade throughout the Asian session despite Brexit commentary emerging from the woodworks once again. Comments from UK Chancellor Hammond and Trade Minister Fox stated that the Brexit transition period will be limited and will be intended to avert a cliff edge. The ministers also added that the transition period cannot be an alternate path for staying in the EU. Markets have been unfazed by the speech, with the indecision and uncertainty continuing to be evident in sterling. In commodities, trading was mixed overnight with safe-haven gold (-0.2%) mildly pulling back from 9-week highs amid an improvement in global risk sentiment. Conversely, demand for copper was subdued alongside weaker iron ore prices after Chinese Industrial Production data for July missed expectations, while WTI quiet overnight with prices unchanged during Asia trade. Crude prices seeing a modest move lower, however prices are still up significantly from last week's gains with Brent remaining above USD 52. Much like fixed income, gold and silver prices are bearing the brunt of a more risk on environment. Libya's top oil field is said to drop on security threats. On today's calendar there is no major economic data and no Fed speakers DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Hopefully you all had a good weekend? Mine involved picking up our new car and having to deal with epic meltdown tantrums. On Saturday we took Maisie to the swings where she couldn't stop smiling and laughing. She was so so happy. We then said it was time to go home and the response was to throw herself on the floor and roll about in pain like a diving footballer looking for a penalty, scream and shout, cry at the top of her voice and basically embarrass us. The same thing happened the following day at the first of her friends to have a second birthday party. She had a wonderful time and wouldn't stop giggling for two hours. Everybody remarked what a credit to us she was. Then when she was told we had to leave the humiliation of us as parents began. The only thing that calmed her down on both days was her new favourite TV show Peter Rabbit!! TV is becoming our saviour as bad parents......... until we turn it off and then the tantrums start again!!!! Markets were obviously in semi tantrum mode over the course of the last seven days. This time last week we suggested how it was likely we would now be in for a summer lull for a couple of weeks and that it was set to be extremely quiet. We went on to say that if anything was guaranteed to ensure that something would blow up then it was that comment. So we were half right! To be fair in July the one thing that we raised that we thought could break the summer calm was that Mr Trump might look to distract from his legislative difficulties so far and up the ante against Korea. Tensions have been bubbling for a few weeks. It was impossible to predict the timing and a big risk to position for it but it was an observable risk. However it does take two to tango and Kim Jong-un has been highly provocative of late. This could be a pivotal week in the stand-off as last week Kim Jong-un did say that they would be ready to attack Guam by "mid-August" which if we are being literal is this week. However a lack of much news on the story over the weekend is surely a positive for now. Indeed the CIA’s director Pompeo tried to calm nerves by speaking to Fox news on Sunday, noting that “…I’ve seen no intelligence that would indicate that we’re in (the cusp of a nuclear war) today…” and would not be surprised if NK tested another missile. Further, national security adviser McMaster also said there’s no indication war will break out. Perhaps these comments were a response to Trump’s comments on Friday that “military solutions are…locked and loaded, should NK act unwisely…”. On this whole episode I'm not sure what it is about Augusts. In my career, this month has often created volatility from nowhere. With people on holiday thin trading can certainly exacerbate market wobbles. Interestingly the WSJ over the weekend discussed how North Korean provocations haven't had much impact on markets in the past. They examined 80 international incidents involving their nuclear program since 1993 and their impact on financial markets. They suggested that there hasn't been much of a risk off in response to nuclear escalations. I suppose the reality is that its noise and bluster until it isn't. In the last 20 years it’s been mostly noise and then diplomacy. The worry that markets might have at the moment is that the Trump administration could be unpredictable relative to his predecessors. With his popularity low and legislative failures hurting then it’s possible to envisage a scenario where he reacts more aggressively than earlier presidents. So far the sell-off has been relatively measured it’s just that in the context of very very calm markets recently it’s still been a bit of a shock. In our list of global assets we regularly review, Silver (+4.9%) and Gold (+2.4%) were the best performers last week. Gilts (+1.1% - the longest duration govt bond market), Bunds (0.6%) and Treasuries (+0.5%) were also towards the top of the leader board and showing pretty strong weekly numbers for fixed income. In terms of equities the highlights were the Nikkei (-1.1% but closed Friday), S&P 500 (-1.4%), FTSE (-2.1%), DAX (-2.3%), FTSE-MIB (-2.7%) and the IBEX (-3.5%). Note that European Banks (-4.0%) were one of the worse performers mostly responding to the drop in yields. Diving down more specifically on this for 10 year yields we saw Bunds -8bps, Gilts, -8bps, UST -6bps, OATs -6bps, Spain flat and Italy +4bps. In credit the sell-off was fairly measured with Crossover +11bps, iTraxx Europe +3bps, Sen Fins +2bps and US CDX IG +2bps on the week. Overall these type of moves wouldn't normally merit a specific mention but in the low vol world they have shaken things up a bit. We'd also note the VIX rose 55% last week from 10.0 to 15.51 but off the week's (and year's) highs of 16.04. Thursday actually saw the highest volume day ever for VIX options. For equities so far the moves haven't been that large. In today's PDF we reproduce a table from DB's Binky Chadha looking at major geo-political events and US market sell-off. So spreading the net wider than just North Korea and also at actual events rather than aggressive rhetoric. He highlights 28 such events since the start of WWII and suggests that the average behaviour of the S&P 500 around geopolitical events is of a sharp short-lived selloff with 1) a median sell off of -5.7%, 2) 3 weeks to find a bottom, 3) Another 3 weeks to recover to prior levels and 4) Significantly higher markets 3 months (+6.5%) and 12 months (+13%) on. This morning, Asian markets were broadly higher as new escalations in the conflict is good news for now. Japan’s preliminary 2Q GDP beat expectations at 1% qoq (vs. 0.6% expected) and 4% yoy (vs. 2.5% yoy), but the Nikkei fell 0.8%, partly reflecting a catch up effect as last Friday was a holiday. Also, our Japanese economist believe the 2Q trends appears too good to be sustained, partly as major leading indicators of investment appear to have already peaked. Elsewhere, Chinese data was softer than expectations, with the July IP at 6.4% yoy (vs. 7.1%, 7.6% previous) and retail sales at 10.4% yoy (vs. 10.8%). Chinese markets have dipped a little after the news, but have continued to strengthen afterwards, with the Hang Seng up 1.2% and Chinese bourses up 0.4% to 1.7% as we type. The Kospi is up 0.7% and the Won up 0.4%. Onto Friday's US July inflation numbers, which missed for the fifth consecutive month. Headline inflation was lower than expected at 0.1 % mom (vs. 0.2%) and 1.7% yoy (vs. 1.8%), but core inflation was in line at 1.7% yoy. DB’s Luzzetti argued there were some outliers and saw some tentative signs of an improving underlying trend (medical services inflation). Even so, the team acknowledge that it is difficult to dismiss the string of recent soft inflation prints. Looking ahead, core CPI inflation is still expected to remain near recent levels in yoy terms through 2017, but on a mom basis, DB expects a rebound through year end, which if it occurs would support a Dec 17 rate hike. However that hike must be more in doubt at the moment. Elsewhere, the Dallas Fed’s Kaplan said that whilst he was a strong advocate of the two recent rate hikes, “I at this stage want to see continued evidence - or more evidence - that we’re making progress on reaching our inflation objective, …I’m willing to be patient”. According to Bloomberg’s implied probability function, the chance of a rate hike in Dec 17 has fallen from ~38% to ~26% post the CPI data and Fed speeches. Elsewhere, in an attempt to get Brexit talks back on track. The UK government plans to issue three discussion papers ahead of the next round of talks on 28th August. The papers could set out proposals for Northern Ireland and borders with Ireland, continuity on the availability of goods and confidentially & access to official documents after Brexit. Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from Friday. In the US, there was the aforementioned CPI stats. Over in Europe, the final July inflation readings for Germany and France was released, both had no change relative to their flash readings. For Germany, it was 0.4% mom and 1.5% yoy, and for France, it was -0.4% mom and 0.8% yoy. To the week ahead now. Today starts with the Eurozone’s industrial production (IP) stats for June. Onto Tuesday, Japan’s final reading for June IP and capacity utilisation stats as well as German’s preliminary 2Q GDP stats will be due early in the morning. Then UK’s July CPI, PPI and retail price index are due. Over in the US, there will be quite a lot of data, including: July retail sales, import / export price index for July, empire manufacturing stats, NAHB housing market index and US foreign net transactions for June. Turning to Wednesday, the Eurozone and Italy’s preliminary 2Q GDP stats are due. Then for UK, we have the July jobless claims and claimant count rate and the June ILO unemployment data. Across the pond, we get the FOMC meeting minutes along with the July housing starts and MBA mortgage applications stats. For Thursday, Japan’s July trade balance, exports/ imports data along with France’s ILO unemployment rate will be out early in the morning. Then the Eurozone’s July CPI and UK’s July retail sales are due. In the US, quite a lot of data again, including: July IP, conference board US leading index, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey, initial jobless claims and continuing claims stats. Finally on Friday, Germany’s PPI will be due early in the morning. Follow by the Eurozone’s June current account stats and construction output data. In the US, various University of Michigan sentiment index are also due.
Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, Today’s post should be read as Part 3 of my ongoing series about the now infamous Google memo, and what it tells us about where our society is headed if a minority of extremely wealthy and powerful technocratic billionaires are permitted to fully socially engineer our culture to fit their ideological vision using coercion, force and manipulation. For some context, read Part 1 and Part 2. I struggled with the title of this piece, because ever since the 2016 election, usage of the term “deep state” has become overly associated with Trump cheerleaders. I’m not referring to people who voted for Trump, whom I can both understand and respect, I’m talking about the Trump cultists. Like most people who mindlessly and enthusiastically attach themselves to political figures, they tend to be either morons or opportunists. Nevertheless, just because the term has been somewhat tainted doesn’t mean I deny the existence of a “deep state” or “shadow government.” The existence of networks of unelected powerful people who formulate and push policy behind the scenes and then get captured members of Congress to vote on it is pretty much undeniable. I don’t believe that the “deep state” is a monolithic entity by any means, but what seems to unite these various people and institutions is an almost religious belief in U.S. imperial dominance, as well as the idea that this empire should be largely governed by an unaccountable oligarchy of billionaires and assorted technocrats. We see the results of this worldview all around us with endless wars, an unconstitutional domestic surveillance state and the destruction of the middle class. These are the fruits of deep state ideology, and a clear reason why it should be dismantled and replaced by genuine governance by the people before they lead the U.S. to total disaster. From my own personal research and observations, Google has become very much a willing part of this deep state, with Eric Schmidt being the primary driving force that has propelled the company into its contemporary role not just as a search engine monopoly, but also as a powerful and undemocratic tech arm of the shadow government. One of the best things about all the recent attention on the Google memo, is that it has placed this corporate behemoth and its very clear ideological leanings squarely in the public eye. This gives us the space to shine light on some other aspects of Google, which I believe most people would find quite concerning if made aware of. To that end, in 2014, Wikileaks published an extremely powerful excerpt from Julian Assange’s book, When Google Met Wikileaks. The post was titled, Google Is Not What It Seems, and it is an incredible repository of information and insight. If you never read it, I suggest you take the time. Below I share some choice excerpts to get you up to speed with what Google is really up to. Let’s start with the intro to the piece, which sets the stage… Eric Schmidt is an influential figure, even among the parade of powerful characters with whom I have had to cross paths since I founded WikiLeaks. In mid-May 2011 I was under house arrest in rural Norfolk, about three hours’ drive northeast of London. The crackdown against our work was in full swing and every wasted moment seemed like an eternity. It was hard to get my attention. But when my colleague Joseph Farrell told me the executive chairman of Google wanted to make an appointment with me, I was listening. In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior US officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth. Schmidt had taken over as CEO of Google in 2001 and built it into an empire. I was intrigued that the mountain would come to Muhammad. But it was not until well after Schmidt and his companions had been and gone that I came to understand who had really visited me. The stated reason for the visit was a book. Schmidt was penning a treatise with Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas, an outfit that describes itself as Google’s in-house “think/do tank.” I knew little else about Cohen at the time. In fact, Cohen had moved to Google from the US State Department in 2010. He had been a fast-talking “Generation Y” ideas man at State under two US administrations, a courtier from the world of policy think tanks and institutes, poached in his early twenties. He became a senior advisor for Secretaries of State Rice and Clinton. At State, on the Policy Planning Staff, Cohen was soon christened “Condi’s party-starter,” channeling buzzwords from Silicon Valley into US policy circles and producing delightful rhetorical concoctions such as “Public Diplomacy 2.0.”2 On his Council on Foreign Relations adjunct staff page he listed his expertise as “terrorism; radicalization; impact of connection technologies on 21st century statecraft; Iran.”3. Now I’m going to skip ahead in the piece to the moment where Assange describes his attempt to make contact with the U.S. State Department in 2011 regarding cables Wikileaks was releasing. It was at this point that I realized Eric Schmidt might not have been an emissary of Google alone. Whether officially or not, he had been keeping some company that placed him very close to Washington, DC, including a well-documented relationship with President Obama. Not only had Hillary Clinton’s people known that Eric Schmidt’s partner had visited me, but they had also elected to use her as a back channel. While WikiLeaks had been deeply involved in publishing the inner archive of the US State Department, the US State Department had, in effect, snuck into the WikiLeaks command center and hit me up for a free lunch. Two years later, in the wake of his early 2013 visits to China, North Korea, and Burma, it would come to be appreciated that the chairman of Google might be conducting, in one way or another, “back-channel diplomacy” for Washington. But at the time it was a novel thought. I put it aside until February 2012, when WikiLeaks—along with over thirty of our international media partners—began publishing the Global Intelligence Files: the internal email spool from the Texas-based private intelligence firm Stratfor. One of our stronger investigative partners—the Beirut-based newspaper Al Akhbar—scoured the emails for intelligence on Jared Cohen.The people at Stratfor, who liked to think of themselves as a sort of corporate CIA, were acutely conscious of other ventures that they perceived as making inroads into their sector. Google had turned up on their radar. In a series of colorful emails they discussed a pattern of activity conducted by Cohen under the Google Ideas aegis, suggesting what the “do” in “think/do tank” actually means. Cohen’s directorate appeared to cross over from public relations and “corporate responsibility” work into active corporate intervention in foreign affairs at a level that is normally reserved for states. Jared Cohen could be wryly named Google’s “director of regime change.” According to the emails, he was trying to plant his fingerprints on some of the major historical events in the contemporary Middle East. He could be placed in Egypt during the revolution, meeting with Wael Ghonim, the Google employee whose arrest and imprisonment hours later would make him a PR-friendly symbol of the uprising in the Western press. Meetings had been planned in Palestine and Turkey, both of which—claimed Stratfor emails—were killed by the senior Google leadership as too risky. Only a few months before he met with me, Cohen was planning a trip to the edge of Iran in Azerbaijan to “engage the Iranian communities closer to the border,” as part of Google Ideas’ project on “repressive societies.” In internal emails Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, Fred Burton (himself a former State Department security official), wrote: Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do . . . [Cohen] is going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose Google’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and Google is left holding the shit-bag. In further internal communication, Burton said his sources on Cohen’s activities were Marty Lev—Google’s director of security and safety—and Eric Schmidt himself. Looking for something more concrete, I began to search in WikiLeaks’ archive for information on Cohen. State Department cables released as part of Cablegate reveal that Cohen had been in Afghanistan in 2009, trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases. In Lebanon he quietly worked to establish an intellectual and clerical rival to Hezbollah, the “Higher Shia League.” And in London he offered Bollywood movie executives funds to insert anti-extremist content into their films, and promised to connect them to related networks in Hollywood. Three days after he visited me at Ellingham Hall, Jared Cohen flew to Ireland to direct the “Save Summit,” an event cosponsored by Google Ideas and the Council on Foreign Relations. Gathering former inner-city gang members, right-wing militants, violent nationalists, and “religious extremists” from all over the world together in one place, the event aimed to workshop technological solutions to the problem of “violent extremism.” What could go wrong? Cohen’s world seems to be one event like this after another: endless soirees for the cross-fertilization of influence between elites and their vassals, under the pious rubric of “civil society.” The received wisdom in advanced capitalist societies is that there still exists an organic “civil society sector” in which institutions form autonomously and come together to manifest the interests and will of citizens. The fable has it that the boundaries of this sector are respected by actors from government and the “private sector,” leaving a safe space for NGOs and nonprofits to advocate for things like human rights, free speech, and accountable government. This sounds like a great idea. But if it was ever true, it has not been for decades. Since at least the 1970s, authentic actors like unions and churches have folded under a sustained assault by free-market statism, transforming “civil society” into a buyer’s market for political factions and corporate interests looking to exert influence at arm’s length. The last forty years has seen a huge proliferation of think tanks and political NGOs whose purpose, beneath all the verbiage, is to execute political agendas by proxy. It is not just obvious neocon front groups like Foreign Policy Initiative. It also includes fatuous Western NGOs like Freedom House, where naïve but well-meaning career nonprofit workers are twisted in knots by political funding streams, denouncing non-Western human rights violations while keeping local abuses firmly in their blind spots. The civil society conference circuit—which flies developing-world activists across the globe hundreds of times a year to bless the unholy union between “government and private stakeholders” at geopoliticized events like the “Stockholm Internet Forum”—simply could not exist if it were not blasted with millions of dollars in political funding annually. In 2011, the Alliance of Youth Movements rebranded as “Movements.org.” In 2012 Movements.org became a division of “Advancing Human Rights,” a new NGO set up by Robert L. Bernstein after he resigned from Human Rights Watch (which he had originally founded) because he felt it should not cover Israeli and US human rights abuses. Advancing Human Rights aims to right Human Rights Watch’s wrong by focusing exclusively on “dictatorships.” Cohen stated that the merger of his Movements.org outfit with Advancing Human Rights was “irresistible,” pointing to the latter’s “phenomenal network of cyberactivists in the Middle East and North Africa.” He then joined the Advancing Human Rights board, which also includes Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in occupied Afghanistan. In its present guise, Movements.org continues to receive funding from Gen Next, as well as from Google, MSNBC, and PR giant Edelman, which represents General Electric, Boeing, and Shell, among others. Google Ideas is bigger, but it follows the same game plan. Glance down the speaker lists of its annual invite-only get-togethers, such as “Crisis in a Connected World” in October 2013. Social network theorists and activists give the event a veneer of authenticity, but in truth it boasts a toxic piñata of attendees: US officials, telecom magnates, security consultants, finance capitalists, and foreign-policy tech vultures like Alec Ross (Cohen’s twin at the State Department). At the hard core are the arms contractors and career military: active US Cyber Command chieftains, and even the admiral responsible for all US military operations in Latin America from 2006 to 2009. Tying up the package are Jared Cohen and the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. Now here’s a little background on Schmidt. Eric Schmidt was born in Washington, DC, where his father had worked as a professor and economist for the Nixon Treasury. He attended high school in Arlington, Virginia, before graduating with a degree in engineering from Princeton. In 1979 Schmidt headed out West to Berkeley, where he received his PhD before joining Stanford/Berkley spin-off Sun Microsystems in 1983. By the time he left Sun, sixteen years later, he had become part of its executive leadership. Sun had significant contracts with the US government, but it was not until he was in Utah as CEO of Novell that records show Schmidt strategically engaging Washington’s overt political class. Federal campaign finance records show that on January 6, 1999, Schmidt donated two lots of $1,000 to the Republican senator for Utah, Orrin Hatch. On the same day Schmidt’s wife, Wendy, is also listed giving two lots of $1,000 to Senator Hatch. By the start of 2001 over a dozen other politicians and PACs, including Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dianne Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton, were on the Schmidts’ payroll, in one case for $100,000. By 2013, Eric Schmidt—who had become publicly over-associated with the Obama White House—was more politic. Eight Republicans and eight Democrats were directly funded, as were two PACs. That April, $32,300 went to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. A month later the same amount, $32,300, headed off to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Why Schmidt was donating exactly the same amount of money to both parties is a $64,600 question. It was also in 1999 that Schmidt joined the board of a Washington, DC–based group: the New America Foundation, a merger of well-connected centrist forces (in DC terms). The foundation and its 100 staff serves as an influence mill, using its network of approved national security, foreign policy, and technology pundits to place hundreds of articles and op-eds per year. By 2008 Schmidt had become chairman of its board of directors. As of 2013 the New America Foundation’s principal funders (each contributing over $1 million) are listed as Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the US State Department, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Secondary funders include Google, USAID, and Radio Free Asia. Schmidt’s involvement in the New America Foundation places him firmly in the Washington establishment nexus. The foundation’s other board members, seven of whom also list themselves as members of the Council on Foreign Relations, include Francis Fukuyama, one of the intellectual fathers of the neoconservative movement; Rita Hauser, who served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board under both Bush and Obama; Jonathan Soros, the son of George Soros; Walter Russell Mead, a US security strategist and editor of the American Interest; Helene Gayle, who sits on the boards of Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, the Rockefeller Foundation, the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Unit, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the White House Fellows program, and Bono’s ONE Campaign; and Daniel Yergin, oil geostrategist, former chair of the US Department of Energy’s Task Force on Strategic Energy Research, and author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power. The chief executive of the foundation, appointed in 2013, is Jared Cohen’s former boss at the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a Princeton law and international relations wonk with an eye for revolving doors. She is everywhere at the time of writing, issuing calls for Obama to respond to the Ukraine crisis not only by deploying covert US forces into the country but also by dropping bombs on Syria—on the basis that this will send a message to Russia and China.41 Along with Schmidt, she is a 2013 attendee of the Bilderberg conference and sits on the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. There was nothing politically hapless about Eric Schmidt. I had been too eager to see a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast. But that is not the sort of person who attends the Bilderberg conference four years running, who pays regular visits to the White House, or who delivers “fireside chats” at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Schmidt’s emergence as Google’s “foreign minister”—making pomp and ceremony state visits across geopolitical fault lines—had not come out of nowhere; it had been presaged by years of assimilation within US establishment networks of reputation and influence. On a personal level, Schmidt and Cohen are perfectly likable people. But Google’s chairman is a classic “head of industry” player, with all of the ideological baggage that comes with that role. Schmidt fits exactly where he is: the point where the centrist, liberal, and imperialist tendencies meet in American political life. By all appearances, Google’s bosses genuinely believe in the civilizing power of enlightened multinational corporations, and they see this mission as continuous with the shaping of the world according to the better judgment of the “benevolent superpower.” They will tell you that open-mindedness is a virtue, but all perspectives that challenge the exceptionalist drive at the heart of American foreign policy will remain invisible to them. This is the impenetrable banality of “don’t be evil.” They believe that they are doing good. And that is a problem. Even when Google airs its corporate ambivalence publicly, it does little to dislodge these items of faith. The company’s reputation is seemingly unassailable. Google’s colorful, playful logo is imprinted on human retinas just under six billion times each day, 2.1 trillion times a year—an opportunity for respondent conditioning enjoyed by no other company in history. Caught red-handed last year making petabytes of personal data available to the US intelligence community through the PRISM program, Google nevertheless continues to coast on the goodwill generated by its “don’t be evil” doublespeak. A few symbolic open letters to the White House later and it seems all is forgiven. Even anti-surveillance campaigners cannot help themselves, at once condemning government spying but trying to alter Google’s invasive surveillance practices using appeasement strategies. Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of US power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation. But Google has always been comfortable with this proximity. Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). And even as Schmidt’s Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community. In 2003 the US National Security Agency (NSA) had already started systematically violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under its director General Michael Hayden. These were the days of the “Total Information Awareness” program. Before PRISM was ever dreamed of, under orders from the Bush White House the NSA was already aiming to “collect it all, sniff it all, know it all, process it all, exploit it all.” During the same period, Google—whose publicly declared corporate mission is to collect and “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”—was accepting NSA money to the tune of $2 million to provide the agency with search tools for its rapidly accreting hoard of stolen knowledge. In 2004, after taking over Keyhole, a mapping tech startup cofunded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the CIA, Google developed the technology into Google Maps, an enterprise version of which it has since shopped to the Pentagon and associated federal and state agencies on multimillion-dollar contracts.54 In 2008, Google helped launch an NGA spy satellite, the GeoEye-1, into space. Google shares the photographs from the satellite with the US military and intelligence communities. In 2010, NGA awarded Google a $27 million contract for “geospatial visualization services.” Around the same time, Google was becoming involved in a program known as the “Enduring Security Framework” (ESF), which entailed the sharing of information between Silicon Valley tech companies and Pentagon-affiliated agencies “at network speed.” Emails obtained in 2014 under Freedom of Information requests show Schmidt and his fellow Googler Sergey Brin corresponding on first-name terms with NSA chief General Keith Alexander about ESF. Reportage on the emails focused on the familiarity in the correspondence: “General Keith . . . so great to see you . . . !” Schmidt wrote. But most reports overlooked a crucial detail. “Your insights as a key member of the Defense Industrial Base,” Alexander wrote to Brin, “are valuable to ensure ESF’s efforts have measurable impact.” In 2012, Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington, DC, lobbyists—a list typically stalked exclusively by the US Chamber of Commerce, military contractors, and the petrocarbon leviathans. Google entered the rankings above military aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, with a total of $18.2 million spent in 2012 to Lockheed’s $15.3 million. Boeing, the military contractor that absorbed McDonnell Douglas in 1997, also came below Google, at $15.6 million spent, as did Northrop Grumman at $17.5 million. If anything has changed since those words were written, it is that Silicon Valley has grown restless with that passive role, aspiring instead to adorn the “hidden fist” like a velvet glove. Writing in 2013, Schmidt and Cohen stated, What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century, technology and cyber-security companies will be to the twenty-first. This was one of many bold assertions made by Schmidt and Cohen in their book, which was eventually published in April 2013. Gone was the working title, “The Empire of the Mind”, replaced with “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business”. By the time it came out, I had formally sought and received political asylum from the government of Ecuador, and taken refuge in its embassy in London. At that point I had already spent nearly a year in the embassy under police surveillance, blocked from safe passage out of the UK. Online I noticed the press hum excitedly about Schmidt and Cohen’s book, giddily ignoring the explicit digital imperialism of the title and the conspicuous string of pre-publication endorsements from famous warmongers like Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Bill Hayden and Madeleine Albright on the back. Billed as a visionary forecast of global technological change, the book failed to deliver—failed even to imagine a future, good or bad, substantially different to the present. The book was a simplistic fusion of Fukuyama “end of history” ideology—out of vogue since the 1990s—and faster mobile phones. It was padded out with DC shibboleths, State Department orthodoxies, and fawning grabs from Henry Kissinger. The scholarship was poor—even degenerate. It did not seem to fit the profile of Schmidt, that sharp, quiet man in my living room. But reading on I began to see that the book was not a serious attempt at future history. It was a love song from Google to official Washington. Google, a burgeoning digital superstate, was offering to be Washington’s geopolitical visionary. One way of looking at it is that it’s just business. For an American internet services monopoly to ensure global market dominance it cannot simply keep doing what it is doing, and let politics take care of itself. American strategic and economic hegemony becomes a vital pillar of its market dominance. What’s a megacorp to do? If it wants to straddle the world, it must become part of the original “don’t be evil” empire. Whether it is being just a company or “more than just a company,” Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower. As Google’s search and internet service monopoly grows, and as it enlarges its industrial surveillance cone to cover the majority of the world’s population, rapidly dominating the mobile phone market and racing to extend internet access in the global south, Google is steadily becoming the internet for many people. Its influence on the choices and behavior of the totality of individual human beings translates to real power to influence the course of history. If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and even in Europe—for whom the internet embodies the promise of an alternative to US cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony. I first became really interested in this side of Google back in 2013, when I read the entire transcript of the Schmidt interview of Assange. For more on the topic, see the post I published at the time: Highlights from the Incredible 2011 Interview of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange by Google’s Eric Schmidt. Finally, I think the perfect way to end this piece is with the following tweet: Google motto 2004: Don't be evilGoogle motto 2010: Evil is tricky to defineGoogle motto 2013: We make military robots — Brent Butt (@BrentButt) December 16, 2013
Authored by Adam Tooze via ProspectMagazine.co.uk, Accounts of the financial crisis leave out the story of the secretive deals between banks that kept the show on the road. How long can the system be propped up for? It is a decade since the first tremors of what would become the Great Financial Crisis began to convulse global markets. Across the world from China and South Korea, to Ukraine, Greece, Brexit Britain and Trump’s America it has shaken our economy, our society and latterly our politics. Indeed, it has thrown into question who “we” are. It has triggered both a remarkable wave of nationalism and a deep questioning of social and economic inequalities. Politicians promise their voters that they will “take back control.” But the basic framework of globalisation remains intact, so far at least. And to keep the show on the road, networks of financial and monetary co-operation have been pulled tighter than ever before. In Britain the beginning of the crisis was straight out of economic history’s cabinet of horrors. Early in the morning of Monday 14th September 2007, queues of panicked savers gathered outside branches of the mortgage lender Northern Rock on high streets across Britain. It was—or at least so it seemed—a classic bank run. Within the year the crisis had circled the world. Wall Street was shaking, as was the City of London. The banks of South Korea, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland were all in trouble. We had seen nothing like it since 1929. Soon enough Ben Bernanke, then chairman of the US Federal Reserve and an expert on the Great Depression, said that this time it was worse. But the fact that the tumult assumed such spectacular, globe-straddling dimensions had initially taken Bernanke by surprise. In May 2007 he reassured the public that he didn’t think American subprime mortgages could bring down the house. Clearly he underestimated the crisis. But was he actually wrong? For it certainly wasn’t subprime that brought down Northern Rock. The British bank didn’t have any exposure in the United States. So what was going on? The familiar associations evoked by the Northern Rock crisis were deceptive. It wasn’t panicking pensioners all scrambling to withdraw their savings at once that killed the bank. It wasn’t even the Rock’s giant portfolio of mortgages. The narrative of Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, of securitisation, pooling and tranching, the lugubrious details of trashy mortgage dealing, the alphabet soup of securitised loans and associated derivatives (MBS, CDO, CDS, CDO-squared) tell only one part of the story. What really did for banks like Northern Rock and for all the others that would follow—Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman, Hypo Real State, Dexia and many more—and what made this downturn different— so sharp, so sudden and so systemic, not just a recession but the Great Recession—was the implosion of a new system not just of bank lending, but of bank funding. It is only when we examine both sides of the balance sheet—the liabilities as well as the assets—that we can appreciate how the crisis was propagated, and then how it was ultimately contained at a global level. It is a story that the crisis-fighters have chosen not to celebrate or publicise. Ten years on, the story is worth revisiting, not only to get the history right, but because the global fix that began to be put in place in the autumn of 2007 is in many ways the most significant legacy of the crisis. It is still with us today and remains largely out of sight. The hidden rewiring of the global monetary system provides reassurance to those in the know, but it has no public or political standing, no resources with which to fight back if attacked. And this matters because it is increasingly out of kilter with the nationalist turn of politics. In the wake of the crash and its austere aftermath, voters in many countries have pointed the finger at globalisation. The monetary authorities, however, have quietly entwined themselves more closely than ever before—and they have done so in order to provide life support to that bank funding model which caused such trouble a decade ago. Ten years on, the question of whether this fix is sustainable, or indeed wise, is a question of more than historical interest. “To keep the show on the road, networks of financial and monetary co-operation have been pulled tighter than ever before” In 2007 economists were expecting a crisis. Not, however, the crisis they got. The standard crisis scenario through to autumn that year involved a sudden loss of confidence in American government debt and the dollar. In the Bush era, the Republicans had cut taxes and spent heavily on the War on Terror, borrowing from China. So what would happen, it was asked anxiously, if the Chinese pulled the plug? The great fear was that the dollar would plunge, interest rates would soar and both the US economy and the Chinese export sector would crash land. It was what Larry Summers termed a balance of financial terror. America’s currency seemed so doomed that in autumn 2007, the US-based supermodel Gisele Bündchen asked to be paid in euros for a Pantene campaign, and Jay-Z dissed the dollar on MTV. But somewhat surprisingly, like the nuclear stand-off in the Cold War, the financial balance of terror has become the basis for a precarious stability. Crucially, both Beijing and Washington understand the risks involved, or at least they seemed to until the advent of President Donald Trump. Certainly during the most worrying moments in 2008 Hank Paulson, Bush’s last Treasury Secretary, made sure that Beijing understood that its interests would be protected. Beijing reciprocated by increasing its commitment to dollar assets. In 2007, it was not the American state that lost credibility: it was the American housing market. What unfolded was a fiasco of the American dream: 8.7m homes were lost to foreclosure. But the real estate bust wasn’t limited to the US. Ireland, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands all had huge credit booms and suffered shattering busts. As homeowners defaulted some lenders went under. This is what happened early on to predatory lenders such as New Century and Countrywide. Bankruptcy also came to the Anglo Irish Bank and Spain’s notorious regional mortgage lenders, the cajas. In the fullness of time, it was—perhaps, though not necessarily—the fate that might well have befallen Northern Rock too. But before it could suffer death by a thousand foreclosures, Northern Rock was felled by a more fast-acting kind of crisis, a crisis of “maturity mismatch.” Banks borrow money short-term at low interest and lend long at marginally higher rates. It may sound precarious, but it is how they earn their living. In the conventional model, however, the short-term funding comes from deposits, from ordinary savers. Ordinarily, in a well-run bank, their withdrawals and deposits tend to cancel each other out. Fits of uncertainty and mass withdrawals are always possible, and perhaps even inevitable once in a while. So to prevent them turning into bank runs, governments offer guarantees up to a reasonable amount. Most of the Northern Rock depositors had little to fear. Their deposits were, like all other ordinary savers, guaranteed by then Chancellor Alistair Darling. The investors who weren’t covered by government backing were those who had provided Northern Rock with funding through a new and different channel—the wholesale money market. They had tens of billions at stake, and every reason to panic. It was the sudden withdrawal of this funding that actually killed Northern Rock. As well as taking in money from savers, banks can also borrow from other banks and other institutional investors. The money markets offer funds overnight, or for a matter of weeks or months. It is a fiercely competitive market with financial professionals on both sides of every trade. Margins are slim, but if the volumes are large there are profits to be made. For generations this was the preserve of investment bankers—the ultimate insiders of the financial community. They didn’t bother with savers’ deposits. They borrowed in the money markets. From the 1990s commercial banks and mortgage lenders began to operate on a similar model. It was this new form of “market-based” banking combined with the famous securitisation of mortgages that enabled the huge expansion of European and US banking that began to crash in 2007. Run for the hills: Northern Rock depositors rush to start taking out their money. By the summer of 2007 only 23 per cent of Northern Rock’s funding came from regular deposits. More than three quarters of its operation was sustained by borrowing in capital and money markets. For these funds there were no guarantees. For a run to develop in the money market, the mortgages did not need to default. All that needed to happen was for the probability of some of them defaulting to increase. That was enough for interbank lending and money market funding to come abruptly to a halt. The European money markets seized up on 9th August. Within a matter of days Northern Rock was in trouble, struggling to repay short-term loans with no new source of funding in prospect. And it was through the same funding channel that the crisis went global. The attraction of money market funding was that it freed you from the cumbersome bricks-and-mortar branch network traditionally used to attract deposits. Using the markets, banks could source funding all over the world. South Korean banks borrowed dollars on the cheap to lend in Won. American banks operating out of London borrowed Yen in depressed Japan, flipped them into dollars and then lent them to booming Brazil. The biggest business of all was the “round tripping” of dollars between America and Europe. Funds were raised in America, which for reasons of history and the nation’s sheer scale, is the richest money market in the world. Those dollars were exported to institutions and banks in Europe, who then reinvested them in the US, very often in American mortgages. The largest inflow of funds to the US came not from the reinvestment of China’s trade surplus, but through this recycling of dollars by way of Europe’s banks. Barclays didn’t need a branch in Kansas any more than Lehman did. Both simply borrowed money in the New York money markets. From the 1990s onwards, Europe’s banks, both great and small, British, Dutch, Belgian, French, Swiss and German, made themselves into a gigantic trans-Atlantic annex of the American banking system. All was well so long as the economy was buoyant, house and other asset prices continued to go up, money markets remained confident and the dollar moved predictably in the direction that everyone expected, that is gently downwards. If you were borrowing dollars to fund a lending business the three things that you did not want to have happen were: for your own loans to go bad; money markets to lose confidence; or for dollars to suddenly become scarce, or, what amounts to the same thing, unexpectedly expensive. While the headlines were about sub-prime, the true catastrophe of the late summer of 2007 was that all three of these assumptions were collapsing, all at once, all around the world. “The Fed effectively established itself as a lender of last resort to the entire global financial system” The real estate market turned down. Large losses were in the pipeline, over years to come. But as soon as Bear Stearns and Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) shut their first real estate funds, the money markets shut down too. Given the global nature of bank funding this produced an acute shortage of dollar funding across the European and Asian banking system. It was the opposite of what the best and brightest in macroeconomics had expected: strong currencies are, after all, meant to be built on thrift and industry, not shopping splurges and speculative debts. But rather than the world being glutted with dollars, quite suddenly banks both in Europe and Asia began to suffer periodic and panic-inducing dollar shortages. The paradigmatic case of this counterintuitive crisis would eventually be South Korea. How could South Korea, a champion exporter with huge exchange reserves be short of dollars? The answer is that in the years of the recovery from the 1997 East Asian crisis, while Korean companies Hyundai and Samsung had conquered the world, Korea’s banks had been borrowing dollars at relatively low interest rates to lend out back home in Won to the booming home economy. Not only was there an attractive interest rate margin, but thanks to South Korea’s bouyant exports, the Won was steadily appreciating. Loans taken out in dollars were easier to repay in Won. As such these loans cushioned the losses suffered by South Korean firms on their dollar export-earnings. By the late summer of 2008 the South Korean banks operating this system owed $130bn in short-term loans. Normally this was no problem, you rolled over the loan, taking out a new short-term dollar credit to pay off the last one. But when the inter-bank market ground to a halt the South Koreans were painfully exposed. Barring emergency help, all they could do was to throw Won at the exchange markets to buy the dollars they needed, which had the effect of spectacularly devaluing their own currency and making their dollar obligations even more unpayable. South Korea, a country with a huge trade surplus and a large official dollar reserve, faced a plunging currency and a collapsing banking system. In Europe the likes of RBS, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche had even larger dollar liabilities than their South Korean counterparts. The BIS, the central bankers’ bank, estimated that Europe’s mega-banks needed to roll over $1-1.2 trillion dollars in short-term funding. The margin that desperate European banks were willing to pay to borrow in sterling and euro and to swap into dollars surged. Huge losses threatened—and both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank (ECB) could not do much to help. Unlike their East Asian counterparts, they had totally inadequate reserves. The one advantage that the Europeans did have over the Koreans, was that the dollars they had borrowed had largely been invested in the US, the so-called “round-tripping” again. The huge portfolios of American assets they had accumulated were of uncertain value, but they amounted to trillions of dollars and somewhere between 20 and 25 per cent of the total volume of asset- and mortgage-backed securities. In extremis the Europeans could have auctioned them off. This would have closed the dollar-funding gap, but in the resulting fire sales the European banks would have been forced to take huge write downs. And most significantly, the efforts by the Fed and the US Treasury to stabilise the American mortgage market would have been fatally undercut. “In the 60s, swaps were about stabilising exchange rates. Now they’re all about stabilising oversized banks” This was the catastrophic causal chain that began to emerge in August 2007. How could the central banks address it? The answer they found was three-pronged. The most public face of crisis-fighting was the effort to boost the faltering value of the mortgage bonds on the banks’ books (typically securitised versions of other banks’ mortgage loans, which were becoming less reliable in the downturn), and to provide the banks with enough capital to absorb those losses that they would inevitably suffer. This was the saga of America’s Troubled Asset Relief Programme, which played out on Capitol Hill. In the case of Northern Rock this prong involved outright nationalisation. Others took government stakes of varying sizes. Warren Buffett made a lucrative investment in Goldman Sachs. Barclays has now been charged by the Serious Fraud Office with fraudulently organising its own bailout, by—allegedly—lending money to Qatar, which that state is then said to have reinvested in Barclays. Without the bailout, you ended up with Lehman: bewildered bankers standing on the pavements of the City and Wall Street carrying boxes of their belongings. The masters of the universe plunged to earth. It half-satisfied the public’s desire for revenge. But it did nothing for business confidence. With enough capital a bank could absorb losses and stay afloat. But to actually operate, to make loans and thus to sustain demand and avert a downward spiral of prices and more bankruptcies, the banks needed liquidity. So, secondly, the central banks stepped in, taking over the function, which the money market had only relatively recently assumed but was now suddenly stepping back from, of being the short-term lenders. The ECB started as early as August 2007. The Bank of England came in late, but on a large scale. The Fed became the greatest liquidity pump, with all of Europe’s banks benefiting from its largesse. The New York branches of Barclays, Deutsche, BNP, UBS and Credit Suisse were all provided with short-term dollar funding on the same basis as Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan and the rest. But it was not enough. The Europeans needed even more dollars. So the Fed’s third, final and most radical innovation of the crisis was to devise a system to allow a select group of central banks to funnel dollars to their banks. To do so the Fed reanimated an almost-forgotten tool called the “swap lines,” agreements between central banks to trade their currencies in a given quantity for a given period of time. They had been used regularly in the 1960s, but had since gone out of use. Back then, the aim was stabilising exchange rates. This time, the aim was different: to stabilise a swollen banking system that was faltering, and yet abjectly too big to fail. At a moment when dollars were hard to come by, the new swap lines enabled the ECB to deposit euros with the Fed in exchange for the dollars that the eurozone banks were craving. The Bank of England benefited from the same privilege. Not that they were welcome at first. When the Fed first mooted the idea in the autumn of 2007, the ECB resisted. It did not want to be associated with a crisis that was still seen largely as American. If Gisele didn’t want to be paid her modelling fees in US dollars, why on earth should the ECB be interested? But as the European bank balance sheets unravelled, it would soon become obvious that Frankfurt needed all the dollars it could get. Initiated in December 2007, the swap lines would rapidly expand. By September all the major European central banks were included. In October 2008 the network was expanded to include Brazil, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. For the inner European core, plus Japan, they were made unrestricted in volume. The sums of liquidity were huge. All told, the Fed would make swap line loans of a total of $10 trillion to the ECB, the Bank of England the National Bank of Switzerland and other major banking centres. The maximum balance outstanding was $583bn in December 2008, when they accounted for one quarter of the Fed’s balance sheet. It was a remarkable moment: the Fed had effectively established itself as a lender of last resort to the entire global financial system. But it had done so in a decentralised fashion, issuing dollars on demand both in New York and by means of a global network of central banks. Not everyone was included. Russia wasn’t, which was hardly surprising given that it had come to blows with the west over Georgia’s Nato membership application only weeks earlier. Nor did the Fed help China or India. And though it helped the ECB, it did not provide support to the “new Europe” in the east. The Fed probably imagined that the ECB itself would wish to help Poland, the Baltics and Hungary. But the ECB’s president Jean-Claude Trichet was not so generous. Instead, eastern Europe ended up having to rely on the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Swapsies? As a scholar of the Great Depression, the Fed’s Ben Bernanke knew the importance of swap lines. Photo: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES The swap lines were central bank to central bank. But who did they really help? The reality, as all those involved understood, was that the Fed was providing preferential access to liquidity not to the “euro area” or “the Swiss economy” as a whole, but to Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Of course, the justification was “systemic risk.” The mantra in Washington was: you have to help Wall Street to help Main Street. But the immediate beneficiaries were the banks, their staff, especially their highly-remunerated senior staff and their shareholders. Though what the Fed was doing was stabilising the global banking system, it never acknowledged as much in so many words, certainly not on the record, where it said as little as it decently could about the swap line operation. The Fed’s actions have global effects. But it remains an American institution, answerable to Congress. Its mandate is to maintain employment and price stability in the US economy. The justification for the swap lines, therefore, was not global stability, but the need to prevent blowback from Europe’s de facto Americanised banks—to avoid a ruinous, multi-trillion dollar fire sale of American assets. Once the worst of the crisis had passed, Bernanke would assist the European banks in liquidating their American assets by way of the Fed’s three rounds of asset purchases, known as Quantitative Easing (QE). The swaps were meticulously accounted for. Every cent was repaid. No losses were incurred—the Fed even earned a modest profit. They were not exactly covert. But given the extraordinary extension of its global influence that the swaps implied, they were never given publicity, nor even properly discussed. Bernanke’s name will be forever associated with QE, not swap lines. In his lengthy memoirs, The Courage to Act, the swaps merit no more than a few cursory pages, though Bernanke as a scholar of the 1930s knows very well just how crucial these instruments were. Is this an accident? Surely not. In the case of the swap lines, the courage to act was supplemented by an ample measure of discretion. The Fed did everything it could to avoid disclosing the full extent and range of beneficiaries of its liquidity support operations. They did not want to name and shame the most vulnerable banks, for fear of worsening the panic. But there are politics involved too. Given the rise of the Bernanke-hating Tea Party in 2009, the likely response in Congress to news headlining the scale of the Fed’s global activity was unpredictable to say the least. When asked why no one on Capitol Hill had chosen to make an issue of the swap lines, one central banker remarked to me that it felt as though “the Fed had an angel watching over it.” One other reason for the tight lips is that the story of the swap lines is not yet over. The network was rolled out in 2007 and 2008 as an emergency measure, but since then it has become the under-girding of a new system of global financial crisis management. In October 2013, as the Fed prepared finally to begin the process of normalisation by “tapering” its QE bond purchases, it made another decision which made plain that the new normal would not be like the old. It turned the global dollar swap line system into a standing facility: that is to say, it made its emergency treatment for the crisis into a permanent feature of the global monetary system. On demand, any of the core group of central banks can now activate a swap line with any other member of the group. Most recently the swap line system was readied for activation in the summer of 2016 in case of fallout from the Brexit referendum. As the original crisis unfolded in 2008, radical voices like Joseph Stiglitz in the west, and central bankers in the big emerging economies called for a new Bretton Woods Conference—the meeting in 1944, which had decided on the post-war currency system and the creation of the IMF and the World Bank. The Great Financial Crisis had demonstrated that the dollar’s exorbitant privilege was a recipe for macroeconomic imbalances. The centre of gravity in the world economy was inexorably shifting. It was time for a new grand bargain. “Central banks has staged Bretton Woods 2.0. But they had not invited the public or explained their reasons” What these visionary suggestions failed to register was that foundation of the world’s de facto currency system were not public institutions like the IMF, but the private, dollar-based global banking system. The introduction of the swap lines gave that system unprecedented state support. The Fed had ensured that the crisis in global banking did not become a crisis of the dollar. It had signalled that global banks could rely on access to dollar liquidity in virtually unlimited amounts, even in the most extreme circumstances. The central banks had, in other words, staged their Bretton Woods 2.0. But they had omitted to invite the cameras or the public, or indeed to explain what they were doing. The new central bank network created since 2008 is of a piece with the new networks for stress testing and regulating the world’s systemically important banks. The international economy they regulate is not one made up of a jigsaw puzzle of national economies, each with its gross national product and national trade flows. Instead they oversee, regulate and act on the interlocking, transnational matrix of bank balance sheets. This system was put in place without fanfare. It was essential to containing the crisis, and so far it has operated effectively. But to make this technical financial network into the foundation for a new global order is a gamble. It worked on the well-established trans-Atlantic axis. But will it work as effectively if it is asked to contain the fallout from an East Asian financial crisis? Can it continue to operate below the political radar, and is it acceptable for it to do so? With the Fed in the lead it places the resources, expertise and authority of the world’s central banks behind a market-based system of banking that has shown its capacity for over-expansion and catastrophic collapse. For all the talk of “macroprudential” regulation, Basel III and Basel IV, rather than disarming, down-sizing and constraining the global banking system, we have—through the swap lines—embarked on, if you like, a regulatory race to the top, where the authorities intervene heavily to allow the big banks in some countries to continue what they were doing before the unsustainable ceased to be sustained. And without even the political legitimacy conferred by G20 approval. Not everyone in the G20 is part of the swap line system. The Fed’s safety net for global banking was born at the fag-end of the “great moderation,” the era when economies behaved nicely and predictably, and when a “permissive consensus” enabled globalisation. Though a child of crisis, it bore the technocratic, “evidence-based” hall marks of that earlier era. It bears them still. Can it survive in an age when the United States is being convulsed by a new wave of economic nationalism? Is there still a guardian angel watching over the Fed on Capitol Hill? And with Trump in the White House, how loudly should we even ask the question?
Irish MP Danny Healy-Rae believes that fairy curses are the cause of a reappearing dip on the N22 roadName: Fairy forts.Location: Ireland, Cornwall and south Wales. Continue reading...
Veteran Hull MP and dedicated republican who served as Labour’s Northern Ireland spokesman in the 1980s and 90sKevin McNamara, who has died aged 82, was the victor of one of the most important byelections in postwar parliamentary history, fought in the snowbound streets of Kingston upon Hull North in January 1966. The various consequences of Labour’s unexpectedly large majority were a general election within two months, authoritatively confirming Harold Wilson in power in his second government, the construction of the long promised Humber Bridge and a 39-year career in the House of Commons for the successful candidate.“I told them categorically … they would have their bridge,” Barbara Castle, the transport minister, recorded in her diary, noting that her now famous undertaking went down well at the byelection meeting at which she spoke. This reception was scarcely surprising. Continue reading...
Government criticised by former Foreign Office head, not just EU negotiators, for lack of progress Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of developments as the UK heads to the EU door marked “exit”. If you would like to receive it as a weekly early morning email, please sign up here.You can listen to our latest Brexit Means … podcast here. Also: producing the Guardian’s independent, in-depth journalism takes a lot of time and money. We do it because we believe our perspective matters – and it may be your perspective too. Continue reading...
The Irish capital’s economy is surging on predictions of a big business exodus from London, but outside the city the mood is not so buoyantDublin rents have smashed every record. The number of cranes on the city’s skyline has doubled in just a year. Michelin-starred restaurants warn diners not to bother trying for a reservation until 2018. And at a giant new bar and restaurant complex in Temple Bar – immediately next door to U2’s Clarence Hotel, emblematic of Ireland’s boom years – Bono and The Edge last week partied until 6am after a sell-out gig. Is this the birth of the Celtic Tiger, mark II?The economic turnaround has been staggering. As recently as 2012, Ireland’s unemployment stood at 15.2%, wages had been slashed, property prices in Dublin had collapsed by 56% and the country’s economy was on an €85bn life support loan from the EU and the IMF. Today, unemployment is down to just 6.2%, with the Bank of Ireland forecasting GDP growth of 4.8% this year, after a healthy 5.1% last year. In 2017, Ireland will be Europe’s fastest-growing economy – for the fourth year in a row. Continue reading...
Оригинал взят у imperium_ross в Рыцарский шлем королей.Рыцарский шлем закрытый маской (1515), работа приписывается немецкому оружейнику Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532):1. Карл V Габсбург (24 февраля 1500, Гент, Фландрия — 21 сентября 1558, Юсте, Эстремадура) — король Испании (Кастилии и Арагона) под именем Карлос I (исп. Carlos I) с 23 января 1516 года, король Германии (римский король) с 28 июня 1519 (коронован в Аахене 23 октября 1520 года) по 1556 годы, император Священной Римской империи с 1519 года (коронован 24 февраля 1530 года в Болонье папой римским Климентом VII). Крупнейший государственный деятель Европы первой половины XVI века, внёсший наибольший вклад в историю среди правителей того времени. Карл V — последний император, официально коронованный римским папой, он же — последний император, отпраздновавший в Риме триумф.Императору Священной Римской империи Карла VГабсбургу принадлежат следующие рыцарские шлема:2. Максимилиан II (нем. Maximilian II, 31 июля 1527, Вена — 12 октября 1576, Регенсбург) — император Священной Римской империи и эрцгерцог Австрии с 25 июля 1564 года до своей смерти, король Чехии (коронован 14 мая 1562 года под именем Максимилиана I), король Германии (римский король, коронован 28 ноября 1562 года), король Венгрии и Хорватии (коронован 8 сентября 1563 года). Представитель династии Габсбургов.Шлем принадлежащий императору Священной Римской империи Максимилиану II, 1557 год. находиться в художественно-историческом музей, в Вене: 3. Людовик II или Людвик II, а также Лайош II (1 июля 1506, Буда, Венгрия — 29 августа 1526, Мохач, Венгрия) — последний король Чехии и Венгрии (с 1516 года) из династии Ягеллонов. Погиб в Мохачском сражении.Рыцарский шлем короля Венгрии и Чехии Людовика II:4. Ге́нрих VIII Тюдо́р (28 июня 1491, Гринвич — 28 января 1547, Лондон) — король Англии с 22 апреля 1509, сын и наследник короля Англии Генриха VII, второй английский монарх из династии Тюдоров. С согласия Римской католической церкви, английские короли именовались также «Повелителями Ирландии», однако в 1541 году, по требованию отлучённого от католической церкви Генриха VIII, ирландский парламент наделил его титулом «Король Ирландии».Шлем известный, как Рогатый шлем, принадлежит Генриху VIII:5. Карл I (19 ноября 1600 — 30 января 1649, Лондон) — король Англии, Шотландии и Ирландии с 27 марта 1625 года. Из династии Стюартов. Его политика абсолютизма и церковные реформы вызвали восстания в Шотландии и Ирландии и Английскую революцию. В ходе гражданских войн Карл I потерпел поражение, был предан суду парламента и казнён 30 января 1649 года в Лондоне.Позолоченный шлем короля Англии Карла I, который мог легко использоваться в английской гражданской войне 1642-1651 года: Кроме вышеописанного, в качестве небольшого бонуса предлагаю просто взглянуть на рыцарские боевые и турнирные средства защиты головы воина от повреждений 15-16-17 веков, которые ютятся в Нью - Йоркском музее "Метрополитен".Как видно из разнообразия европейских головных "уборов" конструкция шлема весьма различается по своей форме, и поверхности, может быть как открытыми, так и закрытыми, цельнокованной, литой или собранной из нескольких частей (клёпаной или паяной). Сам шлем может быть из железа, стали, бронзы, меди или другого материала. Может дополняться защитными элементами, такими, как: науши, наносник, назатыльник, бармица, поля, козырёк, личина, забрало, полумаска.IMPERIUM_ROSS.
Суверенные CDS по США ---- Суверенные CDS по Японии ---- Суверенные CDS по Англии ---- Суверенные CDS по Германии ---- Суверенные CDS по Франции ---- Суверенные CDS по Италии ---- Суверенные CDS по Испании ---- Суверенные CDS по Бельгии ---- Суверенные CDS по Португалии ---- Суверенные CDS по Ирландии ---- Суверенные CDS по Китаю ---- Суверенные CDS по России ---- Суверенные CDS по Бразилии ---- Суверенные CDS по Мексике ---- Суверенные CDS по Австралии
Пузырь на рынке активов, вызванный целиком и полностью действиями монетарных регуляторов начнет вскоре сдуваться даже без каких либо существенных внешних триггеров и шоков – достаточно лишь снижение потока эмиссии виртуальной ликвидности. Вопрос о коллапсе активов стоит не в плоскости – произойдет он или нет, т.к. это очевидная неизбежность, а в контексте смогут ли центробанки продолжить тот беспредел, который они поддерживают сейчас в перманентом режиме? Понятно, что вечно продолжать не смогут, даже если очень захотят, поэтому все сводится к таймингу (времени). Итак, смотрим к чему привела преступная и наглая политика монетарных властей по искусственному раллированию активов. Кто же у нас лидер? 2013 год ознаменуется триумфом банкротов. Наибольший рост показывают индексы, страны которых испытывают наибольшие проблемы – это как циничная насмешка над здравым смыслом, своеобразное извращение над логикой и чувством такта. США и Япония, объявившие технический дефолт по суверенному долгу через безлимитный процесс монетизации долга, выросли на 24-30% для США и до 37% для Японии. Ирландия, Греция, Испания, находящиеся в форме запущенного разложения с удручающей формой экономической депрессии выросли на 22-30%. Это там, где безработица среди молодежи 60%, полный паралич бизнес активности и уровень экономических кондиций 15-20 летней давности по совокупности параметров. В минусе за этот год Россия, Бразилия, Китай и Мексика. Хотя многие справедливо заметят, что для большинства стран база конца 2012 не совсем сопоставима, т.к. ПИГСы находились как бы на дне. Хорошо, тогда берем конец июля 2011 – момент, когда в рынке еще сохранялись некие подобия обратных связей на реалии мира. По крайней мере, именно с августа 2011 произошли существенные раскорреляции в активах, поэтому эту точку считаем, как ключевую. Но здесь важен не только рынок активов, а еще и состояние экономики. Т.к. именно с июля 2011 произошел рецидив кризиса – это глубокая форма рецессии в Европе, которая по своему масштабу сопоставима с кризисом 2008-2009 и затяжная рецессия в США. Да и что греха таить – весь мир, как минимум замедлил рост. И что мы видим? Каким то причудливым образом рынок Испании и Италии в плюсе по отношению к концу июля 2011, не смотря на то, что текущее состояние экономики этих стран к показателям двухлетней давности – … абсолютно несопоставимо. Сейчас нечто близкое к суровой экономической депрессии, а тогда лишь ограниченная рецессия. Греция и Португалия смотрятся бодрячком. Они лучше, чем Россия, Китай и Бразилия за этот период. Сейчас всех мало волнует, что правительство этих стран ПИГС банкрот, компании стабильно убыточны, бывшие работники переквалифицируются в бомжей и устраивают зоны боевых действия на улицах, а экономика парализована. Теперь все это не важно. То, что экономика Франции и Германии за два года выросли примерно на нисколько – это совершенно не мешает рынкам этих стран расти так, как будто там период экономического процветания и благоденствия. США, Япония и Швейцария – отдельная история. Более 40% роста получите и распишитесь. Далее сравнительная динамика рынков к выбранным датам, неделю назад, месяцу, кварталу и году назад. За столь удобную возможность представления инфы спасибо системе Reuters Eikon, которая имеет невероятные возможности по сбору и агрегации информации, но в плане котировок, то удобно делать запрос на любую дату и считать дифференциалы, относительные изменения в режиме реального времени. Еще одна сравнительная таблица, но из Reuters. MTB % (относительное изменение текущего уровня рынка к концу прошлого месяца в %), QTB (к прошлому кварталу), YTB (к концу 2012) а последний столбец – долларовое изменение индексов к концу 2012. Интересно то, что Азия в минусе в долларовом выражении, за исключением Японии – но им простительно – там вышли на траекторию неуправляемого расширения с предсказуемыми последствиями. По фин.коэффициентам идиотизм в особо запущенной форме. В таблице сортировка рынка по долларовой капитализации от большего к меньшему в региональной разбивке. По p/e американский рынок демонстрирует буйство безрассудства и безумия – 16.2 по Dow, 20 по Nasdaq и 17.8 по S&P500 и не менее свирепое отклонение по Price to book– это минимум на 30% выше, чем историческая норма и уже выше, чем пики 2007 года. Рынок столь дорог, что даже предполагаемая дивидендная доходность в сравнении со ставками по гос.облигациям не делает рынок привлекательным. Обратите внимание, что российский рынок торгуется с дисконтом в 2-3 раза не только к европейскому, но и вообще ко всем развивающимся. Из всего этого рыночного бреда получается следующее После июля 2011 рынок растет тем сильнее, чем хуже дела в реальной экономике. Достаточно прочная раскорреляция. Чем хуже пролетариату – тем лучше банкирам и фонд менеджерам. Отдельный привет Бени и Ко. С июля 2013 произошла раскорреляция в движении глобальных денежных потоков по фондовым рынкам, где развитые страны привлекают деньги, а из развивающихся стран выводят. В таблицах показал. Заметил такую странную особенность, что приток идет в те страны, где долгосрочный потенциал экономического роста наихудший или наименьший, хотя по логике должно быть иначе – приток туда, где потенциал роста выше, но на деле наоборот. Идут туда, где роста нет и быть не может. Во парадокс, во новая нормальность! В 2013 году выросли больше всего те рынки, страны которых испытывают наибольшие проблемы в обслуживании долга. Чем выше коэффициент debt to GDP или debt to income, то тем сильнее растут рынки – это ПИГСы и США, Япония. В 2013 году наибольший рост показывают индексы тех стран, где есть неограниченная форма QE (США и Япония) Еще такая особенность. Ускорение роста тем сильнее, чем хуже дела у компаний. Если посмотреть на динамику выручки компаний, рентабельность и прибыль, то можно заметит, как со второй половины 2011 показатели падают два года, практически не прекращая, а рынки растут по экспоненте. Рост основан на принудительном пузырении активов со стороны прайм дилеров и крупнейших фонд менеджеров с непосредственным одобрением и содействием от центробанков. Прекращение эмиссии = обвалу на рынке активов. Рост рынков помимо поддержания рентабельности TBTF банков нужен для того, чтобы заретушировать, скрыть проблемы реального мира, отсюда столько вранья в информационном поле и отсюда ускорении роста рынка сразу, как только вскрываются очередные проблемы в экономике. Рост рынка стоит воспринимать в контексте роста величины накопленных дисбалансов и проблем. Чем выше рынки – тем больше проблем. Закон новой нормальности. Вот такой разрыв матрицы и реальности. У меня нет ни малейшего сомнения, что коллапс этого безумия неизбежен, т.к. с каждым месяцем разрыв между реальностью и матрицей лишь увеличивается. Единственный рынок на планете среди относительно крупных, кто сохраняет адекватное поведение – это российский и китайский –соответственно в них меньше всего рисков. Забавно, согласитесь. Рецепт рост рынка в новой нормальности. 1. Страна должна быть банкротом по суверенному долгу 2. В стране обязательно должна быть рецессия, стагнация. 3. Компании, входящие в индекс, должны сокращать свои финансовые показатели (выручку, чистую рентабельность, прибыль) 4. Должен отсутствовать потенциал долгосрочного экономического роста. Если все это есть, то на рынке будет рост! )) Или иначе. Рост рынка прямо пропорционален росту количества проблем и дисбалансов! ДОП. В Reuters Eikon огромные возможности по компиляции, сведению и представлению данных с высоким уровнем автоматизации, поэтому по мере возможности буду наиболее интересную инфу публиковать.
20 лет назад, 1 ноября 1993 г., вступили в силу Маастрихтские соглашения, завершившие процесс юридического оформления механизма Сообществ, предусмотрев создание к концу XX в. тесного политического и валютно-экономического союза стран ЕС. В основе Маастрихтского соглашения лежат формализация и согласование экономической и политической системы в каждой отдельной стране, вступающей в участницы договора. Однако главным здесь все же является принцип создания Европейского сообщества как логического продолжения уже существовавшего на момент подписания Европейского экономического сообщества. Впоследствии сообщество переросло в союз, а затем уже внутри блока образовалась еврозона. В то же время договор заложил и основы современных критериев к государствам, входящим в ЕС. Согласно ему размер государственного долга страны не должен превышать 60% от ВВП данной экономики, а размер дефицита бюджета, в случае его появления, не мог быть выше уровня в 3% ВВП. Кроме того, предъявлялись требования и к стабильности в обслуживании государственного долга стран. Так, долгосрочные ставки доходности по гособлигациям не могли отклоняться от среднего значения в остальных странах более чем на 2%. Наконец, властям каждой конкретной страны в течение двух лет было необходимо участвовать в механизме валютных курсов и удерживать курс национальной валюты в заданном диапазоне. Также Маастрихтское соглашение дало старт совместной кооперации центральных банков региона и созданию Европейского центробанка (ЕЦБ) с его особыми полномочиями, включающими право на выпуск денежной массы. Тем не менее ошибочно полагать, будто Маастрихтский договор создавал лишь экономические рамки ЕС. В соглашении также прописаны принципы ведения внешнеполитической деятельности, включая отношения с другими странами, не входящими в блок. Помимо этого, закладывались принципы противодействия внешним угрозам и поддержки безопасности внутри сообщества. Помимо этого, удалось заложить фундамент для современной юридической модели, включая институт правосудия. На момент создания членами ЕС стали всего 12 государств: Бельгия, Великобритания, Германия, Греция, Дания, Ирландия, Испания, Италия, Люксембург, Нидерланды, Португалия, Франция. Постепенно обрастая новыми участниками, сегодня в ЕС входят уже 27 государств: Австрия, Бельгия, Болгария, Великобритания, Венгрия, Германия, Греция, Дания, Ирландия, Испания, Италия, Кипр, Латвия, Литва, Люксембург, Мальта, Нидерланды, Польша, Португалия, Румыния, Словакия, Словения, Финляндия, Франция, Чехия, Швеция и Эстония. В конце 2011 г. было одобрено включение Хорватии с 1 июля 2013 г. В январе нынешнего года в стране прошел референдум, по итогам которого большинство населения поддержало присоединение к европейской семье.
Власти Ирландии заявляют, что вскоре они откажутся от кредитной программы, которую страна была вынуждена принять пять лет назад, когда оказалась на грани банкротства. Ведущая RT Оксана Бойко поговорила с премьер-министром Ирландии Эндой Кенни, который рассказал, что условия выхода из этой программы разрабатываются политиками, а не главами финансовых учреждений. Подписывайтесь на RT Russian - http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=rtrussian RT на русском - http://russian.rt.com/ Vkontakte - http://vk.com/rt_russian Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/RTRussian Twitter - http://twitter.com/RT_russian Livejournal - http://rt-russian.livejournal.com/
Продолжаем нашу серию "20 век в цвете". В прошлый раз мы посмотрели 1926-й, теперь перенесёмся в 1913-й. Год безусловно знаковый, последний год Старого мира, Belle Epoque, накануне катастрофы Первой мировой войны, которая откроет новую эпоху в истории человечества. Для Российской империи это был последний мирный год, с показателями которого потом будут сравнивать достижения советского государства. Главным событием года для России стало пышное празднование 300-летия Дома Романовых. Согласно ряду источников, С.М. Прокудин-Горский снимал эти торжества в цвете не только фотографически, но и на киноплёнку. К сожалению, результаты его работ безвестно сгинули после 1917 года, из всего отснятого материала за границу удалось вывезти только портреты хивинского хана Сеида Асфендиара-Богадура, сделанные в Зимнем дворце 21 февраля 1913 г. на торжественном приёме по случаю юбилея династии: К сожалению, в 1913 году Прокудин-Горский уже забросил свой грандиозный проект по документированию в цвете Российской империи и снимал только по особым случаям. В частности он запечатлел подробно Вторую Всероссийскую кустарную выставку, которая прошла в Петербурге в 1913 году. Вот некоторые, наиболее интересные снимки. Мебель в русском стиле из Нижегородской губернии: Высокое разрешение Обратите внимание на кресло! Вполне подошло бы какому-нибудь диктатору. Мебель Абрамцевской мастерской уже, скорее, в интернациональном стиле того времени: Высокое разрешение Игрушки к 300-летнему юбилею дома Романовых: Точно в таком костюме, как на кукле справа, Николай II фотографировался во время торжеств. Ещё пару цветных снимков России 1913 г. можно увидеть у французского фотографа Стефана Пассе, который в 1913 г. совершил своё второе путешествие в Монголию и Китай. Два всадника-бурята в Троицкосавске, уездном городе Забайкальской области в 4 верстах от китайской границы: Такая глушь, а фонарь-то на улице электрический! Два солдата казака в Урге: Увы, больше по России за 1913 г. показать в цвете нечего. Надеюсь, со временем ещё найдётся. Русских солдат в монгольской Урге (ныне Улан-Батор) француз снял не случайно. В 1913 году Монголия - протекторат Российской империи. Этот был совсем недолгий период. Потрясающие цветные снимки Монголии 1913 года мы уже показывали ранее. Поэтому здесь приведём только самые впечатляющие, для контраста эпохи. Вот монгольская переносная тюрьма: Согласно подписи, эту женщину приговорили к голодной смерти. Монголы тогда были, как и 1000 лет до этого, чисто кочевым народом. Роль столицы играла большая стоянка кочевников, образовавшаяся вокруг буддистского монастыря в Урге: Монгол-охотник в окрестностях Урги: Буддистский монах в Пекине 26 мая 1913 г., Стефан Пассе: Первые цветные снимки Китая мы покажем в обзоре за 1912 год. Хотя 1913 год был относительно мирным, в "пороховом погребе Европы", на Балканах уже разгоралось пламя. Сначала коалиция балканских стран отняла у Османской империи её последние владения почти до самого Константинополя, потом вчерашние союзники сцепились между собой (см. Балканские войны). Балканам 1913 года в цвете у нас также был посвящен отдельный фотообзор. Поэтому покажем здесь лишь отдельные снимки. Болгарские солдаты участники Балканских войн, 1913: Греки поймали шпиона в районе горы Афон: Греческие военные, 1913: Беженцы из турецкого населения Адрианополя (Эдирне), оставившие город при подходе болгарской армии: Город Мельник в Болгарии. Беженцы из Османской империи после Балканской войны: Греческий город Салоники, 1913: Торговая улица в турецком городе Бурса: Вообще, 1913 год оказался исключительно богат на этнографические цветные съемки, благодаря запущенному в 1912 году проекту банкира и мецената Альбера Кана, решившего запечатлеть на пластинки автохром весь мир. Очень интересный цветной фоторепортаж был сделан в Ирландии в 1913 году. Тогда это была бесправная английская колония, с вымирающим населением и беспросветной бедностью в деревнях. При этом сельские жители, в гораздо большей степени, чем городские, к тому времени сохраняли традиционную ирландскую культуру. Такой увидели фотографы (Mespoulet и Mignon) ирландскую глубинку в 1913 году: Ирландские крестьяне: Девушка в старинном ирландском костюме: Впрочем, и в самой Англии встречались небогатые деревушки. Деревня в Корнуэле на снимке Огюста Леона, 1913: Сравните с типичным английским буржуазным кварталом 1913 г.: А так жили горожане попроще, улица в городке St. Ives: Ещё немного Европы 1913 года. Рынок в Париже: Церковь Saint-Walburgachurch в городе Oudenaarde, Бельгия: В порту Генуи: Продавцы лимонада в Белграде: К 1913 году достигло расцвета трансокеанское судоходство, особенно в Атлантике, которую бороздили десятки и сотни роскошных лайнеров. Пароход BERMUDIAN в Гамильтон-Харбор на Бермудах, 1913: Американцы почти достроили Панамский канал, который будет открыт в следующем, 1914 году: Снова вернёмся в Азию. Жители индийской агры на снимке Стефана Пассе, 1913: Тадж-Махал 100 лет назад был точно таким же: На улице Бомбея в 1913 году: И чуть-чуть Африки 1913 года. Сенегальский стрелок близ г. Фес в марокко на снимке всё того же Стефана Пассе: Марокканцы:
Объем средств в офшорах по итогам прошлого года вырос на сотни миллиардов долларов, несмотря на старания международных регуляторов.Основные офшоры Согласно данным ежегодного отчета Boston Consulting Group (BCG) объем средств, выведенных в офшоры в 2012 г., вырос на 6,1% до $8,5 трлн. В то же время необходимо отметить, что эти средства уже не являются недоступными для налоговых органов развитых стран. С начала повсеместной борьбы с налоговыми уклонистами, которая была спровоцирована мировым финансовым кризисом в 2009 г., офшорные центры подписали десятки соглашений, регулирующих обмен информацией. Более того, они также были вынуждены согласиться на автоматический обмен данными с США. И несмотря на все это, давление на офшоры не ослабевает, европейские регуляторы вынуждают их пойти на дальнейшие уступки по вопросу транспарентности в преддверии саммита G8 в Северной Ирландии.Например, Лихтенштейн отменил законы о банковской тайне четыре года назад под давлением США и ЕС, которые направляли своих клиентов в другие офшорные юрисдикции, при этом вынуждая один из старейших банковских центров поменять свой имидж. Европейская страна, которая по размеру составляет двадцатую часть штата Рой-Айленд, остается местом, популярным среди миллиардеров, которые регистрируют в Лихтенштейне холдинговые компании и инвестиционные организации и управляют своими активами.
Парадоксальная ситуация происходит на протяжении более тридцати лет в информационном поле нашей матушки Земли. Дело в том, что появившийся с легкой подачи Рональда Рейгана ярлык “Империя зла” по отношению к СССР не имел логического противовеса в природе. Инь и Янь, без них никак, ибо баланс будет разрушен и тогда Апокалипсис неминуем.В связи с этим, для спасения мирового пространства от неминуемой гибели, я решил найти недостающий элемент. Перебирая варианты остановился на очевидном – Великобритания, вот эта спасительная соломинка на цивилизованного сообщества, необходимая миру Империя добра. И, что бы в полной мере оправдать название, данное в процессе противостояния, необходимо дополнить его рядом фактов.О том какой кровожадной и беспощадной Империей зла был Советский Союз нам прекрасно известно из бесчисленных документальных циклов Discovery Channel, History и многих других. Но, так мало известно о светлых и благих свершениях Британии, что непременно надо исправить это недоразумение.Чуть ранее мы ознакомились с достижениями Великобритании при геноциде ирландского народа и Китая. Сегодня поговорим о Индии.Колониальный период Великобритании сегодня выставляется на западе как начало становления стран третьего мира как цивилизованных образований. Дело в том, что так повелось и до сих пор бытует мнение, будто до прихода британцев, в основном в лице Ост-Индийской компании, в свои колонии там существовал дикий образ жизни.Колонии должны благодарить Империю за то, что именно с приходом белых доброжелателей, туземцы и дикари получили доступ к благам цивилизации, благодаря чему смогли совершить маломальский скачок в развитии и не выгладить совсем убого и дико в ХХ веке в сравнении с благоухающим цивилизованным миром.Сомнительные блага привнесла Британия порабощенным народам, откровенно говоря. И вот почему.Приход британцев в Индию начался с наиболее богатого и густозаселенного региона этой страны – Бенгалии. Конечно, в определенной мере захватчиков интересовали богатства этого региона, но не стоит забывать то, что Британская империя была так же торговым монополистом и преследовала торговые интересы в не меньшей степени, нежели жажду наживы от разграбления национальных богатств.Именно экономические аспекты внутренней политики Британии привели к миллионным жертвам во время Великого голода в Ирландии. В не меньшей степени они сыграли свою роль и при геноциде индийского народа. А первопричиной столетнего страдания народа стал банальный - текстиль.После завершения «Славной революции» 1688 года в Британию хлынул поток индийских товаров, в первую очередь – ситец и шелк, превосходного качества. Ост - Индийская компания являлась монополистом поставок и зарабатывала баснословные деньги, но, в то же время, страдала отечественная текстильная промышленность Британии. Это послужило причиной появления постановления о запрете импорта индийского ситца в Британию.БенгалияВласти королевства прекрасно понимали, что отечественная текстильная промышленность не способна была конкурировать с индийской по качеству товара и тогда решено было обложить ткани, которые не попадали под постановление о запрете на импорт, обложить пошлиной в размере 80% от стоимости. Однако, оградив свой рынок, британцы не могли запретить импортировать индийский текстиль в страны Европы, где он по прежнему стоил дешевле британского.Европу, Азию, Северную и Южную Америки захлестнуло текстильное разнообразие из Индии. Ввозилось более 30 видов тканей, а к концу XVII в. индийский шелк практически вытеснил британские грубые поделки с рынка западной Европы. В результате, британские лендлорды, стали нести убытки, а английская шелковая промышленность, оказалась на грани краха.Мало об этом говорится, но в середине XVIII века Британия оказалась на грани экономического кризиса именно из-за обрушения текстильной промышленности. В то время как британские ткачи с трудом могли прокормить свою семью и многие попросту голодали, их индийские коллеги зарабатывали невиданные для туманного альбиона деньги. Заработная плата прядильщика составляла 5 рупии и более, ткачей 6 рупии, белильщиков достигала 9 рупии. И это все притом, что на содержание одного члена семьи требовалось менее 1 рупии.Основным благом, которым обычно сопровождалась колонизация было привнесение благ цивилизации, технологических достижений. Многие до сих пор считают, что именно этот фактор давал основной стимул. Для развития экономики колонизированного государства. Но, позвольте, стоит ли столь уверенно говорить об отсталости Индии, на момент вторжения британцев, если она обеспечивала превосходного качества тканями не только свой рынок, но и Старый свет, создав смертельно опасную конкуренцию для данной отрасли в Англии?Исходя из всего вышесказанного, Великобритания предпринимает интервенцию в Индии, дабы донести свет цивилизации до убогого и отсталого народа, посмевшего посягнуть на монополизированную поданными Её Величества нишу мирового рынка.Началом силовой колонизации можно считать битву при Плесси (23 июля 1757) когда индийское навабство Бенгалия перешло под власть британской Ост-Индской компании. Разграбление Бенгалии обогатило компанию на сумму в 5,26 миллиона фунтов стерлингов. Компания присвоила и весь фискальный аппарат Бенгалии. В одном только Муршидабаде английские солдаты награбили ценностей на 3 млн ф. ст. Помимо этого, британцы отбирали товары у торговцев или скупали их по бросовым ценам ценам путем шантажа (продавай в три раза дешевле или гори твой бизнес ярким пламенем), а также навязывали местному населению ненужные залежалые товары со своих складов, по баснословно высоким ценам. Ост-Индская компания только с 1757 по 1780 г. заработала в Бенгалии 5 млн ф. ст. А всего чистый доход компании в Бенгалии вырос с 14 млн 946 тыс. рупий в 1765 г. до 30 млн рупий в год в 1776–1777 гг.МуршидабадВсего же сколько было награблено британцами в Индии подсчитать сложно, столь грандиозны объемы вывезенных ценностей. Когда в Российской Империи взялись подсчитывать эти объемы, то пришли к выводу, что за 100 лет пребывания в Индии британцы обогатились на сумму равную 12 млрд. золотых рублей! А когда американский историк Брукс Адамс в начале ХХ века взялся за подсчеты награбленного англичанами индийского имущества, то он пришел к выводу, что только за первые 15 лет было вывезено ценностей на 1 млрд. ф.ст.Всего же, за период с 1749 по 1858 г. англичане разграбили Индию на следующие товары: опиум – на 74 млн 390 ф. ст.; зерно – на 23 млн 190 тыс. ф. ст.; хлопок-сырец – на 19 млн 380 тыс. ф. ст.; шерсть – на 2 млн 210 тыс. ф. ст.Именно благодаря этим паразитическим действиям Британия смогла обеспечить себе не только безбедное существование, но последовавшую вскоре промышленную революцию, которую лишь своими мощностями в жизни бы не осуществила.Помимо грабежей в Индии резко выросли налоги, в том числе в два раза увеличился поземельный налог. Британцы не просто решили, вместо здравой конкуренции обеспечить своим товарам выгодное положение на рынке, вторжением в страну-конкурента, но за одно и неплохо нажиться на природных богатствах государства. В первый же год колониального правления, Британия получила в казну с налогов 1,4 миллиона фунтов стерлингов. Стоит отметить, что при правлении Великих Моголов, от тирании которых англичане якобы освбодили индийцев, налогообложение приносило в казну около 740 тыс. фунтов стерлингов (7 млн. рупий).При англичанах налоги в Индии росли ежегодно, приводя к обнещанию местного населения. Успешно испробованная тактика вытеснения в Ирландии одинаково хорошо себя показала и в Индии. В результате крестьяне разорялись и вынуждены были продавать свои земли в счет долгов. Так, только в Мадрасском регионе за 10 лет прибывания британцев у власти было с молотка продано 1,9 млн. акров земли, а почти 850 тыс. Крестьян оказались выброшенными на улицу. Фактически 1/8 населения региона была лишена земли, дома, скота. За долги отбирали даже одежду, мебель, посуду!Однако, англичане не остановились лишь на разграблении Индии. В 1769–1770 гг. в разоренной англичанами Бенгалии начинается искусственно созданный голод, в результате которого населения региона сократилось на 7 - 10 млн чел. В 1780–1790 гг. британцы повторяют отработанный сценарий в Бенгалии, в результате чего население сокращается еще на 10 млн чел. Таким образом, менее чем за 20 лет пребывания британцев в Бенгалии, население региона сократилось почти на 20 млн. человек – более чем на половину!Таким образом, с начала XIX века, по мере того как англичане распространяли свое влияние в Индии, массовый голод стал обыденным явлением в стране. Согласно британским официальным данным, в Индии от голода умерло: в 1800–1825 гг. – 1 млн чел.; в 1825–1850 гг. – 400 тыс. чел.; в 1850–1875 гг. – 5 млн чел.; в 1875–1900 гг. – 26 млн чел.С начала XX века Британия «в целях недопущения дискредитации политики Империи в колониях» начинает тщательно скрывать данные о количестве жертв голода в Индии. И если ранее о миллионах умерших заявлялось даже с гордостью, как это делал в 1834 г. английский генерал-губернатор, с чувством выполненного долга докладывая в Лондон: «Равнины Индии белеют костями ткачей», то теперь желательно было умалчивать о происходящем в далекой колонии.Известно лишь, что в начале ХХ века ситуация в Индии не улучшилась и геноцид продолжался. Согласно данным из разных источников, в том числе Российской империи, стало известно, что: в 1905–1906 гг. голод свирепствовал в районах с населением 3,3 млн чел.; в 1906–1907 гг. – с населением 13 млн; в 1907–1908 гг. – 49,6 млн чел. Точное же количество умерших от голода установить не удавалось, к тому же, для сокрытия истины, все смерти от недоедания списывали на эпидемии холеры и чумы, вспыхивавшие в пораженных голодом районах. Можно лишь предпологать, какая часть из этой колоссальной лжи, являлось правдой, ведь в период с 1896–1908 гг. якобы от болезней умерло 6 млн. чел.Казалось бы в ХХ веке должно было прекратится тотальное уничтожение индийцев, но это не так. В 1933 году директор Медицинской службы Индии генерал-майор Джон Мигоу заявил, что в Индии голодает 80 млн человек, а через 10 лет в Бенгалии британская администрация сознательно организовывает очередной голодный год, в результате которого погибло не менее 3,5 млн чел. Организация голода была ответной реакцией британской администрации населению северных и восточных районов за «Августовскую революцию» 1942 г. и поддержку (особенно массовую в Бенгалии) «Индийской национальной армии» Субхаса Чандры Боса. Всего, в период с 1943-1944 гг. от голода в этих районах погибло свыше 5 млн. человек.Последствия геноцида индийского народа нельзя было скрыть ложью и отмашками на эпидемии. Так русский путешественник и писатель А. Ротчев, посетивший Индию в начале 40-х гг. XIX в., с ужасом описывает увиденное: «Что осталось от Уджейна, Бхопала, Джейпура, Гвалиора, Индора, Гайдерабада, Ахмедабада, Фуркабада, Дели и Агры, городов столичных, некогда цветущих? На несколько миль вокруг них видны раздробленные колонны, разоренные храмы и полуразвалившиеся, одинокие памятники. Дикие звери и пресмыкающиеся гады заменили народонаселение, все глухо и пусто вокруг...»А.РотчевТак же, Александр Гаврилович в своих заметках подмечает всю ничтожную сущность колонистов: "Невольно спросишь себя: к чему повели различные миссионерства, отправленные в Индию? Они только показали свое ничтожество. Сначала следовало бы приняться за улучшение физической стороны народонаселения и потом уже обратить, внимание на нравственность: человек, страдающий от голода и стужи, прежде всего требует пищи и одежды. В стране, где столько несчастных, вы не встретите ни одного гражданского госпиталя, ни одного благотворительного заведения; только военные и служащие в компании имеют здесь право на сострадание правительства." Сами же британцы себя и выдают официальными документами, описывая Бенгалию, до завоевания, как густонаселенную страну с огромными и густонаселенными городами. Так, губернатор Бенгалии Р. Клайв накануне завоевания страны Ост-Индской писал, что города Дакка и Муршидабад «огромны, многолюдны, а богаты, как лондонское Сити», а в 1789 г. его коллега генерал-губернатор Ч. Корнуоллис пишет, что вследствие гибели населения от голода треть владений Ост-Индской компании «превратилась в джунгли, заселенные только дикими зверями».Столетия колониальной тирании в Индии привели к её экономическому и демографическому обнищанию. Да, многие скажут, что сейчас это самая густонаселенная страна в мире. Но, не будь тирании Империи Добра в Бенгалии и других регионах, не исключено, что Индия в начале ХХ века изменила бы баланс геополитических сил в мире. И вот, что примечательно, обе державы (Китай и Индия), понесшие колоссальные экономические и человеческие потери от присутствия Британии на своих землях, сейчас переживают демографический бум и экономический рассвет, при этом сохранив культуру и традиции. Законы природы?
Уровень безработицы в еврозоне достиг рекорда в январе на фоне мер жесткой экономии, принятых для борьбы с долговым кризисом. Показатель вырос до 11,9%.В декабре пересмотренное значение безработицы составило 11,8%, свидетельствуют данные Статистического управления Европейского союза.Это самый высокий показатель с 1995 г., и он оказался хуже ожиданий. Аналитики, опрошенные Bloomberg, прогнозировали безработицу на уровне 11,8%."Ситуация очень серьезная, - считает главный экономист Bankhaus Lampe Александр Крюгер. – Больше не чувствуется поддержка Германии. Я ожидаю, что ситуация сохранится. Другие страны, такие как Италия, Испания и Португалия, в настоящий момент переживают не лучшие времена, поэтому уровень безработицы, в конце концов, может вырасти".Безработица среди молодежи в еврозоне составила 24,2%, самый негативный показатель наблюдается в Испании, где 55,5% молодых людей не могут найти работу. В Италии безработица выросла до 11,7%, что стало рекордом с 1992 г.При этом в Испании также наблюдается самый большой уровень общей безработицы, где она достигла 26,2%, что также является рекордным уровнем. В Португалии показатель находится на уровне 17,6%, в Ирландии – на уровне 14,7%.Безработица во Франции выросла до 10,6%, а в Германии показатель не изменился и остался на уровне 5,3%.Наиболее хорошая ситуация складывается в Австрии, где безработица выросла всего до 4,9%.