IMF Director, Christine Lagarde casually comments, "Which might very well mean, that is we have this conversation in 10 years time,,, we might not be sitting in Washington, D.C. We'll do it in our Beijing head office."
Since it was constituted in 1945, the IMF has always been located in the largest economy, the US. China may soon be the IMF member with the largest economy. Unless the rules change, the IMF will move offices to China, when that becomes official. Adding the Yuan/Renmenbi to the SDR, the IMF's basket-o-currency, was an important step in that direction. What will the global trading-currency regime be in 10 years?
Nouri al-Maliki, currently Vice President of Iraq, and previously Prime Minister, is in Moscow, with a parliamentary contingent, probably meeting with President Putin now.
The war against ISIS, "terrorism" does not respect national borders in the sand. Russia sure is helping in Syria, and Iraq just signed up to buy a lot of tough Russian tanks. It seems that Russia may be a preferable long term partner for Iraq. Iraqis long for stability, and the supports of a coherent state social-welfare program. They used to have a very good one. Thanks Tom.
"There is Only One Empire, Finance" points out Charles Hugh Smith.
Here is the Catch-22: To be a global hegemon, with your currency as reserve currency, you have to export your debt-based currency and other government debt quite massively. To be the boss, you have to owe everything you have to global financial "markets". The biggest two economies in this game are the US and China. Japan is #3, followed by Germany, the UK and France. China and Japan have massively increased debt lately. Their currencies and bonds must be reorganized some time. The next crisis will suffice. What will those reorganizations be? I don't know, but these ancient societies are known for looking far ahead.
The other side of this coin is that to have a secure national economy, you have to largely withdraw from the global debt bubble empire. That is hard on a country, as sanctions against Iran and Russia have shown in recent years, at first, but less as time goes by... Hell, these economies are quite small by comparison to the giant debt-bubble economies. I wonder what things will look like after the global debt-bubble pops. Will we still have the Empire of Finance? (Hey, what if Bitcoin becomes the global reserve/trade currency? How would that work out? Where would Triffin's Paradox go to die?)
Wow, this is weird. It's like if you owe the bank more than you make, you have.. a problem, but if you owe the bank more than the bank makes, the bank has the problem:
U.S. monetary policy is not made in Washington, it’s made in Beijing,” said Joachim Fels, global economic advisor at bond giant PIMCO. “China does have a major impact on monetary policies elsewhere … This year has been smooth sailing for global central banks because there were no shockwaves from China but I expect that to change if we think beyond the next few months.”
Central Banks ARE the Crisis, Ilargi, at The Automatic Earth: (excerpted)
In the past decade, these central bankers have purchased $20-$50 trillion in bonds, securities and stocks. The only intention, and indeed the only result, is to keep banks from falling over, increase their profits, and maintain the illusion that economies are recovering and growing. They can only achieve this by creating bubbles wherever they can... Fast forward to today and we see that we’ve landed in a whole new, and next, phase of the story. The world’s central banks are all stuck in their own – self-created – bubbles and narratives... And that means we have arrived at a point that is new and very dangerous for the entire global economy and all of its people. That is, the world’s central bankers now have an incentive to create the next crisis. This is because they know this crisis is inevitable, and they know their masters and protégés, the banks, risk suffering immensely or even going under... The world’s main central bankers have an active incentive to bring about the crisis, if only by sitting on their hands long enough... Yellen, Draghi and Kuroda may opt to leave before pulling the trigger, or be fired soon enough. But whoever is in the governor seats will realize that unleashing a crisis sooner rather than later is the only option left not to be blamed for it. Let the house of dominoes crumble now, and they can say “nobody could have seen this coming”, while at the same time saving what they can for the banks and bankers they serve. That option will not be on the table for much longer.
Syrian War update from Moon of Alabama (excerpts attempt to simplify):
In the north-west Idleb governate and the city of Idleb saw new infighting between Ahrar al-Sham and al-Qaeda in Syria... The spat between Qatar and Saudi Arabia mostly ended their interest in their proxies in Syria. The Trump administration decided to end the CIA support program for its FSA proxies in the north-west (but not for others elsewhere). This was a significant change of the situation for each group... After losing their paymasters the local FSA gangs melted away... Al-Qaeda in Syria needed money... Last week al-Qaeda overran nearly all Ahrar al-Sham positions. It managed to capture and hold the Bab al-Hawa border station with Turkey. It also controls all other border stations. Taxing all trucks going through is a very significant sources of money. Al-Qaeda will now feed off all im- and exports between the Idleb area and Turkey... In an effort to support Ahrar al-Sham Turkey transferred some of its Syrian proxies from the Euphrates Shield area it holds north-east of Aleppo towards the Turkish side of Idleb border station. But those forces are too few and too little motivated to take up al-Qaeda in Syria... Idleb is now for most parts consolidated al-Qaeda territory... South from Idleb a pocket of various insurgent groups (Ahrar, al-Qaeda, ISIS) controls the mountains around the Lebanese city of Arsal right next to the border with Syria. In June several Lebanese army personal were killed in the area. The Takfiri insurgent groups are a continuing danger to Lebanon as well as to Syria... Last week a united front of Lebanese and Syrian forces started to clean up the pocket and to eliminate all insurgents in area. The Lebanese army took control of Arsal city and will protect it against infiltration. About 5,000 Hizbullah fighters were allocated to attack the insurgents within Lebanon while 3,500 Syrian army personal will mop them up from the Syrian side. The Syrian air-force provides support within Lebanon and Syria. The Hariri government of Lebanon (a Saudi puppet) as well as the U.S. have agreed to the operation. So far it ran without a hitch...
The U.S. and Russia had agreed on a deescalation zone further south next to the border with Israel and Jordan. While Israel was consulted on the issue it later voiced disagreement. The Israeli government wants a permanent U.S. forces in the area to cover the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan height. Neither the Trump administration nor the U.S. military have any interested in such a costly entanglement. Israel has long paid, supplied and supported Takifiri groups in the area. It gave them fire support whenever they were in fighting the Syrian government forces. The deescalation agreement foresees the supervision of the deescalation area by Russian military policy. That regime will be installed during the next few weeks and further Israeli shenanigans in the area will become difficult. Russia will react harshly against any interference with its troops' task...
In the north-east the Kurdish YPG is the U.S. proxy forces for the fight against ISIS in Raqqa. When the YPG submitted to U.S. command was told to rename itself and became the "Syrian Democratic Forces". It is still the same anarcho-marxist... group that is killing Turkish soldiers within Turkey. The U.S. military believes that it can sustain the support for the group and continue to occupy the north-east of Syria after ISIS is defeated... The U.S. plan to split up Syria and Iraq after ISIS is defeated is still in force. But neither the Turkish nor the Iraqi nor the Syrian government will allow the consolidation of a U.S. protected Kurdish minority in east-Syria that they all see as a threat to their sovereignty...
The YPG/SDF has already huge difficulties to defeat ISIS in Raqqa... This may well take several additional months. The city will be destroyed and the attacking Kurds will have high losses. There will be many civilian casualties. All this for a city that even after ISIS is defeated will never submit to Kurdish control and will eventually fall back to the Syrian government...
On the southern bank of the Euphrates the Syrian government forces have now encapsulated the SDF forces around Raqqa. They make continues progress towards Deir Ezzor where a Syrian government forces is still under siege of ISIS...
The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov... rejected the claims of a stop of CIA support to the insurgents. “I understand that the US supports much more groups than just the ones, which were announced as being left without the American weapons.” Lavrov also warned against any thoughts of establishing permanent U.S. bases in Syria.
“Senator McCain looks forward to returning to the United States Senate tomorrow to continue working on important legislation, including health care reform, the National Defense Authorization Act, and new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea," his office said in a statement.
The number of neurons in a human brain, and the number of galaxies in the universe are about the same, and appear to be arranged similarly. Is this scale-invariant-organization? Does this reflect universal mind? Is it artifactual?
We—an astrophysicist and a neuroscientist—joined forces to quantitatively compare the complexity of galaxy networks and neuronal networks. The first results from our comparison are truly surprising: Not only are the complexities of the brain and cosmic web actually similar, but so are their structures. The universe may be self-similar across scales that differ in size by a factor of a billion billion billion.
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