Thursday, December 20, 2018

Expect Disruptions


In a scene from a movie Alfred Hitchcock never got to make, London's Gatwick airport has been frozen for 13 hours by mysterious drones, which pose a hazard to take-offs and landings. 110,000 people are in a sleeping-on-the-floor limbo, with many stuck on planes from other parts of the world, in other airports, waiting to take off again. This is anonymous, but very effective. ISIS has not taken credit, nor has the Rothschild Bank...
Update: The Royal Army has been called in and is trying to figure out who is operating the drones and how to stop them. 
This is big. This plays against Brexit, by ramping up fear of the unknown. 
Who benefits? Why have they not been revealed? Why is the army powerless?

Unlike Sweden's Riskbank, which surprised this morning with its first rate hike in 7 years, a move that was expected by only 10 of 24 analysts polled by BBG, the Bank of England had nothing up its sleeve when its Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously (9-0) to leave rates unchanged at 0.75% and warned that Brexit uncertainties had "intensified considerably" since its November meeting.  
(The top 2% finally see the writing on the wall.)​
Markets whipsawed violently in the aftermath of the Fed's "less dovish than expected" rate hike, with European stocks sliding to 2 year lows, and Japanese stock entering a bear market as crude oil tumbled after another mini flash crash after the European open as the dollar slumped.
US equity futures initially rose, then tumbled sliding to a new 2018 low around midnight dragged lower by Asian market fears, then once again rebounded around the time Europe opened, and were trading mostly flat as US traders walked in. Investors “think the Fed has completely misjudged the situation and now it’s just a matter of just trying to find an exit while you can,” said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Group in Melbourne. “We’re probably entering a stage now where markets have got it their head that we’re preparing for quite sustained downside going into 2019.”
The sell-off that began Wednesday after Powell disappointed markets with a rate hike and a promise to keep reversing quantitative easing after downplaying the implications of market volatility, gathered pace in Asia and Europe. Markets were mostly spooked by Powell's comment that the process of unwinding QE is on "autopilot."​ The Fed’s been a huge friend of the stock market and they are now a little bit of an enemy” and will probably become a worse enemy before this is all over, Bob Doll, Nuveen chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager, said.

Pay no attention to the Central Bankers Behind The Curtain!
Steven Guinness looks at statements from the BIS and IMF, and globalist implications.
Speaking of a renewed economic crisis, the IMF stated that there might be uncertainty ‘as to whether there would be one preferred source of global liquidity. Such uncertainty could be exacerbated by geopolitical developments.’
In their own words, a ‘radically reformed‘ SDR could ‘conceivably serve as a global currency‘.
As 2018 comes to a end, the prospect of reforming the SDR is prominent in the minds of central bankers. Given that quotas are coming up for renewal, the avenue is gradually being created for the IMF to use geopolitical events – namely the scapegoats of nationalism and populism – as a cover for attempting to move the financial system closer to the implementation of a global​ ​currency. Whilst they may not be successful, it will not prevent them from making the attempt.
It would also be nice to think the president and commander-in-chief has the final say in his administration’s policies overseas, given the constitution by which we are supposed to be governed. But the misleading announcement on the withdrawal of troops, followed by Trump’s boastful tweet, suggest something close to exactly the opposite.​  ​As Trump finishes his second year in office, the pattern is plain:​ ​This president can have all the foreign policy ideas he wants, but the Pentagon, State, the intelligence apparatus, and the rest of what some call “the deep state” will either reverse, delay, or never implement any policy not to its likingSyria is a case in point, but one among many. Trump announced in March that he would withdraw American troops as soon as the fight against ISIS was finished. By September the Pentagon was saying no, U.S. forces had to stay until Damascus and its political opponents achieved a full settlement. From the new HQ in Raqqa, The Washington Post tells us, U.S. forces will extend “overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria.”

​The US/Israeli/Saudi axis-of-evil does not hold the upper hand in Syria, and all positions weaken for the Empire of Petrodollar. Tom Luongo excerpts:
Since the beginning of l’affair Khashoggi Turkey has been extracting concession after concession from the US as the Trump administration tries to salvage its soon-to-be-unveiled Middle East peace plan. The latest concession may be the biggest. There’s a report out now that the Trump administration is readying the extradition of cleric Fethulah Gulen, who President Erdogan believes was behind the coup attempt against him in July of 2016... 
Whether the US ever returns Gulen to Ankara or not is actually irrelevant; keeping it a sore spot open is its biggest value while Turkey prepares an assault against US-backed YPG forces in Manbij, Syria. It helps raise Turkey’s position with the other countries involved in the Astana peace process for Syria while keeping Trump, his foreign policy mental midgets and Saudi Arabia on their collective back foot...
All of this is making the US presence in eastern Syria more untenable over time while the Saudis struggle with falling oil prices and no longer want to pay the bill for the US’s proxy war...
 If these things weren’t enough Turkish Prime Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said recently that Ankara was now willing to work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he survives “democratic and credible” elections. This is rich coming from Turkey, but whatever. The importance of this statement, however, cannot be overstated. Turkey was one of the major partners in the mission to destroy Syria. And now they have joined with Russia, Iran and China in negotiating the peace process...​ ​They have gone from “Assad must go!” to “Assad can stay.” It is an admission that the US plan for balkanization of Syria will eventually fail and that their best bet is putting maximum pressure on the US to give up its regional plans. 
Russia, of course, stands behind Turkey in this and themselves are now upping the costs on the US and the Israelis. 
Because, it is now Russian policy to assist Syrian Arab Army forces in proportional retaliation against Israeli aggression in Syrian territory... 
An airport for an airport, as it were... 
It is now the US and the Saudis that are feeling the pinch of yet another quagmire without end. Moreover, the Israeli security situation is now worse than it was before all of this started in the first place... 
The real war of attrition was never about physical resources and money. It was always about time. The Iranians and Russians have played for time. 
Time brought out the truth about the Syrian invasion. It exposed the real causes of the conflict. 
The hope now for the US is that financial pressure will get Iran to knuckle under. But, look at what is happening. Oil prices are in freefall as the global economy slows down thanks to debt saturation, a rising dollar and increasing opposition in the West to neoliberalism and globalism... 
EU technocrats who fancy themselves the inheritors of a waning US empire, bristle under Trump’s plans. 
They will build an alternative payment vehicle to buy goods and services from sanctioned entities. 
This is about much more than Iranian oil... 
Trump’s energy dominance plan is as transparent as his narcissism. More likely the sanctions exemptions for buying Iranian oil will be extended in May because he can’t have a global crisis be his fault as he prepares for re-election in 2020... 
Now Netanyahu is hemmed in on all sides and the Saudis are political pawns between the warring factions of the US government – Trump who wants an Arab NATO and the Deep State that wants him on a platter. 
Their benefactor, Trump, is in an increasingly untenable position who will soon be forced to choose between hot war and impeachment. 
Meanwhile, Iran, Turkey and Russia will continue to bleed out the US forces in Syria while sanctions prove to be increasingly less effective. 
Simultaneously, the Astana process moves forward with all groups trying to reach out to each other around the sclerotic reach of the US and put an end to this shameful period of US foreign policy insanity.

In keeping with an annual tradition that has persisted since shortly after his election to the highest office in the Russian Federation, Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-year marathon Q&A session Thursday in downtown Moscow...
Putin asserted that the number of news stories warning about the prospects for nuclear war have risen recently. Putin said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, people thought the prospects for nuclear war had fallen. But in reality, they have remained roughly steady, according to RT.
"The danger of such developments coming true is being blurred or is going away, it is deemed impossible or unimportant," Putin said. "Meanwhile, if, God forbid, something like that happens, it would see an entire civilization - or even the planet - perish." ...​
Asked about President Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Putin said US troops had been in the country illegally, and that the decision to withdraw them was "the right decision."
"Donald's right and I agree with him," Putin said.​..​
Moving on to the subject of Russia's international finances, Putin confirmed that Russia has been reducing its holdings of US Treasurys (something we've pointed out in the past).
He also said he has no plans to ban the US dollar in Russia, and that he doesn't know whether he will meet US President Trump in the near future (they had been planning another summit for early next year). Russia will be ready to normalize relations with the US when the the US is ready, Putin said.​..​
Typically, Putin's Q&A goes on for at least three hours, but with the broad number of issues that need to be addressed, it's likely that this year's press conference could continue for significantly longer.

Wiggs sends some perspective on European nationalism:
Yanis Varoufakis writes:
“Students of European integration are taught that the European Union started life in the form of the ECSC. What they are less likely to come across is the well-kept secret that it was the United States that cajoled, pushed, threatened and sweet-talked the Europeans into putting it together…Indeed, it is indisputable that without the United States’ guiding hand the ECSC would not have materialized.”
He goes on:
“There was one politician who saw this clearly: General Charles de Gaulle, the future President of France…When the ECSC was formed, de Gaulle denounced it on the basis that it was creating a united Europe in the form of a restrictive cartel and, more importantly, that it was an American creation, under Washington’s influence.”​ ...​
In 1958, two years after the Suez debacle, De Gaulle entered the Elysee Palace as French president. Thereafter, the humiliation of Suez still raw, he embarked on an assertion of the country’s independence from Washington that contrasted with Britain’s slavish and unedifying subservience. The French leader withdrew France from NATO’s integrated command and twice blocked Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) – the previous incarnation of today’s EU – on the basis that London would be a US Trojan horse if admitted.
There is, given this history, delicious irony in the fact that the country responsible for injecting the poison of neoliberalism into the EU – the UK under its fanatical leader Margaret Thatcher – is currently embroiled in a messy divorce from the bloc.
The EU in its current form is a latter-day prison house of nations locked inside a neoliberal straitjacket and single currency. Not only can’t it survive on this basis, but it also does not deserve to. Ultimately, either Europe’s political establishment decouples from Washington and its works – the Trump administration notwithstanding – or its peoples will decouple from them and theirs.

​Eleni sends this news about other French Generals with strategic vision, and that Rothschild-Trojan-Horse, Macron.
General Antoine Martinez has written the letter signed by ten other generals, an admiral and colonel, and also includes former French Minister of Defense Charles Millon.
They’ve given strong warning that Macron’s signing the U.N. Global Migration Pact strips France of even more sovereignty providing an additional reason for “an already battered people” to “revolt”.
The highly decorated military co-signees assert that the beleaguered Macron is “guilty of a denial of democracy or treason against the nation” for signing the migration pact without putting it to the people.

​Eleni, in colonized, subjugated Greece​, also sends this:
“No Christmas this year” is written on the placard of a protester in Toulouse, the “ville rose” of Southwest France, once a bastion of French socialism.
“What do you want for Christmas?”a mother asks her 20-year-old son. “To win”, comes the answer.
This exchange of words catches a rare moment. It is when Ego, the “Me”, escapes, for a while, the very limits of its miserable existence, submitting itself to, diluting itself into and being identified with the, temporarily at least, infinite and all-powerful “We”.
It’s the moment when the individual becomes aware that the collective interest is more important than the individual one, that individuals cannot live or be saved by themselves. They need other human beings, they need Society and Civilization.
If that happens and if all other means like parties, elections, trade unions etc. have been exhausted, then a revolt​ ​becomes possible.

A Texas elementary school speech pathologist has filed a federal lawsuit after her school district refused to renew her contract unless she signed a pro-Israel oath.
Bahia Amawi has worked for the Pflugerville Independent School District since 2009 on a contract basis. Each year when it came to the time to renew her contract, the school district did so. Amawi always signed the correct documents, and had another year of guaranteed employment.
But this year, in August, there was a new addition to the contract papers. That addition was an oath which Amawi was being asked to sign, promising that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract” and will refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israel-controlled territory.”
That was a problem for Amawi, who, along with her family, refrains from buying goods from Israeli companies in support of the global boycott to end Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
But aside from that, Amawi noted that the very fact that this was the only oath she was being asked to sign – and it was to do with Israel – was extremely strange.
“It’s baffling that they can throw this down our throats, and decide to protect another country’s economy versus protecting our constitutional rights,” Amawi, who was born in Austria and is of Palestinian descent, told The Intercept.

​Full, long Glenn Greenwald story.on mainstream-gatekeeper site, The Intercept, is a toe-in-the-water towards freedom to boycott Israel, which is financially-criminalized in 26 States. 
You may recall that people and contractors could not get State Funds after Hurricane Harvey last year, unless they signed an oath to never boycott Israeli goods or say anything to support such a boycott. 
Greenwald argues that this is against "freedom of speech", but we know that only correct speech can really be "free", right?

Nick Cunningham says "2019 will be a wild year for oil", which is the lifeblood of modern physical economy. Tumult...

Why Everything that Needs To Be Fixed Remains Permanently Broken, Charles Hugh Smith
The status quo has a simple fix for every crisis and systemic problem:
1. create currency out of thin air
2. give it to super-wealthy banks, financiers and corporations to boost their wealth and income.

​Ellen Brown says the "Green New Deal" may actually work, if the world just abandons neoliberalism. Well, that's ideal, isn't it?
Ocasio-Cortez and the 22 representatives joining her in calling for a Select Committee are also proposing a novel way to fund the program, one which could actually work. The resolution says funding will primarily come from the federal government, “using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds and such other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems appropriate, in order to ensure that interest and other investment returns generated from public investments made in connection with the Plan will be returned to the treasury, reduce taxpayer burden and allow for more investment.”

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

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