Monday, August 26, 2019

Guess What I'm Thinking

For The Umpteenth,

Speaking at the close of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France on Monday, President Trump said he's "open" to meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.
This was in response to French President Emmanuel Macron stating he hopes to arrange a meeting with the US and Iranian leaders in the "coming weeks". Trump qualified during his surprise remarks regarding a potential meeting, "If the circumstances were correct or right, I would certainly agree with that." Trump cited "good feelings" about Iran and its desire to escape currently escalating tensions.
"In the meantime they have to be good players," he added. Otherwise, he asserted, Iran will be met with “violent force.” Trump said the Iranians "have no choice"

Iraqi Officials Say Israeli Strikes Are "Declaration Of War" - Demand US Forces Exit  
One of the obvious and expected consequences or instances of 'blowback' from Israel's unprecedented decision to extend its "anti-Iran" campaign into Iraq, with three airstrikes widely blamed on either Israeli drones or possibly F-35s in the last five weeks, is that it will force a deepening conflict between Iraq's military and US coalition forces.  

Lebanon's President Announces Israeli Attacks Are "Declaration Of War"
After pro-Iran allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were all hit in suspected Israeli strikes in the space of less than 24 hours, signalling a new aggression out of Tel Aviv and willingness to risk yet another major Middle East war, Arab capitals are now alerting their armed forces to be on a war footing.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Monday condemned the "Israeli assault on the southern suburbs of Beirut" and told the country's United Nations Special Coordinator, that the recent spate of drone strikes on Lebanon amount to a 
"declaration of war".

​ ​ As the previously detained Grace 1 tanker, since renamed the Adrian Darya 1, continues its voyage toward a port in southern Turkey, there's been a significant development regarding the 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude aboard which the US has sought to capture, claiming the ship is engaged in illegal sanctions busting.
​ ​On Monday an Iranian government spokesman announced the 2.1 million barrels have been sold to an unnamed buyer while en route across the Mediterranean.
​ ​In statements made to reporters in Tehran, spokesman Ali Rabiei, said of the oil's as yet unmentioned unloading point, “The buyer of the oil decides where its destination is.”  

Dow futures slumped 200 points early this morning after China denied a call had taken place with Trump's team, which as pointed out earlier, juiced US equity futures 700 Dow points off overnight lows.
 Trump and Mnuchin quickly sprang into action to try to talk the market back up:
 Reporter: "Did you mean to say that there was also a call last night [with China] or was there not actually a call?"
Steve Mnuchin: "There were discussions that went back and forth, and let's just leave it at that."
Trump [interrupting]: "Last night. And before last night."
But one glimpse at Mnuchin's face (the worst poker player ever) tells you all you need to know about what really happened...
We give the last word to Jim Cramer, who waltzed onto CNBC's set this morning and proclaimed:
"You can claim that the president's a liar, but the futures are up, so I don't care..."

  "I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts," Biden insisted on Friday, after he forgot where he was speaking from - praising Vermont when asked about his impression of Keene, NH.  

The DNC wants what it wants, not something else.​ On track to re-elect Trump in 2020.
 ​Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign has called on the DNC to ensure fairness by updating its approved debate-qualifying polls, raising concerns about a lack of transparency and the consistency of the required criteria.
​ ​In order to qualify for the next round of Democratic presidential debates in September, the Democratic National Committee’s rules require all candidates to have 130,000 unique donors and to have reached 2 percent in four approved polls. Representative Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has surpassed 2 percent in 26 national and state polls – including two polls by the biggest newspapers in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina – but only two of these are DNC-certified.  Strangely, the DNC has not released the criteria it used to select the sixteen polling organizations they have certified.
​ ​“Without these exclusions, Gabbard would have already qualified,” her campaign says. Gabbard’s team also point out that there have only been four certified polls released since the second round of Democratic debates.
The Benefits of a Profoundly Shattering Recession​ , Charles Hugh Smith​ ("Always look on the Bright Side of Life!")​
​ ​What do I mean by a profoundly shattering recession? I mean, a systemic, crushing recession that can't be reversed with central bank magic, a recession that only deepens with time. The last real recession was roughly two generations ago in 1981; younger generations have no experience of a profound recession, and perhaps older folks have forgotten the shock, angst and bitterness.
​ ​A profoundly shattering recession leaves tremendous damage and pain in its wake. Millions of people who reckoned their position was secure get laid off, businesses that looked solid melt into air, large corporations flip from hiring thousands to firing thousands, and everyone on the edge of insolvency gets a hard push over the cliff.
​ ​Profoundly shattering recessions feed on themselves in a self-reinforcing dynamic: the first domino could be a supply-shock, or a decline in demand due to credit exhaustion. Since businesses have cut everything to the bone in the past decade, there are no buffers left...
​ ​Clearly, there is no benefit to households or enterprises to this self-reinforcing recession. The benefits are structural: financialization, the parasite that has eaten our economy from the inside, will collapse along with the mountains of debt that fueled it. 
​ ​Zombie corporations and local governments that have been insolvent in all but name will finally go bankrupt, clearing the system of their dead weight. Economies supporting zombie entities are sacrificing their capital to keep insiders afloat, which leaves less capital to invest in increasing productivity, which is the only way to increase broad-based wealth...
  ​All the cartels and monopolies that depend on debt will implode: banking, higher education, and ultimately national defense and sickcare, which depend on federal borrowing to fund their predatory pricing...
A profoundly shattering recession requires patience, fortitude and an awareness that the sacrifices demanded will be worth the pain if we rid our society of at least the top layer of financial and political parasites and predators that have corrupted our economy, our governance and our society.

Brazilian Farmers Believe They Have the Right to Burn the Amazon
“The people in the big cities of Sao Paulo and Rio, they want us to live on picking Brazil nuts,” a farmer says. “That doesn’t put anyone’s kid in college”

Amazon fires: Fines for environmental crimes drop under Bolsonaro
The only carrot is out there in the rainforest. This is a set-up.

​Home Economist​

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