Gail ("the Actuary") Tverberg, a major contributor to The Oil Drum blog a few years ago, presents the thermoeconomic analysis of global economy, especially changes since late 2014, as global CO2 production and coal production started to decline Prices paid for oil and natural gas also plummeted suddenly.
Reduction in coal use gets a smiley-face, but it also implies the sputtering of the "Chinese-growth-engine", which purportedly pulled the world out of "the great recession".
Market prices for oil and natural gas are below the cost of pumping those fuels, which can only be sustained while financial reserves persist. They have been drawn-down hard since mid 2015. The excess of supply, compared to economic demand, of oil and gas, is holding prices down, but economy is not growing much, if any, so economy can be expected to contract sharply if prices rise to maintain production. We get a jagged downward trend in both economic activity, and supply of fuels to drive production, transportation, construction/repair, heating/cooling and large-scale agriculture.
Cheap borrowing has reached the end of it's rope with interest rates at zero for much of 2015-2016. The process by which interest rates are now forced to rise is also explained.
The global graphs miss the fact that specific countries and regions may be doing much better or worse. Europe needs to import energy, raising baseline costs to the economy. Chinese costs have risen, and environmental degradation is staggering. The global growth engine, run on dirty coal, is sputtering. (A lot of bets ride on exponential growth.)
Kyle Bass, a very clear mind in macroeconomic investing at the highest levels, has placed his bets that the vast $34 trillion Chinese debt, largely hidden in unregulated shadow-banking, is soon to collapse Chinese financial markets, and by implication, global finance. Bass has lots of resources for detailed research into every nook and cranny. Here is the full report. It is the same overall news we have heard for 5 years. There has never been this huge an expansion in debt/credit in the world. It is way bigger than existed in 2008, by an order of magnitude. It is concentrated in China, and hidden from view, but he gets a good look anyway. It has been politically driven, ignoring costs to the future. (Smart) Chinese money has been trying to flee China through 2015 and 2016. (My personal view is that Donald Trump is on this same page, completely, and will "push what is soon to fall". Trump is strongly favoring business with Russia, which has lots of resources, has already finished collapse, weathered recent sanctions, and appears quite economically robust. I think that is why he constantly undercuts critical Chinese foundations, like "One China", exports to US, and shipping access to fuel and raw materials. I think Trump wants to push a little, but very steadily, undercutting investor confidence in China, without appearing militarily aggressive, "just bargaining hard".)
China posts worst fall in exports since 2009 (and you know they doctored the stats the best they could.)
The Deep State "goes to war" with the President-Elect, using unverified claims... Glenn Greenwald
(Scoring repeated "own-goals". Is this really a big mistake? It's so huge.)
10 of 11 US aircraft carriers are lined up at dock now, projecting power nowhere... Paul Craig Roberts supplies context. Thanks Eleni.
"According to what I have been told by former(?) intelligence officers, the aircraft carriers are in dock so that their copper wiring can be replaced by fiber optics. Apparently, the Russians have the capability to shut down the operating systems of our ships and aircraft that are copper wired. In behalf of this conclusion, there were news reports that a missile ship Washington sent to impress the Russian naval base in Crimea had all its systems shut down by the overflight of one Russian jet. According to another news report, two Israeli US jet fighters were sent to express disobdience to Russia’s controlled airspace in Syria. The Russians asked the Israelis to leave, and when they did not, the Russians shut down the fire control and communication systems of their aircraft."
Israeli military jets bomb Damascus, Syria (military) airport and also attack with rockets. Flagrant act of war, as proxy-war with ISIS paid-surrogates is going so sour these days. (Does this mean these jets were hardened against jamming, and being tested?)
Big suicide bombing in Damascus kills people (who still have no water to drink. ISIS lays siege and Assad gets blamed.) Thanks Eleni.
Eleni sends two articles (the second repeat-posted for context), from Thierry Meyssan in France. The Erdogan regime in Turkey needs a few years to consolidate position after (US-neocon-backed) coup attempt last year, which Erdogan escaped with timely Russian warning. Military command-structure is empty, due to loyalty issues gutting it almost completely (again). US/NATO loyalties are hard to completely stamp out. There have always been power struggles and intrigues between Turkey and Russia, for many centuries, but sometimes interests really align, and must be accomodated. Is this that time? How much? The Turkish game is to play all sides against each other, but Turkey is now internally fragile and needs some profits and protection for a few years. Will the Victoria-Nuland-led Neocons be outfoxed here? Locking-in something to the advantage of the "unipolar world" is necessary at this moment, to assure the positions of globalists who invested in a Clinton/Nuland foreign policy of global hegemony. Getting Turkey a permanent military presence in Cyprus AND EU membership would lock Turkey into the NATO command structure, at the expense of Greek Cypriots (easy choice). It would also free up gas pipeline routes from Cyprus to Turkey and from Israel to Turkey. (Israel can effectively steal Lebanese and Palestinian offshore gas deposits and sell them to Europe.)
Negotiations regarding the status of Cyprus, between "security-guarantors" Turkey, UK and Greece, with interested-party EU, have been reported as "promising" or "at impasse".
They will reconvene Wednesday, 2 days before the change-of-administration in the US. Turkey demands it's army-of-occupation stay. Other parties say "go".
This Maltese representation is different from others I have seen, including this potential opening for agreement.
"Turkey is demanding that all Turkish Cypriots receive full rights to EU membership., while Greece is pressing for the 30,000 Turkish troops to leave the island over a fixed timetable and for Ankara to end its right to intervene. Turkey has so far refused to make that concession, saying it is “out of the question.” Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said troops would remain unless Greece also agreed to withdraw its forces."
How Globalists Predict Your Behavior ("know your thoughts", per Google CEO) How free are we in this world of moving parts and watching eyes and centralized recording/correlation of every keystroke and click? The whole system is being continuously adjusted to constrain and predict our every choice.
All US deep-state intelligence agencies can share all your information under a broad legal umbrella which was just passed. (Paid any Russian prostitutes to pee on a bed recently? It'll be in there.) "All agencies will have the freedom to dig through “raw signals intelligence information” under the new procedures, which were signed by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. After evaluating the information, the agencies can apply rules “minimizing” violations of privacy. That’s correct — only after privacy has been violated can it be protected. That’s not exactly how it works, but it is now the law according to Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333."
UK Labor Leader is accused of "collaborating with Russia" since he wants peace. "Welcome to “everyone I disagree with works for Putin,” the UK version."
(Unexpectedly) Julian Assange stands up to offer to accept extradition to the US if President Obama will grant clemency to Chelsea Manning. ("My life for hers...")