So when is this going to happen? Rogers: Later this year or next. Blodget: Later this year or next? Rogers: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Write it down. Blodget: And what will trigger it? Rogers: Well, it’s interesting because these things always start where we’re not looking. In 2007, Iceland went broke. People said, ‘Iceland? Is that a country? They have a market?’ And then Ireland went broke. And then Bear Stearns went broke. And Lehman Brothers went broke. They spiral like that. Always happens where we’re not looking.
President Donald Trump is hesitating to agree to thousands of additional troops for the war in Afghanistan as recommended by his secretary of defense and national security adviser, according to a New York Times report over the weekend. So, it’s a good time to put aside, for a moment, the troop request itself and focus on why the United States has been fighting the Taliban since 2001 — and losing to them for well over a decade…….The real reason for the fundamental weakness of the US-NATO war is the fact that the United States has empowered a rogues’ gallery of Afghan warlords whose militias have imposed a regime of chaos, violence and oppression on the Afghan population — stealing, killing and raping with utter impunity. And that strategy has come back to bite the Pentagon’s war managers.
History may not repeat itself but, as Mark Twain insisted, history rhymes. Over history, as we have learned, a Minksy Moment develops when investor sentiment becomes complacent after long periods of prosperity and the data is ignored and doesn’t seem to matter anymore, as I wrote in “It’s a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Market: Nothing Really Matters … to Investors.”
On February 5, 2016 the once unthinkable happened: One of “The Valley’s” most coveted touchstones as to prove the reasoning, as well as proof “It’s different this time” share price fell – and not gently. The once darling of Wall Street, LinkedIn™ saw its share price collapse 40% in one day after slashing its guidance to fall below its $45 IPO price. At the time, a near unthinkable (let alone believed) event for such a tech stalwart…….It took a little over a year for the effects of the Federal Reserve’s cutting off the quantitative easing (QE) spigot for the cracks to begin in earnest. But begin they had – have – and continue. LinkedIn was just the first true “kaboom” event. But they were everywhere – if – one bothered to look in the first place.
While the Saudi-led campaign to starve Qatar’s citizens may end up short of the target, with both Turkey and Iran volunteering to provide needed staples to the isolated Gulf nation while local entrepreneurs have started a cow paradropping campaign to offset the decline in milk imports, a more pressing problem has emerged: Qatar’s financial system is running out of dollars. As Bloomberg reports, several Qatari banks have boosted interest rates on dollar deposits to shore up liquidity as the Saudi-led campaign to isolate the gas-rich Arab state intensifies. To boost their hard currency reserves, Qatar banks are now offering a premium of as much as 100 basis points over LIBOR to attract dollars from regional banks, some 80 bps higher compared to the rate they offered prior to last week’s crisis. A similar picture is visible on the 3-Month QIBOR, or Qatar Interbank Rate, which has surged to 2.3% as of Tuesday.
Before we stumble into a nuclear war and end life on the planet, the American people might want to watch Oliver Stone’s four-part series of interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin on “Showtime.” Stone accomplishes what Western journalists should do but don’t, by penetrating deeply into the personality of this historic figure……Stone does something quite different and, in today’s modern world, quite remarkable. As you go deeper into the four segments of “The Putin Interviews,” you begin to realize that Stone, the award-winning movie director, is using his directorial skills to peel back the layers of self-consciousness that can inhibit an actor from reaching his or her full potential, but, in this case, Stone is using those same techniques to get Putin to reveal more of his true self.
Denmark Pull The Plug on Electric Car Subsidies—Tesla Sales Plummet From 2,738 in 2015 to 176 in 2016
The electric car has dropped out of favor in the country that pioneered renewable energy……Sales in Denmark of Electrically Chargeable Vehicles (ECV), which include plug-in hybrids, plunged 60.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the first three months of 2016…….electric car dealers were for a long time spared the jaw-dropping import tax of 180 percent that Denmark applies on vehicles fueled by a traditional combustion engine. In the fall of 2015, the Liberal-led government of Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen announced the progressive phasing out of tax breaks on electric cars, citing budget constraints and the desire to level the playing field. Tesla, whose sales were skyrocketing at the time, lobbied against the move, with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk warning during a visit to Copenhagen that sales would be hit.
President Trump may be chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, but his administration is shot through with disloyalists plotting to bring him down. We are approaching something of a civil war where the capital city seeks the overthrow of the sovereign and its own restoration. Thus far, it is a nonviolent struggle, though street clashes between pro- and anti-Trump forces are increasingly marked by fistfights and brawls. Police are having difficulty keeping people apart. A few have been arrested carrying concealed weapons.
Emmanuel Macron very quickly made it official: He will introduce a bill which will transform extraordinary state of emergency powers into regular police practice. According to Le Monde, which saw a leaked copy of the bill: “…almost all the measures of the state of emergency will be found in common law.” What this means is that the post-Charlie Hebdo war hysteria has not only never stopped, but will have become the new, permanent normal: Anyone can be arrested, searched and detained with just a simple accusation. Judges simply need to be “informed”; police have carte blanche.
The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the US picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington……More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.