It is a popular meme in the U.S. media to say that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “crazy” as he undertakes to develop a nuclear bomb and a missile capacity to deliver it, but he is actually working from a cold logic dictated by the U.S. government’s aggressive wars and lack of integrity…..Indeed, the current North Korea crisis, which could end up killing millions of people, can be viewed as a follow-on disaster to President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and President Barack Obama’s Libyan intervention.
However, as the latest violence in Berkeley vividly demonstrates, there is no distinction between these protesters and the fascists they claim to be resisting. They are all fascists in their use of fear and violence to silence others. What is particularly chilling is how some academics have given this anti-speech mob legitimacy through pseudo-philosophical rationalizations.
The idea that authorities can massage their pumping to keep asset bubbles inflated at a permanently high plateau is currently being tested. The trouble with inflating asset bubbles is that you have to keep inflating them or they pop. Unfortunately for the bubble-blowing central banks, asset bubbles are a double-bind: you cannot inflate assets forever. At some unpredictable point, the risk and moral hazard that are part and parcel of all asset bubbles trigger an avalanche of selling that pops the bubble.
Congress returns Tuesday from its summer break and, in a test of the uneasy alliance between President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans, will have to grapple with keeping the federal government open, paying U.S. creditors and passing a hurricane-aid bill. The list is long, and the time is short. The Trump administration is asking for approval of $7.85 billion to begin paying for the recovery from Hurricane Harvey, with a House vote scheduled for Wednesday. Congress also must keep the government running after current funding expires by Oct. 1, as well as raise the U.S. borrowing limit or risk defaulting on the nation’s debt.
Welcome to the cruelest month for U.S. equities. The S&P 500 Index limps into September after stalling amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula and historic flooding in Texas. Those broke a stretch of calm that’ll be hard to replicate in a month loaded with major events that could set the tone on financial markets the rest of the year — from a dozen G-20 central bank decisions to a deadline on the U.S.’s ability to pay its bills and elections in Europe and Oceania…..Here’s what’s coming.
Two weeks ago, we were surprised to find that despite the recent “growth promise” of what has been called a coordinated global recovery, the market value of bonds yielding less than 0% had quietly jumped by a quarter in just one month to the highest since October 2016.Since then, the paradoxical divergence between the reported “strong” state of the “reflating” global economy and the amount of negative yielding debt, has only grown, and as JPM reports as of Friday, Sept. 1, the global market value of government bonds trading with negative yield within the JPM GBI Broad index rose to $7.4 trillion, up 60% from its low of $4.6 trillion at the beginning of the year.
The latest extraordinary roughshod violation of Russian diplomatic rights by the American authorities shows that the US doesn’t want to restore normal bilateral relations. Indeed, it has now resorted publicly to jackboot diplomacy. The rapid ordering of Russia to vacate three of its diplomatic properties – in a matter of hours – amid reported threats from the American authorities that they would smash down entrance doors if the orders were not complied with, shows a reckless disregard for Russia’s sovereign rights. Not just Russia’s sovereign rights, but the rights of all nations, as far as America is concerned.
The European Central Bank (ECB), arguably the European Union’s most powerful and least accountable institution, apparently needs more power, according to Daniele Nouy, the ECB’s top supervisor. Chief among the fresh powers it seeks is the power to temporarily prevent people from withdrawing their money from their accounts at banks that are in distress, including by electronic fund transfers.
FEMA is not the only counterproductive disaster assistance program. The National Flood Insurance Program was created to provide government-backed insurance for properties that could not obtain private insurance on their own. By overruling the market’s verdict that these properties should not be insured, federal flood insurance encourages construction in flood-prone areas, thus increasing the damage caused by flooding.
In the past few days, it became quite clear to me that Donald Trump made a deal with the Neocons in Washington. He traded part of his domestic agenda for ceding control of foreign policy to the D.C. establishment.