Trump Blasts Muslims After Brussels Attack: “We Cannot Let These People Into Our Country”

At the risk of being crass, we’ve said on several occasions that the Paris attacks, the San Bernardino massacre, and the wave of sexual assaults that have swept Western Europe are the best things that ever happened to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. 

It seems exceedingly likely that Trump had very little conception of what was going on in the Balkans when he stormed onto the political scene last summer with inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants. As luck would have it, just two months later, Europe’s migrant crisis reached a critical tipping point when Hungarian PM Viktor Orban built a 100-mile razor wire fence in an effort to seal his country’s border with Serbia. Suddenly, Trump wasn’t the only one building walls

Europe’s worst nightmares came true in November when gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in Paris and although the connection with Syrian refugees was tenuous, the tragedy nevertheless served to validate anti-immigration rhetoric. The San Bernardino massacre less than a month later tied it all together for Trump. Muslims. Immigration. Murder. America. It was all there. 

Subsequently, Trump would blast Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy and before you knew it, he was being endorsed by the likes of far-right, anti-immigration Dutch politician Geert Wilders and France’s Jean Marie Le-Pen.

In January, Trump called Brussels a “hellhole.”

On Tuesday morning, three explosions ripped through that “hellhole,” killing at least two dozen and injuring many more in an attack that’s likely tied to last week’s capture of Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam in the Muslim enclave of Molenbeek. 

Needless to say, the media jumped at the opportunity to get Trump’s take and Fox was first up with the GOP frontrunner’s initial reaction this morning. Here’s what Trump said:

“Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was? Not anymore!” 

 

“I would close up our borders.” 

 

“[Muslims] have to be more open with the police. They have to let people know when they see people making bombs on the first floor of an apartment.”

 

“This is just the beginning. It will get worse and worse. It’s out of control.”

 

We cannot allow these people to come into our country. They’re not assimilating into society. There’s something different going on.” 

 

“Muslims have to be checked very, very carefully. Muslims aren’t assimilating easily into other countries. There’s something wrong.”

 

“It’s probably going to happen here.”


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1Rgl53r Tyler Durden

Dramatic Video Footage From The Brussels Terrorist Attacks

Tuesday morning will live in infamy for Belgium where the country’s worst fears finally coalesced into a coordinated terror attack that at last count had left more than two dozen people killed and many more seriously injured. 

For months, Belgian authorities were on edge after it became apparent that the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek was used as a staging area for the attacks that killed some 130 people in Paris last November.

Anti-terror raids in the neighborhood became commonplace and last week, Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam was captured in the Muslim enclave after he was shot in the leg in a firefight with police. Officials suspect Tuesday’s bombings are connected to his arrest

And so, as we await the final death toll in the latest example of what is rapidly becoming something of a culture war with dangerous implications for regional and global stability, we bring you the following videos from this morning’s tragedy in Brussels.








via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1MzqFK3 Tyler Durden

Frontrunning: March 22

  • Brussels Rocked by Deadly Attacks With Blasts at Airport, Subway (BBG)
  • Death count climbs in Brussels blasts (Reuters)
  • Europe on High Alert After Blasts in Belgium (WSJ)
  • Brussels Phone Users Urged to Text Not Call as Networks Jammed (BBG)
  • U.S. Embassy Urges Citizens in Brussels to Shelter in Place (BBG)
  • Oil prices swept lower after Brussels blasts spook investors (Reuters)
  • Democratic Party workers pore over videos in bid to hobble Trump (Reuters)
  • Trump’s Republican Turnout Boost Extends to Battleground States (BBG)
  • Cooperman’s Omega Said to Get Wells Notice Over 2010 Trade (BBG)
  • U.S. Says ‘Outside Party’ Could Unlock Terrorist’s iPhone (WSJ)
  • Gold Trader at Heart of Turkey Graft Scandal Charged in U.S. (BBG)
  • New York Fed Had `Major Lapse’ in Robbery, Bangladesh Says (BBG)
  • With Board Member Who Won’t Leave, Valeant Is at Mercy of Bylaws (BBG)
  • Obama intervened over crumbling Iraqi dam as U.S. concern grew (Reuters)
  • Google’s Greene Hastens Cloud Expansion in Race With Amazon (BBG)
  • New Market for U.S. Shale Gas Opens in Europe (WSJ)
  • Drillers Can’t Replace Lost Output as $100 Oil Inheritance Spent (BBG)
  • Puerto Rico takes restructuring law to U.S. high court (Reuters)
  • Atlantic City Mayor Warns of Shutdown Amid Push for State Rescue (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc moved to replace its longtime chief executive, part of a series of steps to regain credibility and show investors it is committed to a fresh start after months of failed attempts. Valeant’s decision to look for a successor to CEO Michael Pearson comes just three weeks after it decided to take him back following an extended medical leave. (http://on.wsj.com/1Mj6BRx)

– A federal magistrate judge postponed a highly anticipated Tuesday hearing over the Justice Department’s request for Apple Inc to help unlock a terrorist’s iPhone, after the government said it may have found another way to view the phone’s contents. (http://on.wsj.com/1o2Y89r)

– Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc said it had agreed to a sweetened $13.6 billion deal from Marriott International Inc that trumps last week’s boosted bid from a group led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. (http://on.wsj.com/1S04EGd)

– Fantasy-sports operators FanDuel Inc and DraftKings Inc agreed to shut down in New York, their largest market, as part of a settlement announced Monday with the state attorney general’s office. (http://on.wsj.com/1RwcK8M)

– FedEx Corp will expand its global e-commerce business in an effort to compete for the growing number of packages shipped to consumers from China and Japan, executives said Monday. (http://on.wsj.com/1ZmHfnS)

 

FT

British car maker TVR will open a new plant in south Wales as the group prepares to return to production after more than a decade’s absence from the market.

Former leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, will on Tuesday make a significant intervention into the debate over Britain’s place in the EU by repeatedly warning Labour that his party “cannot sit it out” ahead of the referendum in June.

Spanish lender Banco Santander rolls out voice-recognition technology to help its customers using an iPhone to talk to its banking app in a similar way as Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.

 

NYT

– Andrew Grove, the longtime chief executive and chairman of Intel Corp and one of the most acclaimed and influential personalities of the computer and Internet era, died on Monday at his home in Los Altos, California. (http://nyti.ms/1Mk2AMF)

– Leon Cooperman and his $5.2 billion hedge fund Omega Advisors received a notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14 outlining the possibility that they could face enforcement action over trading violations, the hedge fund manager told investors. (http://nyti.ms/1Mk2G6Q)

– Analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods released a report that urges Citigroup Inc to split up. In the report, the analysts argued that Citigroup’s stock price is being held back by regulations that require big banks to hold large amounts of capital. (http://nyti.ms/1Mk2Mv6)

– BP Plc and the Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA said they were withdrawing employees from two of Algeria’s largest natural gas fields after Islamic terrorists staged the second attack in three years on their installations. (http://nyti.ms/1Mk2ZP3)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Bombardier Inc is defending its plan to outsource more work on its Toronto-built Q400 turboprop aircraft to manufacturing sites outside Canada, saying its goal of cutting costs on the aircraft has nothing to do with its billion-dollar aid request from Ottawa.(http://bit.ly/1SdYmoY)

** Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising Tuesday’s budget will deliver “historic investments” to improve the lives of Canada’s indigenous people – funding that will amount to billions of dollars.(http://bit.ly/22tnj89)

** Foreign Minister Stephane Dion is acting illegally by issuing permits to allow the export of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a lawsuit filed in Federal Court on Monday alleges. Opponents of Canada’s C$15-billion ($11.48 billion) arms deal with the Saudis are taking the Trudeau government to court in an attempt to block shipments of the fighting vehicles to Riyadh. (http://bit.ly/1RcSZat)

NATIONAL POST

** Bankers Petroleum Ltd has received a friendly takeover offer that values the Calgary-based company at C$575 million ($440 million), excluding debt obligations. The directors and management of Bankers are fully supporting the offer from Charter Power and a numbered Alberta company, which are affiliates of China-based Geo-Jade Petroleum Corp . (http://bit.ly/22tokx5)

** Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc announced Monday morning it was placing the blame for incorrect reporting of financial information on the shoulders of its former CFO Howard Schiller and corporate controller Tanya Carro, though the one-time interim-CEO Schiller says he won’t take the fall. (http://bit.ly/25i6USJ)

 

Britain

The Times

– IHS Inc, the American owner of publications including Jane’s Defence Weekly, will move to London after agreeing to a deal to take over Markit Ltd in an all-share merger that values the combined business at more than $13 billion. (http://thetim.es/1pw9AeK)

– Henri de Castries, chairman and chief executive of Axa SA , announced his retirement yesterday from the company he has led for nearly 17 years, leading to mounting expectations that the French financier is preparing to take the chair at HSBC Holdings PLC. (http://thetim.es/1pw9J1O)

The Guardian

– Sports Direct International Plc’s founder Mike Ashley has challenged the authority of a parliamentary select committee by refusing to appear before MPs investigating pay and working conditions at the retailer, despite being formally summoned. (http://bit.ly/1pw9Muq)

– Britain’s biggest companies could face a credit downgrade – potentially forcing up their borrowing costs – should the UK vote to leave the EU in June, according to a report by a leading ratings agency. (http://bit.ly/1pwdDaR)

The Telegraph

– Five Guys, the U.S. burger chain which counts President Barack Obama among its fans, has overtaken Nandos as the UK’s most popular fast-food chain just two years since arriving in this country. (http://bit.ly/1pwakRg)

– Atlantic Healthcare, a Cambridge-based drugs company, has raised $24 million as it reaches the final stages of developing a drug that could relieve the suffering of people with severe inflammatory bowel conditions. (http://bit.ly/1pwao3e)

Sky News

– Lyndon Nelson, the executive director for UK deposit-takers supervision at the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), was among a small number of candidates interviewed about replacing Andrew Bailey as its chief executive. (http://bit.ly/1pwaOXp)

– British sports car maker TVR is to make its new generation of vehicles in south Wales, creating 150 jobs. (http://bit.ly/22AL0YK)

The Independent

– Carmignac Gestion’s head of European equities, Muhammed Yesilhark, departs after investing in barely ever traded scheme run by Tory donor Lars Windhorst, who is advised by the former Business Secretary. (http://ind.pn/1pwfDjp)

 


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/25ilpWI Tyler Durden

Belgium Cancels All Air, Rail Traffic Into/ Out Of Brussels; Military Deployed

In the wake of the three (and now possibly four) explosions that rocked Brussels on Tuesday morning, Belgium has cancelled all air and rail traffic to the city

Eurostar has suspended all service to Brussels following a deadly explosion at Maelbeek metro station were more than 20 were reportedly killed this morning. 

Meanwhile, all flights from the Brussels airport are cancelled. 

The airport says it will remain closed until at least Wednesday. “The blasts add to the woes of the travel industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which already has seen tourism drop after two terrorism attacks in Paris last year, the destruction of a Russian airliner in Egypt, bombings in Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey, and a deadly assault on tourists on a Tunisian beach,” Bloomberg notes.

Meanwhile, the Belgian army will deploy an additional 275 troops to Brussels as the city will once again come to resemble a war zone in the aftermath of an apparent coordinated suicide attack that authorities believe may well be linked to last week’s anti-terror raid that ended with the capture of Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam.

Expect more trouble in Molenbeek over the next 24-48 hours.


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1RwOzgO Tyler Durden

Global Markets, S&P500 Futures Fall After Brussels Bombings

This morning’s Brussels bomb attacks have led to risk-off sentiment across European asset classes, with Bunds higher and equities firmly in the red, although if the Paris terrorist attacks of November are any indication, today’s tragic events may be just the catalyst the S&P500 needs to surge back to all time highs. FX markets have also been dominated by events in Brussels, with USD and JPY strengthening, while EUR and GBP softening throughout the European morning.

Losses today would disrupt a five-week rally bolstered by improving economic data, rising crude prices and “optimism that central banks around the world will continue to support growth” as Bloomberg puts it clearly not aware of the irony that the world is no longer able to grow precisely due to decades of central bank “stimulus.”

This is where global markets stand as of this morning.

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 2034
  • Stoxx 600 down 0.9% to 338
  • FTSE 100 down 0.6% to 6149
  • DAX down 0.9% to 9854
  • German 10Yr yield down 3bps to 0.2%
  • Italian 10Yr yield down less than 1bp to 1.25%
  • Spanish 10Yr yield up 2bps to 1.46%
  • S&P GSCI Index down less than 0.1% to 336
  • MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.7% to 130
  • Nikkei 225 up 1.9% to 17049
  • Hang Seng down less than 0.1% to 20667
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.6% to 2999
  • S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 5167

Global top news

  • Brussels Rocked by Deadly Attacks With Blasts at Airport, Subway: Two explosions ripped through Brussels airport departure hall, third hit a downtown subway station on Tuesday morning; VTM news put toll at 11, citing local fire department.
  • IPhone Hearing Canceled as FBI Tests Hack Without Apple Help: Court hearing was canceled at DoJ’s request, as govt said in Monday court filing that it wanted to test a possible method for accessing phone data.
  • Apple Unveils Smaller IPhone SE, New IPad Pro to Aid Sales: iPhone SE has a 4-inch-screen, incorporates faster A9 processor that also runs larger iPhone 6S handsets.
  • Cooperman, Omega Said to Get Wells Notice Over 2010 Trade: Leon Cooperman said regulators are considering taking action against both him, Omega Advisors over certain trades, according to person familiar.
  • Express Scripts Incoming CEO Wants Anthem to Stay Amid Suit: Incoming CEO Tim Wentworth trying to keep its biggest customer, after health insurer Anthem sued to recoup billions.
  • Carnival Wins Cuban Government’s OK to Begin Cruises to Island: Decision allows co.’s Fathom division to become first U.S. cruise line to dock there in >50 years.
  • Ackman Said to Address Valeant Side-by-Side With Pearson: Ackman, with chairman Ingram, outgoing CEO Pearson answered questions, made proclamations about co.’s future.
  • BlackRock Says There Won’t Be a U.S. Recession, Cut Treasuries: “Economic indicators this week may show the U.S. economy experienced a mild slowdown but is not headed for a recession,” Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist, wrote in a report Monday.
  • Boeing Likely to Miss Delivery Date for Tankers: Pentagon: Co. likely to miss first major requirement of its $51b tanker program for U.S. Air Force; delivering firrt 18 aerial refueling planes by August 2017.
  • Apache Unlikely to Seek M&A Until More Restructuring Occurs: Co. has higher bar for purchasing assets, given that it already has deferred activity, CEO John Christmann said Monday.?Transocean, Schlumberger See Oil Industry Recovery Delayed ?National Oilwell Considering Billion-Dollar Deals in Oil Slump

Looking at regional markets, Asian stocks traded mixed despite the mild positive lead from Wall St., as commodities retreated and demand for risky assets remained subdued ahead of the Easter season. Nikkei 225 (+1.9%) outperformed on return from a long weekend to snap a 4-day losing streak with JPY weakness driving price-action, while ASX 200 (-0.3%) saw indecisive trade as losses in financials and materials capped upside momentum. Elsewhere, Chinese markets were subdued with the Shanghai Comp (-0.6%) on course for its first loss in 8 days following weakness in commodity-related sectors, while there were also reports that China’s regulator urged banks to reduce their risk and curb dividend pay-outs. Finally, 10r JGBs traded relatively flat despite the heightened risk-appetite in Japan as real money accounts were seen to be mostly side-lined, while there was also notable curve-flattening as yields in the super-long-end dropped to fresh record lows. BoJ’s Nakaso said would like to watch for some time to evaluate how negative rates work throughout the Japanese economy and added that it is technically possible for the BOJ to go deeper into negative territory.

Top Asian News

  • Hong Kong Property Crash Averted, If Stock Traders Are Right: Hang Seng Properties Index has climbed 18% from January low.
  • Ringgit Gains to Seven-Month High on 1MDB Asset Sale Report, Oil: Currency’s break of 4/$ puts 3.9 in sight, Macquarie says.
  • China’s Rising Sway Seen in Korea Bonds as Holdings Top U.S.: Chinese funds are now biggest holder of won- denominated debt.
  • Botched Rules Trip Modi Dream of Shipping Hub Rivaling Singapore: Curbs, costs mean shippers prefer Colombo, Singapore, Dubai.
  • ANZ Bank Plans to Eliminate 12 Positions in its Markets Division: Unit includes foreign exchange, syndicated loans, fixed income.

The price action in Europe has been dictated by the tragic events in Belgium, in which explosions at the Brussels airport and metro stations has prompted risk off sentiment. As such, equities (Eurostoxx -0.40%) are deeply entrenched in negative territory with underperformance seen in airline names such as IAG (-4.2%) and Ryanair (-4.3%), this comes alongside other tourist related names feeling the brunt such as Accor (-4.4%). The risk off tone has seen Bunds move higher with volume also spiking, while yields continue to bull flatten across the curve with peripheral spreads slightly wider.

Top European News

  • European Hotel Stocks Fall After Explosions at Brussels Airport: Bloomberg Europe Lodging Index, composed of seven leading lodging stocks, fell 4.1%, most since Feb. 11.?Air, Train Travel Slows in Europe After Brussels Airport Blasts
  • Bank Drops as Moody’s Signals Risk of Cut Amid Overhaul: “Since changing leadership last June and recalibrating its strategic plan last November, the operating environment has worsened for Deutsche Bank,” ratings firm said in statement late Monday.
  • German Business Confidence Rebounds on Resilient Domestic Demand: Indicator improved for the first time in four months.
  • Wal-Mart Loses Everyday Low Price Edge as Aldi Opens Across U.S.: Family-owned German grocery-store chain is beating WMT at its own game: selling food at rock-bottom prices.
  • Bang & Olufsen in Takeover Talks With China’s Sparkle Roll: Several elements in the discussions remain to be resolved, B&O said Tuesday in statement.
  • OMV Said in Talks to Hire Morgan Stanley for Turkey Disposal: Sale may raise as little as $1.3b, according to Bloomberg Intelligence calculations.

In FX, this morning’s FX trade has also been dominated by the confirmed suicide attacks on Belgium. All the familiar risk currencies were hit, with spot and cross JPY taking a dive; the USD rate falling to lows around 111.36 having pushed through to 112.20 highs prior to this. GBP/JPY was a key loser on the day, as Cable was hit hard prior to news of the above — pre 1.4400 pounced up as London players came in. EUR/GBP was also edging higher, but with EUR/USD also coming under fire, the USD won out against all currencies with the exception of the JPY. AUD and CAD were slow to react, and were only marginally weakened in the risk off climate — as was NZD. The CHF made some progress against the EUR, less so against the USD. Limited impact on emerging FX. German Ifo (106.7 vs. Exp. 106) beat expectations on all counts although with ZEW (4.3 vs. Exp. 5.4) lower and UK inflation (Y/Y 0.30% vs. Exp. 0.40%) was softer than forecast.

In commodities, gold has seen the biggest move in commodities, rising USD 9.00/oz after the terror attacks in Brussels, meanwhile WTI and Brent are trading relatively flat for the day. In Base metals, copper and iron ore prices declined amid weak sentiment in China, with Dalian iron ore futures further pressured by profit-taking after prices hit limit-up in the prior 2 consecutive days.

On the US calendar today, markets will focus on the latest Markit manufacturing flash PMI for March (51.9 expected; 51.3 prior) and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing index (0.0 expected; -4 prior). We also get more housing data with the FHFA house price index for January due (+0.5% expected) ahead of the manufacturing data as well as API Crude Oil Inventories data.

Bulletin Headline Summary From Bloomberg

  • Treasuries slightly higher in overnight trading, global equity markets drop, gold rises; Brussels airport and subway system hit by explosions in possible terrorist attacks.
  • The pound suffered the biggest impact in the currency market of the Brussels explosions amid speculation the tragedy boosts the case of campaigners who want Britain to quit the European Union
  • The U.K.’s inflation rate was unexpectedly unchanged in February, remaining far below the BOE’s 2% goal. Annual consumer-price growth was at 0.3%; economists had forecast an acceleration to 0.4%
  • Deutsche Bank extended declines after Moody’s Investors Service signaled it may cut the German lender’s credit rating amid concern that it will struggle to restructure businesses
  • German business confidence improved for the first time in four months in a sign that domestic demand is helping shield companies in Europe’s largest economy from slowing global growth
  • The Australian central bank’s attempts to talk the local currency lower last year ran afoul of the U.S. Treasury, which chided officials by reminding them of their commitment to a freely floating exchange rate
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will put the Canadian government back in business when he introduces a debut budget Tuesday that reverses a decade of restraint
  • In 2016, for the first time in years, drillers will add less oil from new fields than they lose to natural decline in old ones
  • $2.7b IG corporates priced yesterday; MTD $132.505b, YTD $426.755b; $1.75b HY priced yesterday, MTD 17 deals for $9.965b, YTD 42 deals for $24.82b
  • Sovereign 10Y bond yields mostly steady; European, Asian equity markets lower; U.S. equity-index futures drop. WTI crude oil and copper fall, gold rallies

US Event Calendar

  • 9:00am: FHFA House Price Index m/m, Jan., est. 0.5% (prior 0.4%)
  • 9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, March P, est. 51.9 (prior 51.3)
  • 10:00am: Richmond Fed Mfg Index, March., est. 0 (prior -4)
  • 11:30am: U.S. to sell $55b 4W bills
  • 12:30pm: Fed’s Evans speaks in Chicago
  • 7:00pm: Fed’s Harker speaks in New York


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1Rg6Qvv Tyler Durden

“Pfandbriefe”, or “It Wasn’t Me!”: Why Nobody Realizes That Germany Is the Biggest Systemic Risk in the EU

I grew up in a small town in Long Island with some very funny people, Howard Stern and Eddie Murphy. Eddie had a skit in his stand-up comedy “Raw” which is a reminiscent of the macro scene of the modern day EU. Let me know if you get it…

 

“This is a quote from myriad analyst, “It is hard to believe that while banks in Euro area are plagued with asset write downs and massive losses, while the German banks are untouched. If any of the German banks fail, it would cause wide spread tumbling down of the entire banking sector in the  Euro Area.” You see, Germany is that dude that Eddie Murphy is talking about. Their major trading partners are either in recession, or entering recession. Their real estate is super duper, uber bubbly (but of course will go much higher, so now is the time to buy), and their banks have highly leveraged assets that literally dwarf the economy that their domiclied in – thus making a cash bailout arithmetically impossible. Despite all of this, when investors look over there and say “Hey, you look like your in some pretty hot water and the ECB is obviously acting to protect somebody in troube!”, what do the Germans say? “Hey, it wasn’t me!”

Yep, it’s not them. Right…. Some background first.

The ECB started buying Covered bonds issued by commercial banks at the end of 2014. Covered bonds, which generally have high credit ratings, are bonds where the payments of principal and interest are backed by both the bank’s balance sheet and a pool of assets, such as mortgages and public-sector loans.

Covered bonds are known as “Pfandbriefe” in Germany, where an early form of the bonds were introduced by Frederick the Great of Prussia – in 1769 to make it easier for owners of large agricultural estates to get cheap credit. Groups of land-owners guaranteed individual members’ loans against the risk of individual default. As part of its asset purchase program, the ECB has bought covered bonds worth about 158 billion euros. The consistent purchase of covered bonds by the ECB sent the yield of these bonds into negative territory during the past 18 months, with Germany having the highest share. A city research report states that 97% of German Pfandbriefe with a maturity of five years or less have a negative yield. That’s practically all of it.

In this context, German lender Berlin Hyp issued €500m of euro-denominated zero-coupon covered bonds, yielding a return of negative 0.162% on March, 2016 marking it the first time a non-government bond offering a negative yield. The issue came ahead of European Central Bank’s policy meeting that authorized the purchase of corporate securities via the QE program – what a coincidence, no? Dig a little deeper and you’ll find it also happened when Berlin Hyp became significantly more risky…

Berlin Hyp Real Estate Exposure

They’re betting the house on German real estate, and why not? This is the time to buy. Prices have went up likely more than anytime on record, and if prices soar more than anytime in history, then first thing anyone should do is pile on after the fact, right?

German property pricesData from globalpropertyguide.com 

Notably, Berlin Hyp’s new covered bond yields around 40 basis points more than equivalent three-year German government debt. Given the crowding of negative yield bond in the market and ECB’s obligation to hit its monthly target of Euro 80 billion, Berlin Hyp’s covered bonds hold a buying appeal from a purely yield perspective if one really insists on buying German debt. From a fundamental investor’s perspective, this makes very little practical sense, given the significantly higher risk profile of Berlin Hyp and its cover relative to the German government… 

In the same week when Berlin Hyp launched its negative yield bond, ECB announced the inclusion of non-banking corporate bond in its buying program (again, one hell of a coincidence). Although the details of CSPP are still not known (but I’ll betcha Berlin Hy executives know it), the announcement of ECB entering in the non-state corporate bond market has been cheered by the investors. European corporate bond indices rallied, driven by the new stimulus measure. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on investment-grade companies posted what looks to be a record decline – including the biggest single day drop in more than three years.

 German corportate CDS

This begs the question, is Berlin Hyp truly (a bank that had to be bailed out of the last financial crisis) more credit worthy than nearly all of the sovereign states in Europe and nearly as credit worthy as Germany itself. Is this bank worthy of paying for the privilege of lending them money – essentially “Return Free Risk”? Can you still say that knowing they have bet the from on what looks very seriously to be a real estate bubble in their local markets with negative rates everywhere (in other words the direction of least resistance for rates is up, meaning cap rate direction of least resistance is down)?

Part two of the Veritaseum Macro Research introduction is out, and available for purchase here. I believe it should open some eyes. Every report after this point will be about identifying those banks, brokers and entities that we believe are at risk of going bust, and attempting to narrow a timeframe as to when. We will also elavorate heaving on the Peer-to-Peer economy and how embracing it can do more to isolate you from the coming crisis than nearly anything else. We’re not playing here. For those that don’t know my track record…

For those of you who don’t see the bigger picture…

 


via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1XJxJJV Reggie Middleton

Gold Silver Ratio Says It’s Time to Buy Silver, Sell Gold

Gold Silver Ratio Says It’s Time to Buy Silver, Sell Gold

Silver remains undervalued versus gold and the gold silver ratio suggests “selling the former” and “buying the latter” according to a Bloomberg article published today.

gold_silver_ratio

“When the head of one of the world’s biggest silver streaming companies says he’s more bullish on his metal than gold, don’t dismiss him just for talking his own book. This chart suggests Silver Wheaton Corp. Chief Executive Officer Randy Smallwood may be right. The gold-to-silver ratio just fell below 80, and the last three times that happened silver outperformed gold by 60 to 302 percentage points in the next two or three years.”

We continue to see silver as very undervalued vis a vis gold but more especially vis a vis stocks, bonds and many property markets. Rather than selling the financial insurance that is gold, we would advise reducing allocations to stocks, bonds and property and allocating to silver. If one is very overweight gold in a portfolio and has no allocation to silver than there is of course a case for selling some gold and reweighting a portfolio in order to diversify into silver.

See Bloomberg article here

Gold Prices (LBMA)

21 Mar: USD 1,244.25, EUR 1,104.47 and GBP 863.60 per ounce
18 Mar: USD 1,254.50, EUR 1,112.93 and GBP 868.78 per ounce
17 Mar: USD 1,269.60, EUR 1,119.40 and GBP 883.17 per ounce
16 Mar: USD 1,233.10, EUR 1,111.79 and GBP 874.09 per ounce
15 Mar: USD 1,233.60, EUR 1,112.56 and GBP 870.71 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

21 Mar: USD 15.81, EUR 14.02 and GBP 10.99 per ounce
18 Mar: USD 15.94, EUR 14.13 and GBP 11.02 per ounce
17 Mar: USD 15.78, EUR 13.86 and GBP 10.93 per ounce
16 Mar: USD 15.29, EUR 13.78 and GBP 10.84 per ounce
15 Mar: USD 15.32, EUR 13.81 and GBP 10.82 per ounce

Gold News and Commentary

JPMorgan Chase’s forecaster says buy gold, not stocks (CNBC)
Gold eases but support seen at $1250/oz (Bullion Desk)
Gold dips below $1,250 an ounce (Marketwatch)
Gold falls as stronger dollar weighs on prices (Reuters)
Indian jewellers calls off strike; gold imports to rise (Reuters)

Silver Getting Accidental Boost From Base Metal Industry’s Gloom (BBG)
Disclosures of Gold Market Manipulation Are Coming Soon – Kirby (USA Watchdog)
Is Janet Yellen blind to the rebound in inflation? (Marketwatch)
Central Banks Already Doing Unthinkable — You Just Don’t Know It (Telegraph)
Wall Street’s pile of unwanted Treasuries exposes market cracks (Bloomberg)

Read More Here


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Copying Japan: the Big Banks Confess

 

 

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Copying Japan: the Big Banks Confess

Written by Jeff Nielson (CLICK FOR ORIGINAL)

 

 

Copying Japan: the Big Banks Confess - Jeff Nielson

Back at the end of 2008, Western central banks (led by the Federal Reserve) embarked upon the most radical, extreme, and simply insane monetary policies ever contemplated in our modern economic era as a supposed response to the Crash of ‘08. Zero-percent interest rates. “Quantitative easing.” Hyper-inflationary levels of money printing.

Many readers may not fully comprehend the level of insanity (and fraud) inherent in such extreme monetary policies, so further explanation will be provided. First of all, there is no such thing as “a 0% loan” (and thus a 0% interest rate). But don’t accept the word of this writer.

Just try engaging in some “0% loans” in your own financial affairs, and then see what happens when you report such transactions to the Tax Man. You will quickly be informed that your supposed “0% loans” are legally deemed to be sham transactions. The Tax Man would then immediately add that these supposed loans would legally be deemed to be what they actually are: gifts – and you would be taxed (and perhaps prosecuted) accordingly.

So-called “0% interest rates” and any “loans” made at that non-existent rate of interest are prima facie fraud. Thus we start from the standpoint that at the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve knowingly and willingly embarked upon a massive campaign of (fraudulent) sham transactions, which continued until near the end of 2015 and totalled in the many trillions of dollars.

The Federal Reserve, instead of lending out these trillions of its new funny-money (at a real/legitimate rate of interest), has simply been handing it all to Wall Street, for free, via a long series of sham transactions. That’s a lot of fraud.

“Quantitative easing” is even more overt fraud. It is literally a euphemism of a euphemism. What is quantitative easing (apart from being an absolutely meaningless phrase)? It is “monetizing debt.” What is monetizing debt? It is another euphemism, which is thus also absolutely meaningless. But what does itreally mean?

“Monetizing debt” is when a government is so close to bankruptcy that it can no longer even borrow enough money to (temporarily) pay its bills. Thus the regime simply conjures more “money” – completely out of thin air — and then uses this worthless funny-money to pretend to “pay its bills.”

Officially, we were told by our governments that this so-called quantitative easing was to “stimulate our economies.” Yes, it is undoubtedly more “stimulative” for an economy to continue to pretend to pay its bills than to declare bankruptcy. The entire Corporate media parroted this absurdity, proving yet again that this (illegal) oligopoly is anything but “a free press.”

Then we have the actual rate of money printing itself. At the risk of boring regular readers, this must once again be reviewed for the benefit of newer readers. Below is the last legitimate representation of the U.S. monetary base (and the rate of money printing that has been occurring).


Subsequent to this, the chart, and now even the data itself, have been falsified, rendering newer versions of this chart deceptive at best. What this chart shows is the hyperinflation of a currency (the U.S. dollar), past tense.

This is a picture of a classic, parabolic exponential curve. In simpler terms, it is the mathematical representation of the phrase “out of control.” Directly implied by that phrase, and a basic principal of any such extreme, exponential function, is that “control” can never be regained. What is the result when any nation has lost control (past tense) of its money printing – in the form of an upward spiral? Hyperinflation.

The U.S. dollar is fundamentally worthless. Indeed, it is fundamentally worthless based upon several, separate metrics. Other Western currencies, which are now mere derivatives of the USD, are equally worthless. The day that “quantitative easing” began was the day that Western governments began feigning solvency via overt fraud.

However, we got more than just (extreme) actions by our central banks and the puppet governmentsbeneath them. We also got promises – big promises. Originally, the central bankers acknowledged the fact that their “policies” were the most extreme monetary voodoo ever perpetrated by any central bank.

In acknowledgment of that fact, we were given firm and solemn promises from all the central banks (and all their crooked foot-soldiers) that an “Exit Strategy” would commence immediately, in early 2009. Interest rates would quickly be “normalized.” The money printing would quickly be curtailed, before the hyperinflationary spiral in the previous chart could ever materialize.

But we got more than that. Even more emphatically, the central bankers and puppet politicians all puffed out their chests and proclaimed that they would never, ever “copy Japan.”

All that they were waiting for were “signs of economic stability”, so that (supposedly) it would then be safe to disconnect this economic defibrillator from the hearts of all Western economies. Did we see such signs? Supposedly.

In early 2009, the U.S. government, the Federal Reserve, all the charlatan economists , and the Corporate media proudly crowed in unison that the United States had begun its Recovery. Since then, this same flock has continued to chirp regularly about the “strengthening Recovery.” Yes, the U.S. economy has kept recovering, and recovering, and recovering some more.

Did we get the Exit Strategy? No.

The United States kept its interest rate at a (fraudulent) “0%”. Understand the significance here. As B.S. Bernanke was perpetrating his infamous “helicopter drop” of funny-money, to a hyperinflationary degree, every last penny of this unimaginable mountain of funny-money was being handed to the Wall Street crime syndicate for free.

If we took every lottery in human history, added them all together, and then multiplied that by 100, it would still be far less than the “lottery prize” which B.S. Bernanke handed to Wall Street, tax-free. But it gets worse. In our era of ultra-fraudulent “fractional-reserve banking,” each member of the Big Bank crime syndicate is allowed to “leverage” all of its free $trillions in funny-money by a ratio (i.e. multiple) of greater than 30:1.

This represents an orgy of monetary fraud of virtually infinite size, and we were promised (in 2008, and repeatedly after that) that it would never, and could never, happen, because we would never “copy Japan.” Indeed, the Western central bank cabal did not (merely) “copy Japan”, but went literally orders of magnitude beyond Japan in its monetary debauchery and fraud.

Leap forward to March of 2016 and the amusing quasi-confession from one of the members of this Big Bank crime syndicate: HSBC. Of course, readers still need to pull out their translation gear, since even this quasi-confession is twisted almost beyond recognition by the propagandists of CNBC, starting with the headline.

World copying Japan’s slow-puncture economy: HSBC

Machiavellian. What is another way of characterizing an economy, other than as a tire that will soon run out of air? In a death-spiral. Copying Japan’s economic/monetary death-spiral. The “world” is copying Japan’s death-spiral. Wrong.

Does the “world” all have their interest rates at near-zero, or lower? No, just the Corrupt West. Is the “world” all engaged in quantitative easing? No, just the corrupt West. Has the “world” all hyperinflated their currencies to worthlessness? No, just the Corrupt West. The Corrupt West is copying Japan’s death-spiral – after these regimes (and their central bankers) promised us again and again that this would never, and could never, happen.

The propaganda continues:

The global economy appears to be trapped in Japan-style stagnation, HSBC’s high-profile senior economic advisor said on Tuesday, adding his voice to the chorus of economist warnings.

What is the only non-Machiavellian aspect of that statement? That, once again, we are dealing with “a chorus,” i.e. a propaganda machine. Since we have already established that it is (laughably) inaccurate to lump together the Corrupt West and the Rest of the World, let’s deal with these two groups separately and then reconsider the propaganda above.

Is the Corrupt West “trapped”? Yes, if you dig a great, big hole in the ground, and then you jump into that hole, you will be trapped. What is missing from this Revisionist version of events from HSBC and CNBC is that the West’s “trap” was both voluntary and self-created. If you deliberately choose to copy a 25-yearfailed economic experiment, it doesn’t take a renowned psychic to “predict” the result. Even an economist should be able to do so.

Doing what Japan did, except to a much greater (and much more fraudulent) degree didn’t change the probability of the outcome at all. It merely reduced the time it would take the Corrupt West to duplicate Japan’s economic suicide, and reduced that time rapidly. It’s now taken Japan more than 30 years to get to where it is today. It took the Corrupt West (and their psychopathic central banks) less than 1/3 rd that amount of time to do twice as much damage to their own economies. And now we get a partial confession.

What about the Rest of the World? Is it “trapped”? Yes, but the trap is of an entirely different nature, beginning with the fact that the “trap” which has ensnared these other nations was not self-inflicted. Rather, the nations of the Rest of the World are victims of the Big Bank crime syndicate.

How does (how did) the bankers make the hollowed-out, bankrupt, fraud-saturated economies of the Corrupt West look slightly less putrid and cancerous? A Reverse-Beauty Contest. This crime syndicate has devoted much of its energies over the previous five years systematically sabotaging virtually every othereconomy on Earth.

The primary weapon of the One Bank crime syndicate as it has engaged in this economic terrorism is currency manipulation. This is not a “conspiracy theory.” It is a conspiracy fact, as these terrorist Big Bank tentacles were recently convicted of serially manipulating all of the world’s currencies, with this particular Big Bank crime-conspiracy documented dating back to at least 2008. Does that year ring a bell?

During that interval, India experienced a “currency crisis.” Russia experienced a “currency crisis.” Brazil experienced a “currency crisis.” South Africa experienced a “currency crisis.” Now even China is experiencing a “currency crisis.”

These convicted currency-manipulators have created a “currency crisis” in 100% of the “BRICS” economies, which are supposedly the world’s strongest and most powerful economies outside of the Corrupt West. Imagine how easy it was for these economic terrorists to create “currency crises” in lesser economies all around the world.

Have we gotten a “confession” to all of that? No. That would be far too much truth to ever emanate from either the Corporate media or the Big Bank crime syndicate. For today, all we have gotten is a partial confession that all of the West’s central bankers and all of their puppet politicians have done what they promised that they would never, ever do: copy Japan.

 

 

Please email with any questions about this article or precious metals HERE

 

 

Copying Japan: the Big Banks Confess

Written by Jeff Nielson (CLICK FOR ORIGINAL)

 

 

 


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Dozens Killed And Injured After Massive Bomb Explosions Rip Through Belgium Airport. Subway Station – Live Feed

Just four months after the tragic attacks in Paris, Europe was once again the epicenter of a terrorist mass murder, when several deadly explosions this morning rocked Brussels, first hitting the international airport and then a metro station near the European Union institutions, resulting in dozens of casualties and over a hundred wounded in what Belgian authorities moments ago labeled as terrorist attacks.

The first explosion Tuesday morning hit the city’s main airport outside a security check. According to Reuters, at least 10  people have reportedly been killed although estimates in social media range as high as 17, and dozens wounded after two blasts rocked Brussels’ Zaventem airport. Brussels police said that Zaventem’s great hall was targeted in the blast, but they couldn’t confirm the number of the victims in the attack. “There was an explosion, but we cannot say more,” a police spokesperson said.







 

A suicide bomber was responsible for one of the blasts, Belgian broadcaster VRT said. Three suicide belts packed with explosives have been found at the Brussels airport by police, local TV reported.

Reports also suggest that first there was a shot fired in the departure hall, then something was called out in Arabic, and only afterward, two explosions rocked the facility.

A person briefed on the incident said two devices exploded inside the airport outside the security check and that more than 100 people had been injured. Smoke could be seen rising from the airport in the aftermath of the explosions.

According to preliminary reports, one of the explosions took place near the American Airlines check-in desk. A government source confirmed to VRT broadcaster that it was an attack, while Anke Fransen, spokeswoman for Brussels Airport, said there were multiple injuries. “We can confirm that there have been two explosions in the departure hall. We called the emergency services on the ground – they [are] now provid[ing] first aid to the injured.

Niels Caignau, flight watcher at Swissport, told Radio 1 that he heard an explosion at around 8:00 a.m. local time.  “The windows outside the departure hall are completely shattered. Many people have run out with tears in [their] eyes. We were advised to stay indoors.”

No planes are landing at Brussels Airport which is in lockdown, and planes are being diverted to Antwerp. Planes are circling over the city of Liege. Sky News Middle East correspondent Alex Rossi, who was at the airport en route to Tel Aviv, has tweeted that he could “feel the buildings move.”

Belgian officials immediately raised the terror alert across the country. As the WSJ adds, police have closed the access road leading to the airport and police and ambulances were rushing to the scene. The airport began evacuating the building where the explosions took place and an official warned people not to come to the area. “Don’t come to the airport—airport is being evacuated. Avoid the airport area. Flights have been cancelled,” the airport said.

Airlines said they were diverting inbound flights. Europe’s air-traffic management organization Eurocontrol on Tuesday warned airlines that the airport was unavailable “until further notice.”

* * *

The second explosion struck just after 9 a.m. local time struck Maelbeek metro station, very near the heart of the European quarter in Brussels, home to the EU institutions.  

According to preliminary local police reports cited by RT, at least 10 people were killed. The explosion took place less than an hour after a deadly airport bombing, which killed at least 17 people.  Large amounts of smoke have been seen coming out of the metro station in the Belgian capital. Brussels’ transport authority says all metro stations in the city have been closed, Reuters reports.

Minutes after the blast at Maalbeek, a second explosion is reported to have taken place at the near-by Schuman metro station. Images on social media have shown passengers being evacuated from inside the metro and walking along the train tracks. The Maalbeek station is also near a number of important EU buildings such as Berlaymont building, which houses the EU Commission and the Council of the European Union.

Staff working at the EU commission have also been told to stay indoors.   Belgian authorities have raised the security alert to the highest level following blasts at the Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek Metro station.

 



 

All trains to and from Brussels have been suspended and the airport will remain closed until at least Wednesday.

A video summary of this morning’s events:

 

And a live feed of events in Belgium and across Europe which wakes up to another bloody terrorist morning, courtesy of SkyNews:


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Will The American People Succeed In Clawing-Back Their Democracy?

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

With much help from the failures of neoliberal economic policy and neoconservative foreign policy, we are changing the world.

Look at Bernie Sanders’ inroads on the corrupt Clintons’ control of the Democratic Party. Look at how easily Donald Trump defeated the Republican establishment’s candidates. Some Americans are catching on, shedding their unawareness. I am not confident that Sanders or Trump could bring change. In The Deep State (2016), Mike Lofgren concludes that powerful private interest groups, such as the military/security complex and the financial sector, have hijacked democracy. Still, voters’ interest in Sanders and Trump, despite the beating they receive in the media, is a positive sign. Voters are supporting them not so much for their positions on issues as for the fact that neither are part of the Washington establishment. Many voters now understand that the political establishment represents the One Percent, not them.

A New Russia has appeared on the scene and demonstrated to the entire world its power to checkmate the hegemonic ambition of the crazed neoconservatives who have controlled the US government since Bill Clinton. The world now understands that the leadership for peace comes from Russia not from warmonger Washington.

Washington’s vassals in Europe are in disarray, with the Northern European EU members plundering the Southern EU members, with all of Europe overrun with refugees fleeing Washington’s hoax “war against terrorism.” Europeans are beginning to realize that the establishment political parties that they have blindly supported since World War 2 are nothing but agents of Washington, who serve Washington and not Europeans. Merkel, Cameron, Hollande are puppets of Washington, not leaders of the German, British, and French people.

The Chinese government is finally beginning to realize that the neoliberal American economic policies that it has so slavishly been copying have led it into economic difficulties. Perhaps China will now cease to follow America into oblivion.

The Russians have learned that being part of the Western system subjects them to economic sanctions and makes it easy for Washington to interfere in Russian internal affairs. The Russians are beginning to show that their desire for their independence is greater than their desire to be accepted by a corrupt, immoral, decadent, and failing West.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders speak to Americans’ loss of economic opportunity and financial independence. Today the 99 Percent are slaves to their debt burdens and lack of productive employment, while those who deceived them into these burdens and lowly-paid employment in domestic services are reveling in multi-million dollar annual paychecks.

The US Treasury, Federal Reserve, and financial regulators are corrupted by the private financial interests that control them. The US government serves only the One Percent. Despite this obvious fact, many Democratic Party voters—-traditionally the less well off, union members, and American blacks—-are turning out for Hillary Clinton, a tried and proven representative of the One Percent. The Clintons have been enriched to the amount of $153 million by the ruling One Percent who own the Clintons lock, stock, and barrel. Yet the dispossessed vote for Hillary.

Clearly, many American voters, as Thomas Frank made clear in his book, What’s the Matter with Kansas?, still have no clue as to their own interests and vote to elect their worst enemies.

Many Americans are still trapped in The Matrix and kept there by the propaganda that masquerades in the US as “news.”

Consider the possible implications if Americans were to enable Hillary Clinton to become President. Trump has said that he would work things out with Vladimir Putin, but Hillary has declared the President of Russia to be “the new Hitler.” How can Hillary work anything out with “the new Hitler”? She cannot.

It is a great irony that the American lower class, traditionally served by the Democratic Party, could put in the White House not only a person who only represents the super-rich but also a person who cannot escape confict with Russia, a country with possibly the most capable military force on the planet.

The psychopathic Washington neoconservatives who have controlled US foreign policy since the Clinton regime, misintepret Vladimir Putin’s peaceful diplomacy as a sign of Russian weakness. The neocons say: “See Putin is weak. He is pulling out of Syria.” But what Putin says is different. Putin says: “We have created the conditions for peace in Syria.” If Washington abuses these conditions, “Russia can, in several hours, build up its forces in Syria to a size capable of dealing with an escalating situation and use the entire range of means at its disposal.”

Putin adds: “We hope the parties involved would show common sense.”

From a position of strength, Putin has rolled the dice. Is there common sense in the West? I fail to see any. I see arrogance, hubris, idiocy, immorality, inhumanity, complete and total stupidity. These are the characteristics of Western governments. They amount to a deranged criminal enterprise organized against humanity.

In the awards of medals to those Russians who served against ISIS, Putin stated: “Our uncompromising attitude to terrorism remains unchanged.” If we take this statement broadly, it means not merely Muslim jihadists but the terrorism of the West—-the destruction of seven or more countries by the US and its vassals in the 21st century, the long-term sanctions against Iran, Russia, and a number of other countries whose governments do not comply with Washington’s dictates. Putin has told Washington and Washington’s European puppets, Cameron, Merkel, Hollande, that he has had enough of them. They must reform themselves, become honorable governments committed to the welfare of humanity, and abandon self-serving policies of plunder.

Considering the total failure of the United States to subdue after 15 years a few thousand lightly armed Taliban, the American people need to understand that the US military, corrupted by privatizations to enhance former vice president Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton and by over-cost weapons systems that serve the profits of the armaments industries and not the military competence of the fighting force, has lost its edge in weapons superiority. The latest over-cost American fighter jet, for example, according to the Air Force’s own conclusions cannot match the old figher it is intended to replace, whereas the lastest Russian fighter is said to have the capability to electronically shut down American control systems, track simultaneously 24 enemy fighters and lock on 10 simultanteously for unavoidable destruction. Members of the US military command have expressed concern over the high quality of Russian weapon systems.

Everyone needs to understand that the establishments of the two American political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, are less interested in winning the election than in continuing to control the party. Trump and Sanders are hated by the party establishments, because Trump and Sanders are not members of the establishment. Control over the party by the party establishment is so important that we have many members of the Republican establishment declaring that if Trump wins the Republican nomination, they will vote for the Democrat. This has happened before. It was Republicans who denied the presidency to Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.

The United States is a failing society. Citizens’ hopes are being snuffed out. There are few good jobs or enough jobs of any kind, as the collapse of the labor force participation rate confirms. People are drowning in debts that they have no prospect of ever paying off. Young adults cannot form independent households. The oligarchy that rules and controls the country has committed America to massively expensive wars and privacy invasions for the purpose of establishing a hegemony that enriches elite private interests.

The corupt and unrepentant financial sector, having survived its mortgage-backed security fiasco without prosecution or correction has repeated its previous folly with a new weapon of potential financial mass destrution. Speculators have bought up distressed properties and rented them. The rental streams are bundled into financial instruments, as were the mortgage payments previously, and sold to investors. Is a renter more committed and better able to pay than a person with a mortgage?

Jobs offshoring and financialization have drained the US economy of the ability to grow. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled, and the service of debt curtails consumer demand for goods and services. The wage saving from offshoring jobs raises corporate profits and brings executive bonuses and capital gains to the One Percent. Financialization divests consumer purchasing power into the service of debt. The result is stagnation and decline.

Foreign policy based on threats and coercion means constant conflict. The US has been in constant conflict since the Clinton regime overthrew the government in Serbia. Constant conflict is expensive, and Americans have had these expensive costs imposed on them simultaneously with the costs of jobs offshoring and financialization.

It was 20 months ago that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was destroyed over Ukraine. Despite the inability of the investigation to come to a conclusion, from the first moment Western propaganda has blamed the loss of 298 lives on Russia. Three days after the airliner’s destruction, US Secretary of State John Kerry set in stone the blame on Russia with his claim that “we saw the take-off [of the Buk missile]. We saw the trajectory. We saw the hit. We saw this airplane disappear from the radar screens. So there is really no mystery about where it came from and where these weapons have come from.”

If the US has all the evidence, why hasn’t the US government released it? Obviously, there is no such evidence. Why would Washington fail to release evidence that proved Russian responsibility? Kerry’s evidence no more exists than the alleged evidence the US government claims to have from numerous security cameras that a passenger airliner hit the Pentagon on 9/11. If the government had such evidence why has the government refused to release it for almost 15 years? If the government produced this evidence, it would be a death blow to the 9/11 Truth movement. The evidence no more exists than the alleged evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, that Assad used chemical weapons, that Russia invaded Ukraine.

The terms of the last three US presidents have been used to squander trillions of dollars on pointless wars and construction of a domestic police state on the basis of a non-existant “terrorist threat.” This alleged threat has been reinforced with false flag events and a fake history spun from lies repeateded endlessly by government and its presstitutes.

In 1994 Christopher Lasch wrote in The Revolt of the Elites: “In our time, the chief threat seems to come from those at the top of the social hierarchy.” As Lasch said, the greed of the elites for money and power have undermined the constitutional basis of the United States. The elites have used their power to betray democracy. Will the American people succeed in clawing back their democracy?


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