Friday, December 5, 2014

Today's Links

1--Putin warns on missile defense in Europe, strategic culture

ABM is a threat to US itself
Further deployment of America’s global anti-ballistic missile defense poses a threat to the US and those European countries that agreed to host it, because it builds up a dangerous illusion of invincibility, Putin said.
“This [ABM] constitutes a threat not only to the security of Russia, but to the whole world, in view of the possible destabilization of the strategic balance of powers. I believe this is dangerous for the US itself, as it creates a dangerous illusion of invulnerability and reinforces the tendency of unilateral, often ill-considered decisions and additional risks,” Putin said.

The European Phased Adaptive Approach, a centerpiece of the US missile defense shield in Europe, implies deployment of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, all of which are fitted with the Aegis weapon and radar system, interceptor batteries in Poland and Romania, radar in Turkey, and a command center at Ramstein, Germany, a US Air Force base.
Russia considers the system to be a major threat to its own security and has threatened to increase its own arsenals and missile shield piercing capabilities in response.

3--ECB paralyzed by split as irreversible deflation trap draws closer, Telegraph

It is now patently clear that Draghi lacks the crucial German support for launching full-blown QE'

4--Full-Time Jobs Down 150K, Participation Rate Remains At 35 Year Lows, "No Job Market For Young Men", zero hedge


5--Custom Propaganda, smirking chimp
According to the Pew Research Journalism Project “the overlap between public relations and news noted in last year’s State of the News Media report became even more pronounced. One of the greatest areas of revenue experimentation now involves website content that is paid for by commercial advertisers – but often written by journalists on staff – and placed on a news publishers’ page in a way that sometimes makes it indistinguishable from a news story. Following the lead of early adapters like The Atlantic and Mashable, native advertising, as it is called by the industry, caught on rapidly in 2013. The New York Times, The Washington Post and most recently The Wall Street Journal have now begun or announced plans to begin devoting staff to this kind of advertising, often as a part of a new “custom content division.”

eMarketer predicts that native ads spending will reach $2.85 billion by 2014. Many of these publishers initially expressed caution over such ads, with Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker even describing it as a “Faustian pact.” In the end, though, many publishers eventually came down with a conclusion similar to Baker’s, who said that he was “confident that our readers will appreciate what is sponsor-generated content and what is content from our global staff,” according to a statement released by The Journal. That may be the case, and it could also be the case that stories created for and paid for by advertisers do not bother consumers as long as they are a good read. At this point, though, there is little, if any, public data that speak to consumer response one way or the other....

Here is a sampling of the vertically integrated companies that make you not you, but them: Disney owns ABC News, ESPN, Touchstone Pictures, Marvel Comics, Cruise Lines, Hyperion Books and Reedy Energy Services. Comcast owns NBC Universal, the Philadelphia Flyers, and is attempting to acquire Time Warner Cable. Fox News Corporation owns the Dow Jones & Company (Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, DJX, etc.), Harper Collins Publishers, Move, Inc. (real estate news), 20th Century Fox, Fox News Channel, and Amplify (educational products for K-12). CBS owns Simon & Schuster, CNET, the Smithsonian Network, and 130 radio stations. Time Warner owns CNN, Time magazine, HBO, MAX, Sports Illustrated Kids, and People Magazine. Pearson influences the course of American education through its publishing houses, digital learning platforms, and a 50 percent interest in the Economist Magazine, Penguin Random House and the Financial Times.

6---Mearsheimer on Ukraine, salon
… The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine—beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004—were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president—which he rightly labeled a “coup”—coup—was was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West

7---Gross Urges Investors to Take ‘Chips Off’ Table Amid Low Returns , Bloomberg

Markets are reaching the point of low return and diminishing liquidity,” Gross wrote today in his investment outlook for December. “Investors may want to begin to take some chips off the table: raise asset quality, reduce duration, and prepare for at least a halt of asset appreciation engineered upon a false central bank premise of artificial yields, QE and the trickling down of faux wealth to the working class.”

8---This could cost taxpayers gazillions, HP

Wall Street lobbyists are trying to secure taxpayer backing for many derivatives trades as part of budget talks to avert a government shutdown.
According to multiple Democratic sources, banks are pushing hard to include the controversial provision in funding legislation that would keep the government operating after Dec. 11. Top negotiators in the House are taking the derivatives provision seriously, and may include it in the final bill, the sources said.

The bank perks are not a traditional budget item. They would allow financial institutions to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- potentially putting taxpayers on the hook for losses caused by the risky contracts. Big Wall Street banks had typically traded derivatives from these FDIC-backed units, but the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law required them to move many of the transactions to other subsidiaries that are not insured by taxpayers. ...

Taxpayer insurance helps banks secure higher credit ratings for their derivatives, since taxpayers assume some of the risk, which in turn makes the banks more profitable.

9---OK, I Get it, the Japanese Government Bond Market Is Dead. And the Yen? , wolf street

The nightmare scenario: 
When Abenomics became a noun in late 2012, it took ¥75 to buy $1. Today it takes ¥121. With the effect that 37% of Japan’s yen-denominated wealth has gone up in smoke.
But once the BOJ decides that the yen has fallen enough, it might not be able to stop its fall. It would have to sell its international reserves and buy yen – the opposite of QE. If it decided to buy yen to prop up the currency, instead of printing yen, it would thereby surrender control over the government bond market. The relentless bid would disappear even as the flood of new JGBs would continue. There would be no other buyers, not with yields at near zero. Chaos would break out instantly.
Fujimaki sees ¥200 to the dollar.
It would eradicate much of the wealth of Japanese society

Since early 2013, the Bank of Japan has been telling banks to dump their JGBs, and banks have done that. The BOJ has told the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) to slash its vast holdings of JGBs, and a month ago, the GPIF confirmed that it would do just that. A central bank telling the largest institutional investors of the country to dump their government bonds would normally have triggered a mega-crash with yields spiking into the stratosphere.....

Japan’s love affair with free markets has been brief and largely cosmetic. While the country has opened up quite a bit over the last two decades, it remains hermetically sealed off to imports of various kinds, including from US automakers, in order to protect Japanese companies, farmers, etc. As a society, the Japanese treasure their insularity and the protection they feel it gives them. Free markets are fine and dandy, as long as they fit into the Japanese scenario....

But what if the scenario is centered on funding in the cheapest way possible for as long as possible a system that is totally addicted to corporate and social welfare, subsidies, and bailouts that no one ever wants to pay for?
A free market would rebel. Market participants would want to be paid double-digit junk-bond yields to take on the risks and fund that system, with the possibility of a debt crisis and default hovering over their heads on a daily basis. Those free-market costs of funding would have driven Japan long ago either to mend its ways or to slither into a debt crisis, followed by financial collapse and chaos.
Every government in the world knows this: The debt of over-indebted governments cannot be left to the free markets. Yields must be manipulated down by all means. Central banks impose their zero-interest-rate policy often combined with outright market manipulation, such as purchases of government debt and other assets, and constant jawboning.

10--Here Is Oil’s Next Leg Down, Ilargi

What it will all lead to, and increasingly so as prices fail to recover and instead keep falling, is the disappearance and withdrawal of financing in the oil industry, especially the insanely overleveraged shale patches. The financiers will need a little more time to consolidate, minimize and liquidate their losses, but they will get up and leave. So all the talk of growing the industry sounds just a tad south of fully credible. This is an industry that lost over $100 billion a year for at least three years running, i.e. didn’t produce sufficient revenue even at $100 a barrel, and at $60 they would be fine, without much of their previous external financing?...

Perhaps those sub-$50 Bakken prices tell us pretty much where global prices are ahead. And then we’ll take it from there. With 1.8 million barrels “that nobody needs” added to the shale industries growth intentions, where can prices go but down, unless someone starts a big war somewhere? Yesterday’s news that US new oil and gas well permits were off 40% last month may signal where the future of shale is really located.

But oil is a field that knows a lot of inertia, long term contracts, future contracts, so changes come with a time lag. It’s also a field increasingly inhabited by desperate producers and government leaders, who wake up screaming in the middle of the night from dreaming about their heads impaled on stakes along desert roads.

11---Putin: ‘Russia will be a sovereign state or cease to exist’, RT
Putin "Live free or die"

12---The Obama administration and disappeared Mexican students, wsws

13--Oil price slide rocks world economy, wsws

14--Putin halts South Stream pipeline, wsws

15--Falling oil could trigger derivatives nightmare

16--collapse of our trust in government, in one chart, WA Post

17--Wounded Pride: Convenience Store Planned at Site of Wounded Knee Massacre, sputnik

18--House of Representatives passes resolution against Russia, RT

19--Putin speaks, saker

Let me reiterate, we remember high-level receptions for terrorists dubbed as fighters for freedom and democracy. Back then, we realised that the more ground we give and the more excuses we make, the more our opponents become brazen and the more cynical and aggressive their demeanor becomes.
Despite our unprecedented openness back then and our willingness to cooperate in all, even the most sensitive issues, despite the fact that we considered – and all of you are aware of this and remember it – our former adversaries as close friends and even allies,
the support for separatism in Russia from across the pond, including information, political and financial support and support provided by the special services – was absolutely obvious and left no doubt that they would gladly let Russia follow the Yugoslav scenario of disintegration and dismemberment. With all the tragic fallout for the people of Russia.
It didn’t work. We didn’t allow that to happen.

Just as it did not work for Hitler with his people-hating ideas, who set out to destroy Russia and push us back beyond the Urals. Everyone should remember how it ended

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