Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Today's Links

1--Saudis support al Qaida in yemen
2--Sucker's rally?


As shown in the first chart above, the markets have:
  • Broken two important levels of support
  • Broken the bullish trend moving average
  • Exhibiting a deterioration of internal measures, relative strength and momentum
These were previously early indicators that something had clearly changed for the worse. But it was not until much later that Wall Street, the media and investors looked backed and realized the obvious causes. It wasn't until a year later, in 2008, that the NBER looked back at much revised data and proclaimed the start of the economic recession rather than Bernanke's "Goldilocks Economy."


3--Washington threatens confrontation with Russia over Syria


Breathless US media claims about a potentially imminent Russian “intervention” in Syria boil down to statements from Pentagon officials speaking on condition of anonymity that there has been an increased number of Russian planes flying to Syria and that pre-fabricated housing has been erected there that supposedly could be used by the Russian military.


Russia’s presence in Syria, where it supports the Assad government against ISIS and other Islamist militias seeking to overrun the country, is minimal in comparison to the efforts by the US to back the government in neighboring Iraq against these same forces. The actual issue is that Moscow’s continued support for the Assad government is an impediment to the real aims of the US-led intervention in Syria, which is not the destruction of ISIS, but rather the overthrow of the existing regime and its replacement by a more pliant puppet of Washington.


Citing “American intelligence sources,” the New York Times reported Tuesday that among the major US concerns was that “Russia is bolstering Syria’s air defenses in some key areas.” Enhancing air defense systems cannot be construed as a threat to what the US presents as its main aims in Syria—conducting an offensive against ISIS and protecting Syria’s civilian population. It is a problem only if Washington and its allies are preparing to redirect their air power from sporadic strikes against ISIS targets toward a “shock and awe” campaign aimed at destroying and overthrowing the government of Syria--similar to the air wars previously carried out in Iraq and Libya
...
recently, Moscow advanced a peace plan for Syria, calling for a joint campaign against ISIS by the US and its allies together with Russia, Iran and Syrian government forces, along with the formation of a new national unity government involving elements of the Assad regime, the Syrian opposition and Kurdish forces.
Talks between the Russians, the US and Saudi Arabia, however, were quickly deadlocked. The Saudi monarchy, which together with Qatar and Turkey has been a principal patron and funder of ISIS, the Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front and other Islamist militias, refused to accept any agreement that did not include the unequivocal overthrow of the Assad regime. Washington essentially backed up the Saudi royal family, its foremost ally in the Arab world.
As for Russia’s role in Syrian developments, as a White House spokesman made clear over the weekend, its actions would be acceptable only to the extent that they were subordinated to the aims of Washington and its “coalition.” The US has shown no interest, however, in incorporating Russia into this imperialist front.


4---Refugee crisis in Europe: Popular support for migrants confronts official inhumanity


After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the major capitalist powers, led by the American ruling elite, felt liberated from the constraints placed on them by the existence of the USSR. One of the central conclusions they drew was the belief that they could expand the use of military violence to achieve their geo-strategic aims. Their first victims were the energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.


Decades of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq under the pretext of a “war on terror” ruined these countries and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children. This was followed by the US/NATO war for regime-change in Libya, which overthrew the government of Muammar Gaddafi and transformed the country into a “failed state,” torn apart by constant fighting between rival militias. Then came the Syrian civil war, set in motion, armed and financed by US imperialism and its regional allies with the aim of overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and installing a pro-Western puppet regime in Damascus.


The constant threat of death and destruction that is driving hundreds of thousands of people to undertake the desperate flight to Europe is the result of these crimes of imperialism. The rise of the terrorist militia ISIS and the wars in Iraq and Syria are direct consequences of the destruction of Iraq by the US and the support given to ISIS and similar Islamist militias in Syria by US imperialism and its allies


The refugee crisis has exploded any notion that the imperialist powers can unleash savage violence in the Middle East without consequences at home. The world is coming face to face with the global interconnectedness of modern society. What has been revealed is the irrationality of an international capitalist order that divides the world into national states and rich and poor countries
5--Turkish ‘Kristallnacht’ coming soon?


6--Market Volatility - US Federal Reserve Dithers: Russia Stays Calm
7--Obama rips GOP candidates as anti-union


8---A stock ploy undermining the US economy
Paper profits on repurchased stock prices has fooled the market. Productivity lags. Corporate investment in fixed assets is at its lowest level in 60 years


9---Battle between bots and buybacks juicing volatility: Trader
10--MIT Quant Guru Andrew Lo on Market's Meltdown: ‘August Sucks’




11--Labor Day in America
Union sellouts promote Democratic wage-cutters


In the midst of the deepest slump since the Great Depression, the administration starved state and city governments of resources, leading to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of education and public-sector jobs and the gutting of workers’ pensions. Obama’s Affordable Care Act set in motion the dismantling of employer-paid health insurance and massive cuts in the Medicare insurance system for the elderly.
At the same time, Obama oversaw a record rise in stock prices, corporate profits and CEO pay on the basis of virtually free cash for the financial elite, compliments of the Federal Reserve Board



12--Obama's second term is on pace to be the worst ever for public sector job growth


There were only 2,018,000 more private sector jobs at the end of Mr. Obama's first term.  Twenty four months into Mr. Obama's second term, there are now 7,560,000 more private sector jobs than when he initially took office.
PublicJan2015Calculated Risk
A big difference between the presidencies has been public sector employment.  Note the bumps in public sector employment due to the decennial Census in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.  
The public sector grew during Mr. Carter's term (up 1,304,000), during Mr. Reagan's terms (up 1,414,000), during Mr. G.H.W. Bush's term (up 1,127,000), during Mr. Clinton's terms (up 1,934,000), and during Mr. G.W. Bush's terms (up 1,744,000 jobs).

However the public sector has declined significantly since Mr. Obama took office (down 688,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but more recently at the Federal level.  This has been a significant drag on overall employment.

And a table for public sector jobs. Public sector jobs declined the most during Obama's first term, and increased the most during Reagan's 2nd term.

TermPublic Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter1,304
Reagan 1-24
Reagan 21,438
GHW Bush1,127
Clinton 1692
Clinton 21,242
GW Bush 1900
GW Bush 2844
Obama 1-702
Obama 2141
124 months into 2nd term, 28 pace











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