Sunday, May 1, 2016

Today's links

1--What Are The Three Signs Of A "Disorderly" Currency Market: Richard Koo Explains

2--The Cult Of Central Banking Is Dead In The Water

3--Can the mighty greenback bounce back?

Are people worried that central banks are the only thing that keeps stocks propped up and that now even these formerly omnipotent market manipulators can’t do their jobs anymore?

“If things don’t make common sense, sooner or later, they come home to roost.” That’s how John Thornton, who’d retired as president of Goldman Sachs in 2003 and who’s now a prof at Tsinghua University in Beijing, explained it to Yahoo Finance:

“So I feel as though we’re sitting in 2016 with many of the same problems that we’ve had for the last eight or 10 years, they haven’t been addressed very forcefully, we’re living on borrowed time. And sooner or later, that ends in tears.”

4--Japan's Growing Poverty Defies Glib Explanations

5--Listen Carefully for Hints of the Next Global Recession, Shiller

No single narrative seems to have enough compelling force at the moment to engender a downturn as big as the last one. Many people have been borrowing from older narratives of risk and vulnerability while trying to understand the current economy. Oil prices have been slumping, not soaring, but there are significant worries about outsourcing, downsizing and globalization, along with deep concerns about rising inequality, refugee and immigrant flows, and what has been called secular stagnation of the economy. Political candidates on both the left and the right have been spinning charged and sometimes disruptive narratives about these issues.

We don’t know whether any specific event — say, an unexpected spike in oil prices or a decline in the stock market — will help transform any of the current social stories into a truly virulent economic disruption. We don’t know what is coming or when. But history does tell us that human imagination can spontaneously transform discrete events into world-shaking narratives of unexpected color and force. 

6--How to Prepare for the Next Recession

If we want to mitigate hardship and help the economy get back on its feet when that happens, the prudent move would be to strengthen the “automatic stabilizers” in the federal budget — programs like unemployment insurance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid — that, without the need for congressional action, expand when the economy is weak and contract when the economy is on its way to recovery. Such programs put money in the pockets of those who suffer most during recessions, money that will be quickly spent back into the economy, and they have an efficient administrative infrastructure in place that can be leveraged to disburse funds rapidly when the need strikes.

But as they currently stand, these programs aren’t enough. Consider SNAP. The 2009 Recovery Act temporarily increased the maximum monthly food benefit by about $63 a month for a family of three. In addition to raising consumer demand, this benefit expansion reduced hunger, and it kept nearly a million people out of poverty in 2010

7--Civilian deaths in Syria surge as US-Russian brokered ceasefire unravels

The Pentagon, with full backing from the White House, is moving forward with the so-called US Plan B for Syria.....

the essential cause for the breakdown of the cease-fire and slide back toward all-out civil and proxy war is the uncompromising determination of the US ruling class to overthrow the Assad government, toppling a crucial regional ally of both Russia and Iran and replacing it with an American puppet.
On Monday, the White House announced that at least 250 US special forces soldiers would be deployed to Syria, a decision taken on the heels of the announcement of an additional 200 US ground troops to Iraq.
In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made clear that these are only preliminary moves in a much broader war plan...

The most recent escalations were hailed this week by both US Democratic Party presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders....

Senator Sanders’ own endorsement of the administration’s policies makes clear that he is not in any sense running as an antiwar candidate, but rather as another imperialist politician.
“The president is talking about having American troops training Muslim troops, and helping supply the military equipment they need. I do support that effort,” Sanders told media this week.
The preparations for an expanded US ground war in Syria, whose full character will likely not be revealed until immediately after the 2016 US elections, are taking place amid US war preparations in Eastern Europe, the South China Sea and throughout Eurasia, that pose the growing threat of a third world war..

8--Was the EU a CIA project?

"the European Union always was an American project."
In fact, the journalist recalled, taking a look back through archival history, one finds that "it was Washington that drove European integration in the late 1940s,", and Washington that "funded it covertly under the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations."...

Contrary to popular belief among some in Europe that the US may have viewed European integration as a threat, the project was in actually always seen as an "anchor to American regional interests alongside NATO," all the way back to its inception.
Evans-Pritchard recalled that the May 1950 Schuman Declaration, the proposal by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to create the European Coal and Steel Community, which "set the tone of Franco-German reconciliation – and would lead by stages to the European Community – was cooked up by the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson at a meeting in Foggy Bottom" (in Washington DC)....

many Britons, and other Europeans, remain unaware of the declassified documents from the US State Department archives "showing that US intelligence funded the European movement secretly for decades, and worked aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into the project." 
For instance, "one memorandum dated July 26, 1950, reveals a campaign to promote a full-fledged European parliament. It was signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, [the] precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency."

In fact, "the key CIA front was the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), chaired by Donovan. Another document shows that it provided 53.5 percent of the European movement's funds in 1958. The board [of the ACUE] included Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, CIA directors in the fifties, and a caste of ex-OSS officials who moved in and out of the CIA."
The archives, Evans-Pritchard adds, show that the CIA essentially "treated some of the EU's 'founding fathers' as hired hands," and even "actively prevented them [from] finding alternative funding that would have broken reliance on Washington...

How can any self-respecting Briton, or European for that matter, support a project that was cooked up across the Atlantic for the purpose of maintaining Washington's Cold War hegemony

9--R+6 should complete taking Aleppo City ASAP.

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