Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Today's links

Today's Quote:  "The Nuland plots have all failed. The US can no longer talk to the Turks. Losing Turkey to Erdogan and his Islamists also means the US can dictate no longer in the region. You can’t expect the Americans will take it lying down. There’s no government in Washington right now. But if Clinton wins, there will be a US fight-back. It will be too late." John Helmer

1--I'm voting for Hillary Clinton—and I think most CEOs will, too (It's not just Wall Street. The entire corporatocracy is behind Hillary)

2--PM Abe's plan for $265 billion stimulus puts pressure on BOJ to ease

The size of  the package, at more than 28 trillion yen ($265.30 billion), exceeds initial estimates of around 20 trillion yen and is nearly 6 percent the size of Japan's economy. It will consist of 13 trillion yen in "fiscal measures," which likely includes spending by national and local governments, as well as loan program...

Sources told Reuters the package would have a headline figure of at least 20 trillion yen. Only about 9 trillion yen was to come from a combination of direct spending from both national and local governments and loan programs

Such "fiscal" spending" appeared to have increased to 13 trillion yen. But the rest is likely to come from state subsidies to private firms and lending from quasi-government entities, which does not involve direct government spending and thus may not give an immediate boost to growth, analysts say (another corporate giveaway)

Abe's administration has also offered few hints on how it will finance the package, casting doubts on Japan's ability to fix its tattered finances (stimulus without funding=helicopter money)

The government is considering issuing construction bonds but remains cautious about resorting to large-scale debt issuance. (no funding source. The stimulus is a designed to conceal monetization)

3--The mainstream media alleges that Russia was behind the hack of the DNC’s emails (Desperate Clinton campaign creates fictitious connection between Putin and trump)

Edward Snowden says the NSA could easily determine who hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails:

4--Pivot to Asia Scorecard: Matchpoint goes to Putin

On August 9, in St. Petersburg, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The moment is revolutionary. There has not been a comparable political turning-point in the 67 years since the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); not in the century since the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany against Russia in World War I; nor in the two centuries since Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II and the Russian Tsar Alexander I aligned against Napoleon and the British.

Russian sources say they are sure the Russian secret services did not warn Erdogan or help his forces prevail in the July 15-16 coup against him. After Erdogan began his counter-coup, and in the fight still continuing between Erdogan’s Islamic forces and the regular Turkish military, the sources add, there has been, and there will be, Russian help. It is more for the future, they explain, than for last week’s outcome that Turkish deputy prime minister Mehmet Şimşek told his counterpart Arkady Dvorkovich in Moscow on Tuesday: “I would like to thank you for support regarding recent events in Turkey, for supporting democracy and the Turkish government.”

The Russian sources say it is already agreed the two sides will pay a soon-to-be settled price in two-way trade; gas, nuclear and other energy projects; plus tourism. Much more is at stake, though, one of the sources adds. “Putin and his advisors believe Erdogan is still in danger. They support him now for the opportunity to reorganize the relationship with Turkey. They mean to secure Russia from encirclement on the southern frontier and the Black Sea, dismemberment of the Caucasus, and attack on the Kremlin by its enemies. Right now, as Europe collapses, the enemy is the US with NATO in support. If Turkey breaks with the US, NATO is a paraplegic. We shall see how Putin and Erdogan choose to portray the new Rome*, the new Byzantium* next Tuesday.”...

Russian sources are non-committal on what role US military and intelligence agencies played during the July 15 events at the Incirlik airbase and elsewhere to encourage, or not to discourage, the attempt at overthrowing Erdogan. What is certain now, as Erdogan tries to mop up, according to Greek and Cypriot analysts, is that Turkey has turned against the US and the NATO alliance. “Turkey is now moving away from western dependence,” says a well-informed region source who asks not to be identified. “This makes sense geopolitically because the west has lost control in the Middle East. Other close western allies in the region, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, are becoming autonomous, in the sense that they don’t obey the US. This is because the US can no longer act as a hegemon. Washington can’t dictate, or even recommend solutions to conflicts or rivalries, like Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Palestine. Now, with or without direct US involvement in the Turkish coup, Erdogan sees his chance to make Turkey more autonomous, so he is taking it.”...

The Nuland plots have all failed. The US can no longer talk to the Turks. Losing Turkey to Erdogan and his Islamists also means the US can dictate no longer in the region. You can’t expect the Americans will take it lying down. There’s no government in Washington right now. But if Clinton wins, there will be a US fight-back. It will be too late."...

Military sources believe Erdogan’s position is still far from assured. “The numbers and the spread of the purges tell you this is a continuous coup, which could turn into ethnic or communal revolts at any time, or civil war. Russia is positioning itself, as it did in the past, in favour of the stability of the Turkish state – right now this means Erdogan. The Kremlin is against breakup. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a weak Turkey meant to Moscow that Russia’s enemies gained control of the vital Russian interests of the time, such as the Straits.”

Greek, Cypriot and Russian sources questioned about the current course of events say the principal Russian objectives are obvious. Erdogan should stop the export of jihadis, ISIS, and sedition towards the Russian Caucasus in the form of the Chechens. He must also stop his regime-changing tactics in Syria, and not less in the Balkans and in Central Asia. The sources believe that in his current predicament Erogan is a better bet for the Kremlin than the Turkish military, or the so-called Kemalist or Gulenist political groups, encouraged by the US. If the pro-American or NATO elements can be uprooted and destroyed, Russia is bound to feel more secure — so long as Erdogan’s Sunni Islamic orientation will make its peace with Russia, as the Shiites of Iran and Iraq are doing.

5--Trouble brewing: Italian bank on the brink

From the Financial Times:
Italy was last night racing to secure a privately backed bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the most exposed of the country’s troubled lenders, including a plan to raise €5bn of fresh capital so as to avert nationalisation, according to bankers and European officials….

People directly involved in the Monte Paschi discussions say they are aiming for a private rescue of the bank to be announced before the stress test results are published after US markets close on Friday.
But they admit that the negotiations could go down to the wire or run into or beyond the weekend. This raises the prospect of shares in Monte Paschi and other Italian banks coming under renewed pressure when markets reopen on Monday, which many fear could prove lethal.

Any such rescue would be under EU rules, which would mean a so-called bail-in, where junior Monte Paschi bonds would be converted to shares, and compensation given to retail investors…
The privately backed plan, which is still under discussion and could change, would involve a multi-layered deal to rid Monte Paschi of €10bn of net non-performing loans and recapitalisation worth up to €5bn, say people involved in the talks….
Instead, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit have agreed to put an additional €160m into Atlante, a privately backed fund, alongside pension funds and CDP, the state bank, to put a total of about €3bn into Monte Paschi bad loans.

To clean up the lender, at least €10bn of its NPLs would be spun off into a special purpose vehicle. This would then be securitised, with shareholders taking the more risky junior tranche of debt and Atlante taking the mezzanine tranche.
The least-risky senior tranche would be backed up to €7bn of bridge loans from a pool of banks likely to include JPMorgan of the US and Mediobanca, the Italian investment bank. The longer term aim would be for the senior tranche to be guaranteed by a government-backed scheme, known by the acronym GACS.

To boost its capital, Monte Paschi would launch a rights issue of up to €5bn, its third in three years and worth more than five times its current market value. However, analysts believe this fund raising would be difficult given the bank’s reputation for scorching investors capital.

6--Leaks show DNC asked White House to reward donors with slots on boards and commissions  (More influence peddling by the corrupt Dem leadership)

Email exchanges involving top officials at the Democratic National Committee released along with private documents by WikiLeaks show that DNC officials hoped to reward top donors and insiders with appointments to federal boards and commissions in coordination with the White House.
The revelations give an inside look into how the Democratic Party attempted to leverage its access and influence with the White House to bring in cash

7--Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Are Now Equally Unpopular

it’s not clear which candidate is more disliked by Americans overall. The RealClearPolitics average has Clinton with a 38 percent favorable rating overall compared to Trump’s 36 percent. Gallup has them both at 37 percent, with Clinton falling from 40 percent earlier this month (possibly because of criticism by the FBI over her handling of her State Department emails) and Trump rising from 31 percent. This equal popularity (or unpopularity) is reflected in the horserace polls, which now show a near-tie

8---Deutsche Bank's second-quarter net income plunges nearly 100% year-on-year

9--The neocons are backing Hillary  (Four more wars!)

“Nothing that [Clinton] did was more clear than the NATO coalition that she built to defend civilians in Libya,” said Sloat, referencing the Obama administration’s overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. That policy, spearheaded by Clinton, has transformed a once-stable state into a lawless haven for extremist groups from across the region, including ISIS.

Kagan has advocated for muscular American intervention in Syria; Clinton’s likely pick for Pentagon chief, Michelle Flournoy, has similarly agitated for redirecting U.S. airstrikes in Syria toward ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ...

The Clinton-neocon partnership was solidified by Trump becoming the Republican nominee. But their affinity for each other has grown steadily over time.
The neoconservative Weekly Standard celebrated Clinton’s 2008 appointment as secretary of state as a victory for the right, hailing her transformation from “First Feminist” to “Warrior Queen,

10--When Erdogan meets Putin: What to expect?

Russian and Turkish political experts expect that negotiations will span an array of topics, from politics and economics to regional security. However, according to experts speaking to the independent Russian news and analysis website Svobodnaya Pressa, Turkey's support for terrorists in Syria is expected to be at the top of the agenda....

This is also evidenced by Turkish Economic Minister Nihat Zeybakchi's statement that 'political decisions have been made' on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant projects, with the Russian and Turkish leaders' meetings expected to give the projects their 'final momentum' toward being realized."

Commenting on the very public talk of warming relations, Mikhail Alexandrov, a senior expert at the Center for Military-Political Studies at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations, explained that "Erdogan's behavior is only logical."

"He is in a difficult situation. Western countries organized a coup attempt against him which, fortunately, ended up failing. Now Erdogan has factually become isolated. He needs to destroy the pro-Western fifth column in the country; hence the large-scale purges in the army and among the civil service. The West, naturally, will not tolerate this, and pressure on Erdogan is growing…The Turkish president understands that he must look for some other point of support. Turkey may be a strong regional power, but it will be very difficult for it to survive on its own in today's world."...

Russia has a serious score to settle with this terrorist group…The Turkish border must be closed to Daesh if Erdogan wants to be friends with Russia. Of course, it's entirely possible that such an agreement is concluded only in oral form. Erdogan will probably reluctantly agree to such a step," the expert suggested

The question," according to Alexandrov, "is how Ankara would work to fulfill this agreement, given the fact that in practice, the implementation of such an agreement would almost certainly lead to a conflict with the United States…Only in practice will it be possible to check if Erdogan will dare to take such a step."

In exchange, the analyst noted, Russia could rescind its sanctions on Turkish agricultural projects, and agree to participate in some joint economic projects, including within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. "We could promise Turkey support for entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which would allow it to enter the Silk Road economic zone."...

In short, much is riding on the Putin-Erdogan meeting, and the corresponding 'comparison of notes' between the two leaders; hopefully, the meeting will play a role in resolving the Syrian crisis, which has not only left the country in ruins, but has helped to destabilize the Middle East and even Europe, which continues to suffer from the consequences of the refugee crisis and radical Islamist terrorism

11--Turkish intel informed top generals hours before coup attempt, says army

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) informed the country’s top generals hours before the coup attempt was initiated by a group of soldiers within the army on July 15, while Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar evaluated the information and issued all necessary warnings and orders against “this despicable and miserable attempt,” according to a statement published on the General Staff’s official website on July 19.

Beginning the statement by announcing that the attempts of the “terrorist traitors who are members of an illegal gang [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization - FETÖ] and who have nestled into the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK]” had been suppressed as of July 17 at 4:00 p.m. throughout the country, the General Staff continued by denouncing any relation between this group and the “flag-loving, overwhelming majority” within the army.

“The information given by the National Intelligence Organization on July 15, 2016, at around 4:00 p.m. was evaluated at the General Staff headquarters with the attendance of Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, Chief of the Army General Salih Zeki Çolak and Deputy Chief of Staff  General Yaşar Güler,” said the statement, elaborating on the precaution orders given regarding the end of mobility of all military vehicles including tanks, planes, helicopters and concerning the return of the ones currently mobilized to posts. 

12--Gülen issue raises questions over US involvement in coup plot: Turkish PM 

13--One third of the (Turkish) generals and admirals were directly involved in the coup attempt and the rest of the top command echelon did not lift a finger to fight (high-ranking enemies in the army means that Erdogan could still be toppled)

an intensive media propaganda campaign is underway aimed at whitewashing the highest level of the Turkish military and declaring it innocent and clean. In an effort to cover up the fact that one third of the generals and admirals were directly involved in the coup attempt and the rest of the top command echelon did not lift a finger to fight back, all of the media outlets are promoting narratives about how the commanders-in-chief and the general chief of staff himself supposedly resisted the coup...

As it turned out, they were informed of the looming coup attempt as early as 4 pm on Friday, July 15, but launched their operations against the putschists only hours later, in the early morning hours of July 16, and only after the coup’s failure in the face of mass resistance had become clear...

The anticipated “reconstruction” of the state apparatus will primarily affect the Turkish Army. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told Bloomberg News on July 25 that there was “a serious need for restructuring in [public] institutions, especially the Armed Forces...

It is not clear how the command echelon will react to the ongoing arrests and projected reorganization of the Army. However, one thing is obvious: the ongoing blockade of the barracks by means of heavy machinery and trucks, which implies the possibility of further coup attempts, is a heavy blow on the prestige of the Turkish Army.
While seeking to consolidate the rule of his government through a consensus with opposition parties, Erdogan has arranged an official visit to St. Petersburg for August 9. Announcing the visit, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said yesterday that the scheduled meeting between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin would help normalize bilateral ties between the two countries, which dramatically deteriorated after the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Force last November 24.

14--Democratic convention nominates Hillary Clinton

The central role of racial and gender politics in the fraudulent attempt to palm off the Democratic Party as a vehicle of the people reflects, first of all, the interests of privileged upper-middle class layers, black and white, which have no interest in equality or the needs of working people, but instead are consumed by the drive to increase their own wealth and status.

It is a political means for the ruling class to win broader support for its policies of war and austerity, while dividing and demobilizing the working class. The Democratic Party and its media allies, such as the New York Times, have intensified their promotion of racial politics in the aftermath of Sanders’ withdrawal and endorsement of Clinton. They were shocked by the mass response to Sanders’ denunciations of social inequality. The fact that millions of workers and youth in America oppose the capitalist system and favor socialism, and therefore seek to unite on a class basis, makes all the more critical for the ruling class the insistence that race is the defining issue in America and white racism is pervasive

15--War and the Democratic National Convention-- Warmongering Hillary plans confrontation with China and Russia

The Democratic Party’s 2016 national convention is unfolding as a carefully scripted and staged infomercial in which this right-wing capitalist party, tied at the hip to Wall Street and the Pentagon, postures as some sort of popular representative of the people.

Amidst the humanitarian moralizing and sentimental declarations of universal brotherhood, one thing that is absent is any serious discussion of what kind of foreign policy a Clinton administration would pursue.

Despite fifteen years of the “war on terror,” the convention’s headline speakers made no mention of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the death of Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi or the White House’s drone assassination program. This silence is all the more extraordinary given the fact that the Obama administration is the first in US history that has been at war throughout two full terms in office.

The real decision-makers know, however, that in the background of the 2016 elections are escalating military tensions with Russia and China that raise the danger of world war between nuclear-armed powers.....

As Mark Landler, author of Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power, put it earlier this year, “For all their bluster about bombing the Islamic State into oblivion, neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.

As Secretary of State, Clinton proved to be a more open advocate of military force than Obama. “On bedrock issues of war and peace,” writes Landler, “Clinton’s more activist philosophy…collided” with Obama’s “instincts toward restraint.”
The fact that Obama, who as the New York Times noted in May, “has now been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president,” is presented as an example of military restraint is a testament to Clinton’s credentials as a warmonger.

In addition to calling for more aggressive military intervention than Obama in Afghanistan and Iraq, Clinton “pressed for the United States to funnel arms to the rebels in Syria’s civil war (an idea Obama initially rebuffed before later, halfheartedly, coming around to it).” She privately demanded that Obama set up a no-fly zone in Syria after declarations by the US military/intelligence apparatus in 2013 that Syrian President Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons, declaring, “If you say you’re going to strike, you have to strike. There’s no choice.”

Bruce Riedel, a former intelligence analyst who conducted Obama’s initial review on the Afghanistan war, told Landler, “One of the surprises for…the military was...that they have a secretary of state who’s a little bit right of them on [military] issues—a little more eager than they are...

Writing in the National Interest, Yale professor David Bromwich observed the growing convergence between the policies of Clinton, her “left” apologists and the neoconservatives who helped launch the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“The past few weeks have cemented an extraordinary alliance to defeat Trump that joins two foreign-policy sects that were never entirely distinct: the neoconservatives who commandeered the Bush-Cheney foreign policy of 2001-2006, and liberal interventionists who supported the Iraq war, the Libya war, an expanded program of drone killings, and military intervention in Syria beyond what the Obama administration has allowed.”

He notes, “With a spate of recent articles and op-eds, these people are preparing the ground for Hillary Clinton to assert that the Russian government is in league with the Trump campaign, and that Russia has intervened in the election by releasing hacked Democratic National Committee emails to embarrass Clinton.”
This campaign has been led by the New York Times, whose resident Clinton apologist, Paul Krugman, declared Donald Trump to be a “Siberian candidate” and a proxy for Putin, whom Clinton is determined to oppose.

This theme was taken up in the form of abbreviated remarks by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright at the DNC last night. Albright denounced Russia with a ferocity unheard of since the end of the Cold War. Bemoaning that her “native Czechoslovakia had been taken over by Communists,” Albright declared, “Take it from someone who fled the Iron Curtain, I know what happens when you give the Russians a green light.”

The US ruling class has historically waited to implement long-prepared military escalations until after elections, and the coming year poses enormous danger

16--Putin warns of nuclear war (you tube)

17--Turkey's Foreign Policy Change Is Well Underway

Turkey is convinced that the U.S. had some hand in the coup, or at least knew about it before it happened but did not warn Ankara. That the coup is U.S. related is not just a conspiracy theory without any basis. The tanker airplanes which filled up the F-16 bombers which bombed the parliament during the coup started from the NATO airbase in Incirlik where the U.S. command for the war on Syria is seated. Three of the five regiments involved in the coup in Istanbul are part of NATO's Rapid Deployable Corps. One of the coup commanders is the head of the Turkish second army which is coordinating the war on Syria (and ISIS) with the U.S. military....

The Turkish Sufi cult leader and preacher Fethullah Gülen resides in Pennsylvania from where he controls his world wide charter school empire and network. Gülen is rumored to be under control of the CIA. Two former high ranking CIA officers gave supporting statements for him in the 1990s when he requested residency in the U.S.
Turkey now demands Gülen's extradition. The evidence Turkey is giving for his culpability in the coup consists mostly of confessions of involved officers. These were given under somewhat coerced conditions. They are unlikely to be sufficient to convince the various interest groups in the U.S. to allow Gülen's extradition.
But that would fit Turkey's plans well.

1 comment:

  1. eToro is the ultimate forex trading platform for new and established traders.