Tuesday, August 9, 2016

More Links

1--QE Fail:  BOE Can’t Part Investors From Long Bonds as QE Hits Early Snag

A funny thing happened on the way to the bond market....

2--Ready to restore ties: Putin, Erdogan revive economic plans, agree to Syria talks

3--US Adopts Double Standard Approach Toward Use of Chemical Weapons

4--Archive:  Russian Jets Withdraw From Syria

On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Defense Ministry to withdraw the bulk of the Russian military contingent in Syria. Russia's aerial campaign in Syria has, on the whole, accomplished its objectives, Putin said.
Later, the chair of the Russian Federation Council's Committee on Defense and Security said that around 1,000 Russian service personnel and some reconnaissance aircraft would remain at the Hmeymim and Tartus bases. The remaining forces are due to monitor the ongoing ceasefire in Syria

5--Stalemate in Aleppo

The situation remains tense in southwestern Aleppo. The Jaish al-Fatah operation room holds positions in the corridor to the militant-controlled areas in eastern Aleppo while clashes are reported at the Cement Plant and in the 1070 Apartment Project. The jihadists also shell the pro-government positions in the 3000 Apartment Project. However, they have not been able to launch a successful advance there. The Syrian army’s artillery and the Russian and Syrian air power have been striking on targets in the 1070 Apartment Project, the Ramouseh Artillery Base and the jihadists’ rear.

The both sides have difficulties with providing supplies to the besieged areas because the opened corridors through the Castello Highway and the Alramousa road don’t allow free passage of aid convoys. If the jihadists are able to widen the opened corridor and launch constant delivers to eastern Aleppo, it will be a major military, PR and diplomatic blow to the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies. Some believe that if this redline is passed, Moscow could be pushed to use ground forces in order to save its achievements of the operation in Syria that had already drawn significant human, organizational and financial resources.

6--Negative yields are doing the opposite of what was intended

7--Outside help behind rebel advances in Aleppo   FT-- Moon of Alabama

Syria’s opposition has hailed rebel advances in the strategic city of Aleppo as a stunning success for ragtag forces, while the international community looked on as 300,000 Syrians suffered a weeks-long siege. ...But the offensive against President Bashar al-Assad’s troops may have had more foreign help than it appears: activists and rebels say opposition forces were replenished with new weapons, cash and other supplies before and during the fighting.

“At the border yesterday we counted tens of trucks bringing in weapons,” said one Syrian activist, who crosses between Syria and neighbouring Turkey. “It’s been happening daily, for weeks … weapons, artillery — we’re not just talking about some bullets or guns.”

Adel Jubair, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, has repeatedly warned that Riyadh could increase military aid to the rebels if attempts to resolve the conflict politically were further disregardedIn weeks of unresolved wrangling over that plan, Nusra dissolved itself, revoked direct ties to al-Qaeda and renamed itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. It is now credited with masterminding the rebels’ Aleppo advances.Washington set the last deadline for August 1, which it and Moscow then ignored. Instead, US and Russian officials said they were close to finalising a plan to jointly target Jabhat al-Nusra, which was al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, and Isis.The rebels’ foreign backers have grown ever more frustrated by missed deadlines for peace talks that are to be brokered by the US and Russia.

The city is Syria’s largest and the last remaining urban stronghold of the rebels, who have been fighting for five years against Mr Assad. Without it, they could become a rural rebellion with far less pressure to bear on political negotiations that world powers hope will end the bloodshed.They say there are strong strategic reasons for some foreign powers to want to quietly help the opposition in Aleppo.Both Iran and Russia back the Assad regime, and Russian air power was critical to the government laying its weeks-long siege on rebel-held areas of Aleppo. Rebel fighters claim they broke the siege on their territory when they advanced into regime-held districts over the weekend and have vowed to retake the whole of Aleppo.“The Americans, of course, knew what was going on.

They ignored it to put some pressure back on Russia and Iran,” said a western diplomat in contact with the opposition.Some rebels claim that US officials supporting moderate rebel forces intentionally turned a blind eye to Fatah al-Sham’s participation in the offensive to ensure the opposition maintains a foothold in Aleppo.This was in spite of the fact that the rebel offensive — dubbed “the great Aleppo battle” — has been led and organised by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, a jihadi group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.Two other rebels, who, like all those interviewed, asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, described cash and supplies being ferried in for weeks. They and others believe the money and supplies came from regional backers, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and were sent in trucks across Turkey’s border with Syria....A lot of money has gone in the last month to get all these [rebel] groups to play along [co-ordinate],” said one opposition figure based in Turkey. “That’s the only way you get these guys to work together — you have to pay them.”

“Now we have to deal with a new tragedy: that the saviours of the people of Aleppo include among them a terrorist group,” wrote Abdelaziz Hamza, a Syrian activist and one of the exiled founders of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which documents abuses by the jihadi group Isis. “This terrorist group did more to help the besieged, starved Syrians in Aleppo than the entire international community.”The problem, critics argue, is that a jihadi-led campaign has emerged as the biggest opposition success story after years of daily bombardment in Aleppo.Two other opposition figures said one of the Islamist forces aligned with Fatah al-Sham had received outside training in recent months.“That is not a crappy rebel group. That’s a well-trained force. They were landing 10 shells within a 100m square radius,” he said, asking not to be named because he suspected there was Gulf or Turkish involvement. “You need someone to train you … in a way someone who understood military doctrine would.”“The rebels’ problem has never been a lack of weapons,” the western diplomat said. “This was internally planned, and it succeeded not because of outside support but because Fatah al-Sham and the other jihadi groups are incredibly disciplined, with plenty of guys willing to blow themselves up at the front.”Still, some Syria observers believe the role of Fatah al-Sham, not foreign help, explains the change in the rebels’ fortunes.

...even though the tool’s efficacy remains in doubt in terms of promoting growth and inflation, although it may have helped prevent worse outcomes. The BOE itself says corporate bond purchases could provide a bigger bang for the Bank’s buck; but the limited size of the U.K. market means it is buying only £10 billion of company debt over 18 months. The size and liquidity of government bond markets means the BOE can make a splash quickly...

While central banks are focused mainly on the stock of holdings, markets are driven by flows. In the U.K.’s case, there will now be negative net government bond issuance for the rest of the year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts. The BOE will more than soak up the amount of new securities being brought to market.....

The point at which central bank balance sheets might shrink lies ever further off. The age of quantitative easing is far from over.


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