Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Today's links

1--Global Bond Market Rally Unravels as Japan Shows Limit to Demand

The record-setting global bond market rally is coming undone.
The average yield on bonds in Bank of America Corp.’s G-7 Government Index climbed to 0.58 percent, the highest level in five weeks. The move is a rebound from the record low of 0.45 percent set in July. Japan led the selloff, and yields are rising from Australia to Germany.

2--It Was All A Dream—–Japan’s Monetary Fiasco Removes All

.... Month-over-month, the consumer price index was down again, leaving it 0.48% less in June 2016 than June 2015. This was the third consecutive month of increasingly negative year-over-year CPI estimates.

When QQE was first implement back in April 2013, its staff economists guessed that it would take two years to get Japan back to 2% inflation; the standard target for almost all the central banks in the “developed” world. The point of QQE as apart from all prior QE’s, and there had been nine or ten before it depending on your definitions, was that it would be so big, powerful, and sustained that the “deflationary mindset” that had, according to orthodox economists, gripped Japan for decades would be forced to surrender to this new monetary regime. Two years was their conservative forecast.

The Bank of Japan did achieve the first part; the central bank has, as of the latest balance sheet figures for June 2016, quadrupled the level of bank reserves in Japan. The end of month balance in March 2013 was ¥52.6 trillion, a number that at the outset of prior QE’s was already supposed to be impressive, further meaning that it wasn’t as if BoJ was starting from nothing. More than three years and an acceleration of QQE later, there are now ¥272.6 trillion of bank reserves in Japan, an increase of 418.2%...

JPY is back to within 100 again today, completing a full round trip. The CPI was published last week at -0.50% and still falling. (After all the QE, the yen still rises while inflation gets progressively weaker. A complete policy failure)

3--  Bank lending continues to decelerate

4--Mortgage interest rates may hit new record low

5--Cockburn on the Turkish coup--  (excellent) 

"it is becoming clear that the attempted putsch was not just the work of a small clique of dissatisfied officers inside the armed forces; it was rather the product of a vast conspiracy to take over the Turkish state that was decades in the making and might well have succeeded.

At the height of the uprising, the plotters had captured the army chief of staff and the commanders of land, sea and air forces.They were able to do so through the connivance of guards, private secretaries and aides who occupied crucial posts.....

There is little question left that the followers of Fethullah Gulen were behind the coup attempt, despite his repeated denials. “I don’t have any doubt that the brain and backbone of the coup were the Gulenists,” says Kadri Gursel, usually a critic of the government. He adds that he is astonished by the degree to which the Gulenists were able to infiltrate and subvert the armed forces, judiciary and civil service...

Many Turks (and not just his supporters) criticise foreign governments and media for making only a token condemnations of the coup attempt before demanding restraint in conduct of the purge. They point out that, if the coup had more successful, Turkey would have faced a full-blown military dictatorship or a civil war, or both. Erdogan said in an interview that foreign leaders who now counsel moderation would have danced for joy if he had been killed by the conspirators.....

She has co-authored a report citing biased foreign reporting hostile to Erdogan and only mildly critical of the coup-makers. She quotes a tweet from an MSNBC reporter at the height of the coup attempt, saying that “a US military source tells NBC News that Erdogan, refused landing rights in Istanbul, is reported to be seeking asylum in Germany”....

even so, it is difficult to find anybody on the left or right who does not suspect that at some level the US was complicit in the coup attempt. Erdogan is probably convinced of this himself, despite US denials, and this will shape his foreign policy in future.

“The lip-service support Erdogan got from Western states during and immediately after the coup attempt shows his international isolation,” said one observer. The Turkish leader is off to see Vladimir Putin on 9 August, though it is doubtful if an alliance with Russia and Iran is really an alternative to Turkey’s long-standing membership of Nato.

Erdogan can claim that the alternative to him is a bloody-minded collection of brigadier generals who showed no restraint in killing civilians and bombing parliament. But the strength and reputation of the Turkish state is being damaged by revelations about the degree to which it has been systematically colonised since the 1980s by members of a secret society.

6--British to train more terrorists in Middle East destabilization scheme-- British troops head to Saudi Arabia to train Syrian rebels--The mission will mean Britain is training Syrian moderate rebel fighters in four countries in the region

7--US homeownership rate falls to lowest level in 51 years

8--Terror's last stand--New chemical weapons claims pose threat of US escalation of Syrian war

“[T]his is really their last stand,” Middle East analyst Firas Maksad told Al Jazeera of the Islamist rebels. “If they lose Aleppo, which they’ve held a major portion of now for about four-odd years, they might as well have lost all the battle for Syria.”...

Allegations and insinuations that the Syrian regime is waging chemical warfare should be taken as a warning. In August and September, 2013, the Obama administration seized on claims of a Syrian government sarin gas attack—later proven by journalist Seymour Hersh and others to be fabricated—to bring the US to the brink of yet another full-scale war in the Middle East. Obama ultimately decided against direct US involvement after the British parliament scuttled UK entry, and amid mass popular disaffection with war and sharp divisions within the military-intelligence apparatus.

Obama’s last-minute pullback from direct US involvement has been the source of sharp recriminations in American ruling circles. Proponents of an attack, including the current Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, viewed the decision as a humiliating retreat that would embolden Russia, which maintains its only foreign naval base in Syria.

The new claims come amid a rapid erosion in the position of the US-backed Islamist rebels in Syria. Government forces, backed by Russian air power, have made consistent gains over the past year, culminating in the current siege on the rebel-held city of Aleppo. Western portions of the city are already in government hands.

In an attempt to break the siege, rebel forces led by the Al Nusra Front—recently rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Front for the Conquest of Syria)—have launched a last-ditch offensive, attacking Aleppo on its southwestern outskirts.
The outcome remains unclear, though a Russian military spokesman, Sergey Rudskoy, claimed on Monday that the Islamist forces had been badly beaten. ...

With its five-year-old war for regime change in Syria failing, the Obama administration is prepared to do almost anything to prevent defeat in a war that has already killed over 400,000, made upwards of 10 million into refugees, and destroyed what had been, prior to 2011, one of the most advanced Arab societies.
The US and its proxy fighters are clinging to sections of Aleppo, a city that had served as the major supply route for weapons distributed to Islamists across Syria—and where 250,000 people are believed to still reside. The US has sought to scuttle Russian proposals to evacuate the city through humanitarian corridors. US ambassador to the United Nations called the proposal “chilling,” and Secretary of State John Kerry has claimed that it is a “ruse.” For its part, Russia claims that Islamist militias are preventing residents from evacuating.

The US has opposed every serious effort at a negotiated settlement to the war, insisting that there can be no peace discussions without the removal of Bashar al-Assad. That is, Washington insists that the bloodletting must continue until regime change is achieved and Syria is reduced to a vassal state of the US

9-- An Eloquent Silence: The West does not respond to Turkish accusations

Something very strange is happening. The great majority of the mainstream western media are “under-reporting” the quite monumental events affecting one of the most important NATO allies.

In the same time more and more accusations and more concrete ones are coming out of Turkey about the West supporting the failed coup! Still western media and capitals behave like it is just normal for leaders and officials of a NATO country to accuse the United States of supporting a coup in their country!

10--Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on

The ICTY’s exoneration of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its ’official enemies’ not with a pinch of salt, but a huge lorry load. 


For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and 'liberal interventionist' pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated)  was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): 'Milosevic's genocidal aggression' 'Milosevic's genocidal aggression'.

But the official narrative, just like the one that told us that in 2003, Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, was a deceitful one, designed to justify a regime change-op which the Western elites had long desired.

The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity.

There was no official announcement or press conference regarding Milosevic‘s exoneration. We’ve got journalist and researcher Andy Wilcoxson to thank for flagging it up for us.
How very different it all was when the trial of the so-called ‘Butcher of the Balkans’, began in February 2002! Then, you‘d have to have been locked in a wardrobe not to be aware of what was going on

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