Monday, August 14, 2017

Today's links

"A politics fixated on indelible differences will inevitably lead to resentments that extremists can exploit in ugly ways on the right and left." WSJ editorial

1-- Great Corporate Bond Rush of 2017 Persists as Fed Mulls Hike

Corporate debt explodes

2-- Corporate debt is at new highs

Uh, oh.

3-- Corporate Censorship Tightens The Noose, Caitlin Johnstone 

4-- This is big-- Turkey Ending Support for Syrian Rebels

5-- Who’s Behind Antifa? The Gov??

6--Mattis and Tillerson: “We’re Holding Pyongyang to Account”

The object of our peaceful pressure campaign is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea. We do not seek an excuse to garrison U.S. troops north of the Demilitarized Zone. We have no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang....

Chinese entities are, in one way or another, involved with roughly 90% of North Korean trade. This affords China an unparalleled opportunity to assert its influence with the regime. ...

While diplomacy is our preferred means of changing North Korea’s course of action, it is backed by military options. The U.S. alliances with South Korea and Japan are strong. But Pyongyang has persistently rebuffed Seoul’s attempts to create conditions whereby peaceful dialogue can occur, and has instead proceeded on its reckless course of threats and provocation...

The U.S. will continue to work with our allies and partners to deepen diplomatic and military cooperation, and to hold nations accountable to their commitments to isolate the regime. That will include rigorous enforcement of sanctions, leaving no North Korean source of revenue untouched. In particular, the U.S. will continue to request Chinese and Russian commitments not to provide the regime with economic lifelines and to persuade it to abandon its dangerous path.

7-- Trump's handout to Wall Street  Trump Chips Away at Postcrisis Wall Street Rules --Cutting thru the red tape to reward the Banksters

Plan to restrict bonuses has been dropped, and some limits on banks’ trading are under review

8--Margin Debt Sets Four New Peaks This Year — a Red Flag with a New Twist

9--Despite Record Stock Markets, Almost Half of Americans Own No Stocks

10--The Price Still Isn’t Right for Consumers-- Low inflation helps people buy more, but without stronger income gains spending growth will remain weak

11-- U.S. Stocks: We’re No. 39!-- America's stock market is one of the world's worst performers this year

12--  Margin Pressure Ahead for U.S. Companies-- Productivity growth is a great boon to companies but it has been poor in the U.S. and there are few signs of improvement

13-- Why Jobs, Wages and Savings Mean Weaker Profits

Weak wage growth has Americans saving less. That can’t go on forever

14-- Charlottesville: What You Wish Upon Others, You Wish Upon Yourself

U.S. "liberals" cuddle fascists and right-wing religious extremists in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and elsewhere.

15-- Russia brings peace to Syria-- Large numbers of Syrians are returning home.

" According to a study by the International Organization for Migration (a United Nations body), some 602,759 displaced Syrians have been returned to their homes of which about two-thirds of that number specifically resettled in Aleppo Governorate.

16-- Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford talks peace while gearing up for war games, threats and provocations

“We’re all looking to get out of this situation without a war,” Dunford said, even as he stressed Pyongyang possessing nuclear weapons that threaten the United States and its regional allies is “unacceptable.”

“As a military leader, I’ve got to make sure that the president does have viable military options in the event that the diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign fails,” he added.

But some experts do not agree that Pyongyang’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is an unacceptable option. Richard Bush, a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center, said the Trump administration has “made a big mistake” by determining that North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States is something to fight over

New military exercises to start
Annual exercises between the U.S. and South Korean militaries, dubbed Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, begin later this month. North Korea has always condemned these exercises, and some experts fear these war games could increase hostilities from Pyongyang while irking Beijing, a key influencer of North Korea.

“If you have the current tensions and pile on top of that these exercises, it’s going to make for a much worse situation,” Joel Wit, who helped negotiate the 1994 U.S.-North Korea nuclear deal that delayed North Korea’s nuclear program for almost a decade, told VOA.

A senior official with U.S. Pacific Command, which overseas military activity in the region, said China will almost certainly propose to Dunford that the U.S. and South Korea stop these exercises. However, the Trump administration would not agree to that proposal because it considers the exercises necessary for readiness in the event of an attack, the official added...

The United States has carried our several B-1B Lancer strategic bomber jet flights from Guam to the peninsula, with the last one carried out about a week ago. Japanese and South Korean jets have escorted the bombers at times.

The United States also has deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system to South Korea that can shoot down short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Two of the system’s six launchers are fully operational, and President Moon has ordered consultations on the possibility of deploying the final four interceptors, which are already in-country. THAAD’s ability to take out missile threats has proven 15 for 15 in tests conducted since 2005, when the system began operational testing.

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