Saturday, December 2, 2017

Today's Links

Stille Nacht  German

1--What Gazprom's Record-Breaking Gas Exports Mean for Europe's Energy Security

2--Syrian War Report – December 1, 2017: ISIS Plans To Move Its ‘Caliphate’ To Libya

3--‘This Is Obviously Not a Hack’: Dems Ignore Technical Evidence in DNC Leak Case

4--Departing Fed chairwoman seeks to reassure markets while warning of debt crisis and social inequality

5--China will send troops to Syria to fight Chinese jihadists – report

6--Dems push leaders to talk less about Russia (archive)

7--Egypt To Allow Russia To Deploy Military Planes On Its Soil

8--Does Finance Do Any Good for Society?

One economist argues that a fair and competitive banking sector can exist—but only if dismissive academics and a skeptical public hear each other out.

9-- Obama's Unpopularity Affected Democrats in Midterm Elections

10--Why A Corporate Tax Cut Won't Boost Economic Growth

11--The role of financial markets for economic growth

12-- Corporate America Is Drowning in Debt

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

14--The stock market's safety net is disappearing — but don’t sound the alarm just yet

But the party may soon be over. Share repurchases have already started to decline, and Morgan Stanley says they could be set to slow even further as central banks scale back the global money supply and as equity valuations sit near record highs. The firm also notes that a similar slowdown has befallen dividend payments, another form of so-called capital return.

15--The $29 Trillion Corporate Debt Hangover That Could Spark a Recession

There’s been endless speculation in recent weeks about whether the U.S., and the whole world for that matter, are about to sink into recession. Underpinning much of the angst is an unprecedented $29 trillion corporate bond binge that has left many companies more indebted than ever.

Leverage at companies worldwide swells to highest in 12 years

16--Greenspan: Bond bubble about to break because of 'abnormally low' interest rates

17--Corporate debt is at new highs, and these companies owe the most

18-- Barack Obama was not the lesser evil president. He was always the more effective evil.

19--The US tax bill: A massive handout to the financial elite

Saudi Arabia carries out 100th execution so far this year

shut yer big yapper
so fusion hired crowdstrike and chris steele
and also has journalists on its payroll who appear to have written articles about Russia collusion  important

Dennis Bernstein: How do you see the US and Trump fitting into all of this?
Vijay Prashad: The US position is a little curious.  Some have taken Jared Kushner’s visit to Saudi Arabia as a green light given to conduct this kind of internal coup and perhaps also to push against Lebanon and Hezbollah.  I’m sure there is some truth to that but, as I’ve said, this is a long-term policy of the Crown Prince to centralize power and put pressure on Iran.
This policy predates the Trump administration.  Obama was quite happy with the idea of centralization of power in Saudi Arabia

There is certainly collusion going on but it isn’t between Trump and Putin. It is between the elites in the media and the Democratic Party who are trying to accomplish what they failed to do with voters and what they fail to do as their plans unravel around the world.

Barack Obama’s untouchability continues even as his human rights violations are revealed. His name is rarely connected to the catastrophes he unleashed. His friends still cover for him and leave his name off the perpetrators list despite the fact that he was at the top of the criminal gang.

Once again, the strategic triangle between Iran, Russia and China finds itself victorious, inheriting and solving one of the most complicated conflicts since the end of World Wthe moment, the US has not made any announcement that they intend to stop sending arms. On the contrary, they have voiced their intention to facilitate the cooperation with us and increase the volume of their aid to the SDF. This is their current strategy. We, in turn, also hope this support will contin

I think we have to assume that the CIA and its attendant “intelligence community” have infiltrated our domestic politics as thoroughly as they did during the cold war – if not more so. After all, this is their biggest “regime change” operation to date – one carried out right here in the good old US of A.

A consistent theme is that the focus on white defections from the Democratic Party masks an even more threatening trend: declining turnout among key elements of the so-called Rising American Electorate — minority, young and single voters. Turnout among African-Americans, for example, fell by 7 points, from 66.6 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent in 2016.

A realignment is underway of electoral politics throughout the Western world.

Profiling voters based on their ethnicity, gender or social group showed its limits in 2016, as people followed an anti-establishment instinct fomented by the economic difficulties associated with globalization.

There were other factors, but this protest vote was enough to swing the election despite Trump’s obvious weaknesses as a candidate, so any notion of going back to old models should be recognized for what it would produce: a Pyrrhic victory in which the underlying problems before the country are not faced.

In the Middle East and beyond, we are witnessing a series of high-level political meetings between dozens of nations involved directly or indirectly in the Syrian situation. It is crucial to understand all this in order to understand the direction in which the region is going and what the new regional order is....

The result of the war in Syria has carved out a new Middle East, where the likes of Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington, previously regional masters of all they surveyed, appear to have more or less been deliberately cut off from the decision-making process.

MBS’s domestic actions, together with Netanyahu’s threats to Iran and Hezbollah, reveal a refusal to acknowledge defeat as well as, in the case of MBS, an extreme attempt to avoid losing control of the country....

Moscow is slowly replacing the US as the fulcrum in the region and beyond, solving conflicts and accompanying the progressive withdrawal of US military and economic influence in the region.

In the financial system funds flow from those who have surplus funds to those who have a shortage of funds, either by direct, market-based financing or by indirect, bank-based finance. The former British Prime Minister William Gladstone expressed the importance of finance for the economy in 1858 as follows: "Finance is, as it were, the stomach of the country, from which all the other organs take their tone."

. Rather, my goal is to remind us of the essential services that a developed financial sector provides for technological innovation and economic growth—mobilizing savings, evaluating projects, managing risk, monitoring managers and facilitating transactions, just as Schumpeter envisioned. We need to keep these essential services in mind as we rethink our regulatory and supervisory approaches in the wake of the financial crisis.

brookings financial system

corporate debt and profits chart

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