Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NATO Braces For Possible Military Conflict With Russia, China Stages Live Military Drills, An Economic Earthquake Is Rumbling

NATO Braces for Possible Military Conflict With Russia - Think-Tank / Sputnik International

A European defense think-tank policy analysis reveals that NATO and Russia are bracing for a possible military confrontation.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia are bracing for a possible military confrontation, a European defense think-tank policy analysis revealed Wednesday.

“Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, and NATO is preparing for a possible confrontation with Russia,” the European Leadership Network (ELN) brief stated.

The London-based institute cited two major military exercises conducted this year as grounds for its prognosis.
NATO held Allied Shield drills involving 15,000 personnel from 19 member states in a number of Eastern European nations in June. These included Trident Joust in Romania, BALTOPS, Saber Strike and Noble Jump – NATO’S first Very High Readiness Joint Task Force deployment – in Poland.
In March, 80,000 Russian troops and thousands of units of equipment took part in nationwide snap combat readiness inspections.

The ELN argued that the intensified nature and the scale of both exercises demonstrate the likelihood that “each side is training with the other side’s capabilities and most likely war plans in mind.”

“These tensions are further aggravated and elevated into a sense of unpredictability when the exercises are not pre-notified or publicly announced beforehand,” the think-tank noted.

The ELN recommended a four-step pathway toward alleviating simmering tensions, including boosting NATO-Russia communication, examining drills in border areas, utilizing OSCE and Soviet-era confidence building measures channels. Additionally, the institute proposed the adoption of a new conventional arms control treaty.
Russia’s relations with the United States, the European Union and other Western states deteriorated sharply in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict, as well as NATO’s continuous eastward expansion.
Moscow has repeatedly claimed that NATO's increased activities near its borders undermine regional stability.

China’s military has begun a series of live-fire drills involving more than 140,000 troops that aim to improve joint operational command.

The four main branches of the People’s Liberation Army have over the past two days launched exercises in the Chengdu and Nanjing military regions, state media said. The drills — code named Joint Action-2015 — are among five training sessions involving the army, navy, air force and the Second Artillery Corps, the nuclear weapons unit, the official PLA Daily said.

China plans 100 joint exercises this year as the country’s largely untested military steps up efforts to sharpen combat- readiness at a time of rising tensions over territorial disputes with Asian neighbors. President and commander-in-chief Xi Jinping has boosted military spending and pushed the PLA, the world’s largest military with 2.3 million active members, to enhance its ability to fight and win battles.
Compared with previous drills, this year’s exercises will place more emphasis on improving joint-command efficiency among various branches of the armed forces, with a focus on maritime operational training, according to the PLA Daily. Xinhua also quoted an official from the general staff as saying the drills will also emphasize improving strategic early warning, surveillance gathering, logistical support and developing a new type of combat force — a reference to cyber warfare.

The PLA Navy last month conducted live drills in the South China Sea, where China has been asserting its claims to more than 80 percent of one of the world’s busiest waterways. China’s construction of an artificial island with a runway capable of landing military jets has riled other claimant states such as the Philippines and fueled tensions with the U.S., which runs regular patrols in the area.

Another military exercise at a base in Inner Mongolia in July included an assault on a building that resembled the presidential office in Taiwan. China still considers Taiwan a renegade province almost 70 years after the civil war that led Nationalist forces to flee across the strait.

While the people sleep, an economic earthquake rumbles underneath. The day that they begin to feel the quake draws near.
History will record that in this decade more people will lose more money (forget about the trillions of dollars already lost) than at any time in our history, including during the Great Depression.
At the same time, a very small group has made and will make huge sums of money.
During the Y2K scare (a real hoax) many people stored food. Then, after Y2K, many people wanted to dump their cache; and some did.
We advised readers at the time to store food simply because of the crisis world we live in, but to store those foods that you could rotate and consume. Stored food is a hedge against inflation. It’s a hedge against natural disaster. It’s a hedge against economic collapse. It was our advice before, and it has been our advice since.
This advice is still valid. People who don’t have some stored food don’t realize how dependent they are on the system and government. Of course, the system was designed and created to make the people dependent on government. That makes them easier to control.
Many people have been in hard times since 2008, thanks to bursting housing and derivatives bubbles — both fueled by the Federal Reserve’s money printing and both predicted by meand by many other writers. For those of us who are not well-connected (those of us who are not in the 1 percent), there has been no relief. While the banksters got bailouts and Wall Street and the banksters benefited from the money printers, the middle class was impoverished. Savings were wiped out.
More working-age people than ever before are not working. More young workers than ever before are still living with their parents because they are either out of work or working at low-paying jobs. More people than ever before are on the government dole. Welfare pays more than most jobs. Retirement funds have been cashed out and spent on living expenses.
Wages have not kept up with inflation — not the phony inflation numbers peddled by the Fed and the propaganda media, but real inflation.

Printing-press money is fertile ground for expanding world crisis. Crisis is excellent cover for national and international chicanery. Boy, we have it!
How can anyone who is paying attention not recognize these tremors for what they are?
The default rate of companies with the lowest credit rating is at its highest level since 2013.
The auto loan debt bubble is at $900 billion, fueled by easy credit and long-term loans (more than 60 months on even used cars) that put the car buyer upside down as he drives off the lot and keeps him there. U.S. mortgage holders are carrying the most non-mortgage debt they’ve had in more than 10 years; 81 percent of that is automobile debt. Student-loan debt held by mortgage holders is the highest it’s ever been, with the average balance owed at nearly $35,000. Almost 5.7 million homeowners remain underwater on their mortgages.
We see bad inflation in the immediate future. Inflation in housing and consumer goods exceeds the Fed’s stated inflation goal of 2 percent, but Fed Chair Janet Yellen is talking about raising interest rates to kick-start more inflation. But a deflationary collapse has started in commodities, oil and gold. The dollar is rising. Today’s dollar index chart mirrors the dollar index chart pre-2008 collapse.
U.S. dollar assets are in a slow-motion crash. A financial asset is any paper asset, such as CDs, bank accounts, U.S. government bonds, etc. While we sleep, we are losing our savings. The U.S. stock market is in a QE-driven bubble that will soon burst.
Inflation and deflation are both forms of wealth destruction and impoverishment. Now think about this: The U.S. government has an official and stated policy of currency destruction through inflation. This is voluntary destruction of the currency. If instead we have deflation because of the collapse of debt, we still have currency destruction.
Besides, the U.S. dollar and U.S. financial assets pay almost no interest. Plus, it’s now official U.S. and World Bank policy to take your money in the event of another collapse as we saw in 2008. They call it a “bail in.” That is a code word for “what’s yours is really theirs.”

The Greeks ignored the warning signs of their failing economy to their detriment. They were left standing in long lines, waiting to withdraw meager amounts of their own rationed cash, and diving in dumpsters for food because the shelves were bare.
Sooner or later, inflation skyrockets. Paper money economies always crash in the end, and their currencies end up worthless.

For anyone who might have missed it, Brazil is in trouble.
The country is "at the center of a triple unwind of EM credit, China’s leverage, and US monetary easing" (to quote Morgan Stanley) and as Goldman recently pointed out, faces a stagflationary nightmare
Last quarter, Brazil suffered through the worst growth-inflation mix in over ten years. As Goldman put it, "since 1Q2004 there has not been a single quarter in which we had simultaneously higher inflation and lower growth than during 2Q2015."

Of course as we said late last month, the simple fact is that whether it's China, runaway stagflation, or simple politician greed and corruption, Brazil has passed the recession phase and its economy is in absolute free fall and against a backdrop of an escalating currency war (which the country's most important trading partner has just officially entered), unattainable fiscal targets, and protracted weakness in commodity prices, the path to stabilization and rebalancing is anything but clear, but what does seem virtually certain is that Brazil has a date with junk status in the not-so-distant future. 
And on cue, just moments ago:
So that's one step up from junk for Moody's and one step from junk for S&P - it shouldn't be long now, because no matter what Moody's says, there isn't anything "stable" about this situation.

No comments: