Most of the developed world are taking pre-emptive steps to avoid any contagion from a crisis in Greece if that country votes on Sunday for an anti-bailout government.The threat of turmoil sweeping across global markets next week if Greece's election prompts a panicky flight of money from the euro zone has policymakers from Beijing to Zurich preparing to protect their currenciesand economies from an unwelcome influx.
“This time Europe really is on the brink,” the influential intellectuals wrote in an article for Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine, which considered the catastrophic political and economic choices that the continent made during the Great Depression and the possibility that history may be about to repeat itself.Sunday’s ballot is a contest of competing ideologies. Voters must choose between well-established centrist and right-wing parties whose corruption and profligate spending on unsustainable social programs brought Greece to its knees, or Syriza, which styles itself a coalition of the radical left and has never been close to power.Syriza pays homage to Che Guevara, publishes posters with hammers and sickles and says that it will look to Russia and China as well as Europe for aid. Other than fresh spending to assist those Greeks reeling from the current economic storm, Syriza’s plans include renegotiating or reneging on a signed memorandum that Athens made with the EU that called for massive budget reforms in return for two huge tranches of emergency financial aid.The party’s ideas have been attacked as pure fantasy as there is no obvious way for Greece to get new money, let alone pay off the debts it has. But the party’s rhetorical magic has a profound appeal to those furious with the old parties and who, after decades of living comfortably on borrowed money, now have trouble paying for basics such as food, shelter and medicine.With Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland confronting their own economic crises and France and the United Kingdom beginning to show signs of serious economic distress, what Greece decides on Sunday will have a dramatic effect on the future of the EU, the eurozone and, very likely, the financial health of the rest of the world.If Greece abandons or is forced to quit the euro, the so-called Grexit could trigger a Mediterranean-wide run on banks that would probably destroy the European Central Bank.
The Bank of Canada is warning that growing concern over European debt could severely crimp financial conditions around the world and hit Canada with a “major shock” – a warning that comes as infighting broke out among the euro zone players with the most power to keep the crisis from spreading out of control.
Europe seemingly approaching the end of its can-kicking-road, Biderman is frustrated by the inane financial media's perpetual belief that we are 'a grand plan' away from a return to the way the world was before the crisis began - "We are not!" Wages and salaries in the US continue to stagnate with a $100bn per month deficit as he is incredulous at the belief that we can go on printing $1.3 trillion to produce $250 billion in spending each year. The US economy will double-dip when the Fed's attempt at rigging the stock market and economy is no longer perceived as viable and as the paisley-wearing pontificater expects both inflation (inevitable with CB printing) and deflation (big banks, European and EM equities thanks to the interventionist policies of the global central banks), he suggests gold as a core holding.
The U.S. military has completed its own planning for how American troops would conduct a variety of operations against Syria, or to assist neighboring countries in the event action was ordered, officials tell CNN.The planning comes as the U.S. has become increasingly concerned that the violence in Syria is verging on civil war. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the recent series of bombings have heightened the worry.The military planning includes a scenario for a no-fly zone as well as protecting chemical and biological sites. Officials say all the scenarios would be difficult to enact and involve large numbers of U.S. troops and extended operations.The U.S. Navy is maintaining a presence of three surface combatants and a submarine in the eastern Mediterranean to conduct electronic surveillance and reconnaissance on the Syrian regime, a senior Pentagon official said.
...the Pentagon has finalized plans to attack Syria and forcefully depose its leader, Bashar al-Assad, under the cover of securing weapons of mass destruction and preventing “sectarian violence” it has fomented by supporting and training the Free Syrian Army.
The attack plan is similar to the one used against Libya:
The military planning includes a scenario for a no-fly zone as well as protecting chemical and biological sites. Officials say all the scenarios would be difficult to enact and involve large numbers of U.S. troops and extended operations.
The Israeli army is considering using military force to prevent Syria’s alleged chemical warfare stockpiles from getting into the hands of Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda. Tel-Aviv believes that Damascus is no longer capable of securing its arsenal.On Monday Israeli Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, the country’s deputy military chief, warned that Syria could pose a threat to Israel with its chemical weapons. He declared Syria has “the largest chemical warfare stockpiles in the world,” and warned that Assad’s regime could "treat us the same way they treat their own people."According to the general, this could happen if Assad’s regime loses control over its military bases. Simultaneously, Maj. Gen. Golan openly called Syria a “failed state.”Meanwhile, recently information surfaced about armed Syrian opposition planning a provocation with the use of chemical weapons. Reportedly, they have obtained chemical weapons from Libya and plan to use it against Syrian civilians, shifting the blame for the atrocity on the government forces.
The normally-reserved Yves Smith asks whetherObama should be impeached over it.
Democratic Senator Wyden – the head of the committee which is supposed to oversee it – is so furious about the lack of access that he hasintroduced legislation to force disclosure.
Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is so upset by it that he has leaked a document on his website to show what’s going on.
What is everyone so furious about?
An international treaty being negotiated in secret which would not only crack down on Internet privacy much more than SOPA or ACTA, but would actually destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. and all other signatories.
It is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Wyden is the chairman of the trade committee in the Senate … the committee which is supposed to have jurisdiction over the TPP. Wyden is also on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and so he and his staff have high security clearances and are normally able to look at classified documents.
And yet Wyden and his staff have been denied access to the TPP’s text.This is similar to other recent incidences showing that we’ve gone from a nation of laws to a nation of powerful men making laws in secret.
If members of the Homeland Security Committee cannot enforce their right to read secret plans of the Executive Branch, then the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution would seem to be failing.
To put it another way, if the White House is successful in frustrating DeFazio, then Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority.
The 4.0 earthquake that rattled the Disneyland Resort’s red-carpet premiere of the new Cars Landattraction occurred near a major fault in Southern California that can produce a magnitude-7.0 temblor.
The 8:17 p.m. shaker occurred very near a section of the Whittier fault, which straddles the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties along the suburbs of Whittier, La Habra Heights, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Brea and Yorba Linda. Wednesday evening's quake occurred just 8 miles from Disneyland.
"The Whittier fault is capable of producing a magnitude-7 earthquake, so is of concern to many seismologists, as it lies directly under a large population center," according a report posted on theSouthern California Seismic Network.The fear would be that a small quake on the Whittier Fault could trigger a larger quake. The Whittier fault is relatively long, and the longer the fault, the bigger an earthquake can be.