Banks, investors and companies are bracing themselves for the possibility that the euro will break up -- and are thus increasing the likelihood that precisely this will happen.There is increasing anxiety, particularly because politicians have not managed to solve the problems. Despite all their efforts, the situation in Greece appears hopeless. Spain is in trouble and, to make matters worse, Germany's Constitutional Court will decide in September whether the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is even compatible with the German constitution.
On the financial markets, the political wrangling over the right way to resolve the crisis has accomplished primarily one thing: it has fueled fears of a collapse of the euro.The fear of a collapse is not limited to banks. Early last week, Shell startled the markets. "There's been a shift in our willingness to take credit risk in Europe," said CFO Simon Henry.One person who has long expected the euro to break up is Philipp Vorndran, 50, chief strategist at Flossbach von Storch, a company that deals in asset management.For the past three years, Vorndran has been preparing his clients for major changes in the composition of the monetary union.
The Department of Homeland Security is rushing to finish the acquisition of 750 million rounds of high-power ammunition that has already raised many eyebrows. In one week, the DHS should start expecting an arsenal that will make some armies jealous.The DHS does not, however, answer why exactly they want to give its federal agents tasked with counterterrorism around 750 million rounds of ammo. On paper the proposal says their request is to fulfill training exercise requirements, but why is the DHS equipping their officers with the know-how to shoot a basketball-size hole in a human body?And for those not keeping score, already this year the DHS has asked for upwards of 150 sets of full-body armor specifically to prepare law enforcement for any protests at the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2013 Presidential Inauguration and other events of national significance. Oh, and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has admitted that she wants the agency to accumulate more surveillance drones to conduct domestic surveillance for the sake of “public safety.
Fears that federal authorities are preparing for mass civil unrest have increased after it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year.
The upshot, per Barry Rubin, means that we now have a de facto Islamist dictator in charge of the most important Sunni state in the Middle East:There is no parliament at present. He is now the democratically elected dictator of Egypt. True, he picked another career officer but he has now put forward the principle: he decides who runs the army. The generals can still advise Mursi. He can choose to listen to them or not. But there is no more dual power in Egypt but only one leader. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces which has run Egypt since February 2011 is gone. Only Mursi remains and Egypt is now at his mercy.
Oh and to put the icing on the cake, Mursi will apparently decide who will be on the commission that writes the new Constitution…
This is a coup. Mursi is bound by no constitution. He can do as he pleases unless someone is going to stop him. And the only candidate–the military–is fading fast, far faster than even we pessimists would have predicted.
The Hizbullah terror leadership claimed Monday that its missiles can now reach all of Israeli territory.Speaking at a ceremony in southern Lebanon, Nabil Ka'uk announced from the podium that “Hizbullah rockets can reach all Israeli settlements,” referring to Israeli towns and cities. The reference by Ka'uk, who is deputy director for Hizbullah's terror activities, included all territory, including that liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, and those that preceded it
IDF military intelligence experts have estimated that Hizbullah has stockpiled tens of thousands of missiles in varying ranges, all of which are pointed at various locations within the Jewish State.
A second Israeli TV report on Monday night went so far as to specify the ostensible timeframe for a possible Israeli attack, based in part on a tentative meeting scheduled between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.Netanyahu is set to meet the president — in Washington, rather than as previously thought at the UN General Assembly in New York — between September 28 and October 1.The timeframe for an Israeli attack, the report suggested, would thus be sometime between October 2 and the presidential elections on November 6. Immediately after the US elections, Israel could presumably not defy a newly elected president. And fairly soon after that, it might be too late for Israel to stop Iran because of the Iranians’ progress and the limitations of Israel’s military capacity.
Russia harshly criticized new U.S. sanctions against Iran on Monday, calling them “overt blackmail” and a "crude contradiction of international law," warning that relations between Washington and Moscow could significantly soar if Russian companies are affected."We are talking about restrictive measures not only against Iran but also affecting foreign companies and individuals working with it, including in the hydrocarbon extraction and transport, petrochemicals, finance and insurance industries," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement."We consider efforts to ... impose internal American legislation on the entire world completely unacceptable," it said. "We reject methods of overt blackmail that the United States resorts to in relation to the companies and banks of other countries."
The Syrian opposition calls for international powers to impose a no-fly zone in areas bordering on Jordan and Turkey. The president of the Syrian National Council, Abdelbaset Sieda, the head of Syria's main opposition group in exile, made this call just hours after Washington said it was mulling exactly such a possibility.During a visit to Istanbul on Saturday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the establishment of a no-fly zone over some parts of Syria would strengthen the hand of the anti-Assad opposition. The creation of such a zone over Libya last year seriously constrained the use of pro-Gaddafi aviation and artillery. France, Britain and then NATO made ample use of it to eventually bring about a regime change in Libya and this is exactly what may now happen in Syria. Says Adzhar Kurtov, an expert with the Institute of Strategic Assessments in Moscow.
Americans may try to make it happen in circumvention of the Council, which will set the stage for a ground operation and we already see signs of this in the recent concentrations of armor and artillery along the country’s border with Turkey and Jordan"Fighting broke out between Jordanian and Syrian forces in a border region between the two countries on Friday involving a number of armored vehicles on both sides. There have been no immediate reports of any one killed or wounded, but it is already obvious that the Syrian conflict is spilling over into neighboring Jordan.