Thursday, May 30, 2013

In The News: Situation With Syria Worsening - Tipping Point Rapidly Approaching

Assad: Russia Already Delivered S-300 Batteries

Despite a concerted international effort aimed at preventing the controversial arms deal, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed that a shipment of Russian-made S-300 missiles — a state-of-the-art air defense system — has already arrived in his country.
In an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television scheduled to be broadcast Thursday night, the Syrian leader boasted that his country had received the first batch of missiles and asserted that “the rest of the load will arrive soon,” the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported.

The planned delivery of the sophisticated system, which can intercept fighter jets and cruise missiles, had created a tense standoff between Israel, Syria, and Russia, with Israel threatening to do “whatever it takes” to prevent the weapons being deployed, and Syria responding that it would retaliate in kind for any Israeli strike.

Last week, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror told a gathering of European Union ambassadors that while Israel may not be able to prevent the delivery of S-300 batteries to Syria, it would act to prevent them from becoming operational.

The Syrian president also told Al-Manar that his country would retaliate for any future Israeli attack on Syria, and said he would not “get in the way” of any Syrian groups that attempted to liberate the Golan Heights, which Israel captured during the 1967 Six Day War, Al Akhbar reported.

The complex S-300 air defense system, considered one of the most advanced in the world, takes about four months to become operational and would require intensive training, including calibration that can only be carried out on-site in Syria, experts say.

Two diplomats who were in the room during the briefing last Thursday, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was a closed event, said that Amidror stressed Israel will act "to prevent the S-300 missiles from becoming operational" on Syrian soil. This message was also conveyed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon when he said on Tuesdaythat if the missiles reach Syria "Israel will know what to do."

Because of the system's advanced technology, the time required to make it operational can range between three to six months. Syrian operators and technicians also need to undergo training, possibly in Russia, but in order to fully calibrate the system and make it operational some of the process will have to take place in Syria.

A senior Israeli official and a European diplomat who are involved in the talks said that even though Netanyahu has not said so explicitly, he signaled in the past two weeks in talks with several European foreign ministers that his efforts to convince President Vladimir Putin not to provide Syria with the systems did not bear fruit.
"If the missiles are provided and become operational Israel's entire airspace will become a no-fly zone," Netanyahu told the European foreign ministers. "The missile transfer is a significant security challenge to Israel and we will not be able to stand idly by."  

Taunting Israel, Bashar Assad says in an interview prerecorded for broadcast Thursday night, May 30, that the first batch of Russian S-300 anti-air missiles has arrived in Syria and a second consignment is on the way. Wednesday, May 29, DEBKAfile reported the landing at Latakia of a large Russian transport carrying 60 tons of unidentified freight. This was the first S-300 consignment. Fresh Hizballah forces entering Syria Thursday are heading for Deraa, the rebels’ southern stronghold 30 kilometers from Israel’s Golan border.

The financial system of the third largest economy on the planet is starting to come apart at the seams, and the ripple effects are going to be felt all over the globe.  Nobody knew exactly when the Japanese financial system was going to begin to implode, but pretty much everyone knew that a day of reckoning for Japan was coming eventually.

In a desperate attempt to revitalize the economy and reduce the debt burden, the Bank of Japan decided a few months ago to start pumping massive amounts of money into the economy. 

There is a lot of fear in Japan right now.  On Thursday, the Nikkei plunged 7.3 percent.  That was the largest single day decline in more than two years.  Then on Monday the index fell by another 3.2 percent.

Are we witnessing the beginning of a colossal financial meltdown by the third largest economy on the planet?  The Bank of Japan is starting to lose control, and if Japan goes down hard the crisis could spread to Europe and North America very rapidly. 

And all of this money printing is absolutely crushing the Japanese yen.  Since the start of 2013, the yen has declined 16 percent against the U.S. dollar, even though the U.S. dollar is also being rapidly debased.   Just check out this chart of the yen vs. the U.S. dollar.  It is absolutely stunning...

The financial problems in Cyprus and Greece are just tiny blips compared to what a major financial crisis in Japan would potentially be like.  The Japanese economy is larger than the economies of Germany and Italy combined.  If the house of cards in Japan comes tumbling down, trillions of dollars of investments all over the globe are going to be affected.
And what is happening right now in Japan should serve as a sober warning to the United States.  Like Japan, the money printing that the Federal Reserve has been doing has caused economic activity to perk up a bit and it has sent the stock market on an unprecedented run.
Unfortunately, no bubble that the Federal Reserve has ever created has been able to last forever.  At some point, we will pay a very great price for all of the debt that the U.S. government has been accumulating and all of the reckless money printing that the Fed has been engaged in.
So enjoy the calm before the storm while you still can.
It won't last for long.

The U.S dollar is shrinking as a percentage of the world's currency supply, raising concerns that the greenback is about to see its long run as the world's premier denomination come to an end.
When compared to its peers, the dollar has drifted to a 15-year low, according to theInternational Monetary Fund, indicating that more countries are willing to use other currencies to do business.
"If the dollar loses status as the world's most reliable currency the United States will lose the right to print money to pay its debt. It will be forced to pay this debt," Bove said. "The ratings agencies are already arguing that the government's debt may be too highly rated. Plus, the United States Congress, in both its houses, as well as the president are demonstrating a total lack of fiscal credibility."
Bove is not the only one sounding the reserve currency alarm, though the issue has fallen off the front pages as hopes for a sustained U.S. recovery have taken hold and the stock market has surged to near-record highs.
"The No. 1 security issue we have as a nation is the preservation of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency," said Michael Pento, president of Pento Portfolio Strategies. "It's a thousand times more important than a nuclear bomb being tested by North Korea. It's a thousand times more important that we keep the dollar as the world's reserve currency, and yet we are doing everything to abuse that status."

"Five to 10 years -- that would be an outlier," he said. "I would say 2015, 2016, that would be the time when it becomes a particularly salient issue. When we're spending 30 to 50 percent of our revenue on debt service payments, we enter into a bond market crisis. The dollar starts to drop along with bond prices. That would set off the whole thing."

The Homeland Security Department is buying $100 million worth of services to issue staff at all agencies smartcards with iris and facial recognition capabilities.
Late Friday, DHS opened the bidding process for a decade-long project to upgrade personnel identification cards that are used to access federal buildings and networks. Following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, Homeland Security Presidential Directive–12, or HSPD-12, mandated biometric IDs for employees governmentwide. But many workers, including 82 percent of DHS computer users, flash the credentials at guards, rather than digital readers, largely because the cards’ electronic components haven’t been activated, according to internal audits.
Now, contractors will replace about 161,924 cards in 2013 and 116,172 cards in 2014, according to contracting documents.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

wrong again...

the dollar is NOT dying.

it will be the EURO that dies.

we have so many dollar bears
out there its a joke.

dollar on the VERGE of a HUGE rally.

which will happen when stocks in
NYC crash.

stocks up again, of course, they
ALWAYS go up with a weak dollar.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>