Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On The Brink - Big Crisis = Big Change

This general idea seems to dominate the news cycle these days. It seems that almost everything is teetering on the brink of destruction. The world's financial situation, the crisis in Syria, terrorism ramping up, the EU teetering on the brink, Greece, ISIS, the ever-present threat of an EMP, the refugee crisis and the "seeding" of European nations with radical Islamic elements ready to attack, the rise in world-wide volcanoes and earthquakes, Israel being threatened from the north, turmoil and persecution in northern Africa, China's ongoing military build-up, and on and on it goes. 

Sooner or later, something big is going to break the dam and future events will cascade quickly. We seem to be rapidly approaching that point:

Southeastern regions of Turkey are ravaged by a de facto civil war between government forces and Kurdish militants; this conflict could well spill into other Turkish provinces due to growing social unrest in the country, political analyst Andrey Areshev of the Strategic Culture Foundation asserted.

The standoff between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has further deepened following a deadly attack in the Turkish capital, which claimed the lives of 29 people on February 17.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pinned the blame for the suicide bombing on the Syrian Kurds, although Turkey-based Kurdistan Freedom Falcons claimed responsibility. For their part, the People's Protection Units (YPG), affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has denied any links to the assault.
The YPG might seem like the first choice for Ankara, but, according to the expert, there are other forces, which could benefit from destabilizing the country. Those are the ones, who want to discredit the Kurds or wish to change the parliamentary system of government to a presidential one, he suggested.

"Reckless policies of the Turkish leadership, which supports various terrorist organizations," have contributed to "the Turkish society becoming more radicalized," Areshev told "In this context, it is not inconceivable that terrorist groups, formally and ideologically affiliated with Daesh, could be linked to the [recent] terrorist acts."

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his supporters view the Kurds, living in Turkey and elsewhere, as a threat to the country's territorial integrity and stability. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Washington views Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria as one of its key allies in fighting Daesh.

We talked yesterday about the upcoming G-20 finance meeting, I said I believed it would not be “benign”. Many readers have questioned why and to paraphrase “rarely has the G-20 made important announcements or decisions, why would they do this now”? We’ll get to this shortly.

I believe the global finance system is coming to a very rapid head and many major participants are displeased with using the U.S. dollar. At the very top of this list is China. Quietly China has announced and commented further they no longer plan on strictly pegging the yuan to the dollar. Instead they plan to peg their currency to a basket of other currencies. They have indicated they do not plan to devalue the yuan as markets worldwide were selling off on this fear.

Another piece of news, the Chinese are buying U.S. companies at a record pace recently China is buying up American companies fast, and it’s freaking people out. These deals are all reported in dollars and I would assume dollars are being used for purchase. This would amount to what we have talked about for a long time, “selling dollars for stuff”! It is said this action is scaring people, maybe so but can you imagine what would happen should the Chinese be told “no, you can use your dollars to buy U.S. companies”?

Tying this together, I just wanted to point out China is the clear leader in the G-20, they are now admitted as part of the SDR basket, their forex reserves have been dropping (they are said to be defending the yuan, are they?), they are spending dollars on “stuff” and foreign companies …and they no longer want to peg the yuan directly to the dollar? (Just as a reminder, they are also the largest buyer of gold on the planet).

Now, let’s fast forward to next Monday and the aftermath of the G-20. It is obvious there are huge stresses both economically and financially on a globe wide basis. Has the rest of the world “had enough”? Are they tired of being forced to settle in a currency that is now artificially strong due to synthetics yet freely printed by a nation increasingly viewed as the world’s bully? I would definitely say the answer is yes they are. The next question is; “ARE THEY TIRED ENOUGH”?

To put it bluntly, the world has been watching “us”. They understand we are too broke to pay attention and adding new balances to the credit card every day. Do you think they might be asking the question, “why does the U.S. get to issue the world’s reserve currency if they are broke”? They also see us moving further and further down the “socialist” (fascist) road Venezuela already has … and hitting a wall at the end. Does the world see the U.S. running into this same wall? Yes, they probably do. Do they want to be a passenger in the back seat of this ride? Probably not which leads us back to the question, is the world tired enough?

I don’t know the answer to this but I do know this upcoming G-20 meeting is a potential platform for massive change. Were the world to turn their backs collectively on the dollar, what would it accomplish? First, we would see a massive devaluation in the dollar and an easing of the current synthetic dollar short squeeze. It would also serve to “defund” the bully’s military ability …at exactly the same time it looks like U.S. so called allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia are set to invade Syria. Please remember this, “de funding” your enemy has always been a standard operating procedure in “war”.

If you recall last fall, I think we were even given a tip off to something like this happening. A meeting between President Xi, the Pope and president Obama ended with sound bites of “wealth equality” around the world. What do you suppose they meant by this? They told us the financial and economic world would reset, they just didn’t tell us when. This upcoming G-20 finance meeting may be nothing at all or it may be the big one! Either way, it is certainly a convenient and may I say “likely” stage as it will be held in China!

To finish, whether it is this weekend or not, a reset is coming and this will mean a redistribution of wealth. The world has moved down the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland, a reset will bring us back to reality and standards of living will be grossly changed. What is viewed as “wealth” currently will drastically change for generations to come!

BNY has a derivative exposure of $1.375 Trillion dollars.
Considered a too big to fail (TBTF) bank. It is currently facing (among others) lawsuits fraud and contract breach suits by a Los Angeles pension fund and New York pension funds, where BNY Mellon allegedly overcharged the funds on many millions of dollars and concealed it.

State Street has a derivative exposure of $1.390 Trillion dollars.
Too big to fail (TBTF) bank. It has been charged by California Attorney General (among other) lawsuits for massive fraud on California’s CalPERS and CalSTRS pension funds – similar to BNY (above).

Morgan Stanley has a derivative exposure of $1.722 Trillion dollars.
Its a too big to fail (TBTF) bank. It recently settled a lawsuit for over-paying its employees while accepting the tax payer funded bailout. Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley had a license plate that said “2BG2FAIL” on his Porsche Cayenne Turbo. All this while $250 million of bailout money ended up in the hands of Waterfall TALF Opportunity, run by the Morgan Stanley’s owners’ wives– Marry a banker for a $250M tax-payer cash injection.
The bank also got a SECRET $2.041 Trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve during the crisis, beyond the tax payer bailout.
Wells Fargo has a derivative exposure of $3.332 Trillion dollars.
Its a too big to fail (TBTF) bank. WF has been charged for its role in allegedly pursuing illegal foreclosures and deceptive loan servicing. Wells Fargo was just slapped with a $85 million fine by Federal Reserve for putting good credit borrowers into bad-credit rating (high rate) loans.

HSBC has a derivative exposure of $4.321 Trillion dollars. HSBC is a Hong Kong based bank and its original name is The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

Goldman Sachs has a derivative exposure of $44.192 Trillion dollars. The $1 Trillion pillars towers are double-stacked @ 930 feet (248 m). The White House is standing next to the Statue of Liberty.

Bank of America has a derivative exposure of $50.135 Trillion dollars.
BofA is sticking the tax-payers with a MASSIVE bill, by moving derivatives to
accounts insured by the federal government @ total of $53.7 trillion as of 06/2011.
During 2011-12 BofA has been in need of cash, so Warren Buffett gave BofA $5 billion.
Same year BofA sold its stake in China Construction Bank to raise $1.8 billion in cash.

Citibank has a derivative exposure of $52.102 Trillion dollars.
The $1 Trillion dollar towers are double-stacked @ 930 feet (248 m).

JP Morgan Chase has a derivative exposure of $70.151 Trillion dollars.
$70 Trillion is roughly the size of the entire world’s economy.
The $1 Trillion dollar towers are double-stacked @ 930 feet (248 m).

Journalist and book author Michael Snyder says the collapse is not an event, but a “process.” Snyder explains, “I believe it is already in the process of coming apart. . . . One fifth of global stock market value is already gone.  That means we only have four fifths left.  At one point this month, $16.5 trillion had been wiped out from global stock markets since mid-2015.  So, this started last year.  We saw oil collapse.  We’ve seen junk bonds collapse.  We’ve seen commodity prices collapse.  The $16.5 trillion I just mentioned is just for stocks, and when you add up the other losses, that’s trillions of dollars more wealth that has been wiped out all over the world.  What we have seen already has been extraordinary, but we are still in the process.  People want to think of it as an event or a single day or a month, but this is a process.”

Snyder also contends, “The Baltic Dry Index dropped below 300 for the first time ever. We did not even see that during the 2008 Great Recession and financial crisis.  I didn’t know the Baltic Dry Index could go that low.  We are seeing exports decline dramatically in South Korea.  New numbers for Japan came out . . . their exports were down 12% year over year.  Exports in China have been falling month, after month, after month.  U.S. exports were down 7% for the last monthly figure we had.  India’s exports are down.  This is happening all over the world. Real economic activity is grinding to a halt.”

Snyder says the problems with some global banks are far worse than in 2008. Snyder says, “The collapse of Deutsche Bank would be a far bigger event than the collapse of Lehman Brothers was back in 2008.  If you are looking for another Lehman Brothers moment with their derivatives exposure . . . and now the biggest bank, in the biggest and most important economy in Europe, is in the process of coming apart.”

On war, Snyder says keep your eyes on the Middle East and Syria. Snyder explains, “Saudi Arabia and Turkey have to give up and cut their losses or they have to go in and do the job themselves.  The Sunni militants, including ISIS, are not getting the job done.  Turkey and Saudi Arabia are seriously considering a ground invasion of Syria.  Are the Russians and Hezbollah and Iran going to stand aside and let them do it?  I say almost certainly not and, in fact, could very easily erupt into WWIII.”

Either way, Snyder thinks we get “global financial collapse” and “World War III” but does not know which one comes first. Snyder says, “We already have the global economy grinding to a halt, but if we get WWIII, that just accelerates things greatly.  It’s the chicken or the egg, whichever comes first, but without a doubt, we are moving into a time described as a perfect storm.”

Unexpected difficulties have occurred in the context of Germany's cooperation with Turkey - Angela Merkel's last hope for the resolution of the refugee crisis.

The government in Ankara is refusing to accept a paragraph in the agreements between the EU, NATO and Ankara, according to which boat refugees rescued by NATO ships are to be returned to Turkey, German newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) reported.

According to the newspaper, German Chancellor Angela Merkel might have exaggerated the progress in the negotiations with Turkey with a view to the forthcoming elections. If it turns out that the deal with Turkey has not worked, the impact on Merkel's CDU party's prospects to win the next elections would be devastating.

However, Turkey's stance is not the only factor that may endanger Merkel's plan. Another one is a great chaos on the border between Greece and Macedonia, where more and more refugees are trying to find a way to by-pass the newly introduced restrictions.

Earlier other EU countries such as Austria and Slovenia placed daily limits on a number of people entering their territory, thus, given up their support for Merkel's policy of open-doors. Currently, the German Chancellor is also under increasing pressure within her own party with many complaining that Merkel had underestimated the extent of the migration crisis and lost contact with reality.

The US-Russian Joint Statement on Syria is attracting a lot of attention.  Its text – as provided by the US Statement Department – is set out below.
The Statement is being misinterpreted as a declaration of a ceasefire.
It is nothing of the sort and the term “ceasefire” does not appear in it, though it is used in one or two places in the Annex.
A ceasefire require a complete end to all hostilities.

The Statement not only does not require this, but on the contrary it specifically authorises military action by the Russian and Syrian armed forces against armed jihadi groups operating in Syria which are classified as terrorist groups by the UN Security Council.
Quite obviously there cannot be a ceasefire when military action is continuing, which is why the Statement does not use the term “ceasefire” but refers instead to a “cessation of hostilities”.
Amongst the jihadi groups against whom military action – including Russian military action – will continue are the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra – the latter being the local branch of Al-Qaeda.
The Russians have always insisted the only groups they are bombing are the very same jihadi terrorist groups that are specifically excluded from the “cessation of hostilities” or – to use simpler language – from the planned truce.

It is widely acknowledged that the great majority of the rebel fighters in Aleppo come from the jihadi terrorist groups that are excluded from the truce.

The Statement does not therefore limit Russian bombing beyond the limitations the Russians always claimed they had placed on themselves, and is unlikely therefore to make much practical difference to the fighting that is going on in and around Aleppo and its environs.

The US and the Western powers did in fact try to press the Russians to agree to a complete ceasefire involving every group apart from the Islamic State – and even extending to Jabhat al-Nusra i.e. to Al-Qaeda.
The Russians said no, and the Statement reflects their thinking.

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