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Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Analysis Topic: Politics & Social Trends

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Politics

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Climate Change When the Levee Breaks / Politics / Climate Change

By: Richard_Mills

In John Steinbeck’s epic novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, a poor family of tenant farmers and thousands of other “Oakies” hitch up their wagons to make the trek to California in search of work and a better life. A savage drought had turned their farms into fields of dust. 

Current growing conditions are nothing like those described in Steinbeck’s book, but US farming states are certainly seeing the effects of climate change - particularly with respect to irrigation.  

As the earth warms, wet areas become wetter and dry areas drier. Less rainfall means less new water to refill aquifers, nature’s vast underground lakes of fresh water that thousands of American farmers, and millions worldwide, draw water from for drinking and watering crops.  

A study by the University of Arizona predicts that climate change in the US will pull groundwater out of four important aquifers, faster than they can be recharged. 

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Central Bankers' Desperate Grab for Power / Politics / Central Banks

By: Ellen_Brown

Central bankers are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, admitted as much in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in August. “In the longer-term,” he said, “we need to change the game.” The same point was made by Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. “Really, there is little if any ammunition left,” he said. “More of the same in terms of monetary policy is unlikely to be an appropriate response if we get into a recession or sharp downturn.”

“More of the same” means further lowering interest rates, the central bankers’ stock tool for maintaining their targeted inflation rate in a downturn. Bargain-basement interest rates are supposed to stimulate the economy by encouraging borrowers to borrow (since rates are so low) and savers to spend (since they aren’t making any interest on their deposits and may have to pay to store them). At the moment, over $15 trillion in bonds are trading globally at negative interest rates, yet this radical maneuver has not been shown to measurably improve economic performance. In fact, new research shows that negative interest rates from central banks, rather than increasing spending, stopping deflation and stimulating the economy as they were expected to do, may be having the opposite effects. They are being blamed for squeezing banks, punishing savers, keeping dying companies on life support and fueling a potentially unsustainable surge in asset prices.

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Politics

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Philippines, China and US: Joint Exploration Vs Rearmament and Nuclear Weapons / Politics / Nuclear Weapons

By: Dan_Steinbock

President Duterte’s joint exploration framework with China is a historical breakthrough. But since it has potential to de-escalate tensions over time, it is opposed by those interests that prefer rearmament, even if that would lead to a split of Southeast Asia and new nuclearization.

In early 2018, the Philippines and China agreed to set up a special panel to work out how the two could jointly explore oil and gas in parts of the South China Sea that both sides claim without having to address the issue of sovereignty. That was something of a breakthrough.

Last fall, President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Philippines resulted in the bilateral memorandum of understanding on oil and gas development in the contested South China Sea (SCS). It was one of the some 30 documents signed during Xi’s visit in Manila.

Following a recent meeting with President Xi, Duterte said the Philippines could set aside the ruling of the international arbitral tribunal on China’s SCS claims, in exchange for a joint oil and gas exploration deal with Beijing.

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Politics

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Curse of Technology Weapons / Politics / US Military

By: BATR

From the very time of Cain killing Abel, the invention of more efficient weapons for violent conflict has been a consistent aspect of human endeavor. The conclusion that modern society refuses to accept the reality is that this curse is a direct result of the fallen nature from disobeying God by eating of the forbidden fruit. There is a reason why the high tech totalitarians and trillion dollar behemoth, chose the name APPLE. Weaponry can take many forms but for most of history, armies and navies fought to the death to defend their ruling elites or to extend their empire aspirations. The only such consequence is a theater of operations for dead bodies. For centuries the guidance of Sun Tzu was followed as reflected in Carl von Clausewitz's famous dictum:

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable." - Sun Tzu

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Politics

Saturday, September 14, 2019

War Gaming the US-China Trade War / Politics / China US Conflict

By: John_Mauldin

By Justin Spittler: People respond to incentives. So do national governments. This is foundational to both economics and geopolitics.
Carefully examining each side’s incentives can illuminate how a conflict will end. No one has infinite choices. They choose from limited options.

That applies to the US-China trade war, which is right now one of our top economic issues. So let’s think through what the players really want, and what each can actually do.

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Boris Johnson's "Do or Die, Dead in a Ditch" Brexit Strategy / Politics / BrExit

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Boris Johnson's strategy towards achieving an exit from the EU by the deadline of 31st October (extended from 29th March) is to prorogue Parliament for 5 weeks as of midnight 9th September, returning on the 14th of October in attempts at preventing the remain establishment from subverting the exit date of 31st of October.

However, this has galvanised the Remain establishment to erase Boris Johnson's meager majority of 1. That and 21 remain Tory MP's betrayed their party by voting against the government in last weeks vote to force Boris Johnson to go and beg the EU for another extension, likely for at least 3 months though the decision as to how long will be in the EU's hands.

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Politics

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Boris Johnson a Crippled Prime Minister / Politics / UK Politics

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Following the ejection from office of the worst Prime Minister in British History, finally a person who actually voted LEAVE took hold of the leadership of the Tory party and the keys to No10 as correctly forecast in my series of articles dating back to November 2018 which offered great betting market odds of as much as 6-1 to capitalise upon.

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Politics

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Westminister BrExit Extreme Chaos Puts Britain into a Pre-Civil War State / Politics / BrExit

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Usually the primary driver for currency market trends tends to be economics and geopolitics, but for Britain the primary driver for sterling's trend has been BrExit CHOAS, where just when you thought things couldn't get any more chaotic the clowns in Westminster up the anti to a new level. The battle that has waged since the people of Britain voted by 52% to 48% to LEAVE the European Union has been one of a REMAIN establishment (70% of MP's) seeking every trick in the book to SUBVERT Brexit. That started the ball rolling with the selection of Remainer Theresa May who would turn out to be the worst Prime MInister in British history.

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Politics

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Baghdad Donald / Politics / US Politics

By: Peter_Schiff

For Donald Trump, it seems that these are the best of times except that they are the worst of times. How else to explain his contradictory demand that the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 100 basis points despite his repeated claims that our current economy is "the best in the history of the United States?" That kind of "break glass in case of emergency" monetary policy is something that even the eldest among us have only seen once or twice. And those times have certainly been desperate.

As has been showcased in recent days, Trump can flip-flop faster than anyone in Washington. He wants capital gains indexing on Monday, only to abandon the idea on Tuesday. At breakfast, he wants expanded background checks for firearms, but drops the idea by lunch. But in his call to slash interest rates in a "great" economy, the president flip-flops in the same sentence.

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Politics

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Brexit Incontinent Mendacity / Politics / BrExit

By: Raul_I_Meijer

No, I’m still not taking sides in the Brexit proceedings. I have no horse in that fight. As I’ve said 1000 times, I can fully imagine that a country might want to leave the trappings of the EU. But just as often I’ve said that the way the Tories have gone about leaving appears deeply flawed. They have never seemed to take serious the amount of effort required for a smooth exit.

And after being an EU member for 40+ years, that effort could only be gigantic. But not one moment during Theresa May’s ‘reign’, let alone under Boris, have I gotten the impression that the UK is ready. They’ve spent their time fighting amongst each other about the shape and form Brexit should take, but neglected the practical implications of changing 1000s of rules and regulations and treaties and laws.

And sure, maybe a lot of work was done in secret, can’t very well do nothing at all, but none of that would matter very much; you need to show that you’re ready, not merely suggest it. And from what I can gather from the latest numbers I’ve seen, expectations are still that 50-60% of trucks (lorries) will not have the required paperwork once the UK leaves.

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Are Central Bankers Taking Sides the in US 2020 Presidential Election? / Politics / Central Banks

By: MoneyMetals

Individual investors are nervous about the stock market and the possibility of recession.

Meanwhile, institutional money from banks and hedge funds is keeping a bid under equities, pushing stock prices higher after every minor dip. Together with the “Plunge Protection Team,” they are keeping the wheels from coming off the stock market cart.

The question is whether that will continue. Or, to be more precise, will we see the monetary stimulus typically expected from the Fed during an economic slowdown, or will central bankers try to torpedo Trump’s re-election campaign as a Fed insider has just proposed?

President Donald Trump is increasingly critical of the Federal Reserve and chairman Jerome Powell for refusing to cut interest rates rapidly enough. He wants to place the blame for any recession and falling stock prices on the central bank and not on the trade war with China.

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

US China Trade War - Trump, You’ve Got It All Wrong! / Politics / Protectionism

By: John_Mauldin

I’m going to start with a story.

There is a drug produced in China that works well on strokes and numerous other less devastating medical issues.

It is derived from pig pancreases or human urine. It isn’t approved in the US due to justifiable regulatory issues, but it is used in Europe as well as China.

A small biotechnological firm in the US has the technology to synthesize this drug without using pancreases or urine. This would be safer and cheaper. 

The Chinese company agreed to pay the US company $4.5 million upon the meeting of certain guidelines and then to purchase the drug from the company at a fraction of its Chinese production cost. 

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Americans DEMORALIZED, DEPRESSED, DETACHED & DEFIANT / Politics / Social Issues

By: James_Quinn

I’ve now been running The Burning Platform blog for over ten years. It’s been over eleven years since I wrote my first article – Why We Need Ron Paul – in May 2008 during the Republican primaries. I really thought I could change enough minds through my writing to influence voters and help wake up people to the truth about our deteriorating financial situation. I would send op-eds to my local paper, and they would publish them. My articles on Seeking Alpha in 2008/2009 were the most read and commented on their site.

My assessment of the Wall Street banks, coming financial crisis and recession were accurate enough that I was being sought out by Glenn Beck on CNN, Neal Cavuto on Fox, and Maria Bartiromo on CNBC to be interviewed on their shows. I didn’t want that kind of attention, since it would likely have negatively impacted my day job – which actually supported my family.

I had already experienced negative blowback when I predicted the bankruptcy of General Growth Properties in one of my articles. It seems the CFO was a Wharton grad and large donor to the real estate department. He called the Dept. head, who called the Deputy Dean, who called my boss, the CFO. It was at this point where any mention of Wharton was forbidden on my part, or I risked being terminated.

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Politics

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Hong King Kong / Politics / Hong Kong

By: Raul_I_Meijer

Of course the notion of addressing Hong Kong has been in my mind for a while, but it’s a bit of a moving target: things change all the time, and seemingly on the fly. However, with today’s fresh developments, it seems silly to wait any longer. Hong Kong Civic party lawmaker Dennis Kwok yesterday expressed the reason way better than I could:

As I said time and again, the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong, and I would warn against any such move on the part of the central people’s government.”

He said that before today’s arrests -and subsequent release on bail- of a handful of alleged protest leaders Joshua Wong, Andy Chan, and Agnes Chow. Who, if you read between the lines, didn’t lead much of anything; they may be figure-heads, but that’s not the same thing. The protests are either lacking leaders or everyone’s a leader, depending on who you ask. So why arrest them to begin with? You tell me.

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Fed Insider Proposes Using Fed Policy to Punish Trump / Politics / US Federal Reserve Bank

By: MoneyMetals

Everybody knows that President Donald Trump favors larger scale reductions in interest rates.  He wants low-cost money injected to help stimulate the economy and stock market ahead of next year’s election. 

Of course, Federal Reserve policymakers are supposed to stay out of politics and make their decisions based solely on the economic data before them. But it would be naïve to believe they don’t harbor political biases. 

They have been under relentless attack by President Trump.  They see his attacks as posing a threat to the so-called “independence” of the Federal Reserve.  They may even fear that if he is re-elected he will threaten the existence of the Fed as an institution.     

Could the Federal Reserve be deliberately withholding stimulus to try to get Trump defeated? 

Read full article... Read full article...

 


Politics

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Here’s Why Rising Global Temperatures Are Very Real / Politics / Climate Change

By: Rodney_Johnson

Climate change has continued to be a big topic in the news, especially with record temperatures again this summer. Are humans the primary cause?

When this first became a major issue many years ago, I initially was more skeptical of the human impact. I had studied long-term climate cycles and saw how much they’ve varied simply from natural trends. Were we big enough to impact substantially?

The first wake-up call I got was when I looked back at the key very predictable longer-term cycles. Every one of them, from very long to shorter, were pointing towards moderate cooling. Even the shorter-term sunspot cycles keep coming in lower intensity since 1959 – and more so since 1990, which has a cooling effect – and temperatures keep rising anyway!

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Politics

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Trump’s Trade War Is Over and Nobody Won / Politics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

 “You break it, you own it.”

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell cited this Pottery Barn rule back in 2002. He was advising President George W. Bush of the consequences should an Iraq invasion go badly.

In fact, Pottery Barn has no such rule. You can go in their stores and handle the merchandise all you wish. They see occasional breakage as a cost of doing business.

But Powell still chose a good metaphor. Presidents aren’t just shopping for knickknacks when they make economic and foreign policy decisions. They have real, sometimes deadly consequences.

Bush should have listened more closely.
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Politics

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The British Betrayal of Hong Kong / Politics / GeoPolitics

By: BATR

What a long yesteryear between the British Empire and the Chinese Dynasty. The English Crown used the Opium Wars to subjugate the Red Dragon and keep it at bay. A brief summary of the East India Company and the HSBC Bank: Secret Origins To Laundering The World's Drug Money is crucial to understand the role of the City of London in establishing a global trading cartel.

"As the opium and other trade with China expanded, Britain’s new territory of Hong Kong became a major imperial commercial center. The opium dealers gathered together to form a bank, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, as the financial flagship of the British opium trade. Over time, the bank—now known as HSBC—would extend its reach into the drug fields of the Middle East and Ibero-America, as befitting its role as the financial kingpin of Dope, Inc."

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Politics

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Fresh Water Crisis Unfolding / Politics / Climate Change

By: Richard_Mills

When planetary scientists search for life on other planets the first thing they look for is evidence of water.

“There are two main questions in the search for life: With so many places to look, how can we focus in on the places most likely to harbor life? What are the unmistakable signs of life -- even if it comes in a form we don't fully understand?

"Before we go looking for life, we're trying to figure out what kinds of planets could have a climate that's conducive to life," del Genio said.

Del Genio recognizes that life may well exist in forms and places so bizarre that it might be substantially different from Earth. But in this early phase of the search, "We have to go with the kind of life we know," he said.

Further, we should make sure we use the detailed knowledge of Earth. In particular, we should make sure of our discoveries on life in various environments on Earth, our knowledge of how our planet and its life have affected each other over Earth history, and our satellite observations of Earth’s climate.

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Politics

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Trump Floats Payroll & Capital Gains Tax Cues to Forestall Recession / Politics / US Politics

By: MoneyMetals

Gold and silver markets test some near-term technical support levels late this week, investors are focused on takeaways from the Jackson Hole symposium.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell headlined a list of other central bankers, academics, and financial elites at the annual Wyoming gathering.  Powell was widely expected to signal a rate cut ahead during his speech on Friday.  But many on Wall Street and in Washington were hoping he would make a bigger, broader commitment to monetary stimulus.

For his part, President Donald Trump is urging the Fed to slash rates by 100 basis points. 

On Tuesday, President Trump also said he would consider new tax cuts to stimulate the economy.  The following day, he appeared to change his mind, saying we don’t need tax relief after all because “we have a strong economy. 

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