Jun 232019
 
 June 23, 2019  Posted by at 9:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Rembrandt van Rijn Saskia en profil in expensive attire 1640-45

 

Mapping the World’s Financial Weak Spots (IMF)
US Launched Cyber Attack On Iranian Rockets And Missiles (AP)
US To Hit Iran With ‘Major’ New Sanctions Monday: Trump (AFP)
Kushner’s Economic Plan For Mideast Peace Faces Broad Arab Rejection (R.)
Three Year Prison Sentence For Damaging EU Flag, German State Proposes (Exp.)
Johnson & Johnson Faces Multibillion Opioids Lawsuit (G.)
Istanbul Votes In Mayoral Re-Run, In Test For Turkish Democracy, Erdogan (R.)
EU Warns Turkey Of Sanctions For Cyprus Drilling (BBC)
Why Is UK Life Expectancy Faltering? (O.)
Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Giant Plastic Trap Put To Sea Again (AP)

 

 

But what does it tell us really?

Mapping the World’s Financial Weak Spots (IMF)

Where will the next financial crisis come from? The short answer is: We don’t know. We can, however, look for vulnerabilities in the system that, if left untreated, can develop into problems. What do we mean by a vulnerability? It is an area of weakness that can amplify and spread an unexpected economic shock, increasing the level of risk to the financial system. Imagine the impact of an earthquake on a house built on sand, as opposed to bedrock. In the financial world, cracks in the bedrock can arise from high levels of debt and mismatches of institutions’ risk factors such as currencies or the maturities of their exposures.


One such weak spot is the debt level in US corporations and the risks investors in their securities take. Lending to heavily indebted companies with weak credit ratings is on the rise and may be a widening crack in the system. This and other vulnerabilities are reflected in the Chart of the Week on a five-point scale ranging from lowest (dark green) to highest (red) for six sectors and five country groups. The chart shows the distribution of vulnerabilities across six sectors in five regions. It was constructed using dozens of indicators going back up to two decades.

Read more …

When I see “CrowdStrike” I stop believing anything.

US Launched Cyber Attack On Iranian Rockets And Missiles (AP)

The US military launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems on Thursday, according to sources, as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional strike in response to Iran’s downing of a US surveillance drone. The hack disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, two officials told the Associated Press, and were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the operation.

Two of the officials said the attacks, which specifically targeted computer systems of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had been provided as options after two oil tankers were bombed. The IRGC has been designated a foreign terrorist group by the Trump administration. Over the past year US officials have focused on persistently engaging with adversaries in cyberspace and undertaking more offensive operations. Tensions with Iran have escalated since the US withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and began a policy of “maximum pressure”. Iran has since been hit by multiple rounds of sanctions.[..]

The cyberattacks are the latest chapter in the US and Iran’s ongoing hacking of each other. In recent weeks hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted US government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy including finance, oil and gas, sending waves of spear-phishing emails, according to representatives of cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye, which track such activity. This new campaign appears to have started shortly after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector this month.

Read more …

Inevitably hastening the demise of the reserve currency.

US To Hit Iran With ‘Major’ New Sanctions Monday: Trump (AFP)

President Donald Trump said Saturday that the United States would impose “major” new sanctions on Iran in two days — a move sure to exacerbate tensions with the Islamic republic inflamed by the downing of a US spy plane. Trump tamped down the threat of military action on Friday, when he called off retaliatory strikes at the last minute because the response was not “proportionate” to the drone’s destruction over the Strait of Hormuz. But he had said military action is still an option and brandished the threat of sanctions ever since. Now, he has set a timetable for fresh punitive economic measures to heap more pressure on an Iranian economy already reeling from the sanctions in place since Trump withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Tehran.


“We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” Trump tweeted. “I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!” Earlier, before heading to Camp David for meetings with his advisors on the situation, Trump said he would be Iran’s “best friend” and that the Islamic republic could be a “wealthy” country if it renounced nuclear weapons. “We’re not going to have Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “When they agree to that, they’re going to have a wealthy country. They’re going to be so happy, and I’m going to be their best friend. I hope that happens.”

Read more …

In complete denial of what is at stake: “Homelands cannot be sold”.

Kushner’s Economic Plan For Mideast Peace Faces Broad Arab Rejection (R.)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic vision as part of the wider plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was met with contempt, repudiation and exasperation in the Arab world, even as some in the Gulf called for it to be given a chance. The $50 billion “peace to prosperity” plan, set to be presented by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner at a conference in Bahrain next week, envisions a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies. But the lack of a political solution, which Washington has said would be unveiled later, prompted rejection not only from Palestinians but also in Arab countries that Israel would seek normal relations with.

From Sudan to Kuwait, prominent commentators and ordinary citizens denounced Kushner’s proposals in strikingly similar terms: “colossal waste of time,” “non-starter,” “dead on arrival.” “Homelands cannot be sold, even for all the money in the world,” Egyptian analyst Gamal Fahmy said. “This plan is the brainchild of real estate brokers, not politicians. Even Arab states that are described as moderate are not able to openly express support for it.” Commentator Sarkis Naoum at Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper said, “This economic plan, like others, won’t succeed because it has no political foundation.”

While the precise outline of the political plan has been shrouded with secrecy, officials briefed on it say Kushner has jettisoned the two-state solution – the long-standing worldwide formula that envisages an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. The PLO has dismissed Kushner’s plans as “all abstract promises,” insisting that only a political solution will solve the problem. It said they were an attempt to bribe the Palestinians into accepting Israeli occupation.

Read more …

Huh?

Three Year Prison Sentence For Damaging EU Flag, German State Proposes (Exp.)

Anyone who attacks the blue and gold starred cloth displayed in public, rendering it “removed, destroyed, damaged, unusable or unrecognisable” could be slapped with a lengthy jail term or hefty fine. The proposed law will also protect the European anthem, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, according to a report in Saarbrucken Zeitung, a daily newspaper in West Germany. The Saxon bill seeks to bring the status of the union’s flag into line with that of other foreign flags and national symbols. The new bill says attacks “on the reputation of the symbols of the European Union” are unacceptable, according to Saarbrucken Zeitung.


It states that it is “a commandment of self-respect and self-assertion” that the state protects the EU “against malicious contempt”. Paragraph 104 of Germany’s criminal code states that anyone who damages the flag or symbol of a foreign nation will be imprisoned or fined. A precondition is that Germany maintains diplomatic relations with the state. Saxony, home to four million people, sits in eastern Germany, where far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) emerged as the strongest group in last month’s European elections.

Read more …

Will we see as many jail terms as for the financial crisis?

Johnson & Johnson Faces Multibillion Opioids Lawsuit (G.)

Day after day, the memos flashing across screens in an Oklahoma courtroom have jarred with the family-friendly public image of Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant best known for baby powder and Band-Aid. In one missive, a sales representative dismissed a doctor’s fears that patients might become addicted to the company’s opioid painkillers by telling him those who didn’t die probably wouldn’t get hooked. Another proposes targeting sales of the powerfully addictive drugs at those most at risk: men under 40.

As the state of Oklahoma’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has unfolded over the past month, the company has struggled to explain marketing strategies its accusers say dangerously misrepresented the risk of opioid addiction to doctors, manipulated medical research, and helped drive an epidemic that has claimed 400,000 lives over the past two decades. Johnson & Johnson profited further as demand for opioids surged by buying poppy growing companies in Australia to supply the raw narcotic for its own medicines and other American drug makers. One expert witness at the forefront of combatting the epidemic, Dr Andrew Kolodny, told the court he had little idea about Johnson & Johnson’s role until he saw the evidence in the case. “I think it’s fair to characterize Johnson & Johnson as a kingpin in our opioid crisis,” he said.

Oklahoma’s attorney general, Mike Hunter, is suing Johnson & Johnson for billions of dollars for its alleged part in driving addiction and overdoses in his state in the first full trial of a drug maker over the opioid epidemic. But Hunter’s lawsuit has put the wider industry in the dock, too, by laying out how opioid manufacturers worked together to drive up sales by using their huge resources to influence medical policy and doctor prescribing. Hunter said the strategy was motivated by the industry’s “greed” as profits surged. [..] Purdue Pharma kickstarted the epidemic with its high-strength, long-lasting opioid, OxyContin, in the mid-1990s. The court heard how Johnson & Johnson quickly realized the potential and set about competing.

Read more …

Erdogan wobbles.

Istanbul Votes In Mayoral Re-Run, In Test For Turkish Democracy, Erdogan (R.)

Millions of Istanbul residents voted on Sunday in a re-run of a mayoral election that has become a referendum on President Tayyip Erdogan’s policies and a test of Turkey’s ailing democracy. In the initial March 31 vote, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate secured a narrow victory over Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP) in Turkey’s largest city, a rare electoral defeat for the president. But after weeks of AKP appeals, Turkey’s High Election Board in May annulled the vote citing irregularities. The opposition called the decision a “coup” against democracy, which has raised the stakes for round two.

“It is really ridiculous that the election is being re-run. It was an election won fair and square,” said Asim Solak, 50, who said he was voting for the opposition candidate in the CHP stronghold of Tesvikiye. “It is clear who canceled the election. We hope this election re-run will be a big lesson for them,” he said. Erdogan has repeated his line that “whoever wins Istanbul wins Turkey.” A second loss in the city, where in the 1990s he served as mayor, would be embarrassing for Erdogan and could weaken what until recently seemed to be his iron grip on power.

Turkey’s economy is in recession and the United States, its NATO ally, has threatened sanctions if Erdogan goes ahead with plans to install Russian missile defenses. A second AKP loss could also shed further light into what CHP mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu said was the misspending of billions of lira at the Istanbul municipality, which has a budget of around $4 billion. “If Imamoglu wins again, there’s going to be a chain of serious changes in Turkish politics,” journalist and writer Murat Yetkin said. “It will be interpreted as the beginning of a decline for AKP and for Erdogan as well,” he said, noting that the president himself had called the local elections “a matter of survival”.

Read more …

NATO and US need Turkey. It’s as central as Iran.

EU Warns Turkey Of Sanctions For Cyprus Drilling (BBC)

The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if it continues “illegal drilling” in waters near Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. The warning came at an EU summit in Brussels. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called Turkey’s actions “totally unacceptable”. Turkey launched a second drilling ship – the Yavuz – on Thursday for natural gas and oil prospecting off Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus is in the EU, but the breakaway north is pro-Turkey. The European Council – the EU government leaders – called on Turkey to “show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus and refrain from any such actions”.


“The European Council endorses the invitation to the [EU] Commission and the EEAS [EU foreign affairs service] to submit options for appropriate measures without delay, including targeted measures,” the statement said. The self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey, and is internationally isolated. Turkey said it was drilling inside its continental shelf, complying with international law. Reuters news agency reported that a Turkish drilling ship, the Fatih, had been anchored west of Cyprus since early May and had begun drilling. [..] Turkey – a key Nato partner for the West – has extensive trade ties with the EU and has not yet been hit with EU sanctions, unlike Russia. The US has threatened Turkey with sanctions if Mr Erdogan goes ahead with a deal to buy S-400 air defence missiles from Russia.

Read more …

Given the attacks on the NHS, this should not be surprising. Same as in US.

Why Is UK Life Expectancy Faltering? (O.)

In a few days, a team of researchers, statisticians and geographers will gather at University College London to tackle an issue of increasing concern for doctors and health experts. They will investigate why many UK citizens are now living shorter, less healthy lives compared with the recent past. The emergence of faltering life expectancy in Britain has caused particular alarm because it reverses a trend that has continued, almost unbroken, for close to 100 years. Over this period, lives have lengthened continuously, blessing more and more British people with the gift of old age. But now that increase has come to a halt, statisticians have discovered. Indeed, among many sections of the UK population, declines have set in.

Hence the meeting, organised by the British Society for Population Studies, which has been organised so delegates can use data – to be released this week by the Office for National Statistics – to update their life expectancy projections. “It is a perfect storm,” says Danny Dorling, professor of social geography at Oxford University, who has organised the London meeting. “Our faltering life expectancy rates show we have now got the worst trend in health anywhere in western Europe since the second world war. To achieve that, we must have made a lot of bad decisions,” he said. Statisticians first noticed in 2013 that rises in life expectancy in the UK had begun to slow down. Gradually, the graph – which been rising for decades – flattened out until, a few years ago, it started to decline for increasing numbers of people.

The elderly, the poor and the newborn were worst affected. For example, life expectancies for those over 65 have dropped by more than six months. The trend now causes considerable concern among doctors who view life expectancy figures as barometers of the health of Britain. From this perspective, the nation is sickening – and a host of different factors have been put forward as explanations. One frequently made claim is that humans have simply reached the peak of longevity. “Life expectancy cannot be expected to increase forever,” Robert Courts, a Tory MP, told the Commons recently. Many statisticians point out, however, that life expectancy has continued to rise – well above UK levels – in many other places, including Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan and Scandinavia. Other factors must be involved, they state.

Read more …

If breaks again will it ever sail again?

Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Giant Plastic Trap Put To Sea Again (AP)

A floating device designed to catch plastic waste has been redeployed in a second attempt to clean up a huge island of garbage swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. Boyan Slat, creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, announced on Twitter that a 600-metre (2,000-foot) long floating boom that broke apart late last year was sent back to the Great Pacific garbage patch this week after four months of repair. A ship towed the U-shaped barrier from San Francisco to the patch in September to trap the plastic. But during the four months at sea, the boom broke apart under constant waves and wind and the boom wasn’t retaining the plastic it caught.

“Hopefully nature doesn’t have too many surprises in store for us this time,” Slat tweeted. “Either way, we’re set to learn a lot from this campaign.” Fitted with solar-powered lights, cameras, sensors and satellite antennas, the device intends to communicate its position at all times, allowing a support vessel to fish out the collected plastic every few months and transport it to dry land. The plastic barrier with a tapered 3-metre deep (10-foot deep) screen is intended to act like a coastline, trapping some of the 1.8tn pieces of plastic that scientists estimate are swirling in the patch while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it.

During its first run, the organisation said marine biologists on board the support vessel did not observe any environmental impact. Slat has said he hopes one day to deploy 60 of the devices to skim plastic debris off the surface of the ocean.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Home Forums Debt Rattle June 23 2019

This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  V. Arnold 2 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #48134

    Rembrandt van Rijn Saskia en profil in expensive attire 1640-45   • Mapping the World’s Financial Weak Spots (IMF) • US Launched Cyber Attack On
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle June 23 2019]

    #48135

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “Islamic republic could be a “wealthy” country if it renounced nuclear weapons.”

    Like NoKo, it’s not about nuclear weapons. Iran has had them since the 90’s, having bought them from the FSU, with our encouragement, since the U.S. refused to help secure anything. They bought the rockets from ISRAEL in an oil deal in the late 70’s, reported I think by the NYT after the Shah fell. Oh and that was probably also our technology, repackaged. With friends like this… And best enemy money can buy. Sort of like when same nation sold our tech to China, and have been selling it to everyone all along.

    Long aside to say, “if it’s not about nuclear weapons they already have, what’s it about?” Some claim the ‘weapon’ is a nuclear power plant so they can run their refineries, trade freely, and stop being under western embargo, an act and condition of war. Yet another one the UN doesn’t care about, and ignores. But we only put that on so we could harbor their oil under their sand to steal it later when the Saudis run dry. But that power/refinery would put Iran out of control of S.A. and let it sell liquid hegemonic power, as I’ve said, to China, MacKinder’s Asia Island, or anyone to field armies. So ye olde Yankee oil barons don’t want that – still running the world and army from a WWI perspective, tho not entirely wrong. This is why they go nuts even if Russia runs the whole thing and controls all uranium through the whole cycle, with world inspectors. That’s not the point. Slander and control is the point.

    That is to say: they’re lying. THEY know, old reporters know, but they won’t tell you.

    “If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.” –Hunter S. Thompson

    But is it ‘cause they ain’t reporters, or because when they tell you you don’t believe them anyway?

    Their new censorship of “the state protects promotes malicious contempt of the EU”

    But when you ARE contemptible why hide it? Be yourself. Honesty is the best policy. Not like your old motto:“When it’s really serious, you have to lie.”

    “Turkey if it continues “illegal drilling” in waters near Cyprus”

    Yes but Turkey DGAF, and why should they? They have the largest army in Europe by far, what are you going to do? Invade?

    Nobody cared when Turkey invaded back when, because the EU was maliciously contemptible back then too.

    “In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely.” –Hunter S. Thompson

    #48136

    NooBoob
    Participant

    If you are 15 years old, emissions rose 30% in your lifetime.

    If you are 30 years old, emissions rose 60% in your lifetime.

    In the next 10 years, emissions will rise 10% at least.

    After 30 years of trying, solar and wind are 2% of total world energy use.

    To avoid 2 C, emissions must drop 50% in 10 years, and 100% in 20 years.

    5 of 13 major tipping points are triggered like dominos below 2 C.

    When these 5 tipping points begin, they reinforce each other and trigger the other 8.

    Runaway hothouse earth cannot be stopped or reversed once started.

    The earth will take many, many thousands of years to recover.

    Runaway mass extinction cannot be stopped or reversed once started.

    The earth will take many millions of years to recover.

    Nobody wants to admit it.

    There are 25 billion chickens on earth.

    Humans and livestock are 98% of all land vertebrate biomass.

    10,000 years ago, humans and livestock were 0.03% of all land vertebrate biomass.

    All male vertebrates are being biologically emasculated, feminized, sterilized, stupified and crazyfied.

    If you want tons of data on how and why, go to Loki’s Revenge Blog and read: The Withering Bones of Humanity

    #48137

    seychelles
    Participant

    Inevitably hastening the demise of the reserve currency.

    The single most likely trigger for a nuclear confrontation.

    #48138

    zerosum
    Participant

    @ V. Arnold
    Thanks.
    I was in the mountains chasing mule deer with a camera.
    I got some great pictures.
    —–
    I just got caught up on my reading and find that nothing happened while I was gone. 🙂

    The USA did a drone attack/invasion. Iran shot down the drone with a missile.
    The USA attacked the electronic systems of Iran including the system that shot down the drone. Iran will still have operating missiles and will probably get better defense operating system from Russia.
    Why am I reading that even India and Turkey is getting a good missile system from Russia?

    China is going to build 30 nuclear power plant. Why? Are they going to outsource their “dirty” industries? Or is China thinking that there will be a need for all that energy. I think that if you want a modern society then you got to make sure to have a continuous electric supply.

    #48139

    Where’s China’s Yucca mountain?

    #48140

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Inevitably hastening the demise of the reserve currency.

    The single most likely trigger for a nuclear confrontation.
    seychelles

    With whom? It’s the rest of the world that is abandoning the US dollar…

    I was in the mountains chasing mule deer with a camera.
    I got some great pictures. zerosum

    Mulies eh? You must be west of the Missisippi river…

    Where’s China’s Yucca mountain?

    Good question; I have no idea…

    #48141

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Rembrandt van Rijn Saskia en profil in expensive attire 1640-45

    I wondered what Saskia looked like; I think Aristotle would approve…
    😉

    #48153

    seychelles
    Participant

    With whom? It’s the rest of the world that is abandoning the US dollar…

    That would depend upon circumstances. The rest of the world probably hasn’t figured out that they will just be trading one corrupt form of currency for another. But let’s say that Russia and China were to form an agreement with Saudi Arabia that petrodollars will be replaced with a hybrid currency based upon the ruble and the renmenbi that the current monetary system was unable or unwilling to quash. What else would the US have to maintain its one superpower hegemony? What if the maniac globalists controlling the US would find this a plausible scenario to justify a nuclear shooting match that would rapidly reduce the human population and speed up their glorious march towards one world of a few god-like supermensch and massive numbers of expendable subhuman slaves? These types of scenarios are much more worthwhile to contemplate than art-BS ideas such as what Aristotle would have thought of Saskia.

    #48165

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    These types of scenarios are much more worthwhile to contemplate than art-BS ideas such as what Aristotle would have thought of Saskia.

    My my, what a humorless fellow you prove to be…
    I do hope you get over your bad humors…

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