Sep 182019
 September 18, 2019  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Henri Matisse Antibes 1908


Fed Concludes First Repo In A Decade Amid Liquidity Panic (ZH)
Big Banks Score Win As FDIC Proposes Easing Post-Crisis Derivatives Rules (R.)
Oil Steadies After Saudi Pledges To Restore Output Lost In Attacks (R.)
Without Accountability, There Can Never Be Trust in Our Government (Cates)
House Panel Asks Boeing CEO To Testify October 30 on 737 MAX (R.)
Ethiopian Crash Victims Want 737 MAX Documents From Boeing, FAA (R.)
Editorial Mistake My Ass (Mish)
Democrats Urge New Probe Of Kavanaugh, Impeachment Inquiry (R.)
Trudeau Reassures Allies Amid Alleged Spying Case (BBC)
Catastrophic Effects Of Working As A Facebook Moderator (G.)
US Government Is Suing Edward Snowden For His Book Profits (Verge)



Oh yeah, let’s save the bankers again….

Fed Concludes First Repo In A Decade Amid Liquidity Panic (ZH)

Update 4: It’s over: after a torrid 30 minutes in which the NY Fed first announced a repo operation, then announced the repo was canceled due to technical difficulties, then mysterious the difficulties went away just minutes later, at precisely 10:10am, the Fed concluded its first repo operation in a decade, which while not topping out at the $75 billion max, was nonetheless a significant $53.15 billion, split as follows: • $40.85BN with TSYs as collateral at a 2.1% stop out rate • $0.6BN with Agencies as collateral at a 3.0% stop out rate • $11.7BN with Mortgage-backed securities as collateral at a 2.1% stop out rate. While the Fed did not disclose how many banks participated in the operation, it is safe to say it was a sizable number.

Worse, the result from today’s unexpected repo operation, we can now conclude that in addition to $1.3 trillion in ‘excess reserves’, a Fed which is now cutting rates and will cut rates by 25bps tomorrow, the US financial system somehow found itself with a liquidity shortfall of $53 billion that almost paralyzed the interbank funding market. Oh, and for those wondering why the Fed did a repo, the answer is simple: it did not want to launch QE just yet. But make no mistake, once repo is insufficient, the Fed will have no choice but to escalate to the next step which is open market purchases. Which brings us to the bigger question of how long such overnight repos will satisfy the market, and how long before the next repo rate spike prompts the Fed to do the inevitable, and restart QE. At least president Trump will be delighted.

Read more …

And while we’re saving their multi-million bonuses, let’s throw them some more bones,..

Big Banks Score Win As FDIC Proposes Easing Post-Crisis Derivatives Rules (R.)

A U.S. banking regulator on Tuesday proposed easing a rule requiring banks to set aside cash to safeguard derivatives trades between affiliates, marking one of the biggest wins for Wall Street lenders under the business-friendly Trump administration. The proposal, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, could potentially free $40 billion across the nation’s largest banks, according to a 2018 survey by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), the global trade group that has been lobbying for the rule change for years.

The proposal is subject to public comment and will likely face resistance from Democratic lawmakers and consumer groups, who have warned that chipping away at regulations put in place following the 2007-2009 financial crisis could sew the seeds of the next one. Countries across the globe introduced a slew of rules to rein in the global over-the-counter derivatives market after big bets on credit swaps brought firms including Lehman Brothers and AIG to their knees.

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Was there any damage at all? Didn’t I read that they hit a bunch of empty tanks?

Oil Steadies After Saudi Pledges To Restore Output Lost In Attacks (R.)

Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday, steadying after Saudi Arabia said it will restore by the end of the month production lost in weekend attacks on its facilities. Prices plummeted 6% on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said the country had managed to restore oil supplies to customers to where they stood before the attacks on its facilities that shut 5% of global oil output by drawing from its huge inventories. But tension in the region remained elevated after the United States said it believed the attacks on the world’s top oil exporter originated in southwestern Iran. Iran has denied involvement in the strikes.

Brent crude oil futures were flat at $64.55 a barrel by 0732 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were down 15 cents, or 0.1%, to $59.19 a barrel, after sinking 5.7% on Tuesday. “Considering limited spare (production) capacity outside Saudi Arabia and risks of renewed attacks on Saudi energy infrastructure, a risk premium is likely to stay on oil prices in the foreseeable future,” UBS analysts said in a note. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday that average oil production in September and October would be 9.89 million barrels per day and that the world’s top oil exporter would ensure full oil supply commitments to its customers this month.

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Not sure Bill Barr is your man.

Without Accountability, There Can Never Be Trust in Our Government (Cates)

The Watergate scandal, at its heart, was about political operatives working on behalf of the Nixon administration (informally known as “The Plumbers”) attempting to plant bugs in the phones of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, so they could spy on key Democratic campaign communications. A little-remembered fact is that bugs had been successfully planted earlier; the burglars were returning to plant a new set in the phones because the first set never worked properly. It was during this second foray into DNC headquarters in the middle of the night that they were caught by an observant security guard.

So the Watergate scandal was based on an attempt to spy on political opponents, but no evidence ever surfaced that any successful spying was actually done. The first set of listening devices never functioned, and the operatives were caught while trying to replace them. That won’t be the case in the Spygate scandal, because this wasn’t an off-the-books dirty tricks group like The Plumbers running an operation against the Trump campaign. This was the federal government itself, making use of the official engines of its intelligence and law enforcement agencies and surveillance courts to spy on a political campaign and, then, a presidency. And it’s because this scandal is so much worse than Watergate that the persons responsible for it must be held accountable for their actions.

[..] The crimes here amount to a deliberate attempt to subvert the federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies and turn them into political engines of partisan policy to shield political friends and destroy political enemies. After covering up serious crimes committed by their political friends, these key government officials used their offices to manufacture crimes to use as a pretext to investigate and punish their political enemies. Unless this behavior is punished with the utmost severity, no one will ever be able to place trust in the federal government. The ball of accountability will soon end up in the court of U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

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I for one have little faith in Congress in this case. Not that I have much faith in Congress in general.

House Panel Asks Boeing CEO To Testify October 30 on 737 MAX (R.)

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee formally asked Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Tuesday to testify on the now grounded 737 MAX that has been involved in two deadly crashes since October 2018 that killed 346 people. The panel’s chair, Representative Peter DeFazio, also asked John Hamilton, the chief engineer of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division, to appear. Both executives have been asked to testify on Oct. 30. Last week, DeFazio asked Muilenburg to make several employees available for interviews as part of a congressional probe into the design, development and certification of 737 MAX aircraft. “Boeing has received the Committee’s invitation and is reviewing it now. We will continue to cooperate with Congress and regulatory authorities as we focus on safely returning the MAX to service,” a Boeing representative said in a statement.

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But will they get them? Boeing will just claim they would reveal company secrets.

Ethiopian Crash Victims Want 737 MAX Documents From Boeing, FAA (R.)

A lawyer for victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 said on Tuesday he wants Boeing Co and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to hand over documents about the decision to keep the Boeing 737 MAX in the air after a deadly Lion Air crash last October. A week after Lion Air Flight 610 nose-dived into the Java Sea, killing all 189 aboard, the FAA warned airlines that erroneous inputs from an automated flight control system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down, but the agency allowed the jets to continue flying. Five months later, the same system was blamed for playing a role when ET302 crashed on March 10, killing all 157 passengers and crew and prompting a worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX that remains in place.

“The decisions to keep those planes in service are key,” Robert Clifford of Clifford Law Offices, which represents families of the Ethiopian crash victims, said at a status hearing before U.S. Judge Jorge Alonso in Chicago. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed against Boeing by at least a dozen law firms representing families of the Ethiopian Airlines crash victims, who came from 35 different countries, including nine U.S. citizens and 19 Canadians. Families of about 60 victims have yet to file lawsuits but plaintiffs’ lawyers said they anticipate more to come. Most of the lawsuits do not make a specific dollar claim, though Ribbeck Law Chartered has said its clients are seeking more than $1 billion.

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The entire Kavanaugh thing is empty, just two women trying to sell a book. Trump said he should sue them. But as a Supreme Court judge, perhaps he shouldn’t.

Editorial Mistake My Ass (Mish)

As details emerge in the New York Times Kavanaugh scandal, it’s very clear the NYT repeatedly made serious errors On September 14, the New York Times resurrected unsubstantiated and graphic rumors about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a purposeful smear article Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not. The article was by disgraced NYT authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly to promote their upcoming book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.” I do not normally report on sleaze but to understand what the NYT did, I have to. Here is one controversial paragraph: “We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

The NYT later added this correction. “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.” Making matters worse for itself, the NYT came out and blamed it all on an “editing error”. Reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly said in an interview on MSNBC that they wrote in the draft of their Sunday Review piece that a woman who Kavanaugh was said to have exposed himself to while a student at Yale had told others she had no recollection of the alleged incident. Their editors, they say, removed the reference. “It was just sort of. . . in the haste of the editing process,” said Pogrebin.

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But this is where the non-story leads to. Kamala seeks a way to reinvent her campaign, the rest just follows.

Democrats Urge New Probe Of Kavanaugh, Impeachment Inquiry (R.)

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris on Tuesday urged a House of Representatives panel to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, while a Democratic lawmaker filed an impeachment resolution in the wake of new allegations of sexual misconduct by the conservative judge when he was in college in the 1980s. The moves by Harris, one of 20 Democratic presidential candidates, and Representative Ayanna Pressley, a progressive on the left of the party, signaled impatience among some Democrats with congressional leaders unenthusiastic about pursuing Kavanaugh’s impeachment, though their efforts appeared unlikely to spur action.

Harris said in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that the panel should “hold Mr. Kavanaugh accountable for his prior conduct and testimony.” Nadler on Monday faulted the FBI’s probe of prior sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh ahead of his narrow confirmation by the Senate in October 2018, saying in a radio interview it “apparently was a sham.” But Nadler also said his panel had its “hands full” with investigating Republican President Donald Trump. In her letter to Nadler, Harris suggested the House Judiciary Committee could create a task force and retain outside counsel if it did not have the time or resources to pursue an inquiry of Kavanaugh now.

Harris and several other Democratic presidential candidates called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment after the New York Times published an essay over the weekend detailing what it described as a previously unreported incident of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh. Others include former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke.

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Only a Five Eyes spy chief. And whaddaya know, there’s Bill Browder again. See from yesteday: The Magnitskiy Myth Exploded.

Trudeau Reassures Allies Amid Alleged Spying Case (BBC)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has moved to reassure allies in the wake of an alleged spying case with possible international implications. A senior intelligence official was charged last week with violating national security laws. Cameron Ortis had access to information coming from Canada’s global allies, the RCMP national police force said. Canada is in close contact with its intelligence partners over the case, Mr Trudeau says. “We are in direct communications with our allies on security,” the prime minister said while campaigning in Newfoundland on Tuesday. “We are also working with them to reassure them, but we want to ensure that everyone understands that we are taking this situation very seriously.” Canada is a member of the Five Eyes – the intelligence alliance that also includes the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Ortis, who was a director general with the police force’s intelligence unit, is accused of breaching the Security of Information Act and the Criminal Code. The charges filed against him include the “unauthorised communication of special operational information”, possessing a device or software “useful for concealing the content of information or for surreptitiously communicating, obtaining or retaining information”, and breach of trust by a public officer. [..] Mr Ortis was looking into allegations that Russian tax fraudsters had laundered millions of dollars through Canada, a US financier told Reuters. Bill Browder, a high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he had met Mr Ortis twice in Canada in 2017 after alerting the RCMP to the matter.

Read more …

What exactly would you say is Facebook’s role in our society? How about in your life?

Catastrophic Effects Of Working As A Facebook Moderator (G.)

They describe being ground down by the volume of the work, numbed by the graphic violence, nudity and bullying they have to view for eight hours a day, working nights and weekends, for “practically minimum pay”. A little-discussed aspect of Facebook’s moderation was particularly distressing to the contractors: vetting private conversations between adults and minors that have been flagged by algorithms as likely sexual exploitation. Such private chats, of which “90% are sexual”, were “violating and creepy”, one moderator said. “You understand something more about this sort of dystopic society we are building every day,” he added. “We have rich white men from Europe, from the US, writing to children from the Philippines … they try to get sexual photos in exchange for $10 or $20.”

Gina, a contractor, said: “I think it’s a breach of human rights. You cannot ask someone to work fast, to work well and to see graphic content. The things that we saw are just not right.” The workers, whose names have been changed, were speaking on condition of anonymity because they had signed non-disclosure agreements with Facebook. Daniel, a former moderator, said: “We are a sort of vanguard in this field … It’s a completely new job, and everything about it is basically an experiment.” John, his former colleague, said: “I’m here today because I would like to avoid other people falling into this hole. As a contemporary society, we are running into this new thing – the internet – and we have to find some rules to deal with it.

Read more …

Pay him in Bitcoin.

US Government Is Suing Edward Snowden For His Book Profits (Verge)

The Justice Department has filed a civil lawsuit against Edward Snowden that would recover all proceeds of his recently released memoir, the department announced on Tuesday. The charges coincide with the official publication of the book, which is titled Permanent Record. Snowden’s memoir was allegedly not submitted to the CIA or NSA for pre-publication review, a required practice among former employees of intelligence agencies. As such, the department considers the book a breach of Snowden’s fiduciary obligations, and names the publishers as co-defendants in the suit.

Given the still-classified programs and materials discussed in the memoir, it is unlikely that the book would have been approved for publication by the agencies. Snowden remains a de facto fugitive from the US government, and would likely face charges under the Espionage Act if he returned to the country. But the new civil case could nonetheless cause problems for Snowden, potentially enjoining his publishers from releasing any of the proceeds from the book. Crucially, the suit does not seek to block the release of Snowden’s memoir, as doing so would be illegal under the First Amendment.

Read more …


From Notes on the Next War, 1935






Home Forums Debt Rattle September 18 2019

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    Henri Matisse Antibes 1908   • Fed Concludes First Repo In A Decade Amid Liquidity Panic (ZH) • Big Banks Score Win As FDIC Proposes Easing Post-
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle September 18 2019]

    Dr. D

    “chipping away at regulations put in place following the 2007-2009 financial crisis could sew the seeds of the next one.”

    …Unless your plan IS to have a financial crisis, capture the Fed back into the Treasury, and repudiate/restructure the debt. Then it’s a great idea. Without an adequate crisis, nothing can get done.

    “Was there any damage at all? Didn’t I read that they hit a bunch of empty tanks?”

    I’m hearing the same thing, which may be why the markets didn’t move that much. So again, Iran couldn’t wait a day to see their arch-enemy Bibi lose his freedom, AND sent 20 cruise missiles 100 ships with the world’s-most-sophisticated-radar couldn’t see, AND also when those missiles hit, they didn’t really damage anything? Uh-huh.

    “That won’t be the case in the Spygate scandal, because this wasn’t an off-the-books dirty tricks group like The Plumbers running an operation against the Trump campaign. This was the federal government itself, making use of the official engines of its intelligence and law enforcement agencies and surveillance courts to spy on a political campaign and, then, a presidency.”

    Yes, but nobody cares, because: My side, right or wrong. The end always justifies the means, and “civility can start again…[when we] win back the House and or the Senate.” –Hillary Clinton. Until then, no civil government, no civil democracy, no ceding of power to the winning side. For: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, disagrees with you in any way.

    So it goes. But the nation is catching on, tiresome though it is.

    “Unless this behavior is punished with the utmost severity, no one will ever be able to place trust in the federal government.”

    Hardee har har. We don’t even have the minimum severity. For any crime, no matter how how treacherous, how treasonous, how murderous, or how well publicized. I mean, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are still walking around. Mueller is well-known to have railroaded 4 or 5 high-profile defendants, the Federal government paid out your tax money in civil suits for his crimes, and he’s a national hero. Meanwhile, we have a lot of trust the federal government is using the FBI to wiretap Quakers, anti-war journalists, and whistleblowers who embarrass them for their unrelenting serial felonies.

    “House Panel Asks Boeing CEO to Testify October 30 on 737 MAX (R.)”

    Speaking of, the Federal government and regulators not prosecuting an openly publicized mass-murder. Just like the regulators in medicine and opioids, the regulators in the SEC and CFTC with gold rigging and market spoofing, the regulators in gambling, the regulators at the FDA with vaping, the regulators with monopolies, the regulators with the EPA and releasing toxic ponds, the regulators…

    But I have an answer! More regulators! More laws! More government!!! That’ll fix how literally not a single person from Enron to Fannie to Madoff to Boeing can do their job! I’ll just give them MORE money! And the worse they do, the more money I’ll give! That’ll larn ‘em but good!

    “Democrats Urge New Probe of Kavanaugh, Impeachment Inquiry (R.)”

    Okay, great! But he’s had like ten background checks in inquiries already due to his career.
    FBI: “Hi, we’re calling about allegations that Kavanagh’s FRIENDS, not him, assaulted him and shoved him into an innocent third party. If true, this still wouldn’t be HIM assaulting anyone. What can you tell us?”
    Witness: “Well, the NY Times published that I was the victim, but I don’t remember that, or anything like it happening, with him, or anyone else, ever, at any time.”
    FBI: “Thank you, investigation over.”

    I do find it hilarious that “Nadler also said his panel had its “hands full” with investigating Donald Trump.” because he has no idea what event or crime is under suspicion here. But he’ll make up something, just like the NYT, the WaPo, CNN, and everybody else. …Meanwhile, he’s giving air support for bombing Yemeni civilians and paving the way for Palestinian land grabs, but can’t. find. nothin’.

    “Trudeau Reassures Allies Amid Alleged Spying Case (BBC)”

    Every day is a new lie, well-known because an adult said words which were published in the paper = proven lie. There is NOTHING in the case that even SUGGESTS Russia. Here’s a clue for you: the Canadian in question was an expert on Asia and fluent in Mandarin. Gosh, who could it be? I think RussiaRussiaRussia. Because no facts whatsoever have been released, and it could be Theresa May, Hillary Clinton, or El Chapo for all we know.


    The UK Supreme Court is in the middle of a 3-day hearing about who controls the country (aka is the currents suspension of Parliament legal). It seems beyond odd that such a hearing is deemed necessary (write it down!). The courts rule in matters of law, but not politics. But what if there is no applicable law? Crazy as it sounds, they may find just that. From BBC:

    Dominic Casciani – Home Affairs Correspondent: Two important interventions from the justices. Lord Wison pushes Sir James Eadie on whether they are really being asked to interfere in politics or uphold a “precious legal principle” – meaning Parliamentary sovereignty.

    Lord Wilson asks the government’s top man: “Is there anyone else better placed than us” to uphold parliamentary sovereignty? Sir James, in short, questions whether Parliamentary sovereignty has been breached at all – it still has power to make and break laws.

    Next Lord Kerr, the former chief justice of Northern Ireland, ponders: Let us supposed a PM wants to stifle debate and he decided to prorogue for one year…

    Sir James Eadie, for the PM, acknowledges that was the “gauntlet thrown down” by Lord Pannick QC, for Gina Miller yesterday. He indicates he’ll say more on this later.

    Eadie, for the PM, holds that the courts have no jurisdiction in the case. Then again, everyone will agree that the legislative is senior to the executive. Only, prorogation allows for the PM to at least appear senior over Parliament. And if Parliament is suspended, it cannot ‘execute’ its sovereignty. You’re not sovereign if a third party decides when -and when not- you can ‘execute’ your sovereignty.

    It’s a pretty ordinary power game. But if there’s no law forbidding it, what can the Supreme Court do?

    John Day

    The House of Saud has ruthlessly bombed and starved poor Yemenis for the last 5 years, without fear of consequences, let alone retaliation.
    The world is hurriedly recalculating the financial implications of that Yemeni brick through the west wall of the Glass House of Saud.
    ​ ​The devastating blitz on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry has led to a flurry of accusations from US officials blaming Iran. The reason for the finger-pointing is simple: Washington’s spectacular failure to protect its Saudi ally.
    ​ ​The Trump administration needs to scapegoat Iran for the latest military assault on Saudi Arabia because to acknowledge that the Houthi rebels mounted such an audacious assault on the oil kingdom’s heartland would be an admission of American inadequacy.
    ​ ​Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars in recent years purchasing US Patriot missile defense systems and supposedly cutting-edge radar technology from the Pentagon. If the Yemeni rebels can fly combat drones up to 1,000 kilometers into Saudi territory and knock out the linchpin production sites in the kingdom’s oil industry, then that should be a matter of huge embarrassment for US “protectors.”
    ​ ​American defense of Saudi Arabia is germane to their historical relationship. Saudi oil exports nominated in dollars for trade – the biggest on the planet – are vital for maintaining the petrodollar global market, which is in turn crucial for American economic power. In return, the US is obligated to be a protector of the Saudi monarchy, which comes with the lucrative added benefit of selling the kingdom weapons worth billions of dollars every year.
    ​ ​According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Saudi Arabia has the world’s third biggest military budget, behind the US and China.

    ​This is just going to get more embarrassing with each passing day…
    ​ ​Saudi Arabia revealed yesterday that, contrary to its initial estimates, Aramco should be able to restore oil production to 100% capacity by the end of the month. And on Wednesday morning, the kingdom’s Defense Ministry said it was planning a press conference to present “material evidence” purportedly linking Tehran to the unprecedented attack on the Kingdom’s oil infrastructure.
    ​ ​The country’s defense ministry will hold a news conference later in the day laying out new evidence. This follows reports from the US claiming that the roughly 20 missiles and drones used in the attack had been traced back to a ‘launch site’ in southern Iran.

    ​Japan says they don’t know of any evidence that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia, and believe that the Yemenis did it, like they said.
    (It could be more than one attack, and Israel could have done the second one. Yemen made 10 holes. Who made the other 7 holes?)​

    ​Iran tells Saudi Arabia it should see missile strike on its oil facilities as a WARNING and end its war with Yemen
    ​Sounds like reasonable advice. The House of Saud should pay for some food, medicine, electricity, water, sewer, and hospitals, too.

    ​There is a sudden desperate rush for $US right away, and nobody can seem to say why. There may be panic in covering some kind of speculation, which we might presume has flipped negative from the successful cheap-Yemeni-drone attacks on the big Saudi refinery.
    What cascading repercussions are underway now?

    Trump talks big to move financial markets (and Israeli elections?), then quietly moves to reduce actual risk.
    ​ ​It appears oil markets just heard that one – since the early Saturday attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities talk of war has been on the table, especially given President Trump’s initial “locked and loaded” threat – however it now seems certain there will be no war, given the president has announced new sanctions.
    ​ ​”I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

    ​Trump names Mormon Hostage Negotiator, Robert O’Brien to National Security Adviser post. (whazzat gonna mean?)​
    It looks like he has a lot of experience negotiating settlements for blowback-damage mitigation. Negotiate with Iran?

    ​We are members of nature, participants in the web of life on Earth, not separate owners/managers of lifeless property. Grow vegetables.
    ​ In the Anthropocene, we are seeing more and more how the fates of humanity and nature are intertwined. Governments and corporations have developed such control over the natural systems they exploit that they are destabilising the fundamental chemistry of the global climate system. As a result, inhospitable heat, rising seas, and increasingly frequent and extreme weather events will render millions of humans and animals refugees.

    What actual steps need to be taken to consider Green New Deal concepts as the basis for a long term, sustainable economy, that will support global life forms and healthy ecosystems? What is the next step after Sparkle-Pony?
    But here is the problem. Increases in the scale of economic activity (as conventionally measured in terms of GDP) are associated with increases in the throughput of energy and materials, and these increases have involved increased emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting primarily from the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Green growth, requires that this association between GDP and GHG emissions must cease to exist: this is known as ‘decoupling’. It is doubtful whether any developed country has achieved this at the scale and permanence required (Burton and Somerville 2019, pp. 99–101), especially when international shipping and aviation plus embodied carbon in imports are taken into account (Anderson 2019)…
    So the desired, clean, growth of the economy has undesirable implications in terms of additional resource and energy use. Clean begets dirty…
    So far, increases in renewable energy deployment have not led to a reduction in fossil fuel usage globally. Overall their deployment has been to add to the global energy mix rather than replacing fossil fuels. Moreover, it is doubtful whether renewables can provide the scale of concentrated energy used by the current global economy: the constraints are less in the power that could theoretically be generated from natural flows than in the minerals needed to deploy them: minerals used in generators and motors, in batteries and in electronics, as well as copper for transmission of power (García-Olivares 2015). These are finite and with limited substitutability. The revolution will be low powered, so the Green Deal has to factor in a plan for energy descent…
    …You can’t create minerals from sunlight. These economic consequences of the increasing scarcity and inaccessibility of most minerals and metals need to be addressed in any credible Green Deal, yet there is almost no discussion of this crucial reality in any of the proposals, nor of the ‘hidden’ resource intensive demands of new technology…
    “Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity:
    Two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are what the scientists call ‘core boundaries’. Significantly altering either of these “core boundaries” would “drive the Earth System into a new state”…
    Some advocates suggest that the GND be funded through money created by government especially for this purpose – by electronically printing money.
    ​ ​In all these cases, the advance of money for investment ultimately requires ongoing expansion of capital, the modus operandi of the capitalist system, founded on the expropriation of surplus value in the labour process, which we know as economic growth. Without expansion, there is no, or insufficient, return on the outlay.
    ​ ​Despite the claims of some GND advocates, Green Deals are predicated on the expansion of GDP and as we saw, we can’t rely on that to decouple from material impacts.
    ​ ​That is, unless another way can be found. There are some indications that this might be possible.
    Resource and energy caps.
    Review evidence that credit needn’t imply growth.
    Take production out of private ownership.
    Redirect unnecessary expenditure.​ [Military]
    Substitute material production with social & environmental stewardship / “dépense”.
    Six problems for Green Deals



    Saudi military show remains of drones and say attack ‘sponsored’ by Iran.

    I have only seen a picture and there is no sense of scale but the seven drones in the picture appear to be less than 3 meters. Certainly not capable of vast distances. This makes sense in that they must have been launched close to the facility and are ‘suicide drones’. This explains how the Saudi defence systems were ineffective. Also it explain why the holes were larger than I would expect from commercial drones.

    This brings it back to the Houthis being responsible – fair enough when Saudi is at war with them.

    The argument against the Houthis is that it would be difficult to import the drones into Yemen. BUT how difficult would it be to import these drones into Saudi Arabia? One or two shipping containers would be enough to supply all the drones used in the attack, including control equipment.

    They are certainly not cruise missiles which shows the US was mistaken/lying. Nor do they look capable of flying any great distance which removes any idea of them flying from Iran or Iraq.


    There are missiles in the picture.



    Pompeo is an expert. HE WILL BE ABLE TO TELL WHAT HE’S LOOKING AT.
    I’m sure the serial # will determine who fired them.



    The picture I saw was very different – found on

    This showed much smaller drones.

    John Day

    A Guy is standing on the wood floor in this picture, providing scale.


    On the Peak Prosperity website I have seen satellite images of the damaged oil facilities. The tanks with holes in them are spherical and apparently hold gas (LNG), not oil or petrol or diesel or kerosene, etc. The holes appear to be quite neat and round and in much the same place on each spheroid and all oriented in the same direction, towards the north-west. The tanks appear also to have been empty. A punctured tank of LNG would burn like a blowtorch, not explode, and there should be scorch marks around the hole and elsewhere.

    And why would Iran do anything so stupid like this when diplomatic efforts appear to be paying off? The Iranians are anything but stupid. This whole event is bizarre. Someone somewhere seems keen to start a shooting war.

    Dr. D

    To be useful in the Green/Green New Deal environmental push, it’s actually quite easy: Make like a Yankee.

    “Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without”

    Do you really need to mow so much lawn? Why not a tiny lawn done in 5 minutes and lot of growth? Do you really NEED that new car? What for? To impress the neighbors? Old cars are paid for and mean you don’t need as big a job and can spend more time at home. Can’t you live closer to work and make less money, overall taking more home with less effort? Big houses are expensive to run and repair. Since when you live in a smaller one, you hardly notice, why own a big one? Families used to always raise 5 kids in 1,200 square feet and didn’t notice that much. My friends did. Then they could play cards with the family around the kitchen table, preferably by the wood stove.

    What do all these things have in common? They all stop sales and drastically lower GDP. That would drastically lower lending, insider power, and tax revenue. What else do they have in common? They significantly raise the quality of life for nearly no cost. So therefore GDP ≠ Happiness. GDP ≠ Wealth. However Family + Happiness = Wealth.

    And golly, all these things are thing your daddy told you and you can go do today, along with growing a garden, saying please and thank you, and exercising on your bike. Is anyone going to do them? Not on your life. There’ll be another 10,000 articles threatening to kill every OTHER human on earth — for being scum by disagreeing with my master plans first — to save humanity, naturally, all out of my overwhelming sense of love, deep concern, and kindness.

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