Oct 172022
 
 October 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1919

 

Gazprom Outlines Consequences For Price Cap On Russian Gas (RT)
Ukraine Finance Minister To Chair IMF, World Bank Governing Boards In 2023 (R.)
Russia Responds To UN Official’s Rape Claims (RT)
EU Blackmails Serbia – Interior Minister (RT)
Kremlin Speaks On NATO’s ‘De-facto’ Role In Ukraine (RT)
China Orders Evacuation Of All Citizens Still In Ukraine (ZH)
Energy Crisis Will Breed Extremism – Bavarian President (RT)
From Decolonisation to Desperation to Hopelessness to Farce (Batiushka)
Echoes Of A Brush With ‘Armageddon’ (Tony Cox)
The Gaslighting of the Masses (CJ Hopkins)
The Non-West Coalesces (Patrick Lawrence)
EU to Demand Holidaymakers’ Fingerprints and Facial Images at Borders (DS)
Why Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Donald Trump (CTH)
Alarming Rise In Cancer Among Young People Across Globe (CNN)
One Serious Adverse Event Per Eight-Hundred Vaccinations (Arora)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween

 

 

 

 

Fauci

 

 


Iran hasn’t invaded a country in 300 years, yet we, the United States, being 246 years old, have been at war for 236 years.

 

 

Tedros

 

 

The universe contains more planets than seconds that have passed since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

 

 

 

 

The consequences have been known for months: NO GAS. And also:

“..Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak said the US should set a price cap on its own liquified natural gas (LNG) going to Europe..”

I think if serious peace talks don’t start within a month, it’s too late to stop the cold, the hunger, and the resulting riots.

Gazprom Outlines Consequences For Price Cap On Russian Gas (RT)

Plans to set a price cap on Russian gas sales, which are currently being considered by Western leaders, would cause supplies to be halted, according to Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. “We rely on the contracts that have been signed. A unilateral decision of the kind is, of course, a violation of essential terms of the agreements which would lead to a termination of supplies,” Miller said on Sunday in an interview with Russia 1 TV. Numerous sanctions have been introduced by the US, EU, and allies on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine. EU customers have so far reduced their purchases of Russian energy, and the G7 and EU are currently trying to introduce a price cap on Russia’s oil and gas.

Miller’s comments echoed a similar warning from President Vladimir Putin, who said last month that Moscow would cut off energy supplies if price caps are imposed. Earlier this month, EU leaders reached an agreement to impose yet another package of sanctions on Russia, including banning maritime transportation for Russian oil to third-party countries unless the oil is sold below or at a certain price. The measures would take effect after December 5, 2022 for crude and February 5, 2023 for refined petroleum products.

Earlier this week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a price cap on Russian oil exports of around $60-per-barrel would likely reduce Moscow’s energy revenues while allowing profitable production, thus keeping Russian crude on the global market. Yellen stressed that the measure is still being discussed by the US and its Western allies. On Friday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak said the US should set a price cap on its own liquified natural gas (LNG) going to Europe, as American fuel is being delivered to Europe at prices four times higher than the price for domestic consumption.

Read more …

We’ve given them so much money, might as well hand over the keys to the safe too…

Ukraine Finance Minister To Chair IMF, World Bank Governing Boards In 2023 (R.)

The shareholders of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Friday selected Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko as the next rotating chair of the boards of governors of both institutions in 2023. The decision, which was announced during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, means that Marchenko will also chair next year’s annual meeting of the institutions, which is scheduled to be held in Morocco. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war’s massive impact on the global economy have dominated this year’s meetings, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urging international donors to provide $55 billion in additional funding next year to keep his country’s economy running and fund some initial reconstruction.

World Bank President David Malpass told shareholders of both institutions on Friday that the World Bank Group had mobilized $13 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine since the war began, including grants, guarantees, and linked parallel financing from the United States, Britain, Europe and Japan. “I remain horrified by Russia’s actions and call for Russian forces to leave Ukraine,” Malpass said in his most explicit remarks on the war to date. Marchenko said his selection was unanimously approved by all governing member countries of the two global lenders, and marked the first time that Ukraine would lead the institutions since it joined 30 years ago.

The move was unanimously approved since there was no objection during the business portion of the plenary, a source close to the discussions said. Russia is a member of the institutions and could have objected, but did not. “It is a great honor to represent Ukraine” in the international financial arena, Marchenko said in a statement released by his ministry, adding that Ukraine would be able to increase its cooperation with international financial organizations and the member countries of the World Bank and IMF.

Read more …

From the Putin (and Genghis Khan, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Saddam) Eats Babies book:

Russia Responds To UN Official’s Rape Claims (RT)

Claims made by the UN special representative on sexual violence, Pramila Patten, go “beyond the reach of reason,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Sunday. Earlier this week, Patten accused Russia of employing a “deliberate” rape “strategy”as part of its military campaign in Ukraine. “One cannot even comment on P. Patten’s … words in a serious way,”Zakharova said, adding that the UN official’s conclusions were based on data that is difficult to verify, according to Patten herself. “Once again, what we are seeing is a classic ‘highly likely’ [story], which has this time reached the level of twisted imagination,” Zakharova said.

According to her, the UN official made her conclusions based on fragmentary data provided by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine – a group created in spring 2022 on the basis of a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. Russia has not recognized its mandate, Zakharova added. Patten’s claims resemble those made by the former Ukrainian human rights commissioner, Lyudmila Denisova, Zakharova said. Denisova was fired from her position in late May after a no-confidence vote over her failure to perform duties such as organizing humanitarian corridors and prisoner exchanges amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Later, Ukrainian media reported that most of Denisova’s allegations regarding “sexual atrocities”committed by Russian soldiers in the country had not been confirmed by Ukrainian prosecutors.

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman’s reaction was sparked by an interview Patten gave to AFP this week, in which she claimed that sexual violence is a “deliberate tactic” and “military strategy”of Russia, aimed at dehumanizing its “victims.” She also claimed that Russian soldiers are “equipped with Viagra.” Zakharova pointed out that similar claims have been made by Western officials in the past. In 2011, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, reportedly accused then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of supplying his troops with Viagra to supposedly encourage mass rape during a conflict that broke out following a NATO-backed coup attempt which ended with the brutal murder of Gaddafi. US military and intelligence officials subsequently told NBC that there was no evidence that the Libyan military was being supplied with Viagra or engaging in systematic rape in “rebel areas.” “The West is using the same patterns in its hybrid war,” Zakharova said on Sunday, commenting on Patten’s statements.

Read more …

“Judging by the insane blackmail they are exposing us to…they don’t want us. The sooner we accept that they don’t want us and that we don’t belong there, the better off we will be.”

EU Blackmails Serbia – Interior Minister (RT)

The EU’s offers to Serbia are unacceptable, and Serbs should “accept that they don’t want us,” Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin told the Novosti news site on Saturday. He added that Belgrade should instead turn its attention to “free countries that accept us without blackmail,” such as Russia and China. “The question is not whether we want to join the EU, but whether the EU wants Serbia,” Vulin told Novosti. “Judging by the insane blackmail they are exposing us to…they don’t want us. The sooner we accept that they don’t want us and that we don’t belong there, the better off we will be.” A traditional ally of Russia, Serbia has come under intense pressure from the West to back the sanctions regime against Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.

The European Parliament has considered freezing accession talks with Belgrade over the latter’s refusal to back its eight rounds of economic penalties, US state media reported last month, while Germany and France have offered to “accelerate” Serbia’s path to EU membership if it recognizes the independence of the province of Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated last week. For Vulin and Vucic, the answer to these offers is a clear “no.” “How much would our friends respect us if they saw us neglecting our interests in the face of enemy force?” Vulin asked. “Who would fight for us if we chose not to fight for ourselves? “Relations with Russia, China and other free countries that accept us without blackmail and conditions are the future of Serbia,” he continued.

“I believe that friendship with Russia is of the greatest importance and that without it we risk the physical disappearance of Serbia.” sAccording to a poll taken in March, some 61% of Serbs oppose any cooperation with the US-led NATO alliance, largely due to the bloc’s support for Kosovo’s independence and its 1999 bombing campaign that brought about the end of Yugoslavia. Furthermore, while Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009, accession looks to be off the table for now. The EU’s latest sanctions package targeting Russian oil exports looks set to cost Belgrade hundreds of millions of euros, Vulin said last week, describing it as the “first EU sanctions package against Serbia.” Hungary has responded to the sanctions by announcing a new pipeline to help Serbia tap into the supply of Russian crude oil.

Read more …

If you live in a NATO country, you are now in a war you can’t win.

Kremlin Speaks On NATO’s ‘De-facto’ Role In Ukraine (RT)

NATO has “de-facto become involved in the Ukraine conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russia 1 TV on Sunday, adding that this will not prevent Moscow from following through with its plans and achieving its military goals in Ukraine. The Kremlin spokesman acknowledged, however, that NATO’s interference makes it “significantly harder” for Russia to conduct its operation, though it does not change the goals. “This [NATO involvements] requires… our internal mobilization in the field of economy and other spheres,” he told Russia 1, adding that there is a major difference between “the Kiev regime and… the NATO potential.” However, Russia’s own “potential allows [it] to continue the operation under such circumstances,” Peskov said.


The Kremlin spokesman provided no further details about Moscow’s plans and strategy in the military campaign, which has lasted for more than seven months. Earlier this week, Moscow denied rumors that the operation in Ukraine is being redesignated as a counter-terrorism campaign. Peskov also said at the time that there have been no decisions regarding the introduction of martial law in Russian regions which have been targeted by Ukrainian strikes in recent weeks. Moscow also denied that it has considered travel restrictions for men eligible for military service amid the continuing partial mobilization. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that over 200,000 reservists have been called up, most of which are still undergoing training, while adding that the draft will be completed in around two weeks.

Jimmy Dore

Read more …

Because it’s now NATO vs Russia.

China Orders Evacuation Of All Citizens Still In Ukraine (ZH)

China’s foreign ministry on Saturday issued an urgent call for any Chinese nationals still in Ukraine to exit immediately, kicking off speculation over what’s behind the unspecified appeal and scramble. The notification is being widely seen as the most forceful evacuation order yet, and suggests that Beijing might be aware of Russian plans for possibly imminent bigger, sweeping airstrikes against Ukrainian cities, such as the widespread escalatory strikes conducted last Monday into Tuesday. The first big evacuation of Chinese citizens took place starting last March, in which some 6,000 Chinese nationals left the country amid the Russian invasion.

But now, as state media Global Times writes, “Some Chinese nationals still in Ukraine have signed up for evacuation from the country, with most registering for organized evacuations, while others are preparing to leave Ukraine on their own, the Global Times learned on Sunday, after the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Chinese citizens to leave Ukraine, citing the grave security situation.” The foreign ministry and embassy warned of the “grave security situation” and ordered an immediate departure, citing the need “to enhance safety precautions and evacuate.” The statement indicated that “the embassy will assist in organizing the evacuation of people in need.” Russian state sources also on Sunday began publicizing the new alert notification.

GT is reporting that an evacuation is now in progress: “As of press time on Sunday, 161 people had registered on the form the embassy sent out for organized evacuation, and another 27 people registered on the form for self-evacuation, according to a Global Times’ count of the registration on the embassy’s WeChat account.” It additionally comes at a moment of stepped-up cross-border attacks on the Russian city of Belgorod, which lies just north of the Ukrainian border opposite Kharkiv.

Read more …

The energy crisis is the result of NATO extremism.

Energy Crisis Will Breed Extremism – Bavarian President (RT)

Skyrocketing energy costs could lead to a rise in extremist sentiment across Germany, Bavarian President Markus Soder told Bild am Sonntag on Sunday. “The mix of crises, such as energy and coronavirus, can lead to overstrain and destabilization of democracy,” he said, urging “democratic parties” to “take a clear position, argue less, and encourage citizens.” Soder pointed to the increasing electoral success of the right-wing AfD party as proof that extremism is on the rise. He argued for a cap on gas prices and financial relief for citizens, as well as aid to small and medium-sized businesses to head off growing anti-government sentiment. Some 15,000 German stores are reportedly on the brink of closure due to spiraling energy costs, according to Der Spiegel.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner must also quit arguing over the future of nuclear power in the country, Soder continued. He insists the government should extend the operation of the remaining nuclear plants through at least 2024, as Lindner has proposed, and has called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to broker a peace between the two officials. Germany began shutting down its nuclear reactors in 2011 following the Fukushima disaster in Japan but has recently reconsidered the move in light of record gas prices exacerbated by the sanctions on Russian supplies. While former Chancellor Angela Merkel had promised to phase out all 17 of Germany’s nuclear reactors by the end of 2022, three remain in service. Lawmakers recently agreed to keep at least two of those on standby status, should the plan to make it through the winter by burning coal prove insufficient to meet demand.

In August, Stephan Kramer, president of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, predicted a “winter of fury” in which “violent” extremists would hijack “legitimate” protests against the energy crisis. He also expects higher unemployment and other economic issues, warning broadcaster ZDF that mounting economic pressures combined with the strsess of the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine could shake the nation when the temperature drops. While both Soder and Kramer have argued that “the trust of the population in state institutions and authorities” is crucial to maintaining order come winter, just 38% of the population believes Chancellor Scholz is fit for the top job, according to a poll conducted last month – and that was an improvement over public sentiment in August. Habeck and Lindner rate even lower, with approval ratings of 35% and 33.6%, respectively.

Read more …

“Then it will be the turn of the EU to be kicked out of Europe and ultimately the US will be kicked out of the Americas, especially out of the US.”

From Decolonisation to Desperation to Hopelessness to Farce (Batiushka)

The Western European Empires have gone. The bankrupt Spanish Empire went first, in the century before last, the Germans lost their colonies in 1919 (at the same time as the Austro-Hungarians lost their European colonies), then the Italians lost their fantasies in Africa during the Second World War, the Germans got kicked out of their colonies in Eastern Europe in 1945, but the Portuguese much later, only getting kicked out of Africa in the 1970s. By that time the Dutch, the British, the Belgians and the French had also been kicked out of their colonies. Only the NATO Danes still hold on to Greenland, which is a lot of ice and snow and all of 56,000 people, though both Eisenhower and Trump wanted to buy it. However, since the US has its base at Thule, it effectively controls the country anyhow.

Since 1947 the UK has been kicked out of almost everywhere, infamously from the Indian Subcontinent in 1947, from Palestine in 1948 and humiliatingly, by their Americans ‘allies’, from Suez in 1956. All that remains is, for the moment, a small group of tiny enclaves and islands like Bermuda, the Caymans, Gibraltar, St Helena, the Falklands etc, about 18,000 square kilometres and fewer than 300,000 people in all, plus a lot of ice in the ‘British Antarctic Territory’. As for France, after its humiliation in South-East Asia in 1954, it has gradually been kicked out of Africa (1946-2022) (Suez in 1956, Algeria in 1962 etc) and soon, even after its decades of assassinating independentist African politicians and military interventions, it will have nothing left there, though it still has a few islands in various oceans here and there.

As for the short-lived US Empire, over the last fifty years it has largely been kicked out of several Asian countries (Vietnam (1975), Iran (1979), Iraq (2011-2021) Afghanistan (2021), now out of Russia (2022), and soon out of China, India and Saudi Arabia. True, it still hangs on in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Israel, but not for much longer. Eurasia is to be US-free. As regards the Western withdrawal from Europe, the UK left Europe in 2020. It still hangs on to Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and above all to England, but it will not last. Now it is the turn of the US to be kicked out of Europe. It is happening in the Ukraine at this very moment, but this rejection will later spread to Western Europe. Then it will be the turn of the EU to be kicked out of Europe and ultimately the US will be kicked out of the Americas, especially out of the US.

Read more …

“At the time, the long-range missiles in Soviet territory took hours to fuel up and fire, meaning a delayed response to a US first strike.”

Echoes Of A Brush With ‘Armageddon’ (Tony Cox)

In 1962, the triggering event was the secret placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba, right on America’s doorstep. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev saw the move as a way to protect Cuba against a US invasion after the failed Bay of Pigs assault in April 1961, as well as a tit-for-tat response to the Pentagon’s deployment of Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy, which positioned Washington’s nuclear warheads to hit USSR territory in as few as 10 minutes. At the time, the long-range missiles in Soviet territory took hours to fuel up and fire, meaning a delayed response to a US first strike.

“Since the Americans have already surrounded the Soviet Union with a ring of their military installations, we should pay them back in their own coin and give them a taste of their own medicine so that they find out for themselves how it feels to live as a target of nuclear arms,” Khrushchev was quoted as saying by Aleksandr Alekseev, then Moscow’s ambassador to Cuba. US President John F. Kennedy didn’t see it that way when a U-2 spy plane spotted surface-to-surface missiles in Cuba on October 16. As Ukrainian-born author Serhii Plokhy wrote in his 2021 book, ‘Nuclear Folly,’ Kennedy was initially inclined to order an attack on the missile sites, which easily could have escalated into a Soviet response and, eventually, mushroom clouds on both sides.

The American president wasn’t yet aware that the Soviets had already shipped nuclear warheads to Cuba. Nor did he know that the USSR had 43,000 troops on the island, as well as tactical nukes that could be used to destroy a US attack force. But Kennedy knew that having Soviet ballistic missiles just across the Florida Straits – Havana is only about 1,100 miles from Washington and 230 miles from Miami – was intolerable and potentially gave the USSR the ability to win a nuclear war with the US. Russia has raised similar concerns about NATO’s eastward expansion. The Western military alliance was formed to ensure collective security against the USSR, but instead of reaping a peace dividend after the Soviet collapse in 1991, the bloc expanded to 30 states, nearly doubling in size. It also placed strategic weapons in Eastern Europe, which Moscow perceived as a threat.

As if those moves weren’t provocative enough, NATO has also pledged to eventually let Ukraine and Georgia join the US-led bloc, which would expand its reach into two former Soviet republics on Russia’s borders. Tensions escalated further when a US-backed coup overthrew Ukraine’s elected government in 2014, setting off a war between Kiev and separatists in the Donbass that left an estimated 14,000 people dead even before Russia began its military offensive last February. Some observers have blamed the US and NATO for provoking the conflict. “As the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, the US needs to deeply reflect on its erroneous actions of exerting extreme pressure and fanning the flame on the Ukraine issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in July.

Read more …

“They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.”

The Gaslighting of the Masses (CJ Hopkins)

For students of official propaganda, mind control, emotional coercion, and other insidious manipulation techniques, the rollout of the New Normal has been a bonanza. Never before have we been able to observe the application and effects of these powerful technologies in real-time on such a massive scale. In a little over two and a half years, our collective “reality” has been radically revised. Our societies have been radically restructured. Millions (probably billions) of people have been systematically conditioned to believe a variety of patently ridiculous assertions, assertions based on absolutely nothing, repeatedly disproved by widely available evidence, but which have nevertheless attained the status of facts. An entire fictitious history has been written based on those baseless and ridiculous assertions. It will not be unwritten easily or quickly.

I am not going to waste your time debunking those assertions. They have been repeatedly, exhaustively debunked. You know what they are and you either believe them or you don’t. Either way, reviewing and debunking them again isn’t going to change a thing. Instead, I want to focus on one particularly effective mind-control technology, one that has done a lot of heavy lifting throughout the implementation of the New Normal and is doing a lot of heavy-lifting currently. I want to do that because many people mistakenly believe that mind-control is either (a) a “conspiracy theory” or (b) something that can only be achieved with drugs, microwaves, surgery, torture, or some other invasive physical means. Of course, there is a vast and well-documented history of the use of such invasive physical technologies (see, e.g., the history of the CIA’s infamous MKULTRA program), but in many instances mind-control can be achieved through much less elaborate techniques.

One of the most basic and effective techniques that cults, totalitarian systems, and individuals with fascistic personalities use to disorient and control people’s minds is “gaslighting.” You’re probably familiar with the term. If not, here are a few definitions: “the manipulation of another person into doubting their perceptions, experiences, or understanding of events.” American Psychological Association “an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.” Psychology Today

“a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.” Newport Institute. The main goal of gaslighting is to confuse, coerce, and emotionally manipulate your victim into abandoning their own perception of reality and accepting whatever new “reality” you impose on them. Ultimately, you want to completely destroy their ability to trust their own perception, emotions, reasoning, and memory of historical events, and render them utterly dependent on you to tell them what is real and what “really” happened, and so on, and how they should be feeling about it.

Read more …

“Every nation just named is currently subjected to U.S. sanctions.”

The Non-West Coalesces (Patrick Lawrence)

Something of epochal importance happened in Vienna, where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, now known as OPEC–Plus with the inclusion of the Russian Federation, convened recently for its first in-person session since 2020. You would not know of this development if you rely solely on the reports carried in our corporate-owned media. The world just took a significant turn into the 21st century. Let us stay abreast of it, leaving those who refuse to see this to their own devices. [..] As reported everywhere, OPEC–Plus decided to reduce the oil production of member nations by two million barrels per day as of next month. This may amount to an actual cut of half that amount, as many OPEC–Plus members—Nigeria, for instance—have not been lifting to their quotas anyway. But oil prices are already increasing, and we will soon see this at our filling stations. As retail prices rise, it is likely to complicate the political fortunes of the Biden administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill just as the midterm elections approach. So, a pretty big deal.

But this is not the half of what transpired in Vienna two weeks ago. Saudi Arabia, long the driving wheel in OPEC, effectively declared its long history of subservience to Washington, by way of which oil production has been exchanged for security guarantees, to be on the way out. One of Washington’s bedrock allies in the Middle East, Israel being the other, just took a major step toward the coalescence of non–Western nations into a coherent bloc acting in its own interests. This is more than a pretty big deal. It brings us considerably closer to the new world order Russia and China, the two most influential non–Western nations, have been talking about for several years and notably since the Biden administration took power in January 2021.

Within months, Beijing and Moscow concluded that there is no making sense of a nation that, even as its power declines, has no intention of working with them as equals to mutual benefit. Since then, numerous other countries have had little trouble detecting which way the wind blows.The Ukraine crisis has sent a new bolt of electricity through this geopolitical trend. Nations representing more than 80 percent of the global population and a like percentage of global gross domestic product are perfectly capable of seeing the Biden administration’s pointed provocations and do not approve. Partnerships that stop just short of alliances—a term of statecraft entailing explicit obligations in the way of mutual defense—have multiplied so quickly since Joe Biden took office it is hard to keep track of them.

Russia’s “no limits” relationship with China is the premier case. Russia has recently consolidated its cooperative ties with Iran. So has China. Iran and Venezuela, China and Cuba, China and Nicaragua—the list goes on. As we speak, Moscow and Beijing are developing partnerships of various kinds in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. But these nations, it is easy to note, are by and large beyond Washington’s fence posts: The policy cliques, this is to say, have them down as enemies. Every nation just named is currently subjected to U.S. sanctions. Parenthetically, I do have to wonder what happens when most of the world other than the Anglosphere and Western Europe is condemned in this way, but that is another conversation.

Read more …

“This may be the biggest biometric data collection operation in European history. What could possibly go wrong?

EU to Demand Holidaymakers’ Fingerprints and Facial Images at Borders (DS)

As of May 2023, the EU is to start demanding holidaymakers’ biometric data at its borders, greatly increasing both the level of surveillance in the bloc and the length of delays at transport terminals. Silke Carlo sounds the warning in the Telegraph: “Brits hopping across the Channel will first have their fingerprints and photos taken. The new mass data-gathering scheme, which will go live in May, is part of the evolution of a so-called ‘Smart Border’. But there is nothing ‘smart’ about the plans. The data grab has been justified by the aim of improving detection of dangerous travellers, finding vulnerable people, and reducing fraud, but it comes at an eye-watering cost to liberty and logistics. The border plans have been rightly described by civil society groups as “disproportionate and unnecessary”, while the Port of Dover’s boss has warned of “significant and continued disruption for a very long time”.

All travellers aged over 12 will need to be biometrically logged, creating an EU datastore loaded with hundreds of millions of people’s unique personal data. The EU is demanding not only a U.S.-style set of four fingerprints, but facial images too. Holiday-makers’ personal information will be mixed in with eventually billions of pieces of data, spanning photographs, palm prints, DNA records and facial biometrics, to which controversial recognition algorithms can be applied. This may be the biggest biometric data collection operation in European history. What could possibly go wrong?

Too many of our European friends have an indifferent attitude to the emergence of a data-hungry superstate – over 1.7 billion EU Digital Covid Certificates were issued during the pandemic – but even those falling out of love with liberté must be concerned about the disastrous impact on tourism and transport. The Big Brother-style EU border checks are estimated to take seven times longer than checks today and the tailback at Dover could grow by 19 miles – roughly the distance of the Channel crossing itself.

Read more …

Just explaining this to a friend yesterday. DeSantis’ moment is 2028.

Why Ron DeSantis Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against Donald Trump (CTH)

Appearing for an interview with Dave Rubin, the founder of Locals and a major conscript of the branding and image shaping effort behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Megyn Kelly gives Mr. Rubin the bitter pill of truth. Within this excerpt, Mr. Rubin struggles through the five stages of grief following Kelly’s red pill delivery, eventually stabilizing his emotion by accepting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis can still deliver good political outcomes for the state. It’s a very interesting dynamic to watch for a few reasons. First, because Megyn Kelly has first-hand experience with the power of the MAGA attachment to the atypical America-First leader. Second, because Kelly’s truthful statements cut against the objective for why Rubin was recruited by DeSantis Inc.

Read more …

Get them vaxxed!

Alarming Rise In Cancer Among Young People Across Globe (CNN)

More young people around the globe under the age of 50 are being diagnosed each year with early-onset cancer, according to a new study. Dr. Suneel Kamath, a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said the variety of different cancers on the rise in young people really surprised him. “The number of people that are presenting with advanced and unfortunately often incurable cancers in their 20s and 30s definitely seems to be skyrocketing,” Kamath said. Early-onset cases are rising for 14 types of cancers, many of which affect the digestive system, according to a review of 44 countries’ cancer registries published in the journal Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.


“The typical risk factors we think of that would cause these different tumor types are definitely different, specific to each one,” Kamath said. The review mentions that sensitive testing happening more in young people could account for part of the upswing, but many, including Kamath, say it mostly comes down to lifestyle: obesity, diets rich in processed foods, smoking and alcohol consumption are among the factors. Kamath said one of the most important things young people can do is advocate for themselves when something doesn’t feel right. “Pay attention to, you know, what’s going on with your body,” Kamath said. “Some people are going to get some resistance from their medical team, and it does mean they need to push a little harder to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”

Read more …

Should be 1 in 1 million at most.

One Serious Adverse Event Per Eight-Hundred Vaccinations (Arora)

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Vaccine—known for publishing the highest-quality vaccinology research—contains bombshell findings about the safety of Covid vaccines. Crucially, the authors found one serious adverse event for ever 800 mRNA vaccinated participants, orders of magnitude higher than the 1 to 2 per million reported for other vaccines. The researchers conducted a secondary analysis of original data from Pfizer and Moderna’s phase 3 clinical trials, focusing on “adverse events of special interest (AESIs)” as listed by the Brighton Collaboration—a “global authority” on vaccine safety. As the authors write, this World Health Organization-approved priority list of adverse vaccine events hasn’t been used to examine side effects in COVID-19 vaccine trial data. The stunning finding was as follows: the risk of serious adverse events from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine exceeds the benefit of reduction of COVID-19 hospitalisation.


In the analysis, Moderna caused higher adverse events than Pfizer, but both were elevated compared to the placebo arm. “Higher risk of serious AESI was observed in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine group relative to placebo in both the Pfizer and Moderna adult phase III trials, with 10.1 (Pfizer) and 15.1 (Moderna) additional events for every 10,000 individuals vaccinated,” the authors wrote. The average risk difference across both vaccines was 12.5 serious AESIs per 10,000 individuals vaccinated. As the authors write, these results “raise concerns that mRNA vaccines are associated with more harm than initially estimated at the time of emergency authorization.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed oils

 

 

 

 

Odense geese

 

 

 

 

 

 

A handful of insects.

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 172018
 
 February 17, 2018  Posted by at 10:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »


Gilles Mostaert Sodom and Gomorrah 1597

 

Kudlow: Trump Needs A Return To ‘King Dollar’ (CNBC)
The Stock Market’s $3 Trillion Trauma (BBG)
Why Today’s Low Financial Stress Should Stress You Out (Colombo)
US Government Is Nowhere Close To Regulating Bitcoin (CNBC)
Banks Told They’re Lagging On Response To Climate Change Risks (BBG)
Monsanto Loses Bid To Stop Arkansas Ban On Weed Killer Dicamba (R.)
Yet Another Year of Magical Thinking (Jim Kunstler)
The End Of Germany’s Big-Tent Parties (Spiegel)
‘Absurd’ Meddling Claims & Indictment Of Russians Show New US Policy (RT)
Oxfam Told Of Aid Workers Raping Children In Haiti A Decade Ago (Ind.)
Oxfam Boss: ‘Anything We Say Is Being Manipulated. We’ve Been Savaged’ (G.)

 

 

Weak dollars make weak economies. Or is it the other way around?

Kudlow: Trump Needs A Return To ‘King Dollar’ (CNBC)

The Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress have passed one of the best pro-growth tax bills ever. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ranks in the all-time hall of fame of legislation, along with Ronald Reagan’s 1981 and 1986 Tax Acts and John F. Kennedy’s posthumous tax cuts of 1964. The announcements by Apple, FedEx, ATT, Fiat Chrysler and over 300 companies with multi-billion dollar investments in the U.S. are early indicators of good things to come from the tax rate cuts. When this is combined with President Donald Trump’s deregulation agenda, we see no reason why the economy cannot grow for a sustained period at 3 to 4% growth — up from 1.6% in Obama’s last year. But there is still a missing pillar of prosperity in the Trump economic agenda, and that is a sound dollar strategy.

The dollar weakened in 2017 and we want it stabilized. There’s little in this world that can bring our economy to its knees faster than a weak dollar in the foreign exchange markets. Just ask people who served in the administrations of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush 2 and Barack Obama’s first term. All of them were undone by a weak and depreciating dollar, surging inflation, spiking interest rates, plus financial or commodity bubbles. Meanwhile, under Reagan the U.S. dollar increased by 67% in value on foreign exchange markets through 1985. The price of gold, interest rates, and inflation all fell as well from double-digit inflationary highs, while the American economy reignited and the stock market launched its 18 year bull market.

Or, go back further in time. In May of 1962, President Kennedy’s Revenue Act was passed and he reaffirmed that the U.S. dollar was as good as gold — thus launching the incredible boom called the ‘Go-Go Sixties’. A strong dollar is an essential pillar of economic prosperity with minimal inflation, but we worry that the White House has not adopted this strategy. So we urge the Trump administration to return to the successful “King Dollar” policies that worked in the 60’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Read more …

When $3 trillion is almost nothing.

The Stock Market’s $3 Trillion Trauma (BBG)

Want a neat narrative? There isn’t one. Stocks buckled, $3 trillion was lost, then just as quickly, roughly half of it came back. Nothing quite explains every little twist and turn. Much of it remains a blur. But there are clues to be gleaned from the behavior of buyers and sellers. Several key facts stand out. One: a very large sum of money was plowed into equities amid January’s euphoria. Two: even more was yanked out as shares plunged. Three: corporate buyers showed up in force at the bottom. Combined, the flows are a framework for understanding — not a grand theory of everything, but an account of how money moved during the most tumultuous stretch in two years. They show how fast things change during a late-stage bull market, a rally that got back on track with this week’s 4.3% rebound.

“There was a technical correction but we saw some fear and some panic and some investors getting burned,” said Andrew Adams, a strategist at Raymond James Financial. “By no means did anyone expect that this selloff would be of this swiftness and magnitude.” Whatever the role of computers and automated traders as markets bucked and recovered, the events had a recognizable human ring. Investors – many of them of them newly christened, going by account data at discount brokerages – sent $16.4 billion to U.S. stock mutual funds and ETFs between Jan. 2 and the market peak of Jan. 26, EPFR data show. It was a decision they quickly reconsidered. Spooked by signs of inflation, shocked by the sight of traders unwinding bets against volatility, clients pulled almost $27 billion from the same set of funds in the next nine sessions.

One security, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, saw $23.6 billion withdrawn in one week. What made the selloff stop is anyone’s guess. It happened at a chart level, the S&P 500’s average price over the last 200 days, that half the world was watching a week ago Friday. But who the buyers were is less of a mystery. The Goldman Sachs unit that executes share repurchases for clients saw 4.5 times its average daily volume last week, its busiest ever. “Retail investors were fearful immediately after the selloff, but not the companies,” said Aidan Garrib, macro strategist at Pavilion Global Markets. “Companies have buyback policies that get reconsidered every quarter, so if you told shareholders that you’re going to buy back stock, and then a market blow-up that had no impact on your fundamentals made the price fall more than expected, maybe it’s not a bad thing to step in.”

Read more …

Any and all low financial stress should stress you out. Because there should be a balance between greed and fear. Because stability breeds instability.

Why Today’s Low Financial Stress Should Stress You Out (Colombo)

In this piece, I will discuss a little-followed, but valuable market indicator called the “St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index.” According to the St. Louis Fed, this indicator was created in 2010 after economists sought a better way to track U.S. financial system stress in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. This index uses 18 weekly data series: seven interest rate series, six yield spreads and five other indicators (mostly sentiment-related indicators). When the index is very high (such as in 2008), it means that the U.S. financial system is experiencing a great amount of stress. When the index is low (such as during an economic expansion and bull market), it means that the financial system is experiencing a low amount of stress. According to the chart below, U.S. financial system stress is currently at record lows:

According to the chart below (with my comments added in red), dangerous economic bubbles form during relative troughs in the St. Louis Fed Financial Stress Index. The late-1990s Dot-com bubble formed when the index was at a relative low, as did the mid-2000s U.S. housing and credit bubble, and I believe that the “Everything Bubble” is forming during the current trough. The “Everything Bubble” is a bubble that is inflating in numerous global assets and sectors (including tech startups, U.S. equities, global bonds, some segments of the U.S. property market, property in China, emerging markets, Australia, Canada, and more) as a result of unprecedented central bank stimulus since the global financial crisis.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has manipulated interest rates by keeping them extremely low, which has led to the inflation of bubbles throughout the economy. As the chart below shows, bubbles form during periods of low interest rates. In this case, “low” is all relative because interest rates have been trending lower since the early-1980s, which is why asset and credit bubbles are becoming more extreme than in the past. Most people are unaware of how extreme our current bubble is, but it will certainly be another case of “only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked” (to quote Warren Buffett).

Read more …

Not much need right now.

US Government Is Nowhere Close To Regulating Bitcoin (CNBC)

There’s a long way to go before the U.S. government starts regulating bitcoin, Rob Joyce, special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator, told CNBC on Friday. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Joyce emphasized the need to better understand the cryptocurrency’s risks and benefits before embarking on any sort of regulatory regime. “I think we’re still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that space are,” he said when asked about the potential for government regulation. “So, I don’t think it’s close.” Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency, meaning that unlike fiat currencies such as the dollar, it’s not backed by a central authority. Critics have said that this gives the currency, which saw huge price gains in 2017, no inherent value.

As transactions are completely anonymous, bitcoin has been accused of making it easier for those engaged in illicit activities to hide their money. “We are worried. There are benefits to the bitcoin concept — digital cash, digital currencies,” Joyce said. “But at the same time, if you look at the way bitcoin works after there is a criminal act that takes place, you can’t rewind the clock and take back that currency.” Joyce described the inherent problem with this lack of a trail, noting that in the case of credit card theft, for instance, individuals or companies can contact their banks and purchases can be undone and the cash retrieved. “With the current instantiation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, we haven’t figured that out yet. So it’s a problem,” he said.

Read more …

Someone comes up with some arbitrary set of numbers (Paris) and expects banks to comply. We got nothing.

Banks Told They’re Lagging On Response To Climate Change Risks (BBG)

Fewer than half the world’s biggest banks are doing enough to forestall climate change that poses risks to their markets and economies. Most lenders still aren’t producing firm targets for low-carbon financial products that will aid efforts to keep temperatures from rising, according to a survey of 59 banks conducted by Boston Common Asset Management. Even the strongest banks in the survey, including Goldman Sachs, still struggle to define a climate strategy at the heart of their business, according to the report published Thursday and backed by more than 100 institutional investors. Scientists predict higher frequencies of floods, famines and superstorms unless the world keeps temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.

Goldman Sachs was cited as a leader in the report after the investment bank set a 2025 target of $150 billion in clean energy financing and investing. It also released a clean energy impact report in 2016 that examined the impact of the $41 billion in green investments. Almost half of the groups have put in place climate risk assessments and 61% haven’t restricted the financing of coal. The global banking sector provided $600 billion in financing for the top 120 coal plant developers between 2014 and September 2017, according to the report. Boston Common called for all banks to disclose climate risk in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. They should also set clear targets to promote low carbon products and publish strategy reports aligned with the Paris Agreement, according to the recommendations.

“Since 2005, when Goldman Sachs established its Environmental Policy Framework, harnessing market-based solutions to address environmental challenges has become increasingly core to our business,” said Kyung-Ah Park, head of the Environmental Markets Group at Goldman Sachs. “Our $150 billion target of financing and investing in companies that promote clean technology and renewable energy is an example of our commitment to addressing climate change.”

Read more …

Because the state cannot be made a defendant in court.

Monsanto Loses Bid To Stop Arkansas Ban On Weed Killer Dicamba (R.)

An Arkansas judge on Friday dismissed a Monsanto lawsuit aiming to stop Arkansas from blocking the use of a controversial farm chemical the company makes, dealing a blow to its attempts to increase sales of genetically engineered seeds. Monsanto, which is being acquired by Bayer, filed the lawsuit last year in a bid to halt the state’s ban on sprayings of the weed killer known as dicamba from the period spanning April 16 to Oct. 31. Growers across the U.S. farm belt said last summer that dicamba drifted away from where it was sprayed, damaging millions of acres of crops that could not tolerate the herbicides. St. Louis-based Monsanto, the biggest U.S. seed company, said it was disappointed with the judge’s decision and would consider additional legal action.

In the ruling, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza cited a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision that the state cannot be made a defendant in court, according to the Arkansas Agriculture Department. Dicamba, also sold by BASF and DowDuPont, is meant to be used during the summer growing season on soybeans and cotton that Monsanto engineered to resist the chemical. Monsanto is banking on the herbicide and its dicamba-resistant soybean seeds to dominate soybean production in the United States, the world’s second-largest exporter. The company says dicamba, which it sells under the name XtendiMax with VaporGrip, is safe when used properly.

The Arkansas ban hurts Monsanto’s ability to sell dicamba-tolerant seed in the state and has caused “irreparable harm” to the company, according to Monsanto’s lawsuit. The state also limited use of Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide in 2017 but allowed sales of products by other companies. David Wildy, an Arkansas farmer who served on a state task force that recommended the ban, said he supported Friday’s ruling. He said his soybeans suffered damage from the herbicide last year and that it threatens plants ranging from flowers to vegetables and peanuts when it drifts away from where it is sprayed. “If we can’t keep products on target, then there’s not a place for them in agriculture,” Wildy said in an telephone interview.

Read more …

If all the money and energy spent on Mars attacks were used to ameliorate life on earth, perhaps we’d have a shot.

Yet Another Year of Magical Thinking (Jim Kunstler)

There’s absolutely nothing that might make Mars a “sustainable” habitat for human beings, or probably any other form of Earthly life. The journey alone would destroy human bodies. If you think that living in Honolulu is expensive, with most daily needs of the population shipped or flown in, imagine what it would be like sending a cargo of provisions (Doritos? Pepperoni sticks? Mountain Dew? Fabreeze?) to a million “consumers” up on Mars. Or do you suppose the colonists will “print” their food, water, and other necessities? Elon Musk’s ventures have reportedly vacuumed in around $5 billion in federal subsidies. Mr. Musk is doing a fine job of keeping his benefactors entertained. Americans are still avid for adventures in space, where just about every other movie takes place.

I suppose it’s because they take us away from the awful conundrums of making a go of it here on Earth, a planet that humans were exquisitely evolved for (or designed for, if you will), and which we are in the process of rendering uninhabitable for ourselves and lots of other creatures. This is our home. Can we talk about the necessary adjustments and arrangements we have to make in order to continue the human project here? Just based on our performance on this blue planet, we are not qualified to infect other parts of the solar system.

Read more …

German politics is descending into chaos.

The End Of Germany’s Big-Tent Parties (Spiegel)

The country is slipping into a crisis and Germany, the bastion of stability in Europe, is becoming politically unstable. And every month the country continues to be run by a provisional government is another month that Germany doesn’t have a voice in Europe or the world.This is by no means purely a domestic development. The party system is currently being turn upside down across Western democracies. Owing to Germany’s prosperity and the sedative power of its chancellor, it long appeared that Merkel had been spared by the international development. But the torturous wrangling to create a new government has now dashed that hope.

In France, the two parties that once dominated the country now hold only just over a quarter of the seats in the national parliament. In Italy, the Five Star Movement, which doesn’t seem to stand for much other than the desire for change and its loathing of the status quo and is led by a former TV comedian, appears to have strong chances of winning the election there in March. In Germany, the old establishment parties are also struggling to maintain political stability. Combined support for the SPD and the conservatives has dropped from over 90% at the beginning of the 1970s to just 49% today. Their decline, which had previously been a slow and creeping process, has rapidly accelerated in recent months.

The party system in Germany is splintering, with seven parties now represented in national parliament. When it is no longer possible to form governments with two or three parties, it will necessarily become increasingly difficult to build stable governments. Italy already provides an example of what that can mean. The country is constantly swapping out its prime minister and holding snap elections. Italy has had almost 30 prime ministers and a total of 61 cabinets since 1946. In the same period, Germany has been governed by eight chancellors.

Read more …

Echo chambers just keep getting louder. Not much of substance. So why not RT’s comment? The Russians did it anyway.

‘Absurd’ Meddling Claims & Indictment Of Russians Show New US Policy (RT)

US indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three entities over alleged meddling in American elections in 2016 has been labelled absurd by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova. “Turns out, there’ve been 13 people, in the opinion of the US Justice Department. 13 people interfered in the US elections? 13 against billions budgets of special agencies? Against intelligence and counterespionage, against the newest technologies? Absurd? – Yes.” Zakharova said in a Facebook post. The indictment, however, is the “modern American political reality,” Zakharova added, jokingly suggesting that the number 13 was picked due to its negative associations.

One of the indicted, Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, said he was not really upset by the accusations. “The Americans are very emotional people, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I am not at all upset that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them,” Prigozhin told RIA Novosti. The entities and individuals were indicted by a US federal grand jury on Friday of “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump…and disparaging Hillary Clinton.” However, there are “no allegations” that the suspected activities of the Russian nationals somehow affected the polls, according to the US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that supporting Donald Trump has never been an official Russian policy, even if some Russians did express their backing of the new US leader. The Minister has expressed his discontent with the apparently continuing nosedive in the US-Russia relations. “It’s a pity that under Donald Trump, for more than a year of his presidency, our relations have not improved compared to the period of the Democratic administration. Even worsened to a certain extent,” Lavrov told Euronews.

Read more …

Close it down. It can’t be saved. You can’t send Oxfam people anywhere in the world anymore.

Oxfam Told Of Aid Workers Raping Children In Haiti A Decade Ago (Ind.)

Aid agencies including Oxfam were warned that aid workers were sexually abusing children in Haiti a decade ago, The Independent can reveal. Children as young as six were being coerced into sex in exchange for food and necessities, according to a damning report by Save the Children, which called for urgent action including the creation of a global watchdog. Its research exposed abuse linked to 23 humanitarian, peacekeeping and security organisations operating in Haiti, Ivory Coast and what was then Southern Sudan. “Our own fieldwork suggests that the scale of abuse is significant,” the report concluded. “Every agency is at risk from this problem … existing efforts to keep children safe from sexual exploitation and abuse are inadequate.”

It identified “every kind of child sexual abuse and exploitation imaginable”, including rape, prostitution, pornography, sexual slavery, assaults and trafficking. One 15-year-old girl in Haiti told how “humanitarian men” exposed themselves and offered her the equivalent of £2 to perform a sex act. “The men call to me in the streets and they ask me to go with them,” said another Haitian girl. “They do this will all of us young girls.” A six-year-old girl described being sexually assaulted and a homeless girl was given a single US dollar by a “man who works for an NGO” before being raped and severely injured, while boys were also reportedly raped. When asked why the abuse was not reported, children said they feared losing aid, did not trust local authorities, did not know who to go to, felt powerless or feared stigma and retaliation. “The people who are raping us and the people in the office are the same people,” said one girl in Haiti.

Read more …

See? Oxfam is the victim, not te raped children. That this guy still has a job there says more than enough.

Oxfam Boss: ‘Anything We Say Is Being Manipulated. We’ve Been Savaged’ (G.)

Oxfam has been reeling since the Times reported last week that several of the charity’s aid workers – including the country director, Roland van Hauwermeiren, had used prostitutes in Haiti while providing humanitarian work, following the 2011 earthquake. The men involved lost their jobs, but Oxfam is accused of covering up the scandal. Further revelations of sexual abuse in Oxfam shops, some against volunteers as young as 14, have emerged, engulfing the charity in a crisis unprecedented in its 76-year history. Many things have been said about Goldring and Oxfam this week, but the charge that they have failed to grasp the gravity of the situation seems absurd. Yet he came close to cancelling this interview, justifiably fretting that his words would be wilfully twisted to do Oxfam yet more damage. “Anything we say is being manipulated: ‘Oxfam’s still making excuses, still trying to justify itself.’

I went on the Today programme on the first day and tried to explain and it totally failed. All it did was fuel the fire.” Every explanation he’s tried to offer has been branded an excuse “and just failed in the court of public opinion. We’ve been savaged.” Even apologies only make matters worse. “I said on TV: ‘Yes, we could have done some things faster,’ and all of a sudden we’ve got two former ministers calling for my resignation. What I felt really clearly is many people haven’t wanted to listen to explanations.” To try again is a risk Goldring worries he may regret, but no one can doubt the courage it took. He talks to me alone, unchaperoned by press officers, and is unguarded and candid. The impression I form is of someone telling the truth: if Goldring has been guilty of anything, I think it might be naivety about the vulnerability of almost any organisation in the febrile public mood of distrust.

Read more …