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Monday, March 12, 2012

China Trade Surplus Vanishes



China has biggest trade deficit for 20 years

China has recorded its largest trade deficit in more than two decades as Europe's sovereign debt crisis subdued exports and oil imports rocketed.


The country's customs bureau said the shortfall was $31.5bn (£20bn), thought to be its biggest since at least 1989. Imports rose 39.6pc from a year earlier, after a 15.3pc slump in January, while exports increased 18.4pc.


Analysts had expected a deficit as imports rebounded from temporary disruption after the unusually early Lunar New Year in January, but they had predicted a greater rise in exports and a smaller increase in imports.


Efforts by Chinese companies to sell to the West have been hampered by the effects of the eurozone debt crisis and an anaemic economic recovery in the United States, although shipments to the US climbed 22.6pc from a year earlier to $19.4bn.
Overseas sales to the European Union rose 2.2pc to $19.4bn after a 3.2pc drop in January. Illustrating the increasing importance of trading with emerging markets, during the first two months of the year trade volumes with Russia jumped 31.9pc to $13.51bn.


Imports of copper by China last month were the second-highest on record, while net crude oil imports increased to a record to meet rising demand as farmers prepare for the planting season and the government adds to emergency stockpiles.


"Overall, economic conditions are getting weaker at a fast pace," said Zhiwei Zhang, a Nomura economist. "The slowdown is happening faster than the government expected."
There is speculation that China's moderating inflation and growth will lead the Government to loosen policy. Citigroup believes a cut in banks' reserve requirements may come as soon as this month.


"We would suggest that the inflation bubble in China last year is well and truly burst, and the policy easing can accelerate," said Gerard Lane, equity strategist at Shore Capital.


"This would be beneficial for the likes of miners and other emerging market related stocks.”


Song Yu, an economist at Goldman Sachs, suggested that the nation will still see a sizeable trade surplus for the full year as the deficit in early 2012 is largely seasonal.


Data in January and February was distorted by the timing of the New Year holiday, which fell in January this year and February last year.

121 comments:

  1. There is the possibility that China is stock-piling oil and other essential imports, possibly in anticipation of a conflict in the Middle-East.

    Another score for team Netanyahu?

    Chinese electric consumption more than doubled between 2005 and 2010. Last year it flat lined and this year it will almost certainly drop.

    China's thermal coal imports would halve this year if the demand pattern evident in the last three months of last year was maintained throughout this year.

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  2. Parley P Pratt, deceasedMon Mar 12, 06:54:00 AM EDT

    Buy a year's worth of gas and groceries.

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  3. Deuce said...
    There is the possibility that China is stock-piling oil and other essential imports, possibly in anticipation of a conflict in the Middle-East.

    Another score for team Netanyahu?



    More likely the Chinese have spoken to their friends the Iranians and heard that the Iranians vowed to continue to the path building a nuclear weapon.

    China, not being stupid sees the writing on the wall.

    China, also not being a real friend to anyone, is anticipating the "inventory" is king.


    That being said?

    I got enough of everything to last quite a bit of time when the shit hits the fan.

    Blaming Bibi for Iran's war is stupid.

    Iran's proxy has shot over 200 rockets (including grads) in the last 4 days.

    Egypt failed to secure a ceasefire since it demanded that hamas take apart it's production and training camps in sinai.

    Iran is causing a war to distract the world from it's weaponization program.

    But you go ahead and lay the blame on "team bibi"

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  4. China uses 1/10th the oil/GDP that we do (actually, probably more like 1/9th, now.)

    Meanwhile, our oil imports are plunging; they hit 8 million bpd a couple of weeks ago.

    And, Chinese imports are surging, up to 6 million bpd last month.

    They will most likely pass us as the world's top importer of oil in a couple of years. Especially given that their own production seems to have peaked, and is falling.

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  5. Gasoline is up $0.04 at the pump over the weekend to $3.80/gal this morning.

    Obama has, for all practical purposes, taken any Iranian action off the table until Next year, so I figure the only extraneous consideration in the markets is "when will Obammie tap the SPR?"

    And, "how much effect will it have?"

    My guesses would be "fairly soon," and "I don't know."

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  6. That leaves China sitting on a pile of cash, a considerably undervalued currency, and a huge infrastructure build-out ahead (their railroad system, for instance, is way behind where ours was in 1900.

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  7. Poor Europe seems to be "odd man, out."

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  8. They screwed the pooch with the Euro. We did it right with NAFTA, CAFTA, and our bi-lateral trade pacts.

    I hope Obama's not just screwing around with that Pacific Trade Pact proposal. It's a good idea, and would be helpful.

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  9. A sign of the times:

    They're getting ready to close the Brent Field. It's shot its wad.

    There won't be any "Brent" in Brent.

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  10. Sure, solar energy plants are aimed at helping the environment—but planned sites in the Mojave Desert area could do more harm than good, Native American groups argue. That's because making way for the plants would damage the habitats of the horny toad and desert tortoise, Alfredo Figueroa, a 78-year-old Chemehuevi Indian tells the Guardian. "Of all the creatures, the horny toad is the most sacred to us because he's at the center of the Aztec sun calendar," he notes. "And the tortoise also, who represents Mother Earth."

    What's more, the region is full of huge geoglyphs—carvings perhaps 10,000 years old—as well as what the groups say could be an ancient cremation site. A rep for the Bureau of Land Management notes that "all the projects were thoroughly assessed for their impact on cultural and biological resources. As part of that process we developed agreements with the tribes to deal with any potential conflicts." But tribal organizations have filed lawsuits against six development sites, including the $2.2 billion Google-backed Ivanpah project. Ivanpah's operators counter that its planned 11 plants will ultimately cover just .026% of the desert's 25,000 square miles; it also says that it has spent $22 million to assist desert tortoises.--http://www.newser.com/story/141566/tribes-challenge-mojave-solar-plants.html

    The Indians are getting nasty. A lot of their recent stuff just reeks of "blow it out your ear white boy." Which is their decision, their land, their resources. The real damage is , to use an unpopular word, collateral in terms of what it does to the larger field of environmental protection, which includes clean air, water and as well as ecosystem and habitat preservation. We haven't had a sacred-to-our-people, horny-toed pink-eyed frog dust-up for a while so I wonder about the timing not to mention the veracity and origins of such as squirmy story. Seen any Canadians on the Reservations lately??

    ...

    Meanwhile the "grim and determined, fish rots from the head, silver tongued godless devil in disguise, anti-capitalist whore-mongering job-killing, turtle worshiping, lying sack of shit, stay out of my man-cave you progressive slime monster from history and keep your lesbian activist dyke away from my stash" narrative continues to energize the Silly and getting Sillier Season by the minute.

    Slut! cunt! prick! dick! spic! mick! hick! dyke! whore! liar! lizard! .... SLAP!

    Oh, Sorry, got caught up in the debate again.

    (In my wilder moments, I speculate that the boys want to take out the environmental movement, using debt and the economy as drivers. It fully explains the dumb-fuckedness of the TransCanada marketing and it makes technical sense as well. The next generation of oil extraction technologies is going to be messy and harder on the environment. Let's take it the newly unemployed and financially compromised middle class and see what they say.)

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  11. The District 13 movies are good - acting, script, plot, pacing, and messaging. No urban metropolis has escaped the pseudo-anarchist vision of dystopia. The reason I mention it, is that the corporate baddie is called "Harriburton." Really funny. Harriburton.

    Anyway, the War Machine is having second thoughts.

    The comments made by the GOP candidates [Gingrich and Santorum] and others highlight a departure from past orthodoxy in the party that pushed for completing the mission of stabilizing Afghanistan. As late as June 2010, when then-Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele questioned the wisdom of the war effort, fellow Republicans called for his ouster. Steele was caught on tape during an event suggesting that the United States military would fail, comments that sparked outrage among some conservatives within the party.

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  12. I, absolutely, totally, w/o equivocation, agree, anony.


    I think

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  13. I'm curious how you pro death penalty folk feel, gag in particular, about whether that soldier who went a on a killing spree in Afghanistan should be executed?

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  14. The death penalty is for certain "premeditated" murders, Ash.

    It seems pretty unlikely this would qualify.

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  15. Why not? It certainly seemed pre-meditated and 9 of his victims were children.

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  16. It's over the top Rufus. The country needs to move right politically (welfare has hurt the black family, SS needs reform and corruption has nearly disabled Medicare) but this ideological potty crap disguised as intellectual insight needs to be smacked down for the pablum it is. Corruption compromised Washington. The Mafia being more powerful than Mao. Cut that back first and then focus on the ideological differences. But don't try to convince me that man is so inherently dystopic that government is impossible. I for one will not go quietly back into my dark cave and chew on buffalo bones. Wretchard carries a weight of experience from the Philippines. He's making the case that "it can happen here." It could rain raspberries tomorrow. The expensive ME wars, the unfunded drug prescription legislation (coupled with the failure to do anything to address crippling health care costs that not too long ago the business community wanted government to fix), globalized labor markets that left a gaping sinkhole stateside, and the careful deregulation of financial services making 2008 not only possible but inevitable put this country where it is today. Breath-taking when you think about it. Happened in about a decade.

    So let's gut SS because the tit-sucking lazy shiftless no-good commie pinko deadwood want free stuff; always there, peering at you like disembodied eyes gazing in hard focus from the darkness of their soulness existence looking for meaning in a bad Woody Allen script.

    *Somebody* is pushing an ideological divide, which is not true to the facts on the ground. I *think* it is a tactic to put the Republicans back in Washington more than something more intellectually enduring.

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  17. I don't know about that "moving to the Right," anon. I'm more in favor of a "move to the Center."

    I feel like we have a little time with most of the things on your list, but hardly any time in regards to energy (transportation energy, in particular.)

    It's for that reason that I Cannot support any Republican this year. They've just been "Too Unhelpful."

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  18. Ash said...
    I'm curious how you pro death penalty folk feel, gag in particular, about whether that soldier who went a on a killing spree in Afghanistan should be executed?


    the moment we start executing jihadists that are caught?

    go for it.

    tell then?

    treat him like gitmo prisoners, 3 squares, cable, internet and of course a new soccer field to play on.

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  19. hell in Israeli jails convicted islamic murderers get continuing education!

    they get to cook their own food...

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  20. To each his own Rufus.

    I am with you (almost) all the way on energy, but my focus is choice and reproductive rights. If there is a single area where the Repubs are firmly entrenched on the wrong side of me, that would be the one. Paraphrasing someone somewhere, the Dems vote along Money lines as much as the Repubs but every once in a while they do something for their constituents. Every once in a while.

    The little MF's can wander.

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  21. If the most recent anonymous grew a screen name the notion of "I" might have some validity.

    ReplyDelete
  22. .

    I don't know about that "moving to the Right," anon. I'm more in favor of a "move to the Center."


    I have to agree with you Ruf.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. .

    While I agree with the view that there is nothing wrong with our government other than the people running it, I would have to say the idea of a specific philosophy of 'the right' or of 'the left' has become clouded.

    You can't talk of moving 'to the right', or 'to the left' for that matter, without offering up a specific qualifying phrase as to 'on what'.

    .



    .

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  25. I don't know about that "moving to the Right," anon. I'm more in favor of a "move to the Center."

    Decentralization has some appeal. It won't absolve man of Original Sin/corruption but it dampens the extremes and breadth of public behavior. And it never hurts to put some brakes on a runaway train. Radical Centrism is not a bad "frame" for the next ideological "wave." The deviously glowing-in-the-dark bug-eyed wild-haired radical socialist is a ludicrous paradigm for moving forward. Yet that appears to be the chosen path. Good luck with that.

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  26. You can't talk of moving 'to the right', or 'to the left' for that matter, without offering up a specific qualifying phrase as to 'on what'.

    Which is what some of the better blog sites used to do. I am still astonished at the severity of the collapse into ideological muck.

    We're all [Daily] Kosians now.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Mr. Fely said...

    I've been focused on what a nitwit Rufus has become of late, and how he's found a 'friend' in annie.

    ReplyDelete
  28. bob said...

    Mr. Fely said...

    I've been focused on what a nitwit Rufus has become of late, and how he's found a 'friend' in annie.




    Fely may be onto something here.


    XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    What's the world coming to department -

    4 Amish Arrested on Alcohol Charges After Buggy Hits Cop Car...

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  29. The incident reported on Monday came as Railways Ministry officials started to boast again that the country is committed to pushing ahead with its high-speed-rail expansion program.

    China's central government conceded late last year that China's high-speed-rail-network expansion had gone too fast. The network is already the world's largest and is planned to stretch some 16,000 kilometers (about 10,000 miles) when it is completed in 2020, at an estimated total cost of more than $300 billion.

    Reports of the incident on Monday triggered a selloff of China railway-related stock. On the Hong Kong stock exchange, China Railway Construction Corp. closed Monday's trading at 5.31 Hong Kong dollars (68 U.S. cents), down 7.3%.


    Rail Setback

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  30. It’s not easy to lose 63 seats in a House election. Before 2010, the last time it had been done was when Joe DiMaggio was still patrolling center field for the New York Yankees.

    ...

    Santorum made the point well:

    The reason that .  .  . I ultimately decided to get into this race was .  .  . one particular issue that to me breaks the camel’s back with respect to liberty in this country—and that is the issue of Obamacare. .  .  . [A] little less than 50 percent of the people in this country [now] depend on some form of federal payment, some form of government benefit, to help provide for them. After Obamacare, it will not be less than 50 percent.

    ...

    Santorum also took direct aim at Romney:

    It’s one thing to defend a mandated, top-down, government-run health care program that you imposed on the people of your state. It’s another thing to recommend and encourage the president of the United States to impose the same thing on the American people.

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  31. Meanwhile the Tawerghans in their refuges are being regularly targeted by militias. “On 6 February, two attacks against members of the Tawergha internally displaced people community in Tripoli took place, resulting in the deaths of seven, including three children and two women.

    ...

    Ban Ki-moon does, however, praise the progress being made in some aspects of the security situation. The report emphasise the growth of Civil Society and attempts to integrate the militias, “including the recruitment of 10,000 former fighters onto the payroll of the Ministry of Interior which has developed a strategic plan for their integration”.

    Jordan and Turkey, in particular, are praised for their support of the training of “former fighters” in the Brigades to become police and regular soldiers.


    Human Rights Abuses

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  32. On this day in 1964, New Hampshire became the first U.S. state to legally sell lottery tickets.

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  33. For instance, while it’s proper for the survivors to discuss their various options, they should be careful not to injure one another, since all hands will be needed for the final confrontation.

    Second, while you may disagree with the leader finally selected, there is no opting out of the fight, since your flesh is just as edible as the flesh of the guy next to you. “I didn’t vote for him so I’m not working with him,” is a prescription for certain death.

    Thirdly, since the object of the moment is not to transform the earth into a flowering paradise but to make it through the night without getting eaten alive, perfection, whether in leadership or strategy, is not to the point. There’s a time to talk and a time, as it were, to lock and load.


    Should We Unite?

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  34. Asia's appetite for natural resources has pushed international investment in Australia to its second-highest level on record this year, according to data from Dealogic.

    ...

    In the weeks to March 12, funds raised in the debt capital market surged 63% compared with 2001 to a record A$51.3 billion, the data showed--spurred by 19 issuances from companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. and major banks Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Ltd. and Westpac Banking Corp.

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  35. PajamasMedia is framing the divide in a way that is dishonest to the facts on the ground; leveraging its cache from ME analytics into something quite fundamentally different. A [not so subtle] turn in the road. Too many Americans have been caught up in it.

    Playing rock and music music through the hole in his head

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  36. In the universities of Athens, the city where Plato taught and Cicero studied, campuses are covered in anarchist graffiti, stray dogs run through buildings and students take lessons in Swedish with the aim of emigrating.

    Greek Students Fight Stray Dogs and Despair

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Mr. Fely is the father of T's scissors Miss Fely.

    He lives a confused life, with moments of lucidness.

    He pops in and out of cyberspace with a predictable irregularity, infrequently shining an odd light from the astral plane.

    He is a friend of Quirk.

    ReplyDelete
  37. If we're not supposed to have midnight snacks, then why is there a light in the fridge?

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  38. Ash
    What makes you think I am pro death penalty?

    Are you?

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  39. As one pro-choice wag, writing about the Republicans’ pro-life platform, put it in the Washington Post a few years ago: “The official position of the Republican Party is that women who have abortions should be executed.”

    And now we know the pro-choice position is that children born with a facial deformity should be executed too, as long as you get to them quick enough. Unwittingly the insouciant authors of “After-birth Abortion” have shown where pro-choicers wind up if they follow their belief about fetuses to its logical end.

    They’ve performed a public service. Could it be that medical ethicists really are more useful than aromatherapists?

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  40. Ash

    Some people definitely need killing. That poor soldier is probably not one of them.

    To be totally honest, I struggle with the whole death penalty issue.. When I read about someone being executed the night before, I kind of do the whistle thru the grave yard thing and move on to the next article.

    There are some horrible people out there that do horrible things to other people with no remorse. Do they deserve to live? I don't know. Does a state have the moral right to execute them. I don't know. I am glad I don't have those things on my conscious.

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  41. What would be worse for you? An 8 by 6 cell at Supermax in Colorado for the rest of your life, or a lethal injection? I am glad I don't have to make that decision.

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  42. UK housing market:

    First time home buyers up 14% from December '10.

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  43. "Philosophers need police, just like Plato said" -

    No Police

    Another legacy of the 1970s youth movement was a prohibition against police entering campus. Originally intended to protect student protesters from police brutality, it meant drug dealers and users could find asylum on campuses, Sotiropoulos said. While that law was overturned last year, the deans must invite police on campus, and because the deans were elected by students, they are loath to do so, he said.

    Greek higher education badly needs reform to create a system that responds to the needs of Greece’s economy, said Anna Diamantopoulou, the former education minister who was named minister of development and shipping on March 6. The government is now trying to forge links between academia and private industry, and encourage research collaborations outside Greece, she said.

    “Among the huge mistakes of our political system and economy, one of our biggest was at the university,” Diamantopoulou said in an interview at the education ministry. “We lost excellence and inspiration.”

    One government initiative is to capitalize on Athens’s heritage and open a center for the study of philosophy to attract foreign students, she said.

    “We want to use philosophy as a national product,” she said.
    -

    "at least in modern Greece", said philosopher/police lieutenant Demitrios Quirkolopoulous, between bong hits, and adjusting his pistol belt.

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  44. Pajamas media? Never heard of them.

    By the way Gag, who in their right mind would send a normal human being into multiple combat tours, let one that had brain injury? I’ll tell you who, someone with no clue as to how damaged a human being becomes when they kill for a living.

    That NCO is a killer and a victim. The only reason to kill him is to put the poor bastard out of his misery. Putting him in a supermax or prison at all would only cover the crimes done to him by the dirty antiseptic bastards that sent him into hell long ago,.

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  45. A No-shit Sherlock award to a neocon

    (CNN) -- As Iran rushes ahead with its nuclear program, some foreign policy thinkers urge Israel to accept that it must live with "incomplete" security.
    On Monday morning, 200,000 Israeli children spent the morning in bomb shelters rather than classrooms, as rockets from Gaza barraged southern Israeli cities. That would seem to qualify as security "incomplete" enough to satisfy anybody.
    Israel has met the barrage with a new defense system, named Iron Dome.

    David Frum
    Iron Dome senses rocket launches. Its computers assess which rockets are headed toward populated areas, then it fires missiles to intercept the incoming rockets. According to the Israel Defense Forces, Iron Dome has achieved a success rate of more than 90% when fired. Since Friday, Palestinian militants have fired more than 170 rockets at Israeli cities, but as yet, no Israeli civilians have been killed.
    Since 2001, Israel has responded to attacks by deploying ever-more effective technological systems: first the security fence to halt the entry of suicide bombers; now Iron Dome to stop short-range rockets; and in time, the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system against longer-range missiles.
    These innovations have defeated and deterred violence and saved many lives.
    But these innovations are also subject to inherent weaknesses.
    The rockets launched from Gaza are armed only with explosives and shrapnel. When Iron Dome misses -- and it does sometimes miss -- the Gaza rockets kill and maim only within a very limited radius.
    The fence also fails sometimes. Last year for example, a British citizen was killed and 50 people wounded by a bombing near the Jerusalem convention center. Yet as with the Gaza rockets, the lethality of bombings is inherently limited. Israel does not need to reach 100% success to defeat the terrorism threat.
    Suppose, however, that the rockets carried nuclear payloads, or that suicide bombers had access to radioactive materials. Then a 90% success rate would not nearly suffice.
    Iran's nuclear program threatens to upend the strategic calculus of the past decade, to overwhelm all Israeli countermeasures to protect Israel's population.
    A nuclearized Iran does not imply "incomplete" security for Israel. It would expose Israel to absolute insecurity.
    As rockets fly toward southern Israel, the rest of Israel carries on. The economy produces and thrives. A relative of mine, visiting Jerusalem, comments that if she were not reading about the rockets in the newspapers, she would not know they were being fired.
    Yet even the threat of a mass-casualty event would paralyze the Israeli economy. People would avoid downtowns, visitors would stay home, children would be sent abroad, investment flows would cease. Iran would not have to shoot at Israel. It would just have to talk loosely about shooting at Israel to do vast harm.
    Iron Dome represents a triumph of Israeli science, generously supported by U.S. aid under both Presidents Bush and Obama. But we remain far away from a high-tech shield against the Iranian threat. This week's congratulations to Israel must be tempered by awareness: The biggest danger -- Iran's potential ability to build a weapon that could kill hundreds of thousands in a single strike -- looms as menacing as ever.

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  46. Why?

    PANJWAI, Afghanistan — Displaced by the war, Abdul Samad finally moved his large family back home to this volatile district of southern Afghanistan last year. He feared the Taliban, but his new house was nestled near an American military base, where he considered himself safe.
    Multimedia

    But when Mr. Samad, 60, walked into his mud-walled dwelling here on Sunday morning and found 11 of his relatives sprawled in all directions, shot in the head, stabbed and burned, he learned the culprit was not a Taliban insurgent. The shooting suspect was a 38-year-old United States staff sergeant who had slipped out of the base to kill.

    The American soldier is accused of killing 16 people in all in a bloody rampage that has further tarnished Afghan-American relations and devastated Mr. Samad, a respected village elder whose tired eyes poured forth tears one minute and glared ahead in anger the next.

    Once a believer in the offensive against the Taliban, he is now insistent that the Americans get out. “I don’t know why they killed them,” said Mr. Samad, a short, feeble man with a white beard and white turban, as he struggled in an interview to come to terms with the loss of his wife, four daughters between the ages of 2 and 6, four sons between 8 and 12, and two other relatives.

    “Our government told us to come back to the village, and then they let the Americans kill us,” Mr. Samad said outside the military base, known as Camp Belambay, with outraged villagers who came to support him.

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  47. Many of the key rare earths closely watched from the industry have declined in price in recent months, though they remain high by historical standards. The rare-earths price surge that began three years ago has fueled efforts by companies to reduce their use in manufacturing and to find additional sources.

    Pricing in the industry can be opaque because rare earths are mined in such small quantities and they aren't traded over public markets.

    One such producer is Molycorp Inc. of the U.S., which last week struck a deal to acquire a metals processor that it said would help it ramp up production at a U.S. mine that had once been a top producer of rare earths. But underscoring China's dominance of the industry, the deal includes sending some material to facilities in China for processing.

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  48. Why would a multiple combat tour, brain injured sniper do such a thing?

    A human being is trained to scope out and kill people with ammunition designed to do the maximum amount of devastation to human flesh. He is taught to do this on command. Through a tortuous training process that normalizes the unthinkable, he is trained to do the killing and the slaughter without remorse.

    His scope does not blink when he sees the results of his work through the crosshairs.

    One day without remorse he steps out as an army of one.

    A trained killer by any other name is still an individual that has learned to hit the moral mute button. I am shocked, just shocked.

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  49. Victor David Hanson checks in.

    The latest mass killing by an American soldier follows a three-year downward spiral: the burned desecrated Korans, the murdering of Americans by Afghan “allies,” the surge followed immediately by loudly announced withdrawal dates, four different senior commanders in three years, a musical-chairs rotation likewise on the diplomatic side, and a president clearly uncomfortable that his prior promises as a candidate to fight unflinchingly in Afghanistan were strait-jacketing his presidential impatience at leaving.

    After ten years, we have forgotten why we went into Afghanistan in the first place: a) to deny Islamic radicals similar bases from which to attack the U.S. in 9/11 style, who had been hosted by the terrorist-friendly Taliban “government”; b) to stay on and establish a consensual government to avoid resurgence of the Taliban-friendly radicals, in a de facto admission that our aid to Afghan Islamic radicals in the 1980s to defeat the Russians had been followed by a thought-to-be unwise departure after the Soviet defeat, ceding, in blowback style, the country to the Taliban; and c) at some point after our defeat of the Taliban and the establishment of the Karzai government, a third rationale emerged that we were now supporting “democracy” to ensure an end to the humanitarian abuses under the Taliban.
    ...

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  50. {…} By 2005 the war and its aftermath were felt to be a general success in that two of our three goals were largely met; indeed, in those days, in contrast to the present, observers looked at the escalating violence in Iraq and wondered “where was the Iraqi Karzai?,” who was feted as a near-hero as American casualties were remarkably low and the Taliban stayed in disarray. There was never a real anti-war movement against Afghanistan.

    Then the war returned in force in 2008 onward, and gradually became a campaign theme that year as it morphed into the “good” conflict that Democratic presidential candidates, eager to prove their national-security fides, wanted to wage — in contrast to the “take our eye off the ball war” in Iraq that was optional and not U.N.-approved. Remember, that such “let me at them” bluster was not all that sincere, given that Afghanistan was relatively quiet and Iraq deemed “lost.” (How odd the good/bad war narrative, given that the landlocked, mountainous, tribal, largely illiterate, resource-poor, and drug-rich Afghanistan was always the more difficult proposition than Iraq).

    By the time of the election of Barack Obama, things were not what were earlier anticipated: Iraq could be wound down according to the Bush-Petraeus withdrawal plan without need to honor earlier Obama pledges to get troops out by 2008–9; while the good war was suddenly and unexpectedly exploding, in a way that it was not supposed to. Given the previous narrative, had we now not been putting our proverbial eye back on the ball, with the wind-down and quiet in Iraq? (How could Americans victorious in Iraq lose the momentum after turning their full attention to the Taliban who were losing in Afghanistan and their al-Qaeda supporters who had clearly lost in Iraq?)

    Now, even before the latest disaster, there is no public support for staying in Afghanistan. And yet to leave is to envision choppers on the embassy roof, Vietnam-style, as the Taliban lets loose on women, liberals, and the American supporters in the larger cities. Not only would their take-over question the sacrifices of hundreds of dead Americans, but of course doom a few millions to the Dark Ages, if not the Islamic version of reeducation camps and firing squads. We should expect millions fleeing to the surrounding borders, the resurgence of the old Northern Alliance, hundreds of thousands coming to the U.S. as refugees — and soon popular unhappiness with the murderous 7th-century Taliban as the wretched cycle started all over again.
    {…}

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  51. (He almost gets it right)

    {…} What then to do?

    The president should either put Afghanistan on the front burner, quit apologizing, seek diplomatic and military continuity, spell out to the people exactly what our aims and methods are, assume the role of commander-in-chief, cease all talk of withdrawal, and define, as it could be defined, “victory” — or simply get out, declare a teleprompted hope-and-change-style victory, and not put Americans in harm’s way in a war that was more a 2008 campaign trope than a serious conflict to be won, as Americans joined the Russians, the British, and the Macedonians who all decided that short-term victory, occupation, and reform cost too much, given what might be gained in Afghanistan.

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  52. The damage has been done and is not fixable. The only answer to mitigate the damage would be to establish a defensible enclave that would protect those poor hopeful Afghans that will be targeted by the Taliban. We would have to carve out a city state that would be a refuge from the insanity. More of the same is not sustainable from a military or the political reality of the USA.

    The creation of a NATO backed and financed city state could work and hopefully become a magnet for the rational and secular and save them from certain punishment by the Taliban.

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  53. Reminds me of Nebuchadnezzar's words: "The king spake and said, 'Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?'"

    And the Captain's of the Titanic: "God Almighty couldn't sink that ship!"

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  54. Hmmmm, why don't we see many of them European soldiers mass murdering kids and women in Afghanistan?

    ReplyDelete
  55. An elderly Scottish Jew decided to retire and take up golf.

    So he applied for membership at a local golf club.

    About a week later he received a letter that his application has been rejected.
    So he went to the club to inquire as to why:


    Secretary: You are aware that this is a Scottish golf club?
    Scot: Aye, but I am as Scottish as you are, ma'am, my name is MacTavish.
    Secretary: Do you know that on formal occasions we wear a kilt?
    Scot: Aye, I do know, and I wear a kilt too.

    Secretary: You are also aware, that we wear nothing under the kilt?
    Scot: Aye, and neither do I.
    Secretary: Are you also aware, that the members sit naked in the steam room?
    Scot: Aye, I also do the same.
    Secretary: But you are a Jew?

    Scot: Aye, I be that.
    Secretary: So, being Jewish, you are circumcised, is that correct?
    Scot: Aye, I be that, too.
    Secretary: I am terribly sorry, but the members just would not feel comfortable

    sitting in the steam room with you, since your privates are different from theirs.
    Scot: Ach, away with ya, ma'am. I know that you have to be a Protestant to

    march with the Orangemen. And I know that you have to be a Catholic to

    join the Knights of Columbus. But this is the first time I've heard that you have

    to be a complete prick to join a golf club.

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  56. We don't see "them" European soldiers doing much of anything, do we?

    No use over-thinking it; it's time to bring'em home.

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  57. The Afghan tragedy could potentially fill the public space in a horrible to imagine way. USA seems to be running out of mojo. The ideological demonization does not help. Aside from being ill-tempered, pig-headed, hair-triggered, hunkered down, bite me blow me I'm a mean MF-er and one bad ass, and flat out wrong.

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  58. Obama's numbers have fallen across all demographic groups, although he still has a double-digit lead over both leading Republican challengers among women. Romney and Santorum, however, hold 6-point and 5-point leads over Obama among men. Obama's drop was especially steep among lower-income households most likely to be affected by rising gas prices, the Times notes. Some 54% of poll respondents believe the president can do a lot about gas prices, while 36% believe they are largely beyond a president's control.

    I voted for McCain but never again.

    AG Holder needs to go I think.

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  59. The Limbaugh advertising stampede is now officially an exodus. What was "only" 45 companies listed last week has expanded into a mass migration of 141 advertisers, according to an internal Premiere Radio Networks memo obtained by the Traffic Directors Guild of America. The memo lists 96 national companies that "specifically asked" not to have their ads play during the Rush Limbaugh Show—91 of them new additions to the list.

    The country seems to be signalling a discernible level of weariness with the gas bag demographic.

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  60. I know we are doing the right thing in Afghanistan because Obama campaigned on it and said it was the important war and said George had been all wrong and had focused on the wrong war and he said recently too he was doing things right and Rufus is going to vote for him and Rufus doesn't vote for anyone but what's right and doing things right. Like on energy, Rufus has said many times Obama is doing things right and has my best interests at heart and has my back even though gas is sky high and we don't drill, or build pipelines or built nuke plants or anything it doesn't matter because both Obama and Rufus say he is doing right and they know best. But I am not going to vote for Obama because however great a President he is he is not really eligible to be President.

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  61. I know we are doing the right thing in Afghanistan because Obama campaigned on it and said it was the important war and said George had been all wrong and had focused on the wrong war and he said recently too he was doing things right and Rufus is going to vote for him and Rufus doesn't vote for anyone but what's right and doing things right. Like on energy, Rufus has said many times Obama is doing things right and has my best interests at heart and has my back even though gas is sky high and we don't drill, or build pipelines or built nuke plants or anything it doesn't matter because both Obama and Rufus say he is doing right and they know best. But I am not going to vote for Obama because however great a President he is he is not really eligible to be President.

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  62. Supremes to look at ObamaCare end of this month. That should be interesting.

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  63. I'm not interested when SCOTUS looks at something, I'm interested when they make a ruling.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Many Alabama, Mississippi Voters Believe President Is Muslim

    17,000 comments.

    Many of which not very flattering. Obviously never lived in Montana.


    Which I never said.

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  65. Three days later, evangelist Franklin Graham joined the chorus, leaning toward the same opinion of those unsure Southern voters. Obama "has said he's a Christian, so I just have to assume that he is," Graham said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

    Facing criticism from prominent black religious leaders, Graham later apologized for his remarks.

    ReplyDelete
  66. WHOA!!!!

    This Just Out.

    Be the first on your block to view this.

    SUNNY TV CRITICAL OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY

    ReplyDelete
  67. deuce: A trained killer by any other name is still an individual that has learned to hit the moral mute button. I am shocked, just shocked




    Are you shocked when an islamic nutcase blows himself up in front of a church killing scores?

    Or when and islamic screwball and his pals shoot hundreds of rockets into Israel aimed at civilians on purpose?

    Are you shocked?

    I am not really shocked that a single soldier, put into a war zone, not allowed to shoot back at an enemy that surrounds itsself with children as shields snaps.

    I am surprised it hasnt happened more.

    You are sitting on a base where you buddies are harrassed, shot at, wounded, maimed and killed on a daily basis. You are not allowed to fire back.

    there reaches a breaking point.

    this is all on purpose by Obama.

    HE changed the rules of engagement.

    the enemy? using 7.62? can shot outside the 556 zone and the NATO soldier aint allowed to pick up a 50 to take out the sniper unless they get permission from up the chain...

    intended consequences

    this is exactly what obama wanted.

    now we can apologize and learn our dhimmi place again...

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  68. I know Obama only apologizes when something has been done wrong and then it would have been done wrong against his orders he has been called by everyone a wonderful and sensitive field commander and good chief. Rufus is an old Marine and he won't vote for any commander that wasn't a good commander and did things right and got things done the right way. I wish I could vote for Obama but he is not eligible to be President.

    ReplyDelete
  69. .

    I stopped reading the Victor David Hanson posts after this,

    After ten years, we have forgotten why we went into Afghanistan in the first place: a) to deny Islamic radicals similar bases from which to attack the U.S. in 9/11 style, who had been hosted by the terrorist-friendly Taliban “government”; b) to stay on and establish a consensual government to avoid resurgence of the Taliban-friendly radicals, in a de facto admission that our aid to Afghan Islamic radicals in the 1980s to defeat the Russians had been followed by a thought-to-be unwise departure after the Soviet defeat, ceding, in blowback style, the country to the Taliban; and c) at some point after our defeat of the Taliban and the establishment of the Karzai government, a third rationale emerged that we were now supporting “democracy” to ensure an end to the humanitarian abuses under the Taliban....


    What bullshit. When were they going to tell the merican people about these objectives? I believe most of the American people thought we went into Afghanistan to get OBL and Al Queada and the reason we were fighting the Taliban was because they were sheltering him.

    .

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  70. A lone gunmen goes out and kills a bunch of defenseless folk - reminds me of Major Hassan.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Ash said...
    A lone gunmen goes out and kills a bunch of defenseless folk - reminds me of Major Hassan.


    Except that Major Hassan carried a "soldier of allah" business card.

    Maybe if in today's American army we had on a daily basis "lone gunman" going out and murdering people carrying business cards saying "Christ's soldiers" and shooting and blowing up scores of people a weeks across the globe it would be the same.

    ANd besides this soldier had a brain injury, Major Hasson? He chose to injure his brain with Islam.

    ReplyDelete
  72. What is this "brain injury" you speak of? I haven't noticed that in any of the reports.

    ReplyDelete
  73. .

    Why would a multiple combat tour, brain injured sniper do such a thing...

    ...A trained killer by any other name is still an individual that has learned to hit the moral mute button. I am shocked, just shocked.



    You evidently have been following this closer than I have, Deuce. I haven't read anything about the "brain injured sniper" aspect.

    If he is 'brain injured" or proved mentally incompetent; hopefully, it will be proven as such.

    The guy is a commbat veteran (12 years I think I read) with three tours in Afghanistan. He goes on a shooting spree that includes killing 9 kids and 3 women. He hit three houses and calmly walked back to give himself up. One can only hope that it was because he lost it mentally.

    However, for you to imply that it is the government or the army responsible for this is ludicrous. The Afghan war may have given the guy opportunity but he sure wasn't trained or indoctrinated to go out and massacre women and children.

    It's like suggesting that someone doing a drive-by isn't responsible because of the environment he was brought up in as a kid.

    .

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  74. Bernard Henri-Levy:

    Then, the nature of a tragic situation is such that there is, I repeat, no way out -- or in any case, no miracle solution.

    But at least one can dream of one or two ideas.

    Beginning with this one, which I have defended for years.

    Admit that Afghanistan cannot be reduced, for all that, to a desperate confrontation between the Taliban killers and the corrupt members of Karzai's regime.

    Learn to count to three, in other words, to this third force which is the democratic opposition to both of them, incarnate in the man -- Abdullah Abdullah, Commandant Massoud's former lieutenant -- who, during the blatantly fraudulent elections of 2009, managed nonetheless to garner over 30% of the ballots cast.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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  75. If the "Afghans" want Abdul Abdul, then they need to elect him.

    We'll send them a congratulatory telegram . . er, . . . . email, . . . . or something.


    But,

    We're through over there.

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  76. Unfortunate label: Berserk:

    The term "berserk" is an Old Norse word describing the frenzied trance in which some warriors fought.

    ...

    The soldier in the Afghanistan shooting had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in 2010 after a vehicle rollover in Iraq, CNN reported Monday night, citing an unnamed U.S. official. A temporary finding of traumatic brain injury is required by the U.S. military after troops suffer any possible concussion from a blast or other cause and does not necessarily indicate significant brain injury, mental health specialists said. CNN reported that the soldier was later cleared for return to duty.

    ...

    "Special operations forces are very insular, and he may have been treated as a complete outsider,'' said Shay. "And sleep is unmistakably the fuel for the frontal lobes of the brain, and when you're out of gas in the frontal lobe you become a moral moron -- a catastrophe with no moral restraint." Combat stress, or PTSD in its most virulent form, tends to disrupt sleep.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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  77. My understanding is that BHL convinced Sarkozy of the Libya mission, which, if true, suggests that USA needs to keep a closer watch on this guy.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Libya worked out wonderfully that is why I know Obama is a great commander and chief and Rufus is a great voter. Our commander made regime change and we did not lose one American GI or even an airplane and Qman is dead and a son or two too. And Obama killed Osama you try to do that. Rufus has convinced me Obama is a great President but I am not voting for him as he is not eligible to be President and it costs fifty dollars to fill my tank with gas and it is going to cost more and there is nowhere to get a job.

    ReplyDelete
  79. it costs fifty dollars to fill my tank with gas and it is going to cost more and there is nowhere to get a job.


    Then why do you need to put gas in your tank?

    Oh I get it - you're being sarcastic. You should have been in that movie written by Michelle Pfeiffer's husband - Lake Placid. Could have worked with Bridgette Fonda. How long before the line-stealers tell you to "chew the bark off my big fat log?"

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  80. The world is in a bad place. So am I for that matter, literally and figuratively. Hard to find a guiding tone among the tragedy, the mockery, the denigration, the hatred, the fear, and the sly wit that finds humor in getting up for another fun-filled day on the roller coaster to hell.

    My Holden Caufield contribution for the day.

    You're welcome.

    Now if you'll excuse me, my hangover is slowing. I have to go hook up an X-box or a Wii thing. Not sure. It's very blue.

    ReplyDelete
  81. From ol' ambrosia, at The Telegraph:

    Data collected by Simon Ward at Henderson Global Investors shows that M1 money supply growth in the big G7 economies and leading E7 emerging powers buckled over the winter.

    The gauge - known as six-month real narrow money - peaked at 5.1pc in November. It dropped to 3.6pc in January, and to 2.1pc in February.

    This is comparable to falls seen in mid-2008 in the months leading up to the Great Recession, and which caught central banks so badly off guard.

    "The speed of the drop-off is worrying. This acts with a six months lag time so we can expect global growth to peak in May. There may be a sharp slowdown in the second half," said Mr Ward.

    If so, this may come as a nasty surprise to equity markets betting that America has reached "escape velocity" at long last, that Europe will scrape by with nothing worse than a light recession, and that China is safely rebounding after touching bottom over of the winter.



    Article at TAE about Ambrosia's Telegraph article

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  82. As for that "velocity of money" argument, I don't know if it has much predictive value, or not.

    The thing is, there are so many things shooting at the economy, it almost seems unreasonable to think that "something" isn't going to hit it.

    Then again, those old WS guys talk about the "wall of worry," right?

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  83. The use of “shocked, just shocked “ was irony. You had to see the movie.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I can see that I'll need to be on my toes. I better go take that nap. later :)

    ReplyDelete
  85. Patrick Pope · W. Illinois
    Whoever wrote this article is a fucking retard. They never once describe how they know it is a forgery, just that, it is "likely a digitally created forgery". Oh really?, how do you know that? There is absolutely no proof given in this entire article. Sheriff Joe is nothing more than a media butt slut, hell bent on getting attention.



    hmmmpff

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  86. Deuce: The use of “shocked, just shocked “ was irony. You had to see the movie.

    Major Strasser's been shot. Round up the usual suspects.

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  87. Rufus: The thing is, there are so many things shooting at the economy, it almost seems unreasonable to think that "something" isn't going to hit it.

    Oil stocks are so TwenCen.

    Apple (AAPL) stock continues to soar into the stratosphere, finally closing on Monday at $552.00 a share, which is an all-time record for the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company. Monday's high now puts Apple's market cap over $514 billion, which now exceeds Exxon's market cap -- the No. 2 company, currently standing at $403 billion -- by more than $100 billion.

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  88. It's the CDS exposure not the debt, but the bets on the debt:

    The Money Masters are Living in Fear:

    If you look at the highlighted area, you will see that the total value of Credit Default Swaps for 2011 is a staggering $32,409 BILLION dollars! That is $32 TRILLION, with a “T”! To put this into perspective the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States in 2010 — the total value of all the goods and services generated in the entire country that year — was $14.6 trillion. The amount of credit default swaps held by the banks dwarfs the entire economic output of the United States. There is no way in hell that these banks could ever pay even a small fraction of these claims. The TOTAL amounts of derivatives is a staggering $707 TRILLION plus a measly few hundred billion more. This entire system is a house of cards just waiting for a single card to fall. There is not enough money on this planet to cover these contracts.

    A report by the Comptroller of the Currency has the nation’s five largest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs — holding nearly 95 percent of the industry’s total exposure to derivatives contracts. This means the 5 largest banks are on the hook for over $30,000 billion for just the CDS they issued.

    So when Jamie Dimon flips a "Whatever" in the general direction of Greece, it's hard to imagine what he's thinking. Unless the game is rigged.

    How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street:

    It could, at least, unless the casino is rigged. Whether a "credit event" is a "default" triggering a payout is determined by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), and it seems that the ISDA is owned by the world's largest banks and hedge funds. That means the house determines whether the house has to pay.

    It's morbidly fascinating. Staring into the abyss.

    Ann Barnhardt thinks that the MF Global event was an attempt to take over the CME. Ann is a little too far out in the deep end for me, but one can't help but share a sense of pending disaster, which I hear in the strident ideological warfare as Washingtonians position themselves for the coming shock wave(s).

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  89. The race is on:

    The Obama administration needs to win over at least one conservative Supreme Court justice to save its health care reform law and it’s pulling out the stops to get one.

    ...

    A long shot? Maybe, but it’s the only shot the administration has on a court dominated 5-4 by conservatives.

    Here’s the pitch they’re making to Kennedy, Roberts and Scalia ...

    Scalia has nine kids.

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  90. Celebrity Convictions:

    A trip to the big house would be humbling for anyone, but it is a particularly degrading ordeal for a man who until a short while ago dreamed of being president. To find out what Blagojevich can expect inside, POLITICO talked with ex-pols who served time behind bars about how best the disgraced 55-year-old Chicago native can survive prison.

    And nothing will be more difficult than the first day, they said.

    ...

    Cianci, who continues to maintain his innocence, said, “I mean, there is life after death.”

    14 years seems a bit much.

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  91. From Rockman at TOD:

    aws - Yep. Just yesterday I killed another NG drilling prospect I had budgeted for this year. Even with our success rate there comes a point when it's better to just keep the capex in the bank. Even though we're getting great prices (usually La. Light Sweet) for condensate the bulk of the production is NG. But it's an old cycle that won't be denied. It will take a few years for the production drop to show up after this price collapse. Given how much of the current NG market is from shale plays with high decline rates the fall off in production may be much great than some anticipate.

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  92. No irony for you south of the Mason-Dixon line :-)

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  93. The Federal Reserve on Tuesday cleared the way for many of the nation's biggest banks to raise dividends and buy back shares as it released the results of its latest round of "stress tests."

    Yet four financial companies were singled out because they would struggle to maintain key capital ratios during an adverse economic and financial backdrop: Citigroup Inc., SunTrust Banks Inc., MetLife Inc. and Ally Financial Inc.

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  94. Regardless of who wins, the rules of delegate allocation virtually guarantee that nobody will be walking away with a major haul from either state. Thus, this battle, while interesting by itself, is likely to reinforce the dominant theme that has emerged in the 2012 primary: Mitt Romney is not the runaway consensus choice of his party, but he's ahead in the delegate count and has a major structural advantage.

    Today’s result should also buttress the widespread belief that Gingrich’s campaign has become quixotic. Pulling less than 40 percent in the Deep South – which is Gingrich’s home region and full of voters who are most inclined to his candidacy – would be yet another signal that his campaign has run out of steam.

    Whether or not he drops out is a different matter altogether, but a weak showing in Alabama and Mississippi (even if he manages narrow victories in both states) will reinforce the idea that he has no viable path to the nomination.

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  95. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: "If David Cameron and George Osborne are going to spend the week before the Budget in America, they should use the trip to ask President Obama for some economic advice.

    "While Britain's economy has stalled and unemployment has reached a 17-year high, the US economy is strengthening and the jobless rate has come down to a three-year low.

    "The US government's more balanced and steady approach to deficit reduction up to now means they have more than recovered all the output lost in the global recession, while in Britain we are still almost 4% below our pre-crisis peak."

    ReplyDelete
  96. On this day in 2008, gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time ever.

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  97. Garment, footwear and electronics manufacturers operating in Indonesia from South Korea, Taiwan and Japan say they are now thinking of taking their factories elsewhere. Some said they fear more wage increases as local politicians try to win votes in elections scheduled over the next two years.

    "The government is forcing us to accept this" higher minimum wage, said Sofjan Wanandi, chairman of the Employers' Association of Indonesia, which is one of Indonesia's largest business associations and has been involved with the wage negotiations. "Some [foreign] companies are telling me they will leave now."

    But with wages now rising in so many places at once, unhappy companies may have few places to escape.

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  98. It’s a truism that conventional armies cannot win revolutionary wars—that for all their resources and firepower, they will be defeated by guerrilla insurgencies. This lesson of Vietnam is rarely questioned, but it is false. Under Johnson and Westmoreland we lost a war the establishment said we were winning. Under Abrams and Nixon we won one they said we were losing. The Vietnam war tells us a lot more about American government and popular perception than it does the quest for a victory of arms.

    Conventional armies can easily defeat revolutionary ones if they adapt to their means and methods. (We did it in Afghanistan in 2001, for instance.) Our armies lose, though, because our governments are incapable of pursuing victory in revolutionary war—which requires the methods that built the great colonial empires and are no longer palatable to the society that our wealth and relativism have created.

    -Robert Messenger (2010)

    Sounds like fighting words to me. At a minimum, he is faulting government, the modern incarnation. At most, he is condemning all of this country - institutions, culture, and people - for evolving in a direction that does not support colonialism; use of "relativism" strongly suggesting an anti-progressive bias. Somewhere in the middle is an ill-defined argument for nation-building.

    McChrystal has a point:

    Caution and cynicism are safe, but soldiers don’t want to follow cautious cynics. They follow leaders who believe enough to risk failure or disappointment for a worthy cause.

    That kind of brings us back full circle to the hated Powell Doctrine.

    It would be the height of absurdity to assume that the various war colleges and war gaming institutions have not studies the required intersections suggested by the DIME acronym. So optimal strategies are abandoned why?

    The ME was and is all about money - and oil. I do not believe that the role of religion will become fully apparent until the historical dust settles, but my guess is that the final assessment will include something along the lines of religious conflict as an excuse to further the revolutionary objectives of archaic societies under pressure to self-sustain in a world for which they were not prepared. When all else fails, fight. What more enduring incentive than a god?

    All of which is a springboard off of Desert Rat's contention that the Mad Mullahs intentionally attacked with the sole purpose of financially draining the Great Satan by permanently planting their military in the desert sands of the ME. I am not completely convinced, but there is little doubt in my mind that *some entity* wanted USA "over there."

    Shorter version is that I agree with Rufus - out tomorrow. I remember Trish used to post too-cryptic-for-me reasons why USA military presence was important but my IQ digits didn't wrap around the argument. Then again, I note, as wretchard recently admitted, there is much about 9/11 that will never be made public during our lifetimes. Major Cypher.

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  99. That was from bob's link FYI

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  100. Update: Romney told CNN earlier that Santorum is at “the desperate end of his campaign.” Right message, wrong target.

    If Santorum comes out on top in both Miss and 'bama, he will have a hell of a lot of fun with this quote.

    :)

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  101. Update: Romney told CNN earlier that Santorum is at “the desperate end of his campaign.” Right message, wrong target.

    If Santorum comes out on top in both Miss and 'bama, he will have a hell of a lot of fun with this quote.

    :)

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  102. One hell of a night for SANTORUM.

    Bob, and his political insiders from the Brain Trust, now predict, with 83% certainty, that SANTORUM will be the Republican nominee.

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  103. One hell of a night for SANTORUM.

    Bob, and his political insiders from the Brain Trust, now predict, with 83% certainty, that SANTORUM will be the Republican nominee.

    ReplyDelete