A “left-wing extremist” group in Germany associated with Antifa published a list of 54 police officers believed to have taken part in raids of suspected rioters protesting the G20 summit in Hamburg, with the group calling for the public to ‘dox’ the officers by sending in their personal information. “We would be pleased about tips regarding where they live or can be met privately,” reads the post The list was posted Sunday evening on an extremist website, reports Die Welt, and is thought to be revenge for the publication by Hamburg investigators of over 100 photos and videos G20 riot participants in the hopes that the public will assist in their investigation. German Police prepare for G20 riots Hamburg The German Police Union (GdP) has called the list of officers “abominable, defamatory and the result of a fundamental attitude that glorifies and exerts violence,” noting the danger of “left-wing extremist terrorists” who “stir up hatred,” adding that “this must be stopped and done quickly.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
The national opioid epidemic is even larger drain on the US economy than previously believed, according to a new analysis from the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The cost of opioid-related deaths in 2015 was $504 billion, according to the CEA – a figure equivalent to 2.8% of that year’s gross domestic product. CEA said the report, which was obtained by the Hill ahead of its release on Monday, was needed because ‘in assessing the benefits of fiscal and regulatory policies that limit opioid abuse in the United States, it is important to understand the costs associated with the epidemic that policies might mitigate.’ In calculating the net cost, the CEA posited that the official statistics gathered by the federal government underestimate the number of opioid-related deaths. According to the official count, there were more than 33,000 reported opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2015, but because fatalities are underreported, CEA pegged the number closer to about 41,000 deaths.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.
Back in 2015, at the height of Angela Merkel’s “open door” admission policy which in addition to granting German entry to over 1 million refugees, many of whom turned out to be radical jihadists and sent her approval rating crashing to the lowest in her career, the German chancellor realized that the great migration wave from the middle east into Central Europe, originally meant to reinvigorate Europe’s aging demographics (and prompted Deutsche Bank to even boost its German GDP forecast), maybe was not such a great idea, and was just not worth the risks and trade offs. And while in the subsequent two years Germany in particular, and Central Europe in general managed to avoid another mass migration wave with most refugees gated either in Turkey or Italy, a second wave of migration into Europe now may be imminent as the situation in refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East is only getting worse, the head of the UN World Food Programme said. He added there is a clear link between hunger and migration. Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit, the executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, David Beasley, said that living conditions, mostly food distribution, in refugee camps in crisis-affected regions had deteriorated dramatically before the European migrant crisis struck in 2015. ‘We paid a heavy price for this mistake and I’m afraid we’re about to make it once again,’ Beasley believes. According to the UN food chief, while many asylum seekers wanted to stay in their home region, the lack of food has driven them away. ‘If they don’t have enough food, they will leave. And many of them would go to Europe,’ Beasley said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.
Private security guards have become a common sight across our society, whether they’re escorting cash in transit, patrolling shopping malls, conducting screening at airports or protecting VIPs. In many places, the guards dress like police officers and are equipped with firearms. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, private security is booming and the sector is worth approximately $180 billion, a number that’s expected to increase to $240 billion by 2020. That’s greater than the GDPs of 100 countries including Portugal, Romania and Hungary. An estimated 20 million workers are employed in the private security sector while its biggest company, G4S, has 585,000 employees and revenues of nearly $10 billion. Research conducted by the Guardian has found that half of the planet’s population lives in countries where there are more private security workers than police officers.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.
As the drumbeat intensifies for what might turn out to be anything but a splendid little war against North Korea, it is appropriate to take stock of the ongoing, seemingly successful effort to strip President Donald Trump of his authority to make any foreign and national security policies that fly against the wishes of the so-called Military-Industrial Complex, or MIC. A Google search for Military-Industrial Complex (in quotation marks) with Trump yields almost 450,000 hits from all sources and almost 26,000 from just news sources. During the 2016 campaign and into the initial weeks of his administration, Trump was sometimes described as a threat to the MIC. But over time, with the appointment to his administration of more generals and establishment figures (including some allegedly tied to George Soros) while purging Trump loyalists, it’s no surprise that his policies increasingly seem less a departure from those of previous administrations than a continuation of them (for example, welcoming Montenegro into NATO). Some now say that Trump is the MIC’s best friend and maybe always was. There are those who deny that the MIC exists at all. One self-described conservative blogger writing in the pro-war, pro-intervention, and mostly neoconservative National Review refers to the very existence of the MIC as a myth peddled by the conspiracy-minded. Sure, it is conceded, it was appropriate to refer to such a concept back when President Dwight Eisenhower warned against it in 1961 upon his impending departure from the White House, because back then the military consumed some 10 percent of the American GDP. But now, when the percentage is nominally just 3.2 percent, less than $600 billion per year, the term supposedly is inapplicable. (There are those who argue that the real cost annually is over $1 trillion, but why quibble.)
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 12, 2017.
Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org, ‘Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender.’ Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U. S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War. Why is containment surrender? ‘Because freedom is threatened everywhere so long as this dictatorship stays in power,’ says Gingrich. But how is our freedom threatened by a regime with 3 percent of our GDP that has been around since Jimmy Carter was president? Fortunately, Gingrich has found a leader to bring down the Iranian regime and ensure the freedom of mankind. ‘In our country that was George Washington and … the Marquis de Lafayette. In Italy it was Garibaldi,’ says Gingrich. Whom has he found to rival Washington and Garibaldi? Says Gingrich, ‘Maryam Rajavi.’ Who is she? The leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, or Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which opposed the Shah, broke with the old Ayatollah, collaborated with Saddam Hussein, and, until 2012, was designated a terrorist organization by the U. S. Department of State. At the NCRI conference in Paris in July where Gingrich spoke, and the speaking fees were reportedly excellent, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani were also on hand.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 21, 2017.
By all accounts, Bill Gates has all of the standard credentials for a card carrying globalist. He’s incredibly wealthy, promotes globalism and denigrates nationalism, he has suggested that socialism can fight climate change, and has repeatedly called for a reduction of the global population. He’s an ‘insider’ through and through, so when he makes a public statement, you know that you’re receiving an insight into what the globalist elites are thinking about. Which makes his latest statement all the more surprising, because Bill Gates is now questioning globalist orthodoxy. He’s suggesting that European countries should be tightening their borders now. In an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Gates said massive population growth in Africa will result in ‘enormous [migratory] pressure’ on Europe unless countries increase overseas development aid payments. Praising Germany having achieved its commitment to devote 0.7 per cent of GDP to foreign aid as ‘phenomenal’, the 61-year-old called on ‘other European nations to follow its example’.
This post was published at shtfplan on July 5th, 2017.
But the Crisis has Deepened and has Become More Entrenched (Part XIV) Nobody for President On 17th July 2017, India will elect a new President through a vote of the elected representatives. The two real choices are between Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar. Afraid of looking completely ignorant, I asked a few people who Kovind is. No-one knew of him and people only vaguely remembered Ms. Kumar. *** India will get a complete nobody as its next President. Both candidates are from the Indian province of Bihar. If it were a country, Bihar with its 119 million inhabitants would be the 12th most populated in the world. With a GDP of USD 420 per capita, it would also be among the world’s ten poorest countries.
This post was published at Acting-Man on July 2, 2017.
China’s Belt and Road Forum, hosted with great fanfare, signals the priority of this flagship connectivity initiative while also underlining its credentials as the new ‘shaper’ of global trends and norms. Exhorting all countries to participate, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested that ‘what we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence.’ But India, an emerging economy that shares a contested border with China, worries about containment and new pathways for aggression from Pakistan. Other nations wonder if hegemonistic designs are hidden behind the rationality of connectivity and trade. The policy initiative aims to enhance China’s centrality in the global economic unilateral approach in how the project is conceived and implemented so far belies the rhetoric of multilateralism emanating from Beijing. Taking inspiration from the ancient Silk Road trading route, China’s One Belt One Road initiative, or OBOR, hopes to link more than 65 countries, encompassing up to 40 percent of global GDP. Xi’s signature foreign paradigm – linking China to Asia, Europe and Africa via an ambitious network of ports, roads, rail and other infrastructure projects. Beginning in China’s Fujian province, the projected Maritime Silk Route passes through the Malacca Strait to the Indian Ocean, moving along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, ending in Venice.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 25, 2017.
‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’ – George Orwell There’s a narrative here that the Government, the Fed, the Trump Administration, etc conveniently ignored. Here’s the headline list this morning: GM Extends Plant Shutdowns 2nd Quarter GDP Hit As Inventories Tumble In April Retail Sales Tumble Most Since January 2016 Pension Crisis Escalates House Majority Whip Shot At Congressional Baseball Practice Real Clear News reported that Representative De Santis stated to police that the shooter asked ‘whether Republicans or Dems were on the field before shooting.’ Fox News has confirmed the report.
Who better to defend Qatar it is a hotbed of terrorism-funding (as per a recent list released by Saudi Arabia et al according to which 59 individuals and 12 entities in Qatar are terrorist) than the US Attorney General who served during the September 11 attacks, John Ashcroft. At least that’s what the government of Qatar is thinking, which hired the former US AG to defend the world’s wealthiest (on a GDP/capita basis) nation from accusations by Donald Trump and Arab neighbors that it supports terrorism. As a reminder, Ashcroft was U. S. attorney general under President George W. Bush from February 2001 to February 2005, years in which US policies and laws were reshaped by the so-called war on terrorism that followed the 2001 al Qaeda attacks. Under Ashcroft the US spawned the “Patriot Act”, trampling over civil rights everywhere, and made pervasive spying on virtually everyone the norm, courtesy of the NSA. Perhaps relying on the assumption that Qatar can simply bribe its way again into America’s good graces – recall Qatar give Bill Clinton a $1 million “present” for his Birthday, and was one of the biggest foreign “donors” of the Clinton Foundation even when Hillary was still at the State Department…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 10, 2017.
As “infrastructure week” draws to a close, President Donald Trump is preparing to meet with his Romanian counterpart, President Klaus Iohannis, in the Oval Office on Friday before the two hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden to talk security, defense spending and other economic concerns. The press conference is set to begin at 2:45 ET. Romania, which joined NATO in 2004, increased its defense budget to equal 2% of its GDP this year – one of only 5 NATO members to hit that target. Trump, who has waffled back and forth on whether he considers the alliance ‘obsolete,’ said last month during a meeting of NATO leaders at the defense alliance’s new headquarters in Brussels that its members owe the US a lot of money for paying for their defense. The visit by Iohannis is meant to underscore the defense and military ties between the two countries. Romania is host to an $800 million ballistic missile shield built by the US that was ‘switched on’ last month. US officials say the shield is meant to counter the threat from Iran.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 9, 2017.
Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation, When US President Donald Trump addressed the opening of the NATO summit last week, it was an embarrassing display of American bullying. As Trump lectured the other leaders of the military alliance about laggardly financial commitments, there was much shuffling of feet and grimacing of faces. There were also contemptuous smirks as the president spoke. Speaking outside the new North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels, Trump declared that many members owed the US a lot of money for their defense. He said it was unfair to American taxpayers that only five out of 28 current NATO members meet an agreed target of allocating 2 per cent of GDP to military spending. At a photo-op line-up, Trump was seen to push Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusco Markovic out of the way in order to get himself into a prime front row position. The fleeting moment spoke volumes of the American view of fellow NATO members.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 31, 2017.
Trump’s supporters are increasingly alarmed, outspoken and feeling betrayed as their champion rolls over and plays lap dog for the political establishment. Even Rush Limbaugh, Trump’s golfing buddy and longtime advocate, said this week that what is happening with Trump and the Republicans is a ‘sellout’ and ‘betrayal.’ With the US economy sinking in the first quarter toward the netherlands of recession (GDP growth of 0.7%), my prediction that the the economy will really start to fall apart in the early summer – in spite of Trump’s victory and the Trump Rally in stocks – looks increasingly likely with each passing week. Meanwhile my warning last year that Trump would likely prove to be a Trojan horse for the establishment is, as of this week, finally proven. Consider the following analysis of Trump’s acquiescence to every failure of his purported agenda: Trump gets thumped on Obamacare and spending bill Trump’s Obamacare Repeal 2.0 is teetering on the edge of defeat. Even if it gets approved, it has already retreated on Trump’s promises about things like pre-existing conditions, which he swore repeatedly during his campaign would remain as they are. If Trump was ever serious about making sure certain provisions of Obamacare that the majority of Americans like remain, why doesn’t he tell Republicans now that, if the bill passes without his campaign promises safeguarded, he will veto it? He is making no attempt at strong-arming in the safeguards he swore he’d protect. No attempt. Trump talked tough like that in the Repeal 1.0 round, saying it would be the Republicans one and only chance to do this right, and then he caved in by starting Repeal 2.0. In this round, he’s not talking at all. The veto threat is notably absent. While that’s a win for arch conservatives, it is still a breach of Trump’s promise, which he doesn’t seem to hold very dear at this point.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 4 May 2017.
Ever since the stunning 2016 election caught them off-guard, Democrats, who expected to quickly fall in-line behind their new leader Hillary Clinton, have been struggling to identify a new party leader or even a cohesive message to rally around. Meanwhile, in light of the sudden power vacuum and the fact that Bernie Sanders was clearly sabotaged during the primary process, the Democratic party, much like Republicans and the Freedom Caucus, seems to be splintering before our eyes with the more “progressive” elements of the party increasingly distancing themselves from the more moderate voices. And, as the in-fighting ramps up, it seems that Elizabeth Warren is quickly emerging as the leader of the far-left movement. In fact, she has become increasingly critical of President Obama in recent days with her most recent attack coming via an interview with the Guardian in which she suggested that Obama was disconnected from the woes of the working class people of the United States who are “getting kicked in the teeth” after 8 years of his rule. ‘I think President Obama, like many others in both parties, talk about a set of big national statistics that look shiny and great but increasingly have giant blind spots,’ she told the Guardian. ‘That GDP, unemployment, no longer reflect the lived experiences of most Americans. ‘And the lived experiences of most Americans is that they are being left behind in this economy. Worse than being left behind, they’re getting kicked in the teeth.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 1, 2017.
The United States spends more on its military than the rest of Nato combined. Last year, the alliance spent a total of $918 billion and the US accounted for $664 billion of that total. Nato states have committed to spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense by 2024 but so far, only the US, Greece, Poland and Estonia have reached that target. In 2016, military spending accounted for 3.6 percent of US GDP compared to 1.2 percent for Germany.
US COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE The Global Real Estate market dwarfs all financial markets by any comparison. The Global Real Estate market being so large, it has always been stable and as such it is the favorite of institutions for long term investing – specifically Insurance companies, pensions, trusts endowments, small banks & credit unions etc. However, if it were to be destabilized only slightly it would have profound consequences globally, as well as in the US. The US Commercial Real Estate market presently approximates $13T or about one fifth the annual Global GDP. A number of paradigms shifts currently underway and beginning to emerge could be just such catalysts. The Us Commercial Real Estate market is so large it needs to be considered by sectors – Industrial, Office, Rental / Apartment and Retail. Through financing, regulations & codes, securitization products etc they are inexplicably linked. A shock wave in one will have consequences across the entire industry that can alter credit terms, financing availability, collateral requirements, rollover funding etc. In our new world of globalization, factors such as changes in foreign capital flows have a profound impact on any of the above variables. Few may appreciate that the US is a dominate destination for such foreign capital. Banking problems abroad, such as the EU which would require repatriation of capital, could impact prices and rollover financing quickly since commercial real estate is typically financed on 5 and 10 years terms so that supporting collateral values are maintained. This is a requirement because owners can and do simply “walk” away when they fail and collateral is the only protection for investors. The collateral being solely the value of the remaining real estate asset. In the US, though banks are both financiers and owners, it is important to realize that the 8-12,000 small banks & credit unions along with Insurance companies, Pension Funds, Endowments, Trusts, Foundations etc are actually the ones “on the hook” for the bulk of US Commercial Real Estate.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 3 March 2017.
While the U. S. outspends all NATO allies when it comes to overall defence spending in relation to her GDP, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes – and President Trump is very well aware of – the U. S. is also the prime direct financer of NATO. However, direct contribution are more evenly split between the major NATO powers. Germany for example, spends only 1.19 percent of her GDP into defence (USA = 3.61 percent) but seemingly pulls its weight when it comes to direct funding of NATO. This does not include contributions to particular military operations.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 22, 2017.
Among the reasons Donald Trump is president is that he read the nation and the world better than his rivals. He saw the surging power of American nationalism at home, and of ethnonationalism in Europe. And he embraced Brexit. While our bipartisan establishment worships diversity, Trump saw Middle America recoiling from the demographic change brought about by Third World invasions. And he promised to curb them. While our corporatists burn incense at the shrine of the global economy, Trump went to visit the working-class casualties. And those forgotten Americans in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, responded. And while Bush II and President Obama plunged us into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Trump saw that his countrymen wanted to be rid of the endless wars, and start putting America first. He offered a new foreign policy. Mitt Romney notwithstanding, said Trump, Putin’s Russia is not ‘our number one geopolitical foe.’ Moreover, that 67-year-old NATO alliance that commits us to go to war to defend two dozen nations, not one of whom contributes the same share of GDP as do we to national defense, is ‘obsolete.’ Many of these folks are freeloaders, said Trump. He hopes to work with Russia against our real enemies, al-Qaida and ISIS. This was the agenda Americans voted for. But what raises doubt about whether Trump can follow through on his commitments is the size and virulence of the anti-Trump forces in this city.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 21, 2017.