Marxist Socialism now relabeled as the Sharing Economy

 

In Canada, I was in a discussion with a socialist politician. I was shocked at the response to their view of the economy that everything you earned belonged to the state and they decided how much you were allowed to keep. This same attitude is displayed by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). They have cleaned up the way they say it softening the words and injecting a new term calling this a “sharing economy” and equating it to five key sectors of the sharing economy as being: “accommodation sharing, ride sharing, music and video streaming, online staffing, and peer/crowd funding.” The CRA is now selling socialism by relabeling this as a new “sharing economy” that assert “is becoming bigger part of the general economy, and that it is cooperating with industries, provinces, and territories on how tax systems and compliance is affected by such changes.” Continue reading

Duterte Seems Alarmingly Resigned to Beijing’s New Building in the South China Sea

Over the last couple of years it has been said several times that Asian nations can no longer consider the United States a reliable partner. Its military has been decimated by budget cuts, technical problems (think F-35) and politics. The Obama administration had thrown into doubt the protection of Taiwan and Japan should either or both go to war with China. Asian nations see this and they don’t want to take chances on dealing with a bi-polar United States that changes policy whenever and whichever direction the wind blows with every new administration.

So, simply put, President Duterte has confirmed and cemented the the continuous prediction:

You take a gamble on a shaky alliance with the United States, go to war and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be defended, maybe you won’t. Maybe you won’t be offered full protection of the U.S. forces.

or

You play it safe, abandon the old club and join the club, and guarantee yourself not to get crushed in 48 hours by the Asian juggernaut.

Because of this realization, the day is coming where an Asian bloc will form under a Chinese protectorate. The vacuum is already there and is starting to be filled.

For further information, see the following (handful of many) articles:

Japan needs to seek out regional allies, view U.S. as ‘second resort,’ says head of think tank

Duterte Aligns Philippines With China, Says U.S. ‘Has Lost’

Beijing strengthens police powers in South China Sea

New blocs emerging: China and Russia vs US and Japan

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. [SAKCHAI LALIT/AP]

‘What will I do? Declare a war against China? I can, but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow,’ President Duterte said this week.

In the mid-1990s Beijing reassured Manila that structures it was building atop Mischief Reef, near the Philippines in the South China Sea, were merely fishermen’s shelters. Today China has a militarized island at that “shelter,” complete with a runway and large anti-aircraft guns.

A similar progression could begin this year at the currently undeveloped Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012. For Beijing, an installation there would go a long way toward establishing effective control over the waterway, creating a strategic triangle in conjunction with other facilities it’s built in the sea in recent years. Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

“This Is Not The Reaction The Fed Wanted”: Goldman Warns Yellen Has Lost Control Of The Market

 

With stocks soaring briskly around the globe following Yellen’s “dovish” hike, and futures set for a sharply higher open with the Nasdaq approaching 6,000, something surprising caught our attention: in a note by Goldman’s Jan Hatzius, the chief economist warns that the market is overinterpreting the Fed’s statement, and Yellen’s presser, and cautions that it was not meant to be the “dovish surprise” the market took it to be.

Specifically, he says that while the FOMC delivered the expected 25bp hike, with only minor changes to its projections. “surprisingly, financial markets took the meeting as a large dovish surprise—the third-largest at an FOMC meeting since 2000 outside the financial crisis, based on the co-movement of different asset prices.”

Even more surprisng is that according to Goldman, its financial conditions index, “eased sharply, by the equivalent of almost one full cut in the federal funds rate.”

In other words, the Fed’s 0.25% rate hike had the same effect as a 0.25% race cut! Continue reading

EU: Do as you are Told or be Stripped of Funding

IDN / Shutterstock.com

 

One of the EU’s unelected Commissioners, Vera Jourova, has warned that countries within the EU such as Poland who do not do as they are told may be stripped of funding moving forward.

Countries like Poland and Hungary have become increasingly outspoken at the way that the EU is increasingly being dominated by a small clique including the Germans and the French. Continue reading

U.S. Shale Faces A Workforce Shortage

 

A problem for the U.S. shale oil and gas industry that analysts and observers have warned about for a long time has materialized: there is a shortage of workers. According to one service provider for E&Ps, trucker jobs remain vacant even with an annual paycheck of $80,000, which is certainly a big change from a couple of years ago when layoffs were sweeping through the shale patch.

This shortage could dampen the prospects of not just shale producers, who are eager to ramp up production as quickly as possible and take advantage of higher international oil prices, but it will also seriously hamper the recovery of the oilfield services segment, which has been hit harder than E&Ps by the price crash. Continue reading

No President Will Escape Fed’s Debt Bomb – Feb 4, 2017

Continue reading

EU Prepares for Trade War with U.S. – Süddeutsche Zeitung

Photo: RIA Novosti / Aleksey Vitvitskiy

 

EU countries are considering three main variants of answering possible changes in the US trade policy.

Active discussions on how to react to plans of US President Donald Trump to introduce a 20 percent duty on imported goods in the US are held in EU countries, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported.

First of all, EU states themselves could subsidize their enterprises in order to save the companies from additional costs for new duties. In addition, companies would manage to remain competitive. However, this variant would hit the budget of European countries. Continue reading

Medvedev: Russia Prepared For Permanent Economic Divorce With West

Although the source is state-owned, it’s important to note they’re positioned:

 

 

The myth that is propelling the Trump Manchurian candidate conspiracy theory is that Putin desperately needs sanctions removed, and therefore has installed a puppet in the White House to do away with them.

Not quite.

Here is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, explaining why Russia is not looking for “mercy” from the West: (See above video) Continue reading

Saudis’ upcoming trip to China sends strong signal to US

© Getty Images

 

King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia is leading an entourage, including 25 senior princes and 10 ministers, to China later this month, part of a month-long tour of the Asia-Pacific, as the kingdom is seeking to hedge against an unpredictable and divided White House.

While it yearns for a renewed American role in the Middle East and reassurances from President Trump that Riyadh remains an ally, Saudi Arabia now faces a period of uncertainty due to the unpredictability of Trump’s foreign policy stance. That reason alone could explain why a trip to Beijing was planned before a trip to Washington.

Despite its efforts at economic diversification, Saudi Arabia will remain dependent on oil exports for a long time, and China provides the kingdom with a stable market for its energy exports for decades to come. Continue reading

Here’s the one word in Janet Yellen’s speech that the markets should be very worried about

Please see the source for the video.

 

The stock market has churned a bit in the last few days. Some Wall Street wags have suggested that concerns over the President’s tweet storm over the weekend, or North Korea’s missile firings, may have been behind the stall in the market.

Certainly, political uncertainty, and geo-political risk, have caused some consternation in global markets, while concerns about the pace of gains in stocks, coupled with perceived lofty valuations have also provided a mild headwind on Wall Street in the last few days.

While the market appears to be happily embracing a coming rates hike from the Federal Reserve, it seems to me that market participants may have glossed over a very important comment from Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, last Friday. Continue reading

Trade Deficit in U.S. Widens to Largest in Almost Five Years

 

  • Imports rise by most since 2015, outpacing export gains
  • Trump administration says data show ‘much work to be done’

The U.S. chalked up its largest trade deficit since March 2012 as a jump in merchandise imports in January exceeded a smaller gain in shipments overseas.

The gap in goods and services trade increased by 9.6 percent to $48.5 billion, matching the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday. The deterioration in January from the previous month reflected a 2.3 percent gain in imports, the most since March 2015, and a 0.6 percent pickup in exports. Continue reading

Latin America: Front Line of Trade War

Caption: Demonstrators during a protest rally against Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto meeting with President Donald Trump, in Mexico City on September 15, 2016. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

America’s new protectionism is forcing Latin America to seek new partners.

America’s influence in Latin America is decreasing, while the influence of other world powers in the region is growing. If it continues, this trend could destroy America.

Dominance of the Caribbean basin is integral to America’s safety and essential to its ability to project power globally. If a rival power were able to establish a significant presence in the Caribbean, it could threaten the American heartland. The Caribbean is also key to United States’ trade. The majority of all U.S. waterborne foreign trade travels to or from U.S. ports on the Gulf of Mexico. When you include goods traveling through the region from other ports, no other part of the world is more essential to America’s trade.

This is why more Americans ought to be concerned that foreign powers are rapidly moving into the Caribbean, as well into South America itself. Continue reading

The world economy can’t handle even one US rate hike, strategist Sri-Kumar says

Please see the source for the video.

 

Even one small interest rate increase by the Fed could have a sweeping impact on U.S. and world economies, Komal Sri-Kumar told CNBC on Monday.

“I think they are going to hike” on March 15, Sri-Kumar said on “Squawk Box,” echoing a theory shared by many analysts. “But that is going to prompt capital outflows from the euro zone, especially with the political risk. It is going to increase the capital outflow from China, and the U.S. economy will feel the impact.”

These moves would strengthen the dollar against other currencies, putting downward pressure on the euro, said Sri-Kumar, president of Sri-Kumar Global Strategies. Continue reading