Signs Point to a Global Slowdown

Signs Point to a Global Slowdown

 

As gold has struggled through 2018, (down over 10% from $1,363/oz. on January 25 to $1,215/oz. today), my forecast for a strong year-end for gold has remained unchanged.

This forecast is based on a better-late-than-never realization by the Fed that they are overtightening into fundamental economic weakness, followed quickly by a full-reversal flip to easing in the form of pauses on rate hikes in September and December.

Those pauses will be an admission the Fed sees no way out of its multiple rounds of QE and extended zero interest rate policy from 2008 to 2013 without causing a new recession. Once that occurs, inflation is just a matter of time. Gold will respond accordingly. Continue reading

Japan Deploys Aegis Ashore, Becoming a Link in the US Global Missile Defense

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On July 30, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced a plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore missile-defense system by 2023. The military training grounds in the Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures are prospective sites.  This decision is a “big-ticket purchase” that could also help Tokyo smooth trade friction with Washington, amidst the Trump administration’s threats to hit Japan’s auto imports with new tariffs.  Reuters cited Japanese media reports that have put the cost of the two sites, which will include the Aegis air-defense system, missile launchers, and interceptors, at around $6 billion. Japan has chosen the Lockheed Martin Corp’s SSR radar, with a far greater range than the Aegis radars currently operated by the US Navy. Officially, the move is being justified by pointing to the threat from North Korea. Continue reading

Who Does America Belong to?

Not to Americans

The housing market is now apparently turning down. Consumer incomes are limited by jobs offshoring and the ability of employers to hold down wages and salaries.  The Federal Reserve seems committed to higher interest rates—in my view to protect the exchange value of the US dollar on which Washington’s power is based.  The arrogant fools in Washington, with whom I spent a quarter century, have, with their bellicosity and sanctions, encouraged nations with independent foreign and economic policies to drop the use of the dollar.  This takes some time to accomplish, but Russia, China, Iran, and India are apparently committed to dropping  or reducing the use of the US dollar. Continue reading

Radioactive Cesium-137 From Fukushima Found In California Wine

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Following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan – which left Japanese residents contending with toxic water and radioactive wild boars, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said that particles of radioactive fallout which made its way to the Western United States and elsewhere was no biggie and didn’t pose a health risk.

California wine lovers will get to test that theory, after researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) discovered cesium-137 in several golden-state vintages. The researchers tested 18 bottles of California rosé and cabernet sauvignon from 2009 onward – finding increased levels of the radioactive isotope in bottles produced after the Fukushima disaster. The cabernets had double the radiation of the other wine, according to the study. Continue reading

China Working to Boost Role in Middle East

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China’s President Xi Jinping gives a speech during the 8th Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July, 10, 2018. (WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Growing influence in the region helps China accelerate its Belt and Road Initiative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered remarks in Beijing on July 10 at the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Xi’s basic message to the representatives from 21 Arab nations and to the secretary general of the Arab League was that China seeks to become more involved in the Middle East.

He stressed the importance of Sino-Arab relations, saying, “Arab states and China are natural partners.” Continue reading

Russia, China Could Soon Outmatch U.S. in Combat Aviation

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R-37M / Photo by Reuben F. Johnson

 

New Russian air-to-air missile has advantage in speed and reach

KIEV, UkraineRussia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that a new weapon is very near completion of its test validation trials and will soon be placed into service.

If reports of its operational performance are accurate, it will threaten the survivability of every U.S. combat aircraft currently in service—particularly the newest U.S. fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-35. Continue reading

Leaked Chinese Memo Warns Of “Thucydides Trap” With US, “War Is Unavoidable”

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A series of leaked internal documents reveal that China’s military reforms are aimed at allowing Beijing to “manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war” and overtake the United States in military strength, according to the Express.

The leaked documents were published by the Central Military Commission in February for the purpose of spreading President Xi Jinping’s “thought on strengthening the armed forces”.

If the reforms go ahead, they will lead to heightened tensions with China’s neighbouring countries, including Japan, in the East and South China Seas and the US. –Express Continue reading

Taiwan Doubles Down On U.S. LNG

LNG vessel

LNG Vessel. Source: OilPrice

 

Taiwan, which has seen increased military exercises off its coast by Chinese forces this year, has just inked a major energy deal with a U.S. energy firm.

On Monday, Taiwan’s CPC Corp., a major LNG importer, announced a preliminary deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from U.S. based LNG producer Cheniere Energy for a period of 25 years. CPC signed a Heads of Agreement to purchase 2 million tonnes of LNG annually from the major gas exporter, which is gearing up to start exports from its second export plant at Corpus Christi, Texas. Continue reading

China’s Most Powerful General, a Xi Jinping Henchman, Meets Mattis

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Photo courtesy of the Defense Department

 

PLA leader purged scores of generals causing instability in world’s largest military

BEIJING—Gen. Xu Qiliang is China’s most powerful military boss and as vice chairman of the all-powerful Central Military Commission was the last meeting for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during a two-day visit to China last week.

Xu greeted Mattis warmly at the ceremonial Chinese Defense Ministry building known as Bayi. The general showed little emotion and few clues to the growing tensions with the United States over Beijing’s buildup of missiles on disputed islands in the South China Sea. Continue reading

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives to the US World Order

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There are two countries that more than others show how the Western world order is undergoing a profound change. Japan and Turkey occupy two distinct and diverse geographical areas, yet they share many of the same strategic choices about their future. Their geopolitical trajectory is increasingly drifting away from Washington and moving closer to China, Russia, India and Iran.

Both Japan and Turkey are two important states in the US’s strategy for controlling the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Both countries have economies that are competitive in comparison to their neighbors, and both often conveniently find themselves allied to countries within Washington’s orbit. Japan has a good relationship with South Korea, and Turkey (until a few years ago) had a privileged relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Keeping in mind that the US aims to prolong and consolidate its regional dominance, Washington has always tried to have excellent relations with these two countries as a way of ensuring its constant presence in regional affairs. Continue reading

Foreigners Dump US Treasury Bonds in Record Amounts

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For the 2nd straight month in April, foreigners were net sellers of notes and bonds. The total was $4.8b, about the same as the net sales in March. The complexion of the activity was very bifurcated however as central banks sold a total of $48.3b, more than offsetting private foreign buying of $44.6b (International agencies make up the difference). Continue reading

War Games in the Pacific

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.

Continue reading

A Recession Is Coming… And the Fed Can’t Stop It

A Recession Is Coming... And the Fed Can't Stop It

(Shutterstock)

 

Is the Fed ready for the next recession?

The answer is no.

Extensive research shows that it takes between 300 and 500 basis points of interest rate cuts by the Fed to pull the U.S. economy out of a recession. (One basis point is 1/100th of 1 percentage point, so 500 basis points of rate reduction means the Fed would have to cut rates 5 percentage points.)

Right now the Fed’s target rate for fed funds, the so-called “policy rate,” is 1.75%. How do you cut rates 3–5% when you’re starting at 1.75%? You can’t. Continue reading

A Global Systemic Collapse – Opportunity & Risk

 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; FX Street named you forecaster of the year for your Swiss franc euro peg forecast that also nobody else saw coming. I remember you were named here in Canada as Economist of the Decade for your calls during the 1980s with the 1987 crash and the crash in Japan. I by no means want to be on the opposite side of Socrates. My question is this. You have said that 2018 is just the beginning. This is all coming unglued very rapidly. Is this the Monetary Crisis Cycle and how the world will be torn apart in just a few years? Continue reading

What will India’s role be in the SCO?

Next month the heads of state of India and Pakistan will attend, for the first time as full members, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, being held in Qingdao, China. Pakistan was already engaged with SCO member states through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Joining the SCO will reinforce Pakistan’s position and integration into the region.

However, regarding India, there are few clarifications needed. What will India’s role be in the SCO? How well can India integrate into the SCO? What are the expectations? Continue reading