Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival.
Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. With those giga-tons of liquidity sloshing around, as well as taking on massive amounts of new cheap debt, companies were able to finance their working capital needs, hire workers back, and even buy-back their shares en mass to make themselves look deceptively profitable. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of ‘recovery’.
Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses. Continue reading
While the saying goes “good fences make good neighbors,” it appears the leadership of The EU is starting to get frustrated with the lack of acquiescence among some of the ‘union’s’ newer or more marginal members. In a somewhat stunning statement, following ongoing and contentious meetings to discuss solutions to the migrant ‘problem’, EU Commissioner Timmermanns appeared to warn disagreeable member states, “There is an alternative to everything. I believe in EU cooperation because of all other forms in history have been tried to help Europeans get on better, and with the exception of this one, all other forms have led to war – so let’s stick to this one.” Continue reading
The West is losing the worldwide fight against jihadist terrorism and faces mounting risks of a systemic cyber-assault by extremely capable enemies, the former chief of the National Security Agency has warned.
“The greatest risk is a catastrophic attack on the energy infrastructure. We are not prepared for that,” said General Keith Alexander, who has led the US battle against cyber-threats for much of the last decade.
For anyone who, or knows someone who, naively thinks Russia doesn’t have both the capability and the guts to pull the trigger, this is a must-read. It also goes to show you that the Cold War had never died, but had simply gone into a new phase. The phase of which America is going through, and is almost finalized. The US is now stuck with a leader who draws a new line in the sand, or makes a concession, every time another is breached. The Russians smell blood and they, along with the Chinese, won’t stop capitalizing on the opportunities until America is reduced to a third world country. They, who know America lives by an honor system, do not, which makes it even more easier to keep hammering away.
There is a cynicism in the relationship between Russia and the US, being played out in the Crimean crisis, which is deep, rooted in history and shows that the triumph of capitalism over communism wasn’t the end of the power game between these two nations.
The depth of mistrust between the two was highlighted in the interview given by Hank Paulson, the former US treasury secretary, for my recent BBC Two documentary, How China Fooled The World.
The excerpts I am about to quote never made it into the film, because they weren’t relevant to it. But they give a fascinating understanding of the complex relationship between Washington and Moscow. Continue reading