FEMA Contractor Predicts ‘Social Unrest’ Caused by 395% Food Price Spikes

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Image: Flickr/Alex Morse.

 

The US national security industry is planning for the impact of an unprecedented global food crisis lasting as long as a decade, according to reports by a government contractor.

The studies published by CNA Corporation in December 2015, unreported until now, describe a detailed simulation of a protracted global food crisis from 2020 to 2030.

The simulation, titled ‘Food Chain Reaction’, was a desktop gaming exercise involving the participation of 65 officials from the US, Europe, Africa, India, Brazil, and key multilateral and intergovernmental institutions. Continue reading

China’s Military Is about to Go Global

Although a great article, the author seems to whitewash the intentions behind China’s global military expansion as if it won’t be a threat. It seems to be strangely forgotten how the United States started going global: Protecting its economic and political interests. Though it’s gone wayward the last few years, the U.S. had well-intended interests and goals in mind whereas the Chinese don’t and never did. You can tell by looking at its own domestic affairs and how it handles them — the crackdown on the current civil unrest in Hong Kong or its infamous Tiananmen Square murder. However, you can decide for yourself who would be better in leading the world.

 

 

The burgeoning need to protect commercial assets and Chinese nationals abroad will inevitably lead Beijing to develop new military capabilities and take on missions further afield.

THE CHINESE armed forces are on the move—but to where? For over a decade, academics, policy wonks and government officials have been engaged in a relentless debate about Beijing’s military capabilities and intentions. To some, China is an expansionist country akin to Wilhelmine Germany. Others argue that while China’s assertive behavior in its regional island disputes is disconcerting, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is completely focused on domestic stability and therefore lacks global ambition.

This debate about current Chinese capabilities and intentions is widespread, fervent—and beside the point. While the Chinese leadership would prefer to stay focused on internal development and regional issues, facts on the ground will increasingly compel the CCP to develop some global operational capabilities. Specifically, the burgeoning need to protect commercial assets and Chinese nationals abroad will lead the country to develop some global power-projection capabilities, regardless of its current plans. Even though the Chinese leadership will embark on this path with very limited goals in mind, Chinese thinking on how and when to use force could change once its strategy, doctrine and capabilities evolve to incorporate these new roles. Continue reading

How to Prepare Your Portfolio for Geopolitical Turmoil

Although both items need to be constantly looked at (50/50), the fundamental data lately is seemingly overriding the technical data. Observing geopolitics on a regular basis shows you the big picture where you can use inductive reasoning to hammer out the specifics in planning your future, be it from an investment standpoint or personal.

Had anyone asked back in January what kind of risks you thought might be giving financial markets a jolt by mid-year, odds are that you would have talked about the Federal Reserve’s intentions with respect to quantitative easing, the outlook for economic growth and whether S&P 500 companies are delivering the kind of earnings that analysts had been expecting.

Perhaps, given recent history, you might have thrown out an additional concern: That some unforeseen event in Spain or Italy might buffet the Eurozone and spill over into North American markets—after all, that has become an almost routine summertime occurrence. Continue reading

Apocalypse Fairly Soon

Suddenly, it has become easy to see how the euro — that grand, flawed experiment in monetary union without political union — could come apart at the seams. We’re not talking about a distant prospect, either. Things could fall apart with stunning speed, in a matter of months, not years. And the costs — both economic and, arguably even more important, political — could be huge.

Europe’s answer has been austerity: savage spending cuts in an attempt to reassure bond markets. Yet as any sensible economist could have told you (and we did, we did), these cuts deepened the depression in Europe’s troubled economies, which both further undermined investor confidence and led to growing political instability.

And now comes the moment of truth.

So now what? Right now, Greece is experiencing what’s being called a “bank jog” — a somewhat slow-motion bank run, as more and more depositors pull out their cash in anticipation of a possible Greek exit from the euro. Europe’s central bank is, in effect, financing this bank run by lending Greece the necessary euros; if and (probably) when the central bank decides it can lend no more, Greece will be forced to abandon the euro and issue its own currency again.

This demonstration that the euro is, in fact, reversible would lead, in turn, to runs on Spanish and Italian banks. Once again the European Central Bank would have to choose whether to provide open-ended financing; if it were to say no, the euro as a whole would blow up.

Full article: Apocalypse Fairly Soon (NY Times)