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Friday, July 29, 2016

Turkey Surrounds, Blocks Access To NATO's Incirlik Airbase Amid Speculation Of Second Coup

While it is common knowledge by now that the failed and/or staged Turkish coup two weekends ago was nothing more than an excuse for Erdogan to concentrate even more power and eradicate all political and independent opposition, a story that has gotten less attention is the sudden, and acute deterioration in US-Turkish relations. This culminated two days ago when the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) General Joseph Votel was forced to deny on the record having anything to do with the attempted coup in Turkey following pointed allegations from the very top in the local government that the US orchestrated last Friday's "coup", according to a statement released by the US military on Friday.

As Stars and Stripes reported late last week, the recent failed coup and jailing of military leaders in Turkey could impact U.S. operations there against the Islamic State group, Gen. Joseph Votel said Thursday at a security conference in Colorado. Votel said the coup attempt in Turkey two weeks ago left him “concerned” about how U.S. operations and personnel at Incirlik Air Base will be affected. 

1,000s Turkish forces surround NATO’s Incirlik air base for ‘inspection’ amid rumors of coup attempt

Some 7,000 armed police in heavy vehicles surrounded the Incirlik air base used by NATO forces in Adana in what a Turkish minister called a “security check.” With no official explanation, speculations have arisen about a new coup attempt or VIP visit.

Hurriyet reported earlier that Adana police had been tipped off about a new coup attempt, and forces were immediately alerted. The entrance to the base was closed off.

Security forces armed with rifles and armored TOMA vehicles used by Turkish riot police could be seen at the site in photos taken by witnesses.

Thousands protest outside U.S. base in Turkey
By Andrew Tilghman, Military Times

Thousands of Turkish protesters filled the streets outside the U.S. military base at Incirlik, Turkey, on Thursday, burning American flags and demanding that the government close the base.

The U.S. military maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons at Incirlik and it is an operational hub for the air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

The base at Incirlik, home to nearly 3,000 U.S. troops, was placed on high alert — Force Protection Condition Delta — last week after a faction of Turkish military officers tried to overthrow the government.

The electrical power for the base was cut during the coup attempt and for several days the troops relied on a backup generator. The power was restored this week.

Pentagon spokeswoman Henrietta Levin said that military officials at Incirlik were aware of the planned demonstration outside the base.

"It did not impact operations at Incirlik," Levin told Military Times on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Gen. Joseph Votel, the U.S. military commander for the Middle East, told the Aspen Security Forum that he's worried the failed coup could affect U.S. relations with the Turkish military, noting that some of its leaders have been jailed.

Votel said military operations out of the air base at Incirlik are back to normal. 

Reports Turkish troops have sealed off Incirlik US/NATO nuclear air base
By Jamie Seidel, agencies News Corp Australia Network

TURKISH citizens and police have ‘surrounded’ the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States — and where a large stockpile of NATO nuclear weapons is held — ahead of a visit by a senior US official tomorrow.

Reports out of Turkey suggest all entrances to the air base have been blocked by heavy vehicles and police sent to secure its peremiter.

The unusual nigh-time move sparked rumours of a second coup attempt on Turkish social media, with concerned citizens rushing to the air base to join the blockade.

The move comes less than a week after a top US Army general was accused by Turkish media of ‘leading’ the uprising against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this month. 

You KNOW Folks, The SHIT going DOWN..........I MEAN Like..............Right Fricking NOW Today.................In SYRIA You have ALL of the Makings of the ""***1st World Thermal Nuclear WAR***"" The WAR that Ended........................Fricking EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How's that for an Intro.................But Seriously Folks.......................YOU Really NEED to look at the History of Syria????????????????? 

Planet EARTH, In my Army Days we had TWO Pool Tables in the Day Room at Bragg and on the Weeks when the Company was on .......................DRF 1 

The 82nd Airborne Division is undisputedly, the largest parachute force in the world, noted for their swiftness to literally jump into action. The Division has one battalion permanently on 18 hours standby, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world. At the time of Operation Desert Shield in August 1990, the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade was the Division Ready Brigade-1 (DRB-1). The 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment was the Division Ready Force-1 (DRF-1), with a two-hour assembly requirement.

There wasn't much to do but play Pool. I saw a guy once ""Run the Table"" after a Break and it's looking like ISIS ""*****Just MIGHT be that Guy*****"" IF they play this RIGHT................READ Folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Folks, TURKEY and FRANCE Just might be the FOOLS that STARTS ""***World WAR Fricking III***""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hollande: ISIS has declared war on us

President of France arrives to the scene of Normandy attack where terrorists beheaded priest, acknowledges state of war with ISIS.
By Tal Polon

The president of France, Francoise Hollande, arrived to the scene of the grisly terror attack in Northern France today, where two terrorists armed with knives broke into a church and took the priests inside hostage. They succeeded in beheading an 84-year-old priest inside before being killed by security forces.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The H-Bombs in Turkey
By Eric Schlosser

Among the many questions still unanswered following Friday’s coup attempt in Turkey is one that has national-security implications for the United States and for the rest of the world: How secure are the American hydrogen bombs stored at a Turkish airbase?

The Incirlik Airbase, in southeast Turkey, houses NATO’s largest nuclear-weapons storage facility. On Saturday morning, the American Embassy in Ankara issued an “Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens,” warning that power had been cut to Incirlik and that “local authorities are denying movements on to and off of” the base. Incirlik was forced to rely on backup generators; U.S. Air Force planes stationed there were prohibited from taking off or landing; and the security-threat level was raised to FPCON Delta, the highest state of alert, declared when a terrorist attack has occurred or may be imminent. On Sunday, the base commander, General Bekir Ercan Van, and nine other Turkish officers at Incirlik were detained for allegedly supporting the coup. As of this writing, American flights have resumed at the base, but the power is still cut off. 

The Future of China's Diplomacy in the Middle East

Despite its rising power, China should resist the temptation to become militarily involved in the Middle East.
By Xue Li and Zheng Yuwen

President Xi Jinping made his first overseas visit in 2016 to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran, which implied that China is considering bringing its “One Belt and One Road” strategy (OBOR) to the Middle East and regards this region as a critical area of neighborhood diplomacy. So what kind of diplomacy should China conduct in the Middle East? Is it the time for China to become militarily involved — for example, to send an army to Syria? Also, given that China issued an “Arab Policy Paper” right before the visit, does this mean that China-Arab relations will cover Chinese-Iranian relations as well? To answer those questions, we need to figure out three things: the main characteristic of the Middle East, China’s comparative advantages, and China’s interests in this region.

Besides its importance in geopolitics and geography, the Middle East is rich in energy resources (according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015, the region accounts for 47.7 percent and 42.7 percent of the world’s proven oil and natural gas reserves, respectively) and human resources (with a population of about 500 million, youthful demographics, and a high growth rate), and is in the process of industrialization and urbanization. All Middle Eastern states except Israel are developing countries.

However, the region is also famous as a home to various conflicts. Religious conflicts, national conflicts, and economic conflicts mingle together, which has even caused several local wars. This region has become a hotbed of terrorism and religious extremism. Because of the lack of a dominant power, the regional powers — Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, even Iraq — vie with with each other over the leadership of Middle East. The conflicts between small and middle powers frequently result in intervention from regional powers and outside powers. Outside powers often support different countries, religions, or religious sects to secure their own benefits. 

Turkey Russia Military

Let Say ISIS Starts Bombing like Once a Month in France..................Shit, 3 Bombing that Yields a Death Count High ENOUGH that would make Hollande Break from NATO IF NATO Is Unwilling to Commit Ground Troop in Syria that Assad will say ""HELL NO"" and So WILL Putin at the SAME Time part of the ""***Turkish Military***"" Rolls OVER toooooooooooo Align with the PKK and with the Kurds Unleash HELL Fire along the Syrian and Iraqi Boarders forcing President Erdogan to Commit Combat Units to Cross over into Syria and Iraq that WILL Piss OFF Assad and Putin and Creates a HUGE Problem with the United States because if Washington THINKS that Erdogan can't be Trusted with the 50 B-61 Nuclear Gravity Bombs................America WILL Send the 82nd Airborne to make SURE those Weapons are Secure and that won't PLEASE Erdogan so this ASSHOLE decides to make a Pack with the Devil and Create an Alliance with CHINA to Complete the ""Silk Road"" and in turn form a Military Alliance with China and Iran and HELL........................Maybe PUTIN might be Invited to this Party and Erdogan with 50 Fricking NUKES to make EVERY Fricking Person on Planet EARTH Interested because Obama Hesitated and allowed Erdogan to ""Secure the NUKES by Force""........................Just Might GO Down ""IF"" ISIS starts Hitting the Cities of Europe

'Traitors' Cemetery' reserved for Turkey's coup plotters
ISTANBUL | By Humeyra Pamuk

Captain Mehmet Karabekir's body was not washed before burial. Nobody recited prayers from the Koran before he was laid to rest in a hastily dug hole near an animal shelter, denied all Muslim rites.

He is among the dozens of Turkish soldiers accused of trying to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan and the government in a failed military coup this month, his fate a sign of the fury felt over a night of bloodletting that killed more than 240 people.

Karabekir lies with no tombstone next to three other two-meter deep holes prepared with a mechanical digger. He was the first to be buried in a plot of land of about a quarter of an acre sectioned off last weekend in a disused part of a construction site on the eastern outskirts of Istanbul.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas called it "The Traitor's Cemetery" - established, he said, specifically for coup plotters in the military.

The government of Turkey - a predominantly Muslim country - has detained, removed or suspended tens of thousands of people in the civil service, military judiciary and elsewhere over their suspected links with perpetrators of the attempted putsch.

While the crackdown has drawn concern and criticism from Western capitals, rights groups and some domestic opponents of the government, most Turks have shown unity in their opposition to the coup attempt, with regular rallies of solidarity.

But, for many people, the retribution across the country has gone too far with the "Traitor's Cemetery".

There has been widespread criticism this week, not just from rights groups, but also from Turks who took to social media to express their opposition.

This reaction has led officials to distance themselves from the cemetery.

Even though Turkey's religious authority has said it will not provide Islamic funeral services for coup soldiers, a spokesman told Reuters that top cleric Mehmet Gormez did not support the establishment of a burial ground for traitors, saying it was hurtful to the families of the dead.

On Thursday Mayor Topbas, who was among the local officials who came up with the idea, told broadcaster TGRT Haber that he had ordered the removal of its "Traitor's Cemetery" signage - though it was unclear if the plot would continue to be used for the same purpose.

A spokesman for the mayor did not return repeated phone calls. 

Turkey: Failed coup plotters to be laid to rest in 'traitors' cemetery – Istanbul 

Turkey Creates "Traitors' Cemetery" For Dead Coup-Plotters

Following the "credible evidence" provided by Amnesty International on the torture and mistreatment of alleged coup-plotters in Turkey, The Associated Press' Cinar Kiper and Elena Becatoros report that, tucked in the back corner of a construction site for a new dog shelter in eastern Istanbul lies a freshly dug, unmarked grave — the first in the new "Traitors' Cemetery," created specifically to hold the bodies of coup plotters who died in the July 15 abortive putsch.

In the week following the attempted coup in Turkey, which killed about 290 people, the municipality announced it intended to set up a cemetery specifically for those involved — people that officials have branded as traitors undeserving of a proper burial. About 24 coup plotters are believed to have been killed that night. 

OH and I forgot......................Another  ""OH SHIT"" to this Story......................Erdogan has OVER 3 Million Syrian Refugees just Itching to come to Europe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Turkey Threatens Europe: "Unless Visas Are Removed, We Will Unleash The Refugees"

Following months of appeasement of Turkey's dictator Recep Erdogan, Europe has found itself surprised that as it yields to every incremental demand, Turkey simply asks for more and more. One such example was chronicled by the FT earlier today in "Turkey demands EU hands over €3bn for refugees" in which we read that "a row has erupted between Turkey and the EU over billions of pounds in aid for Syrian refugees, casting fresh doubt on a fragile deal to halt the flow of people towards Europe."

Erdogan's argument is that he want the money to be transferred over to him directly to dispense with as he pleases, while Europe insists that UN agencies oversee that the money be spent as designated for refugee needs, instead of funding another wing for Erdogan's palace. Of course, the only reason why Erdogan is confident he has leverage is because Turkey is currently hosting over 3 million Syrian refugees that is holding back from flooding into Europe once more, potentially resulting in the most acute episode of Europe's refugee crisis.

And to his credit, Erdogan has been successful in that, because as the following chart shows, for the first time since April 2015, more refugees arrived in Europe via Italy than on the path through Greece to the east. The flow of migrants through the Aegean Sea has waned since the European Union and Turkey struck a deal in March to send refugees back that arrive in Greece.

Turkey Europe Refugees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The U.S. stores nuclear weapons in Turkey. Is that such a good idea?
By Dan Lamothe

As Turkey spiraled into chaos late Friday during a military coup attempt, one of the concerns that emerged was particularly alarming: What was the status of nuclear weapons the United States keeps at Incirlik Air Base, the Turkish airfield from which the United States regularly launches airstrikes against the Islamic State?

U.S. officials are loath to discuss the location of nuclear weapons, but Air Force budget documents state that “special weapons” are stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. That’s a delicate way of saying nuclear weapons, as Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies pointed out Monday on Twitter.

The “special weapons” are there as part of a nuclear-sharing agreement among NATO allies, including Turkey and the United States. The weapons deal, reached in the 1960s, holds that some NATO allies will allow the storage of B61 nuclear gravity bombs on their land, while other countries will commit to maintaining aircraft capable of delivering them, according to one NATO outline. The United States keeps possession of and provides security for the bombs wherever they are. 

*****Putin is watching happily from the sidelines as NATO tears itself apart
By Jeremy Bender

Russian President Vladimir Putin seemingly cannot believe his luck as he watches NATO cause near irreparable harm to itself from the sidelines.

NATO has been a major force in reigning in Putin's revanchist vision for Russia, with the alliance holding a series of military exercises and basing troops in vulnerable nations throughout Eastern Europe and the Baltics as a check on Russian aggression following the annexation of Crimea.

Now, however, that sense of unity across Europe and North America against Russian aggression is flailing, as NATO does drastic amounts of self-harm.

"Putin has the luck of the devil," Mark Galeotti, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Bloomberg about the fraying nature of NATO. "He can just sit back and watch this richer, more powerful and legitimate values-based bloc tear itself apart."

At the heart of NATO's declining stature is the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the failed coup in Turkey. Trump suggested recently that he would not necessarily extend the security guarantee inherent in NATO's Article 5 to all 28 members of the alliance. Given a hypothetical of Russia attacking a Baltic State, Trump said that he would provide aid contingent upon whether the state had "fulfilled their obligations to us."

This lack of commitment to upholding NATO's cornerstone of collective defense from a US presidential candidate undermines the alliance as a whole, experts said, and could cause considerable anxiety among NATO allies — particularly in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe. 

Turkey’s Article 5 Argument Finds No Takers
By Michael Moran

The ferocity of the fighting between Syria’s government forces and various proxies vying for control of territory and resources has Turkey on edge and has already led to several deadly clashes involving the only NATO member state bordering the civil war.

With Turkey, Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Gulf states pursuing their own, often conflicting aims in Syria, all against the backdrop of a U.S.-led air and commando campaign against the Islamic State (IS), there is renewed concern at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels that Turkey could see the next flare-up as grounds for citing Article 5: in effect, demanding that its NATO allies deploy forces and come to its collective defense.

Turkey has already invoked the lesser-known Article 4—a demand for an emergency consultation of the alliance—following the downing of a Turkish warplane under disputed circumstances last spring. Incidents like this and the threat that Bashar Assad’s forces might launch Scud missiles into Turkey led NATO members—the United States, Germany, and Spain—to deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles along the border in early 2013, though the German and American batteries have since been withdrawn. Spain’s—a less capable version of the Patriot—is geared towards anti-aircraft, as opposed to anti-ballistic missile defense, and therefore deemed more appropriate

But could a new incident—a missile strike, an IS incursion, or Syrian artillery bombardment across the border—bring the full might of NATO into the war? Many are skeptical, and for good reason.

The history of invocations of NATO’s Article 5 is short and somewhat underwhelming. In the 68 years of the North Atlantic alliance’s history, plenty of low-intensity conflicts involving NATO nations have raged, from rebellion in France’s Algerian departments, to the U.S. war in Vietnam, through the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Yet only once has Article 5’s “all-for-one, one-for-all” facility been invoked: that was September 12, 2001, the day after the al-Qaida attacks on the United States.  

Could NATO be the next alliance to unravel?
By Ryan Browne

Washington (CNN)Last month it was Brexit, but could NATO be facing Amerixit or even Turkxit?

The Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, sparked a furor on both sides of the Atlantic by implying Wednesday that under his leadership, the United States would not immediately defend a NATO ally that was under attack.

When asked if he thought the U.S. should come to the aid of NATO members being attacked by Russia, Trump told The New York Times interview, "If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes."

Many analysts have described Trump's campaign as being fueled by global populist trends that include opposition to free trade deals, immigration and multilateral organizations like the EU and NATO.

"Elites and elite projects of different kinds seem to be under attack," said Ian Lesser of the German Marshal Fund of the United States. 

NATO Turkey Russia Military...............""OH SHIT""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

L. TODD WOOD: NATO is getting scared
The Washington Times

NATO is getting worried about a Turkish confrontation with Russia in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin is obviously trying to split the alliance by goading Turkey into a conflict over a Kurdish stronghold along the Turkish-Syrian border. NATO would be presented with a choice between supporting a member state or a war with Russia. Not supporting Turkey in such a scenario would be the end of the alliance, a day Mr. Putin dreams about. A war with Russia is not an option.

“The armed forces of the two states are both active in fierce fighting on the Turkish-Syrian border, in some cases just a few kilometers from each other,” one NATO official says, according to Spiegel.

Germany is especially concerned about the rising tension between Moscow and Ankara. “That would likely be tantamount to doing Russia a favor,” says one Chancellery official.

NATO’s response depends on whether or not Turkey is seen as the aggressor. “NATO cannot allow itself to be pulled into a military escalation with Russia as a result of the recent tensions between Russia and Turkey,” says Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

Again Spiegel reports, Should Turkey be responsible for escalation, say officials in both Berlin and Brussels, Ankara would not be able to invoke the NATO treaty. Article 4 of the alliance’s founding treaty grants member states the right to demand consultations “whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” Turkey has already invoked this article once in the Syrian conflict. The result was the stationing of German Patriot missiles on the Syrian border in eastern Turkey.

Turkey Russia NATO Article 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

UN Syria envoy tells Russia to leave Aleppo corridors 'to us'
By Jamey Keaten and Sarah El Deeb, The Associated Press

GENEVA — The U.N. special envoy for Syria on Friday urged Russia to leave the creation of humanitarian corridors around Aleppo to the United Nations and its partners, issuing a gentle snub to Moscow, which had made the proposal a day earlier as pro-government troops tightened their encirclement of rebel-held parts of the northern Syrian city.

In comments carried later Friday by Russia's Interfax news agency, deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov said that Russia was willing to work with the U.N. on setting up the corridors. He said that Russia is "ready for close and constructive cooperation with all international humanitarian organizations and, of course, with the office of the U.N. special envoy on Syria."

Rights groups and civilians trapped in opposition-held neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo have reacted critically to Russia's plan, saying it does not guarantee safe passage or give residents a choice of where they flee to. Some residents fear the proposed corridors are intended to restore government control over parts of the city that have been in rebel hands since 2012.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said he was not consulted on the proposal, which was first announced Thursday by the Russian defense ministry.

"That's our job," de Mistura said of the corridors plan at a press conference in Geneva. He expressed support "in principle" for humanitarian corridors but said it must be "under the right circumstances."

"How do you expect people to walk through a corridor — thousands of them — while there is shelling, bombing, fighting?" de Mistura said.

"The clock is ticking for the Aleppo population," he said. The U.N. says Aleppo is now possibly the largest besieged area in Syria, with an estimated 300,000 residents trapped inside.

Folks. Human History has come to that ""***OH CRAP***"" Moment...............ALL Thanks to the ASSHOLES Running ""BIG Government"" around the World!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Read Your World History Books on WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If You read enough I think You'll see Humans have a VERY Bad Habit of NEVER Learning from the LAST Fricking ""FUBAR"" Moment.....................""CONNECT the DOTs""...................FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Fellow ""LAB RATS,"" maybe I'm suffering from the Effects of ""GLOBAL Warming"" out here in the WEST after our Hottest July in more than a FEW Years(Thanks the ""***Science of the SUN***""..............Hillary) but what IF I'm Only HALF Right.....................OR................What IF My Worst Case...................."IS" Planet Earth's ""*****BEST CASE*****""?????????????????? 

The NEXT 4 YEARS are going to Really SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obama vs. Putin...................Putin Never DREAMED it could be Soooooooooooooo EASY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Play TIME "IS" Over ***Boys and Girls***....................IF America Chooses Poorly in November it just might be the LAST Presidential Election..................""NO Pressure""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

*****Some BED Time Reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obama Middle East  

Obama South China Sea 

Obama Ukraine 

Obama Iran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Obama Afghanistan 

Obama Pakistan 

Obama vs. Putin.................The WEST has been SOOOOOOOOOOOO ""Outplayed""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

America HAS a Military that's about to become a Force not much BIGGER than what it was in 1940

Not since the END of World War II has America been so Challenged on so many fronts. 

America has an ARMY that can only Fight ONE ""Conventional WAR"" if it comes down to Russia or China and WE are looking at the Possibility of having Asia, The Middle East, Europe and MAYBE the Arctic ALL going up in FLAMES...................At the Same TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Outbreak: Russian Bio Warfare Troops Rushed To Arctic: “Dangerous Infection”
By Mac Slavo

The Russian military has reportedly sent biological warfare teams to the Russian arctic in northern Siberia after at least 40 people and 1,200 reindeer died as the result of a violent and rapid spread of what is believed to be Bacillus Anthracis, more commonly known as Anthrax.

Russian officials said the infection may have started after a contaminated corpse was exposed following a warm summer in the Arctic which saw temperatures rise as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

There were dramatic scenes as the Russian army’s Chemical, Radioactive and Biological Protection Corps, equipped with masks and bio-warfare protective clothing, flew to to regional capital Salekhard on a military Il-76 aircraft to deal with the emergency.

Officials  noted that they are not certain Anthrax is the sole cause and another biological agent may be to blame. Because of the remote location of the outbreak the situation has been, for the most part, contained according to Russian officials. 
IMF predicts 700% inflation, 10% GDP contraction in Venezuela this year

Venezuela is to greet the end of 2016 with a consumer prices increase of up to 700 percent while its GDP is set to decline by 10 percent, a new IMF report suggests.

“Venezuela’s economic condition continues to deteriorate, as policy distortions and fiscal imbalances remain unaddressed,” Alejandro Werner, chief Latin America economist, said in the report titled “In Transition: The Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean”. 

Arms Dealers of Planet EARTH......................You Got a ""Gold Mine"" just waiting on You in Venezuela.......................""Civil WAR"" IS coming and it could easily Spread throughout ALL of Latin America when the ""GLOBAL Recession"" begins to HIT Europe and the U.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will Venezuela’s Ongoing Crisis Jeopardize Colombia’s Peace With the FARC?
By David Smilde, Dimitris Pantoulas

On June 23, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States discussed OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro’s report invoking the group’s Democratic Charter against Venezuela. Almagro’s report underlined not only Venezuela’s democratic deficits—including the lack of separation of powers, the jailing of political opponents, and the crackdown on protest—but also scarcities of food and medicine, inflation, and dramatic rates of crime and violence.

At the very same time, 1,800 miles to the south, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo Leon Echeveri, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), signed a historic cease-fire agreement calling for an end of hostilities in their more than 50-year conflict and laying the groundwork for the demobilization and disarming of the guerrilla group. Both Santos and Leon thanked Venezuela for its role in the three-year peace process. Embattled Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro was in attendance.

These contrasting, simultaneous images are potent symbols of the complexity of Venezuela’s position in the Western Hemisphere. On the one hand, regional leaders had an open and robust discussion of Venezuela’s downward spiral, a milestone given South American countries’ long-term resistance to foreign interference. On the other hand, Venezuela rightly basked in the success of one of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s key diplomatic legacies: the peace process in Colombia.

Venezuela’s role in the Colombian government’s talks with the FARC was one factor complicating Almagro’s efforts to invoke the Democratic Charter against Venezuela. Could Venezuela’s crisis now end up complicating peace in Colombia? 

From Socialist Utopia To Slave-Nation - Venezuela Unveils Shocking "Forced Labor" Law

While we here in the United States debate pressing issues in the wake of the upcoming Presidential election, like the urgent need for gender-neutral bathrooms, the people of Venezuela remain entrenched in a food crisis that continues to sow widespread unrest which has become increasingly violent in recent months (see our post here).  So what do you do if you’re the President of a Socialist government with mounting civil unrest and growing political opposition seeking your ouster via a recall referendum?  Well you enslave your entire nation, of course. 

As Vice News reports, President Nicolás Maduro signed a new law last week that requires "all workers from the public and private sector with enough physical capabilities and technical know-how" to work in agricultural fields on demand.  The new law mandates that citizens can be required to work in the agricultural sector for a period of 60 days which can be extended "if the circumstances require it." 

While we’re “sure” President Maduro’s intentions are good, we’re somewhat skeptical of his plan.  As we recently reported (here), the real issue at hand in Venezuela is, of course, the hyperinflation death spiral gripping the Socialist nation in the wake of the collapse of their oil-dependent economy.  As Miguel Pérez Abad, minister of industry and business, recently told Reuters the decline in domestic production is being exacerbated by plummeting imports which are likely to fall by 60 percent this year, compared to 2015.  As a local baker pointed out, "We cannot make more subsidized bread with the current cost of flour.  We always end up losing, but we cannot afford to stop making bread either." 

Per the FT, local merchants are being forced by an increasingly oppressive military to sell groceries at a loss to avoid civil unrest:

Citibank to close Venezuela government accounts: Maduro

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that Citibank NA (UL:C), planned to shut his government's foreign currency accounts within a month, denouncing the move by one of its main foreign financial intermediaries as part of a "blockade."

"With no warning, Citibank says that in 30 days it will close the Central Bank and the Bank of Venezuela's accounts," Maduro said in a speech, adding that the government used the U.S. bank for transactions in the United States and globally.

"Do you think they're going to stop us with a financial blockade? No, gentlemen. Noone stops Venezuela."

Citibank, a unit of Citigroup Inc (N:C), could not immediately be reached for comment about the purported measure against Venezuela's monetary authority and the Bank of Venezuela which is the biggest state retail bank.

With the OPEC nation's economy immersed in crisis, various foreign companies have been pulling out or reducing operations.[nL1N19Y00B]

Critics say the socialist economics of Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez have been a disaster for Venezuela, while the government blames its political foes and local businessmen for waging an "economic war" against it. 

Watch what Happens when Crude Oil heads back to $30 and then Breaks $30 in 2017 when the ""Global Recession"" Wipes OUT Demand for Crude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Will Weak Oil Fuel Venezuela Default, Strangle Saudis & Nigeria?
By Dimitra DeFotis

The consistently low price of oil hit home in crude-exporting frontier markets in recent weeks as the international benchmark danced with $45 per barrel.

The international Brent oil-price benchmark was down 1% to $46.60 per barrel in recent trading, while the U.S. price was lower by nearly 1% to $44.94. Capital Economics writes that “the past month has brought further evidence” that lower-for-longer oil prices are “starting to hit home in energy-exporting frontier markets. Here’s more from Capital Economics’ Liza Ermolenko and Jason Tuvey from a report on the latest month in frontier markets:

Venezuela Bonds At Risk As Military Takes Control
By Dimitra DeFotis

Bonds in Venezuela are at risk with a military leader handed control of the economy this week, even though President Nicolas Maduro is still in charge.

On Monday, as the government claimed to seize a just-shuttered Kimberly-Clark (KMB) operation that contributed to the country’s supply of basic goods like toilet paper and diapers, Maduro put Venezuelan Defense Minister Padrino Lopez and the military in charge of the distribution of food and medicine, and five of Venezuela’s major ports, Voice of America reports.

“The Great Mission for Sovereign and Safe Supply” also puts Venezuela’s defense minister in charge of state-run social programs, the PanAm Post reports. Earlier this week, Maduro proclaimed that Venezuela can produce what it needs independent of dollars and the outside world’s goods — much like Cuba – with unrest over food shortages and shoppers allowed into Colombia for essentials. Multinational companies have abruptly cut Venezuela exposure, with Coca-Cola (KO) recently halting operations and similar moves from PepsiCo (PEP) and others.

Here is bond expert Siobhan Morden, Nomura’s Latin America fixed-income strategist: 
Moody's: Challenges Ahead for Asian Port Operators
By Aiswarya Lakshmi
Saturday, July 30, 2016, 5:25 AM

Moody's Investors Service says lackluster global growth, weak commodity prices, high capital expenditure commitments and a liner industry struggling with overcapacity is testing the resilience of Asian port operators.

"While the rated port operators in Asia have scope for cost cuts and are generally supported by their dominant market position, their resilience is being tested by these challenging operating conditions," says Ray Tay, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

Moody's conclusions are contained in its just-released report, entitled "Rated Port Operators -- Asia: Challenges on the Rise".

The port operators in the region are grappling with slowing or negative growth in cargo volumes due to China's (Aa3 negative) slowdown, sluggish growth in Europe, and persistently weak commodity prices.

"The port operators also have substantial capex commitments as they seek to cater to ever-larger ships entering service, while overcapacity in the liner industry is making it harder for ports to pass on these capex costs to their customers," adds Tay.

Across Asia, Moody's notes transshipment ports where containers are reloaded onto new vessels -- such as PSA Corporation Limited (Aa1 stable) and Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (Baa1 stable) are more affected than gateway ports where containers reach their final destination -- such as Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd (A1 stable) and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (Baa3 negative).

This is because transshipment ports are more subject to competitive pressure, whereas gateway ports benefit from innate demand as they serve regions with major populations and industrial centers.

Overcapacity in the liner industry -- the key customers of port operators -- is also pressuring the operators' margins. Moody's forecast global containership capacity will increase by 4.5%-5.5% in 2016, outpacing the expected demand growth of 1.5%-2.5%. 

Gundlach: "Sell Everything, Nothing Here Looks Good"

Two weeks ago, an already bearish Jeff Gundlach appeared to hit the "glass floor" of negative sentiment, and smash right through it.

On July 13, the new bond king said that there is "big money" to be made on the "short side." Gundlach added that he has been selectively betting against shares in the Standard & Poor's 500 index and continues to favor emerging market bonds over high-yield "junk" debt. Gundlach was just as skeptical about bonds, warning that the yield on the 10-year Treasury note at around 1.38% to 1.39% "is a terrible trade location. It is the worst trade location in the history of the 10-year Treasury."

His caution seemed prophetic: it was followed by the biggest two-day spike in 10Y yields in 5 years.  However, just like Gross' infamous "Bund Spike" last May, the selling in TSYs now appears to be over, and following a series of lousy data reports yields are once again sliding. 

China, Not Brexit, Is the Biggest Problem for the World
By Chase Carmichael

On June 24, 2016, massive selling in stock futures sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) contracts into a limit-down trading curb. Amid the Brexit vote, E-mini futures in the S&P 500 Index dove to 1,999, dropping 5.07% before trading was halted. Investors worry that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) threatened domestic and international economic stability, as evidenced by the downgrade of U.K. sovereign debt from AA+ to AA rating. However, the recent drop in U.S. stock prices pales in comparison to the 12% plunge following the contagion caused by China’s currency devaluation in August 2015.

Renminbi Devaluation

Albert Edwards of the Societe Generale Group believes that the ongoing stealth renminbi (RMB) devaluation presents a greater danger for the worldwide economy than Britain’s exit of the EU. Since August 2015, China’s trade-weighted currency basket has tumbled 10%, continuing to decline even as the RMB/dollar exchange rate has stabilized. The devaluation of the RMB by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is quite foreboding as it signals considerable weakness in the world’s second largest economy. Attempting to preserve gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the PBOC has resorted to exporting deflation to prevent the contraction of the country’s largest sector, exports. Not only does this place further pressure on commodity prices, but more importantly, China’s actions risk starting a currency war. During this scenario, export-dependent countries competitively devalue their currencies, warding off deflation at the cost of global growth.

Massive Debt Burden

In addition to the brewing currency crisis, the PBOC continues to foster an increasingly precarious credit situation through an accommodative monetary policy that supports the creation of bad credit via lax regulation and cheap lending. As a result, China’s total banking assets have risen by 210% in seven years, amounting to over $31 trillion as of the first quarter of 2016. Of that $31 trillion, net debt amounts to $25 trillion, including both domestic and foreign borrowing. In fact, at the end of 2015, China’s total private and public debt stood at 350% of GDP, well above the 250 to 300% level that expert studies credit to a decrease in economic growth.

Rough GDP
By Jeffrey P. Snider

The advance estimate for second quarter GDP came in lower than expected. At just 1.211%, the anticipated rebound from the dreadful winter failed to materialize in any significant way. Worse, benchmark revisions now suggest that GDP has been around 1% for three straight quarters; Q4 2015 was revised down from 1.377% to just 0.869%; Q1 2016 was revised back 0.831%.

Most of the benchmark revisions instead focused on seasonality, a particularly troubling result since it can only reduce faith in the statistical processes while at the same time further confirming what we have charged all along – that this economy is very different and thus statistics that were designed for “normal” circumstances are largely inappropriate. Recognizing that they have a very real problem with all this, the BEA now proposes starting 2018 to also publish the unadjusted GDP figures.


The most visible example of revisions rewriting short-term economic history was the first half of 2015. Under the 2014 benchmarks, Q1 GDP was first estimated to have been +0.2% in the advance release, revised to -0.7% at the second estimate, and then -0.2% for the “final” number. The benchmark revisions in July 2015 added the controversial “residual seasonality” further seasonal adjustment, which brought the GDP rate to +0.6%. In accordance with the new July 2016 benchmarks released today, Q1 2015 GDP is now thought to be +2.0%. That is a significant difference.

To make up for it, however, the BEA appears to have shifted “growth” from Q2. The final estimate under the July 2015 benchmark showed a large rebound to +3.8% from the slightly negative start. At that time, it represented the usual extremes; concerning weakness that was consistent with the uneven trend in GDP giving way to the rapid rebound the mainstream considered the truer representation. What the BEA has done is essentially split the difference; while Q1 was revised up significantly, Q2 was revised down by nearly an equal amount, to 2.6% from 3.8%.

Altogether, H1 2015 doesn’t change. Under the 2015 benchmark where GDP is at extremes, growth in the first half was 2.27% (SAAR). The latest update, which smooths out the jaggedness, shows almost identical growth of 2.33%. This is very concerning and suggests why now all of a sudden the BEA intends to finally display its unadjusted GDP figures after resisting for so long. In other words, they are very clearly attempting to force GDP into a straight line, which is to some extent the purpose of seasonal adjustments all along.

However, by taking extreme measures in order to do so, they operate under the assumption that there is no relevant or significant information contained within that unevenness. This is clearly false (and it recalls the more basic and fundamental objection to statistics in the first place as compared to chaos theory or the unpredictability of complex systems). Steadier growth of 2.33% is not at all the same as highly volatile growth of 2.27%, a fact we can easily observe via other economic accounts that don’t flow into GDP’s statistical soup.


**********Looking at what's happening in Transportation NOW, I'm thinking CHINA "IS" about to become the Nightmare Kyle Bass Warned about. The Global Economy "IS" Slowing BIG TIME and if ISIS continues its Terrorist Attacks in Europe, THEY have a Pretty Good Chance of pushing the European Economy into Recession. 

Kyle Bass: “We Are Seeing the Chinese Machine Break Down
By Valentin Schmid, Epoch Times

He was right about subprime, right about gold, and early in his call for a Japanese crisis. Is Texan investor Kyle Bass too early in his call for a China banking crisis and currency devaluation within the next two years?

“It’s a foregone conclusion but we don’t know about the timing, it feels like it’s happening as we speak,” he told Grant Williams of RealVisionTV in an interview. Bass had first stated his pessimistic view of China in late 2015 when the currency was under pressure and the country was bleeding capital to the tune of $100 billion per month. 

You Folks reading from CHINA be Very Afraid about YOUR Money in that's in YOUR Stock Market because YOU Maybe heading for another CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eurozone growth halves in Q2
By Pan Pylas

LONDON -- It seems that the strong start to the year was another false dawn for the eurozone economy and that the European Central Bank will have more to do in the months ahead to shore up growth.

New figures released Friday confirmed that the eurozone, which is made up of 19 countries from Ireland to the west to Cyprus in the east, suffered a sizeable slowdown in the second quarter of the year despite a number of stimulus measures that the European Central Bank has thrown at it.

In its first estimate for the April to June period, Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said growth across the single currency bloc eased to a quarterly rate of 0.3 percent from the previous quarter's 0.6 percent.

The decrease was in line with market expectation and the euro was steady at around US$1.11.

No explanation for the slowdown was provided in the figures but analysts said growth was likely hurt by a moderation in the tailwinds that had helped the region in the first quarter. The sharp drop in oil prices has reversed slightly, meaning that the boon to households and businesses has largely played out. And the dividend from the previous export-boosting depreciation in the value of the euro has diminished as the currency has steadied.

The June 23 referendum in Britain may have also caused some uncertainty, prompting businesses to delay investment decisions. The evidence since confirmation that Britain voted to leave the EU shows that Europe has brushed aside much of the uncertainty generated by the decision.

However, most forecasters think it will weigh to some degree on growth over the coming months, especially if the discussions around Brexit drag - few think annual growth will be anything much more than a modest 1.5 percent this year and next. As a result, many economists think the ECB will back a further stimulus package at its next policy meeting on Sept. 8. 

US Economic Growth Falters
By Jim Randle

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy expanded at a disappointing 1.2 percent annual rate in April, May, and June, as weak business investment outweighed strong consumer spending.

Friday's Commerce Department report also said the previous quarter's growth was slower than first thought.

Analysts say weak business investment may reflect worries about the global economy. Manufacturers have been hurt by the strong U.S. dollar that makes U.S. products more expensive on global markets. The energy industry has also been hard hit by continued low oil prices. Friday saw Exxon report its weakest quarterly profit in 17 years.

Economists were expecting a stronger GDP report, and some of them say the slow growth may prompt the U.S. central bank to delay a decision to raise interest rates that have been held at unusually low levels for many years.

White House economic advisor Jason Furman calls the strong consumer spending encouraging, and says the business spending data tends to be "volatile" and could change by next month.

Some other analysts say U.S. economic growth will probably be two percent or less for this year. 

Is China a Bigger Risk Than Brexit?

China's capital misallocation, rising share of global exports and currency on the slide are the global economy's biggest threats over the long term
By Karen Kwok

China is a bigger threat to the global economy than Brexit, according to Gareth Lewis, chief investment officer at Tilney Investment Management.

“We expect the Chinese currency devaluation to continue driving global deflation,” Lewis told reporters at a briefing in London this week, predicting that the currency will devalue through 2017.

Extreme capital misallocation is the main driver behind the devaluation, Lewis said. Since the banking crisis in 2008, Chinese bank debt increased from $2.1 trillion to $28.2 trillion; greater than the debt levels built by the US banking system in the whole 20th century. Lewis believes that kind of credit growth is unsustainable and both the magnitude and speed of investment suggests capital misallocation.

Another problem China facing is that too much of the capital is state-directed. State-owned companies allocated cash limits the efficiency of the investment process. Without private sector investment China will struggle to create a sustainable long-term economic model. Lewis says the Chinese government agenda currently focuses too much on keeping up its GDP growth above 6.5% and employment growth high.

Long Term Structural Concerns

Other professional investors share the same concerns over China’s long term prospects. Will Ballard, head of emerging market and Asia Pacific equities at Aviva Investors, agrees, saying that China has long term structural concerns.

Financial markets brace for Brexit-fueled 'perfect storm,' reports DBS
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The financial markets are bracing for a "perfect storm" following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, according to Development Bank of Singapore (DBS).

DBS, in its latest analysis of the market's outlook in the third quarter of 2016, said Brexit has brought more uncertainty to the already gloomy markets.

The global stock markets had been rebounding since mid-February before selling pressures emerged in early June amid a slowing global economy, companies' weakened profitability and uncertainty arising from central banks' policies, DBS said.

The United States and the eurozone have seen low economic growth, while Japan remains on the brink of recession, DBS said, adding mainland China's economy is slowing, with its first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growing by only 1.1 percent, said the bank.

The global manufacturing sector no longer sees growth, while trade activities have been weak, with import prices continuing trends downward since 2014, DBS said.

Brexit is creating more potential risks for the markets, and Britain's economy will certainly be harmed by the loss of the country's privileges in trading with other EU members, DBS said.

Hedging activities will increase, assets values will decrease and banks face a decrease in capital, DBS said.

Chinese Capital Outflows May Still Be Happening — But In Disguise

Over-invoicing imports is not just a Hong Kong story.
By Luke Kawa

When there's a will to get money out of China, there's a way: overpay.

Authorities in the world's second-largest economy have been able to pursue a policy of managed depreciation for the Chinese yuan without spooking markets and eliciting expectations of major foreign-exchange volatility, the way the one-off devaluation did last August.

One big reason is that Beijing seems to have had success in cracking down on the flood of money leaving the country, which had been prompting sizable drawdowns in the central bank's foreign currency reserves, to prop up the value of the yuan.

But a report from a Nomura Holdings Inc. team led by Chief China Economist Yang Zhao says these capital outflows have merely taken another form: the over-invoicing of imports from select locales. And this time, it's not just a Hong Kong story.

"A detailed breakdown by region shows imports from some tax haven islands or offshore financial centres surged" in the first half of the year, he writes, "against the backdrop of a large decline in overall imports."

China struggles to stem flow of wealth offshore

Mainland demand for Hong Kong insurance products soars at AIA
by: Don Weinland in Hong Kong

China’s foreign exchange regulators are struggling to stem the flow of personal wealth spilling offshore via Hong Kong’s insurance industry, the latest results from the world’s second-largest insurer suggest.

On Thursday AIA Group said that the value of new business in the territory increased by 60 per cent to $537m in the first six months of the year, noting a “substantial uplift in new business from mainland Chinese customers”.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange has attempted this year to close off channels that allow people to move large sums of money offshore, including the use of Chinese-issued credit cards to buy expensive insurance policies abroad.

AIA’s growth in the value of new business was “largely driven by the surge in industry sales to mainland visitors, part of the broader capital outflows from China after the surprise fall of RMB last August”, according to a note from Goldman Sachs.

Businesses and individuals in China have increasingly sought to move wealth offshore in the face of a slowing economy, a volatile stock market and the falling value of the renminbi.

Offshore insurance products in Hong Kong have been a popular haven to hold individual wealth since China began devaluing the renminbi in August last year. The currency has fallen to Rmb6.65 against the US dollar from Rmb6.21 on August 9 last year.

Once customers buy insurance policies using renminbi, they can use them as collateral for US dollar-denominated loans. They can also cash out of the products into a foreign currency.

The strong demand for those products has come against the wishes of China’s capital control watchdog.

China allows individuals to exchange up to $50,000 a year into foreign currencies but Safe said in February that it would enforce a $5,000 cap on the purchase of financial products through credit cards issued by China UnionPay, the country’s state-controlled card monopoly. UnionPay has said those checks were already in place. 

China Capital Outflows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Japan’s shocking stimulus illuminates central banks’ lack of credibility

After a weekend summit where Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda either didn’t know what was coming or flat out lied about it, Shinzo Abe’s supermajority government announced an astounding ¥28 trillion fiscal stimulus package that immediately sent the yen tumbling. That’s US$265 billion.

The yen recovered slightly since, after a story in the Wall Street Journal suggesting the BOJ was going to issue 50-year bonds in support of the program were denied. Japan’s stimulus programs are comprised of outright purchases of corporate bonds and even ETFs.

Now, there is discussion that the negative interest rate policy that currently encompasses government debt instruments will be extended to corporate bonds in Japan for sure, and possibly Europe as well.

Imagine that you give your money to a corporation to use for free for a period of ten years, and they will give it back to you in ten years minus a percentage in exchange for the “security” in knowing how much money you were going to lose for sure in ten years.

Strip down all the economic rhetoric and esoteric mumbo jumbo, and what you have is a government-enforced dual economy, where the supremacy of corporations and banks is enforced by the subsidization of elite (corporate and banking) interests by government decree.

These institutions at the top end of the financial food chain blatantly act exclusively in the interest of preserving their positions and the system that facilitates their stranglehold on what is supposed to be a democratic system. This happens at direct cost to those who have assiduously saved their entire lives, and who must now sit idly by while their savings deteriorate over time instead of appreciate thanks to feckless government and their henchmen central bankers.

The discussion that is gaining momentum in international circles is that a complete forgiveness and cancellation of government debt is what is planned in Tokyo through the agency of a perpetual zero interest bond.

While that remains to be seen, the 50-year bond is nothing new. Both France and England are issuers of 50-year bonds, with the half century Gilt currently yielding 1.449 per cent and bearing a 3.5 per cent coupon. These bonds mature on July 22, 2068. I would be 105 on that day. My bet is that nobody will collect that figure because the financial system in its current configuration simply cannot last that long.

China Steps Up Campaign to Curb Rising Financial Sector Risks

China is stepping up efforts to rein in risks in the financial sector, curbing banks’ use of complex financial products and resisting lobbying to relax the rules governing bad-loan buffers.

China’s banking regulator is pushing back against requests from the country’s largest banks to reduce the 150 percent minimum ratio for bad-loan provisions, a move that is likely to curb their profits, people familiar with the matter said Thursday. Banks whose ratios are already below that level are being urged by the China Banking Regulatory Commission to take steps to restore their buffers, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information.

It follows hard on the heels of a separate move by the CBRC to clamp down on risks in China’s shadow banking sector, a key area of concern in the country’s highly-leveraged financial system. The regulator has drawn up tougher rules for the nation’s $3.5 trillion market for wealth-management products, which have been used by some banks to extend loans to risky borrowers and to evade capital requirements, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

"Tightening WMP is something we want to see and will reduce risks in the banking system," said Sophie Jiang, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Nomura International (HK) Ltd. "Understandably, the regulator is doing this out of prudence and maintaining financial stability," she added.

Credit Explosion 

Baltic Dry Index falls to 665, down 14 points.

Today, Thursday, July 28 2016, the Baltic Dry Index decreased by 14 points, reaching 665 points.

Baltic Dry Index is compiled by the London-based Baltic Exchange and covers prices for transported cargo such as coal, grain and iron ore. The index is based on a daily survey of agents all over the world. Baltic Dry hit a temporary peak on May 20, 2008, when the index hit 11,793. The lowest level ever reached was on Wednesday the 10th of February 2016, when the index dropped to 290 points.

Report from the Fed shows slowdown in trucking activity
By Jill Dunn

The Federal Reserve reports a recent drop in demand for trucking services, while ports and the overall economy showed modest progress.

The nation’s economy continued moderate growth from mid-May to June 30, according to the Fed’s July 13 Beige Book. Eight times a year, the bank publishes this summary of anecdotal information from business contacts and market experts in its 12 service districts.

Freight volume dropped in Cleveland’s district, while Chicago’s district reported less demand for transportation services. Rail cargo volume decreased in Atlanta’s and Dallas’ districts. Cleveland’s, Atlanta’s and St. Louis’ districts attributed lower cargo volumes to the slowdown in the energy sector.

Richmond district’s port activity remained mostly strong. Container volume rose overall, albeit, increasing year-over-year monthly at one port, while similarly declining at another. Automobile imports remained robust and a strong peak season for container imports of consumer goods is anticipated for August. Imports and exports of agricultural and construction machinery stayed soft.

Atlanta district’s transportation companies had mixed results in recent weeks. Port contacts said volumes of container traffic, bulk cargo, automotive goods and machinery volumes climbed. Still, air cargo was down slightly, compared with year earlier levels, while overall railroad traffic has continued to slow.

Cleveland district’s freight volume shrunk, both recently and on a year-over-year basis. Regional sources attributed the decrease to a slowdown in the industrial sector and rapid changes in retail distribution. They also told the agency system overcapacity had forced some haulers to lower shipping rates and reduce capital budgets. Energy, fabricated metal products, machinery and food products were reportedly weak. 

Indicators: ‘Trucking Conditions’ at worst point in 5 years, diesel prices expected to climb in ‘17
By James Jaillet

Trucking Conditions Index skids to five-year low: Market conditions for carriers have fallen to their worst since 2011, according to the May reading of the Trucking Conditions Index from FTR.

FTR chalks the low reading up to cheap rates and excess capacity. Coming regulations — such as an electronic logging device mandate and potential hours of service changes — could restrict capacity and put upward pressure on rates and the Trucking Conditions Index, FTR says.

FTR’s Jonathan Starks says the current environment for carriers is mostly neutral — neither favorable or bad. “[Carriers’] revenues are down across the board and that makes business operations more difficult, but freight levels are stabilizing and capacity-sapping regulations are coming down the pike, either this year or next,” he says.
Watch HOW the Terrorists USE ""FEAR"" to shut down the Economy of EUROPE starting with Tourism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tourism Threatens to Collapse in France
By Wolf Richter

What’s crushing France’s crucial industry?

France was the number one visited country in the world with 85 million foreign visitors last year. The Paris region (Ile-de-France) was swamped by 16 million. In Ile-de-France alone, the jobs of half a million people depend on tourism. It’s the region’s largest industry. Tourism accounts for 7% of the French economy and for 13% of the economy of the Ile-de-France.

Terror Attacks Weigh on Europe’s Travel Companies

Luxury-goods firms also hit after succession of incidents
By Alexa Liautaud and Sam Schechner

PARIS—A cascade of terrorist attacks in Europe is driving away tourists at the height of the summer rush, casting a pall over hotel chains, airline companies and luxury retailers that are already grappling with Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Declines in airline and hotel bookings have spread into European cities and countries that hadn’t suffered recent attacks, analysts and companies say. That raises the specter that the violence–combined with a sluggish economy–could have a broader economic impact, affecting companies like Air France-KLM, AccorHotels SA and InterContinental Hotel Group PLC when they report earnings in the next two weeks.

“Europe is not going to be doing them any favors,” said C. Patrick Scholes, a managing director at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. “It’s all about fear.”

A confluence of negative factors is buffeting Europe’s tourism business. Travelers appear more cautious following a spate of attacks—most recently in Munich and in Nice, France. Economic growth in many European countries is weak, straining some consumers’ pocketbooks. And the British pound is down 8.6% against the euro since the Brexit vote—boosting costs for the bloc’s single largest source of international tourists after Germany.

“Europe has several, almost I guess, three strikes against it looking forward,” Scott Kirby, president of American Airlines Group Inc., told analysts on Friday, adding that Europe was the only region where he expects to see sequential declines in the third quarter. 

French hospitality sector suffers from aftermath of attacks
By Harriet King

France is seeing a rapid decline within its hospitality and tourism sector, as hoteliers try to run businesses amid some of the worst terror attacks in Europe

Following the attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris last November, which resulted in the deaths of 130 people, France’s tourism industry saw a vast drop in visitor numbers.

Inevitably, the capital was hit the hardest following the attack; hotels in Paris lost an estimated €270m in revenue, and saw an 11 percent drop in the number of tourists arriving on regular flights.

France is the world’s top tourist destination, welcoming 85 million international travellers each year, according to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Those visitors support 275,000 businesses and over two million jobs, according to the ministry.

Terrorism Scares Away the Tourists Europe Was Counting On

PARIS — The shocks have come one after another: Islamic State killings of civilians in Brussels and Nice. A deadly outburst of terrorism in Germany. A fresh terror-linked atrocity in a small French town. Warnings abound that more may be on the way.

The surge of attacks in Europe has raised questions over whether a potentially durable new threat to stability is settling in. The political challenges for Europe’s leaders are stark, and the impact on the region’s economy may be just as profound.

“We are experiencing a structural change, a phenomenon of war on our doorstep that didn’t exist before,” said Georges Panayotis, the president of the MKG Group, a tourism consulting company based in Paris. “If it’s not resolved, the problem will continue.”

The effects of that shift on businesses, large and small, have been deep.

At the Mont-Saint-Michel, a spectacular medieval abbey that is one of France’s top tourist destinations, business at the Sodetour Group, a chain of local hotels and restaurants, slumped by up to 70 percent for months after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. It has never fully recovered.

American and Japanese visitors in particular canceled reservations, even though the site, perched on an isolated rock off the northwest coast of Normandy, is far from Paris. Gilles Gohier, the chief executive, said he had to tell nearly a third of his 230 employees to go home for four months, and temporarily shut half of his five hotels and four restaurants. Since then, he has eliminated 17 positions and is hiring new employees only on temporary contracts.

Chinese tourists stay away from Europe after attacks
Li Yan

About half of Chinese tourists who intended to travel to Europe this summer have canceled or changed their trips due to recent terrorist attacks and other security risks there, according to China Business News.

A terrorist attack in Ansbach of Germany is the latest of a number of attacks that have rattled Europe in recent months. Chinese tourists to France and Germany, two of their most popular destinations, dropped by almost two-thirds, estimated the newspaper.

The exchange rate volatility caused by Brexit was expected to boost tourism in Europe this summer, but due to the terrorist attacks in major European countries and the recent attempted coup in Turkey, the industry will be significantly impacted, said a tour guide who specializes in Europe-bound travel.

Another tour agent who focuses on tourism in France told the newspaper that two tourist groups canceled their trip just one day after the attack in Nice on July 14.

The number of Chinese tourists to France has maintained double-digit growth in the past decade, reaching 2 million last year and making China the largest overseas tourist group in the country. But tourists who take regular flights to the country have dropped 5.8 percent since January this year, and the number of tourists heading for Paris has decreased by 11 percent.

Apart from west European countries which have long been popular with Chinese tourists, Turkey also rose to fame among Chinese tourists in recent years thanks to a loosened visa policy and some popular reality shows featuring the country. The Chinese tourists to Turkey numbered 150,000 in the first half of 2015, nearly the same amount for all of 2014.

But with the country suffering from five terrorist attacks since this year, tourism in the country has been severely undermined -- overseas tourists in May plummeted by 34.7 percent from last year, the most significant drop in 22 years.