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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Fricking ""LIBERALS"" Caused this DEBT Hell in Puerto Rico......................It's NOW Time to make the Fricking ""LIBERALS"" SOLVE the Problems THEY Created!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Which Puerto Rico Bond Defaults Next? A 1,600% Yield Says It All
By Brian Chappatta

As far back as December, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla warned that May would be the month when it could no longer pay bondholders. It’s almost here.

The commonwealth owes $470 million in payments on May 1, including $422 million on securities sold by its Government Development Bank, which has already frozen some deposits to preserve cash. Because May 1 falls on a Sunday, the island has until Monday to come through.

The failure to pay what’s owed on the development bank bonds would mark the biggest default yet by Puerto Rico, whose fiscal crisis has been steadily building for the past 10 months. With the government nearly drained of its cash, Moody’s Investors Service says such a lapse is a virtual certainty. Investors appear to agree: The securities last traded for 32 cents on the dollar, just weeks before the government was scheduled to pay them off at full face value. That effective yield: About 1,600 percent.

The Caribbean island of 3.5 million residents faces the next major hurdle in July, when $2 billion of bond payments are due, including those on general obligations that the constitution says should be paid above all else.

Its defaults so far have been relatively small, limited to about $143 million of missed payments, according to Moody’s. None of the securities were backed by the government’s full taxing power, nor are the development bank’s, leaving bondholders with little legal recourse.

Puerto Rico risks historic default as Congress chooses inaction
By Michelle Kaske, Bloomberg News

NEW YORK — Even if Puerto Rico manages to strike a last-minute deal to defer bond payments, the commonwealth’s financial collapse is about to enter an unprecedented phase.

Anything short of making the $422 million payment that Puerto Rico says it can’t afford would be considered a technical default. More importantly, it opens the door to larger and more consequential defaults on debt protected by the island’s constitution, and raises the risk of putting efforts to resolve the biggest crisis ever in the $3.7 trillion municipal market into turmoil.

Nearly 10 months after Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said the commonwealth was unable to repay all its obligations, Puerto Rico has failed to reach an accord on a broad restructuring deal presented to bondholders. During that time the administration has delayed payments to suppliers, postponed tax refunds, grabbed revenue originally used to repay other bonds and missed payments on smaller agency debt. With its options drying up, no bondholder agreement in sight and congressional action delayed, defaulting may be the next step for Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Debt Crisis: Default On Looming $422M Payment Could Worsen Financial Chaos On The Island
By Maria Gallucci

Puerto Rico’s long-simmering debt crisis could roar to a boil next week if the U.S. territory misses a critical bond payment.

The island will likely default on the $422 million it owes bondholders by a May 2 deadline, observers say. If it does, Puerto Rico will face an accelerated timeline for paying the full balance on those bonds. Yet the government says it can’t make those payments without cutting essential services, like electricity and healthcare, for the island’s 3.5 million residents.

For investors in Puerto Rico’s $72 billion of debt — including U.S. retirement funds, mutual funds, hedge funds and individual Americans — the looming debt default raises the risk that investors won’t see the full return on their investments, if they see any money at all. It also guarantees a long slog of legal battles in San Juan and Washington as bondholders seek to reclaim what’s owed.

Puerto Rico’s decadelong recession will deepen, while residents — nearly half of whom live in poverty — could see public services decline further as the government scrambles to fulfill its debt obligations. Business owners on the island will likely struggle to raise capital and grow their companies as the unfolding crisis darkens the financial market’s view of the island.

“It’s chaos. It’s just chaos,” said Edwin Meléndez, who directs the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City.

This scenario already started to unfold to a lesser extent after Puerto Rico defaulted on $174 million in January. After the potential May 2 default, the commonwealth next faces a July 1 deadline for $2 billion in principle and interest payments.

Puerto Rico poised for default, draws tough talk from governor

Puerto Rican officials talked tough ahead of a major debt payment due on Monday, with the U.S. territory's governor predicting default, and chances slipping for a restructuring deal with creditors.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said "there will be a default on Monday," adding, "I don't think there is a deal on the table that avoids a default."

Puerto Rico's Government Development Bank, the island's primary fiscal agent, owes creditors $422 million on Monday, a payment Garcia Padilla has said the bank cannot afford. The looming default is part of a broader economic crisis in the Caribbean haven plagued by $70 billion in total debt, a shrinking population and a 45 percent poverty rate.

Restructuring talks are ongoing between GDB and a creditor group holding more than $1 billion of its roughly $4 billion in total debt. The group includes hedge funds Solus, Brigade and Claren Road.

Last week, a source close to the matter told Reuters the GDB and the creditor group struck a deal on a debt exchange that could be worth between 47 and 50 cents on the dollar. The end value depends on whether Puerto Rico reaches a broad restructuring deal with all of its creditors. But two other sources at the time said sides were not close to a deal.

The first source on Wednesday said the offer remains but its prospects seem bleak, adding there is "no indication" of progress on a deal or even a forbearance agreement that would let the sides talk through Monday’s deadline. 

Puerto Rico's Likely Default May 1 Not Fazing House Republicans
By Billy House and Laura Litvan

Ahead of a one-week recess, House Republicans are showing little urgency to act on a bill to help Puerto Rico deal with its debt crisis as the island hurtles toward a potential default Sunday on a $422 million payment.

"They got into this mess over the years. I don’t think we need to add to their bad decisions," said Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho, a Republican who was born in Puerto Rico. "I think we have to do this bill right." Labrador is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which is working on legislation to aid the island.

The territory could still strike a last-minute deal to defer the payments due in three days, but Puerto Rico will likely default on some or all of the debt payments coming due on May 1.

Democrats and the White House continue to blast the Republicans for not acting faster.

"Some people get accused of being mañana people," said Representative Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources panel. "There’s no sense of urgency with Republicans on this."

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that the longer Congress drags out the debate, “the more likely it becomes that they will have to resort to a bailout."

Puerto Rico.............................America's GREECE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

AEP: Japan's Abenomics 'dead in the water' after US currency warnings
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The Bank of Japan has been forced to retreat from further emergency stimulus after a blizzard of criticism at home and abroad, and warnings that extreme measures may now be doing more harm than good.

The climb-down by the world’s most radical central bank is the latest sign that the monetary experiments since Lehman crisis may have run their course. The authorities have not exhausted their ammunition but are hitting political and legal constraints.

The yen surged 3pc against the US dollar in the biggest one-day move in eight months and equities skidded across Asia after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) failed to take fresh action to stave off deepening deflation, catching markets badly off guard.

Governor Haruhiko Kuroda dashed hopes for ‘helicopter money’, warning that direct monetary financing of spending would be “illegal”.

Mr Kuroda insisted that the BoJ still has plenty of firepower and can at any time push interest rates even deeper into negative territory or boost bond purchases beyond the current $74bn a month.  “If additional easing is needed, we will do so promptly,” he said.

The reality is that negative rates (NIRP) have backfired badly on every front. They have prompted bitter protests from banks and money market funds caught in a squeeze.

The yen has appreciated by 10pc since the BoJ first embarked on the policy in January, the exact opposite of what was intended.  The rising yen - ‘endaka’ – is pushing Japan deeper into a deflation trap and undercutting the whole purpose of ‘Abenomics’. 


Kyle Bass Japan...............Abenomics has Totally FAILED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kyle Bass Japan 


Dallas Fed cautions on fresh oil bubble as glut keeps building
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The US Federal Reserve has warned that the world is awash with excess oil and starting to run out of places to store the glut, with no sustained recovery in sight for the oil industry until 2017 at the earliest.

Robert Kaplan, head of the Dallas Fed, poured cold water over talk of a fresh oil boom this year and said the US shale industry has taken far longer to cut output than many expected.

“As we sit here today, Dallas Fed economists estimate that global daily oil production exceeds daily consumption by more than 1m barrels per day,” he told the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum in London.

“Excess inventories in the OECD member countries now stand at approximately 440m barrels. This is a record level and has raised concerns about whether there is sufficient storage capacity in certain geographic areas,” he said. 

As LONG as the World Holds OFF from Starting WW III Crude OIL will make NEW Lows before hte END of 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Is the World Getting Crazier, But We No Longer Notice?
By Charles Smith

The banquet of consequences is about to be served.

If we step back and look at what's happened since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09, it's easy to see that the global leadership has chosen to do more of what's failed spectacularly.

Since the Global Financial Meltdown, central bankers and planners have pursued policies designed to boost global stock markets to create a wealth effect in which people will be psychologically inclined to borrow and spend more because their stock market/IRA portfolios are rising. This supposedly encourages them to spend this "paper wealth."

But the policy runs aground on two realities: 1) only the top 5% of the households own enough stocks to make a difference to their wealth (and their perception of wealth, i.e. the wealth effect), and 2) the wealth effect only occurs in "good times" when people feel the economy is healthy and their prospects are improving.

When people sense the economy is unhealthy and their prospects have dimmed, they save more regardless of how much the stock market rises. 


Charles Smith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Enter the Thunderdrome: Inside the world's largest post-apocalyptic festival where thousands of Mad Max fans gather in the desert

  • Wasteland Weekend is an annual four-day festival that allows lovers of the Mad Max movie franchise to see what it is really like to live in a society where civilization is crumbling
  • For many, the end of the world might seem daunting, but for these festival goers a post-apocalyptic world in the middle of a Californian desert is a form of escapism
  • At least this is the case for Mike Orr who is known as 'Sweet Lips' at Wasteland and who described the event as 'spiritual' and 'inspirational'
  • The four-day post-apocalyptic party in the Mojave desert began in 2010 and has seen steady growth each year - this year's event is set to be held from September 22 to 25
Consistent Surge of People Crossing Illegally

BROWNSVILLE – The number of people crossing the border illegally is on the rise. The Border Patrol chief said the number of people coming across is consistent with the surge two years ago.

Chief Patrol Agent and Commander of the South Texas Corridor Manuel Padilla Jr. insisted this time, his agents are better prepared and border security isn’t in jeopardy.

However, some people don’t agree.

More than 80,000 people crossed the border illegally since October. It includes more unaccompanied children and family members from Central America and Mexico.

It’s about the same as during the immigration crisis of 2014.

But Padilla said this time, it’s different.

“So what happened in 2014, we had a surge but it became a crisis because we did not have the infrastructure and the processes to deal with those numbers. I can tell you 2016, even if we were to reach the numbers of 2014, it will not be a crisis,” Padilla said.

Numbers for Central Americans went up or stayed consistent. The number of Mexicans being apprehended by Border Patrol went down. Padilla said fewer Mexicans are crossing over.

“If you look at the demographics of Mexico, right now, the family units that we saw in Mexico when I was growing up, when you had families with 10 plus kids, that isn’t a common thing anymore. Now it’s two or three kids, so the economy in Mexico and here has some factors,” Padilla said.

ICE releases 19,723 criminal illegals, 208 convicted of murder, 900 of sex crimes
By Paul Bedard

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in 2015 decided not to deport but release 19,723 criminal illegal immigrants, including 208 convicted of murder, over 900 convicted of sex crimes and 12,307 of drunk driving, according to new government numbers.

Overall, those released into virtually every state and territory of America had a total of 64,197 convictions among them, for an average of 3.25 convictions each, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies. ICE also said that the group were convicted of 8,234 violent crimes.

More from the Washington Examiner

Meanwhile, ICE said that it has also slashed the number of criminals arrested in local communities, according to the Center's Director of Policy Studies, Jessica M. Vaughan. "In 2015, ICE made 119,772 arrests, or just half the number of arrests made in 2013, 232,287," she said in her analysis that also included a map of the releases.

The reason: Under President Obama's immigration policy changes, many criminal immigrants are being ignored even though local police and sheriff have urged ICE to take control of criminals in their jails and deport them.

She said that the slash of arrests is why the number of releases by ICE is down. In 2014, 30,000 criminal illegals were released.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday is holding a hearing on the issue of the releases. In a preview of the issues in the hearing, the committee said, "Each year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement releases tens of thousands of criminal aliens eligible for deportation. After release, many go on to commit additional crimes. With new restrictions on immigration enforcement through the president's executive actions, only narrow classes of removable aliens are priorities for arrest, questioning, detention, or removal. Therefore, millions of removable aliens will be able to remain in the country."

ICE Released 86,288 Criminal Aliens from 2013-2015
By Melanie Hunter

( – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  Director Sarah Saldana provided written testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday that showed over 86,000 criminal aliens had been released back into the United States from fiscal year 2013 to 2015.

According to Saldana’s written testimony, there were a total of 86,288 criminal aliens released from 2013 to 2015 when you add up the number of criminal releases in the past three years – 36,007 in FY 2013, 30,558 in FY 2014, and 19,723 in FY 2015. 

America, Obama and HIS Immigrarion Policies that HILLARY Supports Ain't about Immigration THIS IS All about the Colonization......................SHIT ""INVASION"" of America to Guarantee the Political Dominance of The ""LIBERAL"" Party of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Former Goldman Sachs president says our economic situation 'will end in tears'
By Andy Serwer
Yahoo Finance

Taking the long view is one of those easier-said-than-done propositions, right? For instance, while you might think that the economy has pretty much recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, one prominent financier thinks the problems that caused that big meltdown have been papered over and will come back to hurt us again. And then there’s the little issue of China’s economy surpassing ours soon. John Thornton, the former president of Goldman Sachs (GS), who likes to take the long view, says he’s “feeling uneasy” about the global economy right now and thinks we’re living on borrowed time.

 “After the events of 2008, really since then, the central banks either collectively or individually have tried to implement policies which would, in effect, buy time for individual governments to take the actions they should take to put their houses in order,” Thornton says.

“By and large, the governments have not done that. So I feel as though we're sitting in 2016 with many of the same problems that we've had for the last eight or 10 years, they haven't been addressed very forcefully, we're living on borrowed time. And sooner or later, that ends in tears. I'm generally, sort of, uneasy with where things are. And I think by and large, if things don't make common sense, sooner or later, they come home to roost,” he says.

Thornton made these comments speaking at a reception for his son, J.R. Thornton’s new book “Beautiful Country,” hosted at Yahoo in New York City on April 21.

After leaving Goldman in 2003, Thornton followed a number of paths. He went to China to become professor and director of the Global Leadership Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing—one of China’s most prestigious universities. He’s also the chairman of Barrick Gold (ABX), which has had a tough go of it lately as the price of gold has swooned, and where Thornton has been under fire for the pay package he’s received from the Canadian company. And Thornton is the chairman of the Brookings Institution, and has also served on the boards of Ford, Intel, HSBC and News Corp.

Tapping into his China knowledge, I asked Thornton how the Chinese perceived U.S. politics and Donald Trump. He responded by saying he always thinks of China, not surprisingly, with a very long-term view. “Since Nixon, policies haven't changed whole lot,” he says. “So the extent that he [an elected Donald Trump] takes a so-called tougher line…I don't think phases the Chinese.”

But who would the Chinese prefer to be elected? A Democrat or a Republican? “Conventional wisdom is the Chinese tend to like Republicans more than Democrats, because with Republicans, they know where they stand even if it's a harder line. I think by and large, that's probably true. [And] the degrees of freedom of a president in policy are not as dramatic as the verbiage would have you believe.”

I was curious as to what Thornton thought U.S. business leaders and political leaders could do to improve relations with China. “Until the United States—and I'm talking here about national leaders particularly, political leaders—until they see and treat the Chinese as peers, until that occurs, the relationship will always be, by definition, imbalanced,” he says. “When the Chinese hear things – expressions like 'global standards,' that is code language for American standards wrapped in a global package.” 

Icahn: Markets will have 'a day of reckoning'
By Everett Rosenfeld

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is "extremely cautious" on the U.S. market, he told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday.

"I do believe in general that there will be a day of reckoning unless we get fiscal stimulus," he said, pointing to the Federal Reserve's maintaining low interest rates, and potentially creating "tremendous bubbles."

On the fiscal side Icahn argued that "you certainly could do more spending."

"The Republican party that I used to be more sympathetic with — I'm right in the middle now, although as you know I'm for (GOP front-runner Donald) Trump — but what I would say is Congress is in this massive gridlock obsessed," he said, explaining that the Republican-controlled Congress is "obsessed with this deficit to a point that I think it's almost pathological." 

Yellen "IS" Destroying the Dollar and the Credibility of the Federal Reserve and at the Heart of All of this "IS"....................The November Presidential Elections!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Economic Collapse Logistics For The Government
By: Tom Chatham

When a national currency collapses, the government goes into survival mode and does what is necessary to insure its continued existence. The state power becomes all important and citizens become expendable. The state exists for it’s own fulfillment.

When the monetary system collapses along with the banks, the government will still need a way to pay government employees to insure they continue enforcing the governments will. If all government employees suddenly decided to stay home the few officials that remained at their desk would be ordering 300 million people around with no way to enforce their orders. To maintain control of the population it is necessary for government minions to continue doing their job of enforcement.

This means the government would need the means to continue fulfilling the needs of government employees to insure their compliance and obedience. As long as people get the things they need to survive day to day they will continue to do as ordered to continue that supply.

The government would need to insure that a payment system and banking system would remain functioning after a collapse. The banking system may not look like the current one but something would have to take it’s place. Once the currency has failed it would be necessary for the government to issue a new currency. It may not be accepted by the majority but it is only necessary for it to be accepted by the government minions. This would allow the government to remain in control.

If the government employees know they will still be able to get food, clothing, gas and other items they need when normal citizens cannot, they will be inclined to stay on the job and do the governments bidding in order to maintain their standard of living. This would be a necessary control mechanism in the event of a collapse.

Once the banks collapse along with the currency, the FED could take over any bank branches necessary under the control of the Fed and issue the new currency through them. There may be some form of physical currency or it could be digital. Either way the government would have control over who gets any in the beginning.

The government would likely confiscate any resources it needed to fill “government stores” for the purpose of supplying government employees. The rest of the population would be left to get by on their own. In this event EO 13603 becomes more clear as the mechanism to take whatever the government needs to fill these stores and keep their people supplied. In a collapse physical goods become the only thing that matters.

Those that have the things government needs will likely be sent to camps and their property taken for government use. Those with special skills that are needed to continue the supply functions would fall under the control of government agencies and be subject to internment if they fail to do their jobs. Once government has control of critical infrastructure they can let the remainder of the country fight among themselves and do the governments job for them. The few who remain after a few weeks will be easy prey for the government.

I do not claim this will happen, only that it is one possibility in the event of a total banking collapse. Those in power will do whatever they must to stay in power. That much is born out in history. This is not meant to scare you but to make you think about the possibility of this event and plan accordingly should the worst happen. Should the government confiscate resources following a collapse, you will need to be two steps ahead of them and the general population in order to get through the events in one piece. 

Yen’s best week since 2008 crisis hits stocks and dollar

LONDON: The yen hit an 18-month high on Friday as investors wagered the Bank of Japan might be done adding fresh stimulus to the economy, culminating in a sharp rise on the week that dragged stocks around the world lower.

With Japan on holiday, speculators drove the yen through 107.00 per dollar for the first time since October 2014. It was around 112.00 before the BOJ unexpectedly held policy steady earlier this week.

Often seen as a sign of broader risk aversion among investors, the strong yen coupled with a decline on Wall Street overnight pushed Asian and European stocks into the red.

Major European stock markets fell more than 1 percent in their biggest fall in over three weeks, while US futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street.

"Dollar/yen is not undervalued, and global macro conditions are by no means positive for risk sentiment," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a note to clients, adding that a test of 100 yen in the coming months is likely.

The index of 300 leading European shares was down 1.3 percent at 1,355 points, the German DAX and France's CAC 40 were also down around 1.3 percent, and Britain's FTSE 100 was 0.8 percent lower.

Surprisingly strong first quarter euro zone growth - the fastest growth in five years finally bringing the region's economy above its pre-crisis peak - supported the euro, keeping it up 0.4 percent on the day at $1.14.

A high exchange rate hurts exporters, however, and European stocks felt the brunt.

First quarter US and European earnings reports continued to stream in.

Notable was Amazon's upbeat figures that sent the stock up almost 13 percent, easing the gloom after Apple shed 3 percent when billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he no longer has a position in the tech giant. Earlier MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.5 percent, on track for a decline of 1.7 percent for the week.

That would be its biggest weekly loss in over two months.


Era of Central Banks Propping up Stock Market Has Come to an End
By Carl Sera

"There will be a day of reckoning," billionaire investor Carl Icahn told CNBC Thursday, adding that he is "extremely cautious" on the U.S. stock market.

When the Federal Reserve decided to leave rates unchanged Wednesday, the S&P 500 didn't respond. The market index has been in some sort of eerie holding pattern for the past week, with a high of just under 2,100 and a low of 2,077.

Now, the S&P 500 has gone lower than 2,077. Failure to break out of the 2,100 psychological level and then breaking down through 2,077 is an indicator that the market is ready for some short-term weakness. 

Bill Gross: "The World's Central Banker" Has Flatlined U.S. Economic Growth

In a recent interview, Bill Gross provided some further truthiness regarding the state of the U.S. economy and the unveiling of the Federal Reserve as the world's banker.

As we've said countless times, Gross reiterates in the interview that the Fed's only contribution to the real economy has been to help create more jobs that aren't adding up to any real economic growth (i.e. waiter and bartender jobs at minimum wage). He points out that U.S. economic growth has in fact flat lined.

Bill Gross Warns Of A 'Global Marketplace In Which Prices Are Artificially High'
By Jayson Derrick

Bill Gross, Janus Capital Management's famed fund manager discussed global systemic risk during an interview on Bloomberg TV.

Gross said he is concerned we are facing a "global marketplace in which prices are artificially high." He added that he is also concerned about China's debt level which appears to be increased at an "almost geometric pace" relative to its GDP.

"The expansion of debt relative to GDP, not just in China, but elsewhere is really symptomatic of the risk that we have in terms of financial markets to the extent that investors can be convinced that they are relatively risk-less as in the ECB [European Central Bank] buying corporate bonds and the Japanese buying corporate bonds and stocks as well," Gross added.

Gross continued that "intelligent" investors should know there is "something really wrong with the system" and the "artificial system might implode." He added that the "guessing game" of when such an event might occur has been extended to 2017, 2018 or 2019. 

Bill Gross: Smart Investors Know There's Something Wrong
1:10 PM PDT
April 27, 2016

Bill Gross, Janus Capital Management fund manager, comments on systemic risk during an interview with Mike McKee on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)

Central Bankers to the Masses: “Let Them Eat Rate!”
By Danielle DiMartino Booth

There never was any cake, just crust.

And the French Marie had nothing to do with it. Rather, a Spanish-born queen married to France’s King Louis XIV a century earlier was the ill-mannered Marie who dared to taunt the peasantry. So how then exactly did, “Let them eat cake!” become so universally associated with Marie-Antoinette? In a nutshell: Blackmail.

Historians have uncovered the nasty truth, and it can be laid squarely at the feet some far from scrupulous London-based thugs, intent on shaking down King Louis XVI with threats to besmirch his young bride’s reputation. According to Simon Burrows of Leeds University, a criminal network, drawn to the French monarchy’s vast wealth, plotted to profit by producing a series of pamphlets filled with lies about the ill-fated queen. Those lies included a charge that she had callously suggested her subjects eat cake in response to news of a bread shortage plaguing the masses. Though the king paid a dear price for the pamphlets’ destruction, some 30 copies were not burned as promised and found their way into the public’s hands sealing the queen’s fate kneeling before the guillotine.

Today, the shortage plaguing angry masses of savers worldwide is not one of bread or cake, but rather one of positive rates of return on their cash holdings. The central bankers know best as they command us to eat one rate cut after another. And like it.

For nearly 30 years, central bankers have based their haughty reasoning on the idea that the lower the interest rate, the greater the generation of economic growth. As then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke explained in 2012, “My colleagues and I are very much aware that holders of interest-bearing assets, such as certificates of deposit (CDs), are receiving very low returns. But low interest rates also support the value of many other assets that Americans hold, such as homes and businesses large and small.”

It’s certainly been the case that the prices of homes and businesses have been upheld. Though their appetite may have waned a bit, investors have richly rewarded companies who use low interest rates to finance share buybacks with debt. And there’s no doubt investors of a different ilk did more than their fair share to prop up home prices at the lower end while wealthy individuals have bid up the prices of luxury homes to record highs.

The question is, is that what Bernanke intended? It would appear not as one of the stated objectives of the punishing policy of ultra-low rates was to spur income-generating job creation:

“Healthy investment returns cannot be sustained in a weak economy, and of course it is difficult to save for retirement or other goals without the income from a job. Thus, while low interest rates do impose some costs, Americans will ultimately benefit most from the healthy and growing economy that low interest rates help promote.” Or at least that’s what Bernanke led us to believe.

It's The Debt Stupid: Scotiabank Warns "At Some Point 'The Future' Becomes 'Today'"

Debt undermines growth and, as Scotiabank's Guy Haselmann exclaims, the world has never been more indebted.

Reinhart and Rogoff’s 2010 research on the topic concluded that growth is about 1 percentage point lower in the long run when sovereign debt is 90% or more of GDP.  They found that these episodes of ‘high debt’ were long and costly and that the average period (of ‘high debt’) lasted 23 years.  [Such long duration advocates that ‘high debt’ is not merely a function of a downturn in the business cycle.]

Debt levels of many countries have reached levels far higher than 90%.

The Ending of QE
By ComStock Patners

S&P 500 Returns During the QE Era_Courtesy Merrill Lynch 
S&P 500 Index_Ten Market Peaks 

The Ending of QE-3 Formed a Stock Market Top Formation that Presents a Technical Resistance that will be VERY DIFFICULT to Overcome!!

The stock market swings (based on the S&P 500) have been extremely volatile since the end of QE-3 in December of 2014.  In fact, ever since QE-1 ended in 2010, QE 2 ended in 2011, and Operation Twist ended in 2012, the market rose slightly and then fell sharply soon afterwards (First Attachment—Ending QE and the Markets Reaction).

(Second Attachment—S&P 500 – Ten Market Peaks) These are the same type of stock market swings that remind us of all the other endings of QE phases.  This time the S&P 500 rose into 2015 to make a record high in May of 2015 at 2135 (rounding out for simplicity).  The market has not exceeded that level since then, even though it has come close numerous times over the past year. In fact, in 2015 the market rose to 2130 in June, 2133 in July, 2117 in October, 2105 in November, and 2082 in December.

The lows made last year were 1867 in August and 1872 in September.  The second low in September was interrupted by a strong move back to 2021 also in September.  The lows that were made this year (2016) were 1812 in January and 1810 in February.  These two lows were also interrupted by a sharp move up to 1947 also in February and the low of 1810 was called the Jamie Dimon low on February 11th.  That was because of Dimon’s purchase of his company stock, JP Morgan, that same day.  The move up since the Feb 11th low has been quite impressive by rising to 2120 in April and is still pretty close to that peak now (2076 ).

The bulls have been watching the stock market rise to new highs without many corrections over the past seven years.  In fact, the market has not had a significant decline since this bull market started in March of 2009.  Clearly, this seven year bull market in the U.S. was due to the Fed pumping in enormous amounts of money into the financial system.  Such monetary policy in the U.S. (and also worldwide) distorted the way money is typically distributed and inflated the price of stocks, bonds and anything else that trades, including commercial real estate.

This ludicrous monetary stimulation policy was not confined to the U.S.  The rest of the world copied the U.S. as well as Japan, who has been doing a similar monetary policy for the past 27 years without much success.  The Japanese stock market hasn’t come close to the 39,000 reached by the Nikkei in late 1989.  It is now trading around 16,700.  The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has been even more outrageous than our Fed since they have been buying everything imaginable to keep their economy afloat.  Their present ownership of common stock ETF’s is mind boggling!  Their Japanese government and the (BOJ) own over 10% of over 200 stocks of their most widely traded index, the Nikkei 225. The BOJ has just recently decided to use negative interest rates to stimulate their economy and weaken the Yen.  The “unintentional consequences” hit them as the stock market fell and the Yen rose.  Negative interest rates are also being used by the ECB in order to grow the European economy.  As is the case with Japan, we believe their efforts will fail miserably.  In China, though rates are not negative, the Public Bank of China (PBOC) has “doubled down” and added huge amounts of renminbi debt over the past seven years.  In fact the government debt has grown to 243% of GDP over the last 7 years.

Global debt threatens economic recovery
By Carmen Reinhart/Cambridge

Carmen Reinhart is Professor of the International Financial System at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government

The meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington, DC this month concluded on a sour note. Small wonder: Global growth prospects have dimmed amid a variety of risks now emanating from both advanced and developing countries.

The meeting’s participants addressed – yet again – the need for greater policy co-ordination, more fiscal stimulus and a variety of structural reforms. And that discussion has become more urgent, given the widespread view that monetary policy may not have much ammunition left, and that competitive devaluations would do more harm than good.

But with the largest economies, nearly eight years after the global financial crisis, burdened by high and rising levels of public and private debts, it is baffling that comprehensive restructuring does not figure prominently among the menu of policy options. Indeed, for the global economy, debt restructuring is the proverbial elephant in the room.

In the early stages of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, Kenneth Rogoff and I noted that recovery from severe financial crises are protracted affairs, as it takes time for households and firms to work down the debts accumulated during the boom. At the same time, banks, faced with a surge in nonperforming loans and compromised balance sheets, may be unable or hesitant to engage in new lending.

Delays in cleaning up balance sheets are among the factors that impede recovery and make post-crisis recoveries different from typically sharper business-cycle rebounds.

In a follow-up study, we documented the trajectory of per capita income following the 100 worst financial crises since the 1860s. We found that it took a little more than seven years, on average, for the advanced economies (as they are defined today) to reach the pre-crisis level of income; the median recovery took about six years.

The decline in per capita income from its peak at the onset of the crisis to its trough at the recession’s bottom averaged about 9.6% for this group. Crisis-related output collapses for emerging markets were worse.

Managing Debt in an Overleveraged World
By Michael Spence

Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Academic Board Chairman of the Asia Global Institute in Hong Kong, and Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on New Growth Models.

MILAN – What ever happened to deleveraging? In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis, austerity and balance-sheet repair have been the watchwords of the global economy. And yet today, more than ever, debt is fueling concern about growth prospects worldwide.

The McKinsey Global Institute, in a study of post-crisis debt trends, notes that gross debt has increased about $60 trillion – or 75% of global GDP – since 2008. China’s debt, for example, has increased fourfold since 2007, and its debt-to-GDP ratio is some 282% – higher than in many other major economies, including the United States.

A global economy that is levering up, while unable to generate enough aggregate demand to achieve potential growth, is on a risky path. But to assess how risky, several factors must be considered.

First, one must consider the composition of the debt across sectors (household, government, non-financial corporate, and the financial sector). After all, distress in these sectors has very different effects on the broader economy.

As it turns out, economies with similar and relatively high levels of gross debt relative to GDP exhibit sharp differences when it comes to the composition of the debt. Excessive household debt is particularly risky, because a shock in the price of assets (especially real estate) translates quickly into reduced consumption, as it weakens growth, employment, and investment. Recovery from such a shock is a long process.

3 Things: Earnings Update, GDP, Recession Driver
By Lance Roberts

Earnings Are Beating Estimates Like Crazy

In a not so surprising outcome, the number of companies beating earnings estimates currently is above the 12-quarter average. Via Zacks Research:

“While growth remains problematic, actual results are turning out to be less bad relative to the low levels to which estimates had fallen ahead of this reporting cycle. More companies are coming out with positive surprises for both earnings as well as revenues.”

“Total earnings for the 209 S&P 500 members that have reported results are down -5.5% from the same period last year on -1.6% lower revenues, with 75.6% beating EPS estimates and 56% coming ahead of top-line expectations.”

So, this is all good news and a reason to buy stocks, right? Not so fast.

The problem, as shown in the chart above, is that the pace of growth in earnings is far weaker than previous averages. Furthermore, while Wall Street will point to the “beat rate” as a reason why the current “bull market” is still intact, it has been a function of excessively low expectations.

The problem is that expectations for the second half of the year are still overly optimistic. 

""***GLOBAL Debt***""!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The Coming CORRECTION "IS" going to be Fricking BRUTAL.......................SELL While YOU Can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Defense bill would require women to register for draft
By Rebecca Kheel

Women would have to register for the draft under an amendment added to an annual defense bill Wednesday.

“If we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, then we should support a universal conscription,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said.

The House Armed Services Committee voted 32-30 to include the amendment in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Congress has been debating what to do about the draft since Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened up all combat jobs to women late last year.

In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that women did not have to register for the draft because combat jobs were closed to them.

With that reason now moot, some lawmakers have argued women should now register. Others want women to remain exempt, while still others say this is the opportune time to abolish the draft altogether.

As originally drafted, the NDAA would have asked the Pentagon to conduct a study on the matter and would not have taken a position.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the committee, said he believes Congress needs answers on the benefits of and alternatives to the current draft system before making a decision.

But Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who is opposed to women in combat and in the draft, offered the amendment to force discussion on the issue. He introduced a standalone bill earlier this year for the same reason. 


WW3 Scenario: Russia Prepares Tactical Electromagnetic Combat Systems
BY Precious Silva

Rssia doesn’t want to fall short on military technology as it appears to be exploring more capabilities. The country is now looking into tactical electromagnetic combat systems which could otherwise affect how it its forces can stand up to other world powers. Is Russia truly gearing up for some kind of world war?

There are now reports that Moscow’s electronic warfare equipment producer has conducted tests of a tactical electromagnetic combat complex fully integrated with latest air-defense systems. What’s even more interesting is that the system can supposedly neutralize all enemy electronics is necessary.

According to a report from RT, the components of the new system are already underway – currently in factory testing. Once the new system is in place, it can protect civilian and military facilities from any air or space attacks. Representative from Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET), Russia’s leading producer of electronic warfare systems, confirmed the matter to the press. The tests should conclude at the latter part of 2016.

The source explained that the new system, when integrated with air defense networks and systems, “maintains automated real-time intelligence data exchange with the airspace defense task force” that can manage centralized target distribution. Furthermore, this will give Russia the capacity to suppress or stop current or any potential airborne electronic equipment. This gives Moscow the power to stop aircrafts and satellites from doing anything or succeeding in their mission. 


WW3 Scenario: Vladimir Putin's Nuclear Attack Submarines Are Ready

Russia’s submarine force has been asleep for around twenty years devoid of missions and funds. Not anymore. According to reports, Vladimir Putin is breathing life into the program once more and it may just shake up world powers like the United States.

It was just recently that reports cited Russian attack submarines seen along the coastlines of Scotland, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean Sea. The reports came in light of Russia’s long absence when it comes to underwater technology which also gave many NATO members a certain amount of ease to abandon or draw down on their anti-submarine warfare. While submarine concerns were parked for years, a steady uptick in Russian submarine activity could be seen.

According to CNN, the concrete and major changes in its fleet came following Russia’s announcement of its $670 billion modernization program. Moscow is refurbishing its nuclear attack submarines to modernize capabilities and go back to patrol again. Additionally, there are also new generations of ballistic missile submarines now sent to the Northern Pacific which is igniting Russia’s presence underwater.

As Michael Kofman wrote: “A much more sophisticated, and supposedly quieter, nuclear attack submarine class is soon to become operational, with its lead ship still undergoing sea trials. This more silent generation of submarines, called the Yasen class, stands to make a large dent in the technological edge of the U.S. Navy, and it is this sub in particular that has Western defense officials nervous.”

As if in anticipation of the possible war, Global Research reported that US President Barack Obama is also asking EU for support against Russia. Specifically, Obama is “demanding the active deployment of the Bundeswehr [Germany’s armed forces, including their Army, Navy, and Air Force] to NATO’s eastern borders” at Balistics republics and Poland. Additionally, it was reported that Obama planned on hosting a “summit meeting” in Hannover Germany last April 25 with the leaders of Germany (Angela Merkel), Italy (Matteo Renzi), France (Francois Hollande), and Britain (David Cameron). The assumed goal is to set up military forces that could threaten Russia. 


Russian Warplane Flies Within 50 Feet of U.S. Spy Plane in Asia

Latest aerial encounter occurred near new Russian missile sub
By Bill Gertz

A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week, Moscow’s latest aerial saber-rattling against American ships and planes, according to defense officials.

“On April 21, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol reconnaissance aircraft flying a routine mission in international airspace was intercepted by a MiG-31 Russian jet in the vicinity of the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Free Beacon.

Benham said the intercept was “characterized as safe and professional.”

“Intercepts between the United States and other militaries occur often and the vast majority are professional,” he noted. “For intercepts that are deemed unprofessional, the U.S. takes appropriate measures through military and diplomatic channels.”

A defense official familiar with the MiG-31 intercept said the jet flew within 50 feet of the P-8, a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

The incident took place near the Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a port located on the southeastern end of the peninsula.

Kamchatka is Russia’s main military hub in the Pacific and the focus of a buildup of Russian military forces that Moscow has said is intended to match the U.S. military rebalance to Asia.

Several military bases are located there, along with a major naval base. The peninsula is also the main impact range for Russian missile flight tests launched from the central part of the country.

The latest aerial incident involving a Russian jet followed two dangerous encounters over the Baltic Sea last week. 


South China Sea WW3 Scenario: China To Send Nuclear Ships, Japan Patrols Philippine Waters
BY Precious Silva

Tensions are not letting up in the South China Sea region as countries like Japan and China mull over the use of warships and nuclear technologies. Japan just sent a warship to the Philippines for a visit while Bejijing is reportedly sending nuclear warships in the disputed region despite tensions.

It was reported previously that China is gearing up to build nuclear plants in the South China Sea. This has prompted concerns on national security and the environment but the country seems unfazed with the opposition to its territorial ambitions.

According to The Daily Mail, the first of the nuclear ships are presently being assembled in Huludao, Liaoning, north-east China. These ships could eventually offer energy to the artificial islands in the region – as reported by People’s Daily Online. This has sparked concerns that if China succeeds in deploying such then the country would find it even easier to assume command over the disputed region. The report also added that the announcement came after expert review of specialists from Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC).

How the deployment spells for the rest of the dispute will be determined once China gets everything into play. 


China to send fleet of nuclear power ships worth £300 MILLION each to South China Sea amid mounting political tensions

  • Vessels to provide clean power to remote islands, says company in charge 
  • Ambitious plan to base boats in area contested by Philippines and Vietnam
  • China awaits UN ruling on centuries-old claims to 'nine-dash line' region
By Gabriel Samuels

A Chinese company is to build a fleet of floating nuclear plants costing £318 million each in the politically-contested South China Sea, amid concerns over risks to both the surrounding environment and national security.

The vessels, the first of which is currently being assembled in Huludao, Liaoning, north-east China, could provide energy to the man-made islands in the area, according to People's Daily Online.

The decision has prompted worries that, with a fleet of nuclear power plants, China could more easily command authority over the sizable region that is also claimed by south-east Asian nations including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The announcement was made last week during an expert review by industry specialists from Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC).

The CSIC 719 Research Institute, established two years ago to develop maritime nuclear platforms, said the new fleet will have a range of civilian and industrial uses - from powering rescue equipment to aiding seawater purification.

However it is thought the ships' main purpose will be to provide power to the controversial artificial islands in the disputed region, particularly those recently built in the Spratly archipelago, called the Nansha islands by the Chinese.

Who owns what? The region enclosed by the 'nine-dash line' has been claimed by China for centuries 

Blinken: 'China's Objective' Is Control of the Entire South China Sea
By Susan Jones

( - "I just want to ask you this, if you agree with this line," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday: "China's consistently pursuing a single, long-term strategy with the effective control of the entire South China Sea as its ultimate goal."

"Yes," Blinken responded, "I think that is China's objective."

Rubio noted that the latest flashpoint in the South China Sea, where China is building artificial islands for military purposes, is a shoal located 120 nautical miles off the Philippines, where the U.S. has military bases of its own.

China reportedly is moving to build another island on the shoal, even as a United Nations tribunal moves closer to a decision on the Philippines' complaint that China's seizure of the shoal violates international law. A ruling on the dispute is expected very soon. 

Lawmakers to White House: Get Tough With Beijing Over South China Sea
By Dan De Luce

Dismayed at China’s tactics in the South China Sea, U.S. senators from both parties on Wednesday demanded the White House show more resolve with Beijing and ratchet up U.S. naval patrols near disputed islands in the strategic waterway.

With President Barack Obama due to travel to Vietnam next month, four senators introduced legislation that calls for bolstering security assistance to allies in Southeast Asia and expanding U.S. military operations meant to uphold the right of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

“For too long as China continues its aggressive and expansive policies, the United States has played the role of observer, or perhaps protestor, but not yet actor,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a statement announcing the bill.

Over the past two years, China has aggressively moved to expand its territorial claims in the South China Sea, a hugely important waterway rich in resources and a highway for trillions of dollars in trade. Chinese tactics have included coercion of other states, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as the installation of advanced military hardware on disputed reefs and atolls hundreds of miles from the Chinese coast.

The Obama administration has consistently called for China to respect international law and forswear coercion, but to little avail. Last fall, Chinese president Xi Jinping promised in a visit to Washington to halt so-called “militarization” of the region, but instead has only ramped up the dispatch of advanced radars, air defense systems, and even military aircraft to islands claimed by neighboring states.

The broader U.S.-China relationship, which requires cooperation on issues ranging from the global economy to North Korea, makes it hard for Washington to push back too hard on Beijing’s moves in the region — but that tread-softly approach is wearing thin with lawmakers.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday featuring Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, some lawmakers blasted the administration’s policies on the South China Sea as weak and lackluster. 

Doing the THINGS Needed to Prepare for WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

World War III Has Begun
By Paul Craig Roberts

The Third World War is currently being fought. How long before it moves into its hot stage?

Washington is currently conducting economic and propaganda warfare against four members of the five bloc group of countries known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Brazil and South Africa are being destabilized with fabricated political scandals. Both countries are rife with Washington-financed politicians and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Washington concocts a scandal, sends its political agents into action demanding action against the government and its NGOs into the streets in protests.

Washington tried this against China with the orchestrated Hong Kong “student protest.” Washington hoped that the protest would spread into China, but the scheme failed. Washington tried this against Russia with the orchestrated protests against Putin’s reelection and failed again.

To destablilze Russia, Washington needs a firmer hold inside Russia. In order to gain a firmer hold, Washington worked with the New York mega-banks and the Saudis to drive down the oil price from over $100 per barrel to $30. This has put pressure on Russian finances and the ruble. In response to Russia’s budgetary needs, Washington’s allies inside Russia are pushing President Putin to privatize important Russian economic sectors in order to raise foreign capital to cover the budget deficit and support the ruble. If Putin gives in, important Russian assets will move from Russian control to Washington’s control.

In my opinion, those who are pushing privatization are either traitors or completely stupid. Whichever it is, they are a danger to Russia’s independence.

QE4 is coming...and it could fund the next Cold War: Analyst
By Matt Clinch

After years of central banks propping up the financial system and easing the borrowing conditions of national governments, one analyst has predicted that the next big wave of cash flooding an economy could come from increased military spending.

"Simple idea, what if (the next round of quantitative easing) shows up in the form of defense spending? And, I think we are seeing that," Pippa Malmgren, the founder of consultancy DRPM, told CNBC Wednesday.

Malmgren - who served on President George W Bush's National Economic Council as an adviser on financial market issues - said that NATO, China, the U.S. and Europe had all hiked the budgets for their military. Europe, she added, had done so because of "the perception of (an) increasing threat from Russia."

"It's all occurring in sectors that have other businesses like space, cyberspace and things to do with the high seas. So we should watch those areas, it's a bit of a scary notion I realize but it's a danger that we drift into a new Cold War kind of environment and the spending comes in the form of defense," she said.

The U.S. Federal Reserve started aggressively expanding its balance sheet shortly after the global financial crash of 2008, in a program that became known as QE 1. After a short break, the Fed started a second program in 2010, before launching its third open-ended $85 billion-a-month program in late 2012. 

Economic WARfare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

China and Russia to Increase Number of Military Exercises in 2016

The Chinese and Russian defense ministers agreed to hold more joint military drills in 2016 than in previous last years.
By Franz-Stefan Gady

China and Russia are planning to deepen military cooperation and increase the number of joint military exercises in 2016, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Chinese counterpart, State Councilor and Defense Minister Gen Chang Wanquan, said in a meeting in Moscow on April 27, TASS reports.

“We highly appreciate a high level of Russian-Chinese contacts both at the state and defense levels. This year we are going to hold more exercises and events than in the past years,” the Russian defense minister said. ”Here I would like to underscore that we will conduct both ground and naval exercises,” Shoigu added. “Certainly, the aim is to strengthen mutually beneficial relations of partnership.”

The largest scheduled Sino-Russian military exercise this year will be the Joint Sea-2016 naval drill, hosted by China.

Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan, who is in Moscow to attend the Fifth Moscow International Security Conference, emphasized that “opinions should be shared and watches synchronized.” In addition, he stated:

Russia, China set to increase joint exercises in 2016 — Russia’s defense minister

The Russian defense minister is hopeful that Russia and China will hold meaty talks at the 5th Moscow International Security Conference on bilateral cooperation in defense and technology

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. Russia and China have plans to increase joint exercises in 2016, Defense Minister Gen Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday at a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Gen Chang Wanquan.

"We highly appreciate a high level of Russian-Chinese contacts both at the state and defense levels. This year we are going to hold more exercises and events than in the past years," Shoigu said.

"Here I would like to underscore that we will conduct both ground and naval exercises," he went on to say. "Certainly, the aim is to strengthen mutually beneficial relations of partnership."

The Russian defense minister is hopeful that Russia and China will hold meaty talks at the 5th Moscow International Security Conference on bilateral cooperation in defense and technology.

Also, Gen Chang Wanquan suggested that "opinions should be shared and watches synchronized" in military cooperation.

Wary Of Russia, Military Buildups Increase In Poland, Ukraine As Central, Eastern European States Beef Up Security
By Lydia Tomkiw

After the first NATO-Russia Council meeting since the height of fighting in Ukraine failed to create any breakthroughs last week, Central and Eastern European states are beefing up regional security despite comments from the Kremlin on Tuesday that Russia still wants to develop good relations, Tass reported.

“Talking about who presents a threat for whom, I think we should probably not forget about frequent statements that we have heard over the last years from Brussels, from the headquarters, from NATO leaders, that they consider Russia as a threat,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “Such statements are not only limited to words; we see real steps aimed at building up military potential, moving this military potential closer to the Russian border.”

Peskov was responding to comments from U.S. President Barack Obama that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the military and political alliance as a threat to Russian power. Speaking in Germany on Monday with CBS News, Obama urged European Union and NATO members to increase their security spending.

“I’ve indicated to [Putin] that, in fact, a strong, unified Europe working with a strong, outward-looking Russia — that’s the right recipe,” Obama said. “So far, he has not been entirely persuaded.” 

NATO Must Strengthen Its Front Line Against Russia

Poland and Latvia's former defense ministers have their say.
By Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Imants Liegis and Elisabeth Braw

On his visit to Estonia just before the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales, President Barack Obama stressed the importance of collective defense. “The defense of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London,” he said.

The Wales Summit set up a process of enhancing allied presence in NATO’s central and eastern European frontline states. Important assurance measures outlined in Wales have begun to be implemented, resulting in improved regional security on NATO’s eastern flank. Some very concrete practical measures have already been undertaken, including the formation of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) to respond to possible hostile actions like those that took place in Crimea or the Donbass region, and allied forces have been dispatched on a rotational basis to central and eastern territories. Small integration units have been established with regional and non-regional forces working side-by-side on the ground.

In addition, eastern-flank countries are increasing their defense spending and capabilities to meet the 2 percent commitment given at the Wales Summit. Latvia’s defense spending, at 1.4% of GDP this year, will increase to 2 percent by 2018. Poland, in turn, will spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense this year, an increase of 9.4 percent over last year. According to IHS Jane’s statistics, central and eastern Europe has replaced the Middle East as the region with the fastest-growing defense budgets.

However, despite increased defense spending and practical reassurance measures taken by allies during the last few years, territorial defense still requires a long-term allied presence in the region.

The upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit should not only take stock of what has been done so far. Given that the threat of an attack on NATO members has not diminished, the summit should also move from strategic reassurance to defense and credible deterrence. Following terrorist attacks last year, France remains in a state of emergency—a reminder of threats to European allies emanating from the wider Middle East region. Russia’s ongoing aggressive actions continued during 2015, and are now affecting the security of Turkey.

China Tests New Weapon Capable of Breaching US Missile Defense Systems

China Tests New Weapon Capable of Breaching US Missile Defense Systems

Beijing has successfully tested a new hypersonic missile.
By Franz-Stefan Gady

Last week, China has yet again successfully tested the developmental DF-ZF (previously known as WU-14) hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), Bill Gertz over at The Washington Free Beacon reveals.

The test of the high-speed maneuvering warhead took place at the Wuzhai missile test center in central China’s Shanxi Province, some 250 miles (400 kilometers) southwest of Beijing.

“The maneuvering glider, traveling at several thousand miles per hour, was tracked by satellites as it flew west along the edge of the atmosphere to an impact area in the western part of the country,” Gertz reports.

China has now tested the new weapon a total of seven times. The last launch of the DF-ZF– an ultra-high-speed missile purportedly capable of penetrating U.S. air defense systems based on interceptor missiles–occurred in November in November 2015 (See: “China Tests New Hypersonic Weapon”).

The DF-ZF HGV can allegedly reach speeds between Mach 5 and Mach 10, or 6,173 kilometers (3,836 miles) per hour and 12,359 kilometers (7,680 miles) per hour. I previously explained the sequence of a DF-ZF HGV launch:

The DF-ZF warhead is carried to the boundary between space and Earth’s atmosphere, approximately 100 km above the ground, by a large ballistic missile booster.

Once it reaches that height, it begins to glide in a relatively flat trajectory by executing a pull-up maneuver and accelerates to speeds of up to Mach 10.

The gliding phase enables the HGV not only to maneuver aerodynamically – performing evasive actions and evading interception – but also extends the range of the missile.

U.S. defense officials confirmed in June 2015 that the DF-ZF performed “extreme maneuvers” during a flight test. 

China successfully tests nuclear-capable hypersonic missile – Pentagon sources

© Wikipedia

China successfully carried out a flight test of its state-of-the-art high-speed maneuvering warhead last week, sources in the Pentagon said. The trial took place just days after a hypersonic glider was reportedly tested by Russia.

The DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was launch on Friday by a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai site in central China, unnamed US military officials told the Washington Free Beacon website.

The maneuvering glider was tracked by American satellites as it was traveling at the speed of several thousand kilometers per hour along the edge of the atmosphere towards an impact area in the west of the country, the sources said.

It was the seventh air trial of the Chinese glide vehicle, with six previous tests conducted in 2014 and 2015 also having been successful. 

China Successfully Tests Hypersonic Missile

Seventh test of new DF-ZF glider tracked over northern China
By Bill Gertz

China successfully flight tested its new high-speed maneuvering warhead last week, days after Russia carried out its own hypersonic glider test, according to Pentagon officials.

The test of the developmental DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was monitored after launch Friday atop a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai missile launch center in central China, said officials familiar with reports of the test.

The maneuvering glider, traveling at several thousand miles per hour, was tracked by satellites as it flew west along the edge of the atmosphere to an impact area in the western part of the country.

It was the seventh successful flight test of the revolutionary glider, which travels at speeds between 4,000 and 7,000 miles per hour.

U.S. intelligence officials have assessed that China plans to use the glider to deliver nuclear weapons through increasingly sophisticated missile defenses. The DF-ZF also could be used as part of a conventional strategic strike weapon capable of hitting targets around the world within an hour.

Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban declined to comment on the latest DF-ZF flight test. “But we do monitor Chinese military modernization carefully,” Urban said.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower, said China’s hypersonic missile tests are a concern.

“China’s repeated test of a hypersonic glide vehicle demonstrates Beijing is committed to upending both the conventional military and nuclear balance, with grave implications for the stability of Asia,” Forbes told the Washington Free Beacon.

Russia Tests Hypersonic Glide Vehicle on Missile

Bill Gertz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

North Korea’s Missile Threat: No Longer Crying Wolf

By the time Seoul and Washington finally act on Pyongyang, it could be too late.
By Elaine Ramirez

North Korea stepped up its quest for nuclear prowess over the weekend with the launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). As could be expected, the move invited international criticism, with the U.N. Security Council condemning the launch as “yet another serious violation” of UNSC resolutions restricting Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

It is impossible not to sense the global exasperation at the repeated North Korean provocations and condemnations that lead to nowhere, only to see the cycle continuously repeat itself. Experts say the United States and South Korea must do more than look down their noses at the North — they must take action to prevent further advances in North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.

Park Hwee-rhak, a political science professor at Kookmin University, assesses that this week’s showing is about three times more serious than North Korea’s 2013 nuclear test. Despite the country’s weak economy, military progress has accelerated under Kim Jong-un in comparison to the gains made under his late father, the longtime strongman Kim Jong-il. South Korea’s Ministry of Defense predicted the North would have an operational SLBM in three to four years, which it shortened to two to three years after the latest showing, but many experts, including Park, believe it could be one to two years or even less.

Yet public apathy and political pussyfooting create a toxic environment that is reinforcing attitudes of hesitation and inaction, experts say. Continuing to nudge the issue under the rug only makes the problem worse for future generations.

“The most dangerous thing is that the South Korean people and the U.S. military are getting immune to the emergence of new threats from North Korea,” says Park. He adds that they like to think that North Korean threats are a show for domestic purposes to consolidate public support under Kim’s flaunted military muscle, but no one wants to believe Pyongyang’s intentions to “unify” the Koreas with nuclear weapons.

The North’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology still lacks the capability reach the United States, says Park, but the submarine-launched ballistic missile, which Park says is relatively easy to develop, could put the U.S. mainland in danger in as little as one to two years.

Park says North Korea is using its missiles to drive a wedge into the South Korea-U.S. alliance, with the ultimate aim of isolating South Korea and “unifying” the Koreas through nuclear weapons. North Korea is trying to force the United States to question its priorities — should Washington keep its word that it would protect the South unconditionally or defend its territory despite the threat of an attack on the U.S. mainland? 

China's Maritime Expansion Big Worry for the World, Says Japan
By Aiswarya Lakshmi

Japan says its concerns over China's military buildup in the South and East China Seas are shared by many other countries. The issue is expected to be discussed at upcoming talks between the two countries, says a report in Reuters.
"Honestly speaking, not only the Japanese people but also states of the Asia-Pacific region and the international community have big worries," Kishida said.

China has shown a "fast-paced and opaque increase in military spending, and unilateral actions to change the status quo in the East and South China seas."

Ties between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have long been plagued by a territorial dispute, regional rivalry and the legacy of Japan’s World War Two aggression.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters, through which about $5 trillion (£3.46 trillion) in trade is shipped every year.

Beijing, meanwhile, has opposed Tokyo’s “interference” in the South China Sea issue, urging Japan, which is not a claimant in the dispute, to refrain from entering the debate.

China will establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometres (143 miles) off the Philippine coast, the South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the People’s Liberation Army as saying. 

Storm clouds gather over South China Sea ahead of key U.N. ruling
By Simon Denyer

BEIJING — Signs that China may be contemplating another bout of island-building in the South China Sea ahead of an important U.N. ruling on the issue have provoked the United States to step up its vigilance in the region in recent days.

Twice last week, and again Tuesday, the U.S. Pacific Command said it sent warplanes close to Scarborough Shoal, a triangular chain of coral reefs, sand and rocks close to the Philippines coast. In Beijing, the response was sharp.

The shoal is the latest point of friction between China and the United States and nations that ring the South China Sea over Beijing’s moves to build maritime outposts and other installations that could have a potential military use.

“Thunderclouds are gathering over the South China Sea, and China is the lightning rod,” said Carlyle Thayer, emeritus professor of politics at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

China seized Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012 and appears to be considering whether to build an artificial island there, experts say. It has already constructed or reclaimed seven islands in the nearby Spratly chain.

Work on the shoal would be another major step in China’s apparent drive to cement long-term control of the South China Sea and would significantly heighten regional tensions. It would also bring China’s military close to U.S. military bases in the Philippines. 

Scarborough Shoal: A Red Line for the Philippine-U.S. Military Alliance?
By Jay Batongbacal

As U.S. defense secretary Ashton Carter visited the Philippines at the end of the annual Balikatan military exercises between the Philippines and the United States, anxiety was quietly building over the possibility that China would create a new artificial island on Scarborough Shoal, very close to Manila. Such an undertaking would come as the Philippines experiences a transition in political leadership via presidential elections in May. Despite hopes in Manila, Carter did not offer an official assurance of U.S. assistance in preventing Scarborough from being permanently taken over by China, though his visit, which included a trip with Philippine defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin to a U.S. aircraft carrier transiting the South China Sea, was intended to signal Washington’s commitment to the alliance.

The general U.S. policy of neutrality on questions of sovereignty over South China Sea land features was originally established in the 1930s in response to Japan’s pre-war annexation of the Paracel and Spratly islands. But Scarborough Shoal was treated separately and very differently from those island groups up until the 1990s. Unlike the Paracels and Spratlys, Scarborough was among the territories transferred by the United States to the Philippines upon the latter’s independence, though the shoal was not widely known. The 1900 Treaty of Washington between Spain and the United States clarified that any and all territories administered by Spain as part of the Philippine Islands, even if they were located outside the original 1898 Treaty of Paris lines circumscribing the Philippine archipelago, were ceded to Washington. The United States took over Spain’s administration of Scarborough for purposes of safety of navigation, fishing, research, search, rescue, and salvage activities. In 1938, upon official inquiries, the U.S. Department of State recognized that the United States acquired title to the shoal from Spain on the basis of the 1900 treaty, and subsequently allowed Scarborough’s transfer to the Philippines with concurrence of the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Commerce. (See primary documents)

China to build on disputed Scarborough Shoal this year: Report

Beijing will start construction this year on a South China Sea islet within the Philippines’ claimed exclusive economic zone as it seeks to project its power in the disputed waters, Hong Kong media reported Monday.

China will establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometres (143 miles) off the Philippine coast, the South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the People’s Liberation Army as saying.

Beijing claims nearly all the strategically vital sea, despite competing claims from several Southeast Asian neighbors, and in recent months it has developed contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with airstrips.

Manila claims Scarborough Shoal but says China took effective control of it in 2012, stationing patrol vessels in the area and shooing away Filipino fishermen, after a two-month stand-off with the Philippine Navy.

The SCMP cited the source as saying construction at the outpost would allow Beijing to “further perfect” its air coverage across the South China Sea, suggesting it plans to build an airstrip.

At a regular press briefing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she was not aware of the report but the area was China’s “inherent territory”. 

South China Sea: The fight China will take to the brink of war
By Peter Hartcher
Sydney Morning Herald political and international editor

The world's two greatest powers are competing for military dominance of the western Pacific Ocean and the contest is about to intensify. The US and China are each jockeying for advantage as they anticipate a quickening in a struggle that "has the potential to escalate into one of the deadliest conflicts of our time, if not history", according to Malaysia's Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein.

An important ruling from the International Court of Justice in the Hague is expected in the weeks ahead. It will rule on a claim by a US ally, the Philippines, to sovereignty over reefs that are also claimed by China. Most experts expect the ruling, due by the end of June, will favour the Philippines. Beijing has warned it will not recognise the court's jurisdiction.

The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that, if the court ruled against it, Beijing would accelerate plans to build an artificial island around one of the reefs at the heart of the dispute, Scarborough Shoal. The shoal is 230kilometres from the Philippines coast and 1020kilometres from China's. 

Is China Gearing up for Another 'People's War'?

China is urging average citizens to join the fight to defend national security.
By Shannon Tiezzi

On July 1, 2015, China adopted its National Security Law. At the time, most media coverage focused on the areas of the law that had come under fire from concerned foreign governments (most notably the potential for restrictions on foreign investment and the effect on China’s already narrow space for free expression). One particular aspect of the law went largely unheeded, until last week: Article 14 establishes April 15 as “national security education day.”

Accordingly, last Friday was marked with a new propaganda push designed to educate citizens on the national security threats lurking in their midst. “Pamphlets, posters and animations have been distributed in government organizations, schools, businesses, and housing complexes,” Xinhua reported, all for the goal of “raising awareness of national security among the public.”

President Xi Jinping himself issued instructions urging China to “enhance people’s national security awareness.” In addition to his titles of president and the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi also chairs the recently created National Security Commission (NSC), which apparently provided the inspiration for the April 15 date. The NSC held its first official meeting on April 15, 2014.

China’s “national security education day” is best understood as part of an ongoing emphasis on national security, which began in earnest with Xi’s ascension to the CPC’s top position. The creation of the National Security Commission was announced at the 2013 Third Plenum, the first major Party meeting after Xi assumed control. Six months later, the NSC held its first meeting. By January 2015, China’s Politburo had adopted a new national security strategy. And this year, China’s new Five Year Plan contained an entire chapter on “Building a National Security System.”

These moves are all linked by a common narrative: China as a nation faces unprecedented threats and challenges; strong CPC leadership (and, implicitly, leadership by Xi in particular) is the only way for China to safely weather the current storms; the CPC will thus expand its ability to guard against national security threats.

In China, the question of national security focuses on maintaining Party control and leadership first and foremost. As Xinhua put it just after the passage of the National Security Law, “The new law covers almost every aspect of public life in China. Its mandate includes politics, defense, finance, environment, cyberspace and even culture and religion.” That means, in turn, that the CPC is legally equipped to define acceptable behavior in all those spheres – the law is as much about preventing “negative cultural influences” (Chapter II, Article 23) as it is about improving China’s border, coastal, and air defenses (Chapter II, Article 17).

China Military!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Russia Military!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

North Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

""GLOBAL War"" before the END of this DECADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Defending Europe’s Eastern Flank

Legislative Perspectives, and Readiness and Deterrence: 

Defence Intelligence: Russia aims at seizing Ukraine's southern regions

So called paratroopers' drills unfold close to the administrative border

Russia is elaborating the invasion of southern Ukrainian continental territories. As Ukraine's Defence Ministry reported, Russian military troops are currently conducting so called drills on the occupied Crimean peninsula.

"Russian soldiers have been noticed close to Dzhankoy in northern Crimea. During the exercise, the soldiers attempt the seizure of strategically important objects since the geographical conditions precisely correspond to the environment of Kherson and Mykolayiv regions which is southern Ukraine," stated Ukraine's Defence Intelligence. They also added the Russian paratroopers tried out parachute landing for further capturing and detaining the imaginary enemies. 

What the West Should Do Next in Ukraine

A New Attempt to Resolve the Ukraine Conflict
By Marieluise Beck and Ralf Fücks

The diplomatic efforts of the West to find a political solution to the Ukraine conflict have reached an impasse. Implementation of the terms of the Minsk agreement—far-reaching autonomous rights for the Donbas in return for a withdrawal of Russian arms and troops, the holding of regional elections under international supervision, and Ukrainian control of the border with Russia—has come to a standstill.

Not even the exchange of prisoners is proceeding. There are continual violations of the ceasefire, and every day brings new reports by the Ukrainian army of deaths and injuries. Russian weapons and fighters continue to flood into the Donbas, and the OSCE monitoring mission is regularly impeded by the separatists. Around 1.5 million people have fled the occupied areas. Reports coming out of Donetsk and Luhansk suggest that the areas are ruled by brute force. Mercenaries line their pockets, and behind the Potemkin-like facade of the “People’s Republics,” Russian officers and advisors hold sway.

Up to now, the German government and the EU have avoided plain speaking—not because they did not know what was going on, but because they wanted to leave the door open for Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw from the affair without loss of face. Their aim was to mediate, not to take sides. This indecisive position has left room for Russian propaganda and makes it difficult to win support for Ukraine among the European public. In this regard, the Dutch referendum is a warning sign.

Yet Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine is plain for all to see. Its first act was the so-called “voluntary annexation” of Crimea, and the second was the war in eastern Ukraine. As it did from the outset of “Operation Crimea,” Russian leadership also played its role as a party to the war in the Donbas.

The most recent example in this respect was supplied by the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry. Following demands for the release of the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison in a show trial in Moscow, Maria Zakharova coolly declared that Russia was not part of the Minsk agreements and that the obligations arising from these agreements concerned only the two parties to the conflict—that is to say, Kyiv and the separatist republics. 

Russia's Lethal Military vs. America's Third Offset: Who Wins?
By James Hasik

As Inside Defense reported earlier this month, current events have the U.S. Army questioning its organization, wondering if it’s otherwise destined to be perennially late to the game.

The Russian Army, after all, has gotten rather good at showing up unannounced on short notice. It would be bad enough, as Sydney Freedberg wrote for our Art of Future Warfare project, to find “Tallinn Burning” with the Chinese simultaneously causing trouble. That’s because the really ugly anti-access problem, a former Pentagon official assured us the other day, would be getting back into Tallinn or Riga or Vilnius after a Russian invasion. So, as we should want to avoid needing to eject dug-in Russian troops from NATO territory, what more could be done? Rushing more troops forward faster may not be as useful as devising labor-saving means of seriously slowing the enemy’s advance. And the technical advances required to do that are entirely the sort of thing we should expect from the Pentagon’s Third Offset initiative.

The good news for this effort is that the Russian Army today is a small fraction of the size of the Red Army of the Cold War. Russia is also almost bereft of allies, as Belarus and that collection of frozen-conflict oblasts don’t really add much. Thus, NATO’s ground forces actually outnumber the Russians several times over. What NATO would seem to need is not more troops, but more troops forward, or that can get forward in a hurry. To be fair, the Balts themselves are increasing military spending, though slowly, as raising regiments takes time. The rest of NATO has been rotating small units in and out of the three republics. Last year’s ‘Dragoon Ride’ sent a squadron of 60 Stryker vehicles and 400 troops from the 2nd US Cavalry through Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, and some of those Strykers will soon be upgraded with 30 mm guns and Javelin missile launchers. Even more usefully, the U.S. Army is planning to send an armored brigade to eastern Europe—. But that won’t happen until February 2017, and even then, single brigades moving up from hundreds of miles back may not matter.

Ukraine....................Putin "IS" about to begin the Military Annexation of even MORE of Ukraine and the EU and NATO will do nothing but WATCH it Happen thanks to Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!