Negative interest rates are a creature of central banks and an indictment of their policies. From Thorsten Polleit at mises.org:
hose who had hoped that things could not get worse with the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) have been proven wrong. At its last meeting on 25 July 2019, the Governing Council of the ECB kept interest rates unchanged: the main refinancing rate was kept at 0.00% and the deposit rate at -0.40%. At the same time, however, ECB President Mario Draghi has prepared the ground to lower interest rates even further in the coming months. What is the reasoning behind that?
According to the ECB Governing Council, inflation is too low, and the euro area economy is too weak. It was precisely this assessment that signaled to the markets to expect a rate cut in the near future. It has now become very likely that the deposit rate will be lowered by 0.2 percentage points to -0.60% at the next ECB meeting in September; and the main refinancing rate could drop to -0.20%. The continued path into the negative interest world, however, has quite dramatic consequences.
The Essence of the Interest Rate
This becomes clear when considering what the interest rate stands for. In short, it represents the value discountthat a later satisfaction of a want suffers compared to an earlier satisfaction of the same want (under otherwise identical circumstances). The “pure” or “originary” interest rate is positive — always and everywhere. It cannot disappear, it cannot go to zero, let alone fall below the zero line; the logic of human action informs us that the pure interest rate cannot be thought away from human actions and values.
Why should the US should give Israel or any other nation the power to determine its foreign policy? From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Two world wars began because of unconditional pledges made by one country to come to assistance of another. On July 5, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany pledged his country’s complete support for whatever response Austria-Hungary would choose to make against Serbia after the June 28thassassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by a Serbian nationalist during an official visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia. This fatal error went down in history as Germany’s carte blanche or “blank check,” assurance to Austria that led directly to WW I.
In September 1939, World War II began when Great Britain and France came to the assistance of Poland after the German Army invaded, fulfilling a “guarantee” made in March of that year. What was a regional war, and one that might have been resolved through diplomacy, became global.
One would think that after such commitments were assessed by historians as the immediate causes of two world wars, no one would ever consider going down that road again. But that would be reckoning without Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who has been calling for a “defense treaty” with Israel since last April. In his most recent foray, Graham announced late in July that he is seeking bipartisan support for providing “blank check” assurances to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is hoping to be able to push a complete defense treaty through the Senate by next year.
If Jeffrey Epstein can allegedly have died in prison while supposedly every effort was being to prevent that, so too can Julian Assange. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:
he death of millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein behind bars should trigger “system-wide self-reflection” on how prisoners are treated. The Metropolitan Correctional Center “is sort of like an American gulag for people who have not been convicted of anything,” Epstein lawyer Marc Fernich said.
Epstein had at least some dirt on some high-powered people like Bill Clinton and he could very well be dead because he was going to talk.
And another person currently jailed for giving the American public information the United States government desperately wanted to keep secret, is Julian Assange. His health is failing and the highly dubious death of Jeffrey Epstein in a U.S. maximum-security prison is another strong reason not to extradite Assange into one.
Epstein’s death has gotten his lawyer to speak out about the conditions in American prisons, likening them to the gulags of the Soviet Union. MCC is “institutionally ill-equipped” to deal with someone like Epstein who wouldn’t last long in general population but who isn’t a hardened criminal, Fernich explained to RT. “This is one of the toughest pre-trial detention facilities in the country. And the conditions are inhumane.” Epstein, he insists, was “presumed innocent,” despite his 2008 conviction for soliciting underage prostitutes – part of a slap-on-the-wrist plea deal the fallout from which culminated in this year’s sex trafficking charges – and should not have been confined in such “barbaric” conditions.
But there is every reason to fear Assange is already in danger, in Belmarsh maximum-security prison, where he is currently incarcerated. Assange did the unthinkable. He exposed the government for what it really is: a corrupt authoritarian entity that firmly believes it has the right to enslave everyone else. Pressenza wrote: “The Establishment has conspired to reduce his ability to defend himself in court. I am not convinced it is not conspiring to destroy him.”
The media is admitting to the recession threat because we’re heading into a recession. From Brandon Smith at alternative-media.com:
One thing that is important to understand about the mainstream media is that they do tell the truth on occasion. However, the truths they admit to are almost always wrapped in lies or told to the public far too late to make the information useful. Dissecting mainstream media information and sifting out the truth from the propaganda is really the bulk of what the alternative media does (or should be doing). In the past couple of weeks I have received a rush of emails asking about the sudden flood of recession and economic crash talk in the media. Does this abrupt 180 degree turn by the MSM (and global banks) on the economy warrant concern? Yes, it does.
The first inclination of a portion of the liberty movement will be to assume that mainstream reports of imminent economic crisis are merely an attempt to tarnish the image of the Trump Administration, and that the talk of recession is “overblown”. This is partially true; Trump is meant to act as scapegoat, but this is not the big picture. The fact is, the pattern the media is following today matches almost exactly with the pattern they followed leading up to the credit crash of 2008. Make no mistake, a financial crash is indeed happening RIGHT NOW, just as it did after media warnings in 2007/2008, and the reasons why the MSM is admitting to it today are calculated.
Before we get to that, we should examine how the media reacted during the lead up to the crash of 2008.
Multiple mainstream outlets ignored all the crash signals in 2005 and 2006 despite ample warnings from alternative economists. In fact, they mostly laughed at the prospect of the biggest bull market in the history of stocks and housing (at that time) actually collapsing. Then abruptly the media and the globalist institutions that dictate how the news is disseminated shifted position and started talking about “recession” and “crash potential”. From the New York Times to The Telegraph to Reuters and others, as well as the IMF, BIS and Federal Reserve officials – Everyone suddenly started agreeing with alternative economists without actually deferring to them or giving them any credit for making the correct financial calls.
The US wants to bring China to heel; there’s no way China is going to allow that to happen. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Bayon temple, Angkor World Heritage site in Siem Reap, northern Cambodia. File pic by Bruno Morandi, Robert Harding Heritage / AFP
The ultimate American imperial dream is to engineer a Chinese vassal state
There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word
-Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower (immortalized by Jimi Hendrix)
Nothing beats the beguiling, stony smiles at the Bayon temple near Angkor Wat in Cambodia’s Siem Reap to plunge us back into history’s vortex, re-imagining how empires, in their endless pursuit of power, rise and fall, usually because they eventually get the very war they had sought to avoid.
The Bayon was built as a state temple at the end of the 12th century by the undisputed superstar of Khmer empires, Jayavarman VII. Its magical narrative reliefs convey a mix of history and mythology while depicting daily life in Khmer society.
We still don’t know today the identity of the faces shown on the temple’s giant stone carvings. They could be a representation of Brahma, or of Jayavarman himself – a practicing Buddhist. What we do know is that the glorious Khmer empire – incomparable in art and architecture, and even benign in the sense that the mandate for power was based on the king’s relationship with the gods, started to fade after the 15th century, dismembered by war against the Thai and later the Vietnamese.
Posted in banking, Business, Culture, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Trade, War
Tagged China, Financial warfare, Hong Kong, Hybrid War
Italian politics would be a tempest in a teapot except Italy is a significant part of the EU, it has a lot of debt, and its banking system is a mess. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
With the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte the future of Italy is now up in the air. There are many things that come into play with Conte resigning before the No-Confidence vote tabled by Lega Leader Matteo Salvini could take place.
The euro popped 40 pips, back above support at $1.11 on the news. The forex markets realize this was a Brussels-friendly move.
Conte didn’t want to chance getting voted out of office. That makes it difficult for President Sergei Mattarella to call for a new government without snap elections. The Italian Senate would have formally rebuked Mattarella’s compromise pick for Prime Minister, Conte.
Conte was there to effectively keep the children in line – Euroskeptics Lega and Five Star Movement (M5S). So, Conte used his time to take the bully pulpit and excoriate Salvini for twenty minutes. This gives the U.S. and European media plenty of chum to make their case against Salvini.
You will hear a lot about how non-partisan Conte did this for the sake of Italy to stop the mad, selfish and unprofessional Salvini from taking power.
It’s good political theater but it’s as disingenuous as the day is long and very much the truth. No one in power in Brussels wants what Salvini is selling. Not many in Rome do either.
Because had he not resigned Mattarella could have faced impeachment for not going to elections. He only relented to let M5S and Lega take power under that threat last year.
So Conte has set the stage for Mattarella to take charge again. They will put the veneer of legitimacy on this process to protect Italy from Salvini. In reality, the only people they are protecting are in Brussels.
Saudi Arabia’s inability to defeat tiny, poor Yemen blows a gaping hole in President Trump and Netanyahu’s Middle East strategy. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
It’s pretty clear. Saudi Arabia has lost, and, notes Bruce Riedel, “the Houthis and Iran are the strategic winners”. Saudi proxies in Aden – the seat of Riyadh’s Yemeni proto-‘government’ – have been turfed out by secular, former Marxist, southern secessionists. What can Saudi Arabia do? It cannot go forward. Even tougher would be retreat. Saudi will have to contend with an Houthi war being waged inside the kingdom’s south; and a second – quite different – war in Yemen’s south. MbS is stuck. The Houthi military leadership are on a roll, and disinterested – for now – in a political settlement. They wish to accumulate more ‘cards’. The UAE, which armed and trained the southern secessionists has opted out. MbS is alone, ‘carrying the can’. It will be messy.
So, what is the meaning in this? It is that MbS cannot ‘deliver’ what Trump and Kushner needed, and demanded from him: He cannot any more deliver the Gulf ‘world’ for their grand projects – let alone garner together the collective Sunni ‘world’ to enlist in a confrontation with Iran, or for hustling the Palestinians into abject subordination, posing as ‘solution’.
What happened? It seems that MbZ must have bought into the Mossad ‘line’ that Iran was a ‘doddle’. Under pressure of global sanctions, Iran would quickly crumble, and would beg for negotiations with Trump. And that the resultant, punishing treaty would see the dismantling of all of Iran’s troublesome allies around the region. The Gulf thus would be free to continue shaping a Middle East free from democracy, reformers and (those detested) Islamists.