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Analysis Topic: Politics & Social Trends

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Politics

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Fed and ECB Take the West back to when the Rich Owned Everything / Politics / Social Issues

By: Paul_Craig_Roberts

When the former Goldman Sachs executive who runs the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that he was going to print 720 billion euros annually with which to purchase bad debts from the politically connected big banks, the euro sank and the stock market and Swiss france shot up.  As in the US, quantitative easing (QE) serves to enrich the already rich. It has no other purpose.

The well-heeled financial institutions that bought up the troubled sovereign debt of Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain at low prices will now sell the bonds to the ECB for high prices. And despite depression level unemployment in most of Europe and austerity imposed on citizens, the stock market rose in anticipation that much of the 60 billion new euros that will be created each month will find its way into equity prices.  Liquidity fuels the stock market.

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Politics

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Washington's War on Russia / Politics / GeoPolitics

By: Paul_Craig_Roberts

Washington’s attack on Russia has moved beyond the boundary of the absurd into the realm of insanity.

The New Chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, has declared the Russian news service, RT, which broadcasts in multiple languages, to be a terrorist organization equivalent to Boko Haram and the Islamic State, and Standard and Poor’s just downgraded Russia’s credit rating to junk status.

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Politics

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lies And Deception In Ukraine's Energy Sector / Politics / Ukraine Civil War

By: OilPrice_Com

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly claimed it is doing its best to improve the oil and gas investment climate, but official statements are the opposite of the reality, as Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is leading the great deception.

According to Prime Minister Yatseniuk, Ukraine has taken a number of important steps to reform the energy sector, and has even achieved success in the formidable fight against rampant corruption, as well as signed open and transparent contracts for purchase of the natural gas from EU member states. Now he claims Ukraine is looking forward to Western companies' investment in Ukraine's gas transportation system.

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Politics

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Greek Vote Pushes EU to Limit / Politics / Euro-Zone

By: BATR

The resounding victory of Alexis Tsipras in the Greek election was certainly a referendum that rejected the austerity demands placed on Greece by the European Union. The Wall Street Journal says the following, in Syriza Win in Greek Election Sets Up New Europe Clash.

“A Syriza victory marks an astonishing upset of Europe’s political order, which decades ago settled into an orthodox centrism while many in Syriza describe themselves as Marxists. It emboldens the challenges of other radical parties, from the right-wing National Front in France to the newly formed left-wing Podemos party in Spain, and it sets Greece on a collision course with Germany and its other eurozone rescuers.”

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Politics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

France America And Religious Terror War / Politics / War on Terror

By: Andrew_McKillop

The Unique Nation Syndrome and Religion
Absolutely verboten for the mainstream media packaging "Islamic terror" for its dwindling consumer credulous faithfuls, the cult of The Unique Nation was custom built to conflict with the more aggressive of the so-called Abrahamic religions and especially with the youngest and most modern of these, Islam. Religion-building came a long time before what leading historians including Eric Hobsbawm call the "era of modern nationbuilding" which he places in the period about 1760-1790. This started with the creation or founding, by revolution, of the USA and modern France. It ended, according to Hobsbawm in the late 1980s for reasons we look at, below.

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Politics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The New Drivers of Europe's Geopolitics / Politics / Euro-Zone

By: STRATFOR

George Friedman writes: For the past two weeks, I have focused on the growing fragmentation of Europe. Two weeks ago, the murders in Paris prompted me to write about the fault line between Europe and the Islamic world. Last week, I wrote about the nationalism that is rising in individual European countries after the European Central Bank was forced to allow national banks to participate in quantitative easing so European nations wouldn't be forced to bear the debt of other nations. I am focusing on fragmentation partly because it is happening before our eyes, partly because Stratfor has been forecasting this for a long time and partly because my new book on the fragmentation of Europe — Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe — is being released today.

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Politics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Oil Prices Changing The Face Of Global Geopolitics / Politics / Crude Oil

By: OilPrice_Com

In a documentary that aired recently on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's popular The Fifth Estate program, an allegory of Vladimir Putin was presented. The wily Russian president was described growing up in a shabby St. Petersburg apartment, where he would often corner rats.

Now, punished by low oil prices and Western sanctions against Russian incursions in Ukraine/ Crimea, Putin is himself the cornered rat. Many wonder, and fear, what he will do if conditions in Russia become increasingly desperate.

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Politics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Alexis-The-Greek Can save Europe from Friedman Chicago-Boy Fascism / Politics / Euro-Zone

By: Andrew_Butter

The election of Alexis Tsipras is the best thing that happened to Greece in years. He is going to say “NO” to Milton Freidman “Shock” therapy, unless someone shoots him, which is a real possibility.

What’s wrong with Europe is that they wholeheartedly embraced the Chicago-Boy theories most recently tested by Milton Friedman’s prodigy, Donald Goering Rumsfeld, in Iraq. What a mess, and what a mess Europe is in thanks those ideas.

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Politics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It’s Not The Greeks Who Failed, It’s The EU / Politics / Eurozone Debt Crisis

By: Raul_I_Meijer

In what universe is it a good thing to have over half of the young people in entire countries without work, without prospects, without a future? And then when they stand up and complain, threaten them with worse? How can that possibly be the best we can do? And how much worse would you like to make it? If a flood of suicides and miscarriages, plummeting birth rates and doctors turning tricks is not bad enough yet, what would be?

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Politics

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ron Paul Warns Education is Too Important Not to Leave to the Marketplace / Politics / Education

By: Dr_Ron_Paul

This week, events around the country will highlight the importance of parental control of education as part of National School Choice Week. This year's events should attract more attention than prior years because of the growing rebellion against centralized education sparked by the federal Common Core curriculum.

The movement against Common Core has the potential to change American education. However, anti-Common Core activists must not be misled by politicians promoting "reforms" of the federal education bureaucracy, or legislation ending Common Core while leaving all other federal education programs intact. The only way to protect American children from future Common Core-like programs is to permanently padlock the Department of Education.

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Politics

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Closer Look At Ukraine Mariupol Crisis / Politics / Ukraine Civil War

By: STRATFOR

As the situation on the ground quiets down in the wake of the Jan. 24 barrage by Russian-allied forces near the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Stratfor is continuing the watch initiated by our Red Alert. We believe, at the very least, that Russia is keeping its option to mount an offensive open, and at most, is preparing to launch an offensive to secure its hold on the Crimean Peninsula.

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Politics

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Euro Crash: Why's Greece About To Exit Eurozone Taking Euro With It? / Politics / Eurozone Debt Crisis

By: DK_Matai

Pay close attention to Greece now.

1.    No austerity for posterity as the anti-bailout Syriza party extends its lead in the polls just before elections in Greece on Sunday.

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Politics

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Unjust and Undeclared Wars / Politics / US Politics

By: Submissions

Raymond Matison writes: The history of the human race and war seem inseparable.  For as long as history has been written, starting with etchings on clay tablets, recording and depiction of war has been an important part of it.  Indeed, ancient and modern history books alike generally focus mostly on rulers and their conquests of lands and people.  With this long history of warlike behavior, it is easy to believe that war is an endemic part of humans and our society. 

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Politics

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The World Misery Index: 108 Countries / Politics / Social Issues

By: Steve_H_Hanke

Every country aims to lower inflation, unemployment, and lending rates, while increasing gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Through a simple sum of the former three rates, minus year-on-year per capita GDP growth, I constructed a misery index that comprehensively ranks 108 countries based on “misery.”

Below the jump are the index scores for 2014. Countries not included in the table did not report satisfactory data for 2014.

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Politics

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Red Alert: Is Russia Preparing a New Offensive in Ukraine? / Politics / Ukraine Civil War

By: STRATFOR

Reports of heavy rocket artillery firing on the eastern parts of the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, as well as a statement made by a separatist leader, indicate the potential preparation of an offensive on the city. While this would be a significant escalation and an indicator of Russian intent to push further into Ukraine, potentially forming a much-rumored land connection to the northern border of Crimea, there are also several indicators required for such an offensive that are currently still missing.

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Politics

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Divesting America of Ozone-Destroying Energy Sources / Politics / Energy Resources

By: Walter_Brasch

Walter Brasch writes: Long before the price of gas and oil began to plummet, socially conscious churches, universities, non-profit organizations, and local governments began to divest themselves of fossil fuel stock and shock the fossil fuel industry to understand the environmental and public health concerns.

The World Council of Churches, which represents about 590 million Christians in 520,000 congregations, decided in July that to continue to hold fossil fuel stock would compromise its ethics, and recommended that the 349 member denominations consider divesting oil and gas stock.

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Politics

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Russia's Plans for Arctic Supremacy / Politics / Russia

By: STRATFOR

Although the crisis in Ukraine continues to focus attention on Russia's western border, Moscow is seeking to exploit a more lucrative prize along its vast northern frontage: the Arctic Circle. Melting ice has opened up new transit routes and revealed previously inaccessible oil and mineral deposits. Facing a year of harsh economic constraints, securing exploitable energy reserves remains a top priority for Moscow. The planned militarization of the Arctic is already underway, and funding is secured through 2015 (the Ministry of Defense was the only Kremlin ministry not to be curtailed in the most recent budget.) With Russia aiming to consolidate its strength by the end of the year, surrounding countries are already reassessing their positions in the face of an overwhelming regional force. 

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Politics

Thursday, January 22, 2015

U.S. State of the Union - We’ve Let The Clowns Come Way Too Far / Politics / US Politics

By: Raul_I_Meijer

In yesterday’s State of the Union, Obama said The ‘Shadow Of Crisis Has Passed’, and the one and the only thing I thought was: ‘Good, so now we can tackle the crisis itself?!’. If speeches like the SOTU last night, and the reactions to it, make anything clear, it’s that the PR guys won the fight against critical thinking. Sure, there are people for whom that shadow has passed, but a president is supposed to be there for all Americans, not just for those who finance his campaigns and those of his successors.

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Politics

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Cult of Central Banking / Politics / Central Banks

By: John_Mauldin

In today’s Outside the Box, good friend Ben Hunt informs us that we have entered the cult phase of the Golden Age of the Central Banker:

We pray for extraordinary monetary policy accommodation as a sign of our Central Bankers’ love, not because we think the policy will do much of anything to solve our real-world economic problems, but because their favor gives us confidence to stay in the market. I mean, does anyone really think that the problem with the Italian economy is that interest rates aren’t low enough? Gosh, if only ECB intervention could get the Italian 10-yr bond down to 1.75% from the current 1.85%, why then we’d be off to the races! Really? But God forbid that Mario Draghi doesn’t (finally) put his money where his mouth is and announce a trillion euro sovereign debt purchase plan. That would be a disaster, says Mr. Market. Why? Not because the absence of a debt purchase plan would be terrible for the real economy. That’s not a big deal one way or another. It would be a disaster because it would mean that the Central Bank gods are no longer responding to our prayers.

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Politics

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Payless Growth And Debt Disaster For The UK / Politics / UK Debt

By: Andrew_McKillop

The UK Economic Miracle
Only a few key figures are needed to understand how the"fastest growing economy in Europe" has effectively performed before and after the key date of 2008, whether under a pale pnk-hued New Labour government operating the Extend-and-Pretend mantra of borrow and spend, or the present pale blue Tory and Liberal Democrat governing coalition doing the same thing. The political and parliamentary  numbers game is at least as important as the economic numbers for mapping the UK's economic future. The present two-party system, in fact, could be the last truly UK-wide bicameral Westminster-dominated system and process that the UK has had, for the last several hundred years.

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