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Analysis Topic: Politics & Social Trends

The analysis published under this topic are as follows.

Politics

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Senkaku - America Stalks the Perimeter of Another Hotspot / Politics / GeoPolitics

By: Jeff_Berwick

The narrative reads like a political soap opera. But, arguably, it is more likely to create the next global crisis than any other flash point. And American fingerprints are all over the crime scene.  

In Japan, the five small and uninhabited islands in the East China Sea are called Senkaku. In China, or the People's Republic of China, they are called the Diaoyu Islands. In Taiwan, or the Republic of China, they are the Tiaoyutai Islands. All three governments lay claim to the bitterly disputed patches of rock. Why? One reason is because they are key to controlling important shipping lanes, lucrative fishing areas and potential oil deposits. But historical and political motives join with economic ones to make the tiny islands explosive.

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Politics

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Smart Meters, Electric Monopolies & The Quest To Go Analog / Politics / Social Issues

By: Jeff_Berwick

Kevin Schmidt writes: Smart meter articles have graced my computer screen and a sense of “phew, at least we don’t have to worry about those things” always came to mind after reading them.

Then one morning, gazing out into our backyard, a smart meter attached to our house caught my eye, bringing immediate shock to my brain. How could this happen? I did not receive any notice in the monthly energy bill; no letter, nothing. The smart meter just appeared.

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Politics

Thursday, March 13, 2014

John Rawls and Market Anarchy / Politics / Economic Theory

By: David_Gordon

Gary Chartier in this impressive book has put readers doubly in his debt. Chartier strikes at the heart of the vastly influential political philosophy of John Rawls. Libertarians can only applaud him for this, but we have even more reason to be grateful to Chartier. Having neatly dispatched Rawls, Chartier goes on to offer a strong defense of market anarchy.

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Politics

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The People vs Big Brother - Fourth Turning / Politics / Social Issues

By: James_Quinn

"The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort - in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind's willingness to use it." - Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Global Debt of More Than $100 Trillion Is Threatening Your Portfolio / Politics / US Debt

By: DailyGainsLetter

Sasha Cekerevac writes: There is a recent statistic that is quite shocking: the total amount of debt globally is now over $100 trillion, a jump of 40% over the last six years.

According to the Bank for International Settlements, which is run by 60 central banks, since the financial crisis, the majority of the $100 trillion in debt has been issued by governments and nonfinancial corporations. (Source: “March 2014 quarterly review,” Bank for International Settlements web site, March 9, 2014.)

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Will OPEC Collapse – Libyan P.M. Flees To Europe / Politics / Crude Oil

By: Andrew_McKillop

Inevitable Break-up of Libya
Presaged by months of political infighting, and street fighting outside parliament, former Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan fled from Libya, 12 March, according to newswires. Reuters explained his flight to Europe as due to parliament voting him out of office on Tuesday March 11, following his inability to stop rebels exporting oil independently. Reuters and other newswires added that the rebel forces set a “brazen challenge to the nation's fragile unity”, and had actively threatened Ali Zeidan with assassination, several times.

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Does a $100 Trillion Debt Total Matter? / Politics / US Debt

By: BATR

Debt is everywhere but it just does not seem to matter. Thanks to the folks at Zero Hedge, you get the account Global Debt Crosses $100 Trillion, Rises By $30 Trillion Since 2007; $27 Trillion Is "Foreign-Held" – "Total global debt has exploded by 40% in just 6 short years from 2007 to 2013, from "only" $70 trillion to over $100 trillion as of mid-2013, according to the BIS' just-released quarterly review". They make this assessment:

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We Are All Inflation Lab Rats Now / Politics / Inflation

By: Fred_Sheehan

"They sit there across the Pond, and sometimes I think they feel like they're in a lab and they're running experiments on rats and not understanding the consequences of what they are doing," the Russian president said at a press conference." ~ Russian President Vladimir Putin, March 4, 2014

Adam Posen, co-author with Ben S. Bernanke of Inflation Targeting: Lessons from the International Experience gave a thumbs up to the Japan's inflation-targeting experiment in the February 25, 2014, Financial Times: "Abe Has Good Medicine but Japan Needs a Stronger Dose." The heavyweight (literally) economist opens: "Japan's recovery program is showing promising early results." Results include the falling currency that has led a creditor country (Japan has been a net lender since 1981) to post whopping trade deficits in recent months, of increasing size.

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Google, China, The Nsa And The Fourth Turning / Politics / Intelligence Agencies

By: James_Quinn

“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.” – Edward Snowden

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Natural Gas Does Not Explain Ukraine, EU / Russia Sabre Rattling / Politics / Natural Gas

By: Andrew_McKillop

The Fragile Argument

The prospects of the EU, backed or incited by the USA declaring a “gas war” with Russia over the Ukraine crisis are now very high. EU and US action inside Ukraine includes actively fomenting civil strife, even civil war between west and east Ukraine through giving full and total Western support to the “Euro-maidan” flash mob protest revolt of Kiev and its totally unelected political leaders, who will certainly reject the certain yes result of a referendum vote in Crimea on re-attaching Crimea to Russia. This opens up the real prospect of retaliation by Russia, firstly economic, then military.

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rogue Reactors And Putin's No-Bama Zone In Crimea / Politics / GeoPolitics

By: Andrew_McKillop

Organized Crim-ea and the No-Bama Zone

The Obama White House and its allies in west Europe are fumbling the Ukraine crisis with even more intensity than they fumbled the Syrian crisis. Although the urge might be there to proclaim a “No-Fly Zone” around Crimea, stepping up to and over that red line will be madness. India has taken an openly pro-Putin line on Crimea, and China shows a distinct lack of interest in McCain-type war hungry proposals for making the Crimea a “test of power”. China has other problems like its exports, for 2014 to date, showing a 20-percent-plus fall to other BRICs countries and a “highly unusual” trade deficit of more than $22 billion ($22.98 bn) for February.

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Politics

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Social Security Trust Funds Will Change Private Retirement Income / Politics / Pensions & Retirement

By: Dan_Amerman

It can be difficult to completely avoid a $5 trillion elephant in the middle of one's own living room.

In an ironic twist, millions of people who are investing for retirement specifically to escape from dependence on Social Security may find that no matter where in the room they go - that elephant is still there. And over the years ahead, the spending down of the $5 trillion in Treasury bonds held in Social Security and other government trust funds may be transforming the returns on their private savings in ways they never anticipated.

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Politics

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Putin Plays for Keeps in Crimea / Politics / Russia

By: Peter_Schiff

For those investors who have grown used to the relatively minor geo-political crises of the past few years, the developing situation in the Ukraine and the Crimea must come as an unexpected communiqué from the early 20th Century.There can be little doubt that the drama will impact financial markets.

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Politics

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

State Debt Conversion In An Equity Bubble - The Tried And Tested Trick / Politics / US Debt

By: Andrew_McKillop

John Law's Trick Which Failed

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's economist Francois R. Velde in a 64-page memorandum published by the Reserve Bank in November 2003, written with seven other US Federal Reserve Bank economists, John Law succeeded in the period 1716-1720 to convert the government or state debt – at the time Royal debt - of France, into state-backed equity holdings. At the same time, in a coordinated move, Law also replaced silver- and gold-backed money with paper “fiat” money.

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Politics

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ukraine's Increasing Polarization and the Western Challenge / Politics / Eastern Europe

By: STRATFOR

Eugene Chausovsky writes: Just days before the Ukrainian crisis broke out, I took an overnight train to Kiev from Sevastopol in Crimea. Three mechanics in their 30s on their way to jobs in Estonia shared my compartment. All ethnic Russians born and raised in Sevastopol, they have made the trip to the Baltic states for the past eight years for seasonal work at Baltic Sea shipyards. Our ride together, accompanied by obligatory rounds of vodka, presented the opportunity for an in-depth discussion of Ukraine's political crisis. The ensuing conversation was perhaps more enlightening than talks of similar length with Ukrainian political, economic or security officials.

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