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USD/CAD Forecast Dec. 12-16

The Canadian dollar continues to improve, as USD/CAD dropped 270 points for a second straight week. This week is quiet, with only three indicators. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for USD/CAD. In the US, key economic indicators continue to impress. ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI beat expectations and UoM Consumer Sentiment jumped and easily […]

The post USD/CAD Forecast Dec. 12-16 appeared first on Forex Crunch.


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Populist Doom Aimed at Trump?

 Via The Daily Bell  

 EUROPE’S POPULIST REVOLT  … Donald Trump met with his first foreign ally just a few days after winning the U.S. presidency. But it wasn’t one of the world’s leading statesmen who got the invitation to Trump Tower. It was Nigel Farage, a man once considered a footnote in British politics—but who, in 2016, found himself on the snug inside of one of history’s hairpin turns. –TIME, person of the year

The “populism vs. globalism” meme that we analyzed back in midsummer (you read it here first) is swiftly becoming the most important propaganda initiative active today. It might spell Mr. Trump’s doom as a leader unless he counteracts it effectively.

The meme is everywhere now, just as we suspected (and wrote) that it would be. We can see how important it is in the naming of Trump as TIME “Person of the Year.” Populism is featured throughout this issue of the magazine and is the defining description of Trump himself.

But here is a disturbing thought: The bottom line is that globalism must eventually win out if internationalism is to continue to expand.

This means that populism – and Mr. Trump – must lose in the long-term. There is seemingly no doubt (whether he knows it or not) that new president is embroiled in a unfathomably vast propaganda campaign.


Given how fast the [globalist] dominoes are falling … that world might soon be upon us, for better or worse. Italy’s populist parties helped swing a referendum result on Dec. 4 that forced Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign.

The Netherlands and France have crucial elections scheduled next year, and front runners in those countries are tapping the same veins of anger at the establishment that fueled the rebellions of 2016.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front in France, has chosen a blue rose as the logo for her presidential campaign, a symbol, she says, of the freak events that now seem almost natural. “I think the British, with the Brexit, then the Americans, with the election of Donald Trump, did that,” she tells TIME. “They made possible the impossible.”

The idea that TIME is preaching is that we must accept the validity of populism and its victories. But in fact TIME is dissembling. Modern history in our view is “directed” … not left to chance.

In fact, the sweep of modern history is globalist, with every major event inevitably ending up reinforcing a gradual internationalism.

After the disaster of World War One you had the formation of the League of Nations. After World War Two you had the creation of the entire globalist infrastructure including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations. The BIS was updated as well.

But with the advent of the Internet, globalism has come under sustained attack. Alternative media has created a virtual alternative culture based on Jeffersonian rural agrarianism, free-market – Austrian – economics and the general idea that competitive markets must decide prices and build prosperity rather than the technocracy of massive corporations, governments and armies.

This kind of libertarian culture is anathema to globalists. They have fought hard to degrade and then eradicate it. Until the advent of the Internet, they were well on their way. More recently, the ‘Net and the information that has emerged from it has radically reshaped people’s views and given them a new and hopeful vision.

This doesn’t mean that globalists are going to surrender their internationalist goals however. They never do. In fact, if one studies modern events from the standpoint of directed history it soon becomes apparent that most major sociopolitical and economic trends emerge from groups and individuals associated with globalism.

Within this context it remains difficult to believe that Brexit, Trump and now Renzi are merely part of an aberrant reassertion of nationalist determination. It seems rather more likely they are in a sense part of an enormous realignment of elite manipulations.

It could be as simple as the elite perception that a populist revolt is inevitable and that it is better to manage it than not. If one adopts this (reasonable, to us) perspective then a lot of additional counter-globalist trends begin to align themselves in predictable ways.

Trump is obviously one of  the elements at the center of this manipulation. He is being cast as a “populist” (and nationalist) even though he doesn’t directly use that terminology on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the controlled media defines him this way.

In the past weeks and months, we have seen additions and elaborations to the populist meme. A big wrinkle is the idea that Russia and Putin on the “populist” side of this meme. And portions of the alternative media stand accused of promoting Russian interests within this larger context.

And most recently, here, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had stated that the Russians (presumably with alternative media connivance) had indeed intended to help Trump win the presidential race.

In this way we have a polarization of individuals and facilities. On the one hand you have Trump, the alternative media and Russia. On the other you have Hillary, the mainstream media and NATO.

We expect this polarization  to continue and expand. It not occurring by happenstance in our view but on purpose. The ultimate result, sooner or later, will likely be one or more false flags (or economic disasters) that gradually or swiftly degrade the credibility and usefulness of populism in the eyes of the general public.

What is being set up is a vast, polarized construct, a dialectic that can be manipulated at will and one that could eventually result in the emergence of the wisdom of globalism as the preferred approach to prosperity and world peace. Directed history will make it seem so.

Conclusion: Maybe we’re wrong, of course. This is a “conspiratorial” analysis of recent history, after all. However, it fits with what we understand of the way events have operated for at least the past several centuries. If so, Trump will have to fight hard to break out of dialectic paradigm in which he’s being placed.

Editor’s Note: The Daily Bell is giving away a silver coin and a silver “white paper” to subscribers. If you enjoy DB’s articles and want to stay up-to-date for free, please subscribe here

More from The Daily Bell: 

Will Rand Paul Fight Fake News With a Filibuster?

Congress Set to Fund ‘McCarthyesque’ Investigation of Alternative Media?

Fake News, Criminalized


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Two Explosions, Gunfire Reported Near Football Stadium In Istanbul; At Least 20 Wounded

Mltiple Explosions, gunfire and smoke were reported in the Taksim area in central Istanbul on Saturday evening. Pictures of grey clouds rising near the Besiktas football stadium quickly emerged online.  According to unconfirmed media reports, the explosion happened after a football game near the Besiktas Vodafone arena stadium. Initial reports suggest there were two explosions which were followed by gunshots.

According to officials, a car bomb targeting a vehicle carrying riot police exploded outside Besiktas Stadium in Istanbul, wounding 20 people.

Vodafone Arena çevresinden gelen ilk görüntüler. pic.twitter.com/p0BpoYaz6a

— soL Edebiyat (@solcuedebiyat) December 10, 2016

The moment the explosion struck can be heard on this clip:

BJK Tv yay?ndayken patlama an? ve ya?anan korku pic.twitter.com/mH7iX8oBm8

— Spor Haberleri (@sporhaberleritv) December 10, 2016

In a TV statement by the Interior Minister, at least 20 people have been wounded.

The bomb by the stadium was louder and bigger; the one by the park smaller #istanbul #bombing #besiktas pic.twitter.com/MHkKbBxilj

— Ramazan Hakki Oztan (@rhoztan) December 10, 2016

According to initial reports one of the two explosions targeted a bus transporting riot police #Istanbul

— Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) December 10, 2016

Explosion happened during a soccer game near the Besiktas Vodafone arena stadium in #Istanbul pic.twitter.com/YxKSx8Q5y7

— Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) December 10, 2016

Picture in #Istanbul for what they say explosion near to football stadium @AhmadAlkhtiib pic.twitter.com/OJ21A6LMmI

— Global News (@ofirzarfati) December 10, 2016

BREAKING: I just have heard gunfire now in Findikli area, near Kabatas. Ambulances rushing their way through

— Selin Girit (@selingirit) December 10, 2016

URGENT: Reports of #explosions in #Istanbul https://t.co/0PhTkPuyhv pic.twitter.com/wlIOESsr9B #besiktas

— RT (@RT_com) December 10, 2016

Ortal?k gena kar??m??. Yanm?? bir minibüs ve yerlere saç?lm?? polis kasklar?. pic.twitter.com/LQFmaOKlzY

— . (@armyinpolitics) December 10, 2016

Others report two explosions near Taksim/Macka Park. Police evacuating people from the area

Just saw two explosions near Taksim/Macka Park. Police evacuating people from the area

— Christopher Lord (@ChristopherL0rd) December 10, 2016

Gunfire was also reported near Taksim square:

BREAKING: Two explosions followed by gunfire heard near Taksim Square in Istanbul

— BNO News (@BNONews) December 10, 2016

URGENT: At least 20 wounded in #blast outside #Besiktas stadium – interior minister https://t.co/0PhTkPuyhv pic.twitter.com/Iaet7f0bO1

— RT (@RT_com) December 10, 2016

The explosions take place shortly after Turkey’s government submitted a bill on Saturday to overhaul the constitution and essentially enshrine Erdogan as quasi-dictator, and concentrating power in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office, a controversial move that risks further destabilizing the country amid myriad security and economic threats. 

The bill includes measures that would call for Turkey’s president to run his own cabinet and acquire executive powers currently vested in the parliamentary government. The changes give the head of state sweeping powers to govern by decree, and could potentially allow Mr. Erdogan to rule for two, five-year terms until 2029, the draft legislation shows.

The passage of the bill would send these amendments to a national referendum that would likely be held in late spring or summer. The changes, if accepted, would go into effect in 2019.

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Trump Picks Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State: NBC

In a move that is certain to infuriate those who see Trump as nothing more than a puppet of the Kremlin, moments ago NBC reported that Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil and late entrant into the SecState race after his first meeting with the president elect this past Tuesday at the Trump Tower, has been picked by Trump to serve as his next Secretary of State.

JUST IN: Trump to name Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, sources say https://t.co/kthwSkGc0j pic.twitter.com/vZmWztv0qn

— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 10, 2016

The 64-year-old Texas oilman, whose friends describe as a staunch conservative, emerged as a Secretary of State contender only last week following a meeting with Trump, when it was speculated that he would consider the offer “due to his sense of patriotic duty and because he is set to retire from the company next year.” Tillerson’s appointment would introduce the potential for sticky conflicts of interest because of his financial stake in Exxon: he owns Exxon shares worth $151 million, according to recent securities filings.

A quick biographical sketch of Tillerson courtesy of the WSJ:

The son of a local Boy Scouts administrator, Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he studied civil engineering, was a drummer in the Longhorn band and participated in a community service-oriented fraternity.

He joined Exxon in 1975 and has spent his entire career at the company.

For most of his adult life, he has also been closely involved with the Boy Scouts of America, even occasionally incorporating the Scout Law and Scout Oath into his speeches.  Mr. Tillerson played an instrumental role in leading the organization to change its policy to allow gay youth to participate in 2013, Mr. Hamre said. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates subsequently moved to lift the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders as Boy Scouts president in 2015.  “Most of the reason that organizations fail at change is pretty simple: People don’t understand why,” Mr. Tillerson said in a speech after the 2013 decision, urging leaders to communicate about the policy to help make it successful. “We’re going to serve kids and make the leaders of tomorrow.”

* * *

However it is not his Boy Scout exploits that will be the key talking point for pundits in the coming days, but rather his close relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

According to the WSJ, few U.S. citizens are closer to Mr. Putin than Mr. Tillerson,  a recipient of Russia’s Order of Friendship (bestowed by the president), who has known Putin since he represented Exxon’s interests in Russia during the regime of Boris Yeltsin.

“He has had more interactive time with Vladimir Putin than probably any other American with the exception of Henry Kissinger,” said John Hamre, a former deputy defense secretary during the Clinton administration and president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank where Mr. Tillerson is a board member.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson with Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, at
a signing ceremony in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in August 2011.

In 2011, Mr. Tillerson struck a deal giving Exxon access to prized Arctic resources in Russia as well as allowing Russia’s state oil company, OAO Rosneft, to invest in Exxon concessions all over the world. The following year, the Kremlin bestowed the country’s Order of Friendship decoration on Mr. Tillerson.

The deal would have been transformative for Exxon. Mr. Putin at the time called it one of the most important involving Russia and the U.S., forecasting that the partnership could eventually spend $500 billion. But it was subsequently blocked by sanctions on Russia that the U.S. and its allies imposed two years ago after the country’s invasion of Crimea and conflicts with Ukraine.

Tillerson spoke against the sanctions at the company’s annual meeting in 2014. “We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions,” he said.

As such, many have speculated that under his regime, the State Department may quietly drop any existing sactions against Russia.

* * *

Then there is the thorny issue of potential conflicts of interest, and his massive holdings of Exxon stock.

One of the first issues Tillerson would have to resolve as secretary of state would be his holdings of Exxon shares, many of which aren’t scheduled to vest for almost a decade. The value of those shares could go up if the sanctions on Russia were lifted. 

The shares would likely have to be sold under State Department ethics rules, Chase Untermeyer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, said in an interview. “He could not erase his strong relationship with a particular country,” Mr. Untermeyer said. “The best protection from a conflict of interest is transparency.”

Tillerson will sell his $150+ million in XOM shares tax free, courtesy of the same tax break that was introduced in 1989 under the administration of President George H.W. Bush, which allowed Hank Paulson, Colin Powell and plenty of other public servants to dispose of their equity holdings without paying taxes: to get the tax relief, it must be deemed “reasonably necessary” for a public official to divest his shares, or a congressional committee must require the asset sale, according to section 1043 of the tax code, something which is virtually assured in the case of Tillerson.

* * *

Finally, the environmentalists will certainly be displeased with Trump’s choice, even thought Tillerson helped shift Exxon’s response to climate change when he took over as CEO in 2006. He embraced a carbon tax as the best potential policy solution and has said climate change is a global problem that warrants action. That was a break from his predecessor, Lee Raymond.

Still, Mr. Tillerson is a polarizing figure among Democrats and environmental activists. They have accused Exxon of sowing doubt about the impacts of climate change during Mr. Raymond’s tenure and say Mr. Tillerson hasn’t done enough to disclose the future impact of climate-change regulations on the company’s ability to get oil out of the ground.

This is certainly a good way to make clear exactly who’ll be running the government in a Trump administration—just cut out the middleman and hand it directly to the fossil-fuel industry,” said Bill McKibben, the environmental activist and founder of 350.org.


Exxon has disputed the criticism and accused activists and Democratic attorneys general of conspiring against the company.


The son of a local Boy Scouts administrator, Mr. Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he studied civil engineering, was a drummer in the Longhorn band and participated in a community service-oriented fraternity.

No matter how US diplomacy plays out under Tillerson, however, one thing is certain: at least Mitt Romney will not be setting US foreign policy for the next four years. This particular ritual humiliation has now been duly completed…

REPORT: Mitt Romney May Be Forced to Publicly Apologize to Trump in Exchange For Sec of State Bid https://t.co/0qvuEsaDX1 pic.twitter.com/HBj6RqRVB7

— Mediaite (@Mediaite) November 25, 2016

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