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Clinton Emails Reveal Google’s Role In Attempting To Oust Syria’s Assad

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, will head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secr…

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Connecticut Credit Risk Spikes To Record High

Amid cuts in aid and surging taxes, it appears the market remains less than impressed at Connecticut’s debt sustainability. Following last week’s disappointing bond auction, CT bond risk has spiked to 65bps over the benchmark – a record spread demanded by investors to take CT repayment risk. CT becomes the 4th riskiest US state after NJ, IL, and PA.

 

As Bloomberg notes,

The likely culprit was the state’s $550 million general-obligation sale on March 17, which included debt due in 2026 that priced to yield 2.52 percent, compared with an expected 2.37 percent based on Bloomberg’s Connecticut index.  

 

The state’s office of policy and management said last week that the budget deficit for the current fiscal year is $131 million, an increase of $111 million from the prior month’s estimate.

 

Moody’s Investors Service dropped its outlook on the state to negative earlier in March.

Is it any wonder more people than ever are looking to leave the increasing tax burden of this troubled state?

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Toward A Grand New Bargain: How Donald Trump Can Clear The Field And Realign American Politics

Toward A Grand New Bargain: How Donald Trump Can Clear The Field And Realign American Politics

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

It’s actually pretty easy. At an apt moment very soon, Trump should offer Governor Kasich the VP slot and Senator Cruz the vacant Supreme Court seat.

Such a grand bargain would not only clear the primary field and quash any backroom hijacking of the nomination by the Washington GOP establishment; it would also permit each man to play his highest and best role at this great inflection point in the nation’s history.

That is, Donald Trump’s job is to destroy the Republican/Neocon establishment and bring working class America back into a modern version of a McKinley-style Republican Party. Ted Cruz’ task is to spend a lifetime bringing strict constructionism back to the high court, thereby helping to restore constitutional restraints on a leviathan state that fundamentally threatens personal liberty and economic freedom and prosperity in America.

And, yes, there really isn’t much for a washed-out, me-too Republican pol like Kasich to do at all. Except to get out of the way and exercise his apparent talent for preacherly uplift as America’s eulogist-in-chief at foreign state funerals.

Beyond the rightness of it, there’s some pretty potent logic for the politics of the deal, too, There would be lots of of winners all around—–most especially the long-suffering American people.

Mitch McConnell and his rudderless Senate wheels, for example, would not need even a ten minute caucus to hand down to young Ted Cruz a life sentence to the Supreme Court.

At the same time and more importantly, however, the American public would score a twofer——a more faithful high court and one less warmonger on Capitol Hill.

As to the former, Ted Cruz is about as close to the next Antonin Scalia as exists in America today. It goes without saying that he could do far more for the cause of liberty as a Justice than as a gadfly Senator.

But there is an angle even more important. Cruz was a top student and debater at Princeton, a distinguished editor of the Harvard Law Review and a clerk on both the DC Court of Appeals and for the great Justice William Rehnquist on the Supreme Court. During the primary debates, he erudition on constitutional matters towered far above the pack.

He was also described as “off the charts brilliant” by no less an admirer of his own brilliance than Alan Dershowitz. With a prospective long lifetime of service on the high court, Ted Cruz could bring a level of scholarly narrative and intellectual passion and acumen that is sorely needed by the constitutionalist cause.

At the same time, the American people would be spared of another bellicose politician hell-bent on extending Washington’s imperial depredations. Cruz seems to have the Ronald Reagan disease. That is, his belief in small government does not extend to the Pentagon side of the Potomac; and his high regard for liberty does not appear to encompass innocent foreigners dwelling in the vicinity of desert sands he would cause to glow in the dark.

As for Kasich, it is hard to think of a more inapt messenger with a more wrong-headed message. America does not need another compromiser, reconciler and wizened Washington ranch hand who can split the difference.

It needs, instead, a force of nature who can rain shock and awe on the Imperial City. And, so doing, overturn its vast network of prosperous racketeers who feed off the military industrial complex, the health care cartel, the education monopolies, the Wall Street and banking mafias and the legions of other crony capitalist rackets.

Governor Kasich’s specious claim to be a fiscally prudent budget balancer is especially telling. One of the most outrageous Washington wastes is right under his nose. Namely, the Lima Ohio M-1 tank line that he and the Ohio politicians keep open despite 10,000 such lethal machines already in inventory——-and notwithstanding that no other nation has tanks of this advanced capability or, more dispositively, the means to land them on these shores.

Actually, M-1 tanks were originally designed to fight the Red Army on the central front——said army and said front having disappeared from the pages of history 25 years ago.

Since then they have been used for neocon wars of invasion and occupation that did nothing for the safety and security of citizens in Dayton OH or Danbury CT except foster vengeful blowback in the cities and towns they turned into rubble. Even then, the Imperial City’s racketeers offered this folly as proof of the need for more iron and electronic monsters from Lima, while Kasich and his pols lip-synched the sales pitch.

In truth, Kasich is exactly the kind of political lifer that needs to occupy the Joe Biden chair of policy irrelevance during the monumental reckoning ahead. He has indulged in double talk for so many decades that he no longer even knows when his lips are synching or even moving.

His victory speech after the Ohio primary, for example, was laced with pious rhetoric about devolving government back to the states and localities.

C’mon. He took a 90% bribe from Obama to drastically expand Medicaid in Ohio at the expense of taxpayers in Idaho and Texas, whose faithful governors didn’t. Yet he has the nerve to call himself a champion of decentralization?

Kasich’s brand of phony Federalism goes back to Nelson Rockefeller, who wore thin the patience of New York taxpayers with his out-sized building, spending and other notorious appetites. So looking enviously at the untapped citizens of Nebraska and Oregon, Rocky then cooked-up the idea of revenue sharing and sold it to Nixon. It was actually just a form of interstate larceny.

As a young Capitol Hill staffer at the time, I saw how the old-fashioned conservative and legendary ruler of the House Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, had it killed dead as a doornail. His was virtually the last voice of authority and power in Washington during the past half century who insisted that such tax monies should never leave home in the first place; and that the round-trip through Washington was just an opportunity for sticky fingers to skim the pot and for disingenuous politicians to bring home the pork while pretending it was free money.

If they want to spend it, said Mills, let them tax it first. But sound Federalism was not to be. LBJ’s Great Society had broken the dam and soon Wilbur Mills stumbled into submission on the eve of the 1972 Nixon landslide——perhaps in a foreshadowing of his final stumble two years later into the Tidal Basin with Fanne Foxe.

The rest, as they say, is history. With Mills’ iconic defense of the old order out of the way, the Nixon-Ford White House massively expanded the Federal grant-in-aid system. At length, a whole generation of GOP politicians became house-trained in Kasich style fiscal doublespeak and hypocrisy.That is, in the art of decrying Washington’s fiscal profligacy on the rubber chicken circuit by night while devoting their day jobs to scrapping for hometown pork from Medicaid and thousands of like and similar Federal gravy trains.

I have no idea whether Donald Trump will see through this Kasich style fiscal hypocrisy or not. But I do believe him when he decries our $19 trillion national debt and when he says that he is going after Washington’s fiscal profligacy with hammer and tongs.

In this instance, and much else, Trump’s principal virtue is that his only acquaintanceship with the Imperial City is attendance at an occasional Kennedy Center gala. Accordingly, Trump is unschooled in the self-serving rationalizations that keep the rackets going, even as he is endowed with such ample self-confidence that he is sure to go charging into the nation’s fiscal mess like a bull in a china shop.

And that’s much to be welcomed after years of a bipartisan conspiracy of silence and Washington’s perfidiously orchestrated regime of fiscal can-kicking. Broken furniture and bombastic challenges are exactly what the fiscal doctor ordered. Indeed, what a President Trump could actually do is prove that the way to shutdown Washington’s budgetary rackets is by means of an insurrectionist-in-chief inside the White House, not furtive threats to close the Washington Monument lobbed down Pennsylvania Avenue from Capitol Hill.

Say what you will about Trump’s controversial business history, the four bankruptcies and the rest. Yet it is absolutely certain that he knows at least this much: You don’t stop a flood of budgetary red ink with a 25-year plan to get to a balanced budget by 2038!

That’s Speaker Paul Ryan’s particular contribution to the GOP establishments’ noxious form of fiscal duplicity and doublespeak. Like in the movie “Dave”, The Donald is likely to dive into the budget himself and then there will be fear and trembling all around the Imperial City.

Big Pharma and the health insurance cartel are already in Trump’s gun sights, but once he gets to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue he will quickly discover the target rich environment on the Pentagon side of the Potomac, too. The hideously expensive, technically plagued and completely unneeded trillion dollar F-35 fighter would be the ideal place for him to start.

And that goes to the larger point. All the swells in the mainstream media are furiously cackling about The Donald’s answer on morning TV about the identity of his top foreign policy advisors. Yet the apparent fact that he has none and is doing his own thinking is why the think tanks and neocon lobbies are in full frontal panic:

I’m speaking with myself No. 1 because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things,” he said in an interview on MSNBC. “I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are.”

Actually, there is more, and it has to do with one of the many character flaws that self-evidently afflict the man. We speak of his monumental capacity to carry a grudge and seek revenge upon those who personally offend him.

Here’s the thing. Mitt Romney’s viscous public attack on Trump is only the beard. It is merely the censored for-family-TV-version of what the entire neocon establishment and War Party is saying every day in the corridors of Imperial Washington.

Needless to say, the Donald is taking names and will not be reluctant to do far more than kick offending posteriors. He will make it his business to hound, denounce, denigrate and dispatch the entire passel of neocon power brokers who have declared war on his candidacy.

And, yes, an Imperial City purged of Bill Kristol and his gang of bloodthirsty provocateurs would already be on the road to redemption.

Indeed, if America’s foreign policy could be seized from the grasp of the Washington War Party and its AIPAC subsidiary, the fiscal equation would be instantly transformed. Over and again, Trump seems to grasp that the real security of the homeland has nothing to do with being the world’s policeman and defense sugar-daddy.

In fact, that’s pretty obvious to any one who hasn’t been mis-educated by globe-trotting harpies of war like Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain. Trump has had no trouble figuring out that Ukraine, for example, was always part of the greater Russian sphere of influence and geographic propinquity.

If he had time for an honest briefing, he surely would have no problem at all seeing that it was the meddling, incompetent apparatchiks of the State Department, CIA and National Endowment for Democracy which fostered, funded and facilitated the coup against the constitutionally elected government of Ukraine in the first place.

Or that Crimea was the equivalent of a Gadsden Purchase which had been unwound by Kruschev in the midst of post-Stalin politburo maneuvers and intrigues; and that its re-annexation by Moscow after the illegal putsch in Kiev was accomplished far more peacefully and consensually than had been the territorial rearrangement of Kosovo by the US Air Force 15 year earlier.

But whether he has had all the true facts or not, Trump has had no trouble seeing that the solution to the conflict between Ukraine’s Russian speaking minority in the east and the rest of the country was a negotiated deal with Putin, not the demonization of this leader of a country that has no beef with America and a GDP the size of the NYC metropolitan area.

You can go from that insight straight to a $200 billion cut in the nation’s bloated $600 billion defense budget. When the US economy slides into recession, as it surely will, before the next White House inaugural ceremony has commenced, the Federal deficit will soar back above the $1 trillion mark; it has only been in temporary hibernation, not permanent remission.

So The Donald will need massive spending cuts in Washington at the very same time that desperate socialist governments in Europe will face  a global recession induced outbreak of red ink in their own fiscal accounts. That will be the Donald’s moment——the opening to disband NATO, slash defense spending across both continents and negotiate the kind of global disarmament deals that Eisenhower unsuccessfully sought and Warren G. Harding actually achieved.

And that brings us to the supreme irony of this fraught political season. The Washington and New York chattering class has been nearly busting a spleen over the prospect of Trump’s (alleged) stubby fingers on the nuclear button. I haven’t heard such full-throated hysteria since they worked up a similar campaign against Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980.

The man did go on to help end the cold war and remove the nuclear sword of Damocles that hung over the planet, even if it was the inherent contradictions and impossibilities of totalitarian socialism that finally brought down the Soviet regime.

Likewise, in a world heading into the fiscal dumpster, Donald Trump is more likely to negotiate an end to today’s monumental waste on arms and thereby win the Nobel Peace Prize than he is to start a war.

Stated differently, Trump can lead the world back to the 1991 status quo ante for one salient reason. He never got the War Party memo that proclaimed an American Imperium that has now failed horribly; and he will relish doing unstinting battle against it Imperial City architects——the Clintons and the neocons.

Still, redemption for the US economy and the nation’s wage and salary earning households will require more than the recovery of fiscal rectitude, as crucial as that is to avoiding a calamitous national bankruptcy during the next decade.

What is actually needed is a modern rendition of President William McKinley’s “full dinner pail” economics of circa 1900. McKinley was a hard money Republican who impaled William Jennings Bryan twice on his own cross of anti-gold populism by selling the gospel of free enterprise and mild protectionism to the laboring classes of America’s flourishing interior.

Donald Trump is on to that. But what he needs to better understand is that it was the gold standard and free enterprise elements of the McKinley formula that carried the day, not the moderately protectionist tariffs. The latter had actually been designed a decade earlier by McKinley himself as an Ohio industrial belt Congressman to insure wage equivalence with the principal industrial centers of England and Europe.

In fact, it was the honest money discipline of the gold standard that kept transatlantic industrial wages in equilibrium, consumer goods inflation non-existent and real living standards steadily rising. Stumping for the protectionist tariff was just the McKinley GOP’s way of emphasizing its solidarity with the wage earning producers of the day.

To be sure, free trade is always better for real living standards and societal wealth than the deadweight cost of tariffs, but in truth the McKinley tariff was as much a revenue tariff as it was an modern style instrument of statist protectionism.  After all, it was not until 1913 that the nation even had an income tax on individuals and corporations.

And that gets us to a segue to The Donald’s well-intended but incomplete stance on global trade, the massive loss of full-pay productive jobs in America during recent decades and his claim that we are “losing” $500 billion a year to China, $59 billion to Mexico and so forth.

He is right. But it’s not just, or even mainly, due to bad trade deals negotiated by stupid bureaucrats in the state department and the USTR office.

It’s mainly owing to bad money created by stupid Keynesians at the Federal Reserve. They have enabled the rise of a virulent form of export mercantilism and currency manipulation throughout the entirety of East Asia and much of the EM world which drafts in its economic wake.

Stated differently, the two decade long regime of central bank driven free money has destroyed the possibility of free trade. What passes for “free trade” today has nothing to do with the real thing.

So-called free trade arrangements like NAFTA and the pending TPP are essentially statist deals negotiated among corporate, labor, environmentalist and other interest groups. If they actually result in increased global trade, the impact is marginal and largely incidental.

The whole trade calamity that Trump is declaiming goes back four and one-half decades; and can be laid at the doorstep of Milton Friedman and his acolytes in the White House who convinced Nixon to default on America’s obligation to redeem unwanted dollars for gold, and to instead float the dollar at Camp David in August 1971.

What the well-intended but hopelessly naïve free market professor failed to reckon with is that once the Fed was freed of the shackles of even the flawed Bretton Woods gold exchange standard, it would only be a matter of time before statist professors and Washington policy apparatchiks would open the monetary floodgates in the name of taming the business cycle or achieving the mythical Keynesian nirvana of full-employment.

Worse still, Friedman was clueless about the probability that this monetary profligacy would prove to be virulently contagious, especially among the developing economies of East Asia where free market capitalism had never really existed. What happened is a relentless, long-lasting and destructive “dirty float” that continues to this day.

The recipients of the Fed’s flood of dollar liabilities after Greenspan took the helm in 1987 engaged in massive currency intervention and manipulation in order to promote their export industries, and avoid what would have otherwise happened under Friedman’s theoretical fiat money regime. To wit, the dollar would have collapsed and Asian exporter exchange rates would have soared, halting America’s 25 year borrowing spree before it really got started.

The truth is, had Alan Greenspan and his successors maintained even a modicum of monetary restraint and permitted money and capital markets to clear under the laws of supply and demand, nominal US interest rates would have remained unusually high in the face of deep negative US trade balances stemming from the post-1994 mobilization of cheap labor in China and East Asia.

American households would not have lived high on the hog by borrowing from foreigners in order to consume more than they produced. Under honest money in the 1990s and thereafter, wages and productivity in the US would have sweated themselves back to competitive levels as they did during the McKinley era of full dinner pail economics.

Needless to say, that is all water over the dam now in 2016. American labor is hopelessly over-priced and the American standard of living teeters precariously on a debt-swollen economy that has no capacity to grow or create what used to be called middle class jobs.

I call them breadwinner jobs and there have been no net new ones formed in America since the turn of the century. The new jobs heralded on bubblevision every month are mainly born-again from the last cyclical downturn or low pay, part-time jobs in bars, restaurants, theme parks, nursing homes, home health outfits, temp agencies and student loan dependent for-profit tuition mills.

Breadwinner Economy Jobs - Click to enlarge

Yet Trump’s relentless harping on trade might provide an avenue to reset a hopelessly impaired domestic labor market. In brief, the prospective GOP nominee should embrace Ted Cruz’s business flat tax as he sends its author on his way to the Supreme Court.

But rather than replacing the income tax, which over half of US households do not pay anyway, the Cruz flat tax should be calibrated at a rate which will permit elimination of the payroll tax entirely. Lifting the roughly 16% employer/employee wedge off the cost of labor in America—–a burden of some $1.4 trillion annually—- would do more to restore full dinner pail economics to main street than any other conceivable measure.

In truth, the Cruz business flat tax is just a  gussied up value added tax (VAT). And that’s exactly what America needs—notwithstanding decades of caterwauling against it by the Washington business lobbies and their GOP bag carriers—–because it taxes consumption, not labor and enterprise.

Better still, it would fully tax the $2.4 trillion of goods imports which come into the country every year while being rebated on the $1.7 trillion of US exports which fight for foreign markets with their arm tied behind their back—-owing to systematic foreign protectionism and the blatant currency pegging and manipulation that Donald Trump has rightly called out.

Indeed, a Trump administration would not need to start any trade war at all. It only needs to fire Janet Yellen and her merry band of money printers and replace them with sound money proponents who will stop pegging interest rates and allow the money and capital markets to clear at free market levels.

In no time the dollar would strengthen and China’s $30 trillion house of cards would come crashing back to earth. The comrades in Beijing would have no choice except to shutdown the Peoples Printing Press of China in order to prevent an outward stampede of flight capital like the world has never seen.

Even then, a Trump VAT could be calibrated to bring the one sided trade flows of the world back into more favorable balance. It would simply involve a surtax on the basic VAT rate for the goods of any country that continued to abuse its access to US markets via state export subsidies and exchange rate manipulations designed to artificially lower the price of its exports.

To be sure, in an ideal world the US should welcome the foolishness of any foreign government which subsidizes its exports. That is actually a form of foreign aid to American consumers.

But like the mild McKinley tariff, the harm from taxing foreign goods would be far outweighed by the good that would come from relieving the existing payroll tax burden on domestic labor and enterprise. Likewise, the urgent necessity to close the nation’s disastrous fiscal gap would be far better accomplished by raising whatever revenues are required—– after a thorough fiscal housecleaning on both sides of the Potomac—–by taxing consumption, not production.

Call it a revenue tariff, if need be. It brought full dinner pail economics to the McKinley era and could again.

It also brought the laboring classes to the Republican party and that’s essential. There is no hope for capitalism, fiscal solvency and constitutional governance and liberty in America if the Republican party remains in thrall to the War Party and the crony capitalist racketeers who occupy its commanding heights in the Imperial City.

No wonder they will stop at nothing to stop Trump.

But they won’t succeed. The American public is finished with the corruptions and destructions of the Imperial City. The Grand Old Party Is done.

So just maybe the door is open for The Donald to usher in a Grand New Bargain.

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It’s Not Over Yet – Moody’s Put Deutsche Bank On Review For Downgrades

In a worryingly coincidentally timed move, Moody’s has put Desutche Bank on review for downgrade, citing “execution challenges” in its new strategic plan. The worrying aspect comes from the fact the timing is entirely fitting with the ratings downgrade that started the last and most painful down-leg in Lehman’s collapse…

Full Moody’s statement:

Moody’s reviews for downgrade Deutsche Bank’s ratings (senior debt at Baa1)

 

New York, March 21, 2016 — Moody’s Investors Service has placed on review for possible downgrade the ratings of Deutsche Bank AG (“Deutsche Bank”) and affiliates, including the bank’s long-term deposit rating of A2, its senior unsecured debt rating of Baa1, its standalone baseline credit assessment (“BCA”) of baa3, its counterparty risk assessment of A2(cr), as well as its short term ratings and short term counterparty risk assessment of Prime-1 and Prime-1(cr), respectively.

 

Also placed on review for downgrade were the long-term ratings of US-based Deutsche Bank Trust Corporation and its trust company affiliates, considering the close linkages of the franchise value of these operations to those of the parent Deutsche Bank. Principal ratings affected include the long-term deposit ratings of A1, issuer ratings of Baa1, the standalone baseline credit assessments of a3, and the counterparty risk assessments of A2(cr) and Prime-1(cr). The Prime-1 short-term deposit ratings of the trust companies were affirmed.

 

For Deutsche Bank’s subsidiary Deutsche Postbank AG, Moody’s placed the entity’s main ratings on review for downgrade, with the exception of the bank’s ba1 BCA which was unaffected by today’s rating action. The Postbank ratings placed on review for downgrade include the bank’s A2 long-term deposits ratings, its (P)Baa1 senior unsecured programme rating, the bank’s Prime-1 short-term debt and deposits ratings and the A2(cr)/P-1(cr) counterparty risk assessment. Each of these ratings benefit from one notch of affiliate support, based on the BCA of Deutsche Bank.

 

RATINGS RATIONALE

 

The review for downgrade is prompted by the rising execution hurdles facing Deutsche Bank in its efforts to strengthen and stabilize profitability over the next three years. The firm recently indicated weak performance within its capital markets operations in the first two months of 2016 (typically the strongest quarter in the year for this business), and this follows on a weak fourth quarter 2015 performance. “Deutsche Bank’s diminished performance in the most recent two periods is a function of both environmental and firm-specific factors” said Peter Nerby, a Moody’s Senior Vice-President.

 

Since changing leadership last June and recalibrating its strategic plan last November, the operating environment has worsened for Deutsche Bank. This is increasing the already high level of execution challenges the group faces in addressing its structural cost issues and achieving its new strategic plan. Moody’s forecasts that revenue and expense headwinds may delay an improvement in profitability and achievement of Deutsche Bank’s interim cost-to-income targets (principally a cost-to-income ratio of approximately 70%) for 2018. The scale of the firm’s reengineering task, the potential for further weak revenue, and the risk of incremental litigation charges also create uncertainty, further increasing the execution challenge.

 

Despite the near-term earnings challenges, the firm’s overall solvency and liquidity profiles support its creditworthiness and provide the firm time and flexibility to adjust the plan as conditions warrant. Deutsche Bank’s solvency is supported by a solid overall capital and litigation reserve position, as well as its asset risk profile. Deutsche Bank also maintains a strong liquidity profile. As such, Moody’s expects that should there be a downgrade of Deutsche Bank’s Baa1 senior debt and A2 deposit ratings, it would be limited to one notch.

 

Furthermore, the ultimate objectives of the new strategic plan are credit positive. The business mix of the bank will be tilted away from more volatile and capital-intensive capital markets activities, with a greater emphasis on more stable, annuity franchises, including transaction banking and asset and wealth management. As a result, Deutsche Bank is committed to having a simpler and more stable business mix, operating with lower leverage and targeting a more conservative return-on-equity. However it is not clear whether the revenue attrition from shrinking the balance sheet and streamlining the client base can be quickly offset by growth in new areas.

 

The review will focus on the details of the execution plan for 2016 and 2017, in particular, and the extent to which it will have to be adapted given challenges in the operating environment. The review also will focus on details and timing of the plan to renew the technological platform of the bank, a key enabler of future revenues and cost efficiencies.

 

Moody’s will also review Deutsche Bank’s Additional Tier 1 securities (Ba3) to evaluate whether its execution challenges increase the risk of a coupon deferral on them. This could warrant additional, wider notching for these securities and result in up to a two notch downgrade for these securities.

But it’s different this time…

May/June 2008 – S&P downgrades major US banks including Merrill, Lehman, and Morgan Stanley (all after the banks raised additional equity capital, sparking the bounce).

It’s not over yet.

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Former PM Says Sweden Needs More Migrants: “Does Any Place Still Believe In Humanity?!”

Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city with around 150,000 people.

That means more migrants entered the country last year than there are people in Uppsala. On a per capita basis, Sweden lets in more refugees than any other country in the EU. At 20,000 asylum applications per million people, the rate is twice that of Germany.

And it hasn’t come without consequences. Like other countries across the bloc, Sweden has had problems with sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by migrants (see the events that occurred last August at a youth festival and concert in central Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården). The country has also had difficulties accommodating the refugees and in January, a 22-year-old asylum center worker was stabbed to death by a Somali migrant in Molndal.

Now, Sweden has quite literally reached its breaking point and recently announced it will deport some 80,000 of the migrants that entered the country in 2015. As Deutsche Welle noted last November, “when the Migration Agency upped its annual prediction for [asylum seekers in] 2015, it called for an extra 70 billion Swedish kroner (7.5 billion euros) in funding over the next two years – equivalent to Sweden’s entire annual budget for schools, universities and scientific research.”

“Anna Kinberg Batra, the leader of Sweden’s center-right Moderate Party, called [last year] for Sweden to start applying the EU’s Dublin Regulation so strictly that any asylum-seeker who has stepped foot in another country en route would be turned back at the border,” DW continued, adding that Batra’s rhetoric “marked a U-turn for her party, whose previous leader Fredrik Reinfeldt in 2014 called on Swedes to ‘open your hearts to people fleeing under great stress.’

Despite the country’s worsening immigration problem, Reinfeldt hasn’t given up on his message. At a charity event last Monday, the former PM delivered a message of hope and compassion while simultaneously questioning the narrative that the country is falling apart. This is what he said:

“True vulnerability is to put your family on a boat which you don’t know if it’s going to make it across the sea. True vulnerability is to flee even if you don’t know where you’re going, if you will get there, if you will even survive. But this is what it is when the alternative is impossible to live with. Therefore, you have to escape. That is vulnerability.”

 

“In our country we have now started using words to describe what Sweden is exposed to and I have understood that we’re living in a collapse[d society]. Everything has stopped working. With those kinds of words we’re there again – what do words mean in our time?”

 

“I have spent a few weeks meeting people and asking, in this country of collapse, how their Christmas holidays were. What was it like celebrating Christmas in a collapse? If Sweden is collapsing and nothing is working, what words do we have left to describe what is happening in Syria right now?”

Here’s amateur video of the speech for anyone who speaks Swedish:

And a bit more color from Danish daily Berlingske (Google translated):

“Is there a place in this world where people still believe in humanity? And a place where one can see how vulnerable displaced people is? These are the questions, the little children ask their fathers fleeing to Europe.”

 

The words come from a new brand talk about Swedish immigration policy, as the former Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, held last week. It took place at Postnummerlotteriets annual assembly, and a fragment of speech is amateur filmed with iPhone and posted on Facebook.

 

A lot has happened since Reinfeldt ahead of elections eighteen months ago asked his fellow citizens to “open their hearts” for the many displaced who had come to Sweden. Later, he proclaimed that Sweden should be a “humanitarian superpower ‘with ample space for human risk to flee. But after that in the autumn arrived over 100,000 asylum seekers to Sweden the government with a large majority in the Reichstag stood brakes and tightened sharply on foreign policy. And Fredrik Reinfeldt’s party, the Moderate Party, has with the new manager, Anna Kinberg Batra, led the way with comprehensive checks, temporary residence permits and bans on begging.

 

In his emotionally charged speech describing Frederik Reinfeldt the horrors that people are fleeing, and the uncertainty that they engage in.

 

“And when you are on the run and going on the road with her child, and the child asks,” Dad, where are we going? ‘What should he respond? Yes, he must answer that somewhere in this world there is someone who has open eyes and sees human vulnerability and still believe in humanity.”

That sounds good in principle. But you don’t have to be anti-immigration or xenophobic to understand why it simply cannot be applied any further in Sweden. Rather, you need only possess a rudimentary understanding of statistics. If you take in a small, random sample of people from another country (any country really) as refugees, things are likely to turn out ok. Why? Because in almost all cultures, “bad apples” (so to speak) are the exception, not the rule and if you only take in say, 5,000 people, well then chances are any problems you do have will be manageable.

However, if you take in 170,000 people the problems will multiply. It’s not that you’ll have more problems on a refugee-for-refugee basis. Statistics say you won’t. But because you’ve increased the total number of asylum seekers you’ve taken in by a factor of 34, then the problems you’ll have will increase by that same amount. It’s just math. Eventually, your capacity to deal with those problems will be exhausted and the smaller you are as a country the sooner you’ll hit the limit. Sweden has hit the limit. It’s not Sweden’s fault. It’s not refugees’ fault. And it’s not Islam’s fault. It’s just reality. Sorry Mr. Reinfeldt. It just no longer computes.

Запись Former PM Says Sweden Needs More Migrants: “Does Any Place Still Believe In Humanity?!” впервые появилась crude-oil.top.

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