Trump or Clinton? No. America’s Future Will Be Decided By the “Financial Industry”

Trump or Clinton? No. America’s Future Will Be Decided By the “Financial Industry”(Source

For several years now the US has attempted to become a global market leader in the oil business and gain independence from oil and gas imports by furthering its shale industry. In the beginning stages, the method of fracking was hardly competitive with classical techniques of oil extraction. However, as technical progress made this mode of production more and more profitable, several hundred large investors developed interest in the business and provided loans of hundreds of billions of dollars to the shale industry.

By now it is clear that most of this investment was based on a massive miscalculation. The oil price has fallen by more than 50 % over the past two years. Although production costs in fracking have been significantly reduced, the price, which has been floating around $ 45.00 for months now, is not nearly enough to generate the profits needed for the shale industry’s survival. Between January 2015 and July 2016, 90 oil and gas producers have already gone bankrupt and left behind more than $ 66 billion in debt. Since these loans were most certainly reinsured through credit default swaps, they must have left considerable holes in the balance sheets of major US banks.

When the rest of the loans come due at the end of this fall, creditors will be facing enormous problems, as the world economy remains stagnant with no improvement in sight. Above that, the present price of oil is itself the product of massive manipulation: Producers have hired fleets of tankers that are filled to breaking point and storages are almost bursting at the seams. Contrary to media reports there is no chance that production will be significantly cut in the near future, due to the fierce competition between the producing states, some of whom are themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. By the end of the year the US financial system could thus be threatened by a crisis approximately the size of the Dotcom bubble. However, sixteen years later and eight years after being artificially propped up after the fall of Lehman Brothers, the financial system is more instable than ever. The Fed has pumped trillions of dollars into the system and its interest rate is close to zero. Risk exposure in the derivative markets is at record levels, and excessive speculation has led to huge bubbles in the bond, stock and real estate markets. In an environment like this the problems of the shale industry could very well become the spark threatening to blow up the financial system. Thus Wall Street finds itself in a position in which an increase of the price of oil is more urgent than ever. However, being unable to jack it up by furthering demand, reducing production or stepping up manipulation, there is only one option left and that is the escalation of the war in Syria and the destruction of a large number of oil wells in the Middle East.

Missiles Fired From Rebel-Held Territory in Yemen at U.S.

Missiles Fired From Rebel-Held Territory in Yemen at US Destroyer in Red Sea (Source ABC News) Two missiles were fired at the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Mason while it was in international waters off the coast of Yemen on Sunday. No one was hurt in the incident, as both missiles did not strike the vessel and landed in the water. “At approximately 7 p.m. local time today [Oct. 9], while conducting routine operations in international waters in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, USS Mason detected two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period,” said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. “Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship,” he said. “There were no injuries to our sailors and no damage to the ship.” “We assess the missiles were launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen,” said Davis. The Houthis, an Iranian-backed militia group, seized control of Yemen in 2015 — a move that led neighboring Gulf states to intervene militarily against the Houthis.

“The United States remains committed to ensuring freedom of navigation everywhere in the world, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our ships and our service members,” he said. At the time of the attack, the Mason was in the southern end of the Red Sea, north of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Mason; another destroyer, the USS Nitze; and the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce were sent to the area after a missile attack a week ago on a United Arab Emirates swift transport vessel in international waters. The Emirati ship was heavily damaged in the attack, which is believed to have come from Houthi forces who used speedboats to launch shoulder-fired missiles at the ship when it was more than 12 miles offshore. A Defense Department official said the Mason’s crew used unidentified onboard defensive measures against the first missile, but it was unclear what caused the missile to strike the water instead of the ship. For security reasons, the official would not identify the defensive measure used or how far out the destroyer was in international waters beyond the 12 mile limit from shore.

The official said Sunday’s incident is under investigation. “We take this very seriously. We will protect our people,” said the official.




Russia ups the pressure in search of U.S. respect

Russia ups the pressure in search for US respect (Source BBC News)

 They used to say that all roads lead to Rome. But, today, it seems that all roads lead to Russia. Or to its president: Vladimir Putin.

Moscow is a key participant in the Syrian war and in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russian hackers have been accused of breaking into US servers; the Russian state has been accused of trying to influence the outcome of the US presidential election and of attempting to divide and weaken the European Union.

“There’s a real feeling now that America is out to prove it is the only superpower,” believes veteran broadcaster Vladimir Pozner. “That if Russia does not fall into step the way the US wants it to it’s going to have to pay a very high price for that.

“The continued expansion of Nato is seen by the Russian leadership, perhaps incorrectly, is seen as being a real threat. You’re pushing us, so we’re pushing you right back. And we will do whatever we can to make it as unpleasant for you as you’ve made it for us.

“There is a danger of real confrontation, perhaps leading to some kind of military engagement and war.”

This week the popular Russian tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets suggested that the Syrian conflict could spark a “direct military confrontation between Russia and America” – on a par with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. It warned of a Third World War.

“We had bad relations during the Cold War,” says Andrey Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, “but during the Cold War the relationship was more or less stable, because we knew what to expect from each other, we knew the rules of the game.

“Today we don’t have anything like that. So relations aren’t stable. This is what makes this relationship dangerous, arguably more dangerous than in the Cold War.”


40 Million Russians To Take Part In “Nuclear Disaster” Drill

40 Million Russians To Take Part In “Nuclear Disaster” Drill, Days After US General Warns Of War With Moscow(Source Zero Hedge)

As relations between Russia and the US disintegrate as a result of the escalating proxy war in Syria, which today culminated with Putin halting a Plutonium cleanup effort with the US, shortly before the US State Department announced it would end negotiations with Russia over Syria, tomorrow an unprecedented 40 million Russian citizens, as well as 200,000 specialists from “emergency rescue divisions” and 50,000 units of equipment are set to take part in a four day-long civil defense, emergency evacuation and disaster preparedness drill, the Russian Ministry for Civil Defense reported on its website.

According to the ministry, an all-Russian civil defense drill involving federal and regional executive authorities and local governments dubbed “Organization of civil defense during large natural and man-caused disasters in the Russian Federation” will start tomorrow morning in all constituent territories of Russia and last until October 7. While the ministry does not specify what kind of “man-caused disaster” it envisions, it would have to be a substantial one for 40 million Russians to take part in the emergency preparedness drill. Furthermore, be reading the guidelines of the drill, we can get a rather good idea of just what it is that Russia is “preparing” for.

The website adds that “the main goal of the drill is to practice organization of management during civil defense events and emergency and fire management, to check preparedness of management bodies and forces of civil defense on all levels to respond to natural and man-made disasters and to take civil defense measures.” Oleg Manuilov, director of the Civil Defense  Ministry explained that the exercise will be a test of how the population would respond to a “disaster” under an “emergency” situation.



U.S. will pay price for THAAD deployment, Beijing mouthpiece

US will pay price for THAAD deployment, Beijing mouthpiece People’s Daily says(Source CNBC)

The U.S. will “pay the price” for its decision to put an advanced missile defense system in South Korea, China’s most influential daily newspaper said on Saturday.

In a commentary, the People’s Daily, the official media outlet of the Chinese Communist Party, said, “If the United States and South Korea harm the strategic security interests of countries in the region including China, then they are destined to pay the price for this and receive a proper counter-attack.”

The commentary was published under the name Zhong Sheng, meaning “voice of China,” a non de plume that is often used to give the party’s views on foreign policy.

Since South Korea said in July that it would host a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, China has made clear its opposition to the deployment on the grounds that it could compromise Chinese security and inflame tensions with volatile neighbor North Korea.

“Like any other country, China can neither be vague nor indifferent on security matters that affect its core interests,” the commentary said.

“The deployment will severely damage regional strategic security interests and harm the regional strategic balance.”

Geng said China would take “necessary measures to safeguard its national security,” a line the country has repeatedly used, without specifying the nature of the measures.

This week, Daniel Russel, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a congressional hearing that the timing of the deployment was being accelerated to “as soon as possible” due to the increasing pace of North Korea’s missile tests. The isolated nation conducted its fifth nuclear test on September 9, following a number of missile tests in the previous months, and its fourth-ever nuclear test in January.

The U.S. has urged China to react more strongly to North Korea’s tests, given China is one of the country’s few allies. But China has countered that the U.S. was responsible for ramping up tensions with North Korea, and said it preferred talks over sanctions as a means of dealing with the rogue state.

In a commentary on September 14, the People’s Daily said,” The U.S. has no right to pass the buck and put the blame on other countries, especially when the essence of this issue is a conflict between the U.S. and North Korea,” adding that the THAAD deployment was “mostly an excuse to further [the United States’] own interests.”


A baby with 3 biological parents was born using a new technique

A baby with 3 biological parents was born using a new technique (Source A baby containing the DNA from three different people was born, New Scientist reports. The baby boy, born five months ago, is the first baby born using a particular technique, called spindle nuclear transfer. Three-parent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) was approved in the UK back in 2015, but the team from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York performed the procedure in Mexico. The team told New Scientist they did it in Mexico because “there are no rules,” unlike in the US, where it is still up for consideration but hasn’t yet been approved. Some diseases — including Leigh syndrome, which is the fatal neurological condition this particular baby’s parents were trying to avoid — are passed through the DNA of the mitochondria, the part of the cell responsible for generating energy. These genes only get passed down from the mother. The idea is to substitute that faulty mitochondrial DNA in a mother’s egg with a third set of DNA from a donor’s egg to avoid these inherited conditions. That’s where you get the “three parents”: the father (sperm), mother (egg, with faulty mitochondrial DNA removed), female donor (mitochondrial DNA). The first procedure, called cytoplasmic transfer, was used in the 1990s, but in 2002, the FDA put the brakes on the procedure, citing safety and ethical concerns, the BBC reported. Several people were born using the procedure before it was halted. The second is called pronuclear transfer, and it involves swapping nuclei after both the mother’s eggs and donor’s eggs have been fertilized. The scientists discard the donor egg’s nuclei and put the mother-father nuclei into the donor’s egg. This newly combined embryo is the only one to mature.The one these parents used is called “spindle nuclear transfer,” a way of combining the donor’s mitochondrial DNA with the mother’s nucleus so that an embryo doesn’t have to be destroyed. Less than 1% of the baby boy’s mitochondria carry the faulty DNA, the researchers told New Scientist, which is ideally too low to cause any problems.

Pope’s potential masterstroke takes charge in the Holy Land

Pope’s potential masterstroke takes charge in the Holy Land (Source Nothing any pope ever does, therefore, is as consequential as the people he chooses to put in charge. On Wednesday, one of the more striking picks so far by Pope Francis officially took up his new duties, when Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa formally entered Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate to become the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, which includes Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

Often when an apostolic administrator is named, it’s seen as an interim move. That’s formally true with Pizzaballa as well, although the perception both in Rome and in the Middle East is that he’s very much Francis’s man, and his “interim” role could go on a while.

The choice of the 51-year-old Italian Franciscan and former Custodian of the Holy Land in June was a head-turning move by Francis. While there’s a long tradition of Italians being named the Patriarch of Jerusalem, for the last thirty years the office was held by Arabs – Michele Sabbah, who served from 1987 to 2008, is a Palestinian born in Nazareth, and Fouad Twal, who led from 2008 until this past June, is a Jordanian. The Patriarch of Jerusalem is, de facto, a primary spokesman and point of reference for Christians all across the Middle East, and therefore a key interlocutor with both the international community and also the important regional players, which obviously includes Israel. For the past thirty years, when many Israelis looked at Sabbah or Twal, no matter what they said or did, it was hard not to regard them at some gut level as the enemy – figures who represent peoples and points of view hostile to Israeli interests.

In general, because most senior churchmen in the region are Arabs, they naturally see the world through Arab eyes, and can at times come off as a bit partisan in their pronouncements on Palestine, on Syria and Iraq, and any number of other matters. Pizzaballa not only doesn’t carry the same baggage, but he’s seen as a friend of both Judaism and Israel – someone who knows Jewish tradition almost as well as the most learned rabbis, and whose long experience of living in Israeli society has given him an insider’s grasp of its dynamics. That’s not to say the new Apostolic Administrator is any kind of apologist for Israel. When a wave of attacks on Christian churches by militant Israeli settlers rolled through the country in 2012, Pizzaballa was pointedly critical of what he saw as a failed security and police response. He’s been outspokenly against the construction of Israel’s security barrier between the West Bank and Jerusalem, denounced by Palestinians as the “apartheid wall,” taking part in protests in 2015. On the other hand, Pizzaballa has been equally critical of what he regards as a tendency by Palestinian leaders on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to scapegoat Israel for all their problems. The fact that Pizzaballa is respected on both sides of the world’s most intractable divide was clear from the fact that Francis entrusted him with organizing his peace prayer in the Vatican gardens in June 2014, which brought together then-Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. In a word, what Pizzaballa brings is balance – a quality sorely lacking in the Middle East generally, and, at times, even in the region’s ecclesiastical leadership. What Francis has done is to give the church in the Holy Land a chance to make a clean start under the leadership of someone who can speak credibly, and sympathetically, to everyone.

All Roads Lead to Beijing

All Roads Lead to Beijing(Source China and Europe create their new world order, what happens to the old one? Revolutions always have losers. In this case, the United States, currently at the top of the global economic system, stands to lose the most. Historically speaking, shifts in dominance among nations are almost never peaceful. When the Spanish Empire was at its height, it tried to halt Britain’s rise with an all-out invasion. When France and Britain fought over the global economic system, it led to a series of wars, the first world wars in history. With China openly creating a system opposed to America’s, it is logical that conflict will follow. Meanwhile, Europe is no longer America’s sidekick. It has its own ambitions, and it has already chosen China over America with the AIIB (The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) . China is investing in technologies that revolutionize naval warfare. Just as the aircraft carrier overhauled the way navies functioned during World War II, China is developing antiship missiles that it hopes will eliminate America’s naval advantage. China controls a huge number of naval choke points. Even the Panama Canal is essentially under Chinese control, and China is building a series of sea gates to lock up the South China Sea. If China closes these gates, it would be difficult for America to open them. Trying to assault these gates would expose a navy’s weaknesses. As arguably the greatest admiral in all of history, Horatio Nelson, said, “A ship’s a fool to fight a fort.” This still applies today. The Center for International Maritime Security wrote: “Sending aircraft carriers close to coastlines and into the littorals has always been dangerous and against their designed purpose.” There’s a reason why nations vied for these sea gates. If China wanted to bring down America, these gates are its best option. Just like in the days of Columbus, wealth will flow out of America. And like the days of Columbus, both Europe and Asia will experience a golden age. Wealth pouring out of America into Europe and then on into Asia enabled India to build the Taj Mahal, for example. Soon there will be a similar boom: Wealth will travel the New Silk Road that China is now building. China plans to spend $1 trillion on creating this mart of nations. We are seeing the post-American economy being constructed right now. When American leaders see an alliance that includes most of the rest of the world openly constructing an alternative economic system, they should be very worried. America has already surrendered its dominance of world trade. History tells us its fall as a major power will follow very shortly.

Russia’s Newest Nuclear Submarine arrives in Pacific Ocean


Russia’s newest nuclear submarine has been sent on permanent deployment to the country’s Far East, state news agency Itar-Tass reports.

Russia’s navy has made several moves to shore up its presence in the Pacific Ocean, as Moscow bids to display a strong relationship with China, while also spearheading talks with Japan and South Korea. Earlier this month Russia and China held an eight-day naval drill in the South China Sea, after Russia backed Beijing’s contested territorial claims in the region.Now the Russian Pacific Fleet has announced the arrival of its latest nuclear submarine, Vladimir Monomakh, to its new permanent deployment base in the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. The peninsula has access to the Sea of Okhotsk, shared between Russia and Japan and the Bering Sea, shared by U.S. and Russia. Special facilities have been set up in Kamchatka for the new generation vessel, which is Russia’s third Borei-class submarine. Another Borei-class submarine is already deployed in Kamchatka, as the Alexander Nevsky vessel made its way there last year.It is armed with 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles, each containing up to 10 warheads.