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Jim Rickards: The North Korean Endgame is Playing Out Now

September 8, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Via Daily Reckoning,
As mounting tensions rise from the latest round of nuclear testing out of North Korea, Jim Rickards believes a considerable window is closing by the United States. The threat of a nuclear armed and capable North Korea is a line tha…

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Expats Don’t Want To Live In The US & UK Anymore

September 8, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Few anticipated that the UK would vote to leave the UK. Even fewer expected that President Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton in November’s US presidential election.

So unsurprisingly, members of the internationalist class of workers who populate urban centers like New York City and London – and who have the most to lose from nationalist economic and immigration policies – now perceive the US and Britain as less friendly to foreigners, not to mention less politically stable, according to a survey of 13,000 expatriates of 166 nationalities that was cited by Bloomberg.

The respondents said that quality of life in both countries is declining by other measures, including the affordability of child care and health care. However, we don’t think one can easily blame that on the election.

The UK ranks 54, down 21 places from last year’s survey, after its June 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Before the referendum, 77 percent of expats had a favorable opinion of the nation’s political stability. That’s down to 47 percent this year.  The survey was conducted in February and March, before the most recent British election. Just half of expats say the UK has a good attitude toward foreign residents, compared to 67 percent worldwide.

Expats in Britain have also soured on its economy. The weak pound and higher inflation put the UK 59th for personal finance. Almost two-thirds of its expats have an unfavorable opinion of its cost of living, with 69 percent unhappy with the affordability of housing. Three out of five expats also don’t appreciate the weather in the UK.

The US has seen a commensurate decline in public opinion. Just 36 percent of expats have a positive view of America’s political stability, down from 68 percent in last year’s survey. Overall, it ranks 43 of 65, down 17 places from last year.

Overall, the U.S. is ranked 43rd of 65 contenders, 17 places lower than last year. But its reputation was already falling before the election results came in. As recently as 2014’s survey, the US was No. 5. One bright spot is that 69 percent of expats have a favorable view of the American economy.

Some 72 percent of expats in the US say health care is unaffordable; the world’s largest economy ranks 50 by measures of health and well-being. Its transportation infrastructure was rated “very good” by just 15 percent of the expats, less than half of the global average. Meanwhile, the US ranks last for affordability of child care and 39 out of 45 countries ranked for education affordability.

Despite all the talk about President Donald Trump stoking resentment against immigrants, expats still view the US as a welcoming country. Though that perception is beginning to shift…

“Three years ago, 84 percent of expats rated the U.S. positively on “friendly attitude to foreign residents,” and just 5 percent negatively. By 2017, the negative ratings had tripled, and the positive ratings had dropped 16 points.”

Many smaller economies outranked larger developed countries. Ironically, the top-ranked country in 2017 was Bahrain. We wonder: Would Bahrain’s sizable population of Asian “foreign workers” feel the same?

“The top-ranked country in 2017 is Bahrain, given high marks by its expats as a place to work and raise a family and for making foreigners feel welcome. It vastly outranks Persian Gulf neighbors such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which ranked in the bottom 10 of the 65 countries in the survey.”

While the US and UK have both experienced a reputational hit, surprisingly it was Australia that saw the largest drop of any national present in the rankings, sliding from tenth most expat-friendly country to 34th. Meanwhile, Greece ranked dead last, despite its warm climate and beautiful beaches.

“Greece was at the very bottom of the list, weighed down by the country’s economic problems. Australia, which ranked in the top 10 last year, dropped more than any other country, to 34th place. Expats’ ratings of jobs, career prospects, work hours and work-life balance all dropped.”

In another twist, China ranked as one of the expats’ favorite places, despite the severe pollution and the quality and cost of health care and education. Two-thirds of respondents said they were happy with their careers, though the country ranked 55 out of 65 for overall quality of life. Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan, which topped last year’s list, slipped to fourth place, while Singapore climbed into the top 10. Hong Kong languished at 39, up from 44 last year.

The survey was conducted by InterNations, a Munich-based network of 2.8 million expats. The survey includes interviews with executives, skilled workers, students and retirees who live outside the country where they grew up. There are about 50 million expats worldwide, according to market research by Finaccord, and the number is expected to hit 60 million over the next five years.

 

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UPDATE 1-China’s August <b>crude oil</b> imports hit 8-month low; independent refiners shut

September 8, 2017 http://crude-oil.top/ 0

BEIJING, Sept 8 (Reuters) – China’s crude oil imports rose 3.4 percent in August from the same month a year earlier but slid to their lowest monthly …

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Dollar Bloodbath Continues Across Asia, Gold Tops Election-Night Spike Highs

September 8, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Having plunged by the most in 6 months during the US day session, the dollar is continuing to get pounded across AsiaPac with Hong Kong Dollar and Yuan surging. Gold is extending gains, breaking above the spike highs from election night…

The Dollar Index is in free fall…This is the 7th straight down day for the USD Index…

 

There is not much support below here…

 

Driven by widespread selling across Asia… The last 3 days have seen the biggest collapse in the dollar since the start of January.

 

With the Hong Kong Dollar exploding higher (and 12mo forwards signaling expectations of a major collapse in the US dollar, breaking the Hong Kong peg)…

 

Offshore Yuan is spiking higher against the dollar…

 

But all Asian currencies are surging against the dollar tonight…

 

And gold is spiking back above the election night highs…

 

Did President Trump’s “we don’t need no stinking debt ceiling” decision finally break the back of dollar hegemony?

Or is this the market calling The Fed’s bluff and forcing them to hike rates to defend the dollar – and by doing so losing all data-dependent credibility (whatever is left)?

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Energy Prices Mixed as Hurricane Irma Approaches Florida

September 8, 2017 Oil N' Gold 0

While the front-month WTI crude oil contract slipped -0.14%, the Brent contract added +0.54% for the day. For refined oil products, the RBOB gasoline contract dipped -0.74% while the heating oil contract gained +1.51%. Traders are monitoring the path o…

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Globalists Will Throw Antifa To The Wolves To Further Their Agenda

September 8, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

In numerous interviews and articles, including my essay ‘Globalist Strategy: Use Crazy Leftists And Provocateurs To Enrage/Demonize Conservatives‘, I have warned leftists that they are being exploited by globalists as a means to drive conservatives towards greater centralization under Trump and the federal government and that if they continue on the path they have embraced, a totalitarian response may be imminent.

I have also made it clear to conservatives that cultural Marxist groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter as they exist today are paper tigers; they are not physically or strategically capable of backing up the viciousness of their ideologies. Meaning, a totalitarian response is not warranted (a totalitarian response is NEVER warranted) and would in fact only help the globalists in their long term efforts to destroy our Constitutional principles.

To summarize, the goal of the establishment is to use extreme leftist groups like a short stick to prod the real tiger – conservative movements. The goal, I believe, is to enrage liberty champions to the point that they are willing to “bend the rules” and rationalize the abandonment of their morals in order to defeat what they think is a great evil. Like all morally relativistic shifts in society, there is always the claim that it is for “the greater good of the greater number”, or, “the other side is much worse, therefore we are justified in our tyranny…”.

In the end, groups like Antifa will be thrown to the wolves, because the globalists do not intend for them to “win” any engagement with conservatives. This was never the plan.

If you want to measure the speed at which our nation is destabilizing under this agenda, it is helpful to watch how quickly government institutions and politicians abandon or turn on the leftists. The faster they do so, the more likely it is that a major crisis event is in the making.

In the past week alone, the entire narrative surrounding the mainstream relationship to Antifa has turned sour. For example:

According to documents obtained by Politico, the FBI and DHS have now officially classified Antifa as a terrorist group. The DHS has stated that these documents were not meant to be made public.

 

The mainstream media, the largest backers of cultural Marxist groups, must have received a memo, because their tune has quickly morphed to the negative when dealing with Antifa. The Washington Post chastised them for attacking “peaceful right-wing demonstrators” (did you EVER think you would see the words “peaceful right-wing protestors” in an establishment rag like The Washington Post?).

 

The Los Angeles Times also admonished far-left violence, while The Atlantic warned of the “rise of the violent left.”

 

Even crazed leftist zealot Nancy Pelosi has publicly turned against Antifa, stating that violent members should be “locked up.”

This is a rather fascinating 180-degree turn from a couple of weeks ago when all eyes were on “white nationalist” groups as the primary threat to America. But does this mean that the establishment did some soul searching and realized who the real purveyors of violence and conflict are? No, it does not.

As I have been predicting since before the 2016 elections, the left’s usefulness has a shelf life. If the establishment was interested in following through with the concept that Trump must be “unseated,” then they would retain full public support behind groups like Antifa. Instead, the establishment is playing the game of the hidden hand.

Right now,it would seem that Antifa groups are to take on the role of the underdog — the battered but still active insurgency against an “increasingly fascist regime.” A few events need to take place in order for this narrative to hold any weight in the national consciousness, however. For example, while globalists may back away from support of extreme leftists in public, they will most likely continue with private support and funding as men like George Soros have always done. Leftists will also have to be inspired to even greater violence than they have already committed.

As I discussed in my article ‘Militant Leftists Are More An Annoyance Than A Real Threat To Liberty’, published in May, regular Antifa protest organizations are not a true threat. That said, eventually there will be Antifa groups that are directly trained by government agencies to commit terrorist acts, much like The Weather Underground in the U.S. in the 1970s, or the controlled and well armed terror groups in Europe during Operation Gladio from the 1950s to the 1990s. In the end, all leftists will be associated with the actions of these false-flag groups.

In the meantime, the Trump administration is playing its part by preparing the ground for a future martial law-style crackdown. Trump’s latest executive measure? Bringing back Department of Defense program 1033, which funnels considerable amounts of surplus military hardware to police departments across America.

What happens next?  Well, in my view the next most logical step for the globalists would be to initiate an attack of some kind on a civilian or government target and ensure that leftists are involved or blamed.  With the fanaticism of the left today almost on par with the fanaticism of Islamic fundamentalists, I imagine it will not be very hard to find some useful idiots to carry out such an action.

Most likely attack scenarios in my view? Leftist terror groups supported covertly by governments have often gravitated towards bombings as their preferred method. On a larger scale, I would not rule out assassinations of politicians or even a FAILED assassination attempt on Donald Trump. These would be perfect triggers for a wider federal crackdown on leftists, fueling even greater animosity for Trump by progressives and providing a rationale for martial law for conservatives.

For some people uneducated on the finer points of false flag terrorism, this will sound like “conspiracy theory.” Some of it is indeed speculation on my part, but all of it is based on exposed programs of past high profile operations by various establishment entities to engineer civil unrest or to manipulate one part of a society to support more centralization and less freedom.

Again, as I have said all along, the real target has always been conservatives. Conservative principles are the primary threat to globalism. In order to eliminate these principles, it is not enough to attempt to eliminate the people that hold them dear. This will only inspire the spread of such ideals; the globalists would achieve the opposite effect they desire. Therefore, they need to manipulate conservatives into voluntarily abandoning those principles of constitutional liberty and limited government. Conservatives must be made into tyrants. Only then will conservative principles truly die out.

Leftist groups like Antifa are meant as a catalyst for this transition, much like their communist forebears were a catalyst for the rise of fascism in Italy in the early 1920’s. They will not be the only mechanism, but they will be an important mechanism. As we witness the mainstream turning on the extreme left, the temptation will be to assume victory — that we have won and that the fighting will soon be over. Nothing could be further from reality. Antifa is not going away, it is merely changing into something worse; something more useful to globalists like Soros. If we find ourselves distracted from Constitutionalism and our pursuit of the globalists by this new and more violent incarnation, it will be conservatives, not leftists, that will end up becoming the pinnacle threat to our own ideals.

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