Reader Note: Check back about 8:20 AM Central for the Housing Data…
We are starting to see a number of stories appear which give us “cause to pause” and think through what could be coming in the way of further, large-scale, banking changes which could impact living in ‘Merica.
For one, last week the European Parliament voted to suspend its US SWIFT agreement over the spying on global leaders.
And, having been caught red-handed spying on leaders of France, Germany, and presumably tons of others, the Obama administration says it MAY suspended spying on allied heads of state.
Next week see the press release out that “U.S. and Mexican AML/CFT Supervisors Sign First-Ever MOU to Exchange Financial Information to Thwart Drug Crime.”
As though this isn’t enough, we found it interesting that the FDIC is working on cooperation and cross border resolutions with the People’s Bank of China.
This latter memorandum of understand (MOU) is particularly interesting because it essentially sets up something that in banking would be akin to the Washington-Moscow hotline that was set up back in president Kennedy’s time. Except this one says (in part):
In emergency situations, it is expected that cooperation between the Parties will intensify as well. The Parties will endeavor to notify each other of the emergency situation and communicate information to the other as would be appropriate in the particular circumstances, taking into account all relevant factors, including the status of efforts to address the emergency situation. During emergency situations, requests for information may be made in any form, including orally, provided such communication is confirmed subsequently in writing. The Parties will endeavor to provide information as quickly as possible during emergency situations. Either of the Parties may request special meetings in an emergency situation to address issues of concern, as appropriate.
To be sure, there are now some who fear the US is headed toward a two-tier currency system. That’s a scheme under which a dollar would have one set of purchasing power inside the US while foreigners would have to pay some penalty.
That, for now, may not be in the wings, although China is reported lightening its US bond purchases.
But around the world, two-tiered currency regimes have not worked out well, and Cuba, just last week, decided to ditch their two-tier approach.
While we await the typical month-end period where Gold is beaten down, usually by $50 or more, so big players can load up on it again, we have to wonder whether it’s only a matter of time between when additional quantitative easing collides with what have been, thus far, very contained inflation expectations.
And if you click over here and look at the Gold ETF (GLD) versus the S&P, you’ll see that gold’s long-term decline we’ve discussed with subscribers seems to be well underway, so any sudden decline in the economic outlook now might trash gold to the sub-$1,000 levels in the shorter term.
Long-term? Government’s going to print more money. But the trick of investing is to figure when to get off gold and into stocks, and we’ll leave if to your good sense to look at the charts and arrive at your own conclusions.
Oh, and one other banking note from Madison Avenue Mike, spied in the NY Times this morning: People too poor in ‘Merica to get conventional (emphasis on the con part?) are now turning to microcredit.
Could it be that as microcredit evolves, it could challenge the establishment banking system? One can only hope, since members of the House, trying to jump-start election purchases, are bending over for Wall St. to roll back Dodd-Frank. Can’t protect the sheep forever, figure the wolves and besides, who’s looking?
More after this…
Obama Caught Lying
Remember when the president calmly said that if you had a health plan you liked, you’d be able to keep it? Well, here we go, proof positive that the administration knew that millions would not be able to keep their health insurance but lied about it anyway.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the NY Post headlines that “Docs Resisting ObamaCare…” and perhaps with sound reasons.
Spy vs. Spy vs. Lie
Meantime, the Obama /lie meme is appearing in headlines like “Obamacare and NSA spying: What did Obama know, and when did he find out” are showing up.
The Rasmussen Reports latest presidential tracking poll shows more than half of Americans now disapprove of how the administration is performing. 83-0percent of democorps are keeping the faith while 88% of republicorps oppose.
The Army Sucks – FAT!!!
Apparently, in order to work around obesity problems, some US forces are turning to liposuction to pass weight standards. The ABC L.A. affiliate says nearly 2000 people were kicked out of dot mil land over weight issues in a recent one-year period.
Iran War Watch
Our resident war-gamer has this update on timing of that Israeli attack on Iran which is in the wings:
The LA Times has a worthy piece on the proposed nuclear negotiations with Iran:
The Times offers a six step process for confronting Iran’s potential nuclear weapons program. The 5th step concludes with the recommendation to “initiate new military deployments and make clear the support for Israeli military action if conducted.” The sixth step then warns the U.S.: “do not waste time!”
Diplomacy unquestionably has its place, and in this case that place is to swiftly present reasonable offers with clear deadlines backed by a visible and formidable show of regional military force. Such a display of force might involve a group alliance or series of individual alliances with the Saudis, Turkey, Egypt and Israel and Jordan. An Israeli alliance would certainly have to stand apart from the others, but as the only Middle Eastern nation with a viable nuclear arsenal at the ready, they must be folded into the mix.
Talk is cheap, or as the columnist puts it, “avoid mistaking rhetoric for action!”
George [stomping both feet], this is a most serious diplomatic situation developing with Iran. For many reasons, the Islamic Republic appears stubbornly intent upon marrying the military glory of the past Persian Empire with the faith and fervor of the current Islamic revolution. Achieving Persia’s past glory is largely dependent upon the ability to produce a viable, modern nuclear weapons arsenal.
For a comparison, a thought experiment of sorts, try to imagine the likely outcome if Hitler’s Nazi Reichstag had successfully developed a nuclear arsenal in 1938, just after Germany occupied and annexed Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland and British PM Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler with the Treaty of Munich sanctioning the annexation. With the passion and zeal of the Nazi propaganda machine, emboldened by the bloodless Czech victory and possessing a nuclear hammer to back up the rapidly ascending German army, Europe would have fallen like dominoes to the 3rd Reich. With America likely still seven years away from Trinity and quickly running out of options, we’d all be speaking German today.
Iran cannot, must not develop nukes, pure and simple. Their naked intent is to influence, coerce, conquer and then dominate. Such a scenario will make the wars of the 20th Century looks like a series of urban skirmishes, resulting in an epic loss of blood and treasure and long-term global illnesses and birth defects among the nuclear holocaust survivors. Yes, it is that serious.
Israel will not go down with a whimper. The best case scenario should Iran successfully acquire nukes is a contained regional nuclear war, one that would still send massive amounts of radioactive fallout into the global jet stream and poison the Middle East for centuries.
On that note, have a great Tuesday.
So as we await developments, you might want to add a bookmark to the Bushehr, Iran area in your web browser and a map. At the moment, winds there are running from the northwest, which would put collateral (and likely primary) attack fallout down toward Afghanistan and Pakistan as opposed to heading to the northeast which could drop fallout on the southern tier Russian ‘Stans, and that, in turn, would increase the risk of Russian intervention.
No worries today or tomorrow, though the winds are right. The moon is still in waning crescent and that means this weekend would be ideal…and that (as a mental exercise) is something to be noodling about: How does one live in a higher radiation world than what we’ve got coming of of Japan? And how do markets react?
With this just in from the Solar Influences Data center in Belgium:
Solar wind data measured by ACE indicate the arrival of a small shock around 7:00 UT On October 29, probably related to the arrival of CMEs of October 25. Minor storm conditions (K up to 5) are possible for the next 24 hours.
We can set our expectations on a 6.5+ quake in a few days.
Damn, this is a cheery column this morning, isn’t it?