- As tumultuous as last year was from a global political perspective on the back of a rocky start market-wise, 2017 will be much more so. The central bank subsidization of the financial system (especially in the US and Europe) that began with the Fed invoking zero interest rate policy in 2008, gave way to international distrust of the enabling status quo that unfolded in different ways across the planet. My prognosis is for more destabilization, financially and politically. In other words, the world’s a mess.
- Over 2016, I circled the earth to gain insight and share my thoughts on this path from financial crisis to central bank market manipulation to geo-political fall out, while researching my new book, Artisans of Money. (I’m pressing to hand in my manuscript by February 28th – the book should emerge in the Fall.)
- I traveled through countries Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan, England and Germany, nations…
Read more at:Nomi Prins’ Political-Financial Road Map For 2017
- French presidential candidate and National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, said she wants to take France out of the euro, reiterating comments made the day before, and – taking a page out of the Yanis Varoufakis Grexit negotiating strategy playbook – added she wants to redenominate French government debt in a new national currency.
- “More and more European citizens realize their economies have been suffocated by the euro,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference in Paris quoted by Bloomberg.
- Additionally, following the British example. Le Pen said that before leaving the euro, she would hold a referendum on France’s relations with the European Union and has pledged to hold such a vote within six months of an election victory.
- “A national currency could be linked to a common currency,” she added, without giving further details on the connection. She said she could see the EU setting up another currency like the ECU, or European Currency Unit, which the bloc used for internal accounting purposes before the euro was introduced in 1999.
Read more at:Marine Le Pen Wants France Out Of The Euro, Will Re-denominate French Debt In New Currency
- In what may be both good and bad news for the ECB, German inflation jumped more than expected in December, hitting the highest level in more than three years, according to preliminary data. German consumer prices, harmonized with other European countries (HICP), rose by 1.7% on the year, more than double the November increase of 0.7%, the German Federal Statistics Office said.
- This was the highest annual inflation rate since July 2013 and stronger than the consensus forecast of 1.5%.
- On a non-harmonized basis, German annual inflation picked up to 1.7 percent after 0.8 percent in November; prices rose 0.7% on the month, also higher than the 0.6% expected by consensus.
- Rising energy prices and higher food costs were the strongest drivers behind the overall increase, a breakdown of the non-harmonized data showed. The surge in energy prices will only lead to more inflationary pressure now that the lowest prices of 2016 have been “anniversaried,”
Read more at:German Inflation Unexpectedly Hits Three Year High, Driven By Rising Energy, Food Prices
- Historically, the United States has spent more money than any other country on healthcare.
- In the late 1990s, for example, the U.S. spent roughly 13% of GDP on healthcare, compared to about a 9.5% average for all high income countries.
- However, as Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, in recent years, the difference has become more stark. Last year, as Obamacare continued to roll out, costs in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 17.5% of GDP. That’s over $3 trillion spent on healthcare annually, and the rate of spending is expected accelerate over the next decade.
- HIGH COSTS, HIGH BENEFIT?
- With all that money being poured into healthcare, surely the U.S. must be getting better care in contrast to other high income countries.
- At least, that’s what one would think.
- Today’s chart comes to us from economist Max Roser (h/t @NinjaEconomics) and it shows the extreme divergence of the U.S. healthcare system using two simple stats: life expectancy vs. health expenditures per capita.
Read more at:U.S. Healthcare Is A Global Outlier (And Not In A Good Way)
- Readers of the Washington Post received some alarming news yesterday when the paper published a story alleging that those pesky “Russian hackers” were up to their no good tricks again and had managed to “penetrate the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont.”
- The opening paragraph of WaPo’s story directly linked the “hack” of the Vermont utility to the same “Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe” that the Obama administration has blamed for the DNC and John Podesta email hacks. Vermont’s Governor, Peter Shumlin, told WaPo that “Americans should be both alarmed and outraged” by these actions perpetrated by “one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin,” before seemingly calling for further retaliatory actions from the Obama administration.
- Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid…
- The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy” against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia.
- This concept became respectable in U.S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept, which the article’s two co-authors there named “nuclear primacy,” were published
- respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard. (CFR got the more popular short version, titled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy”, and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled “The End of MAD?”.)
- This article claimed that the central geostrategic concept during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Mutually Assured Destruction or “MAD” —
Read more at:America’s Secret Planned Conquest Of Russia