Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
One more challenge.
H.R. 24 ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill Passes in House
Published by The West Wire at September 17, 2014
From Congressman Paul Broun–U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) today released the following statement after H.R. 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (Audit the Fed), passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support. H.R. 24 has over 220 cosponsors and passed overwhelmingly by a 333-92 margin.
Said Rep. Paul Broun:
“Today’s passage of the Audit the Fed bill brings us one step closer towards bringing much-needed transparency to our nation’s monetary policy. For the past 100 years, the Federal Reserve, a quasi-government agency, has acted under a veil of secrecy – controlling our monetary policy and thus, our economy. While in recent years, the Fed has been granted a greater role in overseeing the regulation of our financial system, current law specifically prohibits audits of the Federal Reserve’s deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy. This lack of accountability and transparency has led to grievous consequences – and it must end.
“I applaud my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, for their support of this vital bill, and I commend my good friend and former colleague Dr. Ron Paul for his leadership on this important issue. I strongly encourage Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to recall his past support for this legislation – which he stated as recently as 2010 – and to bring this bill before the Senate for a vote, so we may deliver the transparency and government accountability the American people need and deserve.”
Barack Obama silences generals on US ground troops in Iraq
White House publicly overrules military and promises US will not fight "another ground war in Iraq"
By Raf Sanchez, Washington
7:13PM BST 17 Sep 2014
President Barack Obama today decisively silenced speculation by America’s generals that US ground troops could return to Iraq in a rare example of the White House publicly overruling the military.
A day after US generals suggested that American troops may be needed to liberate jihadist-occupied cities in Iraq, Mr Obama promised soldiers: "I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq."
His emphatic statement at a Florida military base highlights the tensions between a president determined to avoid American casualties and commanders sceptical that Isil can be defeated with air power alone.
Mr Obama was forced to repeat his pledge of "no boots on the ground" after General Martin Dempsey told a Senate hearing there may be situations where Iraqi forces need American advisers during combat.
The suggestion angered and alarmed Mr Obama’s liberal supporters and prompted the White House to hastily rule out the possibility of Americans on the front line.
China advances launch of international gold exchange
Author: A. Ananthalakshmi (Reuters)
Posted: Tuesday , 16 Sep 2014
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China will launch its international gold exchange 11 days ahead of schedule, sources said on Tuesday, racing ahead in the scramble to set up an Asian bullion benchmark as rival Singapore is forced to delay its gold contract due to technical issues.
Asia, home to the world’s top two gold buyers – China and India, has been clamouring to gain pricing power over the metal and challenge the dominance of London and New York in trading.
The state-run Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch the global gold bourse in the Shanghai free-trade zone on Thursday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The SGE had initially planned the launch for Sept. 29.
The change was made based on the availability of some government officials to participate in the launch event, one of the sources said, adding that all 11 physical gold contracts will begin trading on Thursday.
The ability to bring forward the launch, which will mark the first time foreign players will be allowed to participate directly in China’s physical gold market – the biggest in the world, shows the country’s preparedness with the exchange that it is hoping will become the centre of Asian gold trading.
The response has been strong, with the bourse exceeding expectations in signing up trading members, Reuters reported earlier.
Isis video threatens to target White House and US troops
Video purports to be trailer for film entitled Flames of War with strapline ‘fighting has just begun’
theguardian.com, Wednesday 17 September 2014 07.54 EDT
Islamic State militants have threatened to target the White House and kill US troops in a new slickly made video response to Barack Obama’s campaign to "degrade and destroy" the organisation.
The video, in the style of a blockbuster movie trailer for what is "coming soon", depicts a masked man apparently about to shoot kneeling prisoners in the head. Towards the end of the clip there is shaky footage of the White House filmed from a moving vehicle, suggesting the building is being scoped out for attack.
It was released on Tuesday after US defence chiefs suggested that American troops could join Iraqi forces fighting Isis, despite Obama’s assurance that US soldiers would not be engaged in fighting on the ground.
The only words on the 52-second clip are those of Obama making that pledge. "American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq," it quotes him saying. This comes directly after footage of US troops being shot at, injured and taken away in an armoured vehicle, threatening what will happen if troops are redeployed to Iraq.
Russia to boost Crimea troop numbers, worries over military build-up at borders
Published time: September 16, 2014 12:39
Edited time: September 16, 2014 18:34
Russia is going to increase its military presence on the Crimean Peninsula as “the situation in Ukraine has escalated sharply,” Russian Defense Minister announced.
The plan released by Sergey Shoigu is due to the increased “presence of foreign military” in “the immediate vicinity” of Russia’s borders.
"The deployment of proper and self-sufficient forces in the direction of Crimea is one of [our] top priorities," he said.
“The military-political situation in the southwestern strategic direction has changed significantly since the beginning of the current year. This is largely due to the expansion of the territory of [Russia’s] Southern Military District after Crimea joined Russia,” Shoigu said.
The Russian Defense Ministry will also consider setting up technical missile bases in “each military district.”
"We will discuss proposals to create missile technical bases in each military district. The creation of more autonomous units of storage and transportation [of missiles] will allow us to fully use missile military units when they are used in different operating directions and at a considerable distance from each other,"Shoigu said.
U.S. General Open to Ground Forces in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq
By MARK LANDLER and JEREMY W. PETERS
SEPT. 16, 2014
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s top military adviser said Tuesday that he would recommend deploying United States forces in ground operations against Islamic extremists in Iraq if airstrikes proved insufficient, opening the door to a riskier, more expansive American combat role than the president has publicly outlined.
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that while he was confident that an American-led coalition would defeat the Islamic State, he would not foreclose the possibility of asking Mr. Obama to send American troops to fight the militants on the ground — something Mr. Obama has ruled out.
“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove true,” General Dempsey said. “But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats to the United States, then I, of course, would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.”
General Dempsey acknowledged that this would run counter to the president’s policy, but he said, “He has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”
The general’s statement lays bare the challenge the president will face in selling an expanded military campaign to a war-weary American public. Mr. Obama, seeking to allay fears of another Iraq war, has promised that American ground troops will not be involved in fighting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. In a sign of the administration’s mixed message, the president pointedly did not call it a war, while his advisers later did.
Islamic State steps up anti-US propaganda with calls to attack Times Square
Online propaganda videos and messages posted by Isil supporters encourage "lone wolf" attacks against numerous US tourist destinations and details how to make homemade pipe bombs
By Oliver Duggan
11:57AM BST 17 Sep 2014
The Islamic State (Isil) has encouraged “lone wolf” attacks by extremists equipped with homemade pipe bombs on Times Square and other high-profile US tourist destinations, according to reports.
A message posted on an Isil forum entitled “To the Lone Wolves in America: How to Make a Bomb in Your Kitchen, to Create Scenes of Horror in Tourist Spots and Other Targets” surfaced in the last 24 hours.
In it, supporters of the extremist organisation are told to plant explosives in busy public locations in New York, Las Vegas and Texas, and at metro stations across the US.
It comes as Isil released a slickly-produced propaganda video in response to President Barack Obama’s pledge to "degrade and destroy" the organisation.
The video includes shaky-footage of the White House that appears to have been filmed from a moving car, and include extracts of President Obama’s statement on the US response to Isil this week.
China cenbank injects $81 billion into major banks to support economy – reports
By Lu Jianxin and Kazunori Takada
SHANGHAI Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:05pm BST
(Reuters) – China’s central bank is injecting a combined 500 billion yuan (49.98 billion British pound / $81.35 billion) of liquidity into the country’s top banks, according to media reports, a sign that authorities are stepping up efforts to shore up a faltering economy.
Global shares and commodity prices rose on the reported move, although local money market rates climbed on the day, reflecting continued tightness in liquidity. [MKTS/GLOB]
The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed Chinese bank executive, said the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is pumping in 100 billion yuan each into China’s top five banks via standard lending facility in the form of 3-month loans.
When contacted by Reuters, a PBOC spokesman said: “We will make an announcement if we have any news.”
The central bank may be worried that an expected tightening in liquidity ahead of the quarter-end as well as a series of upcoming initial public offerings could trigger a sharp rise in short-term rates, as was seen in June last year, when they surged to around 30 percent and roiled global markets, traders said.