Second Civil War is Brewing in Ukraine – Stephen Cohen
20:59 06.08.2015(updated 21:42 06.08.2015)
From the current looks of the situation in Ukraine, the country is almost certainly on the verge of a second civil war, notes the US historian Stephen F. Cohen.
Cohen believes that the coming war will erupt between the Kiev-based national government, which is supported by Washington, and a growing far-right ultranationalists, which are growing in number in Ukraine.
“Between the official government and the growing ultranationalist movement whose most powerful representative is the political and military organization known as the Right Sector, which some people say are neo-fascists as some of their batallions wear swastikas and some praise the nazi-regime. The pivot of their ideological thinking is an ethnically cleansed, purified Ukraine, above all without any Russians or Russian influence,” said Cohen.
One of their demand from official Kiev government is to resume the offensive in the East of Ukraine and make no compromises with Moscow, which is basically the Minsk accords.
“In the last few weeks it seems quite certain that the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, is seeking to comply with the Minsk Agreement, as he understands that this is the only way for him to retain his presidency,” added the historian.
However, Cohen noted that as the ultra-right forces grow in strength they would not sit by and permit Poroshenko conduct peace negotiation with the representatives of Donbass, considering that there are ultra-rights within the Ukrainian parliament itself.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
As Bill Holter said this evening from the watchtower, the Chinese can make a Fed rate rise happen, if they care to, when they care to.
Anyone want to reconsider China’s desire to be part of the SDR?
GDP Shocker: Atlanta Fed Sees Q3 Growth At A Laughable 1%
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/06/2015 13:44 -0400
The Atlanta Fed’s Q1 and Q2 GDP forecasts were virtually spot on with what the BEA ultimately reported. Which is why if its accuracy persists, not only the Fed, but Wall Street strategists suddenly have a very big headache on their hands.
Moments ago, the Atlanta Fed just released its much anticipated first estimate for Q3 GDP. It was a doozy, at just 1.0%, or more than 2% below the consensus sellside estimate.
If this is confirmed, not only are all rate hike bets off, but one may as well start the countdown to the recession, and more importantly, QE4.
From the Atlanta Fed:
Latest forecast — August 6, 2015
The first GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2015 was 1.0 percent on August 6. The model projects that lower inventory investment will subtract 1.7 percentage points from third quarter real GDP growth. Real GDP grew 2.3 percent in the second quarter according to the advance estimate from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In short, if confirmed, not only is this a disaster for the economy, but an even bigger disaster for the Fed which has now pegged itself into a rate hike hole, and can only unpeg it by destroying what little credibility it has left.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Economic wars will now become hot wars.
Pentagon Outranged by Chinese Anti-Ship Missiles, Scrambles to Save Face
22:25 06.08.2015(updated 23:33 06.08.2015)
Desperate to compete with China’s long-range anti-ship missiles, the US Navy is considering one of two options: forge ahead with the expensive, but state-of-the-art LRASM, or upgrade the Cold War-era Tomahawk, a missile never intended for naval warfare.
Beijing unveiled its DF-21D Dong Feng “carrier killer” missile in 2014. Rumored to be capable of traveling at Mach 10 – or ten times the speed of sound – with an effective range of 1,200 miles, the Navy has expressed concern that the weapon could pose a major threat to US aircraft carriers in the event of conflict.
On Wednesday, US Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Joseph Aucoin outlined the Pentagon’s plan for how best to counter the Dong Feng.
One option is the Tomahawk missile. Introduced in the 1970s, that weapon is now produced by US defense contracting firm Raytheon. While it has proven remarkably reliable during its nearly 40 years of service, much of the Tomahawk’s success is based on stationary, land-based targets.
Except for a single model now out of service, the Tomahawk is not designed for mobile, floating targets, and would have to receive a significant upgrade before they could be any match against the Chinese Navy.
New Jersey legislator seeks federal loans to bail out state pensions
By Hilary Russ
(Reuters) – A top New Jersey Democrat wants the federal government to create a low-interest loan program to rescue states with big public pension problems.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney called on Wednesday for a nationwide pension debt restructuring plan under which the U.S. Federal Reserve would offer low-interest loans to state governments to pay down unfunded pension liabilities.
The country has racked up nearly $1 trillion of unfunded liabilities altogether in its state-run retirement systems, according to the latest estimate from Pew Charitable Trusts. Other projections have put the number even higher.
New Jersey’s badly underfunded pension system was cast further into the spotlight last year when Governor Chris Christie, now a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, slashed the state’s contribution because of a revenue shortfall.
Labor unions sued, saying the cuts violated a promise Christie himself made, in 2011 pension reforms, to ramp up to full contributions.
But Christie won the battle in the state’s highest court. The decision provided breathing room for the stressed state budget, but the pension problem lingers long term.
New Jersey would have to pay $6 billion on average annually for 30 years to pay off its existing $51 billion unfunded liability, the third largest in the nation, Sweeney said.
But under his proposal, the Garden State could take out a $50 million federal loan at a low 1 percent interest rate, putting the proceeds into its retirement system. If that happened in fiscal year 2017, it would cut annual pension contributions, including the loan repayment, in half to about $3 billion, he said.
JPMorgan Helps Comex Avoid Gold Depletion, Boosts Registered Gold By 78% Overnight
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/06/2015 12:08 -0400
Earlier this week, when observing the most recent drop in Comex registered gold as a result of a reclassification by the gold vaults of JPM and Brink’s of 25,386 ounces of registered gold into eligible (alongside the withrawal of 200,752 ounces of eligible gold from JPM), we wondered if Comex “may be on the edge” since after the adjustment, Comex registered gold had dropped to a never before seen low of just over 10 tons, resulting in record high gold coverage ratio of 124 ounces in outstanding gold open interest for every ounce of physical.
To be sure, we had no explanation for the drop, but we did muse that “the mainstream press will once again start paying close attention to the total, and especially registered, gold held at the Comex: at a pace of 25K a day, the gold vaults that make up the CME’s vaulting system would be depleted in just under two weeks of daily withdrawals.”
And while the mainstream press has certainly not opined on the peculiar events at the Comex, we have been paying particularly close attention to the daily Comex gold updates, and is probably why we were less than surprised to see that just 2 days after our report, the Comex once again succeeded in sweeping default fears under the rug by boosting its eligible gold by a whopping 78% overnight, from 362K ounces to 643K, thereby pushing deliverable gold from its all time lows.
However, this was not achieved with an infusion of actual new gold into the Comex, but thanks to JPM reclassifying 276K ounces of gold from the Eligible into the Registered category, even as actual eligible gold continues quietly hemmorhaging out of the Comex.
August 6, 2015
Here’s a great example of how an important rule that may affect your life gets BURIED within a giant piece of legislation—
At first glance the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 doesn’t seem like it should have any impact on foreign bank accounts.
But in fact it does significantly.
This piece of legislation signed into law last week, changes the filing deadline for an FBAR by over two months.
If you’re not familiar, the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the FBAR, is a form that US taxpayers must submit to report foreign bank and financial accounts.
In general, any US citizen, resident, corporation, partnership, LLC, etc. which either has a financial interest in, or signature authority over, a foreign financial account or accounts, must file the FBAR. Given that the aggregate total across all the accounts was at least $10,000 at any point during the previous calendar year.
Curiously, the FBAR is not filed to the IRS. It goes to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and is submitted electronically via form FinCEN 114.
The FBAR filing deadline used to be June 30th every year, meaning that you had until June 30th to report all your financial accounts for the previous calendar year.
Now, HR 3236 changes the filing date to April 15th of each year to coincide with the US tax filing deadline.
This is pretty important news if you have a foreign bank account given that there are steep penalties for not filing.
But you won’t ever hear about it. At least not from the government.
Important changes like this are quietly passed and buried under hundreds of pages of legislation.
Yet they just expect you to know about it. As the old saying goes, ‘ignorance of the law is not an excuse.’
It’s as if these politicians honestly believe that people are sitting around watching CSPAN all day and reading the text of all the laws being debated.
And often times, the rules and regulations aren’t even passed by Congress.
In the Land of the Free, executive agencies have the authority to create their own rules, all of which have the same weight and effect as the laws passed by Congress.
And the volume is astounding.
Just yesterday, in fact, there were over 300 pages of new rules and regulations published in the Land of the Free, and nearly 80,000 published last year.
These rules govern things like what we can and cannot put in our bodies, how we can educate our own children, and what we’re allowed to do with our own property.
It’s impossible to keep up with all of this. And yet these rules often come with severe administrative, civil, and even criminal penalties for non-compliance.
You, at this exact moment as you read these words, are in violation of probably half a dozen regulations that you’ve never heard of, buried deep within over 175,000 pages of rules.
It’s all part of how the government in the Land of the Free has turned everyone into a criminal for simply existing.
Which means that if you ever get on the bad side of some bureaucrat, or anyone ever decides to go after you, they’ll easily be able to find dozens of charges to bring up against you.
And it’s not going to stop.
You can see in this bizarre video that the government is practically BRAGGING about how much they regulate you.
This is what freedom means today in America.
And while I can understand that there are a lot of nice conveniences to living in America, it’s time to be honest with yourself and to acknowledge that freedom is no longer one of those conveniences.