Jim’s Mailbox

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Jim,

John Williams, of Shadow Stats, would tell us India is not the only country hiding data.

Dave

India’s Leader Is Accused of Hiding Unemployment Data Before Vote
January 31, 2019

NEW DELHI — When voters swept Prime Minister Narendra Modi into power five years ago, it was in no small part because of his vows to create millions of jobs and vault India into an era of prosperity.

But now, just months before the next general election, Mr. Modi is facing a potentially troublesome challenge on the jobs promises that may be partly of his own making.

His government was accused on Thursday of suppressing an official report on the national unemployment rate that apparently showed it had reached a 45-year high in 2017.

The Business Standard, a respected Indian financial newspaper, published leaked findings from the unemployment report, which is based on a survey and produced by the National Sample Survey Office, a government agency.

There had been expectations that the report would be released in December. Two commissioners responsible for reviewing data in the report, who had advocated releasing it, resigned in protest this week.

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Jim,

This would be a war with no winners.

Dave

President Putin Working Meeting With Lavrov And Shoigu Regarding INF Treaty
February 02, 2019

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, please provide an update on the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, and the disarmament dossier in general. What is going on in terms of limitation of offensive arms?

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: Mr President,

Regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, as you know, it has been in force since 1988. It had an indefinite term. According to the information at our disposal, the United States has been violating the Treaty since 1999, when it started testing combat unmanned aerial vehicles that have the same characteristics as land-based cruise missiles banned by the Treaty.

The United States went on to use ballistic target missiles for testing their missile defence system, and in 2014 they began the deployment in their missile defence system positioning areas in Europe of Mk 41 vertical launching systems. These launchers are fully suitable as they are for Tomahawk intermediate-range attack missiles.

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Bill,

Gambling with the house money and losing.

Dave

Abenomics Harpoons Japan’s Pension ‘Whale’
February 2, 2019

If Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wonders about the cost of delaying vital reforms for six-plus years now, he has a Hungary-sized demonstration.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest of the genre, just posted a record $136 billion loss. That’s roughly equivalent to Hungary’s annual gross domestic product. With $1.39 trillion of total assets left, “The Whale,” as locals call it, could be the investment world’s biggest Abenomics casualty.

Ostensibly, GPIF fell victim to last quarter’s spectacular equities rout. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index alone lost 12% in 2018.

Yet it’s important to recognize how Prime Minister Abe’s policies aren’t just slamming the banking industry, but many a retiree in the world’s fastest-aging major economy.

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