Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Italy

Trump Pressured to Stay in Paris Climate Agreement

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 29, 2017:

Candidate Donald Trump repeatedly promised that he would, if elected president, withdraw from the Paris Agreement agreed to under the previous administration in 2015. He said, “We are going to cancel the Paris climate agreement [and] stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”

Under that agreement (not a treaty which then-President Obama claimed wouldn’t need Senate ratification), so-called global warming would be limited by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and concentrating instead on green energy development.

One sign that Trump intends to keep his promise followed the official dispatch from the G7 Summit in Sicily on Friday:

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Fitch Knocks Saudi Arabia’s Credit Rating Down Another Notch

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 22, 2017:

Fitch Ratings downgraded Saudi Arabia’s credit rating again on Wednesday, bringing it perilously close to “speculative,” from “investment grade.” It dropped the country’s long-term credit rating from A+ to AA-, but with a “stable” outlook, noting that the reduction was due to the country’s “continued deterioration of public and external balance sheets.”

Fitch sees what both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, the other two global credit rating agencies, see: declining oil prices hurting a country that once enjoyed the highest investment grade ratings thanks to high oil prices that not only paid for extravagant welfare programs and subsidies to its citizens but allowed it to accumulate three-quarters of a trillion dollars in foreign reserves — more than ample to ride out any conceivable storm.

The rating agencies have seen that an inconceivable storm arrived in 2014 when

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More Evidence that OPEC’s Influence is Waning

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 22, 2017:

A measure of the success – and failure – of OPEC’s agreement to limit crude oil production can be seen in the chart of NYMEX crude oil price behavior (Sources below) dating from last fall. When the agreement was inked back in November, crude was at $46.50 a barrel. The price soared and traders got excited, putting in long bets that set records.

By early January, reality began setting in as compliance among the cartel’s members and non-members (who agreed to go along for the ride) began to wane. The roof fell in a couple of weeks ago when inventory builds continued to set records, and the price dropped through support at $50.

In other words, in OPEC’s attempt to birth an elephant, it succeeded in birthing a gnat.

Saudi Arabia maintained a stiff upper lip during the Houston oil conference, stating flat out that

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Saudi Arabia Losing Influence in Global Oil Markets

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 21, 2017:

As it continues to wrestle with declining oil prices worldwide, Saudi Arabia, the de facto head of the OPEC oil cartel, is giving up ground. It said a week ago that it would not allow any “free riders” to enjoy higher oil prices if they rose due to Saudi’s singular attempt to keep them up. A week later it was reported that the kingdom cut its production by 800,000 barrels per day, 60 percent below its agreement. So much for disclaimers against those “free riders” who continue to violate the agreement by exceeding their quotas.

Now comes news that the kingdom’s exports to the United States for the week ended March 10

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Hanjin Bankruptcy: a Harbinger for the Global Economy?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 8, 2016:  

English: A Delmas operated Container ship NICO...

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping was the world’s seventh-largest container shipping company, moving (until last week) 100 million tons of cargo on its 200 cargo ships from manufacturers to retailers across the globe. Last week, following years of losses as the global economy has slowed, Hanjin declared bankruptcy. That move stranded 90 of those ships as off-loading companies refused to unload them over concerns that they wouldn’t be paid.

Even an offer of $90 million from what’s left of Hanjin (including $36 million from the personal assets of its chairman) fell far short of the necessary $543 million estimated to unload all of its ships that are now circling ports around the world.

Concerns are mounting that

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Resurgence of Nationalism Following Brexit Making Insiders Nervous

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 29, 2016:  

European Council on Foreign Relations

The first successful pushback against the machinations of the New World Order elites last week was followed by much hand-wringing, second-guessing, and suggestions that the citizens of Great Britain didn’t know what they were doing and should take a mulligan (golf term: a do-over). The Wall Street Journal published a timeline of the exit process, which could take as long as two years.

Calling it a potential “multi-year tussle,” that process has the global elites in a pickle:

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Boston University Economist Calls Out Congress on Enormous Fiscal Gap

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 12, 2015:

Logo of the United States Government Accountab...

Logo of the United States Government Accountability Office

During his annual trek to Washington, D.C., to lecture Congress on its spendthrift habits, Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff took the gloves off this year. He dressed down Senator Mike Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, along with the committee’s members:

Let me get right to the point. Our country is broke. It’s not broke in 75 years or 50 years or 25 years or 10 years.

 

It’s broke today.

 

Indeed, it may well be in worse fiscal shape than any development country, including Greece.

It isn’t just Enzi, or his committee, or the present Congress, that’s responsible for a fiscal gap that’s vastly larger than that projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It’s the idea that the country can borrow without limit because

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Fallout From Scottish Vote: European Separatist Movements Surge

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 22, 2014:

St Andrews, Scotland, "home of Golf".

St Andrews, Scotland

In reporting on the Scottish vote for independence last week, the Associated Press noted that, despite the failure, the vote “sets up a whole new political dynamic in the kingdom.” This has turned out to be a breathtaking understatement. The day after the election results were announced, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, said he would not accept his party’s nomination for leader in November and that he would quit his role as

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British PM Cameron Promises “Devolution” of Powers to Scotland

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 22, 2014:

English: Home nations flag of the United Kingd...

Home nations flag of the United Kingdom. A combination of four flags of the four constituent countries of the UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to the Scottish independence referendum last week, a new word has entered the political lexicon: devolution. The day after the election, British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the immediate formation of a cabinet level committee to study exactly how much power the UK will “devolve” to Scotland. He doubled-down by saying that that devolution should also apply to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well:

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Cyprus daylight robbery puts the whole European Union at risk

At least that’s the hope of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a quasi-liberal writing for a clearly liberal British newspaper, the Telegraph. He called the stunt that was tried and failed, at least for the time being, of robbing people point-blank in daylight, saying that

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German High Court Approves Step Toward European Dictatorship

English: European Central Bank ECB Eurotower i...

English: European Central Bank ECB Eurotower in Frankfurt a.M. Germany Deutsch: Europäische Zentralbank EZB Eurotower in Frankfurt a.M. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The decision on Wednesday by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court that clears the way for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to extend its power over the national sovereignty of the eurozone’s member states was celebrated as a victory to save the euro.

It was nothing of the sort. It was instead a political victory for dictatorship in the name of the euro.

By putting some temporary limits on just how much the German government can contribute to the ESM, the decision made it appear to be prudent and careful and protective of Germany’s national sovereignty. The court said that Germany’s contribution cannot exceed the currently agreed to amount of $250 billion without approval by the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament (roughly equivalent to the House of Representatives in the United States). And the court also required that funds given to the ESM must be

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Myths About the Marshall Plan

Logo used on aid delivered to European countri...

When establishment historians consider the Marshall Plan, its intents and purposes and alleged successes, they typically make at least two errors–one in logic and the other in history. First, they assume that since Europe began to revive at about the time the Marshall Plan was implemented then that revival must have been because of the plan, not in spite of it.

Second, they fail to make any mention of the forces in the background that had a much different purpose in mind: specifically, how to use the Marshall Plan to further their internationalist agenda.

One example of a “court historian” providing his readers with the accepted view of the Marshall Plan is Robert V. Remini, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, and author of numerous books on the American republic’s early figures, such as Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster. In 2005 Remini was appointed the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. Remini thus serves as the perfect example of someone who knows his history but fails to tell all he knows, especially when it comes to the Marshall Plan.

In his “A Short History of the United States” Remini had this to say about the Marshall Plan:

Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, then devised a plan, which he outlined in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947, by which the United States would assist European nations to rebuild their shattered economies…

Between April 1948 and December 1951, the United States contributed a little over $12 billion to Europe…

By 1951 Europe had not only achieved its prewar level of production but its level of industrial production rose to virtually guarantee prosperity for the future…

There it is: the United States, out of the goodness of its heart, gave five percent of its gross national product with no strings attached to European nations to help them get back on their feet. And it worked!  Look! By 1951 Europe had fully recovered!

It is tempting to ascribe malevolent intentions to Remini. But that does not preclude asking some questions and pointing out some errors of commission and omission in his establishment view. For instance, who

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Eurozone Teetering on the Edge of Recession

The economic growth of Portugal, Italy, Irelan...

With economists predicting the start of an official recession in Europe, the latest numbers from the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, show that the recession hasn’t been confirmed, at least not yet.

Without Germany’s slightly better economic performance in the first quarter, however, the recession would be official. Two quarters of “negative growth”—or rather shrinkage—is the usual definition of a recession, and it appears that the official declaration will have to wait until July. Germany was expected to grow at a paltry annualized rate of 0.1%—barely perceptible—but instead grew by a modest 0.5% in the first quarter, which followed a 0.3% contraction in the last quarter of last year. Some economists had the audacity to call this a “strong economic performance” by Europe’s powerhouse, but a closer look at the real numbers reveals how close a call it was and that it’s just a matter of time before the economists finally recognize the reality that

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Iceland Says “No” to Bank Bailouts, Enjoys Economic Growth

THE GRAND KREMLIN PALACE, MOSCOW. President Pu...

To look at the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland, an alien would be hard-pressed to see any aftereffects of the banking crisis that nearly bankrupted the country in 2008. The capitol of the 40,000-square-mile island just below the Arctic Circle between Greenland and the United Kingdom is the country’s largest city where nearly two-thirds of the island’s 320,000 inhabitants reside. Unemployment is down, economic growth is positive, and its streets are calm.

But it was the center of the financial crisis precipitated in 2008 when one of its three largest banks had a big loan payment coming due and couldn’t come up with enough krona to make it.

As Iceland’s President, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, said in an interview with Business Insider International:

If a collapse in the financial sector can bring one of the most stable and secure democracies and political structures to [its] knees as happened [here] in Iceland, then what could it do in [other] countries?

When Iceland’s legislature decided to take over the country’s three largest banks—Glitner, Landsbanki, and Kaupthing—it was discovered that, despite all four credit rating agencies giving them A or better credit ratings, the banks owed an amount that approached six times Iceland’s gross domestic product (GDP). Grimsson, who has been President of this parliamentary republic since 1996, had a decision to make: pump government (taxpayer) funds into them to keep them afloat, or

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As Regulations Strangle the Economy, History Provides an Alternative

Small Steps Toward Deregulation

President Barack Obama speaks to a joint sessi...

Because of disappointment over the economy’s rate of recovery which appeared to be confirmed by the March jobs numbers coming in at half the rate expected, the House is making efforts to roll back regulations that are said to be inhibiting the recovery.

The Wall Street Journal explained that, although the jobless rate edged down in March from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent, “that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches.” Indeed, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve a record 88 million people are “not in the labor force,” up from 60 million in the early 1980s.

Regulations emanating from regulatory agencies have turned into a veritable waterfall under the Obama administration, forcing the White House last summer to promise to “review hundreds of regulations that could get streamlined or scrapped in response to criticism from the GOP and business that burdensome rules are holding back the economy.”

Writing at The New American, William Hoar noted that, even if such a review actually took place and then resulted in any kind of rollback of regulations, it would amount to no more than “a speed bump for the diktaks racing out of Washington.” In fact, the White House is a significant part of the problem. Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA) noted that since Obamacare became law it has grown from a 2000-page bill to more than 6,000 pages of regulations in the Federal Register.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) got so exasperated with the regulations threatening to asphyxiate the economy that he announced plans to introduce legislation to abolish every

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White House Jobs Growth Celebration is Premature

South façade of the White House, the executive...

White House announcements celebrating the jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were optimistic: “Private sector employers added 233,000 jobs to their payrolls in February [which] means the economy has added jobs for 24 consecutive months…” This illustrates “the progress of the last two years and the importance of doing everything we can to continue strengthening our economy and creating jobs for the months and years ahead,” wrote Megan Slack on the White House blog. Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, was equally enthusiastic:

Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal…. It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession…

MarketWatch.com joined with the White House in its analysis of the numbers: “By almost every measure the employment picture has brightened considerably…”

Unfortunately both sources were reading from the top line of the BLS report. A closer look would likely have dampened their enthusiasm. From that report, 

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Group of 20 Balks, Stalls and Dithers

Español: Foto de familia de líderes del G20 en...

The Group of 20 meeting in Mexico City over the weekend decided that the best course of action was inaction, putting off making any decisions on how to “rescue” the European Union from its financial and economic difficulties until next month at the earliest. The statement justifying kicking the can down the road for another month or so was breathtaking in its obfuscation: putting off any decisions, it said, “will provide an essential input in our ongoing consideration to mobilize resources…” This is how finance ministers and world economic experts explain that, after two days of meetings, the best thing to do was nothing at all.

There were great expectations before the meeting ended that something of substance would come out of it. The plan was not only to pave the way for the second bailout of Greece but for each of the G-20 members (including the U.S. and most of the other industrialized nations on the planet) to pony up additional taxpayer funds to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would then be used, at its discretion, to bail out over-indebted countries like Greece, Portugal, Spain, and others as they need them. Expectations were that commitments totaling $1 trillion would be made before the end of the meeting on Sunday.

Plans went awry when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, responding to pressure from more sensible voices, said Germany would be unable to participate in any further assistance. This reluctance no doubt stems from the fact that the German parliament, the Bundestag, still hasn’t

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Eurozone Recession Accelerates; Moody’s Piles On

Board of Governors - International Monetary Fu...

Economists polled by Reuters predicted that the recession in Europe that began late last year would continue into the new year and they weren’t disappointed. Reuters announced that economic output in the 17-member eurozone declined by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2011, the sharpest since the second quarter of 2009 at the start of the recession. Those same economists are now predicting that European GDP growth will stay negative at least for the rest of the year with only modest chances of improvement in 2013.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has the same negative expectations, predicting at least a 0.5-percent contraction of the eurozone countries next year. Even Germany, long the anchor to windward and the engine of growth for the European community, went negative in the last quarter compared to its modest growth rate of 0.6 percent in the third quarter.

Investment banking firm ING admitted that the decline caught their forecasters by surprise. Carsten Brzeski said the economic contraction “turned out to be weaker than expected.”

The Netherlands declined into recession (defined as two quarters of declines in GDP, or “negative growth” in economic parlance) with its third quarter contraction of 0.4 percent followed by another 0.7 percent decline in the fourth. Italy’s economy dropped by 0.7 percent in the last quarter with little improvement expected for at least a year. This puts Italy into the same recessionary camp as Belgium, Portugal, and Greece.

Portugal may be looking for another bailout as its economy suffered at 1.3 percent decline in the fourth quarter, more than double the 0.6 percent decline from the third quarter.

But Greece is the basket-case poster child for economic performance, with a stunning

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The Imminent Collapse of the Euro

Safe deposit boxes inside the vaults of a Swis...

One of the unintended consequences of the ongoing and accelerating crisis in the eurozone is that ordinary citizens are taking their money out of the banks and burying it. Lack of both confidence in the stability of the European economy and credible solutions to the crisis have led to the exit of currency from banks in Greece, Italy, and other European countries.

One Greek banker said that safe deposit boxes are in great demand: “There has been a big increase in rentals…about five-fold compared with last year. About 10 percent of the withdrawals we see are headed there. The most extreme case was a client who told me he was building a safe under his pool.” Retail bank deposits in that country are now at five-year lows, adding to the instability of banks whose balance sheets depend on those deposits staying put.

Italian citizens are moving their money out of the country into Switzerland while others are purchasing German bonds. Those purchasers have been so willing to pay for the privilege of owning safe German bonds that they have driven interest rates to less than zero.

Others are putting their paper into hard assets such as apartments in Berlin. Frederico Racca, a realtor in Berlin, reported, “Sales skyrocketed in the last two months due to

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Not All Economic News is Bad News

English: There's a light at the end of the tun...

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul noted on Tuesday that efforts to rein in government spending appeared to be in vain, due to an agreement reached with the White House during the recent debt ceiling negotiations. Congress would have to pass a joint resolution to oppose any extension of the debt ceiling, which President Obama is free to veto. Said Paul: “A default is becoming more mathematically unavoidable with…every debt ceiling increase.”

Not only is the word “default” becoming commonplace but also the words “economic collapse.” A study conducted by Leflein Associates and published by EcoHealth Alliance showed that of the 1003 individuals interviewed for the survey, 63 percent—or more than six out of ten of them—feared an “economic collapse” more than a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or a global outbreak of disease. This study was picked up by Michael, the author of his Economic Collapse Blog, who piled on by adding a long list of reasons why concerned citizens should be afraid of such an event: 

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann