Horrific Islamist Attack in Egypt – Northern Sinai Mosque Targeted Killing 235…


Against the backdrop of the first border opening between Egypt’s northern Sinai and Gaza; and against the ongoing efforts by the al-Sisi led coalition to move toward peace between Arabs and Israelis; the extremists strike back today with a horrific terrorist attack against the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai.

(Reuters) CAIRO – Militants killed more than 230 people at a mosque in North Sinai on Friday, detonating a bomb and gunning down worshippers in the deadliest such attack of Egypt’s modern history, state media and witnesses said.

Worshippers were finishing Friday prayers at the mosque when a bomb exploded, witnesses said. Around 40 gunmen set up positions outside the mosque with jeeps and opened fire from different directions as people tried to escape.

”Four groups of armed men attacked the worshippers inside the mosque after Friday noon prayers. Two groups were firing at ambulances to deter them, said Mohamed, a witness.

The public prosecutors’ office said in a statement 235 people had been killed and 109 more wounded. (read more)

Hours after the attack, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered Egypt’s military to launch air strikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed, security sources and witnesses said.

“The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force. What is happening is an attempt to stop us from our efforts in the fight against terrorism, to destroy our efforts to stop the terrible criminal plan that aims to destroy what is left of our region.” ~Egyptian President al-Sisi

The terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, once allied to al Qaeda, declared allegiance to Islamic State in 2014.  Arabiya news channel and some local sources said some of the worshippers were Sufis, whom groups such as Islamic State consider targets because they revere saints and shrines, which for Islamists is tantamount to idolatry.

White House: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms todays horrific terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypts North Sinai province. We offer our condolences to the families of those killed and wounded, and we stand with the people and government of Egypt against terrorism. There can be no tolerance for barbaric groups that claim to act in the name of a faith but attack houses of worship and murder the innocent and defenseless while at prayer. The international community must continue to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups that threaten the United States and our partners and we must collectively discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence.”

(link)

 

Religious Persecutions have impacted Political-Economy


QUESTION: hi martin

question for you
if we fed the data and all the info you had on ISLAM – CHRISTIANITY – JUDAISM etc and all other religions into SOCRATES
and ask it …..what would its preferred choice be ……of RELIGION and what should the world follow…………what would SOCRATES say?
have you ever tried this thought experiment?
Regards
SS
ANSWER: Interesting question. I do not believe it would pick one for that is a subjective decision. It would forecast trends, but not which religion is better. What it does do is it will forecast religious upheaval, which is tied to economics. Change the economy and you create change in religion. The introduction of Communism followed Marx in banning religion.
During the 3rd century, it was the collapse of the monetary system of Rome that sparked the biggest wave of Christian persecutions. Why? The Pagans believed the gods were angry because the Christians would not pray to them. So the evils befalling upon the empire was blamed on the Christians. In turn, the Christain said their gods were impotent and only the true God would save them. Eventually, many Pagans left and became Christians praying for help.
Then there was the Spanish Inquisition headed by Tomás de Torquemada (1420–1498). Even the Pope came out against it. Nonetheless, the Spanish Crown used religion as the pretense to confiscate property and attacked both the Jews and the Arabs. This caused the Jews to flee mostly to the Netherlands. This is where banking and insurance became major in Amsterdam.
So religious persecutions have been had a major impact upon economics and the rise and fall of empires, nations, and city-states.

The Hidden Risk of Broker/Clearer


QUESTION: Dear Mr. Armstrong, Thank you for your work in “educating” us in your “University of the Conscious Investor”! My question relates to your “Trading a Vertical Market” report. I am slowly digesting this report which is truly fascinating and a must read for any rational minded investor. My experience tells me (and you have reaffirmed this within your report) that being able to trade correctly for the market is critical. In analyzing the correct actions we must take I have reached the conclusion that we must also investigate deeply the trading company we use and how any wild ride will impact their ability to actually fund the successful trades we have managed to get into and out of. I recently was issued new T&C’s for my accounts to accept and that makes for scary reading in the light of any major reset or mammoth gap or moves we anticipate. How would you recommend we evaluate the companies actually holding the bag to be able to pay up at the end of the day? This appears to me to be a most crucial question in the light of what Socrates is pointing out.

Be Well,

ANSWER: Yes, you are absolutely correct. Your broker/clearer is an additional risk.

 The kind of market conditions we are about to face will force questions beyond extreme volatility, no bids and the gapping of price and trade. What Traders must realize is that these extreme price actions themselves trigger increased margins, which again could trigger a liquidity crisis. Under such panic moves, prices can gap ‘without’ a trade and is worth remembering people sell what they can not what they should. This forces other markets to move just to raise cash. If market movements are violent everyone is pulled into the mix.

This is when you have to hope that every one of your fellow account owners (under the broker/clearer you are using) is liquid enough to honor margin requirements. This type of information is rarely going to be available to all and so makes many remain vulnerable.

Just to make you aware, it is possible that your money is vulnerable even if you do not have an open position and is just sitting with your clearer if they were to fail.

A lot of people lost money in the MF Global Scandal.

 

The Political Crisis in Germany Changes the Game


Merkel faces the worst crisis of her career and many behind the curtain are starting to wonder if she will even survive. The German Federal President Steinmeier could not actually order new elections immediately. The procedure in this regard is quite complicated in Germany. The earliest possible alternative would be to hold new elections come the spring of 2018. It is likely that the AFD is likely to gather even greater support from new elections. Nonetheless, the CDU will continue to support Merkel at least right now. However, the CDU has been severely weakened by the election and if we do not see new elections until the spring, there is a distinct possibility that Merkel’s support even within the CDU could collapse if they see the AfD will win even greater support.

The head of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Dieter Kempf,  has chastised the political leaders calling on the SPD, FDP and Greens to form a coalition. The price that the SPD will demand is that Merkel leaves before they would consider any compromise. There is just bad blood now between the SPD and CDU. Of course, this makes it even more likely we see and even more difficult Brexit. The practical crisis is the fact that Merkel must attend to domestic issues and will not truly have the time or authority to assume a leadership role in Brussels.

This turmoil in German politics is actually shifting the stage to Macron. The uncertainty in Germany may be opening the door for Macron to reform the EU and the Eurozone pushing Germany to second place. The political fortunes for the EU may be far more uncertain than many suspects.

From a market perspective, political uncertainty in Europe still creates uncertainty in markets rather that confidence.

Embattled Angela Merkel Indicates New Election Preferred Over Minority Governing…


Stunningly even Chancellor Merkel herself admits her immigration intransigence is the leading reason for her inability to form a coalition government.  Yet she is so committed to the ideology of ‘open borders‘ she will tender no compromise.

In an effort to leverage political blackmail against her opposition Merkel prefers the route of another election rather than trying to govern from the minority position.

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would prefer a new election to ruling with a minority after talks on forming a three-way coalition failed overnight, but Germany’s president told parties they owed it to voters to try to form a government.

The major obstacle to a three-way deal was immigration, according to Merkel, who was forced into negotiations after bleeding support in the Sept. 24 election to the far right in a backlash at her 2015 decision to let in over 1 million migrants.

The failure of exploratory coalition talks involving her conservative bloc, the liberal pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and environmentalist Greens raises the prospect of a new election and casts doubt about her future after 12 years in power. (read more)

It really is remarkable the level of entrenched ideology amid those who carry a far-left world view.  The position of Chancellor Merkel is reflective of visible authoritarianism within a democratic assembly of government.  There is apparently no limit to what Merkel is willing to do in order to retain her individual political outlook without concession.

Not surprisingly, the media fail to call out this representative reality; behavior which is, ironically, exactly what media falsely accuse President Trump of doing.

Merkel Vows to Run Again


After the failure to form a new government, Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear she has no intention of withdrawing from the race. New elections in Germany are looking ever more likely. Merkel appeared on TV on ZDF and said that she had not thought of resigning. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the parties to make a new attempt to form a government. The SPD, however, reiterated it will not agree to a grand coalition.

The Approaching Famine


The most serious forecast that we see from our computer models has been a rise in agricultural prices caused by Global Cooling – not Global Warming. Crops cannot grow without the sun and water. Historically, when the weather turns cold, the crops fail.

There is no question that food prices will rise during periods of war when crops cannot be planted and armies require food on a priority allotment.

However, Mother Nature sticks her finger into the pot to stir things up. The famine cycle is also an 8.6-year frequency, but the volatility aspect comes in units of 12 rather than 6.

   

Our database on wheat from 1259 forward (excluding our data on the Roman Empire grain prices), reveals that there is a serious risk of famine from 2020 onward. It appears that we may very well enter a 12-year rally into the year 2032. Our Bifurcation Models are reflecting also a gap in time between 2020 and 2031 suggesting a trend appears to last for that period of time.

The downside of taxation, and particularly inheritance taxes, has driven farmers to sell their land to conglomerates just to pay the inheritance taxes. This has resulted in genetically altering crops to increase yield. While genetically altered crops do not really appear to present a major health concern as many seem to argue, the real danger is the fact that during the past 100 years, 94% of the world’s edible seed varieties have vanished.

The downside of socialism which has attacked the rich, we have sacrificed the historical model in our food supply for corporate decision making that bribes politicians handing them their needed money to remain in office with each election. The consequence of this corruption has been the concentration of our food supply into an ever-shrinking basket of diversity. Today, 75% of the world’s food comes from only 12 plants and 5 animal species (see source). This lack of biodiversity has seriously increased this risk of widespread crop disease, and throw in the climate change turning colder, corporate decisions are not the way to protect society. Corporate boards are typically dominated by lawyers and accountants. They are not scientists nor do they even make proper decisions for investment or currency hedging. Corporations will never be able to cope with a sudden change and then make decisions that will impact the world. Major companies, such as Monsanto, could find themselves in control of the fate of human existence with the decisions being made by lawyers and accountants fixated on their bottom-line.

The period ahead, 2020-2032, appears to offer something much more different. While politicians keep pushing Global Warming because they can tax emissions, the risk of a monumental human disaster lies in the opposite direction.

The entire theory of Ice Ages emerged after the discovery in 1772 of wooly rhinos and mammoths were frozen in ice with plants still in their stomachs. Suddenly, science woke up and came to the shocking realization that climate can change drastically with no notice.

We have the technology today to drow food inside without even soil. This is something one should consider to put in your basement as 2020 approaches on the horizon.

 

Germany Moving Toward Political Crisis


Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday her efforts to form a three-way coalition government had failed. Merkel only received 32.5% of the vote, which is probably the lowest vote of any major world leader. The FDP pulled out of negotiations thrusting Germany into a political crisis and ever closer to a possible new election.

Meanwhile, German hoard of cash is escalating and the cities debt burdens are exploding in Germany. The entire game4 was to hide the debt crisis in Germany until after the elections. With the failure to form a government, new elections are appearing likely extending this Year from Political Hell.

This is becoming the political crisis that just will not go away. Politics around the world remain in turmoil and as our computer had forecast, this would contribute to the collapse in public confidence. The fate of the Euro hangs in the balance.

Deadlocked Jury – Trial of Senator Bob Menendez Ends in Mistrial…


According to the general legal outline that surfaced in the trial of Senator Bob Menendez, quid-pro-quo agreements between “abiding friends” can never be considered corruption or defined as ‘bribes’ because,.. just like non-public officials or business associates, close friends would do favors to help and repay each other.

In essence the legal definition of bribery for public officials now comes down to how long the two parties have known each other, and if they can show an abiding friendship. If two parties can show an “abiding friendship“, of undefined duration, no action taken by one party -to the benefit of the other party- can ever be considered bribery, regardless of the scope of the action.

You can bet a social networking strategy and Christmas Card lists of a whole bunch of politicians and public officials will be much longer this year. Everyone involved in paying-off public officials will now begin creating evidence of a much deeper friendship – which is now a proven legal defense.

(Reuters) – The corruption trial of New Jersey’s Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial on Thursday, after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on bribery, fraud and other charges.

Menendez, 63, a longtime fixture in the state’s political circles who first joined the Senate in 2006, was accused of accepting private flights, campaign contributions and other bribes from a wealthy patron, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for official favors.

The hung jury was a victory for Menendez and a major setback for federal prosecutors in what was the Justice Department’s first high-profile corruption trial since a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year limited its ability to bring such cases.

It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors would seek to retry Menendez, who is running for re-election next year, and his co-defendant Melgen. In a statement, the Justice Department said it would “carefully consider next steps in this important matter.”

[…] The case was seen as a test for prosecutors in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling vacating the bribery conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. In doing so, the high court narrowed the grounds for corruption cases.

The trial judge, Williams Walls, strongly considered a defense motion to throw out the case mid-trial in light of the McDonnell decision before deciding against it.  (read more)

20 Year List of Annualized Congressional Harassment Settlements…


Reid Wilson via The Hill provides a list of “Congressional Office of Compliance releases year-by-year breakdown of congressional harassment settlements and awards”:

(LINK)

*Note* Democrats took over Congress via elections in November ’06 for congressional year 2007.  Republicans retook Congress via elections in November ’10 for congressional year beginning 2011.