President Trump and President Putin Joint News Conference – 10:30am Livestream…

At the conclusion of a day-long meeting(s) between the U.S. and Russia President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin hold a press conference from the State Hall of the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland.

UPDATE: Video Added

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President Trump and President Putin Hold Bilateral Meeting and Discussion…

President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin hold a bilateral meeting in Helsinki, Finland.  As customary the international media were permitted for the initial statements of both leaders.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Meet Vladimir Putin In Helsinki, Finland…

President Trump introduces First Lady Melania Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.   (Melania Trump is fluent in Russian).   Following the brief introduction Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and first lady Jenni Haukio join together for a brief photo session to document the historic meeting.

President Trump Attends Breakfast with the President of the Republic of Finland…

President Trump begins the day with a breakfast with the President of the host nation Finland.


[Transcript] – Mntyniemi Residence – Helsinki, Finland – 9:54 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT NIINIST: Mr. President, ladies, gentlemen, it’s great to have you here.


PRESIDENT NIINIST: — you are most welcome. We have done our utmost so that your visit and your negotiations here would be successful. And, like we see, even the sun is with us, although it begins to be far too warm, even here in the North.

But, once again, warm welcome. And we wish all the success in your meetings and negotiations with President Putin.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. And we very much appreciate Finland. We very highly respect your country, our relationship has been a very good one, and our personal relationship has been very good.

And I enjoyed being with you a couple of days ago. NATO has, I think, never been stronger. And it was really — it was a little bit tough at the beginning, and it turned out to be love. It really was a great meeting that we had and brought everybody together, and, I think, very worthwhile.

But I appreciated your support and your help. And I will say, again, you’ve treated us beautifully. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, what’s your message to President Putin today?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m going to be seeing him in a little while.

Q But what are you going to say to him?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll do just fine. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, I’m from Finnish press. What was the (inaudible) choice to (inaudible) Finland as a meeting?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we think Finland is a great country. We had a fantastic meeting a few days ago; some of you were there. It was a very successful meeting. I think NATO has never been more together. People are now agreeing to pay, and we were having a lot of problem with a lot of people not paying, as the President will tell you. And they’re paying, and they’re paying more rapidly. And I think NATO has probably never been stronger than it is today.

So we had a fantastic meeting, and now we’re capping it with being in Finland. And the hospitality has been fantastic. Thank you.

Thank you very much everybody.

END 9:56 A.M. EEST

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Arrive in Helsinki, Finland…

President Trump and First Lady Melania arrive in Helsinki, Finland ahead of a summit between the U.S. and Russia scheduled for tomorrow.

Turkey the Poster Child of Emerging Market Crisis

During the 1980s, I was called in to create a hedge for a bank against the Turkish lira which nobody made a market on. I had to create a synthetic hedge for the currency was moving into what became hyperinflation.  The Turkish lira has begun to fall ever since Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became the 12th president of Turkey on August 28th, 2014. We can see from the chart that the last 4 years has produced nothing but a US dollar rally. The lira really began to break down in 2015 following his election. While his vision was to make Turkey a more important country with a vision of the former glory of the Ottoman Empire, we can see in this chart that 2016 the dollar broke out of the channel technically and has begun the steady rally that can make Turkey the poster-child of the emerging market crisis.

The Turkish financial market has come under heavy selling pressure last week. Turkey could be at the center of a new world financial crisis which is unfolding at first in the emerging markets followed by Europe.  The price of the lira fell sharply last Thursday making this the largest price decline for one week in the past 10 years. The Lira continues the immediate downward trend which has been ongoing since Erdoğan came to power.

Turning to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, here too we also saw falling prices. The price of the leading index ISE National 100 plummeted during the week from about 100,000 points to only 90,000 points. At the end of January, the price was around 120,000 points. The relationship between price and expected equity returns dropped to the lowest level in the past nine years.

Looking at the bond market, the 10-year government bond yields rose by about 100 basis points on Thursday in a single day reflecting the collapse in public confidence. The 10-year bond now stands at an almost 18% rate, which is up significantly from 10% a little more than one year ago. Inflation is now running at 15% level and during the hyperinflation period, it reach just about 15% per month.

Erdogan continues to try to consolidate power into a virtual dictatorship. He made his son-in-law Minister of Finance after the election and curtailed the independence of the central bank. He thinks he can simply manipulate the interest rates down, which is just going to blow up in his face.  Erdogan has simply increased global investors’ fears with his attempt to control the central bank and interest rates. Erdogan has circumvented all democratic procedures and can appoint the president and vice president of the central bank without any other approval. We are looking at a politician who has become a dictator and we must question even the validity of any election in Turkey. Of even more concern, however, is that history warns this type of behavior typically is characterized by someone who will begin wars to distract the people and retain power at all costs.

Currency Risk – The Great Unknown That Brings Down Governments

I am not sure if I understand how it would work but obviously, this is highly hypothetical today.
If the reserve currency is SDR, we still need debt denominated in SDR and a very large and deep market accessible by investors to park money there.
If individual countries have their own currency and issue their debt in that currency, or SDR for that matter, is it not just the same as the EUR today! Credit risk has to match with the currency of the central bank if I understand the shortcoming of Europe today.


ANSWER: You are correct. As soon as you borrow in another currency, you will then encounter FOREX risk. Third world countries have been borrowing in dollars extensively. As the dollar rises, we will see defaults BECAUSE of the currency risk.  It would not matter if countries borrowed in dollars or SDRs, they will encounter the same currency risk. At the very least, countries must be prohibited from borrowing in foreign currencies, or preferably, governments should be prohibited from borrowing PERIOD! The Roman Empire lasted for nearly 1,000 years. They neither had a central bank nor a national debt. There are other ways to restructure the global financial system. I am preparing the full solution that we need to examine based upon history and what has worked and what has failed

Herod Agrippa I (41-44AD)

Armstrong Economics Blog/Uncategorized

QUESTION: Was it Herod Agrippa who ruled Jerusalem when Jesus was Crucified? Someone said his coins are common.

ANSWER: No. It does get confusing. Herod Agrippa I (born 11BC; ruled 41 – 44 AD) after Jesus was crucified. Agrippa I was the last King of Judea with the royal title reigning over Judea. He was also the father of Herod Agrippa II, who was the last King from the Herodian dynasty. Herod Agrippa I  was the grandson of Herod the Great and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice. He was born Marcus Julius Agrippa being named in honor of Roman general and statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who had been the right hand of Emperor Augustus. Herod Agrippa I is the king named Herod in the Acts of the Apostles 12:1 (Acts 12:1). The Jewish historian Josephus refers to him as “Agrippa the Great”.

Josephus tells us that, following the murder of his father, Herod Agrippa I was sent by Herod the Great to the imperial court in Rome. There, Tiberius became very fond of the boy and he was educated alongside his own son Drusus with whom he became good friends. He also became a close friend of the future Emperor Claudius. On the death of Drusus, Agrippa, who had been recklessly extravagant and was deeply in debt, was obliged to leave Rome.

All the Judean kings of the Herodian Dynasty issued small bronze coins. They did not put their portrait on these small bronze coins They are fairly common. The Herod you are thinking about was Herod III Antipas.

Sunday Talks: Senator Rand Paul -vs- Jake Tapper Discussing Russia, Russia, Russia….

Senator Rand Paul appears on CNN to discuss the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A professionally obtuse Tapper demands war against Russia because former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta fell for a phishing scam and gave away his email password. Tapper also holds motive to demand war because when Seth Rich gave Wikileaks the DNC emails, Tapper’s pro-Clinton media constructs, including giving advanced knowledge of debate questions, surfaced and revealed his strzokic level bias.

The Judaea Move for Independence 66-70AD

QUESTION: Was the first Jewish revolt about taxes? I think you said it was previously.


ANSWER: Correct. While there were tensions over religion, what really began the crisis was taxation. Later, the death of Nero and religion came into play about 2 years after it began. It is true that the rebellion of Judaea began in the year 66 AD, originating in ethnic and religious tensions but Rome had generally allowed every region to keep their own gods. In the case of Judaea, they were not fond of using coins with images of various gods. The crisis truly erupted due to anti-taxation protest that resulted in attacks upon Roman citizens.

The Roman governor, at that time, was Gessius Florus. As the rebellion over taxes began, he responded by plundering the Jewish Temple seizing wealth to compensate for the decline in taxation. The following day he arrested numerous senior Jewish figures who were not directly connected to any violence. Meanwhile, on September 22nd, 66AD, Emperor Nero created the Legio Legio I Italica. He also appointed Titus Flavius Vespasian legate of the army of Judea and in command of three legions — V Macedonica, X Fretensis and XV Apollinaris. These actions resulted in justifying a large-scale rebellion which began in October 66AD. The rebels were able to annihilate the Roman garrison (a cohort of Legio III Cyrenaica) in Jerusalem resulting in King Herod Agrippa II and all Roman officials fleeing from Jerusalem for their lives. Meanwhile, Sicarii captured the fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea.

With the fall of Jerusalem, Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria, marched into Judea and lead a Roman army of 30,000 men to put down the Jewish rebellion. At its core was Legio XII Fulminata, plus 2,000 picked men from the other three Syrian legions, six more cohorts of infantry, four alae of cavalry, and over 14,000 auxiliaries. The auxiliaries were furnished by Rome’s eastern allies, which included Herod Agrippa II and two other client kings, Antiochus IV of Commagene and Sohaemus of Emesa, who lead their forces (largely archers and cavalry) in person.

Gallus lead his main force down the coast from Caesarea via Antipatris to Lydda, detaching other units, by land and sea, to neutralize the rebel strongholds at Joppa, Narbata and the Tower of Aphek. With Galilee and the entire Judean coast in his hands, Gallus turned inland and marched on Jerusalem but broke-off the siege in November 66AD. As he withdrew his forces to retire to winter quarters, the Jewish rebels ambushed and defeated him. Some 5,300 Roman troops are killed in the battle. The Jewish rebels now captured his pack animals and his artillery which they used during the next siege by Titus four years later. This was a major victory for the Jewish rebels and it became a major disgrace of the Roman military. The Jewish rebels captured even the eagle standard of Legio XII Fulminata. Gallus abandoned his own troops in disarray and fled for his own life to Syria.

During 66AD, the Jews thus took control of Jerusalem and began to issue their own coins. The Judean Free Government was formed in Jerusalem including former High Priest Ananus ben Ananus, Joseph ben Gurion and Joshua ben Gamla elected as leaders. Yosef ben Matityahu was appointed the rebel commander in Galilee and Eleazar ben Hanania as the commander in Edom. Later, in Jerusalem, an attempt by Menahem ben Yehuda, leader of the Sicarii, to take control of the city failed. He was executed and the remaining Sicarii were ejected from the city. Simon bar Giora, a peasant leader, was also expelled by the new government.

Vespasian was given the task by Nero of crushing the rebellion in Judaea province. His son Titus was appointed as second-in-command. Vespasian invaded Galilee in the fall of 67AD. He avoided a direct attack on the reinforced city of Jerusalem. Instead, Vespasian launched a directed campaign to crush rebel strongholds and punish the population. Within several months Vespasian and Titus took over the major Jewish strongholds of Galilee and finally overran Jodapatha, which was under the command of Yosef ben Matitiyahu, as well as subdued Tarichaea, which brought an end to the war in Galilee.

With the death of Nero in 68AD, Rome moved into a Civil War. Vespasian became the rival general to ain over Otho and Vitellius. Now the Judea situation was a matter of critical importance. Vespasian became emperor in 69AD and the defeat of the Jewish Revolt was critical for if they succeeded, then other provinces would rally against Rome as well.

The first Jewish coins boasted the slogan: “For the Freedom of Zion.” The Jewish War for Independence last 4 years covering the period of 66-70AD until the conquest of Jerusalem. Recently, a bronze coin was discovered in Israel from the fourth year of the failed rebellion against Rome which reflected the change in attitudes. The coins of Year 4 saw a change in the slogan to “For the Redemption of Zion.” The Temple was sacked in 70AD and the clean-up skirmishes followed which took several years. The historian Josephus tells us of the last stand at Masada which took place around 73-74 AD.

Year 1 (66/67 CE) Jewish shekels and half shekels are scarce, year 2 (67/68 CE) shekels and half shekels and year 3 (68/69 CE) shekels and half shekels are relatively common, year 4 (69/70 CE) shekels and half shekels and year 5 (70 CE) shekels are extremely rare.

Virtually EVERY revolution throughout history appears to emerge from a tax rebellion. It will often expand into ethnic or religious slogans, but at the core, it is always taxation. The American revolution was the class – No Taxation Without Representation. Yet the greed of politicians inevitably leads to their own destruction for they cannot resist spending other people’s money.