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Month: August 2019

When State Governors Tried To Take Back Control Of The National Guard

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, A West Virginia state lawmaker plans to re-introduce a bill next session that would require Congress declare war or call forth the state militia before the West Virginia National Guard could be released from state control and sent into combat. Currently, as The Intelligencer (of Wheeling) puts it: “the authority to activate the Guard rests with West Virginia’s governor.” But this doesn’t quite describe the reality. State governors are expected to send state National Guard troops wherever and whenever the Pentagon orders. So, in recent decades, whenever states or governors have attempted to have some say over what the Pentagon does with state troops, the Department of Defense has responded with threats. For example, in the case of McGeehan’s bill: Leaders with the West Virginia National Guard opposed the “Protect the Guard” measure, and said it could have cost the state millions as military missions would have been deferred to other states if the measure had been enacted. According to McGeehan, “After the success on Monday, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard (James Hoyer) — along with the military brass at the Pentagon — aggressively worked behind the scenes to kill the bill,” The Pentagon threatened to withdraw both federal military spending and materiel from the state, with a National Guard spokesman saying: If enacted, the (U.S. Department of Defense) couldn’t count on us to...

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Trump Says He Regrets Escalating Trade War With China, White House Immediately Retracts

While one may accuse the US president of many things, having second thoughts is hardly one of them: once Trump has decided on a course of action, he tends to follow through. Which is why the global press gasped when a rare case of doubt emerged this morning during Trump’s breakfast meeting with the UK’s Boris Johnson at the Biarritz G-7, when the US president acknowledged having second thoughts about the escalating the trade war with China… only for his top spokeswoman to later retract and say Trump meant he regretted not raising tariffs even more. During his meeting with Johnson on Sunday at the G7 in France, the US president raised eyebrows when he responded in the affirmative to questions from reporters on whether he had any second thoughts about the tariff move. Trump was asked if he had second thoughts about his latest escalation. “Yeah, sure. Why not?” Trump answered. The reporter repeated the question and Trump replied: “Might as well. Might as well.” A second reporter followed up again, asking if he had second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China. “I have second thoughts about everything,” Trump responded very clearly in the affirmative. Trump and BoJo (right). Trump’s odd admission was a problem because as Goldman said on Friday, it was Trump’s decision to delay tariffs that was interpreted as weakness by China, leading...

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Morgan Stanley: Don’t Hold Your Breath For Fiscal Stimulus

Authored by Chetan Ahya, chief economist and global head of economics This past week, media reports have indicated that China, Germany and the US could be considering new fiscal stimulus measures. China may raise local government bond issuance to accelerate infrastructure spending, Germany is possibly considering steps to potentially run a budget deficit for the first time in years, and the US may be weighing up a payroll tax cut. Structural and cyclical challenges argue for fiscal policy action It’s clear that monetary easing won’t be enough to reverse the deteriorating outlook for global growth. Structurally, weaker demographics, elevated debt and disinflationary pressures (our ‘3D challenge’) are exerting a drag. Declining natural interest rates have meant that monetary policy by itself will not be enough to stimulate aggregate demand and lift inflation expectations. Over the last ten years, the GDP deflator in developed economies has averaged just 1.2%, well below the central banks’ 2% goal. Cyclical developments have made matters worse. Trade policy uncertainty is pushing global growth to a post-crisis low. Slower growth has sharpened the focus on liquidity trap challenges – long-standing in Europe and Japan – and is raising questions about the effectiveness of monetary easing. Case in point: the G4 policy rate is 0.9%, and the corresponding 10-year government bond yield is 0.5%. We’ve been arguing that monetary policy support can’t drive a recovery as...

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Is Amazon’s Surveillance Machine Secretly Infiltrating Police Departments?

Authored by Eta Onrish via The Organic Prepper blog, Big Tech has come under fire quite consistently for privacy concerns and has even faced big fines for violations (which they can afford). It seems that public attention on this matter has forced them to start going underground, with secret back-end deals with the government at local levels to expand their surveillance capabilities. If you haven’t heard, there is a very useful doorbell camera called Ring. Ring started out as a product called, Doorbot, on the Shark Tank TV show but was rejected. The owners got immediate exposure and millions of dollars from investors after the show, changing the name from Doorbot to Ring. Fast forward five years, and Amazon decides to compete with Google’s friendly surveillance system called Nest, and buys Ring for A Billion Freaking Dollars. Using Ring to expand a surveillance network Ok, so what? It’s a very useful thing to be able to see who’s at the door and have a record of someone breaking into your home. The systems, in themselves, aren’t an issue. It’s when governments start to get involved and big money starts being made that conflicts of interest can lead to misuse and violations of privacy. It’s these very expansions outside of the homeowner’s benefit that need scrutiny. In addition to the actual doorbell surveillance camera itself, Ring/Amazon added a handy online app called, Neighbors, to use these systems to...

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Offshore Yuan Crashes To New Record Low, Tests PBOC ‘Peg’ Band

In early Asia trading, offshore yuan has extended Friday’s collapse, testing the lower edge of the PBOC’s Yuan trading band once again. Yuan traded as weak as 7.1925 against the USDollar… Source: Bloomberg Pressuring the weaker end of the Yuan peg band… Source: Bloomberg At the same time, USDJPY is tumbling (Yen strength), testing the lows of the flash-crash from early January… Source: Bloomberg Turmoil is coming.  ...

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