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Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely tells Ann Garrison that he sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate.

George Szamuely is a Hungarian-born scholar and Senior Research Fellow at London’s Global Policy Institute. He lives in New York City. I spoke to him about escalating hostilities on Russia’s Ukrainian and Black Sea borders and about Exercise Trident Juncture, NATO’s massive military exercise on Russian borders which ended just as the latest hostilities began.

Ann Garrison: George, the hostilities between Ukraine, NATO, and Russia continue to escalate in the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait, and the Black Sea. What do you think the latest odds of a shooting war between NATO and Russia are, if one hasn’t started by the time this is published?

George Szamuely: Several weeks ago, when we first talked about this, I said 60 percent. Now I’d say, maybe 70 percent. The problem is that Trump seems determined to be the anti-Obama. Obama, in Trump’s telling, “allowed” Russia to take Crimea and to “invade” Ukraine. Therefore, it will be up to Trump to reverse this. Just as he, Trump, reversed Obama’s policy on Iran by walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal. So expect ever-increasing US involvement in Ukraine.

AG: NATO’s Supreme Commander US General Curtis M. Scaparrotti is reported to have been on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko “offering his full support.” Thoughts on that?

GS: There has been a proxy war within Ukraine since 2014, with NATO backing Poroshenko’s Ukrainian government and Russia backing the dissidents and armed separatists who speak Russian and identify as Russian in Ukraine’s southeastern Donbass region. But in the Kerch Strait the hostilities are between Russia and Ukraine, with NATO behind Ukraine.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blain: “I Think The Global Trade War Is Now A Shooting War”

Blain’s Morning Porridge submitted by Bill Blain

“Why So Serious?”

I think the Global Trade War is now a shooting war.

A few weeks ago one of my very smart CIO contacts warned me the real story of the year isn’t just the implications for supply chains from a Trade Spat, but a more fundamental “Tech Cold War” between China and the US for dominance. It’s a battle that will shortly reach epic proportions, force huge change in the global tech supply chain, and has massive implications for current incumbents.

Over this last few days, its all going off. The US, Australia, NZ and the UK have banned Huawei from new 5G systems over embedded spy tech and “security” issues. Now we learn that even as Xi and Trump were meeting, the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions on Iran! She is also the daughter of Hauwei’s founder.

I suspect the news will trigger a massive downtrade in stocks today. Brace, Brace, Brace!

The core objective of Trump’s trade war threats are to contain China’s becoming a technological equal and competitor after all its learnt from access and replication of US tech. If we see a full Tech War with lines drawn, then its potentially clobbers everything from Apple down. It means a choice between US Tech or China Tech.

“Made in China 2025” is the Chinese target of becoming the leader in tech, and avoiding just being a US manufacturing centre. Its happening – Hauwei’s lead in 5G is just one example.

More on this next week – but its going to be a massive story. Blade Runner anyone?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trade Wars Lead to Shooting Wars and Depressions

Trade Wars Lead to Shooting Wars and Depressions

Trade wars were a principal factor in causing the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II.

The current President of the U.S. has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum effective March 23, 2018 and proposes tariffs on products imported from China. He has also proposed revoking U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has enabled a large expansion of trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Trump says trade wars are easy to win. Wrong. Everybody loses in trade wars.

Trade Wars Hurt Everyone 

Mr. Trump’s trade war will have a bad effect on American trade and relations with important nations around the world, including Canada, Mexico, China and other Asian nations whose companies do business in the U.S., and European nations.

Prominent American companies whose business will be hurt by Trump’s trade war include Boeing and Union Pacific, to name only two.

Boeing currently sells nearly one-third of its airplanes to China. The Chinese earn U.S. dollars by exporting to the U.S. That is the source of the ability of Chinese airlines to buy Boeing aircraft.

Union Pacific is the largest U.S. railroad. It transports goods, both imported and of domestic origin through much of the U.S. The CEO of Union Pacific has warned that Trump’s trade war will hurt not only the business of the railroad, but many other businesses that transport goods via Union Pacific.

American companies hurt by Mr. Trump’s trade war will suffer shrinkage of their businesses and shrinkage in the number of people they employ.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Now, a Trade War — Is a Shooting War Next?

Now, a Trade War — Is a Shooting War Next?

A popular thesis since the 1930s is that a natural progression exists from currency wars to trade wars to shooting wars. Both history and analysis support this thesis.

Currency wars do not exist all the time; they arise under certain conditions and persist until there is either systemic reform or systemic collapse. The conditions that give rise to currency wars are too much debt and too little growth.

In those circumstances, countries try to steal growth from trading partners by cheapening their currencies to promote exports and create export-related jobs.

The problem with currency wars is that they are zero-sum or negative-sum games. It is true that countries can obtain short-term relief by cheapening their currencies, but sooner than later, their trading partners also cheapen their currencies to regain the export advantage.

This process of tit-for-tat devaluations feeds on itself with the pendulum of short-term trade advantage swinging back and forth and no one getting any further ahead.

After a few years, the futility of currency wars becomes apparent, and countries resort to trade wars. This consists of punitive tariffs, export subsidies and nontariff barriers to trade.

The dynamic is the same as in a currency war. The first country to impose tariffs gets a short-term advantage, but retaliation is not long in coming and the initial advantage is eliminated as trading partners impose tariffs in response.

Trade wars produce the same result as currency wars. Despite the illusion of short-term advantage, in the long-run everyone is worse off. The original condition of too much debt and too little growth never goes away.

Finally, tensions rise, rival blocs are formed and a shooting war begins. The shooting wars often have a not-so-hidden economic grievance or rationale behind them.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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