Wednesday, April 24, 2019

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts on Brexit, Warns of Risks to Outlook

Brexit causes ‘substantial’ increase in economic, political, institutional uncertainty Global forecast for 2017 cut by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.4 percent If not for Brexit, global forecast would have been slightly higher The International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for global economic growth this year and next as the unexpected U.K. vote...

The world’s wealth is going to just 62 people

Wealth just keeps growing for the 62 richest people in the world. Collectively, this ultra-wealthy group controls $1.76 trillion, which is about the cumulative worth of the poorer half of the world’s population, or around 3.5 billion people. And since 2010, wealth has become more and more concentrated in favor...

The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication

A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously...

Trade in Services Agreement: October 14, 2016 Publication

Today, Friday 14 October 2016, 11:00am CEST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the controversial Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) currently being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for over 2/3rds of global GDP. The release is just a few days ahead of the next...

New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship

A newly published study from Oxford’s Jon Penney provides empirical evidence for a key argument long made by privacy advocates: that the mere existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stifles free expression. Reporting on the study, the Washington Post this morning described this phenomenon: “If we think that...

China is spending nearly $1 trillion to rebuild the Silk Road

Two weeks ago, a 32-container train from Wuyi, China arrived in Tehran, Iran. You might think the arrival of cargo by rail would be no big deal, but in this case you’d be wrong. This was the first journey of its kind between the two cities, and it shortened...

Russia’s Stumbling Pivot to Asia

Moscow and Beijing are trying to cement closer ties, but delays in high-profile energy deals highlight lingering tensions between the two American rivals. On May 21, 2014, after a marathon negotiating session in Shanghai, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, finally put pen to paper on...

Iran’s Energy Policy after the Nuclear Deal

Following the lifting of sanctions on Iran's all-important gas and oil sector, Tehran will seek to develop an "economy of resistance" by building out commercial relationships that increase other states' reliance on it, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Sara Vakhshouri argues in Iran's Energy Policy After the Nuclear Deal. Using...

The good, bad, and the ugly of pending congressional surveillance bills

Heat is on: Bulk phone metadata collection program Snowden exposed expires June 1. On June 1 the legal authority enabling the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata collection program expires. The expiration date of Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act comes two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed...

Latest Estimate Pegs Cost of Wars at Nearly $5 Trillion

The total U.S. budgetary cost of war since 2001 is $4.79 trillion, according to a report released this week from Brown University’s Watson Institute. That’s the highest estimate yet. Neta Crawford of Boston University, the author of the report, included interest on borrowing, future veterans needs, and the cost of homeland security...

China facing full-blown banking crisis, world’s top financial watchdog warns

China has failed to curb excesses in its credit system and faces mounting risks of a full-blown banking crisis, according to early warning indicators released by the world’s top financial watchdog. A key gauge of credit vulnerability is now three times over the danger threshold and has continued to deteriorate, despite pledges by Chinese...

Refugees and The Economy: Lessons from History

What can we learn from the Vietnamese, Cuban, Rwandan, and Syrian refugees crisis? As Syrian refugees started to reach the European continent, discussions about the “influx of migrants” dominated media outlets, with very little attention paid to the crisis of the refugees instead of the “refugees crisis.” Some cite national security...

Al Nusra Placed Explosives at UNDOF Site, Stole Vehicles, Uniforms

Al Qaeda linked militants have taken over UN positions in Golan, are wearing United Nations blue berets and after taking Fijian troops hostage they surrounded another UN base with explosives to prevent troops from evacuating, detonating one of the explosives. These are among the details in Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on the beleaguered...

China’s debt mountain is growing fast

As China's manufacturing sector stalls, the world's second-largest economy is relying on a more dangerous growth engine: Debt. The Chinese government is encouraging banks to lend and people and businesses to spend. Sound familiar? America did it for years, spurring people to buy homes, cars and just about everything else on...

Asia and the Middle East lead rise in arms imports; the United States and...

Stockholm, The volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and rose by 14 per cent between 2006–10 and 2011–15, according to new data on international arms transfers published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Six of the top 10 largest arms importers...

Global Wealth 2016: Navigating the New Client Landscape

The growth of global private wealth hit a speed bump in 2015, especially in the developed markets, with all regions other than Japan experiencing a slowdown relative to last year. This development, combined with the ongoing decline of revenue and profit margins—all amid shifting client needs in both traditional...

The Transatlantic Trade Deal TTIP May Be Dead – Something Even Worse Is Coming

Is it over? Can it be true? If so, it’s a victory for a campaign that once looked hopeless, pitched against a fortress of political, corporate and bureaucratic power. TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that...

Ultra-Rich Philanthrocapitalist Class Undermining Global Democracy: Report

As foundations and wealthy individuals funnel money into global development, what "solutions" are they pursuing? From Warren Buffett to Bill Gates, it is no secret that the ultra-rich philanthropist class has an over-sized influence in shaping global politics and policies. And a study (pdf) just out from the Global Policy Forum,...

If Russia Started a War in the Baltics, NATO Would Lose – Quickly

War games show NATO's eastern flank is vulnerable. To deter Moscow, the United States will need to deploy heavy armor on a large scale, a new study says. If Russian tanks and troops rolled into the Baltics tomorrow, outgunned and outnumbered NATO forces would be overrun in under three days....

New FBI release on Clinton email probe refers to Shadow Government

A new trove of interview summaries and notes from the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails lays out a series of allegations that could prove fodder for future attacks on the Democratic presidential nominee. The 100 pages, released Monday morning, include claims that Clinton "blatantly" disregarded protocol. Other claims include...

America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror. The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built...

Hillary Emails Reveal True Motive for Libya Intervention

Newly disclosed emails show that Libya’s plan to create a gold-backed currency to compete with the euro and dollar was a motive for NATO’s intervention. The New Year’s Eve release of over 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who...

The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan With Limited Progress

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has labelled yet another project in danger of failing. This time its U.S. plans to develop the country’s oil, gas and minerals industries. The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan's oil, gas and minerals industries...

House Intel Panel Blasts Snowden In New Report, One Day Before Movie Release

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence urged President Barack Obama on Thursday not to pardon Edward Snowden, concluding in an unclassified summary of a two-year investigation that the former NSA contractor was “not a whistleblower” — echoing what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing...

EIA: Turkey – International Energy Data and Analysis

Turkey is an increasingly important transit hub for oil and natural gas supplies as they move from Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East to Europe and other Atlantic markets. Turkey is well placed to serve as a hub for oil and natural gas supply headed to Europe and other...

The US-Saudi war with OPEC to prolong oil’s dying empire

Whoever controls the price of oil can play god with the global economy - that’s why the US and Saudi Arabia are leading the way to smash OPEC and re-create a new global oil cartel. “No one can set the price of oil,” said Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi earlier...

U.S. Military Is Building a $100 Million Drone Base in Africa

From high above, Agadez almost blends into the cocoa-colored wasteland that surrounds it. Only when you descend farther can you make out a city that curves around an airfield before fading into the desert. Once a nexus for camel caravans hauling tea and salt across the Sahara, Agadez is now a West African paradise for people smugglers and...

The Untouchables: Why it’s getting harder to stop multinational corporations

Chachengwa had been growing maize and cotton here her whole life. Every year, she took out loans for seeds and fertilizer, and then paid them back with her harvest. Since she lost her husband, she had relied on her two daughters and eight grandchildren to help tend her 75-acre plot.

Global manufacturing has stalled

New survey data compiled by JPMorgan and Markit show global manufacturing activity is not looking great. New survey data signals a "broad stagnation" in global manufacturing. The JPMorgan global manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), slipped to 50.0 in May from 50.1 in April. Any reading above 50 signals expansion, and any...

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – Investment Chapter

WikiLeaks releases today the "Investment Chapter" from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014). The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The...

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