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Persian Gulf upheaval brings oil market jitters

Public Policy

The past month has been a tumultuous time for the Persian Gulf region, one bound to send shock waves through global markets, not least the international oil market. While it is still far too early to detect a building tidal wave, that cannot be entirely ruled out. The confluence of potentially ground-changing events taking place […]

The Humbling of Rex Tillerson

The Humbling of Rex Tillerson thumbnail

It was inevitable that there was going to be a fair amount of chaos in the early days of the Donald Trump administration. The president is a political neophyte, he surrounded himself with a small clique of advisers who are relatively new to politics themselves, his executive experience comes from running a relatively small private […]

The Empire Strikes Back: State Repression in Trump’s America

Public Policy

Since Donald Trump’s ascendance to the US presidency, there have been waves of felony arrests targeting Indigenous water protectors, radicals and anarchists. In this clip from our latest episode of Trouble, we look at the case of the J20 co-defendants – over 200 people facing a minimum of 8 felony charges each – and protestors […]

Qatar Begins Turning Its Back On The US Dollar

Public Policy

Late last week, Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that are involved in attempting to isolate Qatar sent the tiny Gulf nation a list of 13 demands. They are insisting that Qatar meet these demands within ten days or face unspecified further action. The list of demands includes Qatar shutting […]

Saudi Arabia’s March Towards Civil War

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Has Saudi Arabia’s brinkmanship and heavy-handed policies of intervention in the Middle East come back to haunt the desert kingdom? After decades of playing the role of middle man between foreign states and establishing itself as a regional power, Saudi Arabia’s policies of meddling in the affairs of neighbor states and support for terror appear […]

The Iran Nuclear Deal Faces ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’

The Iran Nuclear Deal Faces ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’ thumbnail

President Donald Trump decided against killing off the Iran nuclear deal in a day-one spectacular. It may face a lingering death instead. Trump’s administration sends out mixed signals on many issues, but on the need for a tougher line against Iran, it speaks with one voice. And words have been accompanied by action. In Syria, […]

Few resource-rich countries properly manage their natural resources

Public Policy

More than 80 per cent of the world’s major mining, oil and gas-producing countries fail to adequately govern the way they extract and manage natural resources, according to an index that tracks accountability and corruption. Eritrea was the worst performer in the annual index released by the New York-based Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), while […]

Russia Recalling its U.S. Ambassador

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Russia is reportedly recalling Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the man who has emerged as a focal point in the FBI probe into Russia’s election meddling. BuzzFeed News is citing three sources saying Russia is calling Kislyak back home. The Kremlin did not confirm to the news outlet when Kislyak would head back to Russia, but the US-Russia […]

Egypt’s Sisi hands control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

Egypt’s Sisi hands control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia thumbnail

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified a maritime demarcation agreement that sees the country cede sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, the government said on Saturday. The Red Sea islands deal has become political sensitive for Sisi, who counts on Saudi Arabia as a key ally, after the proposed agreement […]

Kunstler: The Technicolor Swan

Public Policy

When I think of the Democratic Party these days, the image instantly comes to mind of little Linda Blair playing the demon-possessed child in the classic horror movie, The Exorcist (1973), most particularly the scene in which she spews a stream of pea soup-like projectile vomit into the face of kindly old Max von Sydow, […]

Trump Calls for U.S. ‘Dominance’ in Global Energy Production

Public Policy

Donald Trump will tout surging U.S. exports of oil and natural gas during a week of events aimed at highlighting the country’s growing energy dominance. The president also plans to emphasize that after decades of relying on foreign energy supplies, the U.S. is on the brink of becoming a net exporter of oil, gas, coal […]

Saudi Arabia Demands Qatar Shut Down Al Jazeera

Public Policy

From the Wall Street Journal: Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that have severed ties with Qatar issued a list of severe demands to end the worst regional diplomatic crisis in years, telling their Persian Gulf neighbor to close state broadcaster Al Jazeera, curb ties with Iran and end Turkey’s military presence on its soil….The […]

Overcapacity and the price of oil

Public Policy

With the Saudi Arabian-American strategy of removing ISIS and terror roots in Middle East societies and governments, the global oil and gas service companies have new projects to expand oil capacity of Saudi Arabia. This moves Saudi Aramco into overcapacity production range and a Second Downturn in early 2019 as forecast in this column six […]

Ron Paul Interviews Snowden On The “Rise Of The Deep State”

Public Policy

In a discussion with Edward Snowden on his weekly “Liberty Report,” Ron Paul and the former NSA contractor trace the genesis of the so-called Deep State, and discuss how the US intelligence community uses covert programs like those exposed by Snowden in 2013 to trample individual freedoms. The most sinister quality of the Deep State, Snowden […]

Romania’s Government Collapses

Romania’s Government Collapses thumbnail

Romania’s prime minister has been toppled after the parliament passed a vote of no confidence tabled by his party. Barely six months after winning elections, Sorin Grindeanu was ousted by almost all the MPs in his leftwing Social Democratic party (PSD) with the backing of their junior coalition partners, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats […]

Saudi King Removes Crown Prince, Names Son As First Heir

Public Policy

In a shocking development, on Wednesday Saudi Arabia’s King Salman appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman (his eldest son from his third wife) as crown prince, placing him as first-in-line to the throne and removing his nephew, 57-year-old Mohammed bin Nayef – the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington – from […]

Trump’s Attack On Renewable Energy

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Fossil fuels have long been subsidized by tax policies, such as the oil depletion allowance, and by infrastructure construction, such as the interstate highway system. In light of these long-standing subsidies, it’s always a little ironic when fossil fuel industry advocates complain about tax expenditures and other subsidies promoting the renewable energy business. In my […]

The Imperial City At The Brink

Public Policy

David Stockman routinely refers to President Trump as the ‘Great Disrupter’. But this is not a bad quality, he insists. Rather, it is a necessary one: Stockman argues (my paraphrasing) that Trump represents the outside force, the externality, that tips a ‘world system’ over the brink: It has to tip over the brink, because systems […]

Squats for Migrants

Public Policy

Responding to the refugee crisis, many European anarchists and other activists have stepped up to try and help provide services and a sense of community to those who have been rendered stateless in a foreign land. Watch the entire show here –…

Kunstler: Absent Without Leave

Public Policy

It ain’t bragging if it’s true. I’ve said repeatedly on this blog for years that the federal government would only become more impotent, more incompetent, and more ineffectual as The Long Emergency rolled out. And here we are now, at just such pass in history. The process has been well underway since the beginning of […]

PetroDollar System In Trouble As Saudi Arabia Continues To Liquidate Foreign Exchange Reserves

PetroDollar System In Trouble As Saudi Arabia Continues To Liquidate Foreign Exchange Reserves thumbnail

The U.S. PetroDollar system is in serious trouble as the Middle East’s largest oil producer continues to suffer as the low oil price devastates its financial bottom line.  Saudi Arabia, the key player in the PetroDollar system, continues to liquidate its foreign exchange reserves as the current price of oil is not covering the cost […]

Summer Of Hate: The Arrival Of The Crisis & The Second Civil War?

Public Policy

In our previous article, we discussed how our analysis of recent events in the US and elsewhere seem to be leading up to some sort of ‘Crisis Event’ that appears to correlate with some of the predictions made in Neil Strauss and William Howe’s 1997 book The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell […]

Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism

Public Policy

While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons. One portion of that deal — $12 billion for 36 F-15QA fighter jets — was inked on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when Qatar’s Defense Minister met with U.S. Defense […]

Gulf Showdown Exposes Qatar’s Fragility

Public Policy

At her new exhibition in Doha, Qatari artist Maryam Al-Semaitt explained to guests the central message of her latest work: what happens when great wealth is taken for granted. That money, mainly from selling natural gas from a peninsula in the Gulf desert that was a British protectorate until 1971, has paid for the city’s […]

Kunstler: Things To Come

Public Policy

As our politicos creep deeper into a legalistic wilderness hunting for phantoms of Russian collusion, nobody pays attention to the most dangerous force in American life: the unraveling financialization of the economy. Financialization is what happens when the people-in-charge “create” colossal sums of “money” out of nothing — by issuing loans, a.k.a. debt — and […]

Fed rate hike this week to hit millions of borrowers

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The Federal Reserve this week is expected to enact a quarter-point rate hike that would take its benchmark target to between 1 percent and 1.25 percent. TransUnion estimates that 8.6 million borrowers were unable to take the payment hit the last time the Fed hiked in December. Another full percentage point hike from here could […]

The Challenge of Defining Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Public Policy

Just over a year ago, the G7 group of nations pledged to end all “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025. This language disappeared from the latest annual G7 communique, signed in Sicily last month, while a similar G20 promise to end subsidies has no deadline. Meanwhile, on the fringes of such promises lies the perpetual […]

The Fourth Turning: A Summer Of Rage And The Total Eclipse Of The Deep State

The Fourth Turning: A Summer Of Rage And The Total Eclipse Of The Deep State thumbnail

“If you do a worldwide survey of eclipse lore, the theme that constantly appears, with few exceptions, is it’s always a disruption of the established order,” said E. C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. That’s true of both solar and lunar eclipses. “People depend on the sun’s movement,” Krupp said. […]

Gulf Crisis: Cold War in the GCC

Public Policy

The Gulf Cooperation Council was rocked by scandal this week as Saudi Arabia and its allies swiftly moved to cut all ties with fellow member Qatar over claims that it supports regional terrorism. The allegations are purportedly due to Doha’s persistent backing of the Muslim Brotherhood despite agreeing in late-2014 to radically downscale its support for the organization as part of a détente […]

Tillerson Tells Arab States To Lift Qatar Blockade: “It’s Hindering The Campaign Against ISIS”

Public Policy

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which includes UAE, Bahrain and Egypt and others, to lift its blockade of Qatar, saying that the cutoff is hindering the fight against the (Qatar-funded) Islamic State. Tillerson also said the blockade had led to food shortages and forced families to uproot themselves and […]

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