Getting close to election. I have noticed a decline on bad economic news. The EU, China , Latin America and even Australia. I believe they are deliberately doing this to keep people less involved. The money investment people love to work the little people. There is always money to be made in good as well as bad times for these people. The QE3 may yet appear to help Obama. He is not fixing things. He cleans up by throwing the dirty clothes in the closet with Barney.
The Federal Reserve has drifted into fatalism, seeming to lose confidence in its own ability to shape events, displaying the same lack of "Rooseveltian resolve" as the Fed in the early 1930s -- to borrow an expression written years ago by a young Princeton professor, and Fed scourge, called Ben Bernanke.
Only a leftest prof from Princeton could come up with a term of reference such as "Rooseveltian resolve". I personally celebrate the "lack" thereof.
[Dawn] THE downgrade of Pakistain's sovereign creditworthiness was neither unexpected, nor will it affect the country's economic fortunes (or rather misfortunes?) At worst, it may have a psychological impact on the markets, which are already edgy on account of the same reasons that have led Moody's to demote Pakistain's bond ratings. The country's economic outlook remains negative, and it is unlikely to change in the short to medium term unless we put our house in order.
The key drivers debilitating the country's economy include its eroding capacity to finance its budget owing to its inability to raise domestic tax revenues or to repay its foreign loans because of drying foreign official and private inflows and a rising trade deficit.
Needless to say that its political problems are keeping the coalition government's focus away from taking tough policy decisions to improve business confidence and addressing structural weaknesses, such as addressing growing energy shortages and increasing domestic revenues. The downgrade of sovereign creditworthiness should sound a warning to the country's policymakers. The government has already defaulted on its (domestic) sovereign obligations to the IPPs only a few weeks ago.
And the possibility of Pakistain defaulting on its foreign debt repayments over the next couple of years cannot be ruled out with the large $6.3bn in principal and interest falling due because of the IMF between 2013 and 2015. With foreign private capital moving into safer assets due to the eurozone debt crisis, Islamabad can avoid a repeat of the 2008 crisis only with the help of official bilateral and multilateral creditors and donors like the IMF and the World Bank. While the US has promised to resume disbursement of suspended Coalition Support Funds of $1.2bn following the reopening of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... supply routes, that is not enough to resolve our medium- to long-term balance of payment woes. The government will ultimately have to go to the IMF for another loan. This time it may have to accept even tougher conditions for the Fund's help. And those conditions will not be easy to implement in the absence of a stable domestic political environment.
[Dawn] SEPARATISTS and nationalists, secular political party workers, settlers, Hazaras, coppers, civilians killed by landmines and IEDs -- is anyone safe in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... anymore? The last few days and weeks have seen the front pages of newspapers filled with stories of all shades of violence in the province, whether sectarian, Islamist, political or ethnic. The Awami National Party has been the latest victim, but the day before the Kuchlak blast saw the discovery of the dead bodies of six miners -- likely settlers from Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... -- and dozens of Hazaras have been killed this year. Alongside these stories have been running reports of the Supreme Court's persistent efforts to get security forces to produce missing people in court and restore law and order.
But the SC has done about as much as it can, and its limited success so far points to the real roadblocks standing in the way of peace in Balochistan: the issue of missing persons requires a political solution spearheaded by a committed federal government and accompanied by a change in the mindset of security agencies. Underpinning all of this will have to be a genuine resolve to address the concerns of Baloch nationalists and even separatists; measures like Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan are important, but will not be enough. Prime Minister Gilani's government had made feeble attempts to bring Baloch leaders to the negotiating table, and the new prime minister has made a similar effort through his call for talks in Quetta yesterday. But nothing has come out of such rhetoric in the past, and there will be no movement until capable interlocutors with contacts and respect among Baloch leaders are given a concrete mandate to launch talks in a meaningful way, through back channels if necessary. That would also provide a basis to ask security agencies to rein in their zeal to 'disappear' people with real and imagined links to separatist activities.
When it comes to the broader law and order problem, however, the provincial government has a larger role to play, and is failing miserably. It is true that the Raisani government has limited room to manoeuvre; despite, for example, repeated declarations that the Frontier Corps should report to the provincial administration, most recently at the end of May, the organization is widely perceived to operate outside civilian control. But policing is also inadequate, failing to prevent the kidnappings and killings of settlers and Hazaras, and provincial politicians are perceived as being corrupt and more concerned with personal feuds than the province's law-and-order and development problems. Along with the federal government, they continue to let the people of Balochistan down.
I am a bit surprised that the press keeps ignoring the growing probability of a big war, or a series of wars, in the Middle East. Observers and analysts, following in the footsteps of the Western mass media from which they primarily get their information, discuss one crisis after another, without trying to blend them into one picture.
Many factors from macro geopolitics and macro geo-economics indicate an impending war. These include, above all, an unprecedented rapid redistribution of power in favor of new leaders, especially Asian ones. We are witnessing a growing degradation of institutions of supranational political and economic governance: the UN, the IMF and others have become increasingly feeble. The G8 has turned into a parody of a world government, and the G20 is obviously following suit. Organizations like BRICS or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are in no hurry to compensate for their weakness. Sovereign states are now coming to the fore. Yet their capabilities have been impaired by the economic and informational globalization, and they cannot fill the governability vacuum.
The old powers and their intellectuals are unable, or unwilling, to explain what is going on, while the new ones are not yet ready to do it, or unable to, either. Discussions about the state of the world economy and politics contain unusually large amounts of high-sounding pretentious nonsense, understatements, or outright lies. Add to this the systemic crisis that has predictably hit the EU, the sharp fall in the United States' prestige after its two military-political defeats, and the weaknesses of its economic model (still the strongest, though), which were graphically revealed by the world crisis -- and the picture becomes almost unequivocal.
To do so would admit the utter failure of President Obama's entire Presidency from his "We're sorry!" world tour to his gutting of our military, to his inept 'reset' of our foreign policy to his bumbling implementation of pretty much everything to his destruction of our economy.
The media won't do that under any circumstances. When war DOES break out, it'll be "Bush's fault!"
Some axioms: long time dictators always go down hard. Short time democratic pollster-driven politicians cannot get anything actually done, and noone forgets atrocities - ever. So yes, its wack a mole time again to some degree in the ME, and best if they just kept it local. I would worry more about the build up in subs in the Pacific myself.