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Lira Tumbles To New Record Low As Critics Blast Erdogan’s Ambassador Expulsion Scandal

Lira Tumbles To New Record Low As Critics Blast Erdogan’s Ambassador Expulsion Scandal

Following Erdogan’s Friday tirade, lashing out at…

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This article was originally published by Zero Hedge

Lira Tumbles To New Record Low As Critics Blast Erdogan’s Ambassador Expulsion Scandal

Following Erdogan’s Friday tirade, lashing out at Western countries for issuing a joint letter demanding the immediate release of jailed Turkish billionaire philanthropist businessman and opposition politician Osman Kavala, which was followed by the president’s threat that he had ordered ten ambassadors – including the US – to be deemed ‘persona non grata’ by Turkey’s government, the Turkish lira weakened to another record low against the dollar after electronic trading reopened early in the Asian session.

Around 4pm ET Sunday afternoon, the lira tumbled 1.6% to a new record low against the dollar of 9.73 at the opening of Asian trading; this following the bigger-than-expected rate cut on Thursday despite rising inflation which sparked a furious selloff in the country’s currency as the move was widely derided as a dramatic and reckless and followed’s Erdogan’s erratic firing of three central bankers  the week prior.

The non grata designation targeted the ambassadors of US, Germany, France, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Turkish opposition leaders slammed Erdogan’s lashing out against the United States embassy and other allied Western countries as nothing but a major effort at distraction from Turkey’s economic tailspin and disaster in the making

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition CHP, said Erdogan was “rapidly dragging the country to a precipice.”

“I worry … for Turkish financial markets on Monday. The lira will inevitably come under extreme selling pressure,” said veteran emerging market watcher Tim Ash at BlueBay.

“And we all know that (Central Bank Governor Sahap) Kavcioglu has no mandate to hike rates, so the only defense will be spending foreign exchange reserves the CBRT does not have.”

Typically such a designation of foreign ambassadors results in their prompt expulsion from the country, but as of Sunday night that doesn’t appear to have happened yet, suggesting this may be yet more jawboning from Erdogan. It wouldn’t be the first time the president has failed to follow up on his threats: in 2018, he said Turkey would boycott U.S. electronic goods in a dispute with Washington. Sales were unaffected. Last year, he called on Turks to boycott French goods over what he said was President Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda, but did not follow through.

As Reuters adds, citing a diplomatic source, a decision could be taken at Monday’s cabinet meeting and that de-escalation was still possible. Erdogan has said he will meet U.S. President Joe Biden at next weekend’s G20 summit in Rome. Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics for two decades but support for his ruling alliance has eroded ahead of elections scheduled for 2023, partly because of high inflation.

Emre Peker, from the London-based consultancy Eurasia Group, said the threat of expulsions at a time of economic difficulties was “at best ill-considered, and at worst a foolish gambit to bolster Erdogan’s plummeting popularity”.

“Erdogan has to project power for domestic political reasons,” he said.

Erdogan’s anger erupted after the ambassadors of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand and the United States issued a joint statement on Oct. 18, calling for a just and speedy resolution to Kavala’s case, and for his “urgent release”.

Soner Cagaptay from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy tweeted: “Erdogan believes he can win the next Turkish elections by blaming the West for attacking Turkey — notwithstanding the sorry state of the country’s economy.”

Tyler Durden
Sun, 10/24/2021 – 16:20




Author: Tyler Durden

Economics

Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A new wave of restrictions,…

Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect…

Were you following the news this last week? Vaccine mandates are everywhere: one country, after another, is doubling-down, to try to force, or legally compel, full population vaccination. The mandates are coming because of the massive uptick in Covid – most of all in the places where the experimental mRNA gene therapies were deployed en masse. And (no coincidence), this ‘marker’ has come just as U.S. Covid deaths in 2021 have surpassed those of 2020. This has happened, despite the fact that last year, no Americans were vaccinated (and this year 59% are vaccinated). Clearly no panacea, this mRNA ‘surge’.

Of course, the Pharma-Establishment know that the vaccines are no panacea. There are ‘higher interests’ at play here. It is driven rather by fear that the window for implementing its series of ‘transitions’ in the U.S. and Europe is closing. Biden still struggles to move his ‘Go-Big’ social spending plan and green agenda transition through Congress by the midterm election in a year’s time. And the inflation spike may well sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB) altogether.

Time is short. The midterm elections are but 12 months away, after which the legislative window shuts. The Green ‘transition’ is stuck too (by concerns that moving too fast to renewables is putting power grids at risk and elevating heating costs unduly), and the Pharma establishment will be aware that a new B.1.1.529 variant has made a big jump in evolution with 32 mutations to its spike protein. This makes it “clearly very different” from previous variants, which may drive further waves of infection evading ‘vaccine defences’.

Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect. And what of inflation then, we might ask.

It’s a race for the U.S. and Europe, where the pandemic is back in full force across Europe, to push through their re-set agendas, before variants seize up matters with hospitals crowded with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated; with riots in the streets, and mask mandates at Christmas markets (that’s if they open at all). A big reversal was foreshadowed by this week’s news: vaccine mandates and lockdowns, even in highly vaccinated areas, are returning. And people don’t like it.

The window for the Re-Set may be fast closing. One observer, noting all the frenetic Élite activity, has asked ‘have we finally reached peak Davos?’. Is the turn to authoritarianism in Europe a sign of desperation as fears grow that the various ‘transitions’ planned under the ‘re-set’ umbrella (financial, climate, vaccine and managerial expert technocracy) may never be implemented?

Cut short rather, as spending plans are hobbled by accelerating inflation; as the climate transition fails to find traction amongst poorer states (and at home, too); as technocracy is increasingly discredited by adverse pandemic outcomes; and Modern Monetary Theory hits a wall, because – well, inflation again.

Are you paying attention yet? The great ‘transition’ is conceived as a hugely expensive shift towards renewables, and to a new digitalised, roboticised corporatism. It requires Big (inflationary) funding to be voted through, and a huge parallel (inflationary) expenditure on social support to be approved by Congress as well. The social provision is required to mollify all those who subsequently will find themselves without jobs, because of the climate ‘transition’ and the shift to a digitalised corporate sphere. But – unexpectedly for some ‘experts’ – inflation has struck – the highest statistics in 30 years.

There are powerful oligarchic interests behind the Re-Set. They do not want to see it go down, nor see the West eclipsed by its ‘competitors’. So it seems that rather than back off, they will go full throttle and try to impose compliance on their electorates: tolerate no dissidence.

A 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless” by then dissident and future Czech President Vaclav Havel begins mockingly that, “A SPECTRE is haunting Eastern Europe: the spectre of what in the West is called ‘dissent’”. “This spectre has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting.” Well, today, as Michael Every of Rabobank notes, “the West has polarisation, mass protests, riots, talk of obligatory vaccinations in Europe, and Yanis Varoufakis arguing capitalism is already dead; and that a techno-feudalism looms”. Now, prompting even greater urgency, are the looming U.S. midterms. Trump’s return (even if confined just to Congress), would cut the legs from under BBB, and ice-up Brussels too.

It was however, precisely this tech revolution, to which Varoufakis calls attention, that both re-defined the Democrat constituency, and turned tech oligarchs into billionaires. Through algorithmically creating a magnetism of like-minded content, cascaded out to its customers, it has both smothered intellectual curiosity, and created the ‘un-informed party’, which is the today’s Managerial Class – the party of the credentialed meritocracy; the party, above all, smugly seeing themselves as the coming era’s ‘winners’ – unwilling to risk a look behind the curtain; to put their ‘safe space’ to the test.

Perversely, this cadre of professionally-corralled academics, analysts, and central bankers, all insist that they completely believe in their memes: That their techno-approach is both effective, and of benefit to humanity – oblivious to the dissenting views, swirling around them, down in the interstices of the internet.

The main function then of such memes today, whether issued by the Pharma Vaccine ‘Command’; the MMT ‘transition’ Command; the energy ‘transition’ Command; or the global managerial technocracy ‘transition’, is to draw a ‘Maginot line’ – a defensive ideological boundary, a “Great Narrative” as it were – between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes, and with that of any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative. That is to say, it is about compliance.

It was well understood that all these transitions would overturn long-standing human ways of life, that are ancient and deeply rooted and trigger dissidence – which is why new forms of social ‘discipline’ would be required. (Incidentally, the EU leadership already refer to their their official mandates as ‘Commands’). Such disciplines are now being trialled in Europe – with the vaccine mandates (even though scientists are telling them that vaccines cannot be the silver bullet for which they yearn). As one high ‘lodge’ member, favouring a form of global governance notes, to make people accept such reforms, you must frighten them.

Yes, the collective of ‘transitions’ must have their ‘Big, overarching Narrative’ – however hollow, it rings (i.e. the struggle to defend democracy against authoritarianism). But it is the nature of today’s cultural-meme war that ultimately its content becomes little more than a rhetorical shell, lacking all sincerity at its core.

It serves principally, as decoration to a ‘higher order’ project: The preservation of global ‘rules of the road’, framed to reflect U.S. and allied interests, as the base from which the clutch of ‘transitions’ can be raised up into a globally managed order which preserves the Élite’s influence and command of major assets.

This politics of crafted, credentialised meme-politics is here to stay, and now is ‘everywhere’. It has long crossed the partisan divide. The wider point here – is that the mechanics of meme-mobilisation is being projected, not just in the western ‘home’ (at a micro-level), but abroad, into American ‘foreign policy’ too (i.e. at the macro-level).

And, just as in the domestic arena, where the notion of politics by suasion is lost (with vaccine mandates enforced by water-cannon, and riot police), so too, the notion of foreign policy managed through argument, or diplomacy, has been lost too.

Western foreign policy becomes less about geo-strategy, but rather is primordially focussed on the three ‘big iconic issues’ – China, Russia and Iran – that can be given an emotional ‘charge’ in order to profitably mobilise certain identified ‘constituencies’ in the U.S. domestic cultural war. All the various U.S. political strands play this game.

The aim is to ‘nudge’ domestic American psyches (and those of their allies) into mobilisation on some issue (such as more protectionism for business against Chinese competition), or alternatively, imagined darkly, in order to de-legitimise an opposition, or to justify failures. These mobilisations are geared to gaining relative domestic partisan advantage, rather than having strategic purpose.

When this credentialled meme-war took hold in the U.S., millions of people were already living a reality in which facts no longer mattered at all; where things that never happened officially, happened. And other things that obviously happened never happened: not officially, that is. Or, were “far-right extremist conspiracy theories,” “fake news,” or “disinformation,” or whatever, despite the fact that people knew that they weren’t.

Russia and China therefore face a reality in which European and U.S. élites are heading in the opposite direction to epistemological purity and well-founded argument. That is to suggest, the new ‘normal’ is about generating a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive ‘realities’, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … and which are intended to bemuse adversaries – and nudge them off-balance.

This is a highly risky game, for it forces a resistance stance on those targeted states – whether they seek it, or not. It underlines that politics is no more about considered strategy: It is about being willing for the U.S. to lose strategically (even militarily), in order to win politically. Which is to say gaining an ephemeral win of having prompted an favourable unconscious psychic response amongst American voters.

Russia, China, Iran are but ‘images’ prized mainly for their potential for being loaded with ‘nudge’ emotional-charge in this western cultural war, (of which these states are no part). The result is that these states become antagonists to the American presumption to define a global ‘rules of the road’ to which all must adhere.

These countries understand exactly the point of these value and rights-loaded ‘rules’. It is to force compliance on these states to acquiesce to the ‘transitions, or, to suffer isolation, boycott and sanction – in a similar way to the choices being forced on those in the West not wishing to vaccinate (i.e. no jab; no job).

This approach reflects an attempt by Team Biden to have it ‘both ways’ with these three ‘Iconic States’: To welcome compliance on ‘transition issues’, but to be adversarial over any dissidence to mounting a rules framework that can raise the ‘transitions’ from the national, to the supra-national plane.

But do the U.S. practitioners of meme-politics, absorb and comprehend that the stance by Russia-China – in riposte – is not some same-ilk counter-mobilisation done to ‘make a point’? That their vision does stand at variance with ‘the rules’? Do they see that their ‘red lines’ may indeed be ‘red lines’ literally? Is the West now so meme-addicted, it cannot any longer recognise real national interests?

This is key: When the West speaks, it is forever looking over its shoulder, at the domestic, and wider psychic impact when it is ‘making a point’ (such as practicing attacks by nuclear-capable bombers as close to Russia’s borders as they dare). And that when Russia and China say, ‘This is our Red Line’, it is no meme – they really mean it.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/04/2021 – 23:30







Author: Tyler Durden

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Precious Metals

Sound Money Is A Prerequisite To Peace, Prosperity, And Freedom

Sound Money Is A Prerequisite To Peace, Prosperity, And Freedom

Authored by Patrick Barron via The Mises Institute,

There are many good recommendations…

Sound Money Is A Prerequisite To Peace, Prosperity, And Freedom

Authored by Patrick Barron via The Mises Institute,

There are many good recommendations promoted by Austrian school economists for improving the economy. Although we enjoy successes periodically, most–such as deregulating trucking and airline pricing–involve eliminating previous government interventions. These successes are to be celebrated, of course. But no one can deny that government intervention into the economy has continued, despite these occasional success stories.

The reason Big Government has continued to grow is that it controls money production. Not only does government grow in terms of spending, regulations, and interventions everywhere (both internally and overseas), but it threatens our very freedoms. In other words, government’s control of money is diametrically opposed to peace, prosperity, and freedom and eventually will destroy our republican democracy. For this reason, returning to sound money–i.e., money that is created by the private market, is part and parcel of the market, and is controlled by no one–should be goal number one for every lover of peace, prosperity, and freedom. Nothing less than the survival of our western-style way of life is at stake.

Here are a few examples of how unsound money progresses and masks its destructive power.

  • One, unsound money allows government to confiscate resources at will. For example, in 2020 America’s bloated military spent as much as the next eleven nations of the world combined. Of course, military spending went up in 2021 and will continue to increase in 2022. America’s annual budget deficit is projected to be somewhere between $1.84 trillion and $3.4 trillion, depending upon whether you ask the Biden administration or the Congressional Budget Office. All of this money is created out of thin air. Americans’ taxes will not increase enough to cover even a fraction of the Biden estimate, and there is no appetite in the bond market for more American debt. Therefore, the Fed will monetize the new debt onto its balance sheet. The resulting increase in base money will cause the prices of most goods and services to rise. This impoverishment of the American people through the hidden tax of inflation is possible only because money is completely fiat; i.e., produced out of nothing except the government’s printing press and computer terminals.

  • Two, unsound money masks the destructive power of government market interventions. An example is former President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods. According to a friend of mine, the data is irrefutable that the tariffs worked. Well, as Mark Twain said, there’s lies, damned lies, and statistics. What really is irrefutable is the economic law of opportunity cost; i.e., that choosing one thing means the giving up of another. Another is individual preference. The very fact that people must not be allowed to purchase Chinese goods means that they valued those goods to a higher extent than American goods. The reason does not have to be financial. There’s always service, availability, quality, etc. So preventing Americans from buying Chinese goods means less satisfaction for Americans. This is just one example. Another is keeping zombie companies in business through artificially lower interest rates means that capital is misallocated to less productive uses. There’s a whole panoply of labor laws that artificially raises the cost of American labor, reduces American productivity, and lowers business income. Some workers are priced out of the market through minimum wage and mandatory benefit packages. Business has less capital to invest for expansion. New business starts are discouraged. There’s something there for everyone! The destruction is masked by monetarily inflated GDP numbers, artificially suppressed Consumer Price Index (CPI) statistics, increased unemployment payments, and other government programs and manipulated data.

  • Three, and most importantly, Americans’ freedom is threatened. Government can print enough money to buy unlimited enforcers of its rules. More IRS agents. More agents for enforcing arbitrary rules of the Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration (OSHA). More agents for enforcing new environmental regulations and laws arbitrarily established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents. Perhaps even agents to confiscate guns.

Conclusion

Returning to limited government, creating a more free market order, having a less intrusive government, etc. requires sound money. Sound money is not a guarantee of a free society, but a free society is impossible without sound money.

I conclude with these quotes from The Quotable Mises. The last quote is especially pertinent to the point of this brief essay. (Emphases are mine.)

  • The gold standard alone makes the determination of money’s purchasing power independent of the ambitions and machinations of governments, of dictators, of political parties, and of pressure groups. The gold standard alone is what the nineteenth-century freedom-loving leaders (who championed representative government, civil liberties, and prosperity for all) called “sound money.”

  • All those intent upon sabotaging the evolution toward welfare, peace, freedom, and democracy loathed the gold standard, and not only on account of its economic significance. In their eyes the gold standard was the labarum, the symbol, of all those doctrines and policies they wanted to destroy.

  • The classical or orthodox gold standard alone is a truly effective check on the power of the government to inflate the currency. Without such a check all other constitutional safeguards can be rendered vain.

I do not want to close on a pessimistic note. Therefore, I offer this final quote from Ludwig von Mises, ever the optimist and ever the gentleman: “Every nation, whether rich or poor, powerful or feeble, can at any hour once again adopt the gold standard.”

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/04/2021 – 19:30






Author: Tyler Durden

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Economics

Dark Winter Looms For Pennsylvanians As Power Bills Set To Soar 

Dark Winter Looms For Pennsylvanians As Power Bills Set To Soar 

Power prices in some parts of Pennsylvania are set to jump as much as 50%…

Dark Winter Looms For Pennsylvanians As Power Bills Set To Soar 

Power prices in some parts of Pennsylvania are set to jump as much as 50% beginning this month, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

“Most Pennsylvania regulated electric utilities are adjusting the price they charge for the generation portion of customers’ bills on December 1 for non-shopping customers, also known as the ‘Price to Compare’ (PTC). The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill. However, this percent varies by the utility and by the level of individual customer usage,” PUC said in a press release.

PUC lists power increases for residential customers. The most significant increase comes from Pike County Light & Power, which serves nearly 5,000 customers, is expected to raise power prices by 50%. The second highest is PPL Corporation, serving about 1.4 million customers in central and eastern parts of the state, which is expected to raise power prices by 26%. 

  • Citizens’ Electric, up from 6.9777 cents to 7.9476 cents per kWh (13.9%);

  • Duquesne Light, up from 7.41 cents to 7.98 cents per kWh (7.7%);

  • Met-Ed, up from 7.114 cents to 7.414 cents per kWh (4.2%);

  • PECO, up from 6.597 cents to 7.021 cents per kWh (6.4%);

  • Penelec, down from 6.761 cents to 6.507 cents per kWh (3.8%);

  • Penn Power, down from 7.657 cents to 7.593 cents per kWh (less than 1%);

  • PPL, up from 7.544 cents to 9.502 cents per kWh (26%);

  • Pike County Light & Power, up from 6.5234 cents to 9.796 cents per kWh (50.2%);

  • Wellsboro Electric, up from 7.2596 cents to 7.5051 cents per kWh (3.4%); and

  • West Penn Power, up from 5.447 cents to 5.698 cents per kWh (4.6%);

A PUC spokesperson told Fox News that rising energy prices are due to “market forces.” 

Many Pennsylvanians will be in for a sticker shock this winter as the Northern Hemisphere winter approaches. Customers are already stretched thin with soaring food, fuel, and shelter inflation. It’s a good thing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday that he would “retire” the “transitory” narrative to explain the inflationary environment that continues to crush the working poor. 

We noted last week that Americans, already preparing for one of the darkest cold seasons in years, have been panic buying cords of firewood and stoves as they seek alternative methods to heat their homes to mitigate soaring power prices. 

Persistent inflation this winter will continue to increase discontent for President Biden and could be favorable for Republicans ahead of midterm next year. 

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/04/2021 – 19:00


Author: Tyler Durden

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