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The latest is that Putin wants "immediate talks" over Eastern Ukraine -- and the word "statehood" was mentioned.

He also allegedly has said that the Ukraine situation is an "internal" matter -- more akin to a civil war of sorts, I suppose.

Uh huh.

Look folks, I go back to what I said originally on this mess: Crimea was and is the only Russian 12-month deep-water naval port.  The only way that was ever going to change was through the literal destruction of Russia's government, because no government in its right mind would ever cede their only 12-month naval port to anyone.

Geography is what it is.

We (and the EU) had no business interfering in Ukraine's internal political situation in the first place, but we did.  Yes, the "old guard" was a corrupt bunch of bastards, but we're not the Ukranian police force, nor is it any or our damn business whether their government is corrupt or not.

Unfortunately what we have now is a situation that is unstable and moving toward greater instability rather than lesser.  Ukraine could rationally be partitioned at Crimea, as Russia could reasonably-easily build the infrastructure necessary to provide both power and fuel to the peninsula independent of the existing overland links to Ukraine's remaining land mass.  However, that only "works" if Russia perceives that Ukraine is at least non-hostile to Russian interests, and of course from Putin's perspective friendly is what he wants.

The challenge is that Putin has little reason to back down; we're not going to go in there with military force and neither is anyone else.  Anyone attempting to do so is asking for an actual war to break out almost instantly; the presence of western troops or material that is verified by Russia would be exactly the sort of provocation they would like to have in order to greatly advance their acts.  Yet as things stand right now it appears that a "soft" invasion is in fact already happening, with both troops and mechanized equipment crossing the border essentially at will.

That the pantiwaist EU got caught with its natural gas sources up its own ass doesn't help things at all.  Nor do the trade implications of wider sanction activity.  Germany is already getting hammered in this regard to some degree and the impact will only grow with additional sanctions.  However, this much is certain -- Putin understands both displayed resolve and displayed weakness, and what he's seeing right now from Europe is weakness.  In addition he has the strong support of his own people, which is essential if he is going to carry on in a fashion that will bring economic consequences to Russia extending beyond a few oligarchs.

I see nothing in the immediate offing that will functionally deter Putin from doing what he wants, and he certainly has no deterrence against lying with regard to his intentions as there is no penalty associated with it whether domestically or otherwise.  Therefore the question becomes what is the EU (and potentially the US) prepared to do about it?

There are a number of real actions that could be taken and all would have a very material impact but all impact not just Russia but also everyone who trades with the country.

For the EU (and to a lesser extent the United States) the problem isn't that there aren't available actions that can be taken, it is that threats without the willingness to immediately carry them out (not "get ready in one week") are toothless and simply invite your adversary to erect yet another middle finger in your direction, or worse, say he's going to do something you want but lie about it, consuming the time you give him not to comply but rather to circumvent!

On this point the EU blew it badly during their recent meeting -- and you can bet that didn't go past the Kremlin without them noticing.  

The EU, in short, needs to either grow a pair of balls or shut up.

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Amazing crap coming from this man.

DOHA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East, the Saudi state news agency reported late on Friday.

The king made the statement during a reception for foreign ambassadors held in Jeddah.

So Mr. Abdullah, may I politely ask why are you not in prison -- or dead?

See, there's this wee section of the report in 9/11 that nobody wants to talk about, and has been redacted.  It claims that your nation and its consulate network in the United States not only helped fund the 9/11 hijackers it also provided logistical support for them.

Now maybe that's true and maybe it's not.  I suspect it's true.  It's also been actively suppressed from public view, so while we know the gist of the claims we don't know the exact details.

Gee, why is that Mr. Abdullah?  And more to the point, when you talk about stopping those evil terrorists are you prepared to begin with yourself?

Just askin'.

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War sucks.

It especially sucks when one of the combatant sides (or worse, both!) are bloodthirsty bastards.

ISIS is one such group.

Here's the problem from a policy point of view -- irrespective of that fact we're not the world's cop.

Now they have beheaded a US journalist -- but that man knew where he was going and he knew the risk.  He knew that covering these savages, specifically, might lead to him being targeted -- especially when The United States inserted itself into the conflict of its own volition by bombing ISIS positions.

Does this mean we should go kick the hell out of them?

Only if you want to declare war on them and kill them all until they sue for peace with the only rule for engagement being "If it moves shoot it.  If it still moves shoot it some more."

If you're not willing to back and demand that then no, we should not go there.

And yes, I know, it's tempting to seek revenge for this savagery -- and there will almost-certainly be more of it too.

Doesn't matter folks.  You either conduct a war as a war, not a police action, or you don't go.

We have to stop ****ing around, to be blunt.  We've made a hash of basically every foreign place we've gone for the last 50 years because we have forgotten that war is not a nice business and never can be made into one.  You either go into war with the premise that anything that looks like your enemy gets shot and blown up until whatever remains sues for peace or you stay home.

Does beheading a journalist and threatening to do the same to a second one mean that we should cross that line?  No, and especially no when we essentially created and built up ISIS originally -- and we did.  I don't even particularly care if they get all the Iraqi oil assets.

What I care about is that if we're going to go war, we go to war and mean it -- we declare war in Congress and we prosecute it as a war with a "Blow Them All To Hell" set of rules of engagement -- no ifs, ands or buts.

Until and unless we're willing to do that as a nation we have no business getting involved -- even with these atrocities.

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Yeah, ok....

(Reuters) - When Islamic State militants stormed into a northern Iraqi village and ordered everyone to convert to Islam or die only one person refused. But that did not satisfy the Sunni insurgents who are even more hardline than al Qaeda.

The militants, who have seized much of northern Iraq since arriving from Syria in June, wasted no time after the village's leader, or sheikh, stood up for his ancient Yazidi faith.

Khalof Khodede, an unemployed father of three who escaped with his life, recalled how 80 men in the village of Kocho were killed and all the women and girls were kidnapped.

Convert or die.

But if one says no, all the men die and the women and girls are kidnapped (and I bet you can guess what happened to them, although it's not said out loud.)

Yeah.

We all share basic human values, eh?

We are dealing with rational people who can be reasoned with and will negotiate in good faith, yes?

Uh huh.

Sure we do, and sure we are.

This basic bit of human insanity isn't exactly new in the world.  It has reared its ugly head several times through history, and always with the same result.  You can't negotiate or work with people who hold these views.  They will kill you if you do not consent to live as they demand which leaves you with only two options.

Both options suck, but IMHO one sucks less.

Nonetheless we have no business interfering over there.  It's not our land, not our people, not our war and we're not the world police department.  What we do have an obligation to, however, is our citizens and our soil.  Therefore it is my position that we must make utterly clear to the people committing these atrocities the following: If you harm one hair on the head of an American citizen, or take one action of this sort on American soil, no matter where in the world it occurs, you will all die.  

Period.

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One question for the warmongers: What are you going to do about it if ISIS blows the dam near Mosul at the first sign of US warplanes -- a dam they allegedly control?

"Oh, they wouldn't do that" might be your response........ but are you willing to bet the entire city on that?

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