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Wars in the Middle East and North Africa Really About Oil

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ByWashingtonsBlog

The Iraq war was really about oil, according to Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others.

Dick Cheney made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11.
The Sunday Herald reported:
Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil. The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11 (see this and this). According to French intelligence officers, the U.S. wanted to run an oil pipeline through Afghanistan to transport Central Asian oil more easily and cheaply. And so the U.S. told the Taliban shortly before 9/11 that they would either get “a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs”, the former if they greenlighted the pipeline, the second if they didn’t. See this, this and this.

Congressman Ed Markey said:
Well, we’re in Libya because of oil. Senator Graham agreed.

And the U.S. and UK overthrew the democratically-elected leader …

Trump's Economic Miracle

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By Christopher R Rice, Underground Newz

How much has Trump cost America?


Bloomberg: Trump claims that he’s presiding over the strongest economy ever. The growth is debt-based. By Shawn Tully, Richard Wolffe

As a candidate, Donald Trump said he could eliminate the national debt in eight years, largely by focusing on better trade deals. But in office, Trump has presided over a considerable increase in red ink, with annual deficits expected to surpass $1 trillion as soon as 2019.

Total debt outstanding is now approaching $22 trillion.

Even the prayer people are happy to set aside their morals. They know that Trump’s kind of magical thinking is precisely what the world needs right now, otherwise everybody would get very upset at the way the planet is warming, the threat of nuclear war, and the global refugee crisis. Right now we obviously need the kind of leader who is completely ignorant about the consequences, and just lives in the moment.

The economy is, in fact, expanding p…

China’s Ready to Party Like It’s 2015 Again

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By Nisha Gopalan


Prepare for a repeat of China’s 2015 boom, bust and whimper?

Days after replacing an overly cautious securities regulator, Beijing has mounted a multi-pronged effort to revive the market’s buzz: It set out the framework for a new tech-stocks exchange, cleared the way for more margin loans, made it easier for securities firms to buy stocks, and opened the futures and options markets to foreign investors.
The changes amount to a blunt official inducement to jump back into a market where shares have been struggling, trading volumes are anemic, and profit warnings are piling up. Yi Huimian’s appointment as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission signaled a return to risk, as we wrote Monday. The new regime clearly isn’t wasting any time.
Hong Kong should be worried. Draft regulations for Shanghai’s technology innovation board, an initiative announced by President Xi Jinping in November, look to be a lot more relaxed than those of its southern …

U.S. farmer: 'We need things to get back to normal'

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By Adriana Belmonte


American farmers, having felt the brunt of the Trump administration’s aggressive trade policies, are eager for a positive result of U.S. trade negotiations with China and the implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The trade war has had significant effects on American agriculture and farmers throughout the last year, ranging from soybeans, beef, dairy, wheat, and more.

“I hope they’ll make strides on that,” Oklahoma-based wheat farmer Hope Pjesky said recently during On the Move. “But we really don’t have any way of knowing what’s happening with those negotiations now. And we need things to get back to normal.”

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Trump stated: “We’re getting closer. ... Negotiations [with China] are going very well.”

On Feb. 2, following two days of trade talks, China reportedly bought two million tons of U.S. soybeans as a sign of good faith. According to Bloomberg, state-run buyers Cofco Corp.…

Saudi Aramco plans to buy $1.6 billion stake in South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank

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By Reuters


Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant, plans to buy up to 19.9 percent of South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank for 1.8 trillion won ($1.61 billion) from Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, which currently owns a 91.13 percent stake in Hyundai Oilbank, also said it plans to “reconsider” the stock market listing of the refinery arm, after completing the stake sales to Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Aramco plans to value Hyundai Oilbank at 10 trillion won, or 36,000 won per share, Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said in a statement.

The holding company of shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries will use the funds to be raised from the deal to “invest in new businesses and improve its financial health.”

Saudi Aramco also works with shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries and others under a joint venture to build a shipyard on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.

Saudi Aramco is the biggest shareholder of South Korean refiner S-Oil Corp.

Beware of fal…

China's December industrial profits shrink again on weak demand, trade headwinds

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By Stella Qiu, Ryan Woo


BEIJING (Reuters) - Earnings at China’s industrial firms shrank for a second straight month in December on slowing prices and sluggish factory activity, piling more pressure on an economy in the grips of its slowest growth in nearly three decades.

The downbeat data points to more troubles ahead for the country’s vast manufacturing sector already struggling with a decline in orders, job layoffs and factory closures amid a bitter trade dispute with the United States.

China’s economic growth slipped to 6.6 percent last year, the weakest expansion in 28 years, stoking fears of a sharper slowdown if the current U.S.-Sino trade talks fail to stop further tariffs from being implemented after a 90-day truce.

Profits in December fell 1.9 percent from a year earlier to 680.8 billion yuan ($100.9 billion), weighed down by weak factory-gate prices and soft demand. This is on top of a decline of 1.8 percent in November - the first contraction in profits in …

U.S. Treasury Set to Borrow $1 Trillion for a Second Year to Finance the Deficit

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Liz Capo McCormick, Saleha Mohsin and Alex Tanzi,




(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department is set to maintain elevated sales of long-term debt to finance the government’s widening budget deficit, with new issuance projected to top $1 trillion for a second-straight year.
Many strategists at primary-dealer firms predict that this Wednesday’s quarterly refunding announcement will see the Treasury maintain note and bond sales at the record high levels they have boosted them to in recent months.
The total amount of 3-, 10- and 30-year securities to be offered at next week’s refunding auctions is seen by most at $84 billion. While that’s $1 billion more than the total for these maturities three months ago, that’s only because the size of the three-year sale was already nudged higher in December.
A heightened supply of Treasury securities follows tax cuts and government spending increases implemented under the current administration. That’s darkening a fiscal out…