From Political Realist to Insane Warmonger
We really don’t know what happened to famous “face shooter” Dick Cheney between the first and the second Iraq war. All we know is that he changed quite dramatically, from a political realist and pragmatist to an unrestrained interventionist and warmonger, firmly hypnotized into neo-con membership.
Dick Cheney hewn in stone – fireprooof variant
Image via ANTIMEDIA
He was never a “nice guy”, but then he wasn’t supposed to be a nice guy – that simply wasn’t his function. As secretary of defense under George Herbert Walker Bush, his role was to play the tough guy. No-one knew yet that he couldn’t even shoot straight.
Dick Cheney among friends, evidently happy with his new gun. To the right, the somewhat less happy Harry Whittington, a famous victim of Cheney’s over-enthusiasm during hunting trips, who is reportedly still waiting for an apology for getting shot in the face by the then Veep. Of course, Whittington could easily be mistaken for a quail, so we can see why he might not be deserving of an apology. Or maybe our mental picture of the species “quail” is wrong. Actually, after recovering from a heart attack he suffered right after the shooting, it seems Whittington apologized to Cheney for the “deep distress” the incident may have caused the latter! What can one say to that, except “good boy!” Continue reading
Friday’s 370-point surge in the DJIA quickly erased memories of the previous day’s rough session throughout global financial markets. It’s worth noting, however, that the euro gave back little of Thursday’s spectacular 3.1% surge, the biggest daily gain versus the dollar since March 2009. Additional Friday losses made for a terrible week in European equities.
With a view that Thursday’s important policy developments and market reactions are best not expunged from our analytical consciousness, it’s worth a brief market recap. Beyond the wild moves in now highly unstable currency markets, European market vulnerability was again on full display. Core euro-area equities indices suffered their biggest selloff since September. Thursday’s session saw the German DAX hit for 3.58%. France’s CAC40 also fell 3.58%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 index dropped 2.41% and Italy’s MIB sank 2.47%. For the week, the German DAX sank 4.8% and French CAC40 dropped 4.4%.
Thursday’s session was also notable for the simultaneous declines in both stock and bond prices, an atypical dynamic especially problematic for so-called leveraged “risk parity” strategies. Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 15 bps (to 2.33%). Bond carnage was worse in the eurozone. German bund yields surged 20 bps (66 bps), with yields up 21 bps in France (99 bps), 25 bps in Italy (1.64%), 24 bps in Spain (1.72%), and 22 bps in Portugal (2.47%).
Despite Friday’s rally, it was a disconcerting week – in global markets, in geopolitics and for a darkening of the “social mood.” It’s worth noting that crude (WTI) traded below $40 on Friday, ending the week down 3.8% to a near 11-year low. Turkish equities were down another 1.8% this week, increasing three-week declines to 9.3%. Further selling pressure in Russian stocks pushed two-week losses to 3.9%. The Russian ruble dropped another 2.4%, ending the week at the lowest level since early-September. Brazilian stocks have dropped 5.8% over two weeks, trading near September lows. Mexican stocks dropped 2.8% this week to the lowest level since early-October. Dropping 3.1%, the Colombian peso traded near August lows. Continue reading