Posts Tagged ‘Mideast’

Notes From Underground: Merkel set to stand firm in the face of an electoral setback

March 28, 2011

Chancellor Merkel has said that there will be no shake-up in the ruling coalition even as the CDU/FDP suffered at the voting booth as the German electors have grown tired of the vacillating vixen of Berlin. The German chancellor has wavered on EU BAILOUTS, NUCLEAR ENERGY and even deserted her allies in its ill-conceieved intervention in Libya. So a leader who has not stood fast nor firm is telling Germany that after the election defeat she will stand firm. Now we all ought to be nervous. I hope that Germany will be firmer in honoring its committments to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) than Merkel has been to adhering to some form of political principles.

Also, it was interesting that President Obama declared victory in the Libyan campaign and handed over control of the operations to NATO. Is France a member of NATO this week? The U.S. and its allies have entered a dangerous period in its intervention in¬†LIBYA. As I wrote just after the Egyptian rebellion, the real game changer will be Syria. The Assad Regime has severely suppressed the incipient demonstrations as expected. Secretary of State Clinton was asked if the U.S. and its allies would intervene to halt the slaughter of Syrians–as it claimed to be doing in Libya–Madam Secretary stated that Syria was not Libya because Bashar Assad had promised visiting U.S. legislators that he was bent on reform. Therefore, the reform-minded Syrian president is not a candidate for the military reprisals.

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Notes From Underground: MAN PLANS AND GOD LAUGHS

March 13, 2011

The people of Japan are under severe stress and deep anguish because of the cleanup from Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. The readers of NOTES are well aware that my son, Tobias Harris, is a recognized analyst on Japanese politics and has been the recipient of Japanese hospitality on numerous trips and long periods of work. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people as they begin to come to terms with the massive amount of destruction and loss of life. As traders, we tend to focus on the financial ramifications of major disasters but the depth of despair and suffering for those caught in its wake is real and we should all offer our prayers and aid to the people of Japan. With that said, we know that as the human suffering is tabulated the world goes on and markets will be trying to come to terms with global financial impact.

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