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Geopolitical Compass #26
Inflation; stronger for longer, they're priming us for it already.
TLDR: Higher inflation will become the new normal, coal will also be around for decades to come, the Middle East is uniting and Prigozhin is no more.
The rumors of coals death have been greatly exaggerated. This won’t change anytime soon. People in developing nations deserve and will demand access to the cheapest energy source available, and for the moment renewable fairy tales won’t change the facts on coal.
Seaborne coal volumes are predicted to reach 1,335,000 million metric tons this year, topping 2019’s record of 1,331,000 tons, the IEA said in its recently released midyear outlook.
SSY noted that 86% of Chinese coal plants are less than 20 years old, and 52% are 10-20 years old. “Considering that the average lifetime of a coal power plant is 40 years, a full capacity phaseout like the one targeted by Europe is unlikely to be replicated,” said SSY.
Central Banks printed a shit load of money over the last three years. That is inflation. Rising prices for goods and services are simply an effect of that money printing in the system.
First they told you inflation was transitory - a lie. Then they said it will only be around for a short time and is coming down - a lie. Now they’re preparing you for the next stage; ‘actually higher inflation is good for you’ - a lie.
The Federal Reserve has appropriately focused on a single objective for a year and a half: getting inflation down. While the war isn’t won, and I fear the hardest battles may be ahead, it is necessary to think about what victory would entail. In the short run, the Fed should be aiming to stabilize inflation below 3%. If it can achieve this goal, then it should shift to a higher target range for inflation when it updates its overall strategy around 2025.
So what’s the big deal between 2% and 3% you ask? Quite a lot. With 2% inflation it takes around 33 years for a dollar to lose half of its purchasing power. At 3% inflation that timeline drops to 23 years. HALF your money, gone by way of a silent tax that is ‘good for you and the economy.’
Sadly this isn’t just one man’s opinion piece. This is how new policy is enacted. First have a compliant mass media seed ideas into the zeitgeist to easy the impact. Then policy makers come out and say ‘we’ve heard you…’
No sooner had the article come out than the moron, state-mouth-piece Krugman came out endorsing the higher inflation target.
At this point you need your head read if you take anything Krugman says on economics. He’s purely a puppet for whatever narrative needs to be sowed.
Prepare yourselves for higher for longer inflation. Sadly even the 3% level is not going to happen anytime soon short of them manipulating the numbers by continuing removing products from the measured basket. You know, non-essentials like meat and energy.
Middle East states are seeking greater understanding of each others views, using BRICS as a conduit including Saudi Arabia and Iran joining the same organisation.
Meanwhile the United States are desperately clinging onto the last toe holds they have in the region, unfortunately for the Syrian people.
“There are still fighters in small groups in and around Syria and around Iraq ... and if we were to somehow suddenly withdraw, those forces could reconstruct themselves. So the situation is much, much better than it was. But it still requires a level of commitment. So we've got some modest amount of forces in Syria, and we've got forces in Iraq,” he added.
The US military chief also said that the decision to leave Syria falls on President Joe Biden.
"I can't imagine that the United States would ever walk away from [West Asia]. I think we'll remain committed for many, many years and decades to come,” he stressed.
I’m sure it’s just serious concern for a handful of terrorists, for which the US has no feasible strategy for, the majority of which Syrian and Russian forces have successfully eliminated. It has nothing to do with trying to prevent further Russian assistance in the region, keeping a tripwire force uninvited on foreign soil, or the continual looting of Syrian oil.
Niger’s military rulers are expelling the Ambassadors of Germany, France and Nigeria. As Niger raises the stakes, the question now remains will the West make a move through ECOWAS (mainly Nigeria) or directly to intervene militarily in yet another country to reinstall compliant politicans?
An increasingly desperate West - particularly France in danger of losing a major uranium source for it’s nuclear power fleet - is likely to lash out if it believes it can get away with it.
So Prigozhin appears to have been killed when his plane crashed earlier this week. While still too early to have any definitive answers, it appears the work of either a bomb on board or projectile hitting the plane, likely a missile due to the high altitude of the plane at the time.
Reporting in the West is of course beating the usual drum of ‘Putin did it.’ In the weeks and months ahead more information and explanations will filter out, they always do. From my perspective, I doubt Putin was behind this act.
It is somewhat embarrassing for him, particularly the timing - just as he was presenting at the BRICS conference. It would also be uncharacteristic of Putin to kill innocent people (pilots, stewardess etc).
Least of all to do this in such a public manner. Let’s forget the agreements that had been reached to curtail the Wagner leader and bring his forces back into line and assume that Putin wanted Prigozhin ‘taken out’ definitively. Not an entirely unreasonable proposition considering the recent treason and years of antics that just as often hinder Russia’s foreign objective as much as they help it.
Assuming jail which would have been very easy and completely legitimate was not sufficient, if Putin did want Prigozhin finally silenced, why do this with a missile just as a plane leaves Moscow? Very public. Very messy. Innocent lives lost needlessly as collateral damage. An event that can now be sensationalised by a belligerent Western media as proof Putin is a killer. Would it not have been easier for Prigozhin to meet a much quieter end by an ‘incident’ in Africa? Caught in cross fire, suicide, tripping underneath a military vehicle etc.
Rather than swallowing the spoon fed media narrative, these are the times it pays to ask even the most rudimentary questions.
While I reiterate it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions, it should be remembered that Prigozhin has numerous enemies, including high ranking Ministry of Defence officials. People who have the motive and opportunity to do what they believe was needed.
Are the rumors that the West paid Prigozhin for his mutiny true and if so, did his betrayed Western handlers take their revenge? Would Prigiozhin and Wagner apparently heading back to Africa cause more problems for Western colonial interests already struggling to maintain their grip on their former serfs?
Neither of these possibilities touches on the many enemies Prioghzin created for himself around the world with Wagner’s actions.
There are many questions and even more plausible explanations. “muH, pUtIn iS EviL” whilst the easiest for sensational headlines, is likely not the right one. Geopolitics is seldom so straight cut.
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