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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Mike Whitney Archive
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A couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal confirmed our worst fears about the student loan program, that is, that it was going to blow up in the government’s face just like all the other gigantic debt-bubbles that preceded it. For the sake of background, here’s a brief excerpt from the article that will bring... Read More
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What’s the biggest difference between “socialist-lite” candidate, Bernie Sanders, and a political heavyweight like Huey Long? For one thing, Long didn’t mind bending the rules. After his scuffle with Standard Oil, (Note: The Louisiana legislature tried to impeach Long after he threatened to raise taxes by $.05 on every barrel of oil refined in the... Read More
“In a new survey by the Pew Research Council, half of the registered voters surveyed (51%) said they think the future for the next generation will be worse, while just 24% said life will be better for the next generation. The survey indicated this pessimistic sentiment is spread across racial and economic lines.” – Optimism... Read More
Is there a conspiracy to keep wages from rising or is it just plain-old class warfare? Check out these charts from a recent report by Deutsche Bank and see what you think: (Feeling Underpaid, Zero Hedge) Well, what do you know? Everywhere the global bank cartel has its tentacles, wages are either flatlining or drifting... Read More
What do you think this chart means? (The post-recession economy is worse than we thought, Fortune) It means the U.S. economy is in the throes of the lousiest recovery since World War 2. “But how can that be”, you ask? “After all, hasn’t the Fed kept interest rates at zero for seven years while hosing... Read More
Booming auto sales have more to do with low rates and easy financing than they do with the urge to buy a new vehicle. In the last few years, car buyers have borrowed nearly $1 trillion to finance new and used autos. Unfortunately, much of that money was lent to borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit... Read More
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Last week, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi announced a much bigger and wider-ranging stimulus package than anyone had expected. Unfortunately, the ECB’s bond buying program will have no impact on employment, business investment, inflation, lending or growth. It will, however, create a temporary incentive for corporations to buy back more of their own shares... Read More
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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is worried that recent ructions in the equities markets could be a sign that another financial crisis is brewing. In a sobering report titled “Uneasy calm gives way to turbulence” the BIS states grimly: “We may not be seeing isolated bolts from the blue but the signs of a... Read More
Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s biggest economies met in Shanghai, China over the weekend to discuss many of the problems for which they alone are responsible. Leading the list of issues, was the steady deceleration in global growth which, to great extent, is the result of experimental monetary policies central banks implemented... Read More
On Friday, the United States rejected a draft resolution by Russia that was intended to prevent a Turkish invasion of Syria. Moscow had called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to address its growing concern that Turkey is planning to send thousands of ground troops and armored vehicles it has... Read More
“Investors are losing confidence in central bank policies. (They) have done all they can do, and these policies may not improve economic growth or may not support financial markets.” — Anthony Valeri, investment strategist at LPL Financial Zero rates and QE have stopped working and that has investors worried. Very worried. If you want to... Read More
Last week’s game-changing triumph in northern Syria has moved the Russian-led coalition to within striking distance of a decisive victory in Aleppo. After breaking a 40 month-long siege on the cities of Nubl and Zahra, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has encircled the country’s industrial hub and is gradually tightening the noose. Crucial supply-lines to... Read More
“This is the beginning of the end of jihadi presence in Aleppo. After 4 years of war and terror, people can finally see the end in sight.” — Edward Dark, Twitter, Moon of Alabama A last ditch effort to stop a Russian-led military offensive in northern Syria ended in failure on Wednesday when the Syrian... Read More
The UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks, which began on Friday in Geneva, will be boycotted by the main Syrian opposition group which has insisted that Russia stop bombing its positions while negotiations are conducted. To appreciate how ridiculous these demands are, one would have to imagine a similar scenario taking place in the United States. Let’s... Read More
America’s richest investors are betting trillions of dollars that the US economy will stay lousy for years to come. Who are these wealthy investors? Bondholders. And their views on the state of the economy are reflected in the yields on long-term US Treasuries. At present, the yields on long-term debt are very low which means... Read More
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Let’s say you lend your brother-in-law, Pauli, 5,000-bucks so he can get his fledgling construction business off-the-ground. Then, you find out a week later that ‘good-old Pauli’ has shot the wad playing the horses at Long-acres and buying cocktails for his loafer-friends at Matt’s Mad Dog tavern? Would you feel like you’d been ripped off?... Read More
Everyone take a deep breath. This isn’t 2007 again. The banks aren’t loaded with $10 trillion in “toxic” mortgage-backed securities, the housing market hasn’t fallen off a cliff wiping out $8 trillion in home equity, and the world is not on the brink of another excruciating financial meltdown. The reason the markets have been gyrating... Read More
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P peaked in May 2015, investors were still confident that the Fed “had their back” and that any steep or prolonged downturn in stocks would be met with additional liquidity and a firm commitment to maintain zero rates as long as necessary. But now that the Fed... Read More
Why is the economy barely growing after seven years of zero rates and easy money? Why are wages and incomes sagging when stock and bond prices have gone through the roof? Why are stocks experiencing such extreme volatility when the Fed increased rates by a mere quarter of a percent? It’s the policy, stupid. And... Read More
Here’s your U.S. foreign policy quiz for the day: Question 1– How many governments has the United States overthrown or tried to overthrow since the Second World War? Answer: 57 (See William Blum.) Question 2– How many of those governments had nuclear weapons? Answer— 0 Does that mean North Korea needs nuclear weapons to deter... Read More
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2016 started with a thud on Monday when news from China sent global stocks into freefall. The Shanghai index plunged 242 points before a system-wide circuit breaker kicked in and trading was halted. All three major US indices followed Asia’s downward slide with the Dow Jones leading the pack with a triple-digit loss on the... Read More
“It is remarkable that western leaders only remember the term ceasefire when their rebels on the ground are losing. Why didn’t they see the need for peace in Syria before the Russian operation started?” — Iyad Khuder, Damascus-based political analyst Imagine if the American people elected a president who was much worse than George W.... Read More
In case you missed last night’s two hour steelcage GOP extravaganza, here’s the 26-second food fight between frontrunner Donald Trump and Jeb Bush that everyone is talking surprisingly, the topic was one that dominated the discussion all night: What candidate is best qualified to savage civil liberties at home while bombing the rest of the... Read More
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Would you be willing to defend your country against a foreign invasion? That’s all Putin is doing in Syria. He’s just preempting the tidal wave of jihadis that’ll be coming his way once the current fracas is over. He figures it’s better to exterminate these US-backed maniacs in Syria now than face them in Chechnya,... Read More
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What is the connection between the US bombing of a Syrian military base in Ayyash, Syria, and the Turkish invasion of northern Iraq? Both of these seemingly isolated events are part of a larger plan to Balkanize the Middle East, to strengthen Washington’s grip on dwindling resources, to draw Russia into a costly and protracted... Read More
“You can pay me now or pay me later” is an American expression that means that you can either deal with a particular problem immediately at minimal expense or wait until the problem gets really bad and the costs go through the roof. This is the message that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying... Read More
You know the country has really gone to the dogs when Washington’s main allies in its war on Syria are the two biggest terrorist incubators on the planet. I’m talking about Saudi Arabia and Turkey, both of which are run by fanatical Islamic zealots devoted to spreading violent jihad to the four corners of the... Read More
“We have received additional information confirming that the oil controlled by Islamic State militants (ISIS) enters Turkish territory on an industrial scale. We have every reason to believe that the decision to down our plane was guided by a desire to ensure the security of this oil’s delivery routes to ports where they are shipped... Read More
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who think Hillary Clinton would make a lousy president, then pat yourself on the back because she pretty much proved it yesterday. In a presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton made it clear that if she’s elected in 2016, she’s going to drag the country... Read More
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Three questions about Paris: 1) Was the over-the-top, no-holds-barred, 24-7 media blitz really an attempt to keep the public informed about a critically important event or was the coverage geared to pressure President Obama into sending ground troops to Syria? 2) Is Obama’s excuse for not putting boots on the ground in Syria to fight... Read More
Imagine that you despised your brother-in-law and wanted to kill him. But you didn’t have the guts to do it yourself so you hired a hit-man to do the job for you. Would you still be guilty of murder? You’re darn right, you would be. So let’s apply this same rule to US foreign policy:... Read More
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) achieved its greatest victory in the four year-long war on Tuesday when it recaptured the strategic Kuweires military airbase in North Syria. Hundreds of ISIS terrorists were killed in intense fighting while hundreds more were sent fleeing eastward towards Raqqa. The victory was announced just hours after Turkish Prime Minister... Read More
“ISIS threatens our way of life and security…We have plans to act militarily against them in the coming days. You will see.” — Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu A landslide victory in Turkey’s November 1 snap elections has removed the last obstacle in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s drive to war. The surprise outcome of the... Read More
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Can someone explain to me why President Obama decided to announce that he’s going to deploy U.S. Special Forces to Syria on the same day that Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to meet with Russian and Iranian diplomats to discuss how to end the four and a half year-long war? What was that... Read More
Here’s a short video with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who explains exactly what the United States is doing in Syria. Gabbard is an Iraq combat veteran who understands the dangers the current policy and who thinks we are creating “even more human misery” while “strengthening our enemy”. Please, take a few minutes and watch this short... Read More
Why is John Kerry so eager to convene an emergency summit on Syria now when the war has been dragging on for four and a half years? Is he worried that Russia’s air campaign is wiping out too many US-backed jihadis and sabotaging Washington’s plan to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad? You bet, he... Read More
The Russian-led military coalition is badly beating Washington’s proxies in Syria which is why John Kerry is calling for a “Time Out”. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for an emergency summit later in the week so that leaders from Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan could discuss ways to avoid the... Read More
Why is the economy still in the doldrums after 6 years of zero rates and three rounds of Quantitative Easing? It’s because consumers aren’t consuming and there’s too much debt. You see, despite the Fed’s wacko theories about pumping liquidity into the financial system to make investors feel wealthier, people actually have to buy things... Read More
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Thousands of Iranian soldiers have arrived in Syria to join a major offensive against Sunni militants located in the northwest section of the country. The Iranian ground forces will be part of a joint operation that will include the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Russia and fighters from Lebanese militia, Hezbollah. The assault comes on the... Read More
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Russia doesn’t want to fight a war with Turkey, so Russian generals devised a simple, but effective plan to discourage Turkey from taking any action that could lead to a clash between the two nations. Last week, Russian warplanes intruded into Turkish airspace twice. Both incidents caused consternation in Ankara and send Turkish leaders into... Read More
The reason Putin will succeed where the US failed in its war on ISIS, is because the Russian air-strikes are going to be accompanied by a formidable mop-up operation that will overpower the jihadi groups on the ground. This is already happening as we speak. The Russian Air Force has been pounding terrorist targets across... Read More
For more than a year, the United States has been playing patty-cake with an army of homicidal maniacs who call themselves ISIS. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he’d had enough of Washington’s song-and-dance and was planning to bring a little Russian justice to the terrorist militias that had killed 225,000 Syrians and... Read More
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a blistering critique of US foreign policy to the UN General Assembly. On Tuesday, Barack Obama shoved a knife in Putin’s back. This is from Reuters: “France will discuss with its partners in the coming days a proposal by Turkey and members of the Syrian opposition for a... Read More
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Imagine your doctor put you on a daily dose of oxycontin, phenobarbital and Quaaludes for six years straight. Then he suddenly cancelled your prescription. Do you think your behavior might become a bit erratic? This is what’s going on with the stock market. It’s trying to shake off six years of overmedication brought on by... Read More
After 6 full years of zero rates and extreme pump-priming that flushed more than $10 trillion dollars into global markets, the Federal Reserve decided that even the slightest uptick in its benchmark Fed Funds rate would trigger enough destructive volatility in emerging markets that it would be better to postpone the rate hike until some... Read More
“Obama administration officials, who have been negotiating with Turkey for months, said Thursday that they had reached an agreement for manned and unmanned American warplanes to carry out aerial attacks on Islamic State positions from air bases at Incirlik and Diyarbakir. The agreement was described by one senior administration official as a “game changer.” New... Read More
Why Are Stocks Going Berserk?
If you’ve been following the markets for the last three weeks, you’ve probably figured out that something is wrong. The markets are no longer behaving the way they should, and that has people worried. Very worried. In the last 15 trading days, the Dow Jones has experienced an unprecedented 13 triple-digit days, which means that... Read More
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“Had the economy been fundamentally sound in 1929 the effect of the great stock market crash might have been small…. But business in 1929 was not sound; on the contrary it was exceedingly fragile. It was vulnerable to the kind of blow it received from Wall Street. Those who have emphasized this vulnerability are obviously... Read More
Corporations are taking the retirement savings of elderly public employees and using them to inflate their stock prices so wealthy CEOs and their shareholders can enrich themselves at the expense of their companies. And it’s all completely legal. Under current financial regulations, corporate bosses are free to repurchase their own company’s shares, push stock prices... Read More
“Not only is the equity market at the second most overvalued point in U.S. history, it is also more leveraged against probable long-term corporate cash flows than at any previous point in history.” — John P. Hussman, Ph.D. “Debt-Financed Buybacks Have Quietly Placed Investors On Margin“, Hussman Funds “This year feels like the last days... Read More