Archive for November, 2014

China and India posturing

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Out of the sight of Western media, China and India are long time enemies, specially along the Tibet and mountain areas surrounding, with various issues and sometimes even clashes. Even an outright war in 1962 (won by China)

As it is far far away, nobody in the West is interested.

Now China is posturing aggressively also in the Indian Ocean with various submarine seen docking in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka defeated the Tamil Tigers with the full support of Chinese consultants).

Also China is building a strong alliance with Pakistan and interest in Afghanistan (funny how all the US wars end up favouring China…also Iraq main exporter market is …China).

China does this with the reason of protecting the sea lanes which represents 80% of its commerce (also they do remember how Japan was squeezed by the US via blockades).

Practically China is encircling India.

India definitely is not just watching, increasing its military spend, such as aircraft carriers, fifth generation jet fighters (with Russian help).

Also the new US Congress will probably end the constant US retreat from the international scenario – which means more arm sales also from the US.

Apart the little wars as Ukraine and Syria – this is really where things could turn nasty in a blink.

It is highly improbable, but it is somehow funny how the biggest danger is not even mentioned.

As expected the Republicans routed the Democrats.

Usually Republican are good for the business (stock market), even if there can be a total grind between the Republicans and the President, with the usual negative consequence for the Government.

As an extremely short summary, Republicans are good for Defence, Energy, Rail (and Coal, less environmental issues).

Also they will probably heighten the threat against Islamic State, Russia and China – increasing the geopolitical risks.

US Mid Term Election and markets

Posted: November 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

The polls indicates a victory, Senate and logically House, for the elections. And President Obama is trying to stem a disaster.

The market would not like a indecisive situation (a reminder of the shameful George W. Bush election). The states of Louisiana (potential run off 6 December) and state of Georgia (potential run off 6 January) are currently too close to call.

A Republican win would be good for healthcare and energy. But would also increase the geopolitical tension as Republican are generally more warmongers (so watch for boots on the ground in Iraq and increased tension with Russia).

Statistically, on a definite election outcome, the market rally in the following weeks.

So all eyes on Louisiana and Georgia tomorrow (unless, as a good Melburnian, you are at the races)

The Spanish intelligence service picked up some chatter about using Ebola as a bio weapon.Naturally this scenario has been studied quite a while.

Apart the marketing effect (the media would be in a frenzy like a Zombie apocalypse), such an attack would be more show than a mass-killer.

Ebola is transmitted by contact (sweat)  or cough…so u need to be really close.

An Ebola patient can actually spread the virus after a while…..usually by then it is so sick he cannot move.

Ebola contagious rate is pretty low.

Ebola virus is pretty delicate, a classic delivery via explosion would kill the virus.

So if it ever happen, unless you are really close, the biggest danger you would face is the media backlash and stock market consequences, but don’t start thinking a World War Z apocalypse.

Bio weapons are extremely sophisticated, so only US, Russia or China and a few other countries have the technology (fortunately not the will) to use it effectively.

Unknown to many, bio terrorist attack have been tried several time by terrorist organization – even AL Qaeda in Iraq (but the explosion was more effective than the gas/bio weapon).

The biggest case happened in Tokyo over a decade ago in the subway by a very well funded and skilled religious attack with Sarin gas in 1995 . The attack had very little success for the scale and the planning involved (5 attacks killed 13 persons and 1,000 had minor respiratory issues).

Once this terror group got brought to justice, it has been found out that they attempted similar attacks since 1194, but most of the attacks were such a failure that nobody noticed.

Most of the perpetrator were sentenced to death.

 

Ukraine, another frozen conflict

Posted: November 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

The election in Ukraine and East Ukraine are going as planned. East Ukraine to Russia and Ukraine to the US.

Apparently in Donestk (East Ukraine) clearly marked Russian tanks and heavy equipment has been seen without any disguise.

I do not think there is a “winter offensive”, unless the Russians want to exploit their knowledge of winter war.

Most likely it is a not so subtle message to the US, now that the entire US Congress look to be falling in Republican (hawks) hands at the Mid Term Election: do not mess with us.