Monday , November 18 2019
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Thomas Luongo

Articles by Thomas Luongo

Farage’s ‘Big Ask’ May Save Brexit

6 days ago

Nigel Farage is the face of Brexit. From the start of his political career he’s gone for the “Big Ask,” as his friend Donald Trump would put it, get the U.K. out of the European Union.
Everyone in the Western political establishment hates him because of this.
Over the past year he has been prophetic in his analysis of how the Conservatives have maneuvered to betray the U.K.’s departure from the European Union.
For more than a week since announcing the Brexit Party’s electoral strategy, Farage has been under enormous pressure from all quarters to stand down many of his candidates and not fight the Tories.
Farage’s initial strategy, contest the whole election, was exactly as I suggested in my last article on Brexit.
It was a high

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Saudi Aramco IPO Will Not Save the Kingdom

12 days ago

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has staked his country’s future on selling a 5% stake in Saudi Aramco, the most valuable asset it has.
And it is his hope that this IPO will help finance the country’s turnaround making it less dependent on oil revenue.
It’s been trying to do this for three years and was ready to pull the trigger when the Houthi rebels in North Yemen pulled theirs and damaged major Aramco facilities at Ab Qaiq in August.
The IPO itself is off the table until next year but the Saudis have officially put it back on the table, submitting the necessary paperwork to make the sale.
What’s held up this IPO has been MbS’s insistence on a $2 trillion valuation while playing very coy about the company’s actual

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Farage’s High Risk Strategy for Brexit

14 days ago

Nigel Farage has thrown down the gauntlet to Boris Johnson over the election strategy. Johnson has refused.
Of course he did. Farage made an offer Johnson couldn’t accept, ditch the Withdrawal Treaty he just negotiated with the EU and truly campaign on a far harder Brexit than Johnson has ever advocated for.
If he doesn’t do that face Farage’s Brexit Party standing candidates in more than 500 seats and potentially split the Leave vote.
Mike Shedlock thinks Farage’s deal is “Preposterous.” Mike is wrong. It is the only offer Farage could offer the Tories and stay in any way relevant in a time of electoral chaos and party fluidity.
It is the kind of ‘big ask’ that his friend Donald Trump would make. It may be an opening bid in a

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Peak Populism or Peak Globalism?

19 days ago

Last week George Soros rose from his casket to give an interview with, of course, The New York Times to pronounce that we’ve reached peak populism.
Anne Rice would have been proud of the whitewash.
The anomalies of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election were about to be reversed by the force of his beloved open society.
But is that the case?
If so why can’t Brexit be betrayed once and for all?
Why can’t Trump be removed from office for all of his crimes against decency?
Why can’t Open Society Foundation operate in places like Hungary, Turkey and Russia?
Why are populist, anti-immigration parties like Alternative for Germany (AfD) surging, frustrating Soros’ ideal centrist coalitions that have ruled post-war Europe (and nearly

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Johnson and Macron – Caretakers or Betrayers of Brexit?

21 days ago

While everyone, including myself, has speculated how Boris Johnson could be the Hero of Brexit, it may come down to French President Emmanuel Macron being that hero.
Macron has made noise after noise about not wanting to grant any more extensions to the U.K. to delay Brexit. He wants Brexit completed.
That’s what Macron wants you to believe. And as we close out another week of Brexit drama, that’s what everyone is supposed to talk about until Monday when Boris Johnson brings forth his latest attempt to get a General Election through a Parliament inchoate with hatred of him.
Mike Shedlock has his latest take up on his blog covering this angle. It is well-considered. Mike believes Macron is serious and predicates his analysis on

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By Blocking Boris, Bercow Bins Any Real Brexit

26 days ago

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow denied Boris Johnson’s government a meaningful vote on his EU Withdrawal Treaty on Monday after allowing Oliver Letwin to table an amendment designed to force the Government to withdraw it on Saturday.
That amendment passed and the vote was withdrawn. And the question now is what’s next?
The better question is why? Why did they do this when it raises the probability of a No-Deal Brexit given the ‘no extension’ rhetoric coming from the EU?
The answer should be self-evident. The EU will happily grant an extension if the right conditions are in place. And those conditions are simply anything that continues to pave the path towards overturning the 2016 Brexit Referendum vote.
The EU agreed to

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A New Middle East, Thanks to Putin

28 days ago

Peace in the Middle East is coming at us fast and we’re going to have Russian President Vladimir Putin to thank for it.
The howls of agony coming from U.S. and European foreign policy centers are deafening. Pat Buchanan lists them in his latest article which asks if Putin is now the new king of the Middle East.
“Donald Trump Has Handed Putin the Middle East on a Plate” was the title of a Telegraph column. “Putin Seizes on Trump’s Syria Retreat to Cement Middle East Role,” said the Financial Times.
The U.S. press parroted the British: Putin is now the new master of the Mideast. And woe is us.
Remember that the epicenter of virulent anti-Russian, pro-Israeli sentiment doesn’t begin with the Neocons along K-Street. It begins with

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John Bolton – Hero of the Resistance or Traitor?

October 17, 2019

John Bolton’s part of the story to impeach Trump has reached the end of the first act. The finale will be a doozy… for someone.
A report from the New York Times this morning on Fiona Hill’s testimony before Adam Schiff’s (D – Deep State) kangaroo court casts Bolton as the hero working against Trump’s obvious animus towards his political opponents.
Hill is Trump’s former adviser on Russia, a supremely connected Swamp dweller and Clintonista. Don’t take my word for it. Take Lee Stranahan’s.

OK then, let’s talk a little about who Fiona Hill is and whose side she is on in a short THREAD.
— ⏳ (@stranahan) October 14, 2019

The thread traces Hill’s career back to the beginning and who she’s worked with. To call

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Victory or Fire: That’s the Plan for Hong Kong

October 15, 2019

It’s become quite clear to me that the situation in Hong Kong is now about regime change through economic terrorism. What started as peaceful protests against an extradition law and worry over reunification with China has morphed into an ugly and vicious assault on the city’s economic future.
These are being perpetrated by the so-called “Block Bloc,” roving bands of mask-wearing, police-tactic defying vandals attacking randomly around the city to disrupt people going to work.
Pepe Escobar has been doing exemplary work in recent months covering the ins and outs of Asian politics. His latest article covers the “Black Bloc,” their tactics and who’s likely behind them in Hong Kong.
More likely to be informed is Hong Kong garment and

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Pompeo Can’t Blame Iran For Attacking Itself

October 12, 2019

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water someone poked a couple of holes in an oil tanker belonging to Iran. This sent oil prices up briefly in the vain hope of stabilizing them. But, strangely, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was silent.
This was a warning to Iran from someone on the Saudi/Israeli/U.S. side, “You won’t win without costs.”
Well, of course, that’s true. The big question everyone is asking is, of course, “Who did this?”
Details are sketchy with a lot of back and forth. Iran initially reported missile strikes.

Report: Explosion in #Iranian tanker has set vessel on fire near #Saudi port city of #Jeddah.
— Press TV (@PressTV) October

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Another Narrative Collapse

October 3, 2019

I’ve been on some form of low-carb diet since the 1990’s. If not for a few years of intense martial arts training and that dietary switch, I would have been likely ended up with type-II diabetes.
And well on my way to the grave.
I know, some of you are thinking, “More’s the pity.” Fair enough.
But, the truth is that once my wife and I started down that path and our health rapidly improved there was no going back. I clearly remember an early article in, of all places, the Gainesville Sun talking about how butter may not be bad for you.
That planted a seed and things went from there.
We started with Dr. Atkins. Then we moved on to books like Neanderthin and devoured, all puns intended, the work of the Drs. Mary and Michael Eades

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It’s a Numbers Game in the Coup To Stop Johnson and Brexit

September 30, 2019

I told you the other day that there was a coup underway by the elites I call The Davos Crowd. It started with the British Supreme Court overturning centuries of the balance of powers and ended with the Democrats in Congress announcing impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
When the decision came down from the Supreme Court I began my weekly article for Strategic Culture Foundation. They published it today. In that piece I outline what the dynamics are and what the options were for both sides of the Brexit conundrum.
So, now with this ruling in place what’s next and what’s really going on tactically and strategically?
Johnson, for his part, refuses to resign. He can’t or won’t get anything past this hostile Parliament.

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The Collapse in Germany Is Real — and Accelerating

September 25, 2019

Back in April I told you that Germany was a “Dead Economy Walking.” Today I get to tell you that it’s legs are gone.
This morning’s manufacturing PMI print was the worst news Angela Merkel could have imagined, 41.4. A figure so awful dogs will want to roll on it.
Overall, Germany’s economy at the purchasing manager’s level is contracting. And with Merkel masking a massive tax increase as a political cave to the rising Greens the future for Germany’s economic growth looks as bad as the following chart.

Aside from the obvious, the big takeaway from this chart is the consistency with which analysts who are paid a lot more than me over-estimate this number. It’s a brilliant depiction of confirmation bias.
And you can see why this

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Will the Yemen War Be the End of Saudi Arabia?

September 20, 2019

The attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil processing station in Abqaiq over the weekend was a major turning point in global politics. It may be even bigger than many of us realize.
While forces within U.S. political circles, Israel and Saudi Arabia keep trying to shift the blame to Iran, the most likely scenario is that the Houthis in North Yemen were responsible for the attack as a follow up to last month’s hit which showed off the capabilities of their new drones.
That attack set the stage for the latest one in a classic case of the past being prologue. By showing the world it was capable of throwing drones anywhere in Saudi Arabia rebels in Yemen created plausibility for last weekend’s attack.
And as I said the other day this

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Questions, Not Answers, Surround US Push to War on Iran

September 18, 2019

When President Trump fired National Security Adviser John Bolton last week rational people the world over cheered.
When there was news that Trump would meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly with Iran’s President Rouhani in a few weeks there were sighs of relief.
When Benjamin Netanyahu goes to Moscow to get Vladimir Putin’s blessing to continue airstrikes in Syria and was told no, the world said, “Finally! Enough is enough.”
The problem is that there were also very powerful people who were not happy about these things.
Moreover, there are a lot of nervous people out there worried that Tuesday’s election in Israel will not go the way they want it.
A lot of people have invested a lot of time and money in ensuring

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Turkey Exposes Central Bank Incompetence

September 16, 2019

Last year I asked whether Turkey would be “City Zero in Global Contagion.” That question was based on the crisis unfolding in the Turkish lira which materially threatened a number of major European banks, especially those in Italy.
This week highlighted something really interesting for me that, I think, sets in motion a similar thesis about Turkey but for much different reasons. The sovereign debt crisis will come about purely because of a failure of confidence in institutions.
Competence is the key to staying at the top of human dominance hierarchies, not force. Those built on competence tend to last and those built on force are, at best, meta-stable for a specific period of time.
The difference between what’s happening in

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Trump Thumping Bolton Is a Good Start

September 11, 2019

Donald Trump finally fired National Security Adviser and all-around disgraceful human being John Bolton.
Good riddance.
Bolton was a diversity hire by Trump. His allegiance to the Israeli Firsters who helped get Trump into power, namely Sheldon Adelson, got him the job.
The strongest Iran hawk in Washington in the wake of John McCain’s brain tumor valiantly giving up its life to end McCain’s, Bolton’s role was to keep Trump on program delivering maximum force and intimidation to everyone who so much as looked sideways at the U.S.
He was the proxy in the White House for liar and war criminal, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The turning point was Trump’s refusal to take Bolton’s bait to retaliate against Iran for shooting down the Global Hawk

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Who Is Holding Back the Russian Economy?

September 9, 2019

Russia’s economy has been a sore spot for more than two years now. Since the ruble crisis of late 2014 the role of the Bank of Russia has been to apply IMF-style counter-cyclical tightening to stabilize the situation in the wake of the decision to allow the ruble to float freely on the open market.
That was the right decision then. It was the move the US did not expect President Vladimir Putin to make. It was expected Putin would hold to his natural conservatism and keep the ruble trading in the 30’s versus the US dollar as opposed to risking a collapse in exchange rate in the face of an historic drop in oil prices over the eighteen months between July 2014 and the low made in late January 2016.
Oil dropped from $120+ per barrels

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Boris Johnson – Brexit Hero in the Making or Goat?

September 7, 2019

This week’s Brexit drama was vitally important for Boris Johnson. And intentional or not he has maneuvered events to a very interesting inflection point.
The random acts of vandalism performed by Remainers on all sides of the political aisle in the House of Commons were, I think, invoked by Johnson himself strategically.
And I come to that conclusion for a number of reasons. The most compelling of which is that it saves the Conservative party and also potentially shores up the British ruling class which are in danger of losing their popular mandate. Achieving a meaningful Brexit is of secondary importance.
Brexit is the defining issue of the age. It has split the people and their government. This was the strategic plan of the

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Brexit Has Devolved into Random Acts of Vandalism

September 5, 2019

Some men just want to watch the world burn.–The Dark Knight
Brexit has destroyed British politics. That was the goal of the EU’s non-negotiating strategy. And it has succeeded brilliantly.
Understand that the mindset of The Davos Crowd and their quislings across Europe is that the EU is inevitable. The EU is the future and nothing the people say or want will change that course.
And they will do everything they can to implement it.
While watching another two hours of pathetic virtue signaling and strident desperation known as British Parliament I came to the only conclusion any rational person could come to.
The Remain coalition in the U.K. parliament have become vandals.
They would destroy everything about their government,

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When Losing Is Winning in Germany for AfD

September 4, 2019

Germany held the first two of three important state elections over the weekend. And the results were striking. Leading up to the elections polls had the current opposition party in the Bundestag, Alternative for Germany (AfD), neck and neck with the ruling parties in both Saxony and Brandenburg.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition was battered by the results but not beaten. In Brandenburg, her partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), beat AfD by 5 points, 26.3% to 23.5%, while in Saxony Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) held onto 32% of the vote while AfD took 27.5%.

Germany (Saxony), prelim. final results:
CDU-EPP: 32% (-7)AfD-ID: 28% (+18)LINKE-LEFT: 10% (-9)GRÜNE-G/EFA: 9% (+3)SPD-S&D: 8% (-4)——FDP-RE: 5%FW-RE:

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Is World of Warcraft Classic a Cash Grab or Much Needed Rebirth?

August 27, 2019

So today is the launch day for World of Warcraft Classic. A reboot of the game to its state circa late 2005 but with 2004’s content. There is real excitement in the community for the first time in years.
And it’s of the type that tells me there’s much more here than nostalgia for a past long gone. There’s something deeper and richer here than I think any one of the vocal players who fought so hard for this understand.
I played World of Warcraft from the very beginning. I was on one of the oldest and more unstable servers, Dalaran.
At times we joked it was a 286 running, forgotten, in the basement of Blizzard’s offices. If memory serves it was the last of the original servers to get upgraded hardware. And because of that it still

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Freaky Friday Foments Furious Fed Fusillade From Trump

August 26, 2019

Friday night used to be the ‘best night on television.’ But today Friday afternoon is becoming the best soap opera we could hope for as President Trump pulls out all the stops to keep us both horrified and entertained.
It’s better than reruns of Dallas, for sure, though the hair is just as ludicrous.
Trump laid into FOMC Chairman Jerome Powell again musing aloud on Twitter as to who the bigger enemy of the U.S. was, The Fed or China.

….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

Now, far be it for me to get upset with anyone criticizing the Federal Reserve. The FOMC, is really just a Politburo of Ivory Tower intellectuals with neither the practical experience nor the specific

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Italy and Salvini Face Real Crisis Now

August 22, 2019

With the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte the future of Italy is now up in the air. There are many things that come into play with Conte resigning before the No-Confidence vote tabled by Lega Leader Matteo Salvini could take place.
The euro popped 40 pips, back above support at $1.11 on the news. The forex markets realize this was a Brussels-friendly move.
Conte didn’t want to chance getting voted out of office. That makes it difficult for President Sergei Mattarella to call for a new government without snap elections. The Italian Senate would have formally rebuked Mattarella’s compromise pick for Prime Minister, Conte.
Conte was there to effectively keep the children in line – Euroskeptics Lega and Five Star Movement

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The Battle of the ‘Flations Has Begun

August 17, 2019

Inflation? Deflation? Stagflation? Consecutively? Concurrently?… or from a great height (apologies to Tom Stoppard).
We’ve reached a pivotal moment where all of the narratives of what is actually happening have come together. And it feels confusing. But it really isn’t.
The central banks have run out of room to battle deflation. QE, ZIRP, NIRP, OMT, TARGET2, QT, ZOMG, BBQSauce! It all amounts to the same thing.
How can we stuff fake money onto more fake balance sheets to maintain the illusion of price stability?
The consequences of this coordinated policy to save the banking system from itself has resulted in massive populist uprisings around the world thanks to a hollowing out of the middle class to pay for it all.
The central

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Can Salvini Beat the Italian Troika?

August 13, 2019

Italian leader Matteo Salvini is in the headlines again, now openly threatening divorce with his coalition partner, Five Star Movement (M5S).
Salvini unleashed another round of rhetorical bombs at M5S to get on them board with his part of the agenda. But that seems to have failed and he is now prepared to go to Parliament and withdraw his party, Lega, from the coalition government which will lead to new elections.
He had put off any kind of talk of new elections in the past because the opinion polling wasn’t strong enough to grant Lega the kind of majority it needed to govern without strings.
The coalition is dead but it may not matter.
The biggest problem Salvini faced, however, wasn’t M5S’s internal strife and contradictions.

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Big Signals From Gold and Silver

August 12, 2019

After nearly eight years of torment, gold and silver are back.  The global political picture is spinning out of control quickly.  And the precious metals are here to tell us just how quickly.
Before I get to the charts, however, I think it’s important we review everything that happened this week just to get some context.
Last weekend two gruesome murder sprees were committed in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.  Both shooters apparently radicalized by the current political climate. The usual suspects used these events to call for gun control, pre-crime prevention straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel while blaming them on the tyranny of white people and Donald Trump’s racism.
Then on Monday morning to the news India revoked

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Trump’s Fed Bashing is a Self-Inflicted Wound

August 10, 2019

Donald Trump is an economic ignoramus. I say this all the time.
I keep hoping I’m wrong, but every time he opens his mouth he confirms my worst impression of him.
Trump isn’t dumb, he’s very smart. But, like so many smart people, including myself and FOMC members, he’s over-confident in applying that which he’s been mis-educated about.
Trump is surrounded by monetarists, like Larry Kudlow. Kudlow still believes the Phillips Curve has validity for pity’s sake. Behind the curve doesn’t begin to describe the situation in the White House.
And yet that’s what they think of the Fed.
The Fed is staffed by Keynesians, or more accurately Samuelsonians. All of them have truly bonkers ideas about how markets actually work in the real world

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Forget Iran. Maximum Pressure Has Shifted to China

August 8, 2019

In the past week the pressure on China by the U.S. has escalated daily. Since the trade delegation came back from China with lunch barely digested the Trump Administration has gone into over drive on demonizing China here at home.
From finally declaring China a currency manipulator after years of threats on Monday the latest is now a planted story in Axios that Vice-President Mike Pence bringing forth a list of Chinese officials to sanction for Human Rights violations under the Global Magnitsky Act.
This is based on a lie, of course. A lie helped along by Bob Fu, the head of ChinaAid, an NGO working, nominally, to alleviate the horrors of the Chinese government. Or, at least, that’s what you’re supposed to believe.
Vice President

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And “The Rock” Cried Out… No Hiding Place

August 1, 2019

There’s no hiding place down hereYou know, there’s no hiding place down hereI went to the rock to hide my faceBut the rock cried out, no hiding place, nowNo Hiding place down here
–Gospel Standard
I really like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His work ethic, attitude and humility are an inspiration.
In an age when it seems every third person attached to the entertainment industry is a pedophile at worst and a scumbag at best, Johnson’s superhero persona on and off screen is exactly what this society needs.
And no one knows this better than Dwayne Johnson himself.
But even Dwayne Johnson is not immune to the toxicity of the Twitterati on both sides when it comes to politics. And his recent dust-up over a tweet about Boris Johnson

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