Wednesday Night #1932 w/ Peter Berezin

Written by  //  March 27, 2019  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

It is always a joy to have Peter with us and there is a lot to discuss!

But before we go there, we want to share the astounding news that Marc (Nicholson) and his family will be meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamshala, India on Wednesday. Marc points out that “there’s some karmic algorithm at work that it is both a Wednesday and Dad’s birthday. “ We would add that this Wednesday is #1932, the year of David’s birth.
We are not fully briefed on the how and why of this incredible opportunity, but gather that Marc is leading a delegation of 1880 members.
Here is the invitation to watch the livestream https://livestream.com/DalaiLamaEnglish/club-1880
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s interaction with 100 people from Singapore – members of a group called 1880 – at his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on March 27, 2019. Their goal is to bring together interesting and creative personalities and create opportunities for shared experiences, the cross-pollination of ideas, and the birth of the future. After his talk His Holiness will answer questions from the audience.”
Their meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. which we think translates to 12:45 am Montreal time.

In Peter’s most recent Weekly Report: What’s Next For The Dollar?, he sums up his views:

  • Global equities will remain rangebound for the next month or so, but should move decisively higher as economic green shoots emerge in the spring.
  • A revival in global growth will cause the recent rally in the U.S. dollar to stall out and reverse direction, setting the stage for a period of dollar weakness that could last until the second half of next year.
  • Rising inflation will force the Fed to turn considerably more hawkish in late-2020 or early-2021. This will cause the dollar to surge once more.
  • The combination of a stronger dollar and higher interest rates will trigger a recession in the U.S. in 2021, which will spread to the rest of the world.

As we have recently had the White House Budget proposal, the Liberal pre-election Budget  (see more on WN 1931), along with utterly disgraceful behaviour of Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, and the somewhat surprising Quebec Budget (Spare a thought for the losers in Quebec’s budget, there are more than a few),  there is much to discuss – and that’s before we get into the chaos of  Brexit, the Mueller Report, the Electoral College debate, let alone the niggling details of Trump’s most recent nomination to the Federal Reserve Board (Trump Prepares to Pack the Fed with Economic Imbeciles and Trump Nominates Famous Idiot Stephen Moore to Federal Reserve Board).

There is bound to be considerable analysis and debate about the impact and implications of the Mueller Report for some time to come. Of course, the White House is shouting ‘exoneration’, but we believe that Mr. Mueller has not spent two years without laying careful groundwork for attacks on multiple fronts. As the WaPo’s E.J. Dionne points out,  “Barr says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein “have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.” The Mueller probe spanned 675 days. It took Barr and Rosenstein just two days to let the president off the hook. How did they decide so quickly?”

China is on a charm offensive in Italy, selling participation in the New Silk Road, while perpetrating massive human rights violations at home (China says it has arrested 13,000 ‘terrorists’ in Xinjiang)
Xi continued to France to advance his sales pitch, however Macron is seeking to forge a united European front to contend with China’s global ambitions and has called for increased “reciprocity” in trade deals with Beijing and  is expected to repeat his calls for increased “reciprocity” regarding market access to China, in particular Beijing’s demands that foreign companies hand over vital technological know-how in order to invest in the country. “If we’re going to talk about a new Silk Road, then it must be one that goes in both directions,” Finance Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM television on Friday. Europe’s distrust of Huawei, which is poised to become the dominant player in next-generation 5G telecoms networks worldwide, is emblematic of the rocky relationship China has with the West.

Election results from Thailand are disappointing, but hardly unexpected, given that the new constitution gives the military considerable influence over the country’s civilian politics and makes it difficult for any party to win a majority in the 500-seat lower house. The upper house is appointed by the military. It’s no surprise that there are Charges of cheating amid confusion over Thailand’s election result

As Israel heads into elections, Netanyahu arrived in Washington to bask at the White House in the warmth of his relationship with Donald Trump. However,  he is cutting short the visit to the U.S. after a rocket attack from Gaza injured seven people near Tel Aviv today. He said he would return to Israel after meeting with President Trump.
The Guardian underlined “Even before the Israeli prime minister’s arrival, Trump bestowed an electoral gift, declaring US readiness to endorse Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights.” The story would not be complete without reference to Mike Pompeo’s ridiculous statement when asked by an evangelical broadcasting network whether Trump was a latter-day Queen Esther, an ancient heroine celebrated as the saviour of the Jews in this week’s Purim holiday, Pompeo replied: “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.” That would be the U.S. Secretary of State speaking. Can you imagine the reaction if John Kerry had made a similar statement about President Obama?
Topping Pompeo’s statement (but not delivered in Israel),  televangelist Pat Robertson recently stated that God Told Me There’ll Be A Trump Towers in Heaven

One week after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, workers have reopened a vital road, allowing aid agencies to deliver food and water to the suffering. It’s the first relief they’ve had since airdrops delivered basic supplies that had long since run out.
Many thanks to Tom and Margaret Haslam-Jones for forwarding  ‘The Huge heart of Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai,’  a beautifully written and heartrending account from their family member in Zimbabwe, Cathy Buckle.

Inevitably, the news cycle moves on. Boeing no longer is a front-page feature, although the NYT has now published Boeing Was ‘Go, Go, Go’ to Beat Airbus With the 737 MaxThe competitive pressure to build the jet — which permeated the entire design and development — now threatens the reputation and profits of Boeing, after two deadly crashes of the 737 Max in less than five months. Prosecutors and regulators are investigating whether the effort to design, produce and certify the Max was rushed, leading Boeing to miss crucial safety risks and to underplay the need for pilot training.”

Finally, some good news as we celebrate Sandy’s OuiCanSki Learning to love winter: Former skier spends a day with immigrants on the slopes
A charming profile History Through Our Eyes: March 25, 1969, Julius Grey
The man who went on to become one of the city’s most prominent lawyers was president-elect of the McGill Student Society.
We quoted him as saying he might go into politics “sooner or later.”
” ‘But I think it will be later,’ he adds, ‘because I’ve found this year that being in politics is very destructive of all one’s other activities.”
And as it turns out, rather than make his mark in politics, Grey has earned recognition for his legal defences of human rights and civil liberties

Good reads:

Are the kids alright? Saving and wealth accumulation among the millennial generation
American millennials enjoy certain advantages compared to previous generations, such as high levels of education and demographic diversity, but they also face a number of headwinds, like a changing job market and longer lifespans, that could affect their ability to save for the future
The millennial generation contains a significantly higher percentage of minorities than previous generations.  About 44 percent of Millennials identify as a minority (a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white), compared to 25 percent of individuals aged 21 to 36 in 1985. The United States will be a “majority-minority” country by 2050. A very broad literature finds that minority households have tended to accumulate less wealth than whites in the past, even after controlling for age, income, education, and marital status

Masood Azhar and the New Silk Road
Since both Pakistan and Turkey form key components of China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, this might be a time to start speaking about the axis that is made up of China, Pakistan, and Turkey. What is often forgotten in that the Uighurs, who are facing the brunt of this re-education in China, are a group with Turkic origins. … This is an ethnic commonality that stretches across Central Asia. … how long before the jihad explodes in China with connections with Pakistan and even Turkey? Especially since – for instance – the Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan, called the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), starts from Kashgar, deep in the Uighur region of China.

Stop trying to solve traffic and start building great places
Our congested commutes are the result of decisions that stretch back decades, to when Americans began to build their communities around cars. Today, the ways in which we plan and invest in transportation continue to contribute to problems like congestion, lack of accessible and affordable transportation options, and a sprawling, unsafe, and ecologically destructive built environment.

As always, there is so much more …

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