World View: 100 Dead in Wave of Iraqi Sectarian Terrorist Attacks

This morning's key headlines from

  • A 'long way to go' in talks between Greece and EU troika
  • Iraq: 100 dead in a wave of sectarian terrorist attacks
  • France providing direct aid to rebel opposition in Syria
  • How to start a new business in America today

A 'long way to go' in talks between Greece and EU troika

Antonis Samaras - Greek Prime Minister
Antonis Samaras - Greek Prime Minister

With Greece's membership in the eurozone hanging in the balance, Greek officials are struggling to cut another 11.5 billion euros of public spending out of the budget over the next two years. The Greeks have to convince the EU "troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- which arrived in Athens on Friday, that the cuts are real and will actually be implemented, unlike a number of previous promised cuts that were forgotten as soon as the bailout money was received. After Sunday's meeting, Greece's Finance Ministry said,

"They have objections to some of the measures. They want more details to understand some of the measures better.

This is just the start, there is a long way to go."

The troika officials have to approve the cost cutting measures to secure the next tranche of the 31.5 billion euro EU-IMF bailout. Approval is also required from the Socialist and Democratic Left political parties. A decision will be reached by early October, just in time to save Greece from bankruptcy.

There's a lot of talk these days about "Grexit," Greece's exit from the euro currency. Last year I proposed the "Kick the Can Theory" for the European financial crisis. It says that if you want to know what's going to happen, just assume that European leaders will look for a way to "kick the can down the road," meaning that they'll do the minimum possible to postpone the crisis a little longer, to prevent a current disaster without fixing the problem, so that the crisis will recur in worse form weeks or months later. The Kick the Can Theory has been right every time so far, and so we can expect that the politicians will find some way to approve the bailout payment. Kathimerini

Iraq: 100 dead in a wave of sectarian terrorist attacks

A wave of more than 20 attacks, thought to be by Sunni terrorists, on Sunday left hundreds injured and up to 100 dead across Iraq. The terrorist blasts were coordinated, targeting crowded marketplaces and security forces in at least 11 cities across the nation. In Baghdad, car bombs killed dozens in six mainly Shia Muslim neighborhoods. Sectarian attacks have been increasing in Iraq for the following reasons:

  • The Syrian conflict is becoming increasingly sectarian, with the Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam comprising 12% of the population, is oppressively ruling over Sunni Muslims, comprising 2/3 of the population. The Syrian conflict is inflaming sectarian tensions throughout the entire Mideast.
  • The withdrawal of American forces last December has allowed much greater freedom for al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups to attack Shia targets in Iraq.
  • On the day after the final American withdrawal, the Shia government issued an arrest warrant for Iraq's leading Sunni politician, vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi, further inflaming Sunni anger. Al-Hashemi has been hiding in Kurdish territory and in Turkey out of reach of the Shia government, but on Sunday a Baghdad court sentenced al-Hashemi to death by hanging in absentia.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the entire Mideast is headed for a major sectarian Sunni/Shia war. Australian Broadcasting and LA Times

France providing direct aid to rebel opposition in Syria

In a potential escalation of the Syria conflict, France has started providing direct aid and money to rebel-controlled areas and is even considering supplying anti-aircraft weapons to the opposition. It's now been several weeks since Lakhdar Brahimi replaced Kofi Annan as Syria's "peace envoy," but as far as I know, he's accomplished nothing except to say several times that he has no idea what to do. RT

How to start a new business in America today

From the "Financial Topics" thread of the Generational Dynamics Forum, Higgenbotham is providing the following prudent and sage advice on how to start a new business in America today:

These would be my thoughts on starting a business.

First, get ready for a post-collapse world. In the current pre-collapse world, existing businesses are conditioned to operating in the pre-collapse environment. They will be lost post-collapse. This is when the prepared entrepreneur can step in.

To get ready for the post-collapse world, travel to a third world country or to a country that has already collapsed and observe how business is conducted. Talk to the locals to get an idea of what business conditions were like pre-collapse and try to envision how the conditions in the US that are different pre-collapse will change the post-collapse environment vis-a-vis the country you are observing. I chose to travel to one of the poorest areas of the former USSR to make observations. It was formerly pretty well off because it was a manufacturing area and not too far from Moscow.

Begin by pilot testing an idea with a very limited amount of capital at risk. My thought would be less than 10% of capital should be risked on the whole initial operation. Operate on a cash basis and under the radar. Let's say that a formula for laundry soap has been obtained and someone wants to make an attempt to manufacture this product. I would not rush headlong into buying equipment, renting space, and other things a conventional business person might do today. Instead, pay a contract manufacturing outfit to mix some up on a small scale, then figure out how to sell it. Observe what equipment the contract manufacturer is using and do some research because that equipment may be picked up for pennies on the dollar at auction when the bankruptcies roll in. If it's thought that the future of America will most resemble Detroit, Michigan or Las Vegas, Nevada, and there are probably better places to consider but people can understand what I am talking about by mentioning those places. Take the product there and live there a few months. Figure out what works best to move it in the post-collapse world of strip mall flea markets, craigslist, or whatever is envisioned. See if customers match the envisioned post-collapse profile and find out what else they need to buy where they would seek alternatives to the current distribution channels, in order to save a few bucks or which may be shut down, post-collapse. Probably enough said, but that's my general idea. Generational Dynamics Forum

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