World View: Algeria Ends Four-Day Terrorist Siege with No-Mercy Assault

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Algeria ends four-day terrorist siege with a no-mercy assault
  • Hillary Clinton tells China to steer clear of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands
  • Federal Reserve officials were caught by surprise by financial crisis

Algeria ends four-day terrorist siege with a no-mercy assault

Mokhtar Belmokhtar is the leader of the terrorist group responsible for the siege of the Algerian natural gas complex (Reuters)
Mokhtar Belmokhtar is the leader of the terrorist group responsible for the siege of the Algerian natural gas complex (Reuters)

Algerian troops ended the four-day siege by Islamist terrorists at a natural gas complex in the Sahara with a no-mercy, no-negotiation assault that killed the seven remaining foreign hostages, along with all the remaining hostage takers. Algeria's interior ministry said that 107 foreign hostages and 685 Algerian hostages had survived, but there are still people unaccounted for, including Americans, Britons, Norwegians and French, and many people are fearing the worst. At least 15 unidentified burned bodies were found at the plant. Some Western governments have expressed anger that they weren't even notified before the Algerians went ahead with the initial assault, risking the lives of the hostages, but the Algerians feared that any delay would make matters worse. Reuters

Hillary Clinton tells China to steer clear of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning China not to take "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration" of the Sankaku/Diaoyu islands. If China does take any action, then presumably she or her successor will issue another warning. As we've reported, ( "19-Jan-13 World View -- China's directive to the People's Liberation Army: Get Ready for War"), Chinese military officials believe that "the U.S. is bluffing in the East China Sea," and that Americans will "run like rabbits" if there's a clash. Japan Times

Federal Reserve officials were caught by surprise by financial crisis

The transcripts of Federal Reserve meetings from 2007 have just been released, and they indicate that Federal Reserve officials, from chairman Ben Bernanke on down, were completely clueless about the coming financial crisis. One Fed official, then-San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen, raised the alarm about the housing bubble in January, but she was ignored and backed down later in the year. As I've said many times, mainstream economists did not predict and can't explain the 1990s tech bubble, the real estate bubble, the 2007 financial crisis, or anything that's happening today, and they don't have the vaguest clue what's going to happen next year.

I still can't get used to this. It was perfectly obvious to me by 2004 that there was a housing bubble and a stock market bubble. It was also obvious to Alan Greenspan, who gave some alarming speeches on the subject in 2005. (See "Ben S. Bernanke: The man without agony" from 2005.) And I'm not blessed with any special powers, but I do understand the Law of Mean Reversion, which is taught in Economics 1.01, and when you apply the Law of Mean Reversion, you could see well before 2007 that there was a housing bubble, a stock market bubble and a credit bubble, and that there was going to be a crash. So I was able to apply Economics 1.01 and predict what was going to happen, but Ben Bernanke and the gang at the Fed were totally unable to do the same thing.

These are the same people that are running the Fed today. They still don't have a clue what's going on. As I wrote in "1-Jan-13 World View -- 2013 Forecast: Financial Crisis and China Threat", the S&P 500 Price/Earnings Ratio index (also called "valuations") has been well above average since 1995, and by the Law of Mean Reversion, stocks will at some point fall sharply, to the Dow 3000 level or lower, and stay there until the 2020s. Bloomberg and AP


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