This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- State Dept. orders evacuations of Americans out of Tunisia and Sudan
- Libyan officials say that the Benghazi attack was very well planned
- Huge Anti-Japan protests spread across China, turn violent
- Japanese do not believe that U.S. will support them over Senkaku islands
- China’s non-Communist parties condemn Japan’s Senkaku/Diaoyu policy
- New Fed quantitative easing program unlikely to affect anything
State Dept. orders evacuations of Americans out of Tunisia and Sudan
Libyans hold signs on Friday to express sympathy for Americans killed (AP)
The State Department on Saturday ordered the departure of all familymembers and non-essential U.S. government personnel from its embassiesin Sudan and Tunisia and warned U.S. citizens against any travel tothe two countries due to security concerns over rising anti-Americanviolence. Saturday is the fifth day of anti-American protests in some20 countries in the Mideast and beyond. AP and State Dept. (re Tunisia) and State Dept. (re Sudan)
Libyan officials say that the Benghazi attack was very well planned
Libyan officials believe that Tuesday’s attack on the US consulate inBenghazi, killing US ambassador Chris Stevens, was planned,According to Libya’s General National Congress president Mohammedal-Megaryef:
“There was planning. It was not a peaceful protestwhich degenerated into an armed attack or aggression. That’s howit was planned.
[The attack] was prepared, especially since it coincided with thedate of September 11.
There are non-Libyan elements on Libyan soil and they plan tocarry out their own agendas on our territory.
The attack itself and the manner in which the attackoccurred… confirms that this was planned and programmed toachieve a purpose.
I do not exclude discovering things that will link Al Qaeda andthe US consulate attack.”
US military and intelligence agencies have launched an elaboratemanhunt in Libya against the militants suspected of staging the mostserious assault on an American diplomatic mission in decades.
Early indications are that the attack was carried out not by the mainal-Qaida terror group but “al-Qaida sympathizers.” A leading suspectis the Libyan-based Islamic militant group Ansar al-Shariah, led byformer Guantanamo detainee Sufyan bin Qumu. Australian Broadcasting and AP
Huge Anti-Japan protests spread across China, turn violent
Chinese paramilitary police try to prevent demonstrators from breaking through a fence set up outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing (AP)
In the largest anti-Japan protests since China and Japan normalizeddiplomatic ties in 1972, more than 70,000 Chinese staged ralliesSaturday in at least 28 cities to demand that Japan surrender theSenkaku/Diaoyu islands to China. The largest demonstration, inQingdao, Shandong Province, attracted as many as 30,000 people andevolved into rioting as protestors torched as many as 10 Japaneseenterprises, including a Panasonic factory. In Beijing, policedeployed more than 100 officers as well as 100 vehicles around theJapanese Embassy to prevent protesters from taking violent action. Butclashes ensued as an estimated 1,000 protestors busted barricades,blocked traffic and hurled plastic bottles and eggs onto the embassygrounds. Carrying Chinese flags, they chanted “Protect the DiaoyuIslands” and “Slap economic sanctions on Japan.” When there areprotests against China’s government, the Chinese security forces clampdown hard, but these rallies appeared to have the tacit approval ofChinese authorities. Japan Times
Japanese do not believe that U.S. will support them over Senkaku islands
Although the United States is nominally committed to supporting Japanin a confrontation over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, according to theterms of a 1960 defense treaty, many Japanese do not believe thatAmerica will honor that commitment. According to one Japaneseanalyst:
“There is a perception in Japan that theU.S. commitment is ambiguous. If China thinks Japan will hesitateto respond or that America will hesitate, that will embolden theChinese. It’s better that America sends a clear, explicit messagenow than have to respond to something worse later.
If Japan loses the islands and the U.S. doesn’t come to aid Japan,the credibility of not only the U.S. alliance with Japan but ofall U.S. alliances globally would be severelyharmed.”
This last sentence is extremely significant. The U.S. has defensetreaties with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand(ANZUS treaty), Israel, Europe, Iceland, and others. All of thesecountries have cut back on their own military in the last 65 yearsbecause they’ve counted on U.S. protection. If the U.S. repudiatedits treaty commitment to Japan, then every one of these othercountries would go into total panic, with disastrous geopoliticalconsequences. Time
China’s non-Communist parties condemn Japan’s Senkaku/Diaoyu policy
China’s non-Communist parties on Saturday released a joint statementexpressing strong indignation over, and condemnation of, Japan’sthis story is that I thought all non-Communist parties in China wereagainst the law, so imagine my surprise that here’s a bunch of themissuing a statement. The statement was issued by the centralcommittees of:
- The Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang
- Chinese Democratic League
- China National Democratic Construction Association
- China Association for Promoting Democracy
- Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party
- China Zhi Gong Party
- Jiu San Society
- Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League.
According to the statement:
“China’s non-Communist parties voice strongindignation over and rigorously condemn the move.
Most non-Communist parties were born during the time of waragainst Japan’s invasion (in the 1930s and ’40s). Having hadfought for the Chinese nation’s independence and liberation, theseparties, traditionally being patriotic and peace-loving, arestaunch guards of the nation’s territorial sovereignty,” thestatement added.
The Chinese nation is peace-loving, so are its people. China hasno intention to impinge on other countries’ territorialsovereignty, but will not tolerate any infringement on its ownsovereignty by other countries. Long gone is the time when theChinese nation was bullied by others.
If the Japanese government underestimates Chinese people’sdetermination, courage or strength, it would be a miscalculationand they are doomed to fail.”
New Fed quantitative easing program unlikely to affect anything
The massive new quantitative easing program (QE3) announced by Fedchairman Ben Bernanke is unlikely to have any effect whatsoever, basedon the result of a survey of nearly 1,500 CFOs from a broad range ofpublic and private companies. The survey was conducted jointly by CFOMagazine (where I used to be the Technology Editor) and DukeUniversity. The QE3 program is supposed to make it easier for banksto lend money to businesses at lower interest rates, so thatbusinesses will use the money ton invest and create jobs. The mainfinding is this:
“U.S. finance chiefs say that interest rate reductionsof 1 or 2 percentage points would not alter their capital spendingplans, indicating that potential monetary policy actions by theFederal Reserve are unlikely to spur the corporate sector toaction.”
The report showed that 91% of the 1,500 CFOs polled wouldn’t bolstertheir spending plans even if the Fed’s programs successfully loweredinterest rates by one percentage point. And 84% said a two-pointreduction in rates wouldn’t change their spending plans either.According to a finance professor at Duke, “The survey paints a starkpicture. In current circumstances, lower interest rates will not spurinvestment. The potential QE3 is doomed.”
The irony is that Ben Bernanke made his reputation based on hisresearch that “proved” that the 1930s Great Depression could have beenavoided if the Fed at that time had lowered interest rates by a smallamount. This finding has now been totally disproved, as GenerationalDynamics predicted years ago, and now Bernanke is in a state of totalpanic, hoping against hope for a miracle. Fox Business and CFO Survey Press Release (PDF)