The Kensington Review

27 August 2015

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Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Latest Commentary: Volume XIV, Number 150

Technology Exaggerates China-Led Crash -- It has been a bad few days in the global stock markets. China's general ineptitude at running capital markets has resulted in a nasty property bubble and a possible market slowdown. As the second largest economy in the world, when China sneezes the rest of the planet needs to reach for the aspirin and decongestants. Trillions were wiped off the value of shares around the world, and for one session, the Dow opened down 1,000 points. The market has made back much of that loss. While some prophesy a collapse worse than 2007-8, what is happening here is weeks of trading happening in seconds because of technological developments. [27 August]

Tourists Stop Terrorist on European Commuter Train -- Friday afternoon could have been a very bad time on a train running from Amsterdam to Paris. Ayoub El Khazzani, a 25-year-old Moroccan national, on four European security watch lists for his alleged links to radical Islamic groups, was carrying an AK-47 and allegedly opened fire. Three Americans, a Briton and some other passengers, unarmed, took him down. Over the week-end, President Hollande of France awarded four them the Legion d'honneur, and three more will get their red ribbon soon. Their actions merely show that everyone is on the front lines now. [24 August]

Greek PM Tsirpas Calls Snap Election -- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsirpas has resigned after he lost the support of many of his own MPs on the vote over the Greek bailout. He has chosen an election date of September 20, which means the opposition parties have very little time to prepare. With a faction of his own Syriza party breaking away, this is the best possible move and timing for Mr. Tsirpas. The election, however, may result in his defeat, but this offers him the best chance of a new mandate and solid majority. [21 August]

Japan's Restart of Sendai Nuclear Plant a Mistake -- The Japanese government has restarted the Sendai nuclear power plant, the first to fire up since new regulations came into effect on the heels of the almost-meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi facility. Last week's decision means the plant will be operating at full capacity sometime in September. Until Sendai started up, all 43 of Japan's nuclear facilities were off-line. Twenty-three, including Sendai, have applied to start up again. The government wasted a crisis that could have put Japan on a new and better path. Restarting Sendai was a mistake. [20 August]

Russian Living Standards Fall for First Time in 15 Years -- For the first time in 15 years, figures from Russia show a declining standard of living for the average Ivan in the street. Oil prices have plummeted, and the Kremlin has done a very poor job of diversifying the Russian economy. Sanctions imposed over the Crimea and Ukraine situations have aggravated the situation. Thus far, President Vladimir Putin has avoided blame by his sabre-rattling behavior and because Russians give him credit for the rising standards of the last decade and a half. As the economy worsens, the world may expect more crackdowns on the opposition and more shenanigans in the international realm. President Putin is secure in his power, and he will remain that way. [19 August]

Copyright 2015 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.



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