Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jim Rickards Comments on Recent Geo-Political Events

Jim does a monthly interview/webcast with Alex Stanczyk. Here is the latest that talks a lot about recent geo-political events. Below is a bullet point list of the topics covered.

Topics Include:
*Commentary and analysis of military action in Syria in response to what appears to be nerve gas attacks on civilian population
*US President Trump authorized release of 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles targeting Shayrat airbase
*Discussion of the USS Carl Vinson carrier group deployment towards the north west pacific in the vicinity of North Korea
*What triggers cause countries to go to war in history
*Are current events a series of unfortunate mis-calculations
*Discussion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability
*When analyzing potential threat, there are two factors: Capability, and Intentions
*How US policy regarding nuclear weapons programs has possibly sent the wrong message to Kim Jong-Un
*The intersection of kinetic, cyber, and financial warfare, and role of fiat payment transfer systems as opposed to gold
*Why the US will never allow North Korea to achieve inter-continental ballistic missile technology
*Why the level of intensity of military action that may be used versus North Korea could be substantial
*How the US could target specific Chinese banks for removal from the USD global payments system if China fails to cooperate on North Korea
*Sources indicate that China has moved the Peoples Liberation Army to the border between China and North Korea along the Yalu river
*Commentary on upcoming FOMC rate hikes, and the formula Jim uses to predict a change of course for the Fed
My added comments: Under the Trump Administration, events tend to unfold quickly and President Trump clearly can completely change his position on an issue very rapidly as well. For example, everyone was certain that he would officially label China as a currency manipulator soon after taking office. Not only did that not happen, he now says he will not do that. Not long ago he said NATO was obsolete. Now he says it is not. There are other similar examples.
It is becoming clearer as time goes by that President Trump will do whatever he thinks gets the result he wants and virtually every interaction is a potential negotiation. So we should not be surprised when he makes what may seem like a somewhat extreme statement upfront that he later backs away from or reverses completely. It is pretty obvious that he views things like that as bargaining chips to be used in deal making

One respected expert described him to me as "situational, mercurial, and nimble." He values flexibility and unpredictability; so it will be pretty hard for everyone to know for sure what his final position will be on any particular issue as we are seeing. I am also advised that he is now influenced somewhat by Gary Cohn (confirmed by this article) who I was told is "more predictable" than Trump.

As always, all we can do here is follow actual events to see what actually happens.

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