US debt repudiation, boiled frogs, fake smiles and taxing tokers

Paths to US Sovereign Debt Repudiation
The United States eventually will repudiate its public debt. The means by which this happens is unclear. However, there are several paths to the same place, and it’s not necessary to choose only one method of ultimate default. All the usual methods will do, and we’ll witness most of them in the next five years. More here.

Former US Comptroller General David Walker warns that “America’s Economy Now Rests Upon a Burning Platform
… of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.” More here.

An Impending Geopolitical Earthquake?
The financial and economic turmoil the world is currently experiencing will certainly have many serious consequences beyond those fields. Indeed, its geopolitical fallout could be far more serious than commonly acknowledged and it is an element that cannot be neglected by neither statesmen nor analysts. More here.

The Quick Road to Global Insurgency: Notes on this century’s global depression (D2), and the wars that will emerge from its onset. More here.

A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World: Ecologist Preaches ‘Natural’ Security For Homeland Defense. Link here.

“There will be Blood” - Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson predicts prolonged financial hardship, even civil war, before the ‘Great Recession’ ends. Globe and Mail.

Excerpt:This is a crisis of globalization… There will be blood, in the sense that a crisis of this magnitude is bound to increase political as well as economic [conflict]. It is bound to destabilize some countries. It will cause civil wars to break out, that have been dormant. It will topple governments that were moderate and bring in governments that are extreme.”

The Axis of Upheaval - Niall Ferguson says: “Forget Iran, Iraq, and North Korea—Bush’s “Axis of Evil.” As economic calamity meets political and social turmoil, the world’s worst problems may come from countries like Somalia, Russia, and Mexico. And they’re just the beginning. Foreign Policy.

The Panic of 2008: How Bad Is It? Just how bad is the current economic downturn? It is frequently claimed that the crash of 2008 is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. There is plenty of reason to accept this characterization, though we clearly are not suffering the widespread hardship of the Depression era. But this Panic of 2008 is no picnic. And in some key areas, notably housing, it could be even worse than what was experienced in the Great Depression. More here.

The Inversion of Corporate and Sovereign Risk – Why has sovereign risk skyrocketed? Zero Hedge.

Europe’s economic crisis in numbers - SPIEGEL Online International partner site NRC Handelsblad has put together an interactive map that illustrates how the financial crisis is playing out in each European Union member state. Link here.

Euro Nation Default A Matter Of Time - Ex-Bundesbank President Karl Otto Poehl says a default of smaller member of the euro region is only a matter of time. Zero Hedge.

The Three Missteps in President Obama’s Economic Turnaround PlanMoney Morning.

Reflections on Obama’s Projected $1.75T Deficit – We may be reaching the upper end of estimates in our favorite parlor game, “How much more will Uncle Sammy the Beggar owe in 2009?” More here.

Bernanke’s Boiled Frog Plan to Recapitalize Banks – Bernanke has fired yet another misguided missile to stabilize the banking system. More here.

More About Lies: Why Federalism Is Dying. Ashes Ashes All Fall Down.

A global survey of stimulus plans – This survey raises real questions:
1) Is this an adequate global response to the crisis?
2) What about the poorer nations of the world?
3) Is the IMF prescribing the wrong policies? Dani Rodrik.

Russia’s Economy Falls at an 8% Annual Rate in January - Seeking Alpha.

What’s Going On with Oil? Answer Hidden in the Global Monetary Crisis. More here.

Serious Sub Collision a ‘Nuclear Nightmare’ – The collision of two strategic nuclear submarines earlier this month shows that the Cold War is still being fought every day in the Atlantic — with the world’s most powerful weapons. Spiegel.

Islamists Gain Ground in Sarajevo - Radical Muslim imams and nationalist politicians from all camps are threatening Sarajevo’s multicultural legacy. With the help of Arab benefactors, the deeply devout are acquiring new recruits. In the “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” Islamists are on the rise. More here.

The Fight for Pakistan’s Political SoulPart 1 and Part 2

Test your skill: can you detect a fake smile? Spot the Fake Smile

How to Read People: Detecting Lies – Have you ever wished that you could tell when someone is lying to you? More here.

Taxing pot could become a political toking point – Could Cannabis be a salvation for California’s fiscal misfortunes? Can the state get a better budget grip by taxing what some folks toke? More here.

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