14 May 2016   Leave a comment

Venezuelan President Maduro has imposed a 60-day state of emergency which will allow him to seize property and to enforce draconian laws against protesters.  Most observers expect that the state of emergency will last much longer than 60 days and most likely will extend throughout 2017.  Venezuela has been experiencing electrical blackouts and economic activity in the country has plummeted while the inflation rate is exploding.  The nationalization of property will allow the government to continue production of necessary foodstuffs and other household goods, as long as the government can find the people necessary to run the factories.  Venezuela is clearly approaching a breakdown.

Last Thursday, NATO declared that its anti-missile base in Deveselu, Romania was operational.  Anti-missile technology has a mixed record, but  countries ignore their potential at their peril.  In this particular case, Russia is very worried that its nuclear arsenal could be made obsolete if NATO’s anti-missile technology actually works (NATO is also working on a similar base in Poland).  Russia therefore views the system as a highly provocative act, while NATO claims that it is purely defensive:  a classic case of the Security dilemma.

The top 25 hedge fund managers in the world made collectively more than $13 billion, more than the GDPs of many countries in the world.  The incredible income was earned despite the fact that many hedge funds did not have decent returns to their investors.  Much of this money is contributed to political campaigns for candidates who campaign to lower taxes on the rich.

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Posted May 15, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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