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Fatster’s Roundup

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International Developments

? Former Vice-President Dick “Dick” Cheney, “wearing a cowboy hat”, briefed House Republicans on the North Korea crisis, telling them “Kim Jong-un is sort of like Saddam Hussein because ‘you never know what they’re thinking.’  These people run an arm of the federal government, and this is the knowledge base they’re working with”.

? “Thousands of Malian refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring Mauritania are facing ‘appalling’ conditions in a UN-run camp, a medical charity has warned.”

? Following yesterday’s report that Egypt’s armed forces “killed, tortured and abducted Egyptians during the 2011 uprising”, President Mohammed Morsi “promotes three major-generals and . . . rejects any ‘insults’ against armed forces”.

? International Committee of the Red Cross’ president has “expressed opposition to the force-feeding of prisoners staging a mass hunger strike at the Guantanamo prison camp”. The US says 43 prisoners refused food; defense lawyers say it’s 100 – 130.

? Arguments for arming the Syrian rebels:  “it will counteract the influence of Islamist militants, ensure chemical weapons do not end up in the wrong hands and help to counter refugees’ anger at Washington for doing too little.”  What’s that Santayana quote about remembering history?

International Finance

? ‘Crisis management’–who knew?  “EU finance ministers attempted to put their recently besieged crisis management back on track by agreeing to give Portugal and Ireland up to seven more years to pay back their bailout loans”.

? International Monetary Fund director Christina Lagarde has warned that “ultra-low interest rates and purchases of government bonds may be shifting instability from banks to other parts of economy”.

Money Matters USA

? Just as questions about Jamie Dimon’s fate at JPMorgan were being raised . . . voila!–news that JPMorgan’s first-quarter profit rose 33%, a record!

? Consumer confidence in April fell to “its lowest level since July”.  Gee, with the sequester looming and the economy almost at a standstill, who cudda guessed?

? “IMF to cut US growth forecast amid downbeat retail and confidence data”.

? Good grief!  Brazillionaire William Koch is being sued for kidnapping by a former executive employee who claims he and six others were flown to Koch’s Aspen ranch where they were fired then held and grilled for hours under guard before being released. [cont’d.]

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.