domingo, 30 de abril de 2017

Trump y el gambito coreano


Cada tanto, en el pasado, el Imperio agarraba a un país chiquitito (e.g., Grenada) y lo reducía a cenizas, como para demostrar quién es el que manda. A partir del 11 de Septiembre de 2001 comenzó a jugar más fuerte, con suerte variada para decirlo suave. A medida que desbarranca, el Imperio juega cada vez más fuerte. Hoy es Donald Trump, pero ayer hizo lo mismo Barack Obama y, antes que el, los Bush. El peligro de que estas aventuras terminen mal crece exponencialmente, chicos, no sé si se dan cuenta. Hay gente que, de hecho, está preparándose para lo peor. La nota que viene es de Chris Martenson para su propio sitio web, Peak Prosperity:


Título: The Relentless Push Towards War

Texto: The only real constant to be found in both European and US politics is war.  A steady feature of both regions for the past 20+ years has been small, lucrative conflicts waged against countries unable to effectively defend themselves.

It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in office in the US -- Republican/Democrat, conservative / liberal -- there’s a war machine constantly running. My concern is that there's a building risk that one day that war machine is going to bust apart. And when it does, the long relative peace that the US and Europe have enjoyed (even as they’ve visited a lot of death and destruction elsewhere) will be shattered.

As I’ve written extensively in the past, as was the case with Russia last fall, this push to war includes a series of carefully-crafted talking points being endlessly repeated over the print and airwaves.  It’s an ever-present condition of living in our manufactured reality, where what we are told to care about is beamed at us around the clock  in a rather tediously but emotionally-manipulative way on the “news.”

For a short historical review, recall that it wasn’t that long ago that we were asked to be in a near state of panic about:

- Ebola

- Iran’s nuclear capabilities

- Libya’s terrible strongman (who turned out to be way better than the thugs who replaced him)

- Terrorists

- Russia


How many of those are now ‘front and center' in your concerns?  Probably none.  Today's big ‘bogeyman’ is North Korea.  Have you wondered why?

The news about North Korea is at a fever pitch.  Again, we have to ask, why now?


Apr 28, 2017: Trump says 'major, major' conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy

The Trump administration on Wednesday declared North Korea "an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority." It said it was focusing on economic and diplomatic pressure, including Chinese cooperation in containing its defiant neighbor and ally, and remained open to negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

"There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely," Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.

Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," he said.

In other highlights of the 42-minute interview, Trump was cool to speaking again with Taiwan's president after an earlier telephone call with her angered China.

He also said he wants South Korea to pay the cost of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile defense system, which he estimated at $1 billion, and intends to renegotiate or terminate a U.S. free trade pact with South Korea because of a deep trade deficit with Seoul.

U.S. officials said military strikes remained an option but played down the prospect, though the administration has sent an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine to the region in a show of force.

Any direct U.S. military action would run the risk of massive North Korean retaliation and huge casualties in Japan and South Korea and among U.S. forces in both countries.

(http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-exclusive-idUSKBN17U04E)


Okay, let’s parse all that out:


- There are no direct negotiations between the US and North Korea

- Trump is talking tough

- Kim Jong Un is insane

- Trump wants South Korea to pay for a $1 billion US piece of hardware

- Trump wants to renegotiate or terminate the trade pact with South Korea

- If things ‘go hot’, a lot of casualties are expected

- Both China and North Korea are very alarmed by the THAAD anti-missile system the US has installed in South Korea


The US is maneuvering military assets into the region, including an aircraft carrier and sub, among other displays of suggested forcé. Let’s see here…what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything?

Here’s some more on the THAAD anti-missile defense system, which wasn't well received by the locals in South Korea who, for some reason, have no interest in being dragged into a war with their immediate and heavily-militarized neighbors by a careless US administration:


Apr 26, 2017: US sets up missile defense in S. Korea as North shows power

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system had been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.

The South's trumpeting of progress on setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.

About 8,000 police officers were mobilized, and the main road leading up to the site in the country's southeast was blocked earlier Wednesday, Yonhap reported. About 200 residents and protesters rallied against THAAD in front of a local community center, some hurling plastic water bottles.

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person strong Korean People's Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea. And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is also headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.

The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons. China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with its ally Pyongyang, and Russia see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.

(https://apnews.com/26fd79004dd44a66aebb956754f16b28?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP)


I consider having to deploy 8,000 police officers to deter possible protestors as a strong sign of just how unpopular a move it is for the THAAD system to be installed.  North Korea is rattling its sabers, the US is moving assets in, China is both alarmed and trying to be helpful at the same time, probably preferring to let a sleeping dog lie.

This is an incredibly volatile moment, especially considering that Kim Jong Un has been anything but rational his entire life. So, again, we have to ask: Why now? Why has beating North Korea into submission become such a sudden national priority?

Before address that, it bears repeating that most of what passes for “news” in the West is actually well-crafted talking points put out by self-interested people who have discovered a fantastic way to remain in power and accumulate wealth. Read more about this in our prior report:  We Are Being Played.

Well, that's true at least as long as we consent to follow along and dutifully remain ignorant of these tricks of persuasion by propaganda. There’s really no good excuse for being fooled, except mental laziness.  The tricks of this trade are neither subtle nor difficult to spot.

Meanwhile, the actual things that are deteriorating alarmingly are not even talked about -- ever -- in the main news outfits.  Alarming species extinction rates, the loss of phytoplankton in the oceans, the loss of terrestrial soil fertility into oceanic dead zones, and the largest wealth gap in all of history created on purpose by central banks -- very real crises like this are nearly completely ignored.

These are all very dangerous to our future, but they aren't talked about because doing so won't sell more weapons. Nor will it advance any political careers, or goose banking profits next quarter.

So for a system that demands continuous conflict in order to function, to manufacture a new war you need a good sales agent, and none are so closely tied to that racket than the New York Times.  Here they are recently using the same dumb tricks that worked the last time, and the time before that…and so on:


Apr 26, 2017: NYT’s ‘Impossible to Verify’ North Korea Nuke Claim Spreads Unchecked by Media

Buoyed by a total of 18 speculative verb forms—five “mays,” eight “woulds” and five “coulds”—New York Times reporters David E. Sanger and William J. Broad (4/24/17) painted a dire picture of a Trump administration forced to react to the growing and impending doom of North Korea nuclear weapons.

“As North Korea Speeds Its Nuclear Program, US Fears Time Will Run Out” opens by breathlessly establishing the stakes and the limited time for the US to “deal with” the North Korean nuclear “crisis”:

Behind the Trump administration’s sudden urgency in dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis lies a stark calculus: A growing body of expert studies and classified intelligence reports that conclude the country is capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks.

That acceleration in pace—impossible to verify until experts get beyond the limited access to North Korean facilities that ended years ago—explains why President Trump and his aides fear they are running out of time.

The front-page summary was even more harrowing, with the editors asserting there’s “dwindling time” for “US action” to stop North Korea from assembling hundreds of nukes.

From the beginning, the Times frames any potential bombing by Trump as the product of a “stark calculus” coldly and objectively arrived at by a “growing body of expert[s].” The idea that elements within the US intelligence community may actually desire a war—or at least limited airstrikes—and thus may have an interest in presenting conflict as inevitable, is never addressed, much less accounted for.

The most spectacular claim—that North Korea is, at present, “capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks”—is backed up entirely by an anonymous blob of “expert studies and classified intelligence reports.” To add another red flag, Sanger and Broad qualify it in the very next sentence as a figure that is “impossible to verify.” Which is another way of saying it’s an unverified claim.

(http://fair.org/home/nyts-impossible-to-verify-north-korea-nuke-claim-spreads-unchecked-by-media/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork)


Unverifiable “evidence,” anonymous sources, and the broad appeal of “many experts.”  Sound familiar?  It should, it’s the exact same playbook used by the war machine to bomb and invade Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and, someday soon, Iran and Russia.

It brings to mind this quote by Arundhati Roy:




What I’m saying is that it’s the exact same trick used over and over again. Either the New York Times is the stupidest crew of reporters and editors ever with completely flat learning curves, or they are in on the racket.  More likely the latter than the former, I'm convinced.  The New York Times hasn't seen a war it couldn’t support (especially in the oil-rich Middle East).


Why Now?

So the big question is ‘why now?’  Why is North Korea suddenly such a concern?  They’ve been peskily doing what they do for a very long time; developing crude nuclear devices and lobbing test missiles into the sea.

If you happen to be the ocean around North Korea, you have to absorb a wayward rocket now and then. But there’s not much of a threat beyond that at the moment.

None of the articles I’ve read have given any credible insight into why North Korea is considered a clear and present danger to US interests at the moment. More than that, no analysis has been proffered to explain how any potential military action doesn’t just end in a bloodbath for the poor people of South and North Korea.

The conventional military capabilities of North Korea are pretty staggering if you live in Seoul South Korea, at least:


When it comes to soldiers based on the North Korean border, the US only has about 20,000 troops permanently stationed in South Korea, as well as about 8000 air force personnel and other special forces. There were also about 50,000 military personnel based in Japan.

Compare this to North Korea, which has 700,000 active soldiers, but a whopping 4.5 million reserves.

Prof Blaxland said North Korea had also massed about 20,000 rockets and missiles on the border with South Korea, and when you are playing a numbers game, technology doesn’t always win.

“There’s a saying ‘quantity has a quality all of its own’,” he said.

“North Korea has massed artillery and missile capability adjacent to the demilitarised zone, close to Seoul, which puts it in range of a population about the size of Australia — it’s pretty scary.”

(http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/how-does-us-military-power-stack-up-against-north-korea-china-and-russia/news-story/bd16adca452e9738adad3ffdca749f18)


As a reminder, Trump campaigned on a peace platform. So this sudden belligerence has to be coming form some heavy internal pressure; or he’s simply flip-flopped (or wasn’t honest) on a very important matter.

He’s done so much flip-flopping that this tweet struck me as funny:



Continuing with the mystery of Why now?, we note that the potential consequences of a kinectic conflict for South Korea are staggering. The simple fact is that, no matter how many jets and cruise missiles a carrier group launches, or what countermeasures South Korea and embedded US military bring to bear, there’s little chance of them wiping out anything but a very small percentage of North Korea’s conventional artillery and rocket capabilities.

Think of 500,000 rounds of artillery landing in a major, packed capitol city that has the population of Australia and you can begin to appreciate the scale of the catastrophe that could ensue:

Trump, who clearly and unequivocally campaigned on a peace platform, is now sending a “very powerful armada” to the coast of the DPRK.  Powerful as this armada might be, it can do absolutely nothing to prevent the DPRK artillery from smashing Seoul into smithereens.  You think that I am exaggerating?  Business Insider estimated in 2010 that it would take the DPRK 2 hours to completely obliterate Seoul. Why?  Because the DPRK has enough artillery pieces to fire 500,000 rounds of artillery on Seoul in the first hour of a conflict, that’s why.  Here we are talking about old fashioned, conventional, artillery pieces. Wikipedia says that the DPRK has 8,600 artillery pieces and 4,800 multiple rocket launcher systems.  Two days ago a Russian expert said that the real figure was just under 20,000 artillery pieces. Whatever the exact figure, suffice to say that it is “a lot”.

The DPRK also has some more modern but equally dangerous capabilities. Of special importance here are the roughly 200,000 North Korean special forces. Oh sure, these 200,000 are not US Green Beret or Russian Spetsnaz, but they are adequate for their task: to operate deep behind enemy lies and create chaos and destroy key objectives. You tell me – what can the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group deploy against these well hidden and dispersed 10,000+ artillery pieces and 200,000 special forces? Exactly, nothing at all.

(https://thesaker.is/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/)


Clearly that’s a very unsettling prospect for South Korea. Just imagine a favorite major city of yours with a completely unstable leader within artillery range just to its immediate north.  It’s a frightening prospect.

Again, I cannot find a single credible reason for Why now?. And so, we have to simply speculate.

Possible reasons range from an itchy military industrial complex that is disappointed that it cannot seem to goad the US into war with Russia and North Korea just happened to be next on the list, to the idea that Trump is really seeking trade deal concessions from South Korea and is using the North Korean situation as leverage.

The latter is not out of the realm of the possible, with Trump having said he wants South Korea to pay for the THAAD system being installed and that he wants to renegotiate our balance of trade with them, too.

Who says stuff like that at a time when war might break out?  Someone who doesn’t really appreciate the gravity of the situation, I'd suggest. I mean, if it’s a negotiating tactic, it’s one that could end up with a lot of people losing their lives and a ruined economy. If it’s a negotiating tactic stapled to a crisis, it’s still an odd thing.


Conclusion

Tensions with North Korea are about as tight as can be right now. And the wild card is the apparent instability of Kin Jong Un.  Who knows what he might do?

Any equally-perplexing mystery, which for now I'll have to file under “central banks control the markets” is why the KOSPI (South Korea's stock index) is up so much on the outbreak of these very serious tensions?




KOSPI index price chart


Either the central banks are propping it up here to keep the masses calm, or the central banks are to blame for pouring so much liquidity into world markets that even the risk of obliteration is insufficient cause for a stock market to go down. So take your pick: either it’s a controlled market or it’s a sign of just how outrageous the bubble mentality across the world has become.

One feature of bubbles is the inability to entertain the idea of an asset ever going down in price. So they go up; news and data be damned.

I just find it extremely strange that the South Korean stock index is powering higher through all of these tensions. It's very, very strange. Stocks are not supposed to like uncertainty. The post-French election stock buying spree was explained on that very basis: the French elections removed uncertainty and therefore stocks went up.

But now we're being forced to accept how stocks are going up as uncertainty increases.

Since it really makes no sense, other ‘reasons’ are being given. But it’s just too strange for the rational mind to believe them.  It’s just not normal; and therefore we don’t live in a normal world anymore.

If a full shooting war breaks out with North Korea, there will be massive casualties on all sides.  To think that peace depends on Trump negotiating with Kim Jong Un is a particularly comic-book-worthy plot line. It seems absurd. But here we are.

If you live in Seoul, you should consider getting out for a while. Take a vacation, or work remotely, and bring your family. Just for a while -- maybe a couple of weeks.

If you can’t do that, then be sure all of your loved ones know the rally points and basement shelters that apply.  Review your basic contingency plans and then hope that they won't be required.

Remember, any outbreak of war is going to be a very bad thing for the globe at this particular moment in history.  Debt levels are stretched to the limit, GDP is weak, and it won’t take much to upset the economic and financial market apple carts.

For everyone else, read our report How To Prepare For War that was prepared for the possibility of a war with Russia.

It’s not a pleasant topic, nor one I like to keep raising. But there’s a crew in charge in DC that is intent on starting wars, and they are not about to stop now. I believe they span administrations and they are very influential.

I also happen to believe that they will eventually pick a fight we all regret very much.


So be prepared.


sábado, 29 de abril de 2017

Se pincha la burbuja inmobiliaria canadiense


Después de coquetear con el Imperio en sus aventuras por medio planeta, los canadienses tal vez tengan que mirar un poco su propia casa. Ocurre que comenzó a pincharse la burbuja inmobiliaria (tal como ocurrió en España, tal como ocurrirá pronto en Australia) y, cuando se miran los números a pérdida de los inversores, resulta que buena parte de ellos son... ¡fondos de pensión! O sea que la batahola va a ser grande, chicos, y el ajuste subsiguiente va a dejar heridos, primero en el circo financiero (fantástico, que revienten todos) pero luego en ese colectivo difuso denominado La Gente. Leemos en Zero Hedge:


Título: Furious Bank Run Leaves Canada's Largest Alternative Mortgage Lender On Verge Of Collapse

Texto: After two years of recurring warnings (both on this website and elsewhere) that Canada's largest alternative (i.e., non-bank) mortgage lender is fundamentally insolvent, kept alive only courtesy of the Canadian housing bubble which until last week had managed to lift all boats, Home Capital Group suffered a spectacular spectacular implosion last week when its stock price crashed by the most on record after HCG revealed that it had taken out an emergency $2 billion line of credit from an unnamed counterparty with an effective rate as high as 22.5%, indicative of a business model on the verge of collapse .

Or, as we put it, Canada just experienced its very own "New Century" moment.

One day later, it emerged that the lender behind HCG's (pre-petition) rescue loan was none other than the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). As Bloomberg reported, the Toronto-based pension plan - which represented more than 321,000 healthcare workers in Ontario - gave the struggling Canadian mortgage lender the loan to shore up liquidity as it faces a run on deposits amid a probe by the provincial securities regulator. Home Capital had also retained RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets to advise on “strategic options” after it secured the loan.

Why did HOOPP put itself, or rather its constituents in the precarious position of funding what is a very rapidly melting ice cube? The answer to that emerged when we learned that HOOPP President and CEO Jim Keohane also sits on Home Capital’s board and is also a shareholder. But how did regulators allow such a glaring conflict of interest? According to the Canadian press, Keohane had been a director of Home Capital until Thursday, but said he stepped away from the boardroom on Tuesday to remove the conflict of interest when it became clear HOOPP might step in as a lender.

Keohane further clarified on Friday that he doesn’t view the Home Capital investment as risky because the pension plan will be provided with $2 worth of mortgages as collateral for every $1 it lends to Home Capital.

We take comfort from the underlying asset portfolio, so we are not looking at Home Capital as a credit,” said Mr. Keohane in an interview with Business News Network television. He added that a correction in the housing market is not of great concern, since the values of homes would need to plummet by more than 65 per cent for the fund to make no return beyond the value of its principal commitment.

Furthermore, it appears that Canada's pensioners are priming all other company lenders: Keohane also said that the funding syndicate would rank above Home Capital’s other lenders.

We have security interest in the collateral we’ve received, so we have the right to sell that collateral if we don’t get paid. And then the balance that’s left over would go to recovery for other creditors.

The implication is that as long as HCG's mortgages dont suffer greater than 50% losses, HOOPP's pensioners should be money good. Of course, if this is indeed Canada's "subprime moment", any outcome is possible. As for other lenders, or the prepetition (because there will be a petition here, the only question is when and in what form) equity, that's some $4 billion in assets that was just stripped from existing collateral.


"The Best Price May Come From Breaking Up The Company"

In any case, the company's frenzied, emergency measures to stabilize the near-insolvent mortgage lender were not nearly enough, and despite HCG stock posting a modest rebound on Friday between hopes of a rumored sale and a short squeeze, those hopes may be dashed soon because as the Globe and Mail reports, the depositor bank run that gripped Home Capital Group in the past week, only got worse after the company revealed just how precarious its funding situation had become.

First, any hope the company, or rather its investors may have held of a sale, appear dashed. Investment banking sources cited by the G&M said "the best possible price may come from breaking up the company and selling portions of its mortgage portfolio to regional financial institutions." Which also implies that aside from a few select assets, there is no equity value left, or in other words, any potential buyer is now motivated to wait until HCG liquidates, and then picks off the various assets in bankruptcy court.

There are structural limitations as well: Home Capital currently holds $18-billion in home loans outstanding, "a portfolio that would be difficult to swallow for rivals in the alternative mortgage sector, such as credit unions, small mortgage lenders, Montreal-based Laurentian Bank and Edmonton-based Canadian Western Bank." These institutions, along with private equity firms, could still bid for pieces of Home Capital, the G&M admits. The only question is why they would do so before a bankruptcy filing.

While one prominent name features on the list of potential buyers, that of PE giant J.C. Flowers whose CEO J. Christopher Flowers earlier this year said he expected to expand the company’s Canadian real estate lending business, Canada’s six big banks are notable for their absence on a list of bidders. The reason is that Home Capital lends money to home buyers who have been turned down by the major banks and none of these institutions is expected to enter the alternative mortgage sector by acquiring the company.

National Bank of Canada proactively called the equity analysts who follow the company this week to say it would not bid on Home Capital after being asked if it was a potential buyer. Needless to say, the big banks would be quite delighted if one of their "bottom picking" competitors would suddenly go bankrupt.


"When you have a bank run people get spooked"

Which brings us to the most imminent risk facing Home Capital Group, and its subsidiary, Home Trust.

Recall, that on Thursday we observed that as concerns about HCG's viability mounted, depositors were quietly pulling their funding from from savings accounts at subsidiary Home Trust. By Wednesday, when Home Capital revealed it was seeking a $2-billion loan to backstop its sinking savings deposits, shareholders ran for the exits, driving down the company’s share price by 65 per cent on Wednesday alone, and heightening the sense of panic.

On Friday, the company revealed that high-interest savings account balances fell another 36% to $521-million by Friday morning, down by a whopping $293 million from $814-million Thursday and more than $2-billion a month ago.

In other words, had it not been for the emergency HOOPP loan, the company would likely be insolvent as of this moment following what may be the biggest bank run in recent Canadian history; which also explains why the interest rate on the loan is above 20%.

When you have a run on the bank, people get spooked and they sell and ask questions later,” said a Bay Street investment banker. “It’s investor psychology that takes over.

As is usually the case, regulator appeared on the scene.... just one day too late.

Canada’s banking industry regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), has gathered data from other financial institutions this week, both to monitor for signs of a broader depositor panic and to track where funds are moving as they leave Home Trust.

OSFI sent an urgent request Wednesday to several smaller and mid-sized financial institutions and credit unions to provide the regulator with up-to-date information about their savings accounts, according to a source. Specifically, OSFI wanted to know the institutions’ most recent account totals for high-interest savings accounts, as well as data on recent redemptions and current levels of high-quality liquid assets.

The request, which the OFSI said had to be fulfilled "as soon as institutions are able", is seen as an attempt to take the pulse of the market by tracking where deposits flowing out of Home Capital may be going, and to gauge whether there is any contagion among other institutions. In recent days, some smaller and mid-sized institutions have also struck up early-stage discussions about whether multiple institutions could join together to explore a deal to buy some of Home Capital’s assets.

As for Canada's big banks, they have already decided that HCG won't survive. Several months ago, Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. told its financial advisers they could no longer steer investors to high-interest savings accounts at Home Capital or rival alternative mortgage lender Equitable Bank. Client money already placed with either bank had to be moved within 60 days.

Then, after Home Capital revealed in March it was under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission over its disclosure practices, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce introduced a cap of $100,000 per client for purchases of Home Capital guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), which is the maximum level covered by Canada’s deposit insurer.

A spokesperson from Royal Bank of Canada said that, “several weeks ago” the bank introduced a $100,000 cap on Home Capital GICs bought through a full-service broker, although there were no limits for purchases through the firm’s discount brokerage. On Thursday, RBC also released the following entertaining price target scenario: it still has a price target of $8 but fear not, even if RBC is wrong, it promises at least $4/share in residual value. We are not quite as optimistic.

Additionally, late last week, Bank of Nova Scotia said it would stop selling all GICs sold by Home Trust, but said Monday that policy was amended to a limit of $100,000. Bank of Montreal’s brokerage unit also confirmed it has a $100,000 limit on Home Trust GICs but would not say when it went into force.

As G&M adds, the OSC news shook investors, but the panic was heightened as news of the banks' moves to cap investor deposits slowly seeped through Bay Street in subsequent days, raising concerns that major financial institutions were pulling away from Home Capital.


"We Are Out Of The Position"

When asked if Home Capital could survive this run on its deposits, Keohane - formerly at HOOPP, and the company's last remaining source of funding - said it was possible. “I think it’s a viable business,” he said. “Their cost of funding is going to go up, which may impact earnings… it’s always a possibility that some other institution may have an interest in taking the entity over. If you can have access to a lower funding cost, I mean, it’s quite an attractive purchase.”

Most disagree, and it is safe to assume that the depositor run won't stop until every last dollar held at HCG has been withdrawn.

Meanwhile, late on Friday, Home Capital’s second biggest shareholder, Calgary-based QV Investors disclosed that it liquidated its position, selling 8.4 million shares. QV Investors previously held a 12.8% stake in Home Capital. Toronto-based Turtle Creek Asset Management is Home Capital’s biggest shareholder with 13.6% stake.

On Saturday another prominent investor bailed, when Calgary-based Mawer Investment Management sold 2.75 million shares of the alternative lender, CIO Jim Hall said told Bloomberg in a phone interview. “We are out of the position,” Hall said.  Mawer also has reduced holdings in Canadian alternative- lender Equitable Group.

All these investors will now be forced to explain to their LPs how they missed a ticking timebomb which so many, this website included, had warned about for year.


Home Without The Capital Group

As for Home Capital Group, or more aptly Home Without The Capital Group, the future is bleak, and a bankruptcy liquidation appears the most likely outcome. What impact such an event will have on the broader Canadian housing market remains to be seen. Last week, shortly after HCG's rescue loan announcement stunned the otherwise sleep Toronto tape, the Canadian housing regulator warned of "strong evidence of housing-market problems." Looking back in a few months, that may prove to be a vast understatement.

Paro general en Brasil


Las dos notas que siguen se refieren al paro nacional que los trabajadores brasileños organizaron hace dos días. Salieron publicadas en Página/12. Acá van:


Título: Brasil tuvo su primer paro general en 20 años

Texto: La medida de fuerza contra la flexibilización laboral abarcó empleados públicos federales y estaduales, maestros de la enseñanza pública y privada, petroleros, bancarios y los estratégicos gremios del transporte.

Esta fue la primera huelga general desde 1996, nadie creía que fuéramos capaces de hacerla, y nadie imaginaba que iba a tener tanta convocatoria, el país paró, el gobierno ilegítimo de Temer sufrió una derrota histórica”. Sergio Nobre, secretario general de la Central Unica de los Trabajadores (CUT) , realizó un primer balance de la medida de fuerza que ayer paró a San Pablo, Brasilia y  Río de Janeiro.

El cese de actividades fue generalizado, abarcó empleados públicos federales y estaduales, maestros de la enseñanza pública y privada, petroleros, bancarios y los estratégicos gremios del transporte. El impacto del descontento popular se hizo sentir en Salvador de Bahia, la principal capital del nordeste, Porto Alegre, ciudad más importante de la región sur y en la populosa Belo Horizonte, en la región sudeste.

Temer ya era pequeño antes del paro con un rechazo del 80 %por ciento y ahora sale aún más pequeño, este gobierno ilegítimo no se sostiene en pie, no creo que puedan avanzar con las reformas laboral y previsional, los trabajadores y la sociedad en general dieron un fuerte mensaje” señaló a PáginaI12 el dirigente metalúrgico Sergio Nobre, vecino de Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva en San Bernardo do Campo, la ciudad del cordón industrial paulista donde surgió la CUT en los años 80.

El paro fue “un éxito total” festejó Lula. “La gente resolvió ir al paro protestando contra la retirada de derechos (..) contra el desempleo, contra la baja de salarios”, reforzó el extornero mecánico y dos veces presidente que dejó el poder en 2010 con una desocupación cercana al cinco por ciento. Ayer el Instituto Brasileño de Geografía y Estadísticas informó que ahora hay 14,2 millones de brasileños económicamente activos sin empleo. Esto significa que la desocupación trepó al 13,7 por ciento contra el 10,9 hace un año, y sin señales de mejora en el corto plazo, ya que según proyecciones del propio gobierno la economía sólo crecerá el 0,2 por ciento en 2017, luego de las recesiones con crecimiento negativo del 3,8 por ciento en 2015 y el 3,5 en 2016.

“El aumento de la desocupación es un objetivo buscado por los responsables de este ajuste contra los trabajadores y los pobres, cuanto más desocupados menos fuerza para negociar con los patrones” señaló Sergio Nobre. Pero seguramente luego de esta demostración de fuerza sindical “será difícil que el Senado apruebe sin más la reforma laboral votada el miércoles pasado”, agrega. “Quieren desregular las relaciones de trabajo de una forma alevosa que no tiene muchos antecedentes, con la ley laboral Temer le está pagando sus deudas a los empresarios que financiaron el golpe. Si se la lee ciudadosamente esta ley se parece a la reforma laboral draconiana de la dictadura de Pinochet, no la vamos a dejar pasar, este paro es el inicio de un plan de lucha más largo”, promete Nobre.  

La CUT, mayor organización gremial brasileña ligada al Partido de los Trabajadores, junto a otras centrales como la oscilante Fuerza Sindical (algunos de cuyos dirigentes apoyaron el golpe contra Dilma), demostró capacidad de acción en casi todo el país según las informaciones que llegaban ayer por la noche, tamizadas por la cobertura de la cadena Globo y sus socias menores simpáticas al gobierno.

San Pablo y su área metropolitana, con 18 millones de habitantes, amanecieron  desiertas debido a la adhesión de los gremios del transporte en sus tres ramas: conductores de  subterráneos, maquinistas de trenes interurbanos y  colectivos, que desafiaron las intimidaciones del gobernador paulista, Geraldo Alckmin, que les impuso una multa de casi 1,3 millones de dólares.

Aliado de Temer, Alckmin desplegó a su nada amigable Policía Militarizada, que en las primeras horas de la mañana reprimió piquetes de los Trabajadores Sin Techo donde detuvo a 16 activistas bajo el cargo de “asociación ilícita” por la supuesta portación de  bengalas y gasolina. Una imputación desmentida por los Sin Techo, que mostraron videos donde se demostraría  que los policías les sembraron las pruebas. Paralelamente el secretario de seguridad paulista Magno Alves amenazaba con utilizar toda la “fuerza pública” en caso de que surgieran los “violentos” enmascarados Black Blocs.

Desde 2013, durante las masivas manifestaciones que hicieron tambalear a Dilma, continúa la sospecha de que  debajo de las bandanas de algunos Black Blocs se ocultaron provocadores a órdenes de la policía. El discurso estatal-mediático hizo eje en minimizar y bandalizar el paro equiparándolo al accionar de “marginales” y “sindicalistas”.

Michel Temer encomendó a su ministro de Justicia, Osmar Serraglio, la tarea de divulgar la posición del gobierno. “En este momento el gobierno percibe el fracaso de este movimiento que es muy limitado, con  bloqueos de rutas realizados por pequeños grupos de 20 a 50 personas, y eso no es democrático”, juzgó el ministro.

Al cierre de esta crónica, en las primeras horas de la noche de ayer una columna donde había Trabajadores Sin Techo marchaba hacia la residencia privada de Temer en San Pablo mientras en Río la policía reprimía a los manifestantes reunidos en el centro de la ciudad, cerca de la Asamblea Legislativa, donde hubo colectivos incendiados (ver aparte). Mientras tanto en Brasilia el Palacio del Planalto era custodiado por un cordón de efectivos de la Policía del Ejército.

A partir de ayer entró en vigor un “protocolo”, similar al aplicado durante la Copa del Mundo y las Olimpíadas, que  permitirá la intervención de las Fuerzas Armadas en la represión de las manifestaciones. Es decir, los actos de protesta contra el gobierno son pasibles de ser tipificados como una amenaza a la  “seguridad nacional”, lo cual fue cuestionado por el diputado  Paulo Pimenta, del Partido de los Trabajadores. “Debemos alertar a Brasil sobre las dimensiones de esta estructura militar vista en Brasilia que no tiene ninguna justificación, el tipo de armamento que se ve aquí es totalmente desproporcionado” denunció el legislador petista.


***


Título: La huelga general paralizó a Brasil

Texto: Brasil vivió hoy su primera huelga general en veinte años. El país quedó paralizado en rechazo a las políticas de Michel Temer, que pretende encarar una profunda reforma laboral que también afecta a las jubilaciones.

San Pablo y Río de Janeiro fueron los focos principales, con marchas repudiando la política de Temer, un presidente acusado de ilegítimo por amplias franjas tras el impeachment contra Dima Rousseff, y cuya popularidad alcanza mínimos históricos del 4 por ciento.

Durante la jornada hubo piquetes en rutas y avenidas, impactando así sobre el transporte. Para el gobierno, la medida de fuerza fue un “fracaso” por el uso de piquetes. En Río hubo piquetes frente a la Asamblea Legislativa, e hicieron barricadas con fuego. La policía reprimió con gases lacrimógenos y camiones hidrantes.

"El que hace paro es vago, perezoso, duerme hasta tarde. Yo me levanto temprano”, descalificó el paro Joai Doria, alcalde de San Pablo y empresario que aspira a ser candidato a presidente por el PSDB. Llegó al palacio comunal en helicóptero e intentó, en forma infructuosa, que Uber llevara gratis a los empleados. Hubo 16 detenidos por bloquear los accesos en San Pablo.

Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Bahía, Fortaleza y Manaos fueron ciudades importantes donde también se sintió la medida de fuerza.

Mientras tanto, con el país afrontando una huelga de magnitud como no se veía desde 1996, se dio a conocer el índice de desocupación: 13,7 por ciento en el primer trimestre. Un total de 14,2 millones de brasileños están sin trabajo: son 3,1 millones más que hace un año.

La reforma laboral ya cuenta con media sanción en el Congreso. Según Osmar Serraglio, ministro de Justicia, la iniciativa “desespera” a los sindicatos porque quitaría la contribución de los empelados que estén afiliados. Por otra parte, la nueva norma deja en manos de los empleados, y no de los gremios, la negociación salarial. Para el líder sindical Vagner Freitas, hoy pudo haber habido una adhesión mayor a la de los 35 millones de personas que pararon en la huelga de 1989.


Otro hombre con historia en el sindicalismo brasileño ponderó la jornada. "Es una satisfacción saber que el pueblo está tomando conciencia. La gente se quedó en casa porque no quiere que le quiten los derechos. El movimiento sindical y el pueblo están haciendo historia porque adhirieron las amas de casa, el trabajador y el pequeño comerciante", afirmó el ex presidente Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.


viernes, 28 de abril de 2017

Mientras tanto, en Siria...


Confirmando previos rumores de que la 3º Guerra Mundial ya comenzó, y comenzó en Siria, vemos movimientos significativos de tropas imperiales (por el momento, simbólicas en número) entre Siria y Turquía. Ya no importa que Turquía sea un aliado nominal de los EEUU (nada menos que en la NATO). En rigor de verdad, ya no importa nada. Mandan los generales y si te gusta bien, y si no, al cadalso. Tiempos calientes, chicos. Leemos en Zero Hedge:



Título: US Deploys Troops Along Syria-Turkey Border

Texto: Just three days after Turkish warplanes killed at least 20 US-backed Kurdish fighters along the Turkey-Syria border as well as several Kurdish peshmerga troops on Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, footage posted by Syrian activists showed the US has deployed troops and APCs in the contested region, in a move that could potentially drag the US in a conflict where it already finds itself mediating between two so-called US ally forces in the proxy war against Syria.

The Turkish airstrikes also wounded 18 members of the U.S.-backed People's Protection Units, or Y.P.G., were criticized by both the U.S. and Russia. The YPG is a close U.S. ally in the theatrical fight against the Islamic State (whose real purpose is destabilizing the Assad regime); it is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey's Kurdish rebels. The problem is that Turkey is also an ally of the US, although over the past two years relations between Turkey and all western NATO allies have deteriorated substantially for numerous familiar, and extensively discussed in the past, reasons.

On one hand, further clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria could potentially undermine the U.S.-led war on the Islamic State group. On the other, it risks taking an already unstable situation in Syria and escalating it substantially, should Turkey again find itself invading Turkey and/or Iraq.

Which is why the US appears to have deployed troops along the border: to serve as a deterrent to further Turkish attacks.

A senior Kurdish official, Ilham Ahmad told The Associated Press that American forces began carrying out patrols along the border Thursday along with reconnaissance flights in the area. She said the deployment was in principle temporary, but may become more permanent. Another Kurdish activist said the deployment is ongoing, adding that it stretches from the Iraqi border to areas past Darbasiyah in the largely Kurdish part of eastern Syria.

"The U.S. role has now become more like a buffer force between us and the Turks on all front lines," he said. He said U.S. forces will also deploy as a separation force in areas where the Turkish-backed Syrian fighting forces and the Kurdish forces meet.

As noted above, the US intervention is meant to send a "a message of reassurance for the Kurds and almost a warning message" to the Turks, he said.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, did not dispute that U.S. troops are operating with elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) along the Turkish border, but he would not get into specifics. The SDF is a Kurdish-dominated alliance fighting IS that includes Arab fighters.


"We have U.S. forces that are there throughout the entirety of northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Force partners," Davis said. "The border is among the areas where they operate." He said the U.S. wants the SDF to focus on liberating the IS-held town of Tabqa and the extremist group's de facto capital, Raqqa, "and not be drawn into conflicts elsewhere."

* * *

Confirming that the proxy war in Syria is becoming ever less so, the U.S. has recently shifted from working quietly behind the scenes in Syria's conflict toward overt displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight. Last month, about 200 Marines rolled into northern Syria backed with howitzers, significantly widening America's footprint in a highly toxic battlefield. The Marines' deployment came days after another intervention, when dozens of army troops drove outside the town of Manbij, riding Stryker armored vehicles, following an earlier conflagration of fighting between Syrian Kurdish troops and Turkish troops. The U.S. deployment in Manbij intentionally put Americans in the middle of that rivalry, hoping to cool it down.

The SDF retook Manbij from IS control, and Turkey said it won't allow the town to be under Kurdish control, threatening to move on it. The American presence appears intended to reassure Ankara the Kurds don't hold the town.

But the new deployment puts U.S. troops directly along the border with Turkey, another flashpoint, and immerses Washington into that increasingly hot fight. Should Erdogan happen to launch a strike against a zone containing US troops, he can simply say he was aiming elsewhere, although the retaliation by his NATO ally would be prompt.

It remains unclear if the US is now actively seeking to engage Turkey on the combat field, and is looking for a politically correct, and media friendly pretext to do so.  It is also unclear what a conflict between the US and Turkey would mean for the rest of NATO: it certainly would set a precedent, as never before has fighting broken out between two alliance members.

jueves, 27 de abril de 2017

Gestos


El lenguaje de los gestos sigue siendo importante en las relaciones internacionales; aunque el Imperio simule ignorarlas. Posteamos hoy tres notas; la primera de ellas es de Alexander Mercouris para el sitio web The Duran:


Título: BREAKING: Personal message from Xi Jinping to Vladimir Putin: our friendship is unbreakable

Epígrafe: Chinese President Xi Jinping sends personal message of friendship to Russian President Putin on China’s behalf, scotching attempt by US to make trouble between them.

Texto: Russia’s President Putin has met in the Oval Hall of the Kremlin with Li Zhanshu, Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China, and chief of staff of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The meeting was held directly after Li Zhanshu held talks with his Russian counterpart Anton Vaino, who is the head of the Russian President’s Executive Office and who is President Putin’s chief of staff.

I have previously explained who Li Zhanshu is, and why his visit is important, and the likely reason for his visit, which is the ongoing attempt by the Trump administration to cause trouble between China and Russia, and China’s and Russia’s concern to squelch any mistaken impressions which might be caused by that attempt.

That in turn explains the way the Chinese and the Russians – undoubtedly by pre-arrangement – used Li Zhanshu’s meeting with Putin to publicise a personal message from President Xi Jinping to Putin.  The Kremlin’s transcript of Li Zhanshu’s words reads as follows

Before my departure, I went especially to see President Xi Jinping and asked him what he wanted to pass on to you. He told me to say that today, Chinese-Russian relations are going through their best period ever in our history.

Today, our relations are deservedly called an example of relations between great powers, characterised by cooperation and mutual benefit. Today, our relations are very solid, mature, and are distinguished by strategic cooperation and a lasting nature.

He also said that despite the serious changes in the international situation, we will continue to work with you unfailingly adhering to three constants, namely: regardless of the circumstances, we will not change our policy of deepening and developing our strategic partnership and cooperation; our policy, based on joint development and prosperity, will not change; and our joint efforts to defend peace and justice and promote cooperation in the world will not change. These were the words of President Xi Jinping.


The “serious changes in the international situation” of course refers to the change of administration in Washington, and the new administration’s attempt to make trouble between China and Russia.  President Xi Jinping in his personal message to President Putin went out of his way to say that this attempt could not succeed, and that China’s strategic partnership with Russia “will not change”.

The message is of course primarily intended for the Trump administration.  The Chinese and the Russians scarcely need to reassure each other about the depth of their relationship, which they are of course far more informed about than anyone else.  However Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are anxious that there should be no illusions about it in Washington.  Alas, given the chaos in Washington, it is doubtful whether anyone there is paying attention.


***


Ahora pasemos a las dos noticias de Russia Today de ayer:


Título: China exige la retirada del sistema de defensa antimisiles THAAD de Corea del Sur

Epígrafe: Pekín ha expresado su enorme preocupación a Washington y Seúl en relación con el inicio del despliegue de los misiles de defensa THAAD en el territorio surcoreano.

Texto: China ha exigido que se retire el sistema de defensa antimisiles estadounidense THAAD de Corea del Sur, informa Reuters. Pekín ha expresado su enorme preocupación a Washington y Seúl en relación con el inicio del proceso de despliegue de misiles de defensa THAAD en el territorio surcoreano y tomará una acción decisiva para proteger su seguridad, ha afirmado el portavoz del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Geng Shuang, en su rueda de prensa diaria en Pekín.

"Estamos siguiendo de cerca estos informes. Ya hemos expresado a EE.UU. y Corea del Sur nuestra enorme preocupación en este sentido", ha indicado Shuang. Ha hecho hincapié en que las acciones de EE.UU. y Corea del Sur están socavando los intereses de seguridad estratégicos de China y conllevan una escalada de las tensiones en la península coreana. "China tomará todas las medidas drásticas que sean necesarias para proteger sus intereses", ha recalcado el jefe de la diplomacia china.

Seúl y Washington afirman que el único propósito del sistema THAAD es defenderse de los misiles norcoreanos, pero China está preocupada de que el poderoso radar del sistema pueda penetrar su territorio y socavar su seguridad y ha expresado en reiteradas ocasiones su oposición al despliegue.

El THAAD es un sistema avanzado diseñado para interceptar misiles balísticos de corto, mediano e intermedio alcance durante su fase terminal de vuelo. Equipado con un radar de largo alcance, se cree que es capaz de interceptar los misiles balísticos intermedios de Corea del Norte.

* El pasado 17 de abril, Washington y Seúl acordaron definitivamente el despliegue del sistema antimisiles estadounidense THAAD en territorio surcoreano. Los dos países llegaron a un acuerdo sobre el asunto en julio del año pasado. 

* Las unidades THAAD constarán de entre 4 y 9 lanzaderas montadas en camiones, cada una con 8 interceptores. La batería supuestamente contará con el poderoso radar AN/TPY-2, capaz de detectar misiles entrantes a grandes distancias.



***


Título: Rusia: "El Pentágono está creando un arma para un ataque global en masa"

Epígrafe: El representante del Estado Mayor ruso señala que estos nuevos sistemas están diseñados para lanzar ataques en cualquier parte del mundo tan solo una hora después de que se tome la decisión.

Texto: EE.UU. está desarrollando armas de ataque global inmediato, ha advertido el representante del Estado Mayor ruso, el teniente general Víktor Poznijir, informa la agencia Interfax. "Al implementar el concepto de uso compartido de armas ofensivas y defensivas, el Pentágono ha comenzado a desarrollar complejos de ataque global inmediato", ha alertado en una rueda de prensa en Moscú.

Estos elementos, según sus palabras, están diseñados para lanzar ataques repentinos de advertencia y asegurar la destrucción de cualquier objetivo en cualquier parte del mundo en el transcurso de la hora siguiente después de que se toma la decisión.

"La aparición de los primeros complejos de este tipo en las Fuerzas Armadas de EE.UU. está prevista para 2020", afirmó.


¿Un ataque encubierto sobre Rusia?

Poznijir ha indicado que el sistema de defensa antimisiles de EE.UU. hace posible lanzar un ataque nuclear encubierto sobre Rusia.

"La existencia de bases de defensa antimisiles estadounidenses en Europa, buques de defensa de misiles en aguas marinas y oceánicas próximas al territorio ruso crea todo un sistema encubierto que hace posible un ataque sorpresa con misiles nucleares sobre la Federación de Rusia", ha alertado.

Asimismo, el teniente general ha alertado de que actualmente este sistema puede detectar no solo la salida de los misiles balísticos rusos y seguir su trayectoria, sino también proporcionar la designación de un blanco. Según él, esta mejora de sus prestaciones de información se debe al aumento del número de sistemas espaciales en órbita baja.


¿Adónde apunta EE.UU.?

El representante del Estado Mayor ruso ha revelado que los resultados de las simulaciones por ordenador realizadas por los científicos del Ministerio de Defensa de Rusia han confirmado que el sistema de defensa antimisiles de EE.UU. está apuntando hacia Rusia y China aunque desde Washington afirmen lo contrario.

Además, Poznijir ha hecho hincapié en que "los representantes rusos han advertido en varias ocasiones y en distintos niveles al lado estadounidense del peligro que representa un sistema de defensa antimisiles global para el equilibrio estratégico de fuerzas en el mundo".



"EE.UU. alienta la carrera armamentística"

En esta línea, el militar sostiene que el fortalecimiento del potencial del sistema de defensa antimisiles de EE.UU. alienta la carrera armamentística, "especialmente en el plano estratégico", provocando que otros países "tomen medidas militares y tecnológicas como respuesta".

Poznijir ha denunciado que el sistema estadounidense "viola la paridad existente en materia de armamentos estratégicos" y supone "un factor de desestabilización" que "estrecha considerablemente las posibilidades de diálogo sobre las cuestiones de desarme nuclear".

miércoles, 26 de abril de 2017

Más déficit para el Imperio


Más obediente que nunca con Wall Street, la cara visible del Imperio presentó una propuesta para reducir impuestos (sobre todo a las sociedades comerciales, del 35% al 15%). Más déficit para los EEUU. Así no va, chicos. en momentos en que China se dispone a fabricar 30 millones de autos anuales para 2020, el recorte aumentará el déficit sin incidir sobre la productividad (buena parte de las "sociedades" son en realidad triquiñuelas financieras). Cuenta la historia Javier Ansorena para el ABC de Madrid:


Título: Trump presenta su «histórica reducción de impuestos»

Subtítulo: El plan fiscal que detallará este miércoles rebaja las cargas a las empresas del 35 al 15% y a los individuos del 39,6 al 25%

Texto: Donald Trump cumple este sábado cien días en la Casa Blanca y dará inicio este miércoles a las festividades con una propuesta ambiciosa: dar un respiro al bolsillo de los contribuyentes. Presentará un plan fiscal anunciado ya como «el mayor recorte de impuestos de la historia de EE.UU».

Todo apunta a que no será un plan detallado, sino más bien una maniobra política para dar un empujón a su presidencia en la misma semana en la que da marcha atrás en sus planes de financiación del muro con México y poco después del fracaso legislativo del desmantelamiento de Obamacare.

Aunque no se sabe cómo articulará con exactitud la rebaja de impuestos, el presidente dio pistas durante la campaña electoral. Por ejemplo, defendió reducir la imposición federal máxima del 39,6% al 25%. Quizá la propuesta más agresiva, y que todo indica que aparecerá en el plan de hoy, es la drástica reducción del impuesto de sociedades del actual 35% al 15%.

El problema para Trump será cómo conjugar estas rebajas fiscales con la exigencia de no aumentar el déficit, un aspecto prioritario para las mayorías republicanas en el Congreso. Según las estimaciones del Tax Policy Center, el plan de Trump incrementaría el déficit en 7 billones de dólares durante la próxima década.

La idea de Trump y de su secretario del Tesoro, Steve Mnuchin, es que el impulso económico que dará la reducción de impuestos compensará la caída en la recaudación. «Se podría tener hasta una diferencia de dos billones de dólares en la recaudación en función del crecimiento económico», aseguró Mnuchin, para quien el plan fiscal «se pagará a sí mismo por el crecimiento».

Habrá que ver si Trump ofrece mañana previsiones en este sentido: durante la campaña, llegó a decir que EE.UU. crecería hasta un 6%. La Oficina Presupuestaria lo sitúa entre el 3% y el 4%, lo que podría no ser suficiente para compensar la caída de la presión fiscal.


«Ajuste en frontera»

También habrá que ver si Trump cede ante la petición de los republicanos del Congreso para el establecimiento de un impuesto de «ajuste en frontera» por el que se gravará las importaciones, mientras que se dejará a las exportaciones sin impuestos y que ha sido criticado por los sectores productivos que dependen de la importación.

Donde lo tendrá más complicado será en convencer a la bancada demócrata. Trump ha ofrecido incluir en su plan un mayor gasto en infraestructuras y exenciones fiscales para el cuidado infantil, pero parece que no será suficiente. El plan fiscal, según la oposición, ofrece ventajas sobre todo para las rentas altas y las grandes empresas.