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Tue, 17th January 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “barack obama” Tag

Volkswagen confirms $4.3bn US settlement over diesel emissions

Volkswagen AG confirmed on Tuesday it has negotiated a $4.3 billion draft settlement with U.S. regulators to resolve its diesel emissions troubles and plans to plead guilty to criminal misconduct.

The guilty plea is part of the civil and criminal deal as the automaker looks to restore its tarnished global brand. Volkswagen said with the addition of the fine, its diesel costs will exceed the nearly 18.2 billion euros ($19.2 billion) it has set aside to handle the problem. VW also said it will face oversight by an independent monitor over the next three years.

 Reuters reported earlier the company’s supervisory board is set to meet on Wednesday to approve a civil and criminal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over the automaker’s diesel emissions. VW said the supervisory board and the management board would meet Tuesday or possibly Wednesday to approve the deal.

VW is expected to plead guilty as part of the settlement as early as Wednesday, a source familiar with matter said. The plea deal will need the approval of a U.S. judge.

Evercore ISI said in a research note it believes the “settlement is intended to draw a line under all remaining U.S. related legal risk. This is good news.”

VW had raced to get a deal done before President Barack Obama leaves office on Jan. 20. A change in administration could have delayed a final settlement for months if not longer.

IAEA Chief Says Iran Remains Committed to Nuclear Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, right, welcomes the International Atomic Energy Agency's director-general, Yukiya Amano, as they pose for photos at the start of their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, July 2, 2015The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran has shown commitment to its end of the nuclear deal struck last year while visiting Tehran December 18.

Iran has complained about the US extending a sanctions package for another decade. The US says these sanctions are unrelated to the deal; Iran disagrees.

“We are satisfied with the implementation of the [nuclear agreement] and hope that this process will continue,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the press in the Iranian capital, Reuters reports, citing the IRNA news agency.

“Iran has been committed to its engagement so far and this is important,” he said. Amano was in Tehran to meet head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi. After the White House said earlier this week that the sanctions bill would become law even without President Barack Obama’s signature, Iran requested a meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) commission to discuss the situation and ordered its scientists to start developing nuclear systems to power ships.  Salehi presented the maritime nuclear propulsion project to Amano and said the country would provide more details on it in three months, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). The initial outline did include what is so far the most controversial issue of the project: the level of uranium-enrichment powering the ships will require.

China will give back seized drone, criticises U.S. “hyping up” the issue

China’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday it had been in talks with the United States about returning an underwater drone taken by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but the U.S. was not helping by “hyping up” the issue.

The drone was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines, just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), U.S. officials said.

The Defence Ministry said a Chinese naval vessel discovered a piece of “unidentified equipment” and checked it to prevent any navigational safety issues, before discovering it was a U.S. drone.

“China decided to return it to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner, and China and the U.S. have all along been in communication about it,” the ministry said on its website.

“During this process, the U.S. side’s unilateral and open hyping up is inappropriate, and is not beneficial to the smooth resolution of this issue. We express regret at this,” it added.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump weighed in to the row on Saturday, tweeting: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.”

Without directly saying whether the drone was operating in waters China considers its own, the ministry said U.S. ships and aircraft have for a long period been carrying out surveillance and surveys in “the presence” of Chinese waters.

“China is resolutely opposed to this, and demands the U.S. stops this kind of activity,” it said.

China will remain on alert for these sorts of activities and take necessary steps to deal with them, the ministry said without elaborating.

Earlier, the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, cited an unidentified Chinese source as saying they believed the issue would be resolved smoothly.

The United States says the drone was operating lawfully.

Iran Warns Of “World War, The Destruction Of Israel”, If Trump Tears Up Nuclear Pact

Ten days ago, we reported that as a result of Obama’s vow to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for another 10 years, Iran threatened to retaliate, saying it violated last year’s deal with six major powers that curbed its nuclear program.

While US officials said the ISA’s renewal would not infringe on Obama’s landmark nuclear agreement (which may or may not be voided by Trump), and under which Iran agreed to limit its sensitive atomic activity in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions that harmed its oil-based economy, senior Iranian officials took odds with that view. Iran’s nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who played a central role in reaching the nuclear deal, described the extension as a “clear violation” if implemented.

“We are closely monitoring developments,” state TV quoted Salehi as saying. “If they implement the ISA, Iran will take action accordingly.” Iran’s most powerful authority, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned in November that an extension of U.S. sanction would be viewed in Tehran as a violation of the nuclear accord.

To be sure, that was merely jawboning by Iran, which has far less leverage and far more to lose if it antagonizes Washington and provokes the US into reimposing sanctions upon the Gulf nation, amounting to the tune of over 1 million barrels per day in foregone oil exports that would be taken offline, should the US impose similar sanctions as those which took the country’s crude export production largely offline in the 2013-2015 timeframe.

It is also the lesser of Iran’s worries: a far bigger concern is whether Trump will tear up Obama’s landmark nuclear agreement.

Trump Warns US Companies There Will Be “Consequences” For Outsourcing Jobs

Emboldened by his “victory” with Carrier Corp, which agreed to keep 1,100 workers in the US instead of outsourcing them to Mexico in exchange for $7 million in tax incentives over 10 years, as part of his victory tour in Indiana, Donald Trump on Thursday warned that U.S. companies will face “consequences” for outsourcing jobs overseas.

“Companies are not going to leave the United States any more without consequences. Not going to happen,” the President-elect said on a visit to a Carrier Corp plant in Indianapolis cited by Reuters.


U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump speaks at event at Carrier HVAC plant in
Indianapolis, Indiana.

Brahma Chellaney — Trump could ‘pivot’ to Asia like Obama never did

U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategic “pivot” toward Asia, unveiled in 2012, attracted much international attention but did little to tame China’s muscular approach to territorial, maritime and trade disputes. Indeed, with the United States focused on the Islamic world, Obama’s much-touted Asian pivot seemed to lose its way somewhere in the arc between Iraq and Libya. Will President-elect Donald Trump’s approach to Asia be different?

In his first meeting with a foreign leader since his surprise Nov. 8 election triumph, Trump delivered a reassuring message to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who, in turn, described him as a “trustworthy leader.” In a smart diplomatic move, Abe made a special stop in New York on Nov. 17, en route to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, to meet face-to-face with Trump, who shares his conservative, nationalistic outlook.

 Today, Asia faces the specter of power disequilibrium. Concern that Trump could undo Obama’s pivot to Asia by exhibiting an isolationist streak ignores the fact that the pivot has remained more rhetorical than real. Even as Obama prepares to leave office, the pivot — rebranded as “rebalancing” — has not acquired any concrete strategic content.
 If anything, the coining of a catchy term, “pivot,” has helped obscure the key challenge confronting the U.S.: To remain the principal security anchor in Asia in the face of a relentless push by a revisionist China to expand its frontiers and sphere of influence.

Trump indeed could face an early test of will from a China determined to pursue its “salami slicing” approach to gaining regional dominance. In contrast to Russia’s preference for full-fledged invasion, China has perfected the art of creeping, covert warfare through which it seeks to take one “slice” of territory at a time, by force.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, right, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Nov. 17. © Reuters

With Obama having increasingly ceded ground to China in Asia during his tenure, Beijing feels emboldened, as evident in its incremental expansionism in the South China Sea and its dual Silk Road projects under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The Maritime Silk Road is just a new name for Beijing’s “string of pearls” strategy, aimed at increasing its influence in the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, without incurring any international costs, China aggressively continues to push its borders far out into international waters in a way that no other power has done.

Indeed, boosting naval prowess and projecting power far from its shores are at the center of China’s ambition to fashion a strongly Sino-centric Asia. Boasting one of the world’s fastest-growing undersea fleets, China announced earlier in November that its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is ready for combat. Such revanchist moves will inevitably test the new U.S. administration’s limits.

Over 2 Million Hillary Supporters Sign Petition To Overturn Election Results

results of the Nov. 8 election if he were to be unsuccessful in gaining 270 electoral votes. “I will look at it at the time…. I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace. His rival at the time, Hillary Clinton, called the now president-elect’s response “horrifying,” and throughout the accusation of “talking down our democracy.”

 Clinton would run as long as she could with accusing Trump of undermining the democratic process by refusing to accepted the election results, making it a solid part of her attack platform from the third debate forward. During rallies, her supporters would boo Trump whenever Clinton mentioned the fact he refused to say he’d accepted.
 Well, now it turns out that Clinton’s supporters are the ones who are refusing to accept the election results as they were announced in the early morning of Nov. 9.

A Change.org petition started by a man in North Carolina to persuade the Electoral College to elect Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump has 2,170,188 signatures since its creation on Wednesday night.

The petition reads:

On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine — which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!

We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?

Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.

Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.

Hillary won the popular vote. The only reason Trump “won” is because of the Electoral College.

 

 

Global Bond Investors Lose A Third Of A Trillion Dollars In One Day

Back in June, we warned that based on simple duration analysis, as a result of total market-traded US debt aggregates anywhere between $17 and $40 trillion – an all time high in terms of rate duration…

 

 

…  traders faced massive mark-to-market losses of anywhere between $2.4 and $5 trillion should rates suddenly spike higher…. as they did yesterday, when as we reported the yield on the 10Y and 30Y Treasury jumped the most in percentage terms on record.”The U.S. 10-year yield was three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, higher at 2.09 percent as of 12:09 p.m. in London, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. The yield jumped 20 basis points Wednesday, the most on a single day since July 2013.”

Today, Bloomberg has crunched the numbers after yesterday’s bond rout, and calculates that bond investors saw $337 billion – just over a third of a trillion – in losses on global bond holdings in a single day Wednesday “as Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president sparked concern his plan to boost economic growth will lead to a surge in inflation.”

Trump presidency threatens climate, trade deals

Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president could upend efforts to fight climate change and shift the global landscape for commerce, if he steers the country away from globalization and free trade.

As the Republican’s victory grew apparent Wednesday morning, the mood at the COP 22 United Nations climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco, turned subdued. Trump has repeatedly voiced his skepticism about the science behind climate change. Research and advocacy groups now worry about the future of the deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions inked in Paris last year.

 Though Trump will wield much power as president, even he does not have the power “to stop the impacts of climate change,” said Alden Meyer, strategy and policy director for the Union of Concerned Scientists. A Chinese environmentalist group said the country would continue increasing efforts to combat climate change.

The Paris agreement aims to limit the average rise in global temperatures over preindustrial levels to less than 2 C. Enacting the pact was a high priority for President Barack Obama, whose cooperation with China helped bring the agreement into force Friday, less than a year after it was adopted.

Bookies Rake In The Cash As Bets On U.S. Presidential Election Surges To New Record

The 2016 presidential contest has been one of many “firsts”:  the first to include a nominee of a major political party under an active FBI criminal investigation, the first in which nude pictures of a candidate’s wife hit the internet for all to see, etc.  Now, with less than 24 hours left until voting gets underway, according to Reuters the 2016 contest is poised to break yet another record as the “most wagered-upon political event” in history.

 With many opinion polls showing a tight race just one day before Tuesday’s election, record numbers of bettors are pouring millions into online platforms from Ireland to Iowa in the hope of capturing a financial windfall from a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.

UK-based internet betting exchange Betfair said on Sunday its “Next President” market was set to become the most traded it had ever seen and expected to surpass even Brexit, the contentious UK referendum to leave the European Union.

By Sunday, roughly $130 million had been traded on who will become the next U.S. president, compared with $159 million on the Brexit referendum, Betfair spokeswoman Naomi Totten said. The amount bet so far on the 2016 contest dwarfs the roughly $50 million laid on the 2012 race.

On sites like Paddy Power, gamblers can bet on anything from the most likely winner of the 2016 presidential race…

 Paddy Power