Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 09-07-14

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Islamic terror is not the isolated behavior of a handful of nihilists but a broader culture that has been complicit in it or at least unwilling to combat it.
  • Zawahiri’s effort to recruit Indian Muslims will fail.
  • The Arab world produces fanaticism and jihad because it is a place of complete political stagnation. Islam has become the language of political opposition to Arab dictators and the dynamic between dictators and Jihadists has not broken.
  • Egypt is now a more brutal police state than it was under Mubarak.
  • There is little danger of inflation in the US.

Brett Stephens at the Wall Street Journal said:

  • ISIS is a direct threat to the West and to the United States
  • Putin won’t stop in Ukraine but go on to Kazakhstan, the Baltics, and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
  • The US has walked away from the Budapest Memorandum – which guaranteed Ukraine’s borders – showing that its promises are paper deeds and that other countries should not allow the US to handle their foreign policies.

Peter Beinart at The Atlantic said the US tragically does not have the capacity to make a Ukraine that does not accommodate Russia.

Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations said the world is getting messier and the time has come for the US to increase defense spending and use its energy abundance to strategically take on Russia.

The CBO says:

  • The US is firmly in economic recovery with substantially lower federal deficits, lower interest rates.
  • The federal deficit will be just 2.9% of GDP in 2014, slightly lower than the average deficit over the last 4 decades, and versus 9.8% in 2009.
  • The US will spend $95 billion less on Medicare in 2019 than it had predicted just 4 years ago.
  • The US could stabilize its debt to GDP ratio by finding tax increases or spending cuts equivalent to just 1.2% of GDP.

Paul Krugman said:

  • The debt and budget crisis were imaginary and the new CBO projections prove the debt apocalypse has been called off.
  • The debt-to-GDP ratio will increase after the next decade due to the aging population but health care costs have slowed dramatically.

Peter Bergen at the New America Foundation said al Qaeda is very conscious that they are yesterday’s story, while ISIS offers a much more appealing media strategy and are more successful than al Qaeda has ever been in terms of getting territory, money, fighters, and establishing a large foothold in the Middle East.

The World Economic Forum ranked Switzerland as the most competitive nation for the 6th year in a row, with the US moving up to 3rd place.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1409/07/fzgps.01.html

U.S. Budget Gap Narrows to Smallest Since 2007, CBO Says – Bloomberg 08-27-14

Salient to Investors:

The CBO predicts:

  • A declining jobless rate will raise tax revenues and shrink the US budget deficit to $469 billion in 2015, $506 billion in the 12 months ending September 30 – versus predictions of $492 billion in April and $680 billion in 2013, and a record $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009.
  • The budget deficit will start rising again in 2018 as the gap between spending and revenues grows relative to the size of economy, and federal debt climbs.
  • The budget deficit will be 2.9% of GDP in 2014 and 2.6% in 2015 – versus 1.1% in 2007.
  • The US economy will grow 1.5% in Q4 2014 versus 3.1% predicted in February.
  • Unemployment will average 6.2% in 2014, 5.9% in 2015, and slack in the labor market will largely disappear by the end of 2017.
  • The 3-month T-bill will remain near zero until half2 2015, and increase to an average of 2.1% in 2017.
  • Monetary policy will continue to support economic growth during the next few years because of slack in the labor market and inflation below the Fed’s goal.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-27/cbo-sees-wider-u-s-deficit-as-slower-growth-cuts-revenue.html

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