As of this writing, the Dow has dropped over 200 points mainly on fears of a China default, Russian massing troops on the Ukrainian border and the still unexplained disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370. To say the news was all bad today was an understatement. If you were a Republican, the news was even worse.
Hot off the GOP's not unexpected win in a special election in Florida, the right has been crowing that this is all because of Obamacare even though the democrat running wasn't even office when the law was passed. Guilt by association I guess. However, for all the hip, hip hurrahs, they seem to overlook the fact the seat has been in GOP hands for 60 years, and thanks to gerrymandering, will remain so. They have also overlooked the fact that the race was closer than expected, with the left only losing by a couple of percentage points. The news gets worse as a recent poll shows Hillary Clinton ahead double digits in Iowa against every single Republican candidate. Ouch. Chris Christie was tied or ahead in the last poll taken and is now just above pond scum instead after the bridge scandal has wiped him off the map. The next best is Rand Paul, who still loses by fourteen points and it's all down hill from there. 2014 may be their last big hope because 2016 looks like an epic rout if they keep doing the same garbage and expecting a different result.
Meanwhile the Malaysian government seems wholly incapable of telling the truth at all, sending conflicting reports as to where the plane might even be. The most recent evidence still suggests the plane was taken somewhere for some nefarious purpose, most likely to be used a terrorist attack. As the flight plan could have brought anywhere to a secret island base to the border of Pakistan, it's whereabouts are unknown. One oil rig guy says he saw the plane go down, but question about the veracity of that claim have been made well known. Debris spotted by a Chinese satellite have turned out to be nothing and the entire gulf area has been searched so many times that it is reasonable to say it is definitively not there. The Malaysian government is still denying reports that the plane flew for an additional four hours and our news media has been less than helpful on that as well. How hard is it to get an expert on there who has seen the info and can talk about it? But if the narrative is being controlled for whatever reason, that may be why the info is so convoluted. They may not want to be starting a panic that a rouge 777 is out there waiting to be used as a weapon. If they do use it to attack the crippled Fukushima plane, it could kill millions and wreck the US and Japan.
As this occurs, Russia is massing troops on the Ukrainian border to enter at a moments notice. The US has given Russia until Monday to back off or face repercussions. Both Obama and John Kerry have said Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, and that any vote to leave the nation will not be accepted by the world at large. I do not know where we get off telling another sovereign state what they can and can't do but I suspect they feel that Russia is leaning on Crimea to do just that and would rather it be an independent thought rather than by force. Bank runs are reported in Crimea and limits on withdrawals have been put in place. Russia has denied this, but satellite photos show 80,000 troops, armor and equipment now on the border. NATO is responding by moving forces to the Western borders, suggesting a land war over Ukraine is not out of the question. This could get ugly quick and with a missing 777 still in the picture, who knows what it could be used for in this incident.
China is experiencing a rapid slowdown across their economy in manufacturing, retail, investments and housing. Just like us. Unlike here, "bad weather" isn't the bugaboo being used to explain why Dollar Store saw a huge drop in sales this past quarter, due to no one having any money anymore. The Chinese economy is falling due to bubble like territory they have carved out for themselves which is about to pop. When it goes, the world will go with it. Considering we still may be looking at a massive war at any second, this is not comforting. People of China are finding it harder and harder to find full time work, and metal prices like aluminum have dropped below costs at this point. All of this suggests a hard landing some time soon.
The world is on fire at this point and most people seem content to watch it burn around them. We may go to war with Russia. The Chinese may sink the economy of the planet. Flight 370 may be used in the worst terror attack ever recorded on Earth. Isn't being part of the 21st century fun. The ancient Chinese curse is coming true: May you live in interesting times. I's be happier with much more boring.