As President Trump Strikes Saudi Deals and Britain Battles Imminent Terrorist Attacks, North Korea Tests Another Missile
This past week witnessed the dawn of a new era in geopolitical alliances as President Donald Trump began his first overseas trip to the Middle East and Italy. His deal making opened up hundreds of billions of dollars in new contracts for American companies in Saudi Arabia, while his forging of a new anti-Iranian alliance has given Israel its first real prospects for a de facto peace with Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors for the first time in modern history.
In Europe, the worst terrorist attack to hit the United Kingdom (since the 2005 London Transport attack killed over 50 people) ripped through a stadium in Manchester. In a disturbing new trend, an IED improvised explosive device of considerable skill and lethal devastation forced British Prime Minister Theresa May to raise the terror threat in Britain to “another attack is imminent.” Their military deployed nearly a thousand British soldiers to guard important and sensitive sites throughout London.
Not surprisingly, safe haven assets were rallying on the wake of the geopolitical instability in Europe and Asia after North Korea successfully test fired another ballistic missile. The digital safe haven assets Bitcoin and Ether made dramatic gains. They have rallied by from literally hundreds to thousands of percent since the beginning of the year.
This week's news is a stark reminder of why you need gold to protect your IRA retirement investments. IRA approved gold protects against market instability in times of turbulence like no other physically held asset can. It explains why gold still glitters for many world leaders.
President Trump Strikes Deals Throughout the Middle East On First Overseas Trip
Saudi Arabia knew how to welcome the pro-Sunni Arab U.S. President in style when he arrived in the Kingdom this past week. They brought gifts of contracts and memorandums of understanding worth hundreds of billions in dollars of deals to him Saturday as he began his first Presidential overseas trip. The Kingdom is in the early stages of massive reforms to their economy as they attempt to diversify away from complete reliance on oil revenues.
Among the many deals arranged, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia called The Public Investment Fund committed $20 billion in a funding project with Blackstone Group LP to create a deep-pocketed infrastructure investment fund. The goal of the fund is to double the size of its capitalization using contributions from still other investors. Saudi Aramco the kingdom's oil company also signed 16 agreements with 11 American firms totalling around $50 billion. General Electric Co. was a primary beneficiary of these economic deals with their $15 billion valued one.
The U.S. Department of Defense and the Saudi Defense Ministry capped off a huge weekend for American enterprise by agreeing to a $110 billion arms package now that will increase by another $350 billion over the subsequent 10 years. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed his enthusiasm for the arrangements made this weekend with:
“I can't imagine another business day that's been as good for the United States and for this kingdom.”
The largest oil exporter in the world Saudi Arabia excitedly reset the old ties with the United States' new administration after having been sidelined by former President Barack Obama. He had forged and signed the domestically controversial and deeply unpopular (in Israel and the Middle East) deal in 2015 with the Saudi regional rivals Iran. President Trump has returned to the more traditional policy of working with Saudi Arabia as the United States' most powerful Islamic ally in the effort to stop (or at least contain) Iran and its nuclear ambitions alongside its state funding of global terrorism.
Britain Deploys Troops In Full-Scale Effort to Prevent Another Terrorist Attack
In the wake of the horrible terrorist attack on a teenager-attended concert at the Manchester Arena in the North of England, Prime Minister Theresa May increased the national threat level to critical. This means that “another attack is considered to be imminent.” British soldiers were then deployed across the capital London in an effort to safeguard important national targets such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and the Prime Minister's 10 Downing Street residence and office against such an imminent terrorist threat.
This represented the first time that such action had been taken in the world's fifth largest economy since the London Transport system attacks transpired back in 2005. Authorities fear that the suicide bomber who was raised in Britain but from Libya had accomplices. British Home Secretary Amber Rudd warned:
“Critical means an attack is imminent. It is based on intelligence which is assessed by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center.”
It is likely no coincidence that this most serious and deadly terrorist attack on British soil in over a decade occurred slightly more than two weeks ahead of the British national elections. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins this weekend as well. The Islamic State annually encourages its friends and followers to wage such terrorist attacks against the West at that time. It was IS which claimed responsibility for the Manchester bombing.
Bitcoin Soars, Rival Ether Outperforms, As Cryptocurrencies Arrive In Force
Unsurprisingly with all of the geopolitical tension and instability in the world these days, all types of safe haven assets have benefited recently. The cryptocurrencies are among these winners. Bitcoin has been on a well-publicized rampage that has so far culminated in it over doubling so far this year. By Wednesday it touched over $2,300 per BTC. Yet its younger, less well-known rival Ether has surged more than 2,300 percent in this year alone as this chart below demonstrates:
Since January 1st, Bitcoin has rallied impressively from $1,003.25 to reach $2,377 for the first time on May 24th per CoinDesk. This 137 percent respectable gain by any measure has been severely trumped by Ether though. Ether started January 1st at $8.24 per coin and is now trading around $203. The more than 2,360 percent gain year to date has been made possible in no small part because of the excitement surrounding big brother rival Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has recently been approved in Japan for use in all retail transactions as a legal tender currency method of payment. If you are considering Bitcoin for your IRA, read this first.
North Korea Test Launches Another Ballistic Missile, Proving Its Guidance System Is Fully Operational
In another unsettling event from the Korean Peninsula, the rogue Northern state successfully tested yet another intermediate-range ballistic missile. This confirms their final stage guidance system capability in their relentless quest for operational nuclear warhead carrying ballistic missiles. It represents yet another advance in their goal to be able to strike U.S. states such as Hawaii and Alaska. These Pukguksong-2 missiles are running on now thoroughly tested solid fuel engines. Dictatorial leader Kim Jong Un has ordered these to be deployed as field-ready mobile units with official North Korean news agency KCNA's quoted:
“Saying with pride that the missile's rate of hits is very accurate and Pukguksong-2 is a successful strategic weapon, he approved the deployment of this weapon system for action.”
It follows the North Korean rogue state's last week test of a ballistic missile. This missile managed to go 310 miles (500 kilometers) in an altitude as high as 350 miles (560 kilometers) before landing in the sea off the east coast of North Korea on Sunday. While these and other tested weapons probably can reach the outlying U.S. states, the North's claims on Saturday of having mainland-hitting capability are likely exaggerated for now.
The latest launch complicates new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's efforts to decrease elevated tensions between the two Koreas. The South Korean leader assumed office only on May 10th following the election he won for his more conciliatory approach to dealing with North Korea.
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