This past week saw a string of terrorist attacks in both the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Two attacks in Britain, one in Manchester and the latest one in London, have left the British grappling with the future of their country even as they prepare to vote in British Parliamentary elections Thursday, June 8th. Other terrorist attacks have been carried out in both Paris, France and Melbourne, Australia this past week as well, fortunately without similar large-scale death and destruction.
Meanwhile over in Singapore, U.S. Secretary of Defense (former) General “Mad Dog” Mattis threatened both North Korea and China while speaking at a security conference. He called North Korea a “Clear and Present Danger” and warned the Chinese against their militarization of artificial islands they are busy creating and arming throughout the South China Sea.
And in the technological disruption space, the world’s second leading cryptocurrency Ethereum notched a new all-time high and posted an unbelievable 2,800 percent increase in ether unit prices since January 1st. Ether is now becoming a serious upstart rival to challenge the globally dominant cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Companies around the world are taking note and backing ether on a dramatic scale.
Everywhere you turn, the geopolitical news warns that you must have the ultimate historical safe haven gold in your retirement portfolio. Gold offers insurance and protection during market turbulence. Time to review the reasons for why a gold IRA.
Repeated Terrorist Attacks in Britain Impact Last Week Before British Parliamentary Elections
This past week on June 3rd, the second terrorist attack in as many weeks rocked the United Kingdom, this time in London. Seven individuals died and 48 were injured in the popular London nightlife area as a result. This attack involved a white van swerving through London Bridge’s Saturday night crowds. After the van came to a stop, three men exited the vehicle and proceeded on a knife-stabbing rampage in various close by bars. The three assailants were shot by British police eight minutes after the first distress call came. This graphic shows where this horrific and barbaric attack took place.
Despite the horror of these attacks in London, Manchester, (and even Paris and Melbourne, Australia) the British election rolls steadily closer for the most important Parliamentary decision in generations. Even as the fallout continued from the London terrorist attacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May sent her ever popular lieutenant (and former London Mayor) the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson into the heart of rival Labour Party country up in England’s Northeast in an effort to seize votes from the long-time Labour party strongholds.
When Theresa May called for the snap election, the polls showed her massively ahead of rival Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Since those lofty polls showed her potentially winning a record-setting Parliamentary majority in post-Brexit vote Britain, they have since tightened considerably. Some polls now show May only ahead by a single percentage point.
Yet secret internal polling results for the Conservative Party must show differently, as May seems unconcerned and focuses on stealing traditionally Labour seats rather than desperately defending her own home turf. Boris Johnson gave a speech in Bishop Auckland, northeastern England which was a close call of only 3,500 votes for Labour back in 2015 where he said:
“This is the moment to believe in the huge potential of Brexit Britain. It is absolutely vital on Thursday that we elect a government that will negotiate with courage, determination, optimism, and belief in the outcome.”
Johnson still found himself deflecting questions on the way the terrorists who were on the security services’ radar managed to slip through the hands of the authorities. As former London Mayor, he agreed that voters had the right to wonder, “how did this person slip through in the way it appears he has.” For his part, he promised to step up the drive to get foreign countries to cease funding the extremist groups.
Meanwhile, current (and Boris Johnson-succeeding) London Mayor Sadiq Khan jumped into the fray by sowing doubts on the future of terrorism defense under a continued Conservative Prime Minister May’s leadership. Khan warned that the Conservatives plan to cut back funding to the Metropolitan Police force by 400 million pounds (or $516 million), with:
“Cuts on this scale would make it harder to foil future terrorist attacks on our city and as Mayor of London I’m simply not willing to stand by and let that happen.”
It is difficult to say with certainty how much of an impact this now second largest issue in the British elections (behind only Brexit negotiations) is going to have on the final outcome. One Tuesday poll from Survation showed a single point lead for May’s party while the Sunday released ICM gave Theresa May’s party a stunning 11 points lead. YouGov has projected the prime minister might even suffer the loss of her majority in parliament, though few are taking this poll seriously as it uses unconventional polling techniques and untried survey methods.
One thing is clear with the well-funded Conservatives dispatching Prime Minister May out to Labour seats that were long regarded as secure for the Labour Party. She and her aides are confident that the results of the election will not be as close as many of the polls suggest. As they were wrong on Brexit, the British polls are likely to have missed the Parliamentary election outcome. Everyone will know the results of tomorrow’s vote before Friday. This bears close watching as the stability of (the world’s fifth largest economy) Brexit-negotiating Great Britain is at stake.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis Labels Continued North Korean Threats A “Clear and Present Danger”
This past Saturday saw widely respected U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Singapore (at a conference on international security) on a trip to assure close Asian-American allies that the United States will not abandon them to the threats posed by a militarily surging China or rogue state North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear ambitions and threats.
He went on sharp attack against both North Korea and China. Secretary Mattis ominously warned that North Korea represented a “clear and present danger,” hinting at potential Korean Peninsular conflict, even as he verbally assaulted China for increasing tensions deliberately for the disputed islands lying in the contested South China Sea.
Secretary Mattis did not hold back on the overt threats against rogue nation North Korea and its dictatorial leader Kim Jong Un. He labeled North Korea as an “urgent military threat.” Some of the audience asked him if the United States might preemptively assault the North and not provide South Korea with advance warning. Mattis responded with:
“We’re working diplomatically, economically, we’re trying to exhaust all possible alternatives to avert this race for a nuclear weapon in violation of… the United Nations’ restriction on North Korea’s activities. We want to stop this. We consider it urgent.”
Regarding China’s military expansion onto man made islands which they have been busily creating throughout the South China Sea, Mattis declared:
“We oppose countries militarizing artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by international law. We can not and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo.”
Secretary Mattis has more reason than usual to be tough on China. Last Friday, they opposed and successfully blocked harsh additional sanctions leveled against North Korea which the U.S. had backed in the United Nations Security Council. China did allow for a unanimous vote on including 15 more individuals and another four entities (which are closely linked to the ballistic missile and nuclear programs of North Korea) on the United Nations’ blacklist for sanctions.
Ether Marks Another All Time High in Its 2,800 Percent Increase for the Year So Far
It is not only the world’s leading cryptocurrency bitcoin making all time highs lately. Second largest cryptocurrency in the world (by market cap) Ethereum smashed through old highs last Sunday, touching a new record price of $250.41, per cryptocurrency website CoinDesk. This level marked an astonishing more than 2,800 percent so far this year since January 1st. On the first day of the year, the ether had stood at only $8.52 per token.
It is the continuing interest in the universe of digital assets along with rising Asian trade which is powering the cryptocurrency forward. The chart below shows the meteoric rise of Ethereum from only the beginning of this year:
A number of different factors are driving the unprecedented rise in Etherium. The blockchain technology was created to support the implementation of what are now known as smart contract applications. These represent programs which automatically execute a contract’s terms as particular conditions become fulfilled. This highly practical and monetizable need for ethereum and its ether tokens has fired the imaginations and interest of many investors and not a few larger corporations like Microsoft, Intel, and JP Morgan.
All three of these heavyweights are part of a new group calling itself the EEA Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Another 86 companies have joined this bitcoin-eclipsing alliance recently to work on putting major corporations together with the technology companies to create various projects utilizing the Ethereum blockchain technology. This has provided the Etherium technology and its ether cryptocurrency tokens with major legitimacy. Besides this, tens of millions have been raised through initial coin offerings to help many startup companies utilize the ethereum blockchain and therefore work with the ether cryptocurrency tokens in consequence.
It is not only South Korea driving the ethereum token volume these days, though they do stand behind an amazing 38 percent of it now. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin recently held a meeting with Russia’s strongman President Vladimir Putin. They talked about using this technology in the world’s geographically largest nation at this meeting. This latest national involvement is slated to only boost the price increases of both ethereum and rival bitcoin.
As U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis warned Congress and the world back in January, the world order is under the greatest attack since World War II. This should warn why you should own gold in times of financial crisis.