Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 24 September 2018. (All times Central.)
The President is scheduled to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. He’ll reportedly meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, in addition to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to attend the United Nations Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, then participates in a meeting with Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and national security advisor John Bolton.
State Department officials have a full day of meetings world leaders and foreign officials this week.
Defense Secretary Mattis is scheduled to meet with the Malaysian defense minister. Reporting from last month indicated that he’d be making trips to Europe and the Indo-Pacific this month.
There has been no significant change in deployments of U.S. carrier strike groups. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group not appear imminent.
The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as being in port of San Diego.
The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being in port at Norfolk.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as having returned to port in Bremerton, WA.
The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the north Atlantic.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as having participated in Valiant Shield 2018 around the Marianas Islands Range.
The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported in the western Atlantic.
Significant House Activity:
- Nothing significant to report.
Significant Senate Activity:
- Nothing significant to report.
* Only events pertinent to national security are listed.
Last night, Bloomberg TV featured a Trump tariff countdown as they interviewed financial analysts from around the world on just what the effects would be. Some analysts said they’d be watching for the impact the tariffs have on a Chinese economic slowdown. Futures were down this morning due to fear of the tariff fallout.
The Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and Fed watchers expect another interest rate hike at .25 percent. As of this morning, the Federal Funds Rate sits at 1.91 percent.
Over the weekend, Murray Gunn, head of global research at Elliott Wave International, shared his thoughts about the next recession. “We think the major economies are on the cusp of this turning into the worst recession we have seen in 10 years… Should the [US] economy start to shrink, and our analysis suggests that it will, the high nominal levels of debt will instantly become a very big issue.” This is nothing that we haven’t already covered in this report or in the National Intelligence Bulletin, but it does underscore that a growing number of analysts feel confident talking about the next recession. That’s a good indicator that they see reasons to start speaking up. None of this, however, suggests that the next economic downturn is imminent. [source]
Last week, President Trump tweeted to OPEC to have them increase production to lower oil prices. The president is concerned that higher oil prices could threaten economic growth. Yesterday, OPEC declined to signal an increase in production, and oil is hitting a four-year high this morning around $80 per barrel.
HurricaneWatch: While Tropical Storm Leslie is headed eastward, away from the U.S, Tropical Depression Kirk is expected to travel through the southern Caribbean this weekend and potentially threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast next week.
REMINDER: This hurricane watch section will remain in this report through the end of the season. I check the latest from the National Hurricane Center each morning and will provide details as necessary.
“Unfortunately, many areas experiencing severe to exceptional drought saw little to no rainfall, with the dryness often accompanied by warmer-than-normal temperatures for this time of year, exacerbating conditions. Notably, eastern Oregon, northern Utah, and western Colorado all saw expansion of extreme or exceptional drought.” [source] (This map is updated every Thursday.)
What I’m Looking at this Morning
“Mexico is on the front lines of today’s metastasizing crime wars. Public authorities there estimate that 40 percent of the country is subject to chronic insecurity, with homicidal violence, disappearances, and population displacement at all-time highs… [V]iolent competition among the Mexican military, police, cartels, and criminal factions has left at least 200,000 dead. There were more than 29,000 murders in 2017, but 2018 is set to see even more—perhaps the most ever.” [source]