The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Air Date: 
June 19, 2013



Photo, above: John Sexton, president of New York University - see: Hour 1, Block B, Bob Fu, president of China Aid, in re: Chen Guang-chen, a blind freedom-fighter who fled to the US, was received warmly by NYU, and now . .

"NYU Neatly Embodies Everything Wrong With Higher Education in America" -   The activist Chen Guangcheng charged that China waged an "unrelenting" pressure campaign that led New York University to end his studies as he voiced fear for academic freedom in the United States, AFP reports.   The blind self-taught lawyer, one of the most emblematic Chinese human rights campaigners, spoke out after adamant denials from the private New York university, which said it never planned to enroll Chen for more than one year. Chen, whose dramatic escape from house arrest for the safety of the US embassy triggered a brief crisis between the two nations, said New York University discussed his departure soon after he arrived in May 2012.  "As early as last August and September, the Chinese Communists had already begun to apply great, unrelenting pressure on New York University, so much so that after we had been in the United States just three to four months, NYU was already starting to discuss our departure with us," said Chen, who confirmed he would leave this month.  Use of the Tengrinews English materials must be accompanied by a hyperlink to en.Tengrinews [dot] kz


Co-hosts: Gordon Chang,, and Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show

Hour One

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 1, Block A: Bruce Bechtol, author, The Last Days of Kim Jong-il: The North Korean Threat in a Changing Era, in re: Chinese masking of accurate economic numbers. Coming tight money in China.  North Korea refuses to discuss its nuclear program; hence, no progress.  DPRK is resupplying Syria w SCUD missiles & chem. weapons, and have increased logistical efforts w tanks, trucks, artillery.   DPRK has been deep into Syria since 1991, makes a "tidy profit." Transport: usu maritime, in to Tartus port, and some by air: over China

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 1, Block B: Bob Fu, president of China Aid, in re: Chen Guang-chen, a blind freedom-fighter who fled to the US, was received warmly by NYU, and now . . .   A right-wing conspiracy? Unrelenting pressure on NYU from Communist China to get rid of Chen Guang-chen; NYU is about to open a massive campus in Shanghai and is subject to pressure from the unelected tyrants of Beijing. Party can exercise influence by many means. 

The real issue is academic independence and freedom.  There's no right-wing conspiracy here – I'm Christian, Chen is not, but we're friends, as are our children; our concern is liberty in China. The aspersion of rightist conspiracy is baseless and rather absurd, Need to look at the president of NYU.  After Chen went to Congress last year, met with John Boehner, NYU cut his food money and cut his scholarship from two years to one year, then it was cut back to end to last Christmas.  Apparently the CCP put pressure on NYU because it's about to open a huge campus in Shanghai, and this is how the Chinese tyrants operate. "We know who you are; we're just negotiating your price."  Mainland is expanding its [nefarious] "Confucius Institutes" nationally and globally, meaning money over and under the table.   Chen now needs to find an institution that will guarantee his academic freedom; he has a donor who'll cover his costs   but NYU refused even to speak with the donor, so it’s not about money, it's about physical and intellectual freedom.  Chen will make an announcement by the end of July.

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 1, Block C: . Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show, and Laurence A. Price, Lockheed Martin Deputy Orion Program Manager, in re: ORION fundamentals: what is it, what's the mission, what lessons have been learned during the building, what's the timeline, and what of the larger SLS program? Interplanetary manned spacecraft; maybe even Mars 1 wd like to use Orion.  The computer that originally landed on the Moon had 65? KB of memory.  Next planet: can leave craft orbiting while crew descends to the planet. SLS at launch vehicle?  Other launch systems to use: Delta 4, commercially avail, gets us up 4,000 nautical mi; to get to asteroids & other planets, need larger. Physics are: from low-Earth orbit, have abt half the energy needed to get anywhere else distant.  Van Allen Belts protect the Earth from a lot of solar radiation, so we'll be operating in a radiation envt similar to that of outer space.  We started out landing on land, but by flying w retrorockets, found complex issues and systems – have to separate heat shied, etc.; had to use 1400 lbs just for landing system.  So we went to water landing, able to use less weight to land.   Designing for 30 to 40 years – envtl controls & propulsion system good for 30 years, and capsule is re-flyable. Sweet spot around ten flights. Intl collaboration. Future will be like the Space Station: intl astronauts.

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 1, Block D:  Gordon Chang,, in re: the nondiplomatic way to sa this is that China is lying. A town named ____ in Guangdung; everything it says about itself is a lie – self-aggrandizement of the local officials. Chinese Natl Bur of Statistics says it’s quadruped the out put of its enterprises. All across China the numbers are grossly inflated- including exports. Numbers out of Beijing that have no correspondence to reality.  In this town, 72 out f the 249 firms reporting : 38 too small to count, 19 no t even producing anything. PBoC – the Peoples Bank of China, the Chinese Fed, totally nontransparent, said: Were no longer putting money back in on Tuesdays and Thursday.  Banks have defaulted on their interbank obligations not having enough PBOC is running a sort of stress-test. Just seen two central bank auctions fail – couldn’t sell 273-day bills – last Friday, and on 6Jue when an Ag Bank of China failed.   Huawei is trying to compete: combo smart phone& iPhone – entirely suspect of being part of he PLA spying system, sanctioned b the US for black-mkt deals and doing bz w Iran Started y a general, has expanded with breathtaking speed to be enormous; supported by PLA, supplying phone globally with corrupted software.  Buy Huawel, connect immediately w China – o NSA in between.

China Home Prices Jumped in May

Hour Two

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 2, Block A:  Mike Davis, professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, in re: Jason Bourne in Hong Kong – seven million people; more like Philip Agee [or other defectors & spies]; his story abut being a whistleblower doesn’t add up.  A US citizen arrives in HK can stay for 90 days without a visa. Can move freely then, needs no permission;  to go to Mainland, needs a visa. At the end of 90 days, govt has the right to expel you. Americans rarely have incentive to overstay. Support for Snowden in HK: he said that US targeted HK people, which suddenly generated public support. Hearings in LegCo.  Guardian Q&A: Snowden said, "I had no contact w govt officials" – but he's likely had some contact w HK immigration officials; one might surmise that US has asked HK where Snowden is.   Reliable reports are that he did have contact, and was told to give an interview to the South China Morning Post [almost the NY Times of the region]; he also gave IP addresses to SCMP, which is not whistleblowing but is part of helping China. SCMP is in English, gets re-reported in Chinese press. SCMP editor serves on a Communist __ and is thought to be a Party member; a dodgy sort of fellow.   . . .  Most speculate that the Mainland is reluctant to touch this with a pole.

Do not extradite Edward Snowden, protesters urge Hong Kong   Demonstrators call on government to protect NSA whistleblower and attack US over internet spying programmes . . .  [more]

..  ..  ..

Unconfirmed gossip:  Snowden is a dropbox; China has infiltrated NSA in Hawaii and Pacific Command, turned a bunch of NSA and PACOM staffers, and China instructed them to warn Snowden that he was under observation so should flee Hawaii early to go to Hong Kong.

..  ..  ..

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 2, Block B:  Nitin Gokhale, anchor at New Delhi Television, in re: India yielded nothing in Ladakh stand-off with China, says General to NDTV. In what is the Indian Army's first response to the three-week long intrusion by China into Indian territory in Ladakh in April, Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General KT Parnaik has emphatically clarified India did not compromise its stand on the border issue. "We haven't yielded anything," he said to NDTV.  Neither side has disclosed the terms of the deal that ended the stand-off. About 50 Chinese soldiers had crossed the Line of Actual Control or the de-facto border and set up a remote camp at Daulat Beg in the Depsang Valley, 19 kilometres into Indian territory.  "The disengagement and de-escalation at Depsang/DBO was done without any compromise. No structures were dismantled by us," Lt General Parnaik said. Some reports had suggested . . . 

At the time, it was said that part of the quid pro quo for China to leave was hat India had to demolish certain structures; however, this general is highly reliable.  New Delhi is very quick to release lots of info about Pakistan, but naught about China.  India has an advantage in this young population – 1.21 billion, 17.5% of the world; of this, 50% is below the age of 25. China's population is graying.  Downside: India needs to give skills to these young people for them to be employable and generate a good economy. 

India wary of China arms firm’s invite to Sharif

India's Population Will Grow While China's Will Begin to Decline By 2028, Making India World’s Most Populous Country in About 15 Years, UN Report Says

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 2, Block C:  Melik Kaylan, in re:  Gezi Park  One can understand why self-appointed despots might move early and hard, even semi-democratic despots of the Russian or Iranian variety, against a small, peaceable protest in a public place. They fear for their legitimacy. They distrust the populace. They’ve seen the spontaneous multiplier effect of social media. But why would a duly elected leader such as Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan resort to provocative brutality so gratuitously? That is, to the extent of calling his own legitimacy into doubt by hurtling the country toward full-blown strife in a very short time. The kind of instantly extreme anti-democratic measures he has deployed can only lead to retro-prosecution of his henchmen or he can kiss goodbye all sense of future public trust in the justice system. You'd think that politicians globally have learned to respect the eventual backlash of citizens abused en masse in the present.

There can be no debating the extent of the abuse, the arrest of scores of lawyers who defend the rights of protesters, doctors who treat their wounds, clerics who grant haven to the wounded in their mosques, the nation perhaps irretrievably divided, the opposition smeared publicly as terrorists, police firing tear gas into private homes, and yes into hospitals and consulates and hotels – why would a legitimately elected leader repay his populace with devastation. After all, Turkey is not Syria. Yet Erdogan has put himself in the bitter position of . . [more]   Erdogan is in such a mess that Assad could throw Erdogan's words back at him: "Listen to your people!"

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 2, Block D:  David Feith, WSJ Asia, in re: The Snowden Mythology
   Can we stop calling him a "whistle-blower" now?

Hour Three

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 3, Block A:  Gordon Chang,, in re: NYU Case Spotlights Risk of China Tie-Ups

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 3, Block B: Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg, in re: With his administration under pressure from environmentalists to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a package of separate actions next month focused on curbing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. At closed-door fundraisers held over the past few weeks, the president has been telling Democratic party donors that he will unveil new climate proposals in July, according to people who have attended the events or been briefed. Obama’s promise frequently comes in response to pleas from donors to reject TransCanada Corp.

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 3, Block C:  Jess Bravin, in re:  Top Court Quashes Arizona Voter Law

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 3, Block D:   Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Engineers have decided to keep the New Horizons spacecraft on its original fly-by path past Pluto, scheduled for July 2015.   The New Horizons team recently completed an 18-month study of potential impact hazards – mostly dust created by objects hitting Pluto’s small satellites – the spacecraft would face as it speeds some 30,000 miles per hour (more than 48,000 kilometers per hour) past Pluto in July 2015. The team estimated that the probability of a mission-ending dust impact was less than 0.3 percent if the spacecraft followed the current baseline plan, far below some early, more conservative estimates. So, with the concurrence of an independent review panel and NASA, the project team expects to keep New Horizons on this baseline course, which includes a close approach of about 12,500 kilometers (nearly 7,800 miles) from the surface of Pluto.

Hour Four

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 4, Block A:  Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 4, Block A: Gordon Chang,, and Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management, in re: China Interbank Market Freezes As Overnight Repo Explodes To 25% / Submitted by Tyler Durden

Overnight repo rate, in Shanghai, began at 10%, exploded to 25% at noon.  See charts at ZeroHedge.  "Frozen market" – banks finance themselves partly through deposits & party ly via overnight lending to other banks. After Lehmann collapsed, credit-mkt meltdown: banks too scared to lend, so sat on their cash. Presto, a banking crisis. If 25% is correct, means you in fact cannot lend – Chinese banks have frozen lending.  In the US, the Fed window would open just to keep credit markets in existence.  Usu the Interbank mkt is 2.7%; 25% is off the charts. Can the PBoC do what the Fed does? It could; however, this is not totally unforeseen, but driving GDP growth for years requires ever more credit.  Stress on Chinese banking system. Last year, when there was a lot of stress, PBoC gave short-term liquidity but long-term austerity. All that did was enable the continuation and expansion of the longer-term shadow financing. This year, PBoC tried both short- and long-term discipline, & people started defaulting. New hed from Bloomberg:  HSBC purchasing managers' index, to 49.2 a month ago, now is ____.   [Bloomberg: " The preliminary reading of 48.3 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with the 49.1 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 15 economists."]

 Two things feeding: slowdown in the real economy (can’t finance endless investment without blowing out the money supply) ; this creates more nervousness in he financial mkt.  Cd play out where concerns stay under control with a growth squeeze; or the recd be a crisis. No transparency. Banks heavily involved in shadow-banking channels- and themselves being financed that way.  The alternative is default. Everbright in Beijing: China headed for a hard landing. Economy below zero by the end of the year?


Bond China Lehman TED Spread  It seems liquidity (or counterparty mistrust) is beginning to reach extreme levels in China as the nation's banking system is now quoting overnight repo transactions at 25%. The explosion in funding costs echoes the collapse in trust (and surge in TED spread) among US banks in the run-up to the Lehman bankruptcy. MSCI Asia-Pac stocks are down over 3% with China's Shanghai Composite -2.5% at seven-month lows.

China’s 1-day Repo Rate Climbs to Highest Since at Least 2006


China's bond market is also collapsing:

Yield on 3.1% govt bonds due January 2016 jumps 39 bps to 3.749%, biggest rise since notes were issued in January

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 4, Block B: Eric Trager, Washington Institute, in re: POLICY ALERT   Morsi's Provocative Appointments Although Washington has long sought to moderate the Brotherhood's behavior through quiet diplomacy, Morsi's inflammatory political appointments suggest that this approach has failed.

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 4, Block C: Charlie Savage  NYT, in re:   The F.B.I. Deemed Agents Faultless in 150 Shootings    After contradictory stories emerged about an F.B.I. agent’s killing last month of a Chechen man in Orlando, Fla., who was being questioned over ties to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the bureau reassured the public that it would clear up the murky episode.

 Wednesday  19 June  2013/ Hour 4, Block D: Sid Perkins Science, in re: Superstorm Sandy Shook the Earth   Seismic vibrations could be used to assess long-term trends in ocean storminess