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Thursday, January 8

John Batchelor's Prep Show for a Year of the Whirlwind

Up until the last segment, which is mostly about space travel, John Batchelor's Monday night into Tuesday morning radio show (Jan 5-6) lays down the markers for macro issues that will be very important, both domestically and internationally, as 2015 unfolds.  So if you're looking to be well prepared for the coming year of news events you can't do better than the podcast of the show.
Now was it shorting other important issues that for this prep session John gave Stephen F. Cohen an entire hour out of the four-hour show to talk about Russian-Ukrainian issues?

(Actually it's not a full hour because the podcast omits station news and commercial breaks.)

As you will note as the discussion progresses, it's about far more than two countries. And with the possible exception of a few academics laboring in obscurity in Washington, there is no American analyst who comes close to Steve's grasp of Russian matters and ones that branch from it.  This includes the situation with the European Union and in particular Germany, as it applies to EU relations with Russia and Ukraine -- and the United States.

And Batchelor himself is a great analyst of those parts of the world; in fact there's no other person in the U.S. media who can match his grasp.  So when those two analysts talk to each other, it is always an education.

To top it off, Steve Cohen has high-level contacts, so he's not only an academic historian doing analysis; he's also providing information, intelligence -- choice intelligence. 
I should add that at no time does Batchelor say it's a Year of Whirlwind. I'm saying it; that's my view of what's coming down the pike.  If I'm right, this will be a bad year for Washington to attempt to correct what has been disastrous U.S. policy regarding the Russian-Ukrainian situation. 

I'll also add that I'm not in complete agreement with Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore's pretty rosy economic forecast, which along with a Barron's analyst they provide in the first hour of the Mon-Tue Batchelor show.  (The Barron's guy is a little more restrained in his prediction.)  This doesn't mean their observations aren't valuable; on the contrary they summarize issues that could well dominate the thinking of financial analysts this year.  But if it's a year in which the whirlwind rules, predictions must be very short term because Murphy's Law tends to kick in when the wind springs up from every direction at the same time.

All right; here's the link to the podcast page for Batchelor's show, where you can find all the Mon-Tue segments, but I'm also highlighting the podcast to Steve Cohen's discussion . If you can find time to listen to nothing else from the show, I give this one top billing.

Finally, for the foreseeable future my focus this year, as it was for more than half of last year, will be on personal issues that apply to the entire American society, as my "Shoot Yourself in the Foot Health Care" series indicated.  This doesn't mean I'm not paying attention to macro issues. But I take advantage of John Batchelor's show, which watches the world so I don't have to spend every free moment doing so.

This doesn't mean I agree with every analyst on his show or every opinion Batchelor expresses. It means I'd be looking a gift horse in the mouth in the attempt to do a tenth as well at what Batchelor does superbly every night as a matter of course.  This country is very lucky to have his show, as I've mentioned before.  My mentioning this again now is my New Year's gift to you

Tune in on occasion.  And check the daily schedule (published near the end of every show) and catch up with podcasts. 
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