Military-Industrial Complex Gets Rich off Trump’s Record Saudi Arms Deal

Anti-Media | May 22, 2017

 

(ANTIMEDIA) In news that should surprise no one, the stock prices of top defense contractors soared on Monday after Donald Trump signed the largest arms deal in United States history with Saudi Arabia over the weekend.

That deal, hailed by the White House as a “significant expansion of…(the) security relationship” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, is worth $350 billion over the next ten years. However, $110 billion of it will take effect immediately.

Much like with East Asia, where the United States government cites the North Korean nuclear weapons program as justification for its military buildup in the region, Washington, D.C. claims the “Iranian threat” and continuing hostilities in the Middle East are the reasons behind the unprecedented deal.

“This package of defense equipment and services support[s] the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats,” the White House said in a statement, “while also bolstering the kingdom’s ability to contribute to counter terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations.”

News of the deal certainly “bolstered” the market value of stock prices for companies within the military-industrial complex. From CNBC:

“Shortly after market open, Lockheed Martin was up about 2 percent, Raytheon was up more than 1.4 percent, Northrop Grumman climbed 1 percent and General Dynamics was up about half a percent. All four stocks reached new highs.”

But the defense sector wasn’t the only winner in the U.S. leader’s trip to Saudi Arabia. While the president and his family were quite literally being given the red carpet treatment over the weekend, it was reported that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will donate $100 million to a World Bank fund that was “the brainchild” of Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

It’s also worth noting that after the Trump administration waged airstrikes on Syria following a chemical attack in the country in April, stocks in military companies also spiked.




Zero Hedge

The improvements in well-being as reported by the survey respondents were concentrated among high-income adults, with at least some college education, and prompted the WSJ to write that “U.S Household financial health improved in recent years.” Even so, most of the changes reported in the survey were relatively modest, “reflecting a slowly improving economy and an unemployment level at or below 5% throughout 2016.”

Now, the not so good news.

Nearly eight years into an economic recovery, nearly half of Americans didn’t have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency. Specifically, the survey found that, in line with what the Fed had disclosed in previous years, 44% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense like a car repair or medical bill, or would have to borrow money or sell something to meet it. Troubling as this statistic remains, the overall share of adults who would struggle to come up with $400 in a pinch has declined by 2% from the last survey conducted in 2015, and down 6% since 2013.

Of the group that could not pay in cash, 45% said they would go further in debt and use a credit card to pay off the expense over time. while a quarter would borrow from friends of family, and another 27% just couldn’t pay the expense. Others would turn to selling items or using a payday loan.

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