Jan 30

- BABA Bye Bye: Chinese MegaCap Plunges Below Post-IPO First Print (Zerohedge, Jan 29, 2015):

Alibaba is down over 10% this morning following a disappointing earnings release. This comes on the heels of selling pressure after the Chinese government released its report claiming significant “issues” at China’s richest man’s company. A combination of weak revenues, a 28% plunge in net income, slower than expected growth on its Tmall platform (and disappointment at the progress into mobile advertising) have sent the stock tumbling back near Facebook’s market cap.

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Jan 29

H/t reader squodgy:

“57 F-35’s allocated to conflict with Russia & China………DOH!!!!!

Why allocate a totally unproved & potentially incapable airplane, already questioned by Military authority, and a ridiculously expensive asset, to an arena of military superiority?”

Related info:

- The Latest Russian Fighter Jet Blows America’s F-35 Away

- AND NOW: Computer Glitch Prevents US’ Most Advanced F-35 Fighter Jet From Firing Until 2019

- $400 Billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet ‘10 Years Behind’ Older Jets


- US Military Budget Increase directed against Russia, China and the Middle East (Global Research, Jan 28, 2015):

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

A substantial share of the increase in the US military budget that President Barack Obama has asked for will ultimately be directed against Russia, a political commentator says.

To listen to the audio interview with Michel Chossudovsky, click here

“I should mention that the F35, the submarines, the ships and so on are ultimately directed against China and Russia,” Michel Chossudovsky, the founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) told Press TV on Wednesday.

According to a report circulated by the media, the US Defense Department was set to increase its military budget by eight percent.

Some 57 next-generation F-35 fighters, nine new ships and submarines, and construction of new long-range Air Force tankers are among the items included in the budget.

Continue reading »

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Jan 29

Just imagine how the stock market will crash if profits will start to rise again!


- “New Normal” Fundamentals Hit Chinese Stocks (Zerohedge, Jan 27, 2015):

Fun-durr-mentals…

20150127_china

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Jan 27

- China Leading Index Plunges To 6 Year Lows (ZeroHedge, Jan 27, 2015):

Just released this morning, following last night’s plunge in industrial profits, China’s Leading Index continued its freefall to its lowest level since Jan 2009…

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Jan 26

- Shocking Images Of China’s Dire Pollution Problem (ZeroHedge, Jan 25, 2015):

China has some stunningly beautiful natural landscapes, but, as boredpanda.com explains, they may not count for much when, in other parts of the country, pollution runs totally unchecked. China is very close in size to the USA.  Yet, as The Burning Platform notes, their population is the size of the entire Western Hemisphere, plus Japan, Germany, and France. The land can not support this mass of humanity without very dire consequences, and these shocking photos show what severe pollution people have to deal with in some parts of China…

==============================================

A boy swims in the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao
Boy Swims In Algae-Filled Water, Qingdao, Shandong Continue reading »

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Jan 24

Related info:

- Russia And Iran Sign Defense Deal, … ‘May Resolve’ S-300 Missile Delivery Issue (RT, Jan 20, 2015)


- De-Dollarization Complete: Iran Abandons US Dollar In Foreign Trade (ZeroHedge, Jan 24, 2015):

Since last May (and likely long before) when the topic of “de-dollarization” was first uttered in official circles (and not just tin-foil-hat-wearing blogs), the rest of the world (un-isolated as they are) has been warming to the idea that perhaps – just perhaps – it is time to de-dollarize (more or less depending on the despotic region in question). From currency swap agreements to bi-lateral trade agreements to selling US Treasuries and greatly rotating USD reserves into gold, the world’s nations (small and large) appear less and less comfortable holdings dollars in this tempestuous world. Among the supporters of that first “de-dollarization” meeting were China and Iran and while the former continues to work down its exposure, the latter – Iran, according to Tasnim news agency, has almost entirely eliminated USDollars from its reserves and is no longer using dollars in foreign trade.

Nothing lasts forever… Continue reading »

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Jan 24

xi-jinping-vladimir-putin

- More Isolation? Russia, China To Build $240 Billion High-Speed Rail Link (ZeroHedge, Jan 23, 2015):

The ongoing ‘isolation’ of Russia took another turn for the un-isolated-er today when, as Bloomberg reports, China will build a 7,000-kilometer (4,350-mile) high-speed rail link from Beijing to Moscow, at a cost of 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion), Beijing’s city government said. The rail-link – which will bring travel time between Beijing and Moscow down from 5 days to 30 hours – signals a 10-year partnership between the two nations and follows the dropping of the French company, Alstom, from the project.

 

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Jan 22

- Ukraine Stiffs China for Billions It Owes (Washington’s Blog, Jan 21, 2015):

China paid Ukraine $3B two years ago for grain still not delivered, now demands refund. Another $3.6B that’s owed to China, will probably also default.

Russia’s RIA Novosti News Agency reported, on January 17th, that China is demanding refund of $1.5 billion in cash and of an additional $1.5 billion in Chinese goods that were paid in advance by China (in 2013), for a 2012 Chinese order of grain from Ukraine, which goods still have not been supplied to China. Continue reading »

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Jan 19

traders brokers hands on face stock market collapse

- Market Wrap: Chinese Stocks Crash As Financials Suffer Record Drop; Commodities Resume Decline; US Closed (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2015):

For all those who alleged the Chinese stock move in recent months, was nothing but another investing mania, i.e., bubble, benefiting a select few, because as we showed in July, unlike the US where 70% of household wealth is in financial assets, in China it is the other way around, with three quarters of “net worth” parked in real estate which is merely the latest bubble to pop…

China vs US Real Estate

… congratulations, you were right. 

This was once again confirmed last night when the Chinese stock market waterfalled into the biggest market crash in over 6 years, with the SHCOMP closing down nearly 8% and in the process triggering various circuit breakers, most notably the CSI 300 index which fell by the 10% daily limit and the Chinese financial index (-9.9%) posting its biggest 1-day drop on record after China cracked down on continuing margin-finance and securities lending violations. In other words, the entire run up was thanks to speculation-enabling margin trading, and massive investor leverage; leverage which may or may not disappear. If the SHCOMP crash accelerates in coming days, wtch as Citic, Haitong et al once again flout regulations with the secret blessing of the PBOC, because an uncontrollable market crash is no longer acceptable to anyone.

Details on the Chinese crash from Bloomberg:

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Jan 19

- Chinese Stocks Crash Most Since Feb 2007, Futures Limit-Down After Regulatory Crackdown On Margin-Trading (ZeroHedge, Jan 18, 2015):

UPDATE:

  • *SHANGHAI COMPOSITE HEADS FOR BIGGEST LOSS SINCE FEBRUARY 2007
  • *CHINA CSI 300 INDEX FUTURES FALL BY 10% LIMIT

SHCOMP

20150118_SHCOMP1

Having tried and failed once to stem the speculative frenzy in Chinese stocks, regulators took more direct action tonight and suspended three of the biggest securities firms from adding margin-finance and securities lending accounts for three months following rule violations. As Bloomberg reports, Citic Securities, Haitong Securities, and Guotai Junan Securities shares plunged dragguing the entire Shanghai Composite down almost 7% and negative year-to-date.

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Jan 15

- China Buying Up Latin American (OILPRICE, Jan 12, 2015):

As the world’s number one energy consumer China is enjoying the low prices while they last. Never one to settle however, China is finding still more ways to take advantage of the dire straits gripping several oil producers.

China’s slowdown is real – preliminary data suggests 2014 will mark the weakest GDP growth in 24 years – but the country still has plenty of money to play with that is taking it places the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wouldn’t dare. Their reward? More oil of course. With tough conditions and greater access to raw commodities, China looks to turn the high risk into equal or greater returns.

In Russia, much has been made of the deepening energy ties with its neighbor to the south. With western financing no closer to a return and a hesitancy to dig deeper into its foreign exchange reserves, Russia turned to China for a bailout. China has obliged, agreeing to finance state-owned Rosneft’s debt in addition to opening a $24 billion currency swap program, which could expand further. For its part, China gains access to Russia’s tightly held upstream sector – in the form of the giant Vankor field – and fulfills its needs downstream with favorable long-term oil and gas deals. Further loans and infrastructure investments are likely moving forward – one of China’s biggest debt-rating agencies Dagong believes Russian debt is a safer investment than US government debt. Continue reading »

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Jan 11

Russia Now Top Destination for Chinese Shoppers and Tourists

- Russia Now Top Destination for Chinese Shoppers and Tourists (Sputnik, Jan 7, 2015):

Russia has unexpectedly turned into the most attractive destination for Chinese tourist shoppers this season.

MOSCOW, January 7 (Sputnik) — Russia has become the most attractive shopping destination for Chinese tourists this season, surpassing Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the US, Xinhua news agency has reported.

Russia surpassed other countries in large part due to the devaluation of the ruble, which, together with the white winter, has made the country a “paradise for shopping” destination among Chinese tourists in the traditionally ‘dead’ winter season, RIA Novosti has explained. According to calculations by China’s “Ctrip” travel agency company, prices for Russian goods have fallen by at least 30 percent, turning Russia into what Guangzhou’s Southern Metropolis Daily calls a dark horse for tourism. Continue reading »

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Jan 09

- Russian Debt Safer Than U.S.? So Says China Rating House Dagong (Bloomberg, Jan 8, 2015):

A currency crisis, recession and plunge in the price of its key export don’t mean Russia is any less creditworthy than the U.S., according to one of China’s biggest debt-rating companies.

Just the opposite — it’s a better credit risk, says Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. The firm, which downgraded U.S. government debt in October 2013 to A-, today said it has decided to maintain Russia’s rating at A with a stable outlook. Continue reading »

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Jan 08

- Chinese Developer Kaisa On Verge Of $5Bn Default; Who’s Next? (ZeroHedge. Jan 8, 2015):

“You never know where the skeletons in the closet are or what company will be next,” warns one Chinese credit analyst and as the CNY30 billion indebted Chinese developer Kaisa Group (that we initially discussed here) admits it can’t say if it plans to meet a bond deadline today as a local news website said lenders took steps to preserve assets. The builder of residential communities and shopping centers must pay about $26 million in interest on its 10.25 percent 2020 debentures today (which appears unlikely) and its bonds have crashed to below 30c. The big question, as Bloomberg notes, is who’s next?

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Jan 04

Venezuela

- “Now There’s Not Even Soap” Maduro Heads To China To ‘Save’ Socialist Utopia Venezuela (ZeroHedge, Jan 4, 2015):

Social media is awash with striking images of #EmptyShelvesInVenezuela (#AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela) as the evaporation of basic human staples such as toilet paper has now been hyperinflated to total chaos at warehouses and supermarkets. As President Maduro decries the loss of $100 oil “stability”, vowing to return oil prices to their rightful places (and heads to China for help), lines reach for miles for milk and soap… and the people defy governmental bans on photographing empty market shelves“We couldn’t find shampoo, so we washed our hair with soap. Now there’s not even soap.”

* * *

The line for soap…

And the shelves are bare… Continue reading »

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Jan 03

A damaged house is pictured inside an abandoned steel mill of Qingquan Steel Group in Qianying township, Hebei province February 18, 2014. Picture taken

- China’s “Illusion Of Prosperity” Exposed: Forget Ghost Cities, Meet Ghost Factories (ZeroHedge, Jan 2, 2015):

Having exposed the 20+1 charts of China’s demise previously, we move to Exhibit (a) in the “illusion of prosperity” that keeps the dream (looking) alive to the outside (mostly Western get-rich-quick fast-money) world – China’s Zombie Factories…

“There are large numbers of companies across China that should go bankrupt but haven’t done so,” says Han Chuanhua, a bankruptcy lawyer at Zhongzi Law Office, a Beijing legal practice.

“The government doesn’t want to see bankruptcy because as soon as companies go bust, unemployment spikes and tax revenues disappear. By stopping companies from going bankrupt, officials are able to maintain the illusion of local prosperity, economic growth and stable taxes.” Continue reading »

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Jan 03

2015 Will Be All About Iran, China and Russia

- 2015 Will Be All About Iran, China and Russia (Sputnik International, Dec 31, 2014):

By Pepe Escobar

Fasten your seatbelts; 2015 will be a whirlwind pitting China, Russia and Iran against what I have described as the Empire of Chaos.

So yes – it will be all about further moves towards the integration of Eurasia as the US is progressively squeezed out of Eurasia. We will see a complex geostrategic interplay progressively undermining the hegemony of the US dollar as a reserve currency and, most of all, the petrodollar. Continue reading »

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Jan 01

Full article here:

- 2014 “End of Year” report and a look into what 2015 might bring (The Vineyard Of The Saker, Dec 30, 2014):

Introduction:
By any measure 2014 has been a truly historic year which saw huge, I would say, even tectonic developments. This year ends in very high instability, and the future looks hard to guess. I don’t think that anybody can confidently predict what might happen next year. So what I propose to do today is something far more modest. I want to look into some of the key events of 2014 and think of them as vectors with a specific direction and magnitude. I want to look in which direction a number of key actors (countries) “moved” this year and with what degree of intensity. Then I want to see whether it is likely that they will change course or determination. Then adding up all the “vectors” of these key actors (countries) I want to make a calculation and see what resulting vector we will obtain for the next year. Considering the large number of “unknown unknowns” (to quote Rumsfeld) this exercise will not result in any kind of real prediction, but my hope is that it will prove a useful analytical reference. Continue reading »

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Jan 01

crash-dollar

- Jim Willie: DOLLAR DEATH: Global Trade Using Dollars Down 50%! (Grams Gold, Dec 26, 2014):

This transcript of the interview with Jim Willie in early December 2014 highlights the importance of gold on the world stage, as well as other important events that are taking place.In the video interview titled, “No Prisoners in the Global Money War,” Willie says, “I think we have acceleration on the systemic breakdown globally. There is no asset foundation to the US banking system anymore. It’s just a bunch of ‘spinning derivatives on computer trades’. Continue reading »

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Dec 31

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

The Outlook for the New Year (Paul Craig Roberts, Dec 29, 2014):

The Outlook for the New Year

Dear Readers: The conflict that Washington has initiated between the West and Russia/China is reckless and irresponsible. Nuclear war could be the outcome. Indeed, Washington has been preparing for nuclear war since the George W. Bush regime.
Washington has revised US war doctrine in order to initiate conflict with a first strike nuclear attack.
Washington has discarded the ABM treaty in order to build and deploy anti-ballistic missiles that are intended to prevent a retaliatory strike against the US. Washington is engaged in a buildup of military forces on Russia’s borders, and Washington is demonizing Russia’s government with false charges.
As the Bush/Obama regimes dismantled the safeguards put in place in order to minimize the risk of nuclear war, no protests came from the American public or the media. Washington’s European vassal states have also been silent.
Washington’s drive for hegemony has brought nuclear insanity to the world.
Moscow and Beijing understand that they are Washington’s targets. As Larchmonter explains, Russia and China are conjoining their economic and military capabilities in order to protect against Washington’s attack. Read what Larchmonter reports. Open the URL in my column below and run your cursor over the bottom of the page and click “page fit.” Choose 50% and readable text will fill your screen.
Washington’s demonization of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad were preludes to military attacks on Iraq, Libya, and Syria. In view of these precedents, it is reasonable to regard Washington’s demonization of Vladimir Putin as a prelude to military action.
Russia is not Iraq, Libya, or Syria. Russian war doctrine states that Russia can use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear or conventional attack on Russia. For the world to sit silent while Washington’s arrogance provokes armageddon telegraphs total political failure. Where are the voices in behalf of humanity?

The Outlook for the New Year

Paul Craig Roberts

Washington has shaped 2015 to be a year of conflict. The conflict could be intense.

Washington is the cause of the conflict, which has been brewing for some time. Russia was too weak to do anything about it when the Clinton regime pushed NATO to Russia’s borders and illegally attacked Yugoslavia, breaking the country into small easily controlled pieces. Russia was also too weak to do anything about it when the George W. Bush regime withdrew from the ABM treaty and undertook to locate anti-ballistic missile bases on Russia’s borders. Washington lied to Moscow that the purpose of the ABM bases is to protect Europe from non-existent Iranian nuclear ICBMs. However, Moscow understood that the purpose of the ABM bases is to degrade Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thereby enhancing Washington’s ability to coerce Russia into agreements that compromise Russian sovereignty. Continue reading »

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