Jul 23

- Portugal President Admits Espirito Santo Failure Could Be Systemic As Another HoldCo Goes Bankrup (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

As RioForte joins its parent ESI in bankruptcy, in a strangely honest turn of events from a European leader, Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva warned on Monday that fallout from the financial troubles of the founding family of Banco Espirito Santo (BES) could affect the wider economy. With Portugal’s hope-strewn GDP growth expectations at only 0.9% for 2014, they do not have much room for disappointment before the nation (whose yields remain near record lows) double- or triple-dips back into recession. Silva concluded, “We cannot ignore that there will be some impact on the real economy,” which is odd given every talking-head has explained it is “contained” and “priced-in.”

Rioforte joins ESI in bankjruptcy…

  • *RIOFORTE SAYS IT SEEKS PROTECTION FROM CREDITORS
  • *RIOFORTE SAYS FILING IS LINKED TO DIFFICULTIES AT ESI

Just another default in the chain Continue reading »

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Jul 23

- Europe Agrees To Disagree Over New Russian Sanctions (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2 014):

As usual, Europe is talking out of both sides of its mouth (or other orifices). On the one hand, we are told:

  • EU foreign ministers failed to agree new sanctions against Russia at a Brussels meeting

And on the other hand:

  • Dutch minister says EU imposing new sanctions on officials over Russia

So – which is it Europe? Continue reading »

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Jul 22

ronpaul-tst_184x65

- What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 (Ron Paul Institute, July 21, 2014):

Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash!

While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report. Continue reading »

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Jul 22

H/t reader squodgy:

“So glad this bitch has arrived on the scene.

Now we know for sure it is all a set up.”

And here are some pics to show the world whose ‘bitch’ she is:

Hillary-Clinton-AIPAC Hillary-Clinton-AIPAC

Hillary-Clinton-CFR Hillary-Clinton-Kissinger

Hillary Rodham Clinton Satanic Handsign Anton Lavey, Founder of the 'Church of Satan'


- Hillary Tells EU to Use MH17 Tragedy to Find Alternatives to Gazprom (dollar dumping gas giant) (Activist Post, July 20, 2014):

Ah, now the agenda is starting to make a bit more sense. Hillary Clinton doesn’t want a good crisis to go to waste. She told Charlie Rose that her recommendation to the European Union is to take advantage of the shot-down MH17 tragedy to “Immediately accelerate efforts to find alternatives to Gazprom.”

Moscow-based Gazprom is the largest producer of natural gas in the world and one of the globe’s largest companies. A few weeks back on June 26th they announced that they would settle contracts with China using yuan or rubles instead of dollars. This move came about one month after Russia and China announced a record $400B gas deal. That’s a whole lot of dollars that won’t be needed in the international economy.Couple that with the launch of the BRICS development bank, and motive for aggressive posturing towards Russia becomes a bit clearer. Continue reading »

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Jul 21

Israeli Gaza offensive inspires global rallies, Paris protest turns violent
French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014, after clashes following a demonstration denouncing Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and showing support to the Palestinian people. (AFP Photo / Pierre Andrieu)

- Israeli Gaza offensive inspires global rallies, Paris protest turns violent (RT, July 21, 2014)

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Jul 21

From the article:

Dianne Feinstein:“I would say, ‘Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.

And we know that because a few hours ago, the biggest Dutch newspaper,Telegraaf, openly asked for military intervention by NATO to protect MH 17 and calls Putin a “KGB liar.”

As I’ve said before, the elitists have WW3 planned for us.

Related info:

- FINAL: Spanish Air Controller @ Kiev Borispol Airport: Ukraine Military Shot Down Boeing MH-17

- What Happened to the Malaysian Airliner? (Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, July 19, 2014):

Washington has lied for so long that it can’t do anything else.

- The Final Moments Of Flight MH-17: The Russian Side Of The Story

- Why Did MH-17 Divert From Its Usual Flight Plan, Why Did It Fly Above Restricted Airspace?

- Ukraine’s Security Service Has Confiscated Air Traffic Control Recordings With Malaysian Jet


telegraaf invasionDianne-Feinstein

Biggest Dutch Daily Calls For NATO Intervention To Protect MH17; Feinstein Tells Putin To “Man Up And Confess” (ZeroHedge, July 20, 2014):

Shortly after we first reported about the MH-17 tragedy, we said that the key variable would be proving who the shooter was, as the grand fingerpointing theater was about to begin. We also noted that the actual answer to “who did it” was irrelevant, for the great propaganda machine had already made up its mind and was on overdrive. It promptly led to such ridiculous comments from non other than the Pentagon which said that, on one hand:

  • STRAINS CREDULITY’ SA-11 FIRED WITHOUT RUSSIAN AID: KIRBY

and yet:

  • WE JUST DON’T KNOW’ WHO FIRED SA-11 MISSILE AT PLANE: KIRBY

So, “we don’t know who did it” as long as Putin did it. Continue reading »

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Jul 21

- US sanctions hurt Europe more than America (RT, July 18, 2014):

The Association of European Businesses (AEB), a Moscow-based business lobby, said that new US sanctions against Russia have a more severe effect on European than on American business.

The AEB says it “regrets” the US sanctions, and warns that they will stunt economic growth “not only in Russia”.

“These sanctions are more focused on the partners of European businesses than on the partners of American companies,” the group said in a statement on Thursday. Continue reading »

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Jul 19

FYI.


tax

- OECD Fears Middle Class Civil Unrest Is Coming (Armstrong Economics, July 16, 2014):

This idea that we live in a world where government cares about us is just the biggest propaganda ever. Everyone one will only pursue their own self-interest. The OECD has interesting come out and warned that if governments are unable to stop the transfer of wealth to a small financial elite, the displeasure of the dispossessed middle class could easily turn and go against the prevailing governmental systems. The OECD has claimed to have discovered the existence of a veritable “lumpenproletariat” in the supposedly rich Germany. Even though the systems attempt to provide citizens with bread and circuses in the traditional Roman style to keep them quiet, such  tactics they warn may have now become obsolete after the ultimate circus is over – the World Cup. Continue reading »

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Jul 19

Holding Company Of Portugal’s 2nd Largest Bank Just Filed For Bankruptcy Protection (ZeroHedge, July 18, 2014):

Following this morning’s farce of huge investor demand and then Bank of Portugal’s Costa ‘hoping’ for demand from investors willing to pile more money on losing money into Espirito Santo, it appears things have escalated rapidly…

*ESPIRITO SANTO INTERNATIONAL SAYS IT CAN’T MEET OBLIGATIONS
*ES INTERNATIONAL APPLIES FOR `CONTROLLED MANAGEMENT’ REGIME UNDER LUXEMBOURG LAW

The “controlled management” application is the equivalent of declaring a breakup or controlled bankruptcy process (as we explained here). ESI is the ultimate HoldCo in the Banco Espirito Santo family.

 

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Jul 17

This will probably make Putin ‘cry’ again …

Putin-laughing

Related info:

- US Sales To Russia Hit Record High AFTER SANCTIONS … Now That Will Certainly Teach Them!!!

All of this idiocy makes at least some sense if this really is the plan:

- Hedge Fund Manager Kyle Bass: Senior Obama Administration Official Said: ‘We’re Just Going To Kill The Dollar’ (Video)


obama-handsign-satanic-salute

- White House Readies Unilateral Sanctions On Russia As US Utilities Scramble For Russian Coal (ZeroHedge, July 16, 2014):

“It’s not clear to us that breaking commercial ties with the Russia partners, consumers gets anyone to where they want to be,” warns one political think tank as AP reports, The White House is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine – a move reflecting frustration at Europe’s reluctance to bit off its nose to spite its face. Until now, the U.S. has insisted on hitting Russia with penalties in concert with Europe in order to maximize the impact, but, as Putin warned, those same economic ties have made Europe fearful that tougher penalties against Russia could boomerang and hurt their own economies. Obam has faced criticism over a lack of action, as Bob Corker blasted “sometimes I’m embarrassed for you, as you constantly talk about sanctions and yet, candidly, we never see them put in place,” but the European ‘concerns’ are just as valid in America as Utilities in the U.S. are scrambling for coal, on pace to increase imports 26% this year.

As AP reports, Continue reading »

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Jul 17

Cyprus - Despite 16 months of capital controls, banks still pitifully capitalized

- Cyprus: Despite 16 months of capital controls, banks still pitifully capitalized (Sovereign Man, July 15, 2014):

It’s been over a year since the banking system in Cyprus officially went bust.

On Friday, March 15, 2013, practically everyone in the country went to bed thinking that everything was just fine.

Many had probably gone to the bank that very day to do business, or logged on to an Internet banking platform.

Yet the very next morning, they woke to a completely new reality: the nation’s banks were broke, and the government was in no position to rescue them.

Continue reading »

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Jul 16

- ​‘No joke’: Germany mulls using typewriters to combat US snooping (RT, July 15, 2014):

Amid the worsening Berlin-Washington spy row, German politicians are considering going back to old-fashioned manual typewriters for confidential documents to protect national secrets from American NSA spooks.

Patrick Sensburg, the chair of the German parliament’s enquiry into NSA alleged spying, said committee members are considering new security measures and are seriously thinking about abandoning email and returning to old school typewriters.

“As a matter of fact, we already have [a typewriter], and it’s even a non-electronic typewriter,” he told the ARD Morning Show Monday. Continue reading »

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Jul 16

- French President Urges His Countrymen: Stop Bashing Your Country, Have Some Confidence (ZeroHedge; July 15, 2014):

A few days ago it was that other great egaliatarian president, Barack Obama, who urged Americans to tear free from the shackles of cynicism and to unleash some more of that hopium that got Obama elected in the first place. Now it is the turn of that other just as impressive socialist, France’s own Francois Hollande, who just like Obama has seen his popularity rating crumble to unprecedented levels, come up with his own prescription for how to fix the troubles that ail France. In short: “less lamenting and disparaging, more confidence.”

From Reuters:

In the television interview to mark Bastille Day, when a crowd stormed a Paris prison on July 14, 1789, at the outset of the French Revolution, Hollande said his compatriots were more inclined than some others to put their country down. Continue reading »

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Jul 15

putin smile

- 9 EU countries ready to block economic sanctions against Russia (RT, July 15, 2014):

France, Germany, and Italy are among EU members who don’t want to follow the US lead and impose trade sanctions on Russia. US sanctions are seen as a push to promote its own multibillion free-trade pact with Europe.

“France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, and EU President Italy see no reason in the current environment for the introduction of sectorial trade and economic sanctions against Russia and at the summit, will block the measure,” a diplomatic source told ITAR-TASS. Continue reading »

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Jul 15

- Juncker approved, Hague out, Lord Hill to Brussels: what does it mean? (Open Europe, July 15, 2014):

This morning and last night saw three developments with importance for the UK’s Europe debate:

  • William Hague resigned as Foreign Secretary, replaced by Phillip Hammond, with the Cabinet becoming more Eurosceptic overall,
  • In nominating Lord Hill – the current leader of House of Lords – as the UK’s European Commissioner, Number 10 prioritised a ‘fixer’ and avoiding by-election over sending a heavy-hitter,
  • MEPs approved Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President by 422 votes to 250, marking the starting point of a more politicised European Commission.

What does this mean?

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Jul 14

- Over a dozen CIA-recruited spies work in German ministries – report (ZeroHedge, July 13, 2014):

US secret services have recruited more than a dozen officials in various German government ministries to work as spies, with some of them working for the CIA for many years, a German tabloid reported on Sunday.

Following previous espionage scandals in Germany, with several suspected US agents exposed in July, a report of more spies infiltrating German ministries was published by Bild am Sonntag, Germany’s largest-selling national Sunday paper.

The alleged spies work within the country’s defense, development, economic, and interior ministries, reported the paper, referring to unnamed sources in the US intelligence community. Continue reading »

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Jul 13

From the article:

“It is just amazing who disconnected government are from the reality of the economy. Everything is geared to move toward the confiscation of wealth not reforming the system. These people are just brain-dead.”


Bremen-buergerschaft

- German Municipals In Trouble (Armstrong Economics, July 10, 2014):

Part of our job is monitoring everything everywhere. We are gathering data om whatever moves on a global basis. I have stated numerous times, it is IMPOSSIBLE to forecast a single market in isolation because the wildcard comes from contagions set in motion elsewhere. It is like sunning on the beach and there is a tidal wave coming because of an earthquake you didn’t know happened. Unless you monitor the world, you cannot even forecast the weather for tomorrow. It would all be just dumb-luck and chance.

I have been warning that about 50% of the municipal governments in Germany are on the verge of bankruptcy. Continue reading »

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Jul 12

Wile_E_Coyote-Dont_Look_Down

CEO Of Europe’s Largest Insurer Pops The Utopia Bubble: “Nothing Is Solved And Everybody Knows It” (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2014):

It’s one thing for a tinfoil fringe blog to repeat, month after month, that nothing in Europe has been fixed, that Draghi’s disastrous policies are merely concentraing and stockpiling even more unresolved problems – for now ignored courtesy of the gentle sprinkle of ZIRP, or rather NIRP “fairy dust” – and that just like Portugal showed panic can grip the entire continent literally overnight because everyone knows this. It is something entirely different for the CEO of Europe’s largest insurer to make the same statement.

From Bloomberg:

When asking Allianz SE’s chief investment officer about the euro area’s sovereign debt woes, be prepared for an emphatic response.

The fundamental problems are not solved and everybody knows it,” Maximilian Zimmerer said at Bloomberg LP’s London office. The “euro crisis is not over,” he said.

While extraordinary stimulus from the European Central Bank has encouraged investors to pile into the region’s government bonds this year, that’s not a sufficient remedy for Zimmerer, who oversees 556 billion euros ($757 billion) at Europe’s largest insurer. Countries are still building up their debt piles, and that’s storing up trouble for the future, he said.

Continue reading »

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Jul 12

- Germany Instructs Its Companies To Limit Cooperation, Procurement Orders With The US (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2014):

Update: it just got worse. Moments ago Bloomberg followed up with the second, and expected, part of this story, namely that just like China cut off major US corporations from big procurement contracts leading to a collapse in CSCO and IBM Asian revenues, it is now Germany’s turn. Per Bloomberg, the German Interior Ministry reviewing rules for awarding govt contracts for computer, communications equipment and services as political rift w/ U.S. widens, people familiar with matter told Bloomberg News’ Cornelius Rahn, Amy Thomson.

  • Ministry will probably issue new purchasing guidelines in coming weeks to replace “no-spy-order” dated April 30
  • Details being worked out, may require suppliers of components of bidder’s goods or services to guarantee they don’t hand over confidential data
  • IBM, CSCO, MSFT may be affected by any tightening of procurement procedures: Forrester Research analyst Andrew Rose

* * *

Congratulations America: after severing ties with Russia, crushing cordial relations with China (leading to this stunning announcement by China’s president), alienating France (which is now openly calling for an end to the petrodollar), the Obama administration – following not one, not two, but three spying scandals in just the past year – has managed to sour relations with Germany to a point where one wonders just who is a remaining US ally in Europe these days.

According to Bloomberg, the German chancellor’s office has issued instructions to national intelligence services to limit cooperation with U.S. following alleged U.S. spying case, Bild reports without saying where it got information.

The newspaper also says: Continue reading »

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Jul 12

- UN Demands Europe “Open Its Doors” As Syrian Refugees Reach “Saturation Point” (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2014):

Syrian refugees, whose numbers are set to pass 3 million in the next few weeks, are almost all in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, with smaller numbers in Iraq and Egypt. But, as Reuters reports, that looks set to change: UNHCR chief spokeswoman Melissa Fleming exclaimed that Europe must open its doors to more Syrian refugees, having welcomed only a “miniscule” number while Syria’s neighbors have reached “saturation point.” Continue reading »

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Jul 11

- Germany asks top US intelligence official to leave country over spy row (Guardian, July 10, 2014):

Move comes in response to two reported cases of suspected US spying in Germany

Diplomatic relations between Germany and the US plunged to a new low after Angela Merkel’s government asked the top representative of America’s secret services in Germany to leave the country.

While not formally amounting to a full expulsion, the move nonetheless sends a dramatic signal: after a year-long dispute triggered by the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Merkel seems to have finally run out of patience with Washington’s failure to explain itself. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

- Futures Tumble, Bunds Soar To Record, Gold Surges As Europe Is Broken Again; Espirito Santo Halted (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):

But… but… the VIX said everything is ok, and European rates were the lowest they have been in centuries… How can something possibly go wrong?

It just did.

20140710_banco1

The scandal which we first reported yesterday, after observing the record collapse in the bonds of troubled Portuguese lender Espirito Santo International following the failure to make a bond payment, has quickly escalated and overnight went nuclear. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Always wanted to know the feeling of being in the eye of a monster hurricane?

Well, we all are in the eye of the biggest financial monster hurricane ever created, right now.

It’s already bad, but this is really nothing compared to what is coming.


- Frontrunning: July 10 (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):

  • Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
  • Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
  • French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
  • U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)… finds terabytes of porn
  • It’s Congress’ fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
  • Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
  • Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
  • Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Germany Blesses “Bail-In” Deposit Confiscation Plan For Failing EU Banks (ZeroHedge, July 9, 2014):

One year earlier than required, the German government approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks across Europe. As WSJ reports, Germany “leads the way” in Europe by implementing European rules quickly and “creates instruments that allow the winding-down of big systemically relevant institutions without putting the financial stability at risk.” What this means is that taxpayers (theoretically) will not be on the hook (though in reality we are sure the mutually assured destruction defense will be played – especially if Deutsche runs into problems) but as German authorities explain, “This ensures that in times of crisis mainly owners and creditors will contribute to solving the crisis, and not taxpayers.” As a gentle reminder – creditors includes depositors… remember Cyprus?

As WSJ reports,

Germany’s cabinet Wednesday approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks beginning in 2015, one year earlier than required under European-wide plans that set rules for failing financial institutions. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Portugal’s Largest Bank Misses Bond Payment; Bonds Collapse (ZeroHedge, July 9, 2014):

Brussels, we have a problem. As we warned 6 weeks ago, Espirito Santo International SA – is in a “serious financial condition” according to a central bank driven external audit by KPMG identified “irregularities in its accounts.” Sure enough, the ‘ponzi-like’ maneuvers have left the bank unable to pay its bonds as Bloomberg reports bonds plunged to record lows after a parent company delayed payments on short-term notes. More importantly, given the divisively dependent nature of the domestic sovereign bond market (and hence the health of the EU) and its banking system, it is noteworthy that Portuguese bond risk has surged to 4 month highs with the biggest 2-day spike in a year. As one analyst noted, “The bigger question is whether the government will have to get involved,” leaving the EU taxpayer on the hook once again (for fear of M.A.D. threats) as most critically, it “will have to step in to prevent systemic repercussions?

20140709_ESP

As Bloomberg reports,

Banco Espirito Santo has been “adequately isolated” by the Bank of Portugal from the financial problems, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Luis Marques Guedes said on July 3. The bank was the only one of the three biggest publicly traded Portuguese lenders that didn’t request state aid after the country received a European Union-led bailout in May 2011. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

- ‘Second CIA spy in Germany’: Berlin raids Ministry of Defense (RT, July 9, 2014):

German authorities have carried out a raid on the residence of a defense ministry official suspected of passing secrets to the US, just one week after the arrest of a German intelligence officer who worked as a double agent.

Officials from the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that residential and office premises of the staff of the Federal Ministry of Defense in Berlin were searched on “initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency.”

According to the German newspaper Die Welt, a soldier of the Bundeswehr is suspected of committing espionage. The individual was said to have made “intensive contacts” with alleged US intelligence officials and was under the surveillance of the Military Intelligence (MAD) some time ago.
Continue reading »

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Jul 08

Twintowers_of_Deutsche_Bank_Headquarter_in_Frankfurt_a.M.

- US Set To Alienate Angry Germany Next, As Crackdown Shifts From BNP To Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank (ZeroHedge, July 8, 2014):

As we reported over the weekend in “By “Punishing” France, The US Just Accelerated The Demise Of The Dollar“, following the record $9 billion fine against French BNP, the outcry has been fast and furious, with virtually everyone in the local chain of command, from the CEO of Total to the head of the Bank of France (and ECB member) Christian Noyer, all saying that the US is now clearly abusing the reserve power of the dollar and it is time to move away from a dollar-based reserve currency (how that jives with concurrent French demands for a lower EUR is a different, incomprehensible matter entirely).

It appears that having pushed France forcefully into the Russia-China Eurasian, and anti-US camp, the US will now do the same with Germany. Because after infuriating the German population by first refusing to return their gold contained (the legend goes) at the New York Fed, and then with scandal after spying scandal, most recently involving the CIA directly soliciting a German double agent, now the time has come to “punish” Germany’s largest banks for the same kind of money laundering that BNP was engaged in. As the NYT and Reuters report, the time has come to shift away from the BNP scandal and focus on what will soon be the Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank fallout.

According to the NYT, the money laundering crackdown is “bound for another European financial center: Germany. State and federal authorities have begun settlement talks with Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, over the bank’s dealings with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the United States, according to people briefed on the matter. The bank, which is suspected of transferring money through its American operations on behalf of companies in Iran and Sudan, could strike a settlement deal with the state and federal authorities as soon as this summer, said the people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The contours of a settlement, which the authorities have only begun to sketch out, are expected to include at least $500 million in penalties for Commerzbank, the people added. Although prosecutors were still weighing punishments, the people briefed on the matter said that the bank would most likely face a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which would suspend criminal charges in exchange for the financial penalty and other concessions.

It’s not just Commerzbank – a settlement with the smaller bank will merely pave the way for the punishment of the biggest bank of all (in terms of groiss derivative notional held): Deutsche Bank.

A potential deal with Commerzbank — which is expected to pave the way for a separate settlement with Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank — would pale in comparison to the case announced last week against France’s biggest bank, BNP Paribas. The French bank agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion penalty and plead guilty to criminal charges for processing transactions on behalf of Sudan and other countries that America has hit with sanctions, a rare criminal action against a financial giant.

As NYT adds, correctly, “The Commerzbank investigation features an added twist: The bank is 17 percent owned by the German government. It is unclear whether — as in the BNP case, which led French authorities to intervene on the bank’s behalf — the settlement talks could inflame diplomatic tensions between Washington and Berlin.

Of course, since this is the ridiculous “scorched earth” diplomatic policy, if one may call it that, of the Obama administration, nobody is surprised any more that the US president is alienating one former ally after another.

As we first observed a few weeks ago when we revealed JPM’s involvement in all of this money laundering, “some critics have questioned why American authorities have set their eye on European banks. The answer, authorities say, is that American banks by and large avoided processing transactions for Iran and Sudan. But American banks are not immune from touching dirty money. Citigroup’s Banamex unit is under investigation for processing money linked to a drug cartel. And in January, JPMorgan Chase reached a roughly $2 billion deal with the authorities over ignoring signs of the Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard L. Madoff, who held accounts at the bank for over two decades.”

Not only that but as we wrote over the weekend, the bank that was instrumental in facilitating BNP’s money laundering for nearly a decade was none other than JPM. One wonders if JPM also “unwittingly” was the bank that made German money laundering around the globe possible. Did we mention unwittingly?

BNP-Goldman

Still, while one can debate the idiocy of US foreign policy, eager to push European allies into the willing hands of Russia and China at the worst possible moment, when regional and civil wars and conflicts are suddenly breaking out across all key geopolitical hotspots, one wonders: in the case of BNP, the “fine” was as a result of French unwillingness to halt the Russian amphibious warship deal despite US demands. So it would be curious just what the US blackmail against German banks is for: one really does wonder just what punishment Angela Merkel deserves behind the scenes in the eyes of John Kerry et clueless al, to punish her and Germany so blatantly for the entire world to see.

One thing is clear: if the US thinks that Germany will continue to consider America its BFF and make zero contingency plans for when the alliance with the US finally crashes and burns, it will be truly surprised when the Eurasian alliance of Russia and China finally announces its final, all-important, missing link member: the manufacturing and export powerhouse that is Germany itself.

 

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Jul 08

- France lashes out against US dollar, calls for ‘rebalancing’ of world currencies (RT, July 7, 2014):

The French government wants to break the monopoly the dollar has on international transactions after the country’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, was slapped with a record $9 billion fine and a 1-year dollar trading ban.

Michel Sapin, the French finance minister, called for a “rebalancing” of the currencies used for global payments, saying the BNP Paribas case should “make us realize the necessity of using a variety of currencies” the Financial Times reports.

“We [Europeans] are selling to ourselves in dollars, for instance when we sell planes. Is that necessary? I don’t think so. I think a rebalancing is possible and necessary, not just regarding the euro, but also for the big currencies of the emerging countries, which account for more and more of global trade,” the finance minister told the FT at a conference over the weekend. Continue reading »

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Jul 07

Putin chess

- Russia Rushes To Seal Ukraine-Bypassing Gas Pipeline: Lavrov Pays Bulgaria A Visit (ZeroHedge, July 7, 2014):

As we remarked two weeks ago, when observing the recent developments surrounding the suddenly all-important South Stream gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine entirely, and instead traversing the Black Sea before crossing Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and terminating in the Austrian central European gas hub of Baumgarten, we said that all of Europe is suddenly focused on if and how Russia will make headway with a project that may be the most important one for not only Europe’s energy future but the impact Russia will continue to have over Germany et al. And of course, Ukraine. Because should Russia find a way to completely bypass Kiev as a traditional transit hub for Russian gas, it would make the country, and its ongoing civil war, completely irrelevant not only for Russia, but worse, for Europe, the IMF, and Ukraine’s staunch western “supporters and allies” as well.

South Stream Map

Showing just how Europe perceives the Russian “South Stream” threat was a comment from a recent NYT article, in which Günther Oettinger, Europe’s top energy official, was quoted as saying that the Ukraine crisis “has slowed down our progress on South Stream considerably… We can’t just give in to the Russians every time.” Alas, since the Russians control the all important gas, Europe has zero choice.

This explains why even as the western media finally remembered over the weekend there was a Ukraine civil war going on following an advance by the Kiev army to retake some rebel strongholds in the Donbas region, with some wondering what if anything Putin would do in retaliation, what Putin, or rather his envoy Sergei Lavrov were actually doing, was completely ignoring the Ukraine situation (where the West has long since conceded the loss of Crimea to the Kremlin) and instead focusing on securing the successful launch of the South Stream (remember: the second South Stream goes online, Ukraine becomes irrelevant). And since Russia already signed another historic agreement with Austria in June, which positioned the AAA-country (with some surprising emerging bank troubles subsequently) squarely against its fellow European peers, it was the turn of the other South Stream countries, namely Bulgaria. Continue reading »

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Jul 04

- Leaked: ‘US think-tank plan’ on E. Ukraine suggests internment camps, executions (RT, July 4, 2014):

A leaked memo attributed to RAND corporation think tank suggests the Ukrainian govt should engage in an all-out war in the east, including shutting down all communications, putting citizens in internment camps and killing all who resist such actions.

In the shocking letter, which has been leaked to online media, the advice offers a step by step brutal guide in how to deal with the population in eastern Ukraine. The authenticity of the document which bears the RAND corporation logo, however, could not be independently verified.

The RAND Corporation is non-profit global think tank which offers research and analysis to the US armed forces. Continue reading »

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