Sep 18

- 1000 tons of polluted Fukushima water dumped in sea (SBS, Sep 17, 2013):

The operator of the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday that it dumped more than 1,000 tons of polluted water into the sea after a typhoon raked the facility.

Typhoon Man-yi smashed into Japan on Monday, bringing with it heavy rain that caused flooding in some parts of the country, including the ancient city of Kyoto.

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Dec 16

The Arab states of the Gulf region have agreed to launch a single currency modelled on the euro, hoping to blaze a trail towards a pan-Arab monetary union swelling to the ancient borders of the Ummayad Caliphate.

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Traders at the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange

“The Gulf monetary union pact has come into effect,” said Kuwait’s finance minister, Mustafa al-Shamali, speaking at a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) summit in Kuwait.

The move will give the hyper-rich club of oil exporters a petro-currency of their own, greatly increasing their influence in the global exchange and capital markets and potentially displacing the US dollar as the pricing currency for oil contracts. Between them they amount to regional superpower with a GDP of $1.2 trillion (£739bn), some 40pc of the world’s proven oil reserves, and financial clout equal to that of China.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar are to launch the first phase next year, creating a Gulf Monetary Council that will evolve quickly into a full-fledged central bank.

The Emirates are staying out for now – irked that the bank will be located in Riyadh at the insistence of Saudi King Abdullah rather than in Abu Dhabi. They are expected join later, along with Oman.

The Gulf states remain divided over the wisdom of anchoring their economies to the US dollar. The Gulf currency – dubbed “Gulfo” – is likely to track a global exchange basket and may ultimately float as a regional reserve currency in its own right. “The US dollar has failed. We need to delink,” said Nahed Taher, chief executive of Bahrain’s Gulf One Investment Bank.

The project is inspired by Europe’s monetary union, seen as a huge success in the Arab world. But there are concerns that the region is trying to run before it can walk. Continue reading »

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Nov 26

Dubai is broke and will become a ghost town.

“Altogether, the Dubai government and its companies have more than $80 billion of debt. The emirate, which has a population of only two million, has been forced twice to approach its oil-rich neighbour in Abu Dhabi for the funds to bail it out.”


Palm Jumeirah
The Atlantis (!) hotel in Dubai

David Beckham and Brad Pitt are believed to be among the celebrities and sportsmen who bought villas in Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, a luxury development that juts out into the Gulf. But when the property bubble burst this year, residents saw the value of their investments collapse. Yesterday their situation worsened as Nakheel, the developer, and its state-owned parent made a request to suspend debt repayments.

The statement rocked credit mar-kets around the world and prompted analysts to question whether Dubai, the most populous of the United Arab Emirates, will be able to meet its obligations. The concern is that Nakheel will be unable to continue developing the Palm and neighbouring projects, leaving Dubai and its coastal waters an ugly, unfinished construction site.

When the 2,000 villas and townhouses on the Palm went on sale in 2002, they sold out in a month. Passing through en route to the World Cup in Japan and Korea were the England football team, and several players stopped off to sign up for £1 million properties on the artificial island, with Michael Owen, David James, Joe Cole, Andy Cole and Kieron Dyer, it was reported, joining Beckham on the beaches. Pitt and Angelina Jolie are also said to have bought homes.

Joe Cole was one of the few who got out in time. The Chelsea player sold his villa for about $3.5 million (£2.1 million) last summer as Dubai’s property bubble approached bursting point.

Nakheel is now in deep trouble and struggling to cover its debts. Dubai World, a government conglomerate that owns the developer, is $60 billion in the red. Yesterday’s announcement by the Dubai government that it wishes to suspend repayment of Dubai World’s debts for six months, including a $4 billion bond held by Nakheel that was due to be repaid next month, is the clearest indication that the emirate can no longer meet its obligations.

Work has stopped on several major projects around the city and companies have had to accept huge cuts in the value of their contracts. More than 400 projects worth more than $300 billion are said to have been cancelled or shut down as a result of the property collapse.

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Jan 18

- Richest apartment block in US becomes a house of horrors (Guardian):
The lavish apartments of 740 Park Avenue are home to 30 of America’s wealthiest and most influential families. At least they were until the historic confluence of financial disasters struck, lopping billions of dollars off their combined net worth. Now the formerly untouchable denizens of this famous apartment building look like they could lose it all.

- French aristocrats the Wendels forced to put North Sea assets on the block (Times Online):
THE Wendel family, one of France’s most prominent industrial dynasties – which once made cannons for Louis XIV – has put its North Sea oil company up for sale in a desperate bid to raise cash after debt-fuelled investments soured, threatening to make it one of the most high-profile casualties of the global financial crisis.

- State employees stunned by request for $250 million in concessions (Cleveland.com):
COLUMBUS — The state has asked workers in its largest labor union to accept a 5 percent across-the-board pay cut, a shorter work week and unpaid holidays to help balance the state’s troubled budget, according to a document obtained by The Plain Dealer. The list of cuts and changes Gov. Ted Strickland’s administration has asked the workers to accept, which also includes mandatory furloughs and paying more for their health insurance, would amount to $250 million in concessions, according to a members-only e-mail from Ohio Civil Service Employees Association president Eddie L. Parks.

- Eastern Europe braced for a violent ‘spring of discontent’ (Guardian):
Riots and street battles are set to spread through Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states as inflation, unemployment and racism fuel tension, reports Jason Burke

- Obama team weighs government bank to ease crisis (Reuters):
(Obama team weighs government bank to loot taxpayers’ even more.)

- Obama Bank Rescue May Make New Effort to Resolve Toxic Assets (Bloomberg)

- VeraSun to put 7 plants up for auction (Forbes):
VeraSun Energy Corp., the nation’s second largest ethanol producer, is putting seven of its biorefineries up for auction as part of a bankruptcy court financing agreement.

- Brown’s fury at Royal Bank of Scotland’s £2.5bn loan to Russian oligarch (Daily Mail)

- Recession drills deep into oil and gas (Independent)

- Gulf Shares Fall on Concern That Earnings May Lag Expectations (Bloomberg)

- Oil demand to fall again in 2009 (BBC News):
(Oil demand dropped very little … compared to oil prices. This makes no sense whatsoever, unless what Lindsey Williams said is actually happening right now.)

- Monetary union has left half of Europe trapped in depression (Telegraph)

- Iraq reconstruction’s bottom-line (Asia Times)

- UK is in freefall, warns think-tank (Guardian)

- Florida’s Nadel Missing as FBI, SEC Investigate Funds (Bloomberg)

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Jan 02

The Gulf Arab nations are now all fighting for their survival, because their future economic calculations and decisions are all based on much higher oil prices.

Don’t miss:
- Lindsey Williams: The Dollar And The US Will Collapse; Saudi Arabia And Dubai Will Fall; US Will Be Third World Country; The Greatest Depression Is Coming

- Peter Schiff: US Dollar is on the verge of collapse; This is hyperinflation; This is Zimbabwe (12/17/2008)

- Gerald Celente: The Coming Revolt


The breaking of their dollar pegs by the Gulf Arab nations is clearly dollar negative. Any inclusion of gold either as a part of the monetary basket, or in the reserves of the new GCC Central Bank will create additional demand for the precious metal.

Related article: Will the New GCC Single Currency Include Gold?

Gulf Cooperation Council leaders yesterday concluded their 29th annual summit meeting in Muscat, Oman with a final approval for the creation of a single currency for the six-nation economic bloc, still targeted for 2010.

Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC and boasts substantial gold reserves. But whether gold will be included in the currency basket has not yet been decided.

Golden opportunity

GCC assistant secretary-general Mohammad Al Mazroui told Gulf News: ‘We first have to decide on the location of the Central Bank, then the Central Bank and Monetary Council will have to decide on the gold reserves for the Central Bank’.

The creation of the GCC single currency – likely to be known as the Khaleeji which means Gulf in Arabic – is a major gold event for two reasons.

First, the breaking of their dollar pegs by the Gulf Arab nations is clearly dollar negative. Secondly, any inclusion of gold either as a part of the monetary basket, or in the reserves of the new GCC Central Bank will create additional demand for the precious metal.

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Jan 02

KUWAIT CITY: Stock markets in the Gulf states yesterday ended 2008 sharply lower as the energy-dependent economies were battered by the global financial crisis while oil prices plummeted. Most of the seven markets witnessed their worst year ever with the bourse of the bustling Dubai shedding almost three quarters of its value and the Saudi market, the largest in the Arab world, slumping by more than half.

Related interview:
- Lindsey Williams: The Dollar And The US Will Collapse; Saudi Arabia And Dubai Will Fall; US Will Be Third World Country; The Greatest Depression Is Coming
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More Gulf industrial projects at risk after Dow

More than $515bn were wiped off of their market value as their capitalisation stood at just $600bn compared to $1.116 trillion at the end of 2007. “It was a year of contradictions as share prices rose sharply in the first half but nosedived in the second half similar to the oil price scenario,” Kuwaiti economist Hajjaj Bukhdur said.

“The impact of the global financial crisis on the Gulf economies was much deeper than initially thought. Gulf stocks slumped even more than bourses in the West where the crisis began,” Bukhdur said. The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) dropped 56.5 percent to close the year at 4,802.99 points, down from 11,175.96 points at the end of 2007. It was pulled down by a sharp slide in the leading banks and petrochemicals sectors.

Kuwait Stock Exchange, the second largest in the Arab world, shed 38 percent to finish the year at 7,782.60 points, almost a four-year low. However, it was down 50.3 percent from its all-time high set in late June. In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Financial Market slid 72.4 percent to close at 1,636.29 points, near its four-year low.

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Mar 19

It is incredible to see the rampant devaluation of the U.S. Dollar. The Federal Reserve just hours ago made a rare cut of 25 basis points during the weekend which will cause even more inflation. Gold immediately moved up $20 an ounce and the U.S. Dollar Index plunged under 71 in international trading. If this type of market activity continues the U.S. Dollar will have no value in a few months. While it is probably unlikely that we will see a hyper-inflationary collapse of the U.S. Dollar within the next few months, these policies are entirely unsustainable. If the Federal Reserve does not move to defend the value of the U.S. Dollar we will eventually see a hyper-inflationary collapse and worldwide financial turmoil. This view is also shared by other well respected financial analysts. Peter Schiff recently raised concerns about a hyper-inflationary collapse of the U.S. Dollar, Robert Reich a former Clinton cabinet member believes we are facing a depression and Alan Greenspan the man who caused this whole mess wrote in the Financial Times stating that we are facing the worst financial crisis since World War II. What’s amazing is that the Federal Reserve isn’t even trying to protect the U.S. Dollar because all they care about is saving the power of their private banking cartel. They don’t care about the U.S. Dollar nor do they care about the country itself. They are destroying this country through their actions and there needs to be an investigation into the controllers of this bank.

Alan Greenspan saying that we are facing the worst financial crisis since World War II is like a killer returning to the scene of their crime and explaining the results of their crime. Greenspan recently told nations in the Gulf to drop their currency pegs to the U.S. Dollar which encouraged a further drop in the U.S. Dollar. Greenspan’s Financial Times article will cause an even greater acceleration in the collapse of the currency. As the former head of the Federal Reserve, his comments still hold a great deal of importance with people around the world. This means that his comments can literally move the value of the U.S. Dollar one way or another. It is incredibly sick how Greenspan can get away with creating the current crisis we face with his low interest rate policies earlier this decade and analyze the problems that are occurring today that were a result of his own policies with no criticism from the corporate controlled media.

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Mar 19

Pressure is mounting on central banks in the Gulf to fight surging inflation when they meet on Wednesday by severing the link between their currencies and the tumbling US dollar.Officials in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have denied rumours of an imminent decoupling, but investors are betting on reform and are rushing to buy local currencies as investment banks issue fresh calls for revaluation. Continue reading »

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Mar 06

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US central bank, or Fed, has said that inflation rates in Gulf states, which are reaching near record levels, would fall “significantly” if oil producers dropped their US dollar pegs.

Speaking at an investment conference on Monday in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, he said the pegs restrict the region’s ability to control inflation by forcing them to duplicate US monetary policy at a time when the Fed is cutting rates to ward off an economic downturn.

Debate is rife in the Gulf on how to tackle inflation.

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Greenspan, right, says inflation rates in Gulf states will fall if they drop their US dollar pegs [AFP]

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Mar 06

Congressman Ron Paul slammed Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke during a House Financial Services Committee meeting today for following a policy of deliberately destroying the dollar and wiping out the American middle class.
Paul held Bernanke to task over his refusal to address the decline of the dollar and its clear link to inflation.
“Inflation comes from the unwise increase in the supply of money credit….to argue that we can continue to debase the currency, which is really the policy of that you’re following, purposely debasing value of currency – which to me seems so destructive….it just puts more pressure on the federal reserve to create capital out of thin air inorder to stimulate the economy and usually that just goes into mal-investment,” said Paul.
Watch it.
“Ron Paul Schools Ben Bernanke Yet Again”


Paul highlighted the fact that the M3 money supply was rising at a rate of 16 per cent and that this was the real rate of inflation.
“History is against you,” Paul told Bernanke, “History is on the side of hard money – if you look at stable prices you have to look at the only historic sound money that’s lasted more than a few years – fiat money always ends, gold is the only thing where you get stable prices,” he added, pointing out that despite the price of oil’s rapid ascent, it had remained flat when compared to the price of gold.
“I cannot see how we can continue to accept the policy of deliberately destroying the value of money as an economic value,” said Paul, adding that the policy was “immoral,” and would lead to a reduction in American’s living standards and “the middle class being wiped out.”
Asked how he could defend a policy of deliberately depreciating the dollar, Bernanke stumbled through his response and was basically forced to agree with Paul’s point. Paul’s comments come on the day that the dollar hit its all time low against the Euro.
Earlier this week, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan laid the groundwork for the further collapse of the greenback by encouraging Gulf states to abandon their dollar peg.
Watch Paul’s opening statement.
“Ron Paul opening statement to Bernanke at FSC – 2-27-2008″

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