Aug 25

- India, Pakistan Intensify Shooting Across Border; Iran Downs Israel Drone; ISIS Seizes Military Airport (ZeroHedge, Aug 24, 2014):

Since in the New Normal no geopolitical events appear to have any adverse impact on risk and asset prices (because the central banks are always there to protect investors should the market “plunge” by say 5%) with general newsflow completely irrelevant on what has been a straight line up in the S&P since the announcement of QE4 in December 2012, one might as well see how much further geopolitical events can be pushed further before it all crashes.

In other words, time for this weekend’s geopolitical update.

Overnight both Pakistan and Iran have done their best to add to the geopolitical instability, which has already englufed Ukraine, and half the middle-east and north Africa, when on one hand Indian and Pakistani troops intensified firing across the border over the weekend killing at least four, an Indian official said on Sunday, straining ties between the arch rivals who recently called off top-level diplomatic talks. On the other moments ago news broke that Iran had shot down an Israeli spy drone heading for Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.

Taking these one at a time. Continue reading »

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Aug 19

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- Chinese Troops ‘Invade’ 25Km Into India, “This Is Chinese Territory, Go Back” (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2014):

Update: who says media disinformation only takes place in Ukraine; apparently the same takes placed between India and China. Bloomberg cites an Indian army spokesman S.D. Goswami who denies Chinese entered territory in Ladakh, a mountainous area in northern India. “No incursion or encroachment of Indian territory by China has taken place along the India-China border,” Goswami says in statement. “There are areas along the border where India and China have differing perception” of line of actual control. “Due to both sides undertaking patrolling up to their respective.

Almost as if someone in the media world is eager to launch a war…

* * *

Fifteen months ago we reported China’s stealth invasion of India’s Ladakh region, and now, as PTI reports, Chinese troops are reported to have entered deep into Indian territory in Burtse area in Ladakh where they had pitched their tents last year. Indian troops spotted Chinese personnel 25 to 30 km from the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC). PLA personnel carried flags reading “this is Chinese territory, go back” in their hands and they refused to move after being confronted by India’s quick response team.

As DNA India reports, Continue reading »

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Aug 10

- What Every Well-Dressed Indian Businessman Is Wearing This Summer – A $210,000 Gold Shirt (ZeroHedge, Aug 9, 2014):

18 months ago – before The Reserve Bank Of India went full gold-tard (raising duties and capital controls), 32-year-old Datta Phuge unleashed his $25,000 gold shirt on the world’s women, proclaiming “I know I am not the best looking man in the world but surely no woman could fail to be dazzled by this shirt?” However, as RBI has lifted some gold restrictions (realizing the error of their ways after smuggling exploded), we introduce 45 year-old politician and textile magnate Pankaj Parakh… and his $210,000 gold shirt weighing 3.3 kilograms which took 20 people 3,200 hours to create. Now, if that doesn’t get him laid (or shot) we don’t know what will…

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As The Independent reports,

Pankaj Parakh, a local politician and the owner of a multi-million pound textile business near Mumbai, has had the shirt created out of pure love for the precious metal. Continue reading »

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Aug 10

- First BRICS Bank, Now BRICS Food Bank (ZeroHedge, Aug 7, 2014):

Despite President Obama’s dictating that Russia is increasingly “isolated,” it appears they have found a whole new set of friends to play with in the global trade sandpit. In retaliation to Western sanctions, Putin yesterday unveiled a total food import ban from all sanctioning nations, and, just as the BRICS created their own ‘IMF-lite’ away from Washington’s prying eyes, Russia plans to substitute banned goods with not just domestic supplies but imports from Latin America, China, and several other nations. Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov said “no food shortages are expected,” but more isolation for the West…

Russia is already turning away trucks at the border and cancelling orders (as FruitNet reports) Continue reading »

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Aug 02

- India Slams US Global Hegemony By Scuttling Global Trade Deal, Puts Future Of WTO In Doubt (ZeroHedge, Aug 1, 2014):

In the last few days a new and curious question has emerged: would India embrace the US/Japan axis while foregoing its natural Developing Market, and BRICS, allies, Russia and China. We now have a clear answer and it is a resounding no, because in what was the latest slap on the face of now crashing on all sides US global hegemony, earlier today India refused to sign a critical global trade dea. Specifically, India’s unresolved demands led to the collapse of the first major global trade reform pact in two decades. WTO ministers had already agreed the global reform of customs procedures known as “trade facilitation” in Bali, Indonesia, last December, but were unable to overcome last minute Indian objections and get it into the WTO rule book by a July 31 deadline. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told trade diplomats in Geneva, just two hours before the final deadline for a deal lapsed at midnight that “we have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge that gap.

 

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Aug 01

BRICS-happy


- Russia And India Begin Negotations To Use National Currencies In Settlements, Bypassing Dollar (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2014):

Over the past 6 months, there has been much talk about the strategic proximity between Russia and China, made even more proximal following the “holy grail” gas deal announced in May which would not have happened on such an accelerated time frame had it not been for US escalation in Ukraine.

And yet little has been said about that other just as crucial for the “new BRIC-centric world order” relationship, that between Russia and India. That is about to change when yesterday the Russian central bank announced that having been increasingly shunned by the west, Russia discussed cooperation with Reserve Bank of India Executive Director Shrikant Padmanabhan. The punchline: India agreed to create a task group to work out a mechanism for using national currencies in settlements. And so another major bilateral arrangement is set up that completely bypasses the dollar.

From the Russian Central Bank: Continue reading »

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Aug 01

- Indian Farmer Suicide Testimonials Show Huge GMO Community Damage – Watch YIELD Here! (Sustainable Pulse, July 28, 2014):

Commissioned by the 2014 Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture Forum, YIELD presents testimonies from the cotton farmers in Vidarbha, Maharashtra.

The region has suffered a high number of suicides among the debt-ridden farming community in the wake of the introduction of chemical farming and BT Cotton.

YIELD presents voices of dissent and resilience from within this community, victims of a corporate imperialism that threatens their means of living and future.

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Jul 25

- Even WSJ agrees: GMOs threaten food security while offering no solution for India’s poor (Natural News, July 22, 2014):

The government of India appears to be slowly falling into the clutches of multinational chemical companies craftily pushing their own patented genetically modified (GM) crops as the solution to hunger and poverty, with a new bill set to deliver subsidized food made from these poisons to more than 800 million Indian people. But one prominent organizer with extensive knowledge in Indian farming issues says the answer is not GM crops but rather agro-ecological approaches that rely on organic, chemical-free growing methods.

Dilnavaz Variava, who heads the consumer issues division of the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, says more than 1 million Indian farmers from roughly 10,000 villages throughout the country are already growing pesticide-free crops on more than 3.5 million acres with great success — apart from GMOs. This is the agriculture model with the greatest potential for feeding impoverished Indian people, she says, and the one that officials who are being courted by the biotech lobby are shamefully overlooking. Continue reading »

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Jul 20

BRICS Plan To Become “Political Alliance” To Reform The International Financial System (ZeroHedge, July 19, 2014):

As the world slowly turns against US Dollar hegemony, it appears the BRICS are pressing to fill any gaps. Having created the BRICS Bank “alternate to The West-controlled IMF or World Bank,”Xinhua reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes the BRICS mechanism has been fully developed and can now transform into a political alliance to “reform the international financial system.”

BRICS-happy

As Xinhua reports,

The BRICS mechanism has been fully developed and can transform into a political alliance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

“BRICS grows and matures in all directions,” the diplomat told state-run Rossiya 24 TV channel. Continue reading »

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Jul 17

In my opinion gold in (extended or permanent) backwardation is signalling a total loss of confidence in the $US Dollar and is a clear sign that the dollar endgame is here.

The Great Depression will soon look like a walk in the park.


Dollar-Endgame

- When You See This Happen, You Know It’s Game Over For The Dollar (ZeroHedge, July 16, 2014):

Exactly 70 years ago to the day, hundreds of delegates from 44 nations were busy at work in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire creating a brand new financial system.

World War II had just ended. Europe was in ruin.

And since the US was simultaneously the largest economy in the world, the primary victor in the war, and the only major power with its productive capacity intact, it was easy to dictate terms: the dollar would dominate the new system.

Every nation would hold dollars as the primary reserve currency, and the dollar would be redeemable for gold at $35/ounce. Continue reading »

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Jul 16

See also:

- 9 EU Countries Ready To Block Economic Sanctions Against Russia

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(L to R) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, China’s President Xi Jinping and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma join their hands during the official photograph of the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on July 15, 2014 (AFP Photo)

- BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency reserves to cut out Western dominance (RT, July 15, 2014):

The group of emerging economies signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 bn BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 bn. Both will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar.

The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation has equal say, regardless of GDP size.

“BRICS Bank will be one of the major multilateral development finance institutions in this world,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. Continue reading »

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Jul 16

- US loses multi-billion dollar court cases against China and India (RT, July 15, 2014):

The World Trade Organization agreed on Monday this week to side with claims against the United States made by both China and India concerning US-imposed tariffs on products exported to America.

In both instances, the WTO ruled against the US and decided in favor of the major BRICs countries, who for two years now have each asked the organization to intervene and weigh in on America’s use of tariffs to tax certain imports dating back to 2007. Continue reading »

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Jul 03

- India’s Central Bank Will Sell Gold on the Market in Exchange for Gold at the Bank of England (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 2, 2014):

India’s gold policy over the last several years is about as dysfunctional as any government policy I have ever seen, and that’s saying a lot. In case you need a reminder, here are a few posts I have written on the subject:

The Times of India: “Almost Every Passenger on a Flight from Dubai to Calicut Was Found Carrying 1kg of Gold”

Gold Smuggling Increases 7x in India and Surpasses Illegal Drug Trade

Indian Temples Fight Back Against Government Gold Grabbing Plot

In a nutshell, Indians were buying too much gold for their government’s comfort, so the “authorities” stepped in with duties and import restrictions in an attempt to stifle the trade. So smuggling soared.

Fast forward to today. It appears the government has finally realized they can’t stop their citizens penchant for gold, so they have decided to dump central bank gold onto the market. What is incredible to me is that they are justifying this with a so-called “swap” into phantom gold at the Bank of England. The favored global hub of shady, rent-seeking, banker oligarchs.

What’s even more interesting about this is the fact that so many Central Banks seems to be swapping or selling their gold to Western interests. Most notably Ecuador selling to Goldman Sachs, which I highlighted in the piece: Ecuador to Transfer More Than Half its Gold Reserves to Goldman Sachs in Exchange for “Liquidity.”

Now from Reuters:

MUMBAI, July 2 (Reuters) – India’s central bank said on Wednesday it has sought quotes from banks to swap gold in its own vaults for international-standard gold, aiming to improve the management of its reserves.

Continue reading »

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Jun 28

- ​Anti-rape jeans and bra: Indian college girls invent range of security gear (RT, June 28, 2014):

College girls in India have unveiled anti-rape jeans, footwear and underwear to protect women from the growing menace of rape, which occurs every 22 minutes in the country. Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t seem to be improving.

Sandals that deliver electric shocks and jeans that have an inbuilt SOS button were showcased by college girls in the state of Uttar Pradesh – one of the highest in terms of crime levels.

Two computer science students at a private engineering college in the city of Varanasi, Rijul Pandey and Shalini Yadav, engineered and designed the sandals, which apart from the electric shock, send out an SOS signal to all the victim’s phone contacts. Continue reading »

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May 14

crash-dollar

- Russia Holds “De-Dollarization Meeting”: China, Iran Willing To Drop USD From Bilateral Trade (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2014):

That Russia has been pushing for trade arrangements that minimize the participation (and influence) of the US dollar ever since the onset of the Ukraine crisis (and before) is no secret: this has been covered extensively on these pages before (see Gazprom Prepares “Symbolic” Bond Issue In Chinese Yuan; Petrodollar Alert: Putin Prepares To Announce “Holy Grail” Gas Deal With China; Russia And China About To Sign “Holy Grail” Gas Deal; 40 Central Banks Are Betting This Will Be The Next Reserve Currency; From the Petrodollar to the Gas-o-yuan and so on).

But until now much of this was in the realm of hearsay and general wishful thinking. After all, surely it is “ridiculous” that a country can seriously contemplate to exist outside the ideological and religious confines of the Petrodollar… because if one can do it, all can do it, and next thing you know the US has hyperinflation, social collapse, civil war and all those other features prominently featured in other socialist banana republics like Venezuela which alas do not have a global reserve currency to kick around.

Or so the Keynesian economists, aka tenured priests of said Petrodollar religion, would demand that the world believe.

However, as much as it may trouble the statists to read, Russia is actively pushing on with plans to put the US dollar in the rearview mirror and replace it with a dollar-free system. Or, as it is called in Russia, a “de-dollarized” world.
Continue reading »

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May 10

- Gold Infographic: The Eclipsing Demand Of The East (ZeroHedge, May 9, 2014)

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Apr 20

- Peak Smuggling: Indian Has 12 Gold Bars Removed From His Stomach (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2014):

While US central bankers seem to believe that you can eat iPads, it seems one Indian fellow has taken the ongoing restrictions on gold imports, owning, or transacting in India to a whole new level. As we have noted previously – have led to an epidemic of smuggling as Indians continue to horde the precious metal (the only true source of financial security in their view) by any means possible. As The BBC reports, 12 bars of gold have been removed from the stomach of a 63-year-old businessman in the Indian capital Delhi. The surgeon said he had never seen a “case like this before,” and customs officials were called and confiscated the gold – where whistleblowers for gold smuggling are rewarded more richly than for cocaine and heroine smuggling.

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As The BBC reports, and as we have noted before, India, the world’s largest consumer of gold, has seen a record rise in smuggling after a rise in duty on imports of metal to curb the current account deficit.

Last year India’s government hiked the import duty on gold three times to curb demand for the precious metal. Gold imports, which had peaked at 162,000kg in May 2013, came down to 19,300kg in November after the hike.

But this takes the proverbial biscuit… Continue reading »

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Apr 01

Why Did BRICS Back Russia on Crimea

- Why Did BRICS Back Russia on Crimea? (The Diplomat, March 31, 2014):

The BRICS’s support for Russia shows the Western-dominated post-Cold War order is eroding.

There’s been no shortage of reports and commentaries on the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea, and Russia’s role in it. Yet one of the more notable recent developments in the crisis has received surprisingly little attention.

Namely, the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has unanimously and, in many ways, forcefully backed Russia’s position on Crimea. The Diplomat has reported on China’s cautious and India’s more enthusiastic backing of Russia before. However, the BRICS grouping as a whole has also stood by the Kremlin.

Continue reading »

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Mar 21

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Putin Grateful To China, India For “Support” Over Crimea (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2014):

While the most vocal mouthpieces of the western world’s nations are loudly condemning Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea – despite Ukraine itself suggesting he can keep it for a price – it appears the rest of the world is less voracious in its condemnation. As Putin noted this morning “we are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea,” Putin said. “We are grateful to the people of China, whose leadership sees the situation in Crimea in all its historical and political integrity. We highly appreciate India’s restraint and objectivity.”

It would appear there are a number of nations that are “supportive” of Russia’s actions…Via Voice of Russia,

We are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea,”

Continue reading »

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Mar 09

russia-india

- India Backs Russia’s “Legitimate Interests” In Ukraine (The Diplomat, March 8, 2014):

India broke with the international community in acknowledging that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine.

On Thursday a senior Indian official appeared to endorse Russia’s position in Ukraine in recent days, even as Delhi urged all parties involved to seek a peaceful resolution to the diplomatic crisis.

When asked for India’s official assessment of the events in Ukraine, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon responded:

Continue reading »

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