- Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):
As Zero Hedge first reported today, shortly before noon one (and subsequently more) FX brokers advised clients that any existing Ruble positions would be forcibly closed out because “western banks have stopped pricing USDRUB“, over concerns of Russian capital controls. Ironically, it was this forced liquidation of mostly short RUB positions that pushed the RUB higher, which in turn had a briefly favorably impact on energy commodities and risk assets, as the market had by then perceived the Ruble selloff as excessive. Of course, since nothing had actually changed aside from a temporary market technical, the selloff promptly resumed into the close of trading once the market finally understood what we had explained hours previously.
And unfortunately for the bulls, various falling knife-catchers, and those who hope the Russian situation will stabilize imminently with or without capital controls, it appears things in Russia are about to get a whole lot worse because as the WSJ reports, the next driver of the Russian crisis is likely to come from within the banking system itself because “global banks are curtailing the flow of cash to Russian entities, a response to the ruble’s sharpest selloff since the 1998 financial crisis.”
Presenting Russia’s banks: now cut off from the outside world as the second cold war goes nuclear, at least when it comes to the financial system:
Continue reading »
Tags: Bank of America, Banking, Bonds, Citigroup, Collapse, Debt, Economy, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, Politics, Ruble, Russia, U.S., Vladimir Putin
- Outspooking The Lehman Apocalypse: Could A Russian Default Be In The Cards? (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):
Via Mint – Blain’s Extra Porridge,
“Nazhmite Lyubuyu Stavku…“
Extra Comment – this might be getting serious.
Russia’s markets have been spanked hard despite last night’s hike. 19% currency crash and 13% down stocks in a session. Ouch! Cumulatively, over the past few weeks stocks, oil and the Ruble are off 50% plus, and bonds off 40%. This morning felt like free-fall. Expect more action from the Russians to stave off economic catastrophe… imminent capital controls are rumoured, but markets are demonstrating a massive loss of confidence.
Lots of old market hands are talking about how its similar to the Russia default and crash of ‘98 all over again.. Actually.. its worse.
Much worse. Continue reading »
Tags: cds, Derivatives, Derivatives market, Economy, Global News, Politics, Russia, Vladimir Putin
- Obama To Sign Off On Lethal US Aid To Ukraine By End Of Week, Russian Response To Follow (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):
As we reported over the weekend, in the tumult surrounding Citigroup’s annexation of Congress with the passage of the theatrically dramatic $303 trillion derivative quid-pro-$1.1 trillion spending quo, what most missed is that Congress also unanimously passed the The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which not only expands Russian sanctions (read the details here) but far more impotantly, provides “lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military.” And as we explained, passage of this law is just the pretext some Russian legislators needed to push for a full-blown, preemptive military incursion in east-Ukraine. Continue reading »
Tags: Barack Obama, Global News, Government, Military, Obama administration, Politics, Russia, U.S., Ukraine
FILE PHOTO: Iskander-M missile system (RIA Novosti / Alexander Vilf)
- Russian military completes rapid-deployment drills in Kaliningrad (RT, Dec 16, 2014):
The Russian military has concluded a massive surprise drill in the Kaliningrad region to test the combat readiness of some 9,000 troops and 642 vehicles, including tactical Iskander-M ballistic missile systems rapidly deployed from the mainland.
The drills took place December 5-10, the head of the main Operation Directorate of General Staff, Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov announced on Tuesday. Military units and formations deployed in the Western Military District were brought to their highest level of combat readiness at 7 p.m. Moscow time on December 5.
The exercises involved missile and artillery units, mechanized infantry, airborne troops and marines, division reconnaissance, communications, logistics, as well as the crews of combat and military transport aircraft and helicopters, and vessels of the Baltic Fleet.
Tactical Iskander-M ballistic missile systems of the Western Military District’s missile brigade were rapidly transferred from Russia’s mainland to conduct off-the-march combat training tasks. Within two days, two brigades were deployed in Kaliningrad by the military transport aircraft and vessels of the Baltic Fleet. Continue reading »
Tags: Global News, Government, Military, Politics, Russia, Vladimir Putin
- Ruble plummets losing more than 20% in a day, hitting new dollar and euro lows (RT, Dec 16, 2014):
No end seems to be in sight for the plight of the Russian ruble, which slumped to new record lows against hard currencies Tuesday. The EUR traded at 93.5 against the ruble, and the USD at 75.
The Russian stock market also went haywire, dropping more than 15 percent as of 2:30pm Moscow time, after it dropped 11 percent the day before. Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, lost 17.77 percent, and VTB, the second biggest bank, fell by 14.29 percent. State-owned oil and gas companies Gazprom, Rosneft, and Surgut also saw shares plummet.
The emergency interest rate hike to 17 percent has failed to halt the ruble’s landslide tumble against hard currencies. The rate increase only calmed the ruble temporarily. Continue reading »
Tags: Banking, Bonds, Collapse, Debt, Economy, Global News, Government, MICEX, Politics, Ruble, Russia, Stock Market
- Frack-down: Cops sought names of attendees at university debate on fracking (RT, Dec 16, 2014):
Amid an increase in incidences of police attempting to infiltrate various public meetings and events, a university in Kent revealed that police had requested a list of people expected to attend a public debate on fracking.
Canterbury Christ Church University had attempted to do what many institutions of higher learning have done before: debate the advantages or disadvantages of a particular social practice. In this case, fracking. What made this event a bit different from previous ones, however, is that the university received a request from the local police to provide a list of guests expected to attend the event, the Guardian reported.
University officials said they had been “contacted for a list of attendees” at the campus debate, entitled ‘Engaging Sociology, Fracking in the UK’, but did not comply with the police request, stating that “the university did not feel it was appropriate to provide the information,” the report in the UK daily said. Continue reading »
Tags: Fracking, Global News, Government, New World Order, Politics, Society, U.K.
- War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda (Truthout, Dec 15, 2014):
The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government.” It is the government.
Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practices? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do The New York Times and The Washington Post deceive their readers?
Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power? Continue reading »
Tags: Corporate Media, Global News, Government, John Pilger, Journalism, New World Order, Politics, propaganda, Society, U.S.
- Russia Shocks With Emergency Rate Hike, Boosts Interest Rate From 10.5% To 17% (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014):
Following the biggest rout to the Ruble in ages, Russia – unlike Mario Draghi – instead of talking the talk decided to walk the bazooka walk and shocked all those long the USDRUB by unleashing an emergency rate hike (at 1 am in the morning) from the recently raised interest rate of 10.50% to… hold on to your hats… 17.00%, a 650 bps increase!
From the press release:
The Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia has decided to increase from December 16, 2014 the key rate to 17.00% per annum. This decision was driven by the need to limit significantly increased in recent devaluation and inflation risks. Continue reading »
Tags: Banking, Economy, Global News, Government, Politics, Ruble, Russia
- Why Russia And China Are Buying Gold, According To An Economics Professor (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014)
We already know that to at least one, sadly all too prominent, career economist gold is held by central banks simply due to “tradition.” Here is how another professor of economics perceives the value of gold to central banks.
To Joshua Aizenman, a professor of economics and international relations at the University of Southern California, dabbling in gold is mainly an attempt by bankers and officials to send a message to the world — one that signals an appetite for power or that broadcasts a desire to challenge a rival. “I doubt that the Chinese or the Russians actually believe that gold is such a great investment in terms of pure returns,” Professor Aizenman said. “But if they’re trying to suggest that they’re unhappy with the dollar or that they want to become a global player, then gold is very powerful.
“The investment is a symbol,” he explained. “It’s made for political, not financial, gain.”
That explains it: not just tradition, but symbolic tradition. Actually, let’s just combined what all prominent economists have recently said about gold, and we get… a 6000-year-old symbolically traditional bubble.
Tags: China, Economy, Global News, Gold, Government, Politics, Russia
- Open Letter to the World from a Blocked Ukrainian Parliamentarian (ZeroHedge, Dec 14, 2014):
The following letter, written months ago but unfortunately unpublishable in the Ukrainian dictatorship that was imposed in February, was finally posted publicly at the Russian fortruss website on Sunday, December 14th, by Elena Bondarenko, a member of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party:
My friends, here is my declaration. I ask that you share it to the extent possible. If you can translate it into other languages, please do!
I, Elena Bondarenko, People’s Deputy from the Party of Regions, finding myself in opposition to the current power in Ukraine, wish to declare that this administration has resorted to direct threats of physical elimination of the opposition in Ukraine; has resorted to suspending the right of freedom of speech, in parliament and out, and is implicated in complicity in crimes not just against politicians, but even against their children. The everyday life of an opposition deputy is this: constant threats, unofficial ban from the airwaves, targeted persecution. Everyone who calls for peace is immediately branded as an enemy of the people, just as in 1930’s Germany, or in McCarthyite US. Continue reading »
Tags: Elena Bondarenko, Global News, Government, Politics, Ukraine
- China, Russia Dump US Treasurys In October As Foreigners Sell Most US Stocks Since 2007 (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014):
Perhaps the most notable feature of the October Treasury International Capital report is that in October foreigners sold a whopping $27.2 billion in US equities, surpassing the dump just after the first Taper Tantrum, when they sold $27.1 billion in June of 2013 when they also sold $40.8 billion in Treasurys. This was the largest selling of US corporate stocks by foreign entities since the August 2007 quant flash crash, when some $40.6 billion in US stocks were sold by offshore accounts.
However, what this month’s TIC data will surely be best remember for, is that both China and Russia dumped US Treasurys in October, some $14 billion and $10 billion, respecitvely, in the process sending China’s total Treasury holdings to just $1,253 billion, the lowest since February 2013 and just $30 billion more than the TSYs held by America’s second largest (offshore) creditor, Japan. This happens even as Belgium which many have said is a proxy for Chinese bond purchases, also saw its total holdings decline by $5 billion to $348 billion. Continue reading »
Tags: Barack Obama, Bonds, Debt, Global News, Government, Politics, U.S.
- Israel’s Secret Plan for a “Second Israel” in Ukraine (Voltairenet, Dec 8, 2014):
The role of Jewish figures and that of the State of Israel in the Ukrainian crisis has not gone unnoticed considering that this community represents less than 1 percent of the population. However, a secret report in the hands of the Netanyahu administration confirms that Ashkenazi Jews do not originate from the Levant, but are the descendants of the Khazars. This little-known population founded a Jewish empire in the tenth century on the banks of the Black Sea. Therefore, some Zionists see in Ukraine a possible second Israel.
- Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, OT-6 (Operative Thetan Level 6) within the Church of Scientology, in conversation with Mafia boss Ihor Kolomoyskyi whom he appointed governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The latter was involved in the organization of the Odessa massacre on 2 May 2014, with his private army, the 1st Dnipro Battalion. He hired the son of US Vice-President Joe Biden, R. Hunter Biden, plus Secretary of State John Kerry’s support committee chairman, Devon Archer, as board members of his gas holding.
The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff a number of former reporters for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, published a fascinating but largely overlooked story datelined Jerusalem and Zhitomir, Ukraine, March 16, 2014, and which was written by its respective Russian and Ukrainian correspondents, Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass, citing a secret report provided to the Israeli government . The report, written by a select panel of scholars of Jewish history drawn from academia and other research centers, concluded that that European Jews are in fact descended from Khazars, a war-like Mongol-Tatar group that ruled over Ukraine and southern Russia, which mass-converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD. Continue reading »
Tags: Global News, Government, Israel, Politics, Ukraine, Zionism
- Strikes across Belgium cause transport chaos (BBC News, Dec 15, 2014):
A nationwide strike in Belgium has brought air, rail and road transport to a standstill and forced many businesses to close.
Hundreds of flights to and from Belgium have been cancelled, as well as Eurostar services to Brussels.
The widespread industrial action is the latest in a series of strikes protesting against the new centre-right coalition’s austerity policies.
The government plans to save €11bn (£8.7bn) in the next five years. Continue reading »
Tags: Belgium, EU, Europe, Global News, Government, Politics
- Japan’s Abe Wins In Landslide Victory, LDP To Have Supermajority According To Exit Polls (ZeroHedge, Dec 14, 2014):
As previewed yesterday, in one of the lowest turnout elections in recent years (due to heavy snow: where have we heard that before) the ruling party of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the LDP, is set for a landslide victory in the lower house elections today, according to exit polls. Here is Bloomberg with the details:
- JAPAN RULING LDP WINS 275-306 SEATS: NHK EXIT POLL
- JUNIOR COALITION PARTNER KOMEITO WINS 31-36 SEATS: NHK POLL
- JAPAN OPPOSITION DPJ WINS 61-87 SEATS: NHK EXIT POLL
- JAPAN INNOVATION PARTY WINS 30-48 SEATS: NHK EXIT POLL
- JAPAN COMMUNIST PARTY WINS 18-24 SEATS: NHK EXIT POLL
- JAPAN RULING COALITION SET TO WIN 2/3 MAJORITY, NHK EXIT POLL
- TURNOUT PROJECTED AT BETWEEN 51.7% AND 52.9%
What happens next? Continue reading »
Tags: Economy, Global News, Government, Japan, Politics, Shinzo Abe
- Anonymous hacks Swedish govt emails over seizure of Pirate Bay servers (RT, Dec 14, 2014):
Swedish government email accounts have been hacked by the Anonymous hacktivist group, in response to last week’s seizure of The Pirate Bay servers by Swedish police.
The group also claimed to have hacked into the government email accounts of Israel, India, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
The hacktivist group also left a message at the end of the leak: “Warning: Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all!! Bye :*” Continue reading »
Tags: Anonymous, Global News, Government, Hacker, Internet, Pirate Bay, Politics, Sweden
- Is Germany Already Signaling The Complete (Economic) Collapse Of The European Union? (ZeroHedge, Dec 14, 2014):
In an attempt to try to divert a looming economic stagnation in the European Union, some leading German and French economists have launched some plans to try to revive (read: ‘resuscitate’) the economy of the Eurozone by tackling two issues which might have deteriorated the economic situation in the currency bloc.
Enderlein, an associate at a German school of Governance and Pisani, member of a French think thank have announced some ideas focusing on solving the issue of the rigid French labor market and the lack of government spending on infrastructure projects in Germany. This could be the perfect time to push some of these ideas through as the next elections in both countries are still 2.5 years away which means there’s plenty of time to implement new measures and restoring the popularity of the politicians before the next elections.
Continue reading »
Tags: EU, Europe, France, Germany, Global News, Government, Politics
- Moscow to Sweden: Alleged ‘colliding’ jet 70km from civil route, used NATO tactics (RT, Dec 14, 2014):
Russia’s Defense Ministry has dismissed Sweden’s accusation that an unresponsive Russian military aircraft nearly collided with a passenger plane over the Baltic Sea. The ministry added that NATO planes in the area also have their transponders turned off.
The Russian aircraft in question was 70 kilometers away from the flight path of a passenger jet taking off from Copenhagen, and thus there were “no prerequisites” for collision between the two, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. He also denied allegations that the military jet was flying right above southern Sweden, breaching its airspace.
“The flight was in strict accordance with international laws on the use of airspace and did not violate state borders while remaining at a safe distance from the routes of civil aircrafts,” Konashenkov said. Continue reading »
Tags: Global News, Government, Military, Politics, Russia
Graphic photos here:
- They Have Butchered Children (Veterans Today, Dec 12, 2014):
“The truth is that ISIS was created in Iraq in 2006. It was the United States which occupied Iraq, not Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in American prisons, not in Syrian prisons. So, who created ISIS, Syria or the United States?”
– Bashar Assad
The above quote can be found in an interview with the Syrian president posted on a French website on November 28. What Assad voices here is a rather simple but profound truth, one that people the world over, but particularly Americans, would do well to reflect upon.
I recently returned from Syria, where I attended an International Conference on Terrorism and Religious Extremism sponsored by the Syrian Ministry of Justice (see my previous post on the event here), and where I had a chance to experience just a small taste of what life is like in a country under siege by a menace so evil it is the stuff of nightmares. Continue reading »
Tags: Barack Obama, Bush administration, George Bush, Global News, Government, ISIL, ISIS, Obama administration, Politics, Syria, Terrorism, U.S.