Dec 20

- China’s Stocks Worth 50% More Than Rest Of BRICS Combined (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):

Thanks to the massive surge of speculative trading account openings, Chinese stocks are up 28% in the last month and a stunning 52% since China unleashed ‘QE-Lite’. This has sent the total market capitalization of China’s stocks soaring relative to the rest of the BRICS. In fact, Chinese stocks are now worth 55% more than Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa combined… the most ever.

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Dec 20

- Putin warns US relations will be damaged ‘for a long time’ if new sanctions are imposed…while announcing he has invited Kim Jong-un to Moscow (Daily Mail, Dec 19, 2014):

Russia’s Foreign Minister has warned his American counterpart that fresh sanctions against Moscow could damage relations between the two countries ‘for a long time’.

Sergei Lavrov made the comments to John Kerry during a phone call amid growing concerns for Russia’s crisis-hit economy.

It came as a spokesman revealed Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un to Moscow for the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two.

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Dec 19

Related info:

- Russia Busts ‘Gold-Selling’ Rumors, Reports It Bought Another 600,000 Ounces Taking Gold Holdings To New Record High


December 18, 2014. President of Russia Vladimir Putin during his tenth annual major news conference at the World Trade Centre on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment
December 18, 2014. President of Russia Vladimir Putin during his tenth annual major news conference at the World Trade Centre on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

- What Putin is not telling us (RT, Dec 18, 2014):

By Pepe Escobar

Even facing what under any circumstances is a perfect storm; President Putin delivered an extremely measured performance at his annual press conference and Q&A marathon.

The perfect storm evolves in two fronts; an overt economic war – as in siege by sanctions – and a concerted, covert, shadow attack to the heart of the Russian economy. Washington’s endgame is clear: impoverish and defang the adversary and force him to meekly bow to the Empire of Chaos’s’ whims. And bragging about it all the way to “victory.”

The problem is Moscow happens to have impeccably deciphered the game – even before Putin, at the Valdai Club in October, pinned down the Obama doctrine as “our Western partners” working as practitioners of the “theory of controlled chaos.” Continue reading »

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Dec 19

What frightened the USS Donald Cook so much in the Black Sea

- What frightened the USS Donald Cook so much in the Black Sea? (Voltairenet, Nov 8, 2014):

This article was first published by Voltairenet in other languages in September 2014.

The State Department acknowledged that the crew of the destroyer USS Donald Cook has been gravely demoralized ever since their vessel was flown over in the Black Sea by a Russian Sukhoi-24 (Su-24) fighter jet which carried neither bombs nor missiles but only an electronic warfare device.


This video shows the USS Donald Cook sailing into the Black Sea to position itself near Russia’s territorial waters.

On 10 April 2014, the USS Donald Cook entered the waters of the Black Sea and on 12 April a Russian Su-24 tactical bomber flew over the vessel triggering an incident that, according to several media reports, completely demoralized its crew, so much so that the Pentagon issued a protest [1].

Continue reading »

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Dec 19

Putin-Gold

- Russia Busts “Gold-Selling” Rumors, Reports It Bought Another 600,000 Ounces Taking Gold Holdings To New Record High (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):

Yesterday, when we reported the latest rumor of Russian gold selling, this time out of SocGen, we said that “it should be noted that SocGen and its “sources” have a conflict: in an indirect way, none other than SocGen is suddenly very interested in Russia stabilizing its economy because as we wrote before,Russia Contagion Spreads To European Banks : French SocGen, Austrian Raiffeisen Plummet” which also sent SocGen’s default risk higher in recent days. So if all it will take to stabilize the RUB sell off, reduce fears of Russian contagion, and halt the selloff of SocGen stocks is a “source” reporting what may or may not be the case, so be it.”

Moments ago, as if to deter further speculation that Russia is indeed converting hard money earned from real resources for fiat paper, the Russian monetary authority made it quite clear, that at least in November, Russia not only did not sell any gold, but in fact bought another 600K ounces in the month of November. Continue reading »

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Dec 18

I do not believe anything a Rothschild puppet bankster tells me, and that includes Societe Generale, especially if they are telling us vague, unsubstantiated BS like …

It appears possible that the Central Bank of Russia has started to sell off some of its gold reserves in December, with some sources reporting that official gold reserves dropped by $4.3 billion in the first week of the month.”

“It appears possible …” Yeah, right!

Why not sell those soon to be worthless U.S. Trashury (sic) holdings instead …

- China, Russia Dump US Treasurys In October As Foreigners Sell Most US Stocks Since 2007 (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014):

As for Russia, after selling $9.7 billion in October (a process which certainly continued in November) its latest total is just $108 billion, or just modestly higher than the $100 billion hit in March after the Ukraine conflict first broke out, and the second lowest total Russian Treasury holdings since 2008.

… and BUY gold and ask China to do the same.

Selling Russia’s gold? Putin might as well shoot himself in the foot (unless he too is an elite puppet).

Related info:

- Is Ruble Collapse Act of War-Paul Craig Roberts

- Grandmaster Putin’s Golden Trap:

Putin chess

Very few people understand what Putin is doing at the moment. And almost no one understands what he will do in the future.

No matter how strange it may seem, but right now, Putin is selling Russian oil and gas only for physical gold.

Putin is not shouting about it all over the world. And of course, he still accepts US dollars as an intermediate means of payment. But he immediately exchanges all these dollars obtained from the sale of oil and gas for physical gold!

How long will the West be able to buy oil and gas from Russia in exchange for physical gold?

– And what will happen to the US petrodollar after the West runs out of physical gold to pay for Russian oil, gas and uranium, as well as to pay for Chinese goods?

No one in the west today can answer these seemingly simple questions.

And this is called “Checkmate”, ladies and gentlemen. The game is over.

********

The above article was translated buy Kristina Rus – which originally appeared in Russian  at http://investcafe.ru/blogs/mbcy/posts/46245#


Putin-Gold

- Russia Has Begun Selling Its Gold, According To SocGen (ZeroHedge, Dec 18, 2014):

A few days ago, we first reported a rumor that was floating around Wall Street desks, and which, according to some, was the “reason” that gold was being kept lower even as sovereign risk was exploding around the globe. The rumor was that Russia was selling its gold holdings:

This led to Bloomberg speculating, and us rhetorically asking, if “Putin’s next step will be to sell gold

“Russia is at a critical juncture and given the sanctions placed upon them and the rapid decline in oil prices, they may be forced to dip into their gold reserves, if it happens it will push gold lower.” That is what, according to some people Bloomberg has quoted, is in the cards.

While some suggest the accumulation was “tradition” it is still nonetheless an impressive aggregation of the barbarous relic:

Russian Gold Reserve

So given the efforts to build this gold-backing for their nation’s currency, do we really expect Putin to now dump his physical: or perhaps more strategically suggest a true gold-backed currency and jawbone the currency that way?

So what is the truth? Well, we won’t for sure until the next official report by the Central Bank of Russia hits the IMF database,  but in the menatime, SocGen just reported that the selling may have started: Continue reading »

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Dec 18

From the article:

“It won’t be long before this chart is replicated in a whole lot of other places. But by then it will be too late to prepare. The gold will be gone …”


Russian-gold-price-Dec-2014

- This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis (Dollar Collapse, Dec 16, 2014):

To say that gold is in a bear market is to misunderstand both gold and markets. Gold isn’t an investment that goes up and down. It is money in the most basic store-of-value sense. Most of the time it just sits there, and when its price changes in local currency terms that says more about the local currency than about gold.

But when currencies collapse, gold shines.

Consider the above from the point of view of a typical Russian. The ruble is tanking (no need to understand why — all fiat currencies go this way eventually and the proximate cause is almost irrelevant). Russians who trusted their government and kept their savings in, say, a bank account, are losing their shirts. But those who own boring, doesn’t-pay-interest, in-a-bear-market gold have seen their capital appreciate in local currency terms by about 60 percent in just the past month. They’re not “making money,” but they are preserving wealth. Continue reading »

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Dec 18

David-Cameron-1

- Russia not fit to be part of international financial system – Cameron (RT, Dec 18, 2014):

The combined effect produced by Western sanctions and low oil prices proves that there’s no place for Russia in the international financial system, believes British prime minister David Cameron, urging for more pressure on Moscow.

“We should stand up very firmly against the Russian aggression that’s taking place,” Cameron said before the Parliament on Wednesday.

The PM reminded that it’s the UK, which “led the way in Europe in making sure there were sanctions” imposed against Russia over its ‘annexation’ of Crimea in March and Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

“And what the combination of the lower oil price and the sanctions are showing that I think it isn’t possible for Russia to be part of the international financial system, but try and opt out of the rules-based international legal system,” Cameron said. Continue reading »

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Dec 18

- Western nations want to chain ‘the Russian bear’ – Putin (RT, Dec 18, 2014):

Western nations want to chain “the Russian bear,” pull out its teeth and ultimately have it stuffed, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned. He said anti-Russian sanctions are the cost of being an independent nation.

WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A LIVE

Putin’s 2014 Q&A marathon LIVE UPDATES

Putin used the vivid metaphor of a “chained bear” during his annual Q&A session with the media in Moscow in response to a question about whether he believed that the troubles of the Russian economy were payback for the reunification with Crimea.

“It’s not payback for Crimea. It’s the cost of our natural desire to preserve Russia as a nation, a civilization and a state,”Putin said.

The president said that even if “the Russian bear” started “sitting tight… and eating berries and honey,” this would not stop pressure being applied against the country.

“They won’t leave us alone. They will always seek to chain us. And once we are chain, they’ll rip out our teeth and claws. Our nuclear deterrence, speaking in present-day terms,” Putin said. Continue reading »

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Dec 18

- Putin: Russian economy will inevitably bounce back, 2 years in worst case scenario (RT, Dec 18, 2014):

The Russian economy is to start growing again in 2 years in the worst case scenario, President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference. Russia, which is facing recession, is ready to fight the impending crisis, as it did in 2008, he said.

WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A LIVE

“The economy will grow. And our economy will get out of the current situation,”Putin said, adding that he expected the economy to grow by 0.6 percent in 2014. He said the government will handle the crisis similarly to 2008.

In 2008, Russia along with the much of the rest of the world fell into recession, losing 7.8 percent of GDP in 2009. The Russian economy fared the crisis rather well, and the economy was back on track with 4.5 percent growth in 2010.

Russia’s 2014 budget will have a 1.9 percent surplus relative to GDP, despite the turbulent economic situation, the Russian president said. Continue reading »

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Dec 18

xi-jinping-vladimir-putin-drink

- China Prepares To Bailout Russia (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

Earlier this evening China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange’s (SAFE) Wang Yungui noted “the impact of the Russian Ruble depreciation was unclear yet, and, as Bloomberg reported, “SAFE is closely watching Ruble’s depreciation and encouraging companies to hedge Ruble risks.” His comments also echoed the ongoing FX reform agenda aimed at increasing Yuan flexibility which The South China Morning Post then hinted in a story entitled “Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis,” which which noted that Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the ruble continues to plunge, that was signed in October. Furthermore, two bankers close to the PBOC reportedly said the swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeeze.

As Bloomberg reported, earlier in the evening, China’s Wang Yungui noted

  • *CHINA IS CLOSELY WATCHING RUBLE’S DEPRECIATION: SAFE’S WANG
  • *CHINA ENCOURAGES COS. TO HEDGE RUBLE RISKS, SAFE’S WANG SAYS
  • *REAL IMPACT OF RUBLE DEPRECIATION UNCLEAR YET, SAFE’S WANG SAYS

Adding that China plans sweeping reforms to promote FX flexibility.

And then The South China Morning Post hints, Continue reading »

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Dec 18

Fly in Venus flytrap

- IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar (ALT-MARKET, Dec 17, 2014):

As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the week, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation.

Up to 40 people may be held by a supposed extremist in Sydney,but the entire world is currently being held hostage economically by international banks. This is the crisis no one in the mainstream is talking about, so alternative analysts must.

As I predicted last month in “We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy,” severe volatility is now returning to global markets after the pre-game 10 percent drop in equities in October hinted at what was to come. Continue reading »

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Dec 18

putin-press-conference-updates

More here:

- Putin holds annual Q&A LIVE (RT, Dec 18, 2014)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding his annual marathon Q&A. He is expected to touch on a variety of themes during a year of great economic and geopolitical turbulence.

WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A

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Dec 17

russia store_0

- Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

Until now, when it comes to the fallout in the Russian economy from the crude price plunge leading to a collapse in the Russian currency, most of the interest has been on how the Russian financial system recovers and/or survives and just as importantly, what Putin’s response would be. Just yesterday, we wrote that as a result of capital controls fears, many western banks led by Goldman Sachs had halted liquidity to Russian clients and other local entities.

However while the adverse impact on the Russian banking system has been mostly confined to the upper class – since there is virtually no middle class in the country to speak of – the second cold war of words, which rapidly morphed into a very hot financial war, is about to hit the very ordinary Russian on the street, because as Russia’s Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker Sady Pridoniya and others, Russian suppliers are suspending food shipments to stores because of unpredictable FX movements. And it is about to get worse: very soon Russians may have to live without imported alcohol because at least on supplier of offshore booze, Simple, halted shipments in “a two-day pause” to see what happens with the ruble, Vedomosti reports.

The full story from Vedomosti: Continue reading »

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Dec 17

- WTI Crude Spikes Over $59, Up 9% From Lows: Biggest Intraday Swing Since April 2009 (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

No obvious catalyst yet, aside from pure triple-witching anticipatory stop runs, but:

  • WTI CLIMBS AS MUCH AS 5.5%; BRENT GAINS AS MUCH AS 5.8%

Lifting WTI over $59 and Brent over $63. In fact, the $9 surge from the lows is the biggest move in crude since April 2009!

20141217_energy3

The move has the feel of a liquidation and we note that NOK has surged as this move in crude occurs, totally decoupling from earlier correlations. Continue reading »

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Dec 17

Russian Stocks Soar 17% – Most Since 2008; Ruble Back Below 62/USD (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

After falling for 15 of the last 16 days, the RTS (Russian Stocks) are surging 17% today, extending gains post CBR 7 Measures, the most since October 2008.The Ruble is soaring also – back below 62/USD.

RTS biggest gain since Oct 2008…

RTS-Index

Juiced by the CBR Measures…

RTS-Index-2

Charts: bloomberg

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Dec 17

20141217_RUB2

- Russian Central Bank Releases 7 Measures It Will Take To Stabilize The Financial Sector (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

In its latest effort to counter financial instability – and show its commitment to maintaining order and support for the economy – Russia’s Central Bank (CBR) has unveiled 7 new measures… Ranging from bank recaps to measures aimed at helping manage interest-rate and credit risks, the reaction in the Ruble is positive for now… as perhaps, taking a lesson from the US, The CBR removes Mark-to-Market accounting for various credit instruments. Continue reading »

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Dec 17

apec-us-china-russia-obama-putin-xi

Surely all of this has nothing to do with Russia! Right?


Cuba embargo caricature

- President Obama “Normalizes” Relations With Cuba, Opens Diplomatic Channels; USAID Chief Resigns – Live Feed (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

Odd… during a week when President Obama prepares to launch new sanctions against Venezuela and Russia, The White House admits, “It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba.”

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were severed in January 1961 after the rise of Fidel Castro and his Communist government. Mr. Obama has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately initiate discussions with Cuba about reestablishing diplomatic relations and to begin the process of removing Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, which it has been on since 1982, the White House said.

President Obama will speak on the matter at 12:01ET….

The Good news…

Here’s The President in 2010… Statement by the President on the Human Rights Situation in Cuba Continue reading »

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Dec 17

whiskey japan

- Soaring Inflation Around The Globe: Cartier Hikes Russian Prices By 50%, Suntory Whiskey Prices Surge 25% In Japan (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

As the Fed continues to rely on seasonally-adjusted survey data to validate its belief that the time to hike rates is coming, even as market-implied inflation swap rates are back to 2008 levels, the one thing that continues to happen everywhere but in the US is precisely what the Fed wishes for the US (as we reported yesterday): devaluaing currencies and spiking inflation (and expectations), without any accompanying rise in wages, have lead consumers to a buying frenzy in Russia, and to a far lesser extent Japan. As a result, providers of products and services in these countries have been scrambling to match prices to demand, especially since the demand is purely the result demand brought forward due to plunging currencies, not the result of some magical source of widespread wealth. Case in point, Cartier, the luxury jewelery maker, raised its Russian prices by as much as 50 percent after the ruble plunged to a record low.

 

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Dec 17

Vladimir-Putin

- A Full-Blown Economic Crisis Has Erupted In Russia (Economic Collapse, Dec 16, 2014):

The 8th largest economy on the entire planet is in a state of turmoil right now.  The shocking collapse of the price of oil has hit a lot of countries really hard, but very few nations are as dependent on energy production as Russia is.  Sales of oil and natural gas account for approximately two-thirds of all Russian exports and approximately 50 percent of all government revenue. So it should be no surprise that the fact that the price of oil has declined by almost 50 percent since June is absolutely catastrophic for the Russian economy.  And when you throw in international sanctions, wild money printing by the Central Bank of Russia and unprecedented capital flight, you get the ingredients for an almost perfect storm.  But those of us living in the western world should not be too smug about what is happening in Russia, because the nightmare that is unfolding over there is just a preview of the economic chaos that will soon envelop the whole world.

So far this year, the Russian ruble has fallen nearly 50 percent against the U.S. dollar.  That is a monumental shift.  And as the collapse of the ruble has accelerated in recent days, we are seeing scenes in Russia that are reminiscent of the Weimar Republic.  For example, just consider the following excerpt from an article that just appeared in the New York TimesContinue reading »

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