Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
This is very serious where the petro dollar is concerned.
The use of the dollar in energy settlement is the major source of dollar strength.
Iran And Russia Are Working To Seal A $20 Billion Oil-For-Goods Deal: Sources
JONATHAN SAUL AND PARISA HAFEZI, REUTERS
LONDON/ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.
In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.
The White House has said such a deal would raise "serious concerns" and would be inconsistent with the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran.
A Russian source said Moscow had "prepared all documents from its side", adding that completion of a deal was awaiting agreement on what oil price to lock in.
The source said the two sides were looking at a barter arrangement that would see Iranian oil being exchanged for industrial goods including metals and food, but said there was no military equipment involved. The source added that the deal was expected to reach $15 to $20 billion in total and would be done in stages with an initial $6 billion to $8 billion tranche.
The Iranian and Russian governments declined to comment.
Two separate Iranian officials also said the deal was valued at $20 billion. One of the Iranian officials said it would involve exports of around 500,000 barrels a day for two to three years.
- Extremely Difficult Circumstances in the Year Ahead: Confluence of Economic and Systemic Crises Should Intensify
- With Global Confidence in Dollar Rattled by Uncontrollable Fiscal and Monetary Excesses, U.S. Government and the Federal Reserve Have Limited Options to Address Panics
- Heavy Selling of U.S. Dollar Remains Likely Proximal Trigger for Inflation Pick-Up
- Developing Hyperinflation Would Push Ongoing Recession into Deep Depression
- Physical Gold Remains Primary Hedge for Preserving Wealth and Asset
"No. 614: SPECIAL COMMENTARY (Revised No. 587 of January 7, 2014)"
Analysis: North Korea acts up again; how should West react?
By Jason Miks, CNN
April 2, 2014 — Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
(CNN) — Another week, another North Korean provocation.
It might seem an understandable reaction to news Monday that North and South Korea had exchanged hundreds of shells across their western sea border. The incident occurred a day after Pyongyang had warned it was preparing to test another nuclear device, and just a week after it tested two medium-range ballistic missiles.
But should the West greet such saber-rattling with a shrug of the shoulders? After all, Western capitals have been engaging in this "dance" for two decades, since the late Kim Jong Il took over as the country’s supreme leader. Is this latest round of provocations under his son and successor, Kim Jong Un, simply more of what we’ve seen before?
Not necessarily, argue some of those closely familiar with North Korea. They warn that under Kim Jong Un’s rule, Pyongyang has shown an even greater willingness to raise the stakes, whether it be the multiple missile launches over the past several weeks, the way it stoked a crisis last spring when it announced it had ended the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement and moved intermediate missiles to its east coast, or its warning that foreign companies and tourists in South Korea should evacuate.
More recently, in the U.S. intelligence community’s annual worldwide threat assessment, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that North Korea had "expand(ed) the size of its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restart(ed) the reactor that was previously used for plutonium production" but was shut down in 2007.
"The regime still acts in a very belligerent manner, but it seems less predictable, and more random," said Christian Whiton, deputy envoy to North Korea during the George W. Bush administration.
Another horrific stock market crash is coming, and the next bust will be “unlike any other” we have seen.
That’s the message from Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist of GMO, a Boston-based firm with $117 billion in assets under management.
Grantham pulls no punches when he discusses who he holds responsible for the coming financial carnage. In a recent interview with The New York Times, he calls Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen “ignorant” and said the Federal Reserve all but killed the economic recovery.
He also says that he isn’t putting his clients’ money into the market right now.
“We invest our clients’ money based on our seven-year prediction. And over the next seven years, we think the market will have negative returns. The next bust will be unlike any other, because the Fed and other central banks around the world have taken on all this leverage that was out there and put it on their balance sheets. We have never had this before.”
Nato moves to bolster eastern European defences against Russia
Putin’s seizure of Crimea prompts alliance to reinforce Poland and Baltic states, and suspend co-operation with Kremlin
Ian Traynor in Brussels
theguardian.com, Tuesday 1 April 2014 18.33 BST
Two decades on from the end of the cold war, Nato governments returned last night to their core mission of protecting Europe from Russia.
As a result of the Kremlin’s seizure of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, Nato foreign ministers discussed plans to bolster defences in eastern Europe and suspend "all practical civilian and military co-operation" between Nato and Russia", Nato officials said.
The foreign ministers also acted to boost military co-operation with former Soviet states on Russia’s southern flank.
However, the first Nato ministerial meeting since Moscow annexed Crimea shied away from stationing Nato forces permanently in eastern Europe and from contemplating Nato membership for Ukraine.
While Moscow declared that the seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula had nothing to do with Russia but rather had occurred as a result of "internal processes" in Ukraine, Nato leaders dismissed assurances from the Kremlin of a pull-back of forces, estimated at 40,000, massing on Ukraine’s eastern borders.
New ratings agency Scope flags "bail-in" risk for bank investors
LONDON, April 2 Wed Apr 2, 2014 7:55am EDT
(Reuters) – The risk that creditors rather than taxpayers will bear the brunt of rescuing a bank in trouble form part of the first credit ratings given to 18 of Europe’s biggest banks on Wednesday by new ratings agency Scope.
The company, which set up in Berlin in 2002 and started credit ratings two years ago, said it aims to offer a new approach for corporate bond investors that typically rely on the three major ratings firms – Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Scope said its ratings reflected the likelihood that if a bank runs into trouble, bondholders will be "bailed in" to strengthen the bank rather than a taxpayer-funded rescue as happened during the financial crisis.
"Banks are still too big to fail, the only difference is that somebody else will pay to avoid a failure, and that somebody else is the creditors," Sam Theodore, Scope’s managing director for financial institutions, said.
"Through bail-in you could call this the privatisation of bank rescues, which to us is one of the most significant regulatory steps taken in recent years in respect to banks," Theodore said.
Abbas dumps another US-led peace effort, Kerry gives up on shuttle, Pollard release recedes
DEBKAfile Special Report April 1, 2014, 11:05 PM (IST)
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas did not announce his walkout from the negotiations with Israel or directly turn down the package of far-reaching Israeli concessions which US Secretary of State John Kerry assembled with Binyamin Netanyahu early Wednesday, April 1. He simply turned his back on the commitment he made ahead of the talks to refrain from unilateral applications to UN bodies while they were in progress. As soon as the US Secretary flew off to Brussels, he sent out applications for “the independent Palestinian state” to join 12 UN agencies as members.
This was after the Palestinian leader upped his price for meeting Kerry’s request to extend peace diplomacy from April up until the end of the year. He demanded that Israel raise the number of 26 Palestinians due to be released from jail this weekend, to 1,000. They must also include Israeli Arabs.
He was not satisfied with Israel’s offer to free another 400 terrorists and accept a partial settlement freeze; Israel must release the same number as it traded for Gilead Shalit, the Israeli hostage held by Hamas, he said.
Abbas further insisted on top Palestinian terrorist operatives serving sentences for multiple murder be on the list of released pirsoners, including the notorious Marwan Barghouti (who is serving six life sentences for six murders), Ahmad Saadat, (who plotted the assassination of the Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi) and the return to their homes of terrorists exiled as too dangerous to leave at large in the Palestinian territories.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to calm the anger in his cabinet and the Israeli public over the bottomless Palestinian capacity for extortion. His associates said that he shared John Kerry’s belief that buying another nine months for the negotiations would give the US-led peace track a good shot at running full course.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
A KGB officer will not be scared by shows of strength he believes the leaders of the West will never use. The real danger is a mistake between potential combatants.
Ukraine agrees to host NATO war games
April 1, 2014 5:30 AM
Kiev (AFP) – Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday approved a series of joint military exercises with NATO countries that would put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula.
"This is a good opportunity to develop our armed forces," acting defence minister Mykhailo Koval told Verkhovna Rada lawmakers ahead of the 235-0 vote.
The decision came as NATO foreign ministers gathered in Brussels for a two-day meeting dominated by concern over the recent buildup of Russian forces near Crimea that US officials estimate had at one point reached about 40,000 troops.
NATO has sought to reinforce its eastern frontier after Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula and amid concerns about Kremlin’s emboldened foreign policy.
Russia on Monday reported pulling back a battalion of about 500 to 700 soldiers from the border region in a move that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called "a small sign that the situation is becoming less tense".
Ukraine is not a NATO member and its new Western-backed leaders have vowed not to push for closer relations with the Brussels-based military alliance — a bloc that has been viewed with deep mistrust by Moscow since the Cold War.
Exclusive – Michael Lewis Extended Interview
Author Michael Lewis discusses his book "Flash Boys" in which an unlikely group of ragtag heroes map the hidden complexities and corruption of the market and set out to create IEX, a stock exchange with investors’ rights in mind. (19:58)
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Each step forward for the Chinese currency is a step backwards for the dollar.
Bundesbank, PBOC in Pact to Turn Frankfurt Into Renminbi Hub (1)
By Angela Cullen and Weixin Zha March 28, 2014
Germany’s Bundesbank and the Peopleâ€™s Bank of China agreed to cooperate in the clearing and settling of payments in renminbi, paving the way for Frankfurt to corner a share of the offshore market.
The central banks signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin today, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in an e-mailed statement.
Germany’s financial capital prevailed over Paris and Luxembourg in a euro-area race to win trade in renminbi, which overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in October, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The U.K. Treasury said on March 26 that the Bank of England would sign an initial agreement with the PBOC on March 31 to clear and settle yuan transactions in London.
“Frankfurt is one of Europe’s foremost financial centers and home to two central banks, making it a particularly suitable location,” said Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank’s executive board. “Renminbi clearing will strengthen the close economic and financial ties between Germany and the People’s Republic of China.”
China is loosening exchange-rate controls in an overhaul of its $9 trillion economy. The accord follows the establishment of a 350 billion-yuan ($56 billion) and 45 billion-euro ($62 billion) bilateral swap line between the PBOC and the ECB in October, bolstering access to trade finance in the euro area.
Beware of ‘bank bail-in’ hazard
Letter to the editor
POSTED: 04/02/2014 01:58:57 AM PDT
Are your deposits safe in banks? No.
Why? It’s called “bank bail-in.” Bail-in allows failing institutions, including banks, to recapitalize by taking part of your money from your accounts, etc., with no recourse. Go to your computer and type in “bank bail-in.” Scary? It should be.
By implementing bail-in, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 claims to support taxpayers by ending bailouts. The act allows the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to recapitalize a failing institution by taking your money — deposits — to bail them out. Credit unions are exempted. This goes deeper, and includes global financial institutions, because the financial system is intertwined.
Did you know Bank of America and Chase have more unsecured debt obligation than the gross national product of America? Everything stated above and much more that you must know can be found under “bail-in.” If Congress does not act soon to restore the Glass-Steagall Act, then say goodbye to money.