Posted at 11:19 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Another bad day for the Cabal.  Everywhere Kerry goes he faces failure.  Other than another photo op, I’m not sure why Kerry went to India since WTO issues do not fall within a Secretary of State’s preview.

Since the earlier 1960′s trade negotiations are the responsibility of the US Office of Trade Representative, which is a cabinet position reporting directly to the President.

The India trip is just another example of Kerry’s need for the spotlight. In contrast note how focused Russia FM Lavrov is.

CIGA Craig

India says WTO deal not dead, can sign in September if concerns addressed
By Manoj Kumar and Tom Miles
NEW DELHI/GENEVA Fri Aug 1, 2014 11:25am EDT

(Reuters) – India is willing to sign a global trade deal, which it has torpedoed, if other World Trade Organization members can agree to its parallel demand for concessions on stockpiling food, senior officials in New Delhi said on Friday.

The deadline to sign the WTO pact to ease worldwide customs rules lapsed at midnight in Geneva on Thursday after India demanded that the group also finalise an agreement giving it more freedom to subsidise and stockpile food grains than is allowed by WTO rules.

It was not immediately clear if the latest comments by Indian officials would open a window for the deal to be resurrected.

In Geneva, a trade diplomat from a developing nation said: "The trust that countries have in what India says is going to be significantly diminished."

More…

Posted at 1:27 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Russia And India Begin Negotiations To Use National Currencies In Settlements, Bypassing Dollar
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/31/2014 11:44 -0400

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:

First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation KV Yudaeva and Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India G. Padmanabhan at the twentieth meeting of the Subgroup on banking and financial issues of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation discussed the current state and prospects of cooperation between banks.

The meeting was attended by representatives of central banks, ministries and agencies, credit organizations in Russia and India.

During the meeting dealt with the problems faced by the branches and subsidiaries of banks in the two countries and ways of addressing these problems.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

One result of sanctions.

China advocates further development of strategic cooperation with Russia
July 31, 18:41 UTC+4

BEIJING, July 31. /ITAR-TASS/. China stands for further development of comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership with Russia, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday.

He made the statement during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The two top diplomats unanimously agreed to “maintain close strategic contacts and coordinate activities” of the two countries.

As active members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia should maintain close contact on such international and regional issues as Afghanistan, the Korean nuclear problem, the Iranian nuclear program, and Ukraine in order to facilitate their resolution, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Wang and Lavrov also noted the need to step up cooperation within the SCO and take further steps to advance the common interests of its member states.

The ministers said bilateral meetings and high-level visits in the second half of the year would help to promote political, trade, economic, energy and humanitarian cooperation between China and Russia.

More…

Chicago PMI plunges in biggest one-month drop since Oct. 2008
Index at lowest level in a year
By Greg Robb, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A key Midwestern manufacturing gauge saw its biggest drop in July since the start of the financial crisis in October 2008, suggesting the possibility of a softer second half U.S. economic performance than had been hoped.

The Chica The July reading was the worst in over a year.

Purchasing managers said the downturn was a “lull” and not the start of a new downward trend.

“Some feedback from panelists points to this being a temporary setback, although we’ll need to see the August data to judge to what extent this is a blip,” said Philip Uglow, chief economist at MNI Indicators.

Jim O’Sullivan, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, said the slowdown was not likely due to the annual shutdown of auto plants to retool for new production.

“It hasn’t been an issue before,” he said.

go purchasing managers index plunged to a reading of 52.6 in July, down from a reading of 62.6 in the prior month and well below the consensus of 63.5.

More…

On Washington’s Ukrainian Fiasco: "Who Is The Real Problem Here?"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/28/2014 22:07 -0400

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

In just 800 words Pat Buchanan exposes the sheer juvenile delinquency embodied in Washington’s current Ukrainian fiasco. He accomplishes this by reminding us of the sober restraint that governed the actions of American Presidents from FDR to Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush I with respect to Eastern Europe during far more perilous times.

In a word, as much as they abhorred the brutal Soviet repression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968 and the solidarity movement in Poland in the early 1980s, among many other such incidents, they did not threaten war for one simple reason: These unfortunate episodes did not further endanger America’s national security. Instead, in different ways each of these Presidents searched for avenues of engagement with the often disagreeable and belligearent leaders of the Soviet Empire because they “felt that America could not remain isolated from the rulers of the world’s largest nation”.

Accordingly, during the entire span from 1933, when FDR recognized the Soviet Union, until 1991, when it ended, the US never once claimed Ukraine’s independence was part of its foreign policy agenda or a vital national security interest. Why in the world, therefore, should we be meddling in the backyard of a far less threatening Russia today?

More importantly, if Ike could invite Khrushchev to tour America and pow-wow with him at Camp David after the suppression of the Hungarian freedom fighters and his bluster over Berlin, what in the world is Obama doing attempting to demonize Putin and make him an international pariah? The fact is, Crimea had been part of Russia for 200 years, and the Donbas had been its Russian-speaking coal, steel and industrial heartland since the time of Stalin.

Putin’s disagreements with the Ukrainian nationalists who took over Kiev during the Washington inspired overthrow of its constitutionally-elected government in February are his legitimate geo-political business, but have nothing to do with our national security. And whatever his considerable faults, Putin is no totalitarian menace even remotely in the same league as his Soviet predecessors. In that regard, Hillary Clinton’s sophomoric comparison of him to Hitler is downright preposterous.

More…

Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site
BY POLINA DEVITT AND GABRIELA BACZYNSKA
MOSCOW/KIEV Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:13am EDT

(Reuters) – Russia fought back on Wednesday over new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine even as G7 leaders warned of further steps, while Ukraine’s government accused pro-Russian rebels of placing land mines near the site of a crashed Malaysian airliner to prevent a proper investigation.

Russia announced a ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland and said it could extend it to the entire European Union, a move Warsaw called Kremlin retaliation for new Western sanctions over Ukraine imposed on Russia on Tuesday.

Moscow called the new EU and U.S. sanctions "destructive and short-sighted" and said they would lead to higher energy prices in Europe and damage cooperation with the United States on international affairs.

The confrontation between Russia and the West entered a new phase this week, with the United States and European Union taking by far the strongest international steps yet against Moscow over its support for Ukraine’s rebels.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Apparently those funds confiscated in various ways in the "Bail In," may not have been necessary.

A Secret in Cyprus Bank Bailout Stirs Resentment
By LANDON THOMAS JR.
July 24, 2014 8:27 pm

Of all the financial implosions in the eurozone, few matched last year’s collapse of tiny Cyprus in terms of drama and chaos.

Frantic Cypriots queued up at banks to drain their accounts. Russian oligarchs scrambled to repatriate hidden fortunes. European officials, fearing another bout of market contagion, orchestrated an audacious 17 billion euro rescue package — forcing depositors to bear a large part of the cost, unlike other bailouts.

Now, the foundation of the bailout, an analysis by bond giant Pimco, is being challenged by economists, lawyers and politicians in Cyprus. They argue that the analysis relied too heavily on aggressive financial assumptions that in some cases deviated from international accounting standards, thus inflating how much cash banks needed to survive.

The basis for the criticism comes from an unusual source: a separate BlackRock study commissioned by the Cypriot central bank shortly before Pimco issued its report. The central bank chief, voicing concerns over Pimco’s models and its approach, asked BlackRock, the world’s largest investor, to dissect the work of its rival.

More…

Posted at 1:24 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

Once again the IMF in recent days presents to the world their concerns for what is happening financially and economically around the world. I interpret that to mean that they want the citizens of the world to not hold them responsible for the crash that is coming. Their hands are clean.

CIGA Larry

Tight Financial Conditions, Emerging Market Slowdown To Damage Global GDP: IMF
7/30/2014 1:17 AM ET

The International Monetary Fund said the interactions between sharply tightening financial conditions and a structural slowdown in emerging markets would be damaging for the global economy.

Given the significant and rising contribution of emerging market economies to the global economy over the past few decades, their recent slowdown could have far-reaching implications for the rest of the world, it said.

According to IMF estimates, a 1 percentage point drop in emerging market GDP growth would lead to a 0.2 percentage point decline in annual growth in advanced economies.

Further, IMF noted that monetary policy normalization should be a healthy global development as growth firms up in key advanced economies but there could be adverse spillovers.

More…

Posted at 1:23 PM (CST) by & filed under Yra Harris.

Dear CIGAs,

It seems that the Fed’s FOMC statement was an effort to have it all:“LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS IMPROVED, WITH THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINING FURTHER. HOWEVER, A RANGE OF LABOR MARKET INDICATORS SUGGESTS THAT THERE REMAINS SIGNIFICANT UNDERUTILIZATION OF LABOR RESOURCES.” This is Janet Yellen coming clean. She is a labor economist who will ensure that the FED will err on the side of labor and wage gains. The battle cry from the Fed is loud and clear: No RATE RAISES BEFORE WAGE INCREASES.

While most post-FOMC commentary in the media is worthless, CNBC had on former Fed Governor Randy Kroszner and I believe his analysis was perfect. He cited the same language I noted above and indicated that the change in the language on jobs was SIGNIFICANT (the underutilization of labor resources). Kroszner noted that the language change “allowed the Fed to PIVOT from the strong GDP to focus on the labor market, especially the measure of U6.” In Kroszner’s opinion the gap between headline unemployment versus U6 has averaged about 4 percent but it CURRENTLY RESIDES AT 6 PERCENT (12.1 U6 versus 6.1 headline), thus giving the Yellen FOMC a 2 percent gap to close with the zero interest rate policy. This gives Chair Yellen the statistical cover to allow wages to rise for the labor mandate won’t be met until the all those wanting to work are able to find a job.

This leads to my continued opinion that wages are Yellen’s main concern and as the statement concludes: “The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.” If Kroszner and NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND are correct it will show up in the YIELD CURVE STEEPENING and PRECIOUS METALS REGAINING THEIR LUSTER. The Fed’s credibility is certainly on the line as the market will test Janet Yellen.

***Tomorrow’s post will be the last for two weeks as I take a well-earned hiatus. If something major occurs I will post a short note but otherwise I am going to power down so as to recharge. Enjoy and best to all my readers.

Click here to visit Yra Harris’ blog…

Posted at 6:12 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The latest from John Williams’ www.ShadowStats.com.

- Second-Quarter GDP Surge Not Credible, Significant Downside Revisions Remain in Offing
- Actual Economic Activity Remains in Serious Trouble
- Historical GDP Revised Lower Where Better Data Were Available and Revised Higher Where Better Numbers Were Not

"No. 646: Second-Quarter 2014 GDP, GDP Benchmark Revisions, Household Income"
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

How much did subprime loans fuel the GDP
boom?
By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
July 30, 2014, 11:24 a.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — It’d be tempting to think that the days of subprime loans fueling the economy were a product of the era of the aged or departed Ace Greenberg, Alan Greenspan and Angelo Mozilo.

Except when you break down the growth in GDP, it’s clear that car and light truck purchases played a major role. And subprime loans, in turn, are financing those transactions.

In the second quarter, motor vehicle and parts spending grew an annual 17.5%. Put another way, cars made up 3.7% of all consumer spending, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2008.

Subprime loans make up about a third of new car-sales and two-thirds of used cars, according to data from Experian Automotive, at the end of last year. The New York Times, in a story about the subprime loan sector , pointed out that growth has climbed more than 130% in the five years since the crisis.

No prizes, by the way, for guessing which sector was cut out of regulation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in an amendment tacked onto the Dodd-Frank bank reform law.

Ally Financial, the financing arm spun off from General Motors, insists subprime isn’t much of their business. (In the first half, 13% of their originations came from non prime or customers with no FICO scores.) But an executive noted on an investor call that, right now, you see aggressive competition in the subprime sector, particularly the “deep subprime space.” And even at Ally, the delinquency rate is beginning to rise.

More…

 

GDP Deja Vu Stunner: Over Half Of US Growth In The Past Year Is From Inventory Accumulation
Tyler Durden on 07/30/2014 11:45 -0400

Back in December 2013, when everyone was expecting a 3% GDP print for Q1, we did a simple analysis concluding that "Inventory Hoarding Accounts For Nearly 60% Of GDP Increase In Past Year." We stated that this "hollow growth",which is merely producers pulling demand from the future courtesy of cheap credit and assuming the inventory will be sold off in ordinary course of business without bottom-line slamming liquidations or dumping, and which further assumes a healthy US consumer and global economy, is a flashing red flag for the future of US economic growth. In fact, we were one of the very few who warned that Q1 GDP would be a disaster: "The problem with inventory hoarding, however, is that at some point it will have to be "unhoarded." Which is why expect many downward revisions to future GDP as this inventory overhang has to be destocked."

This is precisely what happened in Q1, however it was blamed on the "harsh weather."

Alas, following today’s "spectacular" 4.0% GDP print following the predicted plunge in the US economy in Q1, we can again conclude that not only has nothing changed, but what we warned in Q4 of 2013 is about to happen all over again, and the inventory overhang (which incidentally was estiamted by the BEA and will certainly be revised lower next month) is about to slam future US growth.

More…

Posted at 5:14 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim,

GDP up 4%?  That made me laugh-out-loud.  My number 3 son has an advanced degree in physics from the University of Syracuse and can’t find work. There are PhD’s that would be happy working as a photocopier repairman (or woman). My number 2 son (no college) got a job selling sub-prime auto loans about 3 months ago. He closed his 100th account (not individual buyers mind you, but dealerships) in less than 45 days. He gets a free trip to Las Vegas. My number 3 son lives with me, has 100K in student loans and will soon be off my health insurance…

GDP up 4%? Bull*%$#!!!

Thanks for all you do,
CIGA – Matt

Posted at 12:41 PM (CST) by & filed under USAWatchdog.com.

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Dear CIGAs,

Real Estate expert Fabian Calvo says boom bust housing crisis is on the way.  Calvo explains, “There are a lot of outlier indicators that show the run-up to another big boom in housing prices.  If you look back and consider my theory of the ‘pump and dump’ in March of 2012, when I said housing prices would shoot through the roof, housing prices are up over 26%.

We are entering one of the most dangerous periods of the housing market with the manipulated, Ponzi style booms similar to what we say in Dow Jones and the stock market.” Calvo goes on to say, “I am often surprised that the real estate market is not talked about more.  It is a central key component of the overall Wall Street Ponzi scheme that they are running in the West, and really globally, when it comes to propping up the dollar and propping up financial markets.” Calvo contends there are signs the power players are getting ready to dump real estate.  Calvo says, “John Paulson, we know he made billions of dollars betting against subprime; he knew the handwriting was on the wall.   What’s he betting on now?  He just put in a half billion dollars to buy a big company called Realogy.

Realogy happens to own Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA, Sotheby’s; so you see what he’s doing.  We also know Warren Buffett bought Prudential. They are buying up these real estate brokerage houses because they know this new wave of real estate is going to be anyone who can fog up a mirror will be able to get a loan, including the millions of illegal aliens that are flowing over the border.  They are going to be giving loans to them as well to buy up these homes.” Calvo, whose company buys and sells $100 million worth of real estate annually, also points out, “You have these housing companies who own millions of properties, and they are already starting to sell mortgage-backed securities and securitizing these bundles.”  Calvo thinks it’s deja vu all over again, and what will happen?  Calvo says, “Soon enough, the same thing that crashed the market in 2007 and 2008.

That is such an incredible development in the housing markets, and the greater ramifications in the housing markets are huge.”  Calvo also says, “This is really being done to mask the systemic problems we have in the economy.  It’s kind of this idea of bread and circuses.  If you have people getting money, basically free no money down loans where people can buy homes and buy cars, they’re not thinking how bad this economy really is.  It is such a symbolic end-of-the-road type of indicator for me.”  Calvo adds, “I would say the U.S. dollar is wounded.

More…

Posted at 8:08 AM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation,” he said, “is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.
–Ernest Hemingway

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

John Williams shares the following with us.

- Minimally Weaker-Than-Consensus Labor Numbers— Unremarkable Except for the Regular, Horrendous Reporting Quality 
- July Unemployment: 6.2% (U.3), 12.2% (U.6), 23.2% (ShadowStats) 
- Real Construction Spending – Stagnation with a Recent Downside Bias 
- Economy Remains in Serious Trouble

"No. 647: July Employment and Unemployment, June Construction Spending"
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

Paul Craig Roberts – This Mega-Collapse Will Terrify People

Today former US Treasury official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, warned King World News that a coming mega-collapse will terrify people around the world.  He said the cause of this mega-collapse will be “a complete and total failure of the United States government.”  Below is what Dr. Roberts had to say in this shocking interview.

Eric King:  “Dr. Roberts, as you know KWN interviewed the man who was called upon to execute QE1, and he said the Fed’s balance sheet was at “$4.4 trillion, compared to $800 billion pre-financial crisis.  So this is really uncharted territory that I find quite shocking.”

Dr. Roberts:  “Well it is quite shocking.  And if all that money had gotten into the economy, we would be experiencing a hyperinflation…..

More…

Don’t Be Fooled by the Fed’s Placid Facade
Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 08:21 AM
By Mohamed A. El-Erian

One of the unwritten rules of modern central banking is that, unless compelled by events on the ground, officials should refrain from making big policy changes during the summer. With many traders on holiday, any sudden moves risk destabilizing markets.

Look for the Federal Reserve to abide by this rule when it meets Tuesday and Wednesday — and the European Central Bank to do the same in early August. Janet Yellen and her colleagues on the policy-making Federal Open Market Committee will maintain their well-telegraphed, gradualist approach, reducing monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion, signaling no urgency in raising interest rates, and reminding us of the importance of looking beyond the unemployment rate to understand what’s happening in the job market.

Still, behind this comforting “steady as she goes” facade, Fed officials will be dealing with five complex and inter-related issues, the resolution of which will be months in the making:

To what extent is the central bank’s policy approach increasing the risk of financial instability down the road? This question is preoccupying a growing number of regional Fed presidents.

How much damage has the recession inflicted on the economy’s growth potential and its productivity, thus limiting the effectiveness of Fed policies?

How quickly will this year’s faster-than-expected drop in the unemployment rate translate into wage gains, and will they undermine the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target?

More…

 

EU Announces New Washington-Pleasing, Russia-Wristslap Sanctions
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/29/2014 11:05 -0400

After unleashing a 10-page report of the death and destructive economic impact they could have on Russia via sanctions, the European leaders have agreed to issue travel bans, some asset-freezes, and trade curbs on various new individuals and business entities. The Goldilocks sanctions… just enough to please Washington, not enough to infuriate Putin into ‘boomerangs’.

*EU AMBASSADORS’ MEETING ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS REACHES DEAL: FT

Via DPA,

EU ambassadors have reached agreement on a new round of travel bans and asset freezes in response to the crisis in Ukraine, diplomats say.

*  *  *

The sanctions…

*EU AGREES CURBS ON RUSSIAN BANKS, EXPORT OF SOME TECHNOLOGY

*EU TO RESTRICT EXPORT OF EQUIPMENT FOR RUSSIAN OIL PRODUCTION

*EU TO CURB STATE-OWNED RUSSIAN BANKS’ ACCESS TO CAPITAL MARKETS

*EU TO IMPOSE EMBARGO ON FUTURE ARMS SALES TO RUSSIA

*EU TO CURB SALE OF ‘DUAL-USE’ MACHINERY, ELECTRONICS TO RUSSIA

*SANCTIONS WILL BE REVIEWED AFTER 3 MONTHS: EU DIPLOMAT

But…

*AIDE SAYS U.S. HAS APPROVED EXPORTS OF DUAL-USE GOODS TO RUSSIA

*COMMERCE AIDE SAYS U.S. HASN’T REVOKED RUSSIA EXPORT LICENSES

*U.S. GOODS APPROVED FOR EXPORT HAVE MILITARY APPLICATIONS

I.e. the rockets for US military satellites

More…

Moscow may walk out of nuclear treaty after US accusations of breach
Russia said to be on point of leaving 1987 treaty, after Obama administration said it violated the accord with tests of R-500
Alec Luhn in Moscow and Julian Borger
theguardian.com, Tuesday 29 July 2014 07.38 EDT

Russia may be on the point of walking out of a major cold war era arms-control treaty, Russian analysts have said, after President Obamaaccused Moscow of violating the accord by testing a cruise missile.

There has been evidence at least since 2011 of Russian missile tests in violation of the 1987 intermediate range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, which banned US or Russian ground-launched cruise missiles with a 500 to 5,500-mile (805 to 8,851km) range. But the Obama administration has been hesitant until now of accusing Moscow of a violation in the hope that it could persuade Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to stop the tests or at least not deploy the weapon in question, known as the Iskander, or R-500.

Washington has also been reticent because of the technical differences in definition of what constitutes the range of a missile under the INF treaty. That ambiguity now seems to have dropped away. According to Pavel Felgenhauer, a defence analyst and columnist for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Russia has indeed broken the treaty by testing the R-500 which has a range of more than 1,000km.

"Of course, this is in gross violation of the 1987 treaty, but Russian officials including Putin have said this treaty is unfair and not suitable for Russia," Felgenhauer said. "The United States doesn’t have [medium-range missiles] but other countries do have them, such as China, Pakistan and Israel, so they say this is unfair and wrong."

Russian press reports have suggested the missile may even be in deployment, with state news agency RIA Novosti reporting in June that the "Russian army currently uses its Iskander-M and Iskander-K variants." Felgenhauer said he doesn’t believe the missile has been deployed, although he said it’s entirely possible that Russia will leave the treaty amid tensions with the US.

More…

U.S. homeownership rate falls to 19-year low in second quarter
WASHINGTON Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:26am EDT

(Reuters) – Homeownership in the United States hit a 19-year low in the second quarter as financially squeezed Americans opted to rent, pointing to a sluggish housing market recovery.

The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell to 64.8 percent, the lowest level since the second quarter of 1995, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

The rate, which peaked at 69.4 percent in 2004, was 65.0 percent in the first three months of 2013.

More…

IMF warns of adverse effects of anti-Russia bans
Tuesday Jul 29, 201401:37 PM GMT

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the sanctions imposed on Russia over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine would have adverse effects on a global scale.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, IMF spokesman William Murray said that the potential global impacts of the anti-Russia sanctions are “still under assessment, but clearly you would anticipate – through trade channels – that there would be an impact.”

Murray also emphasized that the sanctions are expected to affect the economies “that have very active and direct trade links with Russia, particularly in eastern and central Europe and central Asia.”

The remarks come amid reports that the European Union (EU) ambassadors have agreed to add 15 individuals and 18 companies to the sanctions blacklist targeting Moscow.

Under proposals considered by the 28-nation bloc’s member states, there could be a ban on European purchases of shares or bonds sold by Russian state-owned banks.

Brussels has so far imposed sanctions such as travel bans and asset freezes against Russian and pro-Russia figures. The restrictions were imposed after a decision by Ukraine’s then autonomous region of Crimea to join the Russian Federation in March. More than 60 individuals as well as firms have been put on the sanctions list.

The EU has called for tougher sanctions against Moscow since July 17, when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was reportedly shot down over Ukraine’s volatile Donetsk region while en route from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing 298 passengers and crew on board.

More…

 

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

A strong disagreement with MSM and the party line.

US is no safer after 13 years of war, a top Pentagon official says
The outgoing head of the Defense Intelligence Agency says that new players on the scene are more radical than Al Qaeda, and the core Al Qaeda ideology has lost none of its potency.
By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer July 28, 2014

The nation is no safer after 13 years of war, warns a top US military official who leads one of the nation’s largest intelligence organizations.

“We have a whole gang of new actors out there that are far more extreme than Al Qaeda,” says Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which employs some 17,000 American intelligence collectors in 140 countries around the world.

That the United States is no safer – and in some respects may be less safe – even after two wars and trillions of dollars could prove to be disappointing news for Americans, noted the journalist questioning General Flynn at the Aspen Security Forum last week.

Still, Flynn was firm on that point. “Yeah, my quick answer is that we’re not,” he said.

America is less safe today in large part because of the emergence of terrorist groups like the Islamic State, formerly know as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group is stoking regional wars in Syria and Iraq that will only continue to increase in complexity, Flynn said.

More…