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Posts tagged ‘Ukraine’

Behind The Global – Game Of – Thrones

by

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras yesterday laid out Syriza’s stance, and from what I saw he didn’t pull even one punch. Despite all the suggestions from the financial press throughout the past week that Tsipras and Varoufakis reneged on campaign promises to seek debt write-downs, they didn’t, and never have – other than perhaps in semantics.

Which I don’t find the slightest bit surprising. I would have been very surprised if they had. The misinterpretation, and the faulty expectations, are easily explained through the fact that – most of – these guys are not politicians, which they very deliberately expressed in the way they dressed for their meetings with ‘Europe’s finest’.

They don’t see the ‘space’ career politicians see to negotiate away the mandate their voters have given them. For them it’s simple: we were elected on our program – which in this case happens to be to end the misery forced upon Greece by the European and Troika schemes -, and we’re not going to move away from that just because ‘the other side’ starts threatening us, or (a crucial difference in politics) because our voters may not vote for us again in a next election.

In their view, trying to scare Greece into even more submission, which is the overlying message emanating from Brussels and beyond, is entirely null and void because Greece can’t – and shouldn’t – sink any lower than it has. Very and refreshingly simple. No surprise there, but, at least on my part, just support and admiration. Syriza is fighting the fight many others don’t have the intellect, the chutzpah and/or the courage for.

The first thing they did, apart from hiring back the government offices’ cleaning ladies the Troika got fired, was to say they wanted nothing to do with that same Troika. That to me is the most important statement so far by Yanis Varoufakis and his crew. Because that goes to the heart of why Greece is where it is, and why the entire world is.

I saw a headline last night that said something like ‘Greece doesn’t want to talk to the EU’. But that’s not true. Syriza merely wants the IMF out of the picture. And then it would prefer to talk to separate EU nations and offices, rather than top down Brussels bureaucrats. Not just because of the Colonel Blotto game theory I talked about before, but because they recognize how insidious and ruthless the IMF is. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

The most remarkable ‘news item’ for me yesterday came not from Tsipras (or Greenspan), but from former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who did something he would never have when he was in office. Sarkozy went against the grain of the official western narrative vis à vis Ukraine and Russia. He said what no acting French president could possibly say (including himself), because as president he would have been beholden to the US and NATO dictated doctrine, that Putin is evil, and Ukraine should be ‘liberated’.

Sarkozy: Crimea Cannot Be Blamed For Joining Russia

Crimea cannot be blamed for seceding from Ukraine – a country in turmoil – and choosing to join Russia, said former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. He also added that Ukraine “is not destined to join the EU.” “We are part of a common civilization with Russia,” said Sarkozy [..]. “The interests of the Americans with the Russians are not the interests of Europe and Russia,” he said adding that “we do not want the revival of a Cold War between Europe and Russia.”

Regarding Crimea’s choice to secede from Ukraine when the country was in the midst of political turmoil, Sarkozy noted that the residents of the peninsula cannot be accused of doing so. “Crimea has chosen Russia, and we cannot blame it [for doing so],” he said pointing out that “we must find the means to create a peacekeeping force to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine.” In March 2014 over 96% of Crimea’s residents – the majority of whom are ethnic Russians – voted to secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia.

That is pretty close to 180º different from what the official western position is. Putin has taken note. Because it destroys everything the West, as represented by Germany’s Merkel and France’s Hollande, brought to the talks in Moscow this weekend (and Minsk today). More importantly, it throws out what NATO wants and prepares for. In the exact same way that Greece seeks to throw out the IMF.

And that is no coincidence. Sarkozy reveals his dismay at being told what to do, when he was in office, by the supranational NATO. Tsipras and Varoufakis refuse being told what to do by the supranational IMF. Same difference. Well, to an extent: Sarkozy did the NATO and IMF’s bidding when he was in office, Syriza never has.

Merkel, meanwhile, ceased resisting Mario Draghi’s mad €1 trillion+ QE program recently, and along that same vein she may today, as she’s talking to Obama in Washington, give up her resistance to the west arming Kiev. Which would be equal to a declaration of war against Russia. The pressure on her is obviously huge and increasing, but Angela should be smart enough to know that it’s impossible for Russia to stop looking out for the Donbass.

Because just about every Russian citizen has family connections in the region, who’ve been shelled by their own government for close to a year now. And if Russia were to retreat, chances are these people will be obliterated in very ugly ways. What Merkel should be demanding at the ‘peace’ talks is for not-so-very-democratically-elected PM Yatsenyuk and his shady government to step down, and nationwide fair elections to be held that include the Donbass. But she won’t.

full article at source: http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/02/behind-the-global-game-of-thrones/

Russian Bear Rattles Stock Markets, but Plunge Protection Team Rides to the Rescue

By: Gary_Dorsch

Investing is an inherently risky business with lots of uncertainties. At any given moment, the bullets can fly from any direction, and at a bare minimum, the investor hopes to emerge unscathed from the battlefield. But of course, the goal of investing is not just to break-even, but to earn a sizeable profit in the marketplace. And for the past 5-½ years, there has been no better way to maximize gains, than sticking with the traditional “Buy-and-Hold” strategy. It requires a lot of patience, a lack of emotion, and a firmly held belief that the Federal Reserve and its central bank allies will always bail you out of a difficult position.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet reminds us that most investors are often blinded by the markets’ gyrations and the latest quotations, and foolishly listening to market pundits, rather than dollar cost averaging for the long-term. “Forming macro opinions or listening to the market predictions of others is a waste of time,” Buffet says, and warns against “letting the irrational behavior of other investors, make you behave irrationally as well.” Instead, “Ignore the chatter about markets, the economy, interest rates, price behavior of stocks, etc, and don’t listen to pundits and, don’t consider acting upon their comments.”

Legions of analysts have tried to predict the future trends in the marketplace, by collecting whatever information is available, connecting the dots, and making deductions about the future. However, there are so many moving parts in the equation, such as P/E ratios, central bank intervention, geopolitical events, the macro outlook, corporate revenues and profits, the direction of interest rates, terrorism, droughts, bumper crops, and leveraged trading, etc.), which makes it very difficult to accurately predict the future. “The only value of stock forecasters is to make fortunetellers look good,” Buffett says.

Instead, computer programs have replaced human analysts and traders, and the US-stock market is now mostly running on algorithmic auto-pilot. New developments, including high-frequency trading, a proliferation of exchange-traded funds and free information via bloggers and social media, are behind this seismic shift. Algorithms can analyze 150 different variables at any moment in time, and fire off trades in milliseconds based on complicated fundamental and technical models and front-run the average small investors, before the human eye can read company or government news releases. This kind of trading accounts for up to 70% of volume on some days with the full support of the US-exchanges.

However, there are very rare events that occur somewhere around the world, otherwise known as “Black Swan Events” that can befuddle “financial science” and the best designed computerized models. For example, heading into 2014, few traders could’ve predicted that the Kremlin would act to seize Crimea’s territorial waters along with the region itself, and that Moscow would deploy 20,000 to 45,000 troops along the eastern and southern borders of Ukraine, thus marking the start of the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War, and triggering a round of economic sanctions with Europe and the US.

full article at source: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article46898.html

Putin Tells Merkel “Ukraine On The Verge Of A Civil War” As Germany Agrees To Re-Sell Russian Gas To Ukraine

A day after Putin called Obama to warn him that only the US president can prevent bloodshed in Ukraine – something which Obama failed at based on this morning’s reports out of east Ukraine – German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a follow up phone call with the Kremlin a few hours ago, in which Putin told her that “The sharp escalation of the conflict puts the country, in essence, on the verge of a civil war”.

From Itar-Tass:

 President Vladimir Putin has had a telephone conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany and discussed with her the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin press service reports.

Russia’s Head of State pointed out , “The sharp escalation of the conflict puts the country, in essence, on the verge of a civil war“.

The leaders of the two countries accentuated the importance of talks in a quadripartite format (Russia, the European Union, the United States, and Ukraine), planned for April 17. “Hope has been expressed that the sides at the meeting in Geneva will manage to convey a clear message contributing to directing the situation into a peaceful channel,” a Kremlin press service official added.

The RF President also recalled the importance of stabilizing the economy of Ukraine and of ensuring deliveries and transit of Russian natural gas to Europe. This had been reiterated in his message, dated April 10, 2014, to the leaders of a number of European countries.

The telephone conversation was held on the initiative of the German side.

Considering the events from this morning which nearly resulted in the S&P plunging below 1800 only to be “redeemed” by the “bad news” that the Japanese economy is about to stumble yet again, leading algos to believe that more BOJ QE is imminent and sending the S&P surging by over 30 points in the span of a few hours, this is hardly surprising.

What is more surprising, is that as we reported earlier, the very same Germany, through its RWE AG utility, announced it would supply Ukraine with nat gas in 2014 since Gazprom is adamant on no longer providing the troubled country with the precious commodity in the absence of payment (which Ukraine can’t afford). WSJ reports:

 German utility RWE AG said it agreed to supply Ukraine with natural gas this year, as the troubled country seeks to reduce its reliance on gas imported from Russia.

RWE is the first European energy company to agree to supply gas to Ukraine since the political crisis there threatened the former Soviet republic’s supplies from Russia. But the deal underscores the extent to which Europe, now scrambling to shore up Ukraine, also depends on Russian gas…………………

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-15/putin-tells-merkel-ukraine-verge-civil-war

Where The Russian Troops Are – The Full “Pre-Takeover”

As we reported yesterday, Crimea is last week’s story. Now it is all about east Ukraine. In that vein, moments ago John Kerry’s latest stand up comedy routine hit the tape which contained, besides the usual laugh lines, this particular pearl:

  • KERRY SAYS RUSSIA DOESN’T YET HAVE FORCES FOR UKRAINE TAKEOVER

Is that so? We provide this map showing the latest distribution of Russian military forces on the Ukraine borders so that readers can make up their own mind.

And here is another map compiled by Dmitry Tymchuk, a former Ukrainian military officer, who has established an organization, the Center of Military and Political Research on Kiev, to effectively collect and gather data about military-related facts…

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-13/where-russian-troops-are-full-pre-takeover-infographic

20 Early Warning Signs That We Are Approaching A Global Economic Meltdown

ubmitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Have you been paying attention to what has been happening in Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Ukraine, Turkey and China?  If you are like most Americans, you have not been.  Most Americans don’t seem to really care too much about what is happening in the rest of the world, but they should.  In major cities all over the globe right now, there is looting, violence, shortages of basic supplies, and runs on the banks.  We are not at a “global crisis” stage yet, but things are getting worse with each passing day.  For a while, I have felt that 2014 would turn out to be a major “turning point” for the global economy, and so far that is exactly what it is turning out to be.  The following are 20 early warning signs that we are rapidly approaching a global economic meltdown…

#1 The looting, violence and economic chaos that is happening in Argentina right now is a perfect example of what can happen when you print too much money

For Dominga Kanaza, it wasn’t just the soaring inflation or the weeklong blackouts or even the looting that frayed her nerves.

 

It was all of them combined.

 

At one point last month, the 37-year-old shop owner refused to open the metal shutters protecting her corner grocery in downtown Buenos Aires more than a few inches — just enough to sell soda to passersby on a sweltering summer day.

#2 The value of the Argentine Peso is absolutely collapsing.

#3 Widespread shortages, looting and accelerating inflation are also causing huge problems in Venezuela

Economic mismanagement in Venezuela has reached such a level that it risks inciting a violent popular reaction. Venezuela is experiencing declining export revenues, accelerating inflation and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods. At the same time, the Maduro administration has foreclosed peaceful options for Venezuelans to bring about a change in its current policies.

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-24/20-early-warning-signs-we-are-approaching-global-economic-meltdown

Russia and Europe Battle for Ukraine

By Stephen_Lendman

Ukraine matters. It’s strategically located. It’s in Europe’s geographic center. It borders seven countries.

In alphabetical order, they include Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. After Western/Central Russia, it’s Europe’s largest country territorially.

It’s resource rich. Zbigniew Brzezinski once said “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.”

Recently he said if Russia ever reunites with Ukraine, it’ll be a Eurasian powerhouse. If Ukraine allies with Western Europe, Moscow will be significantly weakened geopolitically.

The battle for Ukraine continues. Its future is up for grabs. A previous article said street protests are manipulated.

Washington’s dirty hands are involved. Young militants were recruited. They’re street thugs. They’re up to no good. They’re paid to protest. Radical nationalists joined them. Ukraine’s future is at stake.

On Tuesday, mixed reports surfaced. President Viktor Yanukovych was quoted saying:

“We cannot talk about the future without talking about restoring trade relations with Russia.” He stressed a “future treaty on strategic partnership.”

Does he or does he not mean a Customs Union? Agreeing to one rules out an EU alliance. It’s one or the other, not both.

At the same time, he repeated what he said earlier. He favors European integration. On December 10, Voice of Russia(VOR) headlined “Yanukovych approves plan to sign Ukraine-EU agreement in March 2014.”

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk announced it. So did Yanukovych. He did so after meeting with three former Ukrainian presidents – Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma, and Viktor Yushchenko.

“We have sent the government a task to speed up this work,” said Yanukovych.

“As soon as we reach an understanding and such a compromise is achieved, it will be signed.”

“I have said repeatedly that since 1997, the program of the Party of Regions has had the integration of Ukraine into European space as a strategic objective.”

On December 11, a First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Abruzov-led delegation left for Brussels.

Work on the “joint Ukrainian-EU working group” will begin, said Yanukovych.

full article at source: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article43540.html

FEMEN Protests Topless Against Gazprom, Vladimir Putin

It seems it’s never too cold for FEMEN. Despite temperatures dipping to minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit (about -24ºC), members of the Ukrainian activist group protested outside the headquarters of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom — topless, The Huffington Post reports.

According to the Associated Press, the women held signs reading “Gas Racket” and “Gas Gangsters,” accusing Russian Prime Minster Vladimir Putin and Gazprom of subjugating Ukraine and Europe through its gas policies.

According to the Russia Times, FEMEN’s official blog notes that the group is targeting Russia’s “gas terror” against Ukraine during the country’s freezing winter.

“The organization is also protesting against Russia’s gas pressure, price monopoly, takeover of national gas transportation, and forcing gas-depending countries into dead-born political and economic unions,” the blog reportedly reads……

full article at source:http://www.epress.am/en/2012/02/14/femen-protests-topless-against-gazprom-vladimir-putin-photos.html

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