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Albert Edwards’ “WOW!” Chart, Or Why “Draghi Makes Greenspan Look Like A Rank Amateur”

Back in January, when European stocks were only starting their unprecedented QE ramp, we presented the “Driver Behind The European Stock Surge” in which we showed that ever since Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes” speech in July 2012, European equity prices were up 50% (even higher now) even as corporate earnings had actually declined by 7%.

It is a take on the chart above that has sent Albert Edwards over the edge once again, and in his latest letter he presents another way of visualizing the data above, with the help of what he dubs the “WOW!” chart.

Edwards begins with the standard, and well-deserved, rant against central bankers who now merely need – and create – ever greater bubbles in hopes of preserving a system, which can no longer function away from a “bubble” state.

We have long fulminated against strategists who are unwilling to predict sharp market moves. The violent downmove in the euro over the last few weeks is a case in point. Mario Draghi and the ECB’s manipulation of asset prices makes Greenspan’s Fed look like a rank amateur. More shocking though than the plunge in the euro, and more shocking even that 25% of sovereign eurozone bonds now trade in negative territory, is what has happened to eurozone equity valuations. For, as we approach the sixth anniversary of the US cyclical bull market (a post-war record), the PE expansion of eurozone equities is simply off the scale. History suggests this will end very badly indeed. Ask Alan!

What is he talking about? Presenting Albert Edwards’ “WOW!” chart:

Edwards’ explanation:

This extraordinary multiple expansion is most shockingly illustrated by the chart [above] showing eurozone trailing PEs expanding to the moon (on trailing PE, the eurozone now stands at 20x vs 18.5x in the US). The chart below shows developments for only the past couple of years – this time using the 12m forward PE. The interesting point here is how, despite a profit explosion in Japan, the Japanese forward PE is unchanged at around 14x whereas US and eurozone forward PEs have both surged.

While we agree with everything Edwards is saying, we don’t agree with his assessment that Japan’s epic clobbering of its currency is helping its corporations. Sure, there are benefits, mostly in the area of exports and a brief spike in profitability, which Edwards notes in detail…

The surge in Japanese company profits on the back of the yen?s devaluation since early 2013 is truly extraordinary, but this has not (yet?) fed through to a booming Japanese economy. Like QE, the liquidity surplus…………………………….

full article at source:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-12/albert-edwards-wow-chart-or-why-draghi-makes-greensplan-look-rank-amateur



China Blasts Obama’s “Paranoid, Narrow-Minded, Arrogant, & Hypocritical” Foreign Policy

Yeah but apart from that, US-China relations are excellent. Following President Obama’s barbed comments aimed at China’s new counter-terrorism laws (and their implications for US tech companies – as NSA spying ‘facts’ reduce China’s appetite for American-made IT products), Beijing has blasted back. In one of the least holds-barred undiploatic statements in recent times, China (speaking through its official mouthpiece Xinhua), calls Obama’s criticism “utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy.” And with that they are just getting started…

Full statement (via Xinhua)

 U.S. President Barack Obama’s criticism of the upcoming counterterrorism law of China is utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy.

Although the enactment of a Chinese law is an entirely internal affair of China, Obama insisted that the measure, which would require technology firms to give Chinese authorities surveillance access in order to collect intelligence about terrorists, is “something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States”.

To begin with, the provisions are written for and solely for acquiring more and better counterterrorism intelligence, as China is facing severe threats from various domestic terrorists, for instance, the so-called “East Turkestan Liberation Organization.”

Terrorists nowadays use more and more modern technologies for communications and collaboration. And it has become a common practice in many Western countries, including the U.S. itself, to keep a close watch on the Internet and telecommunication networks for possible hints of terrorism and other criminal activities.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency both have access to the equipment of major U.S. technology firms.

FBI Director James Comey publicly warned companies like Apple and Google in 2014 against using encryption that the law enforcement authorities cannot break.

While defending the legitimacy and necessity of similar behaviors in his own country, Obama’s criticism of Chinese counterterrorism law obviously shows selfishness and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy.

Secondly, the surveillance of terrorism actions on equipment of the Internet and telecommunication companies in China will be carried out strictly in accordance with the law.

And with transparent procedures, China’s anti-terrorism campaign will be different from what the United States has done: letting the surveillance authorities run amok and turn counterterrorism into paranoid espionage and peeping on its civilians and allies.

In fact, the same paranoid and narrow-mindedness, as demonstrated by the over-action of Obama and his cabinet members to the provisions in the Chinese anti-terrorism law, has also denied Chinese technology companies’ access to the U.S. market.

Contrary to the accusations of the United States, China’s anti-terror law will put no unfair regulatory pressures on foreign companies, because the provisions will apply to both domestic and foreign firms.

Moreover, to win the global fight against terrorism, Obama and his government should treat China on equal terms and stop making foreign policies based on realpolitik and the short term pursuit of its own unilateral interests.

Less than three weeks after Obama held the “counterterrorism summit” in Washington and referred terrorism as one the greatest threats in this generation, the president has begun to slam the counter-terrorism efforts of another country, which makes people naturally question the real intentions of such accusations.

China’s new counterterrorism law can help fight terrorism in a better and more effective way. Any setback of terrorists is a victory of all countries.

The sooner Obama and his government understand this, the better will the world benefit.

Full article and source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-04/china-blasts-obamas-paranoid-narrow-minded-arrogant-hypocritical-foreign-policy

In Denmark You Are Now Paid To Take Out A Mortgage

Little did we know that just minutes after our tweet, we would learn that at least one place is already paying homeowners to take out a mortgage. That’s right – the negative rate mortgage is now a reality.

Thanks of Mario Draghi’s generosity with “other generations’ slavery”, and following 3 consecutive rate cuts by the Danish Central Bank, a local bank – Nordea Credit – is now offering a mortgage with a negative interest rate! This means, according to DR.dk, that Nordea have had to pay instead of charging interest to to a handful of customers, says housing economist at Nordea Kredit, Lise Nytoft Bergmann for Finance.

From DR, google-translated:

The interest rate has balanced around 0 in a level between minus 0.03 percent plus 0.03 percent. Most have paid a modest positive interest rate, but there are so few who have had a negative rate. It is quite an unusual situation, says Lise Nytoft Bergmann.

It is residential customers who have chosen to stick with F1-loan that now benefit from the negative interest rate. F1 loan form has otherwise been strong returns in recent years in favor of fixed interest loan.

Although interest rates are negative, it is not something that can be felt by customers as contributions and other costs continue to be paid. In turn, interest will be deducted from the contribution.

Precisely because it is an unusual situation, Nordea Kredit’s IT systems are not geared to the situation when the computers are only used to collect interest.

Lise Nytoft Bergmann says that there is no cause for concern, and that the new situation can be handled, “but sometimes we have to use duct tape and paste.”

This is just the beginning: according the Danish media outlet, as a result of variable-refinancing, as recently as a week from now “a greater share of customers could have a negative rate.”

Mortgage Denmark is one of the mortgage banks, where F1 rate also is close to zero, and here you are very excited about the upcoming negotiations, says Christian Hilligsøe Heinig, chief economist of the Mortgage Denmark.

We have an auction just around the corner and it is very exciting to see how interest rates are going. We can go and get negative interest rates, says Christian Hilligsøe Heinig to JP Financial.

And just like that, first in Denmark, and soon everywhere else in Europe, a situation has now emerged where savers who pay the bank to hold their cash courtesy of negative deposit rates, are directly funding the negative interest rate paid to those who wish to take out debt. In fact, the more debt the greater the saver-subsidized windfall.

That all this will end in blood and a lot of tears is clear to anyone but the most tenured economists, however in the meantime, we can’t wait to take advantage of the humorous opportunities that Europe (and soon Japan and the US) will provide in the coming months, as spending profligacy will be directly subsidized and funded by the insolvent monetary system, while responsible behavior and well-paid labor will be punished, first with negative rates and soon thereafter: with threats, both theoretical and practical, of bodily harm.

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/denmark-you-are-now-paid-take-out-mortgage

Greece Slams EU Bailout-ers: “We Don’t Want The $7 Billion, We Want To Rethink The Whole Program”




As Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (of “template” foot in mouth infamy) heads to Athens for talks today, Bloomberg reports the new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has a clear message for his European overlords of the past: “We don’t want the 7 billion euros…We want to sit down and rethink the whole program.” While this exposes the nation’s banking system to further runs, yesterday’s revelation that Russia could step in with financing should they need it, leaves Dijsselbloem and Shulz with less and less leverage even as Spain’s chief economic advisor warns, if Greece doesn’t play along, “there will be problems on all fronts.”

“Will Greece antagonize the European union? If they don’t there won’t be any problems,” Alvaro Nadal, chief economic adviser to the Spanish prime minister, said in a radio interview in Madrid on Friday. “If they do, there will be, on all fronts.”

And, as Bloomberg reports, that is what Greece’s new government is doing (as they promised the people),

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he’s not interested in persuading Greece’s official creditors to release the final 7 billion euros ($8 billion) of bailout funds as Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem headed to Athens for talks on Friday.


Greece wants to agree a new plan shifting from spending cuts to combating corruption and boosting public investment. The proposal hinges on the euro area and the European Central Bank agreeing to write down Greece’s public debt, a suggestion that has been met with skepticism by officials across the rest of Europe.


“We don’t want the 7 billion euros,” Varoufakis said in an interview with the New York Times published late on Thursday. “We want to sit down and rethink the whole program.”



“In all honesty, if you sum up all their promises then the Greek budget will very quickly be out of balance and then further debt relief won’t help anyway,” Dijsselbloem said in Amsterdam on the eve of his trip. “We want to keep Greece in the euro zone, in the European Union, but that also requires the Greeks to meet their commitments.”

Things are not going well…

European Parliament Martin Schulz confirmed the divide between Tsipras and the rest of Europe after two hours of talks with the Greek leader in Athens on Thursday.

full article at source:http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/greece-slams-eu-bailout-ers-we-dont-want-7-billion-we-want-rethink-whole-program

The Truth “Behind” The Charlie Hebdo Solidarity Photo-Op

by Tyler Durden

Once again the mainstream media peddled the spoon-fed propaganda that world leaders “led the march” to honor the victims of the Paris shootings last week. Glorious photo-ops of Merkel, Hollande, Poroshenko, David Cameron (oh, and not Barack Obama) were smeared across front pages hailing the “unity in outrage.” However, as appears to be the case in so many ‘events’ in the new normal managed thinking in which we live, The Independent reports, French TV has exposed the reality of the ‘photo-op’ seen-around-the-world: the ‘dignitaries’ were not in fact “at” the Paris rallies but had the photo taken on an empty guarded side street

As The Independent reports,

A different perspective on the leader’s portion of the march has emerged in the form of a wide shot displayed on French TV news reports.


It shows that the front line of leaders was followed by just over a dozen rows other dignitaries and officials – after which there was a large security presence maintaining a significant gap with the throngs of other marchers.


The measure was presumably taken for security reasons – but political commentators have suggested that it raises doubts as to whether the leaders were really part of the march at all.





The FT’s Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi commented: “Seems world leaders didn’t “lead” Charlie Hebdo marchers in Paris but conducted photo op on empty, guarded street.”


Ian Bremmer, a US political scientist and founder of the Eurasia Group, said: “All those world leaders: Not exactly ‘at’ the Paris rallies.”


Another US commentator, Gerry Hassan, called the leaders’ contribution “pseudo-solidarity”.


Grillo Italy At War With ECB

Next week, Italy’s Beppe Grillo – the leader of the Italian Five Star Movement – will start collecting signatures with the aim of getting a referendum in Italy on leaving the euro “as soon as possible,” just as was done in 1989. As Grillo tells The BBC in this brief but stunning clip, “we will leave the Euro and bring down this system of bankers, of scum.” With two-thirds of Parliament apparently behind the plan, Grillo exclaims “we are dying, we need a Plan B to this Europe that has become a nightmare –  and we are implementing it,” raging that “we are not at war with ISIS or Russia! We are at war with the European Central Bank,” that has stripped us of our sovereignty.


Beppe Grillo also said today…

It is high time for me and for the Italian people, to do something that should have been done a long time ago: to put an end to your sitting in this place, you who have dishonoured and substituted the governments and the democracies without any right. Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? A crumb of humanity? Is there one vice you do not possess? Gold and the “spread” are your gods. GDP is you golden calf.


We’ll send you packing at the same time as Italy leaves the Euro. It can be done! You well know that the M5S will collect the signatures for the popular initiative law – and then – thanks to our presence in parliament, we will set up an advisory referendum as happened for the entry into the Euro in 1989. It can be done! I know that you are terrified about this. You will collapse like a house of cards. You will smash into tiny fragments like a crystal vase. Without Italy in the Euro, there’ll be an end to this expropriation of national sovereignty all over Europe. Sovereignty belongs to the people not to the ECB and nor does it belong to the Troika or the Bundesbank. National budgets and currencies have to be returned to State control. They should not be controlled by commercial banks. We will not allow our economy to be strangled and Italian workers to become slaves to pay exorbitant interest rates to European banks.


The Euro is destroying the Italian economy. Since 1997, when Italy adjusted the value of the lira to connect it to the ECU (a condition imposed on us so that we could come into the euro), Italian industrial production has gone down by 25%. Hundreds of Italian companies have been sold abroad. These are the companies that have made our history and the image of “Made in Italy”.

*  *  *

As Martin Armstrong asks rather pointedly…

Since the introduction of the euro, all economic parameters have deteriorated, the founder of the five-star movement in Italy is absolutely correct. The design or the Euro was a disaster. There is no fixing this any more. We have crossed the line of no return. Beppe is now calling for referendum on leaving euro. Will he be assassinated by Brussels? It is unlikely that the EU Commission will allow such a vote.

source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-14/italys-grillo-rages-we-are-not-war-isis-or-russia-we-are-war-ecb

“Irish Eyes Are Smiling” But Should They Be?

 by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev via True Economics blog,

Ireland has been basking in the spot of an unusual sunshine this October. The cold spell, that normally takes the island over at the end of the month and into early November, coating it in a wet blanket of wind-swept and never ending rains was nowhere to be seen, replaced by the strangely regular appearances of the sun, blue skies and sight of the still leafy, colour-turned trees.

Similarly, the markets have been kind to Ireland too. There is not a day going by without a praise for the country reforms or recovery or both from some European leader or a Wall Street analyst or a hired gun from the ‘official’ sectors of the Irish state gracing international newspapers and media screens. CDS are down, estimated probabilities of default are down, bond yields are down. Sales of new bonds are up. Foreign direct investment figures are up. Jobs announcements are up. And forecasts… well, forecasts just keep on climbing.

In the latest round, the European Commission weighed in with its prediction that Ireland will outgrow its euro area peers by some 3-fold in 2014 and 2015.

Truth is, all of this is largely nonsense. Ireland is a small open economy with trade and investment exposures to the Euro area, the US and the UK. In almost even shares.

This means three things, relating to the Irish economy forecasts. 

Firstly, Ireland benefits from the accommodative monetary policy in the Euro area (making its gargantuan public and private debts overhang more manageable, for now, and its exports cheaper).


Secondly, due to the geographic distribution of its trade and investment links, Ireland is also benefitting from the faster growth in demand in the UK and the US.


Both points translate into more robust exports performance for Ireland than for its European peers. But both also mean that most of Ireland’s trade in goods and services is nothing more than transfer pricing and tax optimisation-driven shifting of digits across the borders. Yes, the multinational companies provide some employment – roughly 10 percent of the country total. But beyond that, they deliver little. The hiring they are doing is increasingly about bringing people with skills from abroad rather than taking people for training from within. And while in January-October 2013 corporation taxes accounted for just 9.46% of total tax revenues collected in Ireland, over the same period this year, the number is 9.24%.


So whilst the external trade tends to boost Ireland’s GDP, the fact that over 3/4 of the country exports are accounted for by the multinationals, making Ireland’s GDP / GNP gap the largest of all advanced economies. That’s “growth in and profits out” model of an economy run on FDI.


Which brings us to the third point about Ireland’s growth outlook: it is highly unpredictable. Whilst exports are volatile because they are dominated by the considerations of tax optimisation rather than actual production, the domestic economy is desperately searching for a growth catalyst, and to-date, finding none strong enough.


In H1 2014 the GDP / GNP gap was actually slightly lowered. But not by a pick up in the domestic activity. The reclassifications of R&D spending as investment in ESA 2010 standards adopted by Ireland ahead of all other countries in the euro area generated a significant uplift in GNP. Overnight, Irish ‘investment’ side of the National Accounts boomed by almost EUR10 billion (in full year 2013 terms). And surprisingly high retention of profits by the Multinationals in Ireland (most likely prompted by the sluggish capex spending in the stagnating global economy) further helped to temporarily and superficially boost the GNP.

Meanwhile, in the real Irish economy, the country remains the second worst hit by the crisis in the euro area. As shown below, Ireland’s real GDP in per capita terms is down off the 2007 peaks and all the miracles of the recovery are unlikely to get it anywhere near the euro area averages any time soon.


Of course, the real long-run question for Ireland is whether the current rates of growth observed in 2014 to-date (closer to 5% per annum) are sustainable in the medium term.

The answer rests with the potential growth rates in the two sectors that make up Ireland’s bipolar economy:

1) Domestic demand: Domestic demand is starting to show some signs of revival, exactly in the areas where one would expect these signs to materialise at this early stage of the recovery: first domestic investment, then domestic consumption.


Domestic spending is rising (at 1-2% per annum rate) on both household consumption and public spending uplifts. We can expect this trend to continue, without significant acceleration until H1 2016, as domestic spending is being held back by slow growth in wages and continued high rates of tax extraction from personal incomes.


Domestic investment has been a beneficiary (at the aggregate level) of institutional investors and some domestic cash buyers flooding into the distressed property markets since H2 2012. Accounting gimmickry of ESA 2010 standards is boosting this side of the National Accounts too. The property markets cash-buying spree is now tapering off, and is being partially replaced by the banks starting to issue new mortgages. I suspect this trend will lose more momentum over H1 2015. Aside from this, there is no uplift in domestic investment. Corporate investment is weak, stripping out foreign companies tax inversions. Demand for capital goods is weak. Which underpins the nature of jobs creation claims presented by the Government. Official figures for new jobs created include adjustments made to the labour force surveys in the wake of the last Census, resulting in a massive uplift in the numbers declaring themselves as being employed as farmers back in 2013. Stripping these adjustments out, instead of ca 70,000 new jobs ‘created’ claimed by the Government, real private sector non-farm payrolls are up roughly 27,000 on 2011 levels. No wonder capital investment is running weak. Meanwhile, labour force participation rate is falling due to exits from the workforce, early retirements, and emigration.


2) External demand picture is more complex. Rates of growth in exports of services – the factor that drove up Irish current account surpluses in 2010-2013 – are slowing down as Ireland exhausts large FDI sources in the ICT and Financial services sectors, and as negative reputation of Ireland’s tax optimisation policies sets in. In the short run, however, we can see an acceleration in FDI inflows as some of the MNCs rush in to lock into Irish ‘domicile’ before it becomes obsolete. Volatility of exports growth figures will be high in 2015-2016. But in the longer run, we can expect a downward trend in the rates of growth in exports and a pick up in the rates of growth in imports, assuming domestic demand picks up. On manufacturing side, things have been improving due to weakening of the euro. However, there are few new catalysts for growth in the sector at this point in time. Over the longer time horizon there are adverse potential headwinds coming up as patent-cliff-hit pharma companies are gradually starting to bypass Ireland in locating new activities.

In brief, there is little clarity on the future potential growth dynamics. Key ingredients for sustained optimism that are lacking include actual structural reforms (virtually none have been implemented to date and even fewer have been properly planned and resourced) and clear catalysts for growth (there are no broadly-based sectoral drivers for growth other than “things are so bad, they can only get better” argument for domestic demand and “we have lots of FDI” argument for externally trading sectors).

One last caveat – we are already witnessing the process of unwinding of reforms that aimed to deliver moderate savings in public spending. The Government is aggressively trading down any expectations that savings in public expenditure secured in 2009-2013 will continue into the future, beyond 2015. Political cycle does not favour continuation of the past reforms as deeply unpopular and internally torn governing coalition is facing general elections before April 2016.

As Europe gets hungrier and hungrier for a feel-good story, as Brussels longs more and more for a poster child for its ‘crisis management’ efforts of 2008-2013, as Dublin politicians get closer and closer to facing the crisis-hit electorate, the sunshine being lavished by politicians and the media onto Ireland’s economy is likely to get only brighter. It might not feel much warmer, though, on the ground. Nor will it stave off the onset of winter.

source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-13/irish-eyes-are-smiling-should-they-be


What a lode of crap Jesus this is just a fairytale and very surprising coming from Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev> I am wondering if he is also been bought off by Dennis the tax dodger??
Lucky for us another person with their eyes wide open has summed this article up and I hand the critique over to him gladly .Meanwhile this photo shows the real face of Ireland and take a good look ! Revolution is not very far away if we don’t get the puppet government to listen to us the people! 2014-11-01 13.06.21

comment from zerohedg article on zerohedg!

I live in Ireland. The recovery is utter bollocks.

People are poorer and working harder to try and make ends meet. We’ve exported our unemployment to the far corners of the earth by forcing our youth into emigration (in itself a crime against our people). We’ve been hit with tax after tax and now the fuckers are trying to reinflate the housing bubble that ruined us last time.

On the plus side, the next and promised final tax, a household water tax, brought 200,000 people out in protest 2 weeks ago. we already pay for water twice through VAT and inome tax, this one is a third and step too far. There’s a third protest in Dublin on the 1th that aims to bring it to an explosive conclusion. The authorities are backtracking and bargaining as hard as they can. 2 days after the protest they offered €100 euro to anyone who registers with the water authority. In some countries they call that bribery. They also threatened to use the IRS to collect the bills, strange considering Irish Water is a private company.

The government here is now more unpopular than the last bunch of crooked cunts and they are falling apart. Elections wont be far away, in which Sinn Fein and independents will excel. which will cause Europe and the ever so beloved “investors” to shit a brick.

We are corrupt and we are fucked. We deserve it for electing an endless string of cunts into power. But a lot of people are waking up over here, anyone for a Green Revolution?!

TEPCO Prepares Countermeasures As Typhoon Tidal Waves Approach Fukushima

 With 1 US airman dead and 2 missing, Super Typhoon Phanfone has already wreaked havoc in its doom-strewn approach of Japan, but as RIA reports, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has revealed that the approaching typhoon could hit the damaged, decommissioned 40-year old nuclear power facility at Fukushima. Rather stunningly, The Japan Times reports tidal waves from the storm are likely to reach a maximum height of 26.3 meters or more (compared to the 2011 tsunami which reached a height of 15.5 meters when it hit the plant). Due to the expected ‘mingling’ of contaminated and Typhoon-driven ocean water, TEPCO admits 100 trillion becquerels of cesium to escape; Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to verify the accuracy of TEPCO’s estimate and the “appropriateness” of countermeasures being taken.


The Super-Typhoon is already deadly…

A powerful typhoon was heading toward Tokyo on Sunday after lashing southern Japan, where it killed at least one U.S. airman on Okinawa island and left two others missing, officials said.


Typhoon Phanfone was off the coast of Shikoku in southwestern Japan on Sunday night, packing winds of up to 144 kilometers (90 miles) per hour after hitting the southern regions of Okinawa and Kyushu, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.


Three U.S. Air Force members were washed away by high waves Sunday, with one found dead and the other two still missing, Japan’s coast guard said. Tsuguyoshi Miyagi, an official at the coast guard’s Okinawa branch, said the airmen were on the island’s northern coast.


The U.S. Air Force confirmed that three of its airmen were washed out to sea and that one had died. It said the search for the other two had been interrupted by rough seas.

Full article source HERE

Poland Says Russian Gas Deliveries Tumble By 45%; Europe To Launch Sanctions On Friday, Russia Will Retaliate

Yesterday, when Gazprom was supposedly “troubleshooting its systems”, we reported that in what was the first salvo of Europe’s latest cold (quite literally, with winter just around the corner) war, Poland complained that up to 25% of its usual gas deliveries from Russia had been cut. Russia indirectly hinted that this was also a result of Ukraine using “reverse flow” to meet its demands, with Europe allowing Kiev to syphon off whatever gas it needs without paying Gazprome for it. It also led Poland to promptly admit it would halt reverse flow to the civil-war ridden country. Fast forward to today when Polish financial website Biznes reports that things are going from bad to worse in Russia’s energy retaliation war, after Poland claimed a 45% shortfall in Russian natgas imports as of Wednesday.

Not surprisingly, Gazprom has said that is not the case, which leaves two options: either someone is lying, or the Ukraine is quietly, and illegally syphoning off gas destined for Europe.

full article at source: Here

China’s “Secret Money Laundering” Story Goes Mainstream; Is Promptly Censored

Last week, Zero Hedge first reported on this side of the Pacific, some very troubling news: the biggest offshore buyer of luxury US real estate, that would be Chinese money laundering oligarchs and other member of the upper class, may be locked out of any future US housing purchases for a long, long time. The reason: an unexpected revelation by the power state CCTV channel revealed that contrary to popular disinformation, some of the largest Chinese banks – the PBOC included – were not only permitting but actively encouraging Chinese “money laundering” far above the $50,000/year statutory limit, the immediate result of which was soaring prices of the luxury segment of the US housing market.

We summarized the next steps last Thursday:

“So what happens next? Assuming there is the anticipated resulting backlash and crackdown on Chinese banks, which will finally enforce the $50K/year outflow limitation, this could well be the worst possible news not only for Chinese inflation, which suddenly – no longer having a convenient outlet for the unprecedented liquidity formed in the country every month – is set to soar, but also for the ultra-luxury housing in the US.


Because without the Chinese bid in a market in which the Chinese are the biggest marginal buyer scooping up real estate across the land, sight unseen, and paid for in laundered cash (which the NAR blissfully does not need to know about due to its AML exemptions), watch as suddenly the 4th dead cat bounce in US housing since the Lehman failure rediscovers just how painful gravity really is.”

We forgot to mention one other thing that would promptly happen: the rest of the US mainstream media would quickly catch to this critical story which is still woefully unreported.

First, the WSJ, from earlier today, which basically provides a recap of what we wrote before:

China’s major banks have halted an experimental program, sanctioned by the country’s central bank, that helped citizens transfer large sums overseas despite government capital controls, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The halt, which the people said was likely to be temporary, comes after the program was criticized by China’s powerful state television broadcaster, underscoring the political sensitivity of the issue of wealthy Chinese moving money abroad. Experts said the criticism could set back China’s efforts to ease its grip on the country’s financial system.


* * *


The controversy comes at a politically sensitive time. China’s top leadership is deepening a nationwide effort to fight corruption, with a focus on officials suspected of trying to move abroad assets they might have gotten through bribes or other illegal means. Earlier this month, Liu Yunshan —a member of the Communist Party’s top decision-making body who is in charge of the country’s propaganda apparatus—called on the government to address the problem of what are known in the country as naked officials, or those whose families have moved overseas.

full article at source:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-14/chinas-secret-money-laundering-story-goes-mainstream-promptly-censored

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