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Ukraine Dips Into Dwindling Reserves To Pay Gazprom

The money has to come from somewhere. Ukraine will pay Russian natural gas company Gazprom the roughly $4.5 billion it owes in late payments from cash it has piling up in an already dwindling foreign reserve account, the National Bank of Ukraine said on Monday. Ukraine’s economy is once again on crisis footing. Earlier this year, it reached a deal for a $17.01 billion bailout package with the International Monetary Fund. That’s more than the country has in foreign reserves, which stood at just $16.3 billion in September, according to the IMF.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 04.11.2014


 

The Internationalisation of the Yuan (II)

...The reserve currency issuing countries have balance of payments deficits. It means that a reserve currency is a trap. Back in the early 1960s Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin said there is a fundamental incompatibility between the attainment of US global economic stability and having a single national currency perform the role of the world’s reserve currency... The dollar started to function as a real reserve currency only when the United States foreign trade deficit became stable...

Valentin KATASONOV | 04.11.2014


 

Western Sponsors Liable for Kiev Basket Case

Since Washington and Brussels shunted the geopolitical tracks in the first place to create the financial train wreck that is now manifestly the Ukraine, you would think that there might be a sense of obligation on Western governments to salvage the mess. Not a bit of it, it seems. Furthermore, the train wreck is careening dangerously into the Russian economy. But still, the Western governments adopt an attitude that Moscow must pay for the damages... If Ukraine comes off the rails with an energy crisis this winter, the responsibility lies with the reckless regime-hijackers in Washington and Brussels...

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 23.10.2014


 

US Economy Safety Margin Tested as Oil Prices Go Down

...Speaking at the ASEM forum in Milan, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the world economy will not sustain oil prices at around 80 dollars per barrel... US shale oil producers will suffer most. According to experts’ estimates, the cost of production is around 80-90 dollars a barrel, 4-5 times more than the traditional oil. It means that the current price – 85 dollars a barrel as of October 17 – makes the companies operate in the red. Some producers will have to suspend operations facing mass bankruptcy in case the oil price falls lower than 80 dollars as shareholders start getting rid of zero profit bonds. The shale oil «soap bubble» will blow like the housing construction industry «bubble» blew in 2008. Of course, as time goes by oil prices will go up but it’ll be a different world with some US oil producers non-existent anymore...

Alexander DONETSKY | 20.10.2014


 

The Internationalisation of the Yuan (I)

The issue of turning the yuan into an international currency is the subject of much controversy. Some believe that Beijing should opt for full convertibility of the yuan, turning it into a fully-fledged international currency. Others believe that the yuan is already an international currency, citing impressive figures that reflect the growing use of the Chinese currency in international trade. Still others hold the view that turning the yuan into an international currency would be of no benefit to Beijing, and the Chinese authorities are even intentionally preventing it. The complexity of the problem lies in the fact that moving the yuan towards internationalisation involves three distinct phases: turning the Chinese currency into a) a trading currency, b) an investment currency, and c) a reserve currency...

Valentin KATASONOV | 19.10.2014


 

The Economist: Empty vaults. Will the next country to stiff bondholders be Ukraine or Venezuela?

A central bank that takes a visiting economist down to its vaults to prove that it does indeed have the reserves it claims must be very worried about market sentiment. And so Venezuela’s should be: the price of insuring the country’s bonds against default has risen by 80% over the past two months—suggesting they are the world’s riskiest (see chart). Bond yields over 16% also imply that markets are bracing for a crash. Last month Standard & Poor’s, a ratings agency, downgraded Venezuela, saying there was a one-in-two chance of default within two years.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 14.10.2014


 

When Will the Building of the Debt Pyramid in Ukraine Come to an End?

According to expert evaluations, nearly $6 billion has entered Ukraine from various sources (the IMF, the World Bank, the EU, the US) between the time of the February revolution and the end of September. Nearly 95 per cent of this has been spent on debt refinancing. No more than 5 percent has been used for other purposes in some way related to solving the country’s more urgent problems, which is crumbs in comparison. The evil tongues of those who orchestrated the February revolution and found themselves on the sidelines of the revolutionary process are revealing a strange secret. They allege that this five per cent is kickbacks and fund siphoning by the new government. Which means that the total left for ‘national development’ is exactly 0 per cent...

Valentin KATASONOV | 11.10.2014


 

The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine

In April 2014, fresh from riots in Maidan Square and the February 22 coup, and less than a month before the May 2 massacre in Odessa, the IMF approved a $17 billion loan program to Ukraine’s junta. Normal IMF practice is to lend only up to twice a country’s quote in one year. This was eight times as high.

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 09.09.2014


 

70 Years Dividing Bretton Woods Conference and Fortaleza Decisions

This July the world marks the 70 years anniversary of Bretton Woods Conference, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference... As 70 years since Bretton Woods have passed, a heavy blow was delivered against international financial institutions. The attack came from the resort city of Fortaleza in Brazil. Although the theme of the summit was “social inclusion”, at the top of the agenda is the creation of two new entities controlled entirely by the five BRICS members. The Bank is setup to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets. It would be headquartered in Shanghai, China and the first chief executive will come from India. The New Development Bank (NDB) will fund development projects independent of the US-controlled World Bank, and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) will provide relief from the austere conditions and requirements of the IMF...

Valentin KATASONOV | 18.07.2014


 

Bretton Woods II and George Soros

...George Soros makes no secret of the fact that he does not like America. Not because it wages destructive wars around the world, or because of the country’s huge social polarisation, or because its prisons contin more than two million people, with a further four or five millions American who were sentenced to imprisonment currently at large because the country does not have enough prisons, or because the US organised an all-out surveillance of every telephone conversation in America. Soros does not like America because it still retains far too many attributes of a state. This is why Soros was one of Obama’s main sponsors during the pre-election presidential campaign. This also explains what initially seem to be certain illogical decisions and acts of the White House’s current occupant that are troubling the real patriots of America...

Valentin KATASONOV | 22.06.2014




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Wayne MADSEN

CIA Assassination Furthered Dutch Neo-Colonialism

It has been the policy of the Barack Obama administration to oppose the granting of independence by European colonial powers to any more territories in the Caribbean. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the leaders and people of six Dutch territories in the Caribbean in July 2013 that the Netherlands was prepared to grant independence to the islands but that the United States was adamantly against the idea... But how far has the Obama administration and the freewheeling Central Intelligence Agency gone in order to prevent any newly-independent nations in the Caribbean? Some suggest that under its thuggish director, John O. Brennan, the CIA engaged in political assassination to help drive home its point...

21.11.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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