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Greece Eurozone Exit Is In The Wind. Is it A Harbinger of EU Disintegration Process?

One of the issues to hit the news in early 2015 is the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone, or, even, the European Union. German weekly Spiegel reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel now believed that the eurozone could cope with Athens leaving the common currency in case the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) wins the January 25 parliamentary election. Rejections followed (allegedly Chancellor Merkel said something else) but there is no smoke without fire. The Greece eurozone exit has been in the wind since a long time. On the one hand, it can remedy the eurozone economic situation. On the other hand, the very fact of such a possibility being discussed could be perceived as a harbinger of EU disintegration process about to kick off... 

Valentin KATASONOV | 13.01.2015


 

Capital Controls: Global Experience

...In the 1997-1998 the countries of South East Asia had to counter the activities of financial speculators acting in accordance with the prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund. They resorted to currency interventions spending the money taken from currency reserves. With the reserves depleted they turned to world lenders. There they had the International Monetary Fund with its sickly and threadbare Washington consensus dragging them into a vicious circle. All of a sudden one country got out of it. Malaysia led by Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad’ introduced capital controls. It banned currency operations related to cross border capital flows. The measure was a direct challenge to the International Monetary Fund and its backroom owners...

Valentin KATASONOV | 22.12.2014


 

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




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OUR COLUMNIST
    Finian CUNNINGHAM

Merkel as Soft Cop in False Flag Offensive on Russia

At the World Economic Forum last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel let the cat out of the bag with her sly offer, or rather bribe, to Russia. The German leader told delegates in Davos that European Union sanctions on Russia would be lifted in exchange for a «peace deal» in Ukraine. She promised a «free trade pact from Lisbon to Vladivostok»... Merkel, who is known for her ardent «transatlantic» partnership with America, is thus showing herself to be dutifully doing Washington’s bidding over the Ukraine crisis and the bigger objective of subordinating Russia to Western hegemony, or as the New York Times euphemistically calls it «better relations with the West»...

26.01.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
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