Briton drafts ‘Brexit’ blueprint: UK can join EFTA

Britain’s economy could grow by 1.3 billion pounds if it left the European Union due to less regulation and more trade with emerging economies, acccording to a British diplomat who dreamt up a blueprint for the country’s EU exit.

Britain’s free market Institute of Economic Affairs on Tuesday awarded a 100,000-euro prize to Iain Mansfield, a British diplomat based in the Philippines, who it decided had come up with the best proposal for a ‘Brexit,’ a British departure from the EU. Continue reading

Russia’s Gazprom plans to sell gas for rubles

MOSCOW, April 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian gas giant Gazprom is considering more active use of the ruble in settlements with foreign contractors, Vedomosti business daily reported on Monday, quoting Gazprom spokesperson Sergei Kupriyanov.

Gazprom Neft is also discussing a shift from US dollars to euro payment in settlements with buyers, ITAR-TASS had reported earlier in the day, quoting Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov. Continue reading

The Failure of the American Perspective

World War III may well be underway just as surely as it was on 26 November 1941 when Japanese Admiral Yamamoto set sail for Pearl Harbor two weeks before the formal attack. Then, like now, Americans seemed blissfully unaware that their lives were about to change forever.

Now, it is even worse, as American arrogance assumes we will always be the world’s sole superpower. We tend to look at the world exclusively from our own perspective and that can be very dangerous. A variety of headlines demonstrate this, all of which assume American supremacy. One example, now obvious in hindsight, is when the President’s spokesman Jay Carney warned against buying and actually suggested shorting Russian stocks in light of U.S. sanctions on March 18. From the time of his comments until the end of the month, Russian stocks increased over 6%, far ahead of the U.S. stock market over the same period. Even as the Administration was warning against buying Russian shares, some very successful investors have recommended them. Continue reading

Germany’s Bundesbank opens up to Quantitative Easing

The European Central Bank could buy loans and other assets from banks to help support the eurozone economy, Germany’s Bundesbank said Tuesday, marking a radical softening of its stance on the contested policy.

The ECB has cut interest rates to a record low, and promised to keep them low for some time, having also flooded the banking system with cheap crisis loans. But the eurozone economy is still weak, and inflation remains stuck well below the central bank’s target.

With the debate over possible alternative measures picking up pace, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said the ECB could consider purchasing eurozone government bonds, or top-rated private sector assets.

Continue reading

Russia Could Crush the Petrodollar

Russia threatened to dump its U.S. treasuries if America imposed sanctions regarding Putin’s action in the Crimea.

Zero Hedge argues that Russia has already done so.

But veteran investor Jim Sinclair argues that Russia has a much scarier financial attack which it can use against the U.S. Continue reading

George Soros warns British EU exit would trigger foreign company exodus

Coming from the man who almost single-handedly broke the British Sterling Pound and is a convicted criminal in France:

Billionaire speculator cautions over job losses but says Europe could still be pulled apart by deflation and slow growth

Billionaire speculator George Soros on Wednesday waded into the political row about Britain’s membership of the EU with a warning that a decision to quit would lead to an exodus of foreign-owned companies.

Soros said the argument for Britain remaining part of the EU could be summed up in one word – jobs – as he outlined his concerns that Europe could be pulled apart by decades of slow growth and Japanese-style deflation. Continue reading

The EU’s Second Ring

BERLIN/KIEV/BERN (Own report) – In the aftermath of the Western-oriented putsch in Kiev, German politicians are preparing German public opinion for the disastrous deterioration of the Ukraine economic situation. Even though it was most recently suggested that the country could only expect a thriving development by linking up to the EU, it is now – truthfully – being announced that Ukraine is practically bankrupt. The CDU European parliamentarian, Elmar Brok, predicts “difficult times” ahead: “It has never rained gold coins, except in fairy tales.” In fact back in the fall, experts had already indicated that, because of its out-dated industry, the Ukraine would have to expect dramatic economic slumps if it signs the EU Association Agreements – unemployment and poverty would dramatically rise. In a position paper, the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is now proposing the introduction of a special status in EU ties for the Ukraine as well as other countries, such as Turkey. This sort of EU “second ring” would also permit the economic integration of such countries as Switzerland, which politically resists joining the EU. The SWP contends that these plans could also be used for Catalonia, should it secede from Spain and Scotland, from Britain. Continue reading

The eurozone crisis is just getting started

The project to impose political union is bringing economic ruin, making the legitimacy of the EU project ever more vulnerable

On the face of it, they seem worlds apart. Switzerland’s referendum vote against the free movement of labour, the ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) attempts to save the euro, and the warning to Scotland that it won’t be allowed to keep the pound if it votes for independence – these might seem unrelated, but in truth they are all part of an increasingly explosive stand-off between the forces of national sovereignty on the one hand, and political and economic integration on the other. Continue reading

ECB paralysed by German court decision as deflation threatens

Last week’s ‘thunderbolt’ ruling on eurozone rescue policies by Germany’s top court marks a serious escalation of Europe’s governance crisis and may ultimately force Germany to withdraw from the euro, the country’s most influential magazine has warned.

A sweeping report by Der Spiegel said the court ruling amounts to a full-blown showdown between Germany and the European Central Bank over the methods to shore up southern Europe’s debt markets.

“It is nothing less than a final reckoning with the crisis-management strategy pursued by the ECB. The German justices insist that the German constitution sets limits on the ECB’s crisis strategy. In a worst-case scenario, the Court could forbid Berlin from contributing to efforts to save the euro or even force Germany to leave the currency zone entirely,” it said. Continue reading

Replace dollar with super currency: economist

The World Bank’s former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system.

“The dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises,” Justin Yifu Lin told Bruegel, a Brussels-based policy-research think tank. “The solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency.” Continue reading

Euro plummets after ECB warns currency zone may need more support

European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says Japanese-style stagnation possible amid high unemployment and falling inflation

The European Central Bank sent the euro tumbling on world markets after it warned that the 18-member currency zone may need further support to prevent a Japanese-style period of stagnation.

The ECB president, Mario Draghi, said persistently high unemployment, falling inflation and difficult lending conditions were harming the recovery, and the ECB stood ready to use all the tools available to maintain confidence and growth. Continue reading

EU power shifts from Brussels to Berlin

Berlin – While the eurozone crisis in 2013 lingered in most countries, Germany seemed to be doing better than ever.

It had low unemployment, high productivity and exports so strong that the European Commission asked it to do more to help ailing periphery countries in the single currency bloc.

Merkel’s “safe pair of hands” are appreciated by Germans. They like her cautious governing style; the fact that she rarely rushes into decisions. Continue reading