Central banks’ investment in yuan puts currency nearer reserve status

At least 40 central banks have invested in the yuan and several others are preparing to do so, putting the mainland currency on the path to reserve status even before full convertibility, Standard Chartered said.

Twenty-three countries have publicly declared their holdings in yuan, in either the onshore or offshore markets, yet the real number of participating central banks could be far more than that, said Jukka Pihlman, Standard Chartered’s Singapore-based global head of central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

Continue reading

U.S. ‘Monitoring’ Development Of European Communication Network Proposals

In February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she’s going to talk to the President of France, Francois Hollande, about building a separate communications network for Europe so as to stop data from passing through the U.S. The U.S. has criticized such proposals and has said that they may breach international trade laws. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that obstructions to cross-border data flows are a serious and growing concern. Continue reading

Putin a rival who is not welcome back to G7, says Harper as Russia looks to replace Visa with its own credit cards

The BRICs nations are forming an alternative internet with a new undersea cable. Asian nations are talking about militarily banding together to face China because the US is becoming more and more unreliable as a protectorate. China has also in the last three years threatened to use the ‘nuclear option’ on the Dollar as well. Middle East nations talk about replacing the Dollar to break America’s global hegemony. Add this to Russia saying it could reduce itself to zero dependency on America just a couple weeks ago, and now an alternative credit payment system. However, Visa and MasterCard replacement is no longer just talk and is actually underway (like the BRICs cable), which will have a sizeable effect.

Fact is, in the bigger scheme of things, the world is getting fed up with America’s now-corrupt leadership which is abusive and drunken off its own power, is looking to isolate it and send it back into the stone age. The sanctions were not very well thought out as there doesn’t seem to be an exit strategy, as some would argue with Bush’s wars in the Middle East. America is shooting itself in the foot as it playing checkers with Putin — on a Russian rubicon game board. It could’ve also very well been Russia’s long-range strategic plan since the 60′s and earlier to, over the years, integrate itself with the U.S. so much that it could gain economic leverage and destroy the economy overnight if it wished. Much like the CCP in China, the ruling Russian oligarchy doesn’t care about its citizens anyways, which makes it more plausible.

BERLIN — Prime Minister Stephen Harper and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say they are united in their view that Russia has grossly violated Ukrainian sovereignty by annexing the Crimean peninsula.

Following a meeting Thursday between the two G7 leaders, Harper also opined that chances are slim that Russian President Vladimir Putin could ever be welcomed back to the G8.

The G7 nations — the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan — effectively booted Russia from the G8 earlier this week over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula following a pro-Western uprising. Continue reading

NATO’s Military Decline

Vladimir Putin and his American apologists like to blame NATO’s post-Cold War expansion for his territorial conquests, which ignores that the alliance refused in 2008 to let Georgia and Ukraine even begin the process of joining. Those are the two countries the Russian has since carved up, and the question now is whether Russia’s expansionism will slap Western leaders out of their self-defense slumbers.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sounded the alarm last week in a visit to Washington. “I see Crimea as an element in a greater pattern” of Russian strategy, he told an audience at the Brookings Institution. Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, he said, is “a wake-up call” that “must be followed by increased European investment in defense.” He might have included 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

Nuclear talks open with Iran and three unattainable US pledges to Israel re Fordo, Arak, enrichment

The second round of talks between the six powers and Iran – this time for a final, comprehensive resolution of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program – opened in Geneva Tuesday, Feb. 18. But first, the Obama administration gave the Israeli government three pledges, debkafile’s Washington and Jerusalem sources reveal. It must be said, however, that none of those pledges is realistic.

One was a commitment to insist on the absolute shutdown of Iran’s underground uranium enrichment plant at Fordo. The second was the conversion of the reactor under construction at Arak from a heavy to a light water plant, in order to preclude the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons; and the third, to place a cap on the low-grade 5-percent enrichment of uranium. Continue reading

Merkel, Hollande to discuss European communication network avoiding U.S.

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.

Merkel said in her weekly podcast that she disapproved of companies such as Google and Facebook basing their operations in countries with low levels of data protection while being active in countries such as Germany with high data protection. Continue reading

Nato’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen sees power slipping away

There is an unmistakeable sense among Western decision-makers of power slipping away.

It’s not an argument about American abstention or decline, although that plays into it for some critics of the Obama administration.

It is more to do with the exhaustion – moral, political and economic – of nations that have been in the forefront of the international security business, and the vibrant ascendancy of some other players. Continue reading

New Debate on the Responsibility for War

BERLIN (Own report) – In the few months leading up to the one-hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War I, a new debate, over who was responsible for starting the war, is gaining momentum in Germany. As relevant publications – such as the bestseller, “The Sleepwalkers” by the historian Christopher Clark – show, “a shift in paradigm has taken place” in scholarship, according to a recent press article: “The German Empire was not ‘responsible’ for World War I.” The debate strongly contradicts the recognition that, even though Berlin did not bear it alone, it bore the primary responsibility for the bloody escalation of the 1914 July Crisis. This insight, which was derived particularly from the analyses of the historian Fritz Fischer in the 1960s, is now being massively contested. Historians are strongly criticizing remarks, such as those by Christopher Clark, who, working closely with government-affiliated academic institutions, is denying German responsibility for the war. According to Clark, “the Serbs” are supposedly a priori “the bad guys” of the pre war era, while he openly displays his preference for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The denial of Germany’s main culpability for the war is “balm on the soul of educated social sectors, grown more self-confident” at a time when Berlin’s political power is again on the rise. Continue reading

Le Modèle Gerhard Schröder

And now we see the Èlysée Palace has buckled under pressure and capitulated to the (upcoming) Fourth Reich.

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is loudly applauding French President François Hollande’s adaptation of Germany’s model of austerity. His announcement of a cutback in public expenditures to clearly favor business, could “only be seen as good news,” declared Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. German media point to the fact that Hollande has announced measures that – in certain aspects – are modeled on Germany’s “Agenda 2010,” which had been developed by the Federal Chancellery under the auspices of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the time, Federal Chancellery Chief of Staff under Gerhard Schröder. It had enabled Berlin to consolidate its economic predominance over Europe. Whether Paris will be able to imitate the German austerity policy is unsure. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy had tried, but he lost the presidential elections in the spring of 2012. Notwithstanding, in Berlin further steps to cut back on social welfare achievements are again in discussion. Yesterday, German President Joachim Gauck complained that the term “neo-liberal” has a negative connotation, which must be changed. Continue reading

What Happens After a Superpower Dies?

What happens when a superpower dies? What happens when the geopolitical order that has stabilized the world for several decades crumbles?

We are all about to learn firsthand. Continue reading

Reform EU or Britain quits – George Osborne lays down ultimatum

George Osborne will today deliver a stark warning to Britain’s European partners that the UK will leave the EU unless it embarks on whole-scale economic and political reform.

In a speech to a conference organised by the pro-reform Open Europe thinktank and the Fresh Start group of Tory MPs, Osborne will say: “There is a simple choice for Europe: reform or decline. Our determination is clear: to deliver the reform, and then let the people decide.” Continue reading