- 26 Russian aircraft ran ‘military manoeuvres’ in 24 hours including two Bear bombers followed by RAF fighters
- Nato steps up its defences as it says two planes near Britain did not file flight plans or contact controllers
- Alliance reported ‘unusual’ activity after intercepting 100 Russian planes in 2014 – triple the number in 2013
Nato has sounded a warning after 26 Russian bombers, tankers and fighter jets on military exercises were intercepted around Europe in just 24 hours.
Jets were scrambled by the RAF and allies in Germany, Portugal and Turkey after the ‘unusual’ spike in activity, which saw two giant Tu-95 Bear H bombers fly close to Britain yesterday.
The alliance said Russia had conducted ‘significant military manoeuvres in European airspace’ – though it then added none of the planes had strayed into any specific country’s territory.
The two Bear bombers had been part of an eight-plane formation which was first intercepted by Norwegian F-16s over at 2am yesterday. Continue reading
MOSCOW — NATO said Wednesday that it had intercepted a large number of Russian aircraft flying close to European airspace in the past two days, in an “unusual” series of incidents that brought Russian bombers as far afield as Portugal.
The aircraft — at least 19 in all — offered reminders of Russian air power at a time of the worst relations between the West and Russia since the Cold War. Russian military aircraft have significantly increased their activity in Europe since the conflict in Ukraine began earlier this year, with NATO scrambling to intercept aircraft more than 100 times in 2014. But a NATO official said the scale of the latest incidents was the most provocative this year.
Over the Atlantic Ocean and the North, Black and Baltic seas, Russian bombers, fighter jets and tanker aircraft were detected flying in international airspace, NATO said. There were no incursions into national airspace, a violation of sovereignty that would have significantly amplified the seriousness of the four incidents, three of which took place on Wednesday.
“We’re raising it as an unusual level of activity,” said Lt. Col. Jay Janzen, a spokesman for NATO’s military command in Mons, Belgium. “The flights we’ve seen in the last 24 hours, the size of those flights and some of the flight plans are definitely unusual.”
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A group of 25 banks have failed European health checks, while up to 10 of those continue to have a capital shortfall, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, providing a snapshot of the health of the region’s lenders.
The health checks, led by the European Central Bank, found that banks in countries including Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Portugal had fallen short of a minimum capital benchmark at the end of last year and that up to 10 remained in difficulty now, the sources said.
Banks in Spain and France had fared, by and large, better than expected. Continue reading
‘The forces of monetary deflation are gathering. Global liquidity is declining and central banks are not doing enough, either in the West or the East to offset the decline,’ warns CrossBorderCapital
Eurozone fears have returned with a vengeance as deepening deflation across Southern Europe and fresh turmoil in Greece set off wild moves on the European bond markets.
Yields on 10-year German Bund plummeted to an all-time low on 0.72pc on flight to safety, touching levels never seen before in any major European country in recorded history. “This is not going to stop until the European Central Bank steps up to the plate. If it does not act in the next few days, this could snowball,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS.
Calls for action came as James Bullard, the once hawkish head of St Louis Federal Reserve, said the Fed may have to back-track on bond tapering in the US, hinting at yet further QE to fight deflationary pressures and shore up defences against a eurozone relapse.
Markets are realising that the five-and-a-half year recovery since the financial crisis may already be over, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Combined tightening by the United States and China has done its worst. Global liquidity is evaporating.
What looked liked a gentle tap on the brakes by the two monetary superpowers has proved too much for a fragile world economy, still locked in “secular stagnation”. The latest investor survey by Bank of America shows that fund managers no longer believe the European Central Bank will step into the breach with quantitative easing of its own, at least on a worthwhile scale.
Markets are suddenly prey to the disturbing thought that the five-and-a-half year expansion since the Lehman crisis may already be over, before Europe has regained its prior level of output. That is the chief reason why the price of Brent crude has crashed by 25pc since June. It is why yields on 10-year US Treasuries have fallen to 1.96pc, and why German Bunds are pricing in perma-slump at historic lows of 0.81pc this week.
We will find out soon whether or not this a replay of 1937 when the authorities drained stimulus too early, and set off the second leg of the Great Depression.
Radical Muslims in Spain have launched a social media campaign aimed at generating support for the jihadist group Islamic State [IS].
The campaign involves posters that include images of famous Spanish landmarks and monuments emblazoned with Arabic slogans such as, “We are all the Islamic State” and “Long Live the Islamic State.”
One poster includes an image of the medieval Islamic Aljafería Palace in the Spanish city of Zaragoza and the black flag associated with the IS. Another uses an image of the famous La Concha beach in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Yet another includes an image of the statue of Jesus Christ on Monte Urgull in San Sebastián, with the Arabic words “Al-Andalus Country” instead of “Basque Country.”
Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. As the Basque Country is surrounded by mountains, however, the Moors never succeeded in occupying it.
The poster campaign comes after IS jihadists produced a video in which they vow to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate.
The video shows a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent. He says:
“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.“
Data from Germany, Italy and Portugal put pressure on ECB to act
Portugal has crashed into deep deflation and Italy’s inflation rate has fallen to zero as the eurozone flirts with recession, automatically pushing these countries further towards a debt compound spiral.
The slide comes amid signs of a deepening slowdown in the eurozone core, with even Germany flirting with possible recession. Germany’s ZEW index of investor confidence plunged from 27.1 to 8.6 in July, the sharpest fall since June 2012, during the European sovereign debt crisis. “The European Central Bank has to act now,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS. Continue reading
Head of German Institute for Economic Research demands €60bn of bond purchases each month to halt contraction of credit and avert Japanese-style trap
A leading German institute has called for full-blown quantitative easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) to head off a deflation spiral, marking a radical shift in thinking among the German policy elites.
Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, demanded €60bn (£50bn) of bond purchases each month to halt the contraction of credit and avert a Japanese-style trap. Continue reading
Lets be absolutely clear: As history has shown us through repetition, there is no such thing as a “one-off” capital levy, which is a fancy and whitewashed term for stealing from the citizens — yet it is spinned in such a way that the people perceive it as their government working hard in their interests. Once the government has confiscated a piece of wealth, it will consider it a test of the public’s patience, and likely do it again. We saw it in Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and Poland the last few years — and these are only examples during modern times. As the economies continue to plunge, they will take more and more until everything has imploded.
(Reuters) – Germany’s Bundesbank said on Monday that countries about to go bankrupt should draw on the private wealth of their citizens through a one-off capital levy before asking other states for help.
The Bundesbank’s tough stance comes after years of euro zone crisis that saw five government bailouts. There have also bond market interventions by the European Central Bank in, for example, Italy where households’ average net wealth is higher than in Germany. Continue reading
Berlin – The troika of international lenders “held a gun to the head” of Cyprus and Portugal and showed little sympathy for social measures, an MEP looking into its work has said.
“Both countries had very little room for manoeuvre in negotiating the terms of the bailouts. What they said basically was that ‘a gun was held to our head’, especially in Cyprus,” Juergen Klute, a left-wing German MEP, told this website.
“And the troika had very little interest in social measures, they were only concerned about cutting back the deficit,” he added.
The German politician said his four-member European Parliament delegation found there was a lack of democratic oversight when it came to the work of the troika – made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund. Continue reading
Hordes of bankrupt French invade Switzerland to get their hands on their “stolen” money — such is the imaginary scenario cooked up by the Swiss military in simulations revealed over the weekend.
Carried out in August, the apparently outlandish army exercise was based on the premise of an attack by a financially stricken France split into warring regions, according to Matin Dimanche, the Lausanne-based daily. Continue reading
Southern Europe’s cash-strapped governments are courting wealthy Chinese homebuyers, seeking to bolster their battered real estate markets by offering visas to those who purchase prime properties.
Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are providing resident permits to foreign buyers, while Spain is about to adopt a similar measure. The chance to purchase a home at depressed prices in southern Europe and gain what’s known as a golden visa is mostly being sold to Chinese investors, according to brokers. Continue reading
Fitch Ratings has cut its credit grade for the European fund that provides rescue loans to Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
The agency says it lowered the rating for the European Financial Stability Facility – or EFSF- by one notch from AAA to AA+ as a result of its downgrade of France last week. The EFSF’s creditworthiness depends on that of the countries that provide its financing, which includes France. Continue reading
Although both items need to be constantly looked at (50/50), the fundamental data lately is seemingly overriding the technical data. Observing geopolitics on a regular basis shows you the big picture where you can use inductive reasoning to hammer out the specifics in planning your future, be it from an investment standpoint or personal.
Had anyone asked back in January what kind of risks you thought might be giving financial markets a jolt by mid-year, odds are that you would have talked about the Federal Reserve’s intentions with respect to quantitative easing, the outlook for economic growth and whether S&P 500 companies are delivering the kind of earnings that analysts had been expecting.
Perhaps, given recent history, you might have thrown out an additional concern: That some unforeseen event in Spain or Italy might buffet the Eurozone and spill over into North American markets—after all, that has become an almost routine summertime occurrence. Continue reading
Update (3:26 PM ET): Portugal’s governing coalition today saw its second major loss in two days, as Paulo Portas, the foreign minister and leader of the Democratic and Social Center-People’s Party (CDS-PP), tendered his resignation.
Meanwhile, EU authorities have given Greece three days to deliver on promises it’s made to the troika—the group composed of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank, and representatives of European countries, which is monitoring the euro debt crisis.
Clearly, Greece and Portugal are fighting to be the most scary country in the euro this week. Continue reading