THE EUROPEAN UNION’S frenzied drive for an ‘ever closer union’ and a federalist superstate could risk igniting further friction between Russia and the West, a former British ambassador has warned.
Sir Tony Brenton also suggested that a watered down version of the EU in favour of a looser free trade area could pave the way for Russia to barge into the international fold, ending the current stand-off between European nations and Vladimir Putin.
Relations between Russia and the EU have been particularly frayed in recent months due to the crisis in Ukraine. Continue reading
German soldiers will take part in two military exercises which areslated to be held in Ukraine later this summer, German media reported on Sunday.
Units of the German military, the Bundeswehr, will be involved in a ground forces drill codenamed Rapid Trident as well as and the US-led Sea Breeze naval exercise, Deutsche Welle said in a report. Continue reading
Turkey has boosted its military defenses on the volatile border over the past week, stationing tanks and anti-aircraft missiles there as well as bolstering troop numbers, as fighting between Islamist-led groups and Syrian regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo has intensified.The Turkish build-up has fed speculation that the government is planning to intervene in Syria to push ISIS jihadists back from the border and halt the advance of Kurdish forces who have made gains against the extremists in the area.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday ruled out any prospect of an immediate intervention in Syria. Continue reading
Yet more signs that the two are working together
Is the cold war between the West and Russia over Ukraine finished? For the United States certainly not. But Germany, and therefore much of the European Union, are returning to business as usual.
On June 22, the EU voted to extend sanctions against Russia. Yet in other areas, the relations between Germany and Russia are improving.
The biggest sign of this is the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. That’s an important story in its own right—read Robert Morley’s article “Gazprom’s Dangerous New Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Germany” if you’ve not done so already. The two countries have teamed up on a project that allows Russia to cut off gas to any Central or Eastern European country it wants to, while keeping its lucrative contracts with Western European customers intact.
Finance Minister Schäuble earlier asserted that the Greek crisis will have no serious consequences for the federal budget. However, President of the German Federal Bank Jens Weidmann views the situation in a different way.
Greece’s withdrawal from the Eurozone is likely to create huge ‘holes’ in the federal budget planned by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU). Continue reading
As we said earlier today, following today’s dramatic referendum result the Greeks may have burned all symbolic bridges with the Eurozone. However, there still is one key link: the insolvent Greek banks’ reliance on the ECB’s goodwill via the ELA. While we have explained countless times that even a modest ELA collateral haircut would lead to prompt depositor bail-ins, here is DB’s George Saravelos with a simplified version of the potential worst case for Greece in the coming days:The ECB is scheduled to meet tomorrow morning to decide on ELA policy. An outright suspension would effectively put the banking system into immediate resolution and would be a step closer to Eurozone exit. All outstanding Greek bank ELA liquidity (and hence deposits) would become immediately due and payable to the Bank of Greece. The maintenance of ELA at the existing level is the most likely outcome, at least until the European political reaction has materialized. This will in any case materially increase the pressure on the economy in coming days.
All of which of course, is meant to suggest that there is no formal way to expel Greece from the Euro and only a slow (or not so slow) economic and financial collapse of Greece is what the Troika and ECB have left as a negotiating card.
A Greek exit from the euro is now a “base case” scenario for economists and is set to trigger a flight to safety for nervy investors
Financial markets were braced for their worst period of turmoil since the height of the eurozone crisis three years ago, after Greeks chose to overwhelmingly reject the bail-out terms of their creditors, throwing the country on a collision course with the eurozone.
The prolonged period of uncertainty is expected to roil European equities and see investors flock to safe haven assets such as US and German government bonds.
Earlier today in “Panic: China Central Bank Steps In To Bailout Stocks As Underwater Traders Pray For A Rebound,” we noted (without much surprise) that the PBoC has officially taken the plunge. Late on Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that China’s central bank is set to inject capital into China Securities Finance Corp which will in turn use the funds to help brokerages expand their businesses and reinvigorate stocks. Translation: China’s central bank is now underwriting brokers’ margin lending businesses. Continue reading
From Moscow, the capital of the slave country founded in 1917, I came to New York, to the 21st floor of a skyscraper.
The owners of the slave country had created their radio and television and even their own art and philosophy — in short, they created a new culture, with inevitable shortcomings.
Pre-1917 Russian culture was based on the concept of genius. The West followed, recognizing Russian writers of genius such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, or Chekhov.
Post-1917 Russian culture was founded on the premise of confrontation. Before 1917, the communist hymn “The Internationale,” which had been created with the participation of Marx himself, was first secretly sung in Russia.
The message of the hymn could not be clearer: “Workers of the world, unite!” and declare war on “capitalists” by taking away their property. “Destroy the old world and build a new one, which will belong to you!” It was not a song, it was a declaration of war. Continue reading
As reported by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, privacy advocates and open source developers are livid after discovering that the installation of Google’s browsing software, Google Chrome, comes with an added capability: it allows remote technicians to listen in on conversations held near computers where the browser is installed.
The capability was first identified by open source developers, who noticed that the Chromium browser that Chrome is based on remotely installed audio surveillance code enabling computers to be tapped. Continue reading
‘It’s no accident we are witnessing the beginnings of persecution’
Jonathan Cahn, the Bible teacher and author who started warning nine years ago that America was facing the judgment of God if it did not reject secularism and return to its Judeo-Christian roots, says the June 26 Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states marks the formal end to Christian America.
Cahn, speaking at the annual Messiah Conference at Messiah College in Pennsylvania on America’s Independence Day, said the U.S. and the world are undergoing “tectonic shifts” in terms of attitudes and beliefs.
Even those who consider themselves “Christian” will continue to stray from right doctrine, he said, choosing instead to blend in with the ways of Western culture.
They’re still counting the votes, but so far the “No” vote has the lead. In other words, “No” the Greek people do not want to accept strict fiscal austerity measures in exchange for desperately needed bailout money.
In a post on Facebook, Allianz’s Mohamed El-Erian offered a brief preview of things to come should the “No” vote win.
“IF this historic “no” win is confirmed, look initially for a general selloff in global equities, along with price pressures on the bonds issued by Greece, other peripheral Eurozone economies and emerging markets,” he wrote. Continue reading
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Forget Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve. Texas has decided to start keeping its gold holdings within in its own borders. But what makes sense politically in such a sovereignty-loving place is creating a logistical conundrum.
Texas is the only state that owns an actual stockpile of gold, according to public sector and financial industry experts – not just gold futures or investment positions, but approximately 5,600 gold bars worth around $650 million. The holdings, stored at a New York bank, for some harken back to century-old fears about the security of currency not backed by shiny bullion. Continue reading
“Without new money, salaries won’t be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down,” warns President of European Parliament
Greece risks a collapse of the medical system, power black-outs, and an import blockade, if the Greek people reject creditor demands in a make-or-break referendum tomorrow, the EU’s highest elected official has warned.
Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the EU authorities may have to prepare emergency loans to keep basic public services functioning and to prevent the debt-stricken country spinning out of control next week.
“Without new money, salaries won’t be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won’t be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay,” he said.
Greece is a first-world, politically advanced, progressive Western nation. Greek society is sophisticated and its culture is enlightened. Yet, Greece is collapsing – quickly, dramatically, and, painfully.