Obama-era license aimed to let Iran convert money in dollars

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FILE – In this April 16, 2018, file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference in Cincinnati. The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran brief access to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so. That’s according to an investigation by Senate Republicans released June 6. “The Obama Administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran,” said Portman, the subcommittee’s chairman. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran access — albeit briefly — to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so.

An investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday sheds light on the delicate balance the Obama administration sought to strike after the deal, as it worked to ensure Iran received its promised benefits without playing into the hands of the deal’s opponents. Amid a tense political climate, Iran hawks in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere argued that the United States was giving far too much to Tehran and that the windfall would be used to fund extremism and other troubling Iranian activity.

The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that under President Barack Obama, the Treasury Department issued a license in February 2016, never previously disclosed, that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into U.S. dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system. Continue reading

“Interfere!”

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ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive pressure from Berlin, Italy’s new government has renounced on appointing a well-known euroskeptic to become economy and finance minister. The renowned economist Paolo Savona must accept a less prominent post as Minister for European Affairs – above all because he criticizes Germany’s blatant policy of domination at the expense of the other euro zone countries. The far right Lega Nord is now almost as strongly represented in Rome’s government as the 5-Star Movement: Due to Germany’s open interference, Lega’s poll ratings have soared, thereby significantly increasing its political clout. In the run-up, German politicians and media had reactivated a tactic they had been using since the beginning of the euro crisis: With warnings of harsh financial market reactions, they fuel the fear of a crisis, thus applying even more pressure on Rome. According to German media with wide circulation, Italy’s policy “concerns all of us” – “Interfere!”

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Italy’s populist parties reach new deal to form a government

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Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of the Lega will both be ministers in the new government (Credit: Tiziana Fabi/AFP)

 

Italy’s populist parties were finally given the green light to form a coalition government on Thursday evening, after they backed down over their initial selection of a deeply eurosceptic economy minister.

After days of intensive negotiations and pressure from the markets, the anti-immigrant, hard-Right League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement agreed to a compromise.

Both parties had come close to forming a government at the weekend, only for their efforts to be torpedoed by President Sergio Mattarella, who refused to approve their controversial choice of Paolo Savona as economy minister.

Paolo Savona, 81, has called Italy’s adoption of the euro a “historic error”, describing the single currency as “a German cage” and calling for a “plan B” that would allow the country to exit the eurozone. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank Formally Classified as a Problem Bank

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Deutsche Bank is now been classified as a problem bank by FDIC and has been included in a list of banks to be watched. This is the biggest bank in Europe. It cannot be merged within Germany with Commerce Bank for there is just not enough equity to overcome the derivative losses. The only other candidate is BNP, but that is a French bank. This is where the fairytale of Euroland ends. They wanted to create a single currency, but they were unwilling to actually merge the economies. This is why our sources in Italy argue they are now an occupied country. Continue reading

Eurocracy

All roads continue to lead to Berlin, the powerhouse that runs and dictates Europe’s future. In this case, Berlin is spearheading an effort to keep Italy subjugated before an economic crisis (it’s already capitalizing off of) gets politically out of hand as it did in Greece, which is now a German vassal state. It’s Germany’s goal to create a United States of Europe and economic levers are but one tactic in harmonizing Europe how it sees fit in achieving that end.

 

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ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive complaints from Germany, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella blocked a euroskeptic from becoming his country’s finance minister, appointing an IMF man – favored by Berlin – to be prime minister. The democratically elected 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega Nord majority’s opportunity to form a government was thereby denied. Euroskeptic Paolo Savona, a renowned career economist, was rejected because he could not have insured the maintenance of the EU’s common currency. Under his administration, resistance to Berlin’s austerity dictate could have been expected, whereas the newly appointed Prime Minster Carlo Cottarelli passed the test a few years ago as the Rome government’s austerity commissioner (“Mr. Scissors”). Savona’s nomination is the result of Italy’s growing euroskepticism, which, in the meantime, is also shared by other economists. “Germany profits, Italy loses” through the introduction of the euro, concludes Savona’s alternative candidate to the post of finance minister.

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Russia Finance Minister: We Are Ready To Ditch The Dollar In Favor Of The Euro

In a testament to the success of the latest Trump sanctions against Russia, overnight Russian aluminum giant Rusal announced that its chief executive, Aleksandra Buriko, and half of its managerial board resigned to make sure the firm avoids U.S. sanctions against its founder, billionaire oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. The mass resignations were part of “the efforts that have been made by the management of the group to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders” since the sanctions were imposed last month, Rusal said in a May 24 statement.

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EU Could Switch To Euros In Oil Trade With Iran

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The European Union (EU) is considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran, Sputnik reported on Wednesday, quoting a diplomatic source.

Iran, for its part, said as early as in mid-April that it would be switching to euros from U.S. dollars in reporting foreign currency amounts, to reduce the reliance on the dollar as it was expected that President Trump would not waive the sanctions this time around.

The EU vowed on Tuesday to seek ways to work and trade with Iran. Continue reading

Cologne Institute of German Business Warns of Deposit Protection May Not Survive in Europe

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The Cologne Institute of German Business sees in the planned European deposit insurance is simply incapable of proving protection against a bank crash in Europe. The EU deposit guarantee is simply not practical under any concept of austerity. The Eurozone still has inherent significant risks in the balance sheets of European financial institutions. This is primarily because where the USA took the bad loans from the banks and stuffed them into Freddie and Fanny, in Europe, the bad loans are still on the books of the banks. Systemically, this has been the leading problem why Europe has been unable to recover and Quantitative Easing merely robber savers of their income and it failed completely to stimulate the economy. Banks were still reluctant to lend and people would not borrow if they did not have confidence in the future. Continue reading

Iran Officially Switches From Dollar To Euro

 

Just two weeks after “panic” hit the streets of Tehran as the Iranian government attempted to ‘fix’ the freefall of the Rial against the US Dollar…

Middle East Monitor reports that Iran’s feud with the US is set to get worse after Tehran announced this week that it will start reporting foreign currency amounts in euros rather than US dollars, as part of the country’s effort to reduce its reliance on the American currency due to political tension with Washington. Continue reading

Lega’s Salvini: Euro is wrong currency, we are working on Plan B

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The Leader of Italy’s Eurosceptic, anti-mass migration Lega party has hit out at the Euro single currency once more, insisting that a government he led would ignore EU rules on it. Continue reading

Now, a Trade War — Is a Shooting War Next?

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A popular thesis since the 1930s is that a natural progression exists from currency wars to trade wars to shooting wars. Both history and analysis support this thesis.

Currency wars do not exist all the time; they arise under certain conditions and persist until there is either systemic reform or systemic collapse. The conditions that give rise to currency wars are too much debt and too little growth.

In those circumstances, countries try to steal growth from trading partners by cheapening their currencies to promote exports and create export-related jobs. Continue reading

Turkey Will Be Ground Zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis

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Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences that make it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosporus Bridge just north of Istanbul connects Europe and Asia across the Bosporus Strait.

Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkey’s well-educated population of 83 million and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under $1 trillion. Continue reading

EU To Restrict Movement of Cash

 

The EU is now developing strict rules for carrying cash when traveling to non-European countries and returning to Europe. The revision of the First Cash Control Regulation from 2005, which stipulated that EU citizens should register cash in excess of € 10,000 when leaving the EU or when returning to the customs authorities have to, is what is under review. They want to lower the number and include gold, gemstones, and cash debit cards. Continue reading

The Political Turf War in Europe and why Britain is Considering Joining NAFTA

 

QUESTION: Marty; There is talk that Britain will join NAFTA rather than the EU. Does that make sense? What do you think? Continue reading

De-Dollarization & Disintermediation – Russian Mobile Phone Operator Issues First Blockchain-Backed Bond

 

For months now Russia has been moving into the blockchain space in a serious way. I’ve talked about these moves in previous articles(herehere and yes, even here)

But, the latest news is one that should have every one stand up and take notice.

Russian Mobile phone operator, Megafon, issued RUB500 million in zero-coupon blockchain-based bonds recently. This was purely a proof of concept issuance. Continue reading

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