Russia Gains Upper Hand In Asian Oil War

The Saudi-led OPEC cuts may have supported oil prices and reduced market volatility, but they have also opened the door wide to rival crude grades flowing into the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers: Asia.

Reduced supplies by OPEC resulted in higher prices for Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai and a narrower Brent/Dubai spread, which made the shipment of Brent-price-linked crude grades to Asia profitable. Continue reading

Russian alignment with Asia to be fixed foreign policy: Duowei

Russia is abandoning its strategy of aligning itself with the West in favor of becoming a part of the East, according to a commentary from Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.

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This push towards Asia and the abandoning of the “Western path” has been spurred by Russia’s nationalist scholars such as political scientist Alexander Dugin, believed to be an important influence on President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy. Dugin, who founded and heads Russia’s Eurasia Movement, has long envisioned a strategic bloc that would join the former Soviet Union to Middle Eastern countries, including Iran.

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China pivot fuels Eurasian century

A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass – at the expense of the United States.

And no wonder Washington is anxious. That alliance is already a done deal in a variety of ways: through the BRICS group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Asian counterweight to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; inside the Group of 20; and via the 120-member-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Trade and commerce are just part of the future bargain. Synergies in the development of new military technologies beckon as well. After Russia’s Star Wars-style, ultra-sophisticated S-500 air defense anti-missile system comes online in 2018, Beijing is sure to want a version of it. Meanwhile, Russia is about to sell dozens of state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters to the Chinese as Beijing and Moscow move to seal an aviation-industrial partnership. Continue reading

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.

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RBS to cut 30,000 jobs by slashing its investment banking division

The bank, 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has already axed 40,000 posts since it was bailed out by the government in 2008

Royal Bank of Scotland is gearing up for further job cuts as it prepares to focus on the high street and withdraw from riskier investment banking activities.

It now aims to cut up to 30,000 more posts by offloading parts of its international business and slashing its investment banking division. Continue reading

Celente – No Way Out As Global Ponzi Scheme Collapse Begins

Today the man who remarkably predicted months ahead of time that the Fed would taper in December, then again in January, and who also predicted the global market plunge that we are now seeing, warned KWN that there is no way out this time for central planners as the global Ponzi scheme has now begun to collapse.  He also discussed the incredible turmoil taking place around the world.  Below is what Gerald Celente, founder of Trends Research and the man considered to be the top trends forecaster in the world, had to say in this remarkable interview.

Eric King:  “Gerald, so far this chaos is unfolding exactly as you said it would with the market turmoil around the world.  Some of the market participants are becoming a bit shocked at what’s unfolding here, but you called it to perfection.  My question to you is, where do we go from here?”

Celente:  “Global markets are headed down, but it may not be in a straight line because you are going to start seeing the Fed, (Washington) D.C., and the Wall Street gang move in to stop the slide in global equities. Continue reading