China allows gold imports via Beijing, sources say, amid reserves buying talk

(Reuters) – China has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, in a move that would help keep purchases by the world’s top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves.

The opening of a third import point after Shenzhen and Shanghai could also threaten Hong Kong’s pole position in China’s gold trade, as the mainland can get more of the metal it wants directly rather than through a route that discloses how much it is buying.

China does not release any trade data on gold. The only way bullion markets can get a sense of Chinese purchases is from the monthly release of export data by Hong Kong, which last year supplied $53 billion worth of gold to the mainland.

“We have already started shipping material in directly to Beijing,” said an industry source, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media. The quantities brought in so far are small, as imports via Beijing have only been allowed since the first quarter of this year, sources said. Continue reading

Bernanke has set the stage for the Fed’s collapse – Jim Rogers

Gold has not bottomed and the US Federal Reserve will collapse in the next 10 years, says renowned investor Jim Rogers.

“100 years ago you could not have named the head of most central banks in the world,” Rogers told Mineweb. “Now they’re all rockstars.” Gold and equity markets have increasingly been locked in Fed-watch mode in 2013, obsessing over when or whether chairman Ben Bernanke would taper the bank’s vast bond buying scheme. Continue reading

Federal Reserve begins tapering massive bond-buying programme

As previously mentioned by Marc Farber, if there’s any ‘taper’, it will be largely symbolic and the problem will only resurface sometime soon down the road.

“So at some stage the economy will weaken again, and at that point, the Fed will argue, ‘Well, we haven’t done enough, we have to do more.'”

The Federal Reserve will reduce its $85bn a month in bond purchases by $10bn starting in January

The US Federal Reserve last night announced plans to start weaning America off quantitative easing (QE), in a move which signals the central bank’s confidence in the stability of the US economy.

The central bank said that it will pare its $85bn-a-month bond buying scheme back to $75bn next month, and continue ratcheting it down in “measured steps” if the US economic recovery remains on course. Continue reading

Jim Willie: Syria, Pipeline Politics, OPEC & the US Dollar

Syria holds the key to peace, a new chapter in history and the dawn of a new age. Without oil being traded in Dollars, the US will collapse back into the stone age. With an attack on Syria the US might also collapse, should for example, a host of other nations (i.e. BRIC nations) retaliate by dropping the Dollar. This article highlights exactly what hangs in the balance and why Syria is the focus.

Syria is also only a stepping stone into Iran as it was already pre-planned to invade seven countries in five years. This was highlighted by then-General Wesley Clark in the video below. However, Iran might take the iniative by skipping that step and might set the entire Middle East on fire should Syria be attacked.

Syria is about the last gasp for the Petro-Dollar, the emergence of energy pipeline geopolitics, the rise of the NatGas Co-op, the new dominance of Russian Gazprom, the eclipse of OPEC, the fall of the house of Saud, and a grand adjustment process in global commerce and banking.

The NatGas Co-op eclipses OPEC and ushers in a new era.

Refer to trade settlement outside the USDollar and diversification away from USTreasury Bond reserves management. It took some time to realize it, but the Cyprus bank incident was a misdirected attack against Gazprom. It failed. The entire Arab Spring movement, an ambitious disruptive project waged with foolhardy ambitions, has turned on itself. Egypt fell, its US puppet discharged. The entire North African region will be in flames soon. The USGovt interfered with a grand industrialization project for European industry, to be placed on North Africa intended to take advantage of cheaper labor, available minerals, nearby resources, and easy shipping. The resentment of Europe will show up in the future. The Middle East and Persian Gulf region is shifting its salute to Russia & China, as the noisy sectarian battles have been a common fixture since long ago. Bahrain has erupted. Saudi is clamping down and converting into an Islamic police state to create the Iran-Saudi repressive bobsey twins. Chaos is the longstanding objective of the USGovt in foreign policy infection, no change in decades.

Syria is about a lot of things, most of which are volatile, many unsolvable. To be sure, the naval port of Tartus is valuable for the Russian Military, always eager to wrest a seaport. Like Lebanon, Syria is a hotbed stronghold for HezBollah, never to be taken lightly. They are mortal enemies to Israel, whose nations have exchanged covert violence for years. Syria might have tight relations with the Shiites of Iran, even some in Iraq. However, Syria represents the crossroads of many important shifting geopolitical roadways that pertain to the global financial structure and commercial systems. Syria is the tipping point for a Grand Global Paradigm Shift. It is the last stand for the Anglo Banker world. Syria will not go easily into the Russian camp, into the Gazprom fold, into the European energy market sphere. For if it does, the entire USDollar system of commerce and the USTreasury Bond system of reserves management will fall by the wayside and open a new era with Eastern dominance. But the Western powers cannot stop it. Clouds of whatever type do not halt pipeline flow, nor pipeline geopolitics. Continue reading

Bank of International Settlements Forges ‘Simple Plan’ to Avoid Bank Bailouts in Market Crash

The Bank for International Settlements has crafted a plan to inject major lenders with more cash, in the event of financial failure, while avoiding market chaos and the need to use taxpayers’ money.

According to BIS’ paper, the central bank forum laid out blueprints on how to recapitalise banks quickly and easily, while also allowing authorities to give an ironclad guarantee that insured depositors would not lose savings. Continue reading

Putin Prepares for a Currency War that He Thinks (Hopes?) Will Collapse America

Two respected news sites with separate but connected stories outlined the serious trouble we are in (even if they don’t seem to recognize the gravity of their reporting).

First, it is reported on Bloomberg that Russia’s Putin has overseen the largest gold buying of any nation on the planet: Continue reading

Federal Reserve hacked

US central bank confirms intrusion after hacktivist group Anonymous was claimed to have stolen 4,000 bankers’ details

“The Federal Reserve system is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product,” a spokeswoman for the US central bank said. Continue reading

Money for Nothin’ Writing Checks for Free

When coming from PIMCO, alarm bells should be going off.

Mr. Bernanke never provided additional clarity as to what he meant by “no cost.” Perhaps he was referring to zero-bound interest rates, although at the time in 2002, 10-year Treasuries were at 4%. Or perhaps he knew something that American citizens, their political representatives, and almost all investors still don’t know: that quantitative easing – the purchase of Treasury and Agency mortgage obligations from the private sector – IS essentially costless in a number of ways. That might strike almost all of us as rather incredible – writing checks for free – but that in effect is what a central bank does. Yet if ordinary citizens and corporations can’t overdraft their accounts without criminal liability, how can the Fed or the European Central Bank or any central bank get away with printing “electronic money” and distributing it via helicopter flyovers in the trillions and trillions of dollars?

Well, the answer is sort of complicated but then it’s sort of simple: They just make it up. When the Fed now writes $85 billion of checks to buy Treasuries and mortgages every month, they really have nothing in the “bank” to back them. Supposedly they own a few billion dollars of “gold certificates” that represent a fairy-tale claim on Ft. Knox’s secret stash, but there’s essentially nothing there but trust. When a primary dealer such as J.P. Morgan or Bank of America sells its Treasuries to the Fed, it gets a “credit” in its account with the Fed, known as “reserves.” It can spend those reserves for something else, but then another bank gets a credit for its reserves and so on and so on. The Fed has told its member banks “Trust me, we will always honor your reserves,” and so the banks do, and corporations and ordinary citizens trust the banks, and “the beat goes on,” as Sonny and Cher sang. $54 trillion of credit in the U.S. financial system based upon trusting a central bank with nothing in the vault to back it up. Amazing! Continue reading

Apocalypse Fairly Soon

Suddenly, it has become easy to see how the euro — that grand, flawed experiment in monetary union without political union — could come apart at the seams. We’re not talking about a distant prospect, either. Things could fall apart with stunning speed, in a matter of months, not years. And the costs — both economic and, arguably even more important, political — could be huge.

Europe’s answer has been austerity: savage spending cuts in an attempt to reassure bond markets. Yet as any sensible economist could have told you (and we did, we did), these cuts deepened the depression in Europe’s troubled economies, which both further undermined investor confidence and led to growing political instability.

And now comes the moment of truth.

So now what? Right now, Greece is experiencing what’s being called a “bank jog” — a somewhat slow-motion bank run, as more and more depositors pull out their cash in anticipation of a possible Greek exit from the euro. Europe’s central bank is, in effect, financing this bank run by lending Greece the necessary euros; if and (probably) when the central bank decides it can lend no more, Greece will be forced to abandon the euro and issue its own currency again.

This demonstration that the euro is, in fact, reversible would lead, in turn, to runs on Spanish and Italian banks. Once again the European Central Bank would have to choose whether to provide open-ended financing; if it were to say no, the euro as a whole would blow up.

Full article: Apocalypse Fairly Soon (NY Times)

Banking’s SWIFT ready to stop Iran transactions

Belgium-based SWIFT, which provides banks with a system for moving funds around the world, bowed to international pressure on Friday and said it was ready to block Iranian banks from using its network to transfer money further isolating Iran’s economy on the global stage.

Expelling Iranian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication would shut down Tehran’s main avenue to doing business with the rest of the world – an outcome the West believes is crucial to curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

SWIFT, which has never cut off a country before, has been closely following efforts in the United States and the European Union to develop new sanctions targeting Iran that would directly affect EU-based financial institutions.

The United States and EU have already moved to sanction Iran’s central bank.

Full article: Banking’s SWIFT ready to stop Iran transactions (Jerusalem Post)