Rosneft – The new star of Russian energy

In Energy Strategy-2030 of Russia, enacted at the end of 2009, it was stated that Moscow would put emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region in its energy exports in the coming years. Petrol and petroleum exports going to this region were targeted to be raised from 6% to 22-25% of total exports, and currently non-existing natural gas export to this region to 19-20% scale of total natural gas export. This Asia-Pacific opening is part of Moscow’s strategy to increase national revenues while promoting economic development in East Siberia and the Russia Far East, and, as well as to stem these regions’ chronic emigration problem. Also, increasing negotiating margin in its economic cooperation with EU by operating new oil and gas pipelines to the East also constitutes an important column of this strategy.

Rosneft, Russia’s newest energy giant, is a key pillar of this initiative. As one of Putin’s favoured firms, Rosneft owes a great deal of its success to Kremlin’s state-centred energy strategy — itself a part of a larger strategy to re-establish Russia as a global power. In that context, efforts to develop the company seem to have gained pace over the past years, and Russia’s currently rank, first with its 12.7 share in world oil production as of 2012, would likely to stay same, at least in short term. Continue reading

Killing the Dollar: G20 & IMF Push for Global Fed, Global Currency

While headline stories about averting the dangers of an international “currency war” dominated news coverage of the recently concluded G20 meeting in Moscow, the real unreported story is that the global gathering of central bankers and finance ministers is pushing forward with their plan for “supersizing” the International Monetary Fund. The end goal is to transform the IMF into a global Federal Reserve, with the ability to flood the world with huge new volumes of loans and currency. It would also wield vast financial regulatory powers.

The IMF’s unit of account, or “currency,” known as a Special Drawing Right (SDR), is being readied for eventual adoption as the replacement for the U.S. dollar in international transactions, to lead the way toward eventual adoption of the SDR or some other designated unit as the global currency, much in the same way that the euro was foisted upon the people of Europe as a replacement of their national currencies.  Continue reading

The “Merkel Memorandum”

“For all you know, Angela Merkel is even now contemplating how to break up the euro,” says The Economist in its latest assessment of the options available to the German Chancellor. In a spoof memo addressed to Ms Merkel “drafted in utmost secrecy by a few trusted officials,” the newspaper outlines the kind of advice she may be receiving. Assessing the current situation, the weekly says –

Bluntly, the plan isn’t working. Greece is a disaster zone. Ireland and Portugal are making some progress … but they still have a long way to go and could easily be knocked off course. Worse, Spain looks as if it may need a full bail-out rather than the partial one for its banks you had hoped would suffice.

Of the two options, our judgment is that the larger break-up makes more overall economic sense than an exit of Greece alone. But we must emphasise that the economic and financial risks of it going wrong are much greater, and pushing it through would be an order of magnitude more difficult than co-ordinating an exit by Greece alone. Finally, a drawback associated with both options, even if they were to work, is that many of the benefits would lie in the future … whereas the costs would be felt here and now – and blamed on you and your government.

Full article: The “Merkel Memorandum” (Presseurop)

Marc Faber: 100% Chance of Global Recession

Faber’s bearish market calls have been followed closely since 1987 when he warned his clients to cash out before Black Monday.

And in a live interview on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report, Faber again warned that economies of the world may be on the brink of a serious slowdown.

Faber indicated that while investors remain focused on Greece and Europe – other issues, bigger issues are looming. And they’re more threatening.

“As an observer of markets – whenever everyone focuses on one thing – like Greece and Europe – maybe they miss issues that are far more important – such as a meaningful slowdown in India and China.”

“I think we could have a global recession either in Q4 or early 2013.” When asked what were the odds, Faber replied, “100%.”However, in the near term Faber also sees potential for a market rally.

Faber said the bullish catalyst would be Greece exiting the EU.

It’s worth noting that Faber is talking hypothetically; he does not think Greece exits the EU in the near future.

“What I think will happen is that Germany will show more flexibility and issue more euro bonds.”

Full article: Marc Faber: 100% Chance of Global Recession (CNBC)

Camouflage and Deception

There’s war on the European continent once again, and at the moment it’s political/economic. The source? Germany. In this tangled web of European politics at the moment, there are also two parties involved: The blind caught in the snares and the complicit.
BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) – Using a deceptive strategy, Berlin seeks to ward off the French President-elect François Hollande’s demand to put an end to the German austerity dictate. Other heads of EU member nations have begun to demand alongside Hollande that the EU return to credit financed stimulus programs, to prevent the complete collapse of several national economies, such as Greece is now confronting. Since the demise of the coalition government in the Netherlands, Berlin has found itself rather isolated and, alongside declarations of not allowing the EU zone to budge from its current austerity course, is resorting to methods to create confusion within the rebelling populations. The government is keeping “a placebo for the Euro partners” on hand, explains the press. The chancellor will most likely adopt some of the terminology used by François Hollande, but with her own interpretations. For example, she will speak of “promotion of growth,” while meaning the imposition of “structural reforms,” as envisaged by the austerity dictates. No new expenditures are planned. This is how the French growth offensive will be verbally ensnared, without having ceded an inch on the essence.

Full article: Camouflage and Deception (German Foreign Policy)

Chinese Cities Coming to America

A Chinese Group Plans To Construct A 200 Acre “China City” In Michigan

A Chinese group known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has bought up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan.  Their plan is to construct a “China City” with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.  Essentially, it would be a little slice of communist China dropped right into the heartland of America.

This “China City” would be located about 40 minutes from both Detroit and Toledo, and it would be marketed to Chinese business people that want to start businesses in the United States.  Unfortunately, this is not just an isolated incident.  In fact, Chinese companies have been buying up land and businesses all over the country in recent years.  There has even been talk of establishing “special economic zones” inside the United States modeled after the Chinese city of Shenzhen.  It was inevitable that the Chinese were going to do something with the trillions of dollars that they have made flooding our shores with cheap products.  Now they are rapidly buying up pieces of America, and many of our politicians are welcoming them with open arms.

The town of Milan, Michigan is a small farming community of only about 6,000 people, but big changes are coming their way.  The following is from a recent Dayton Daily News article about this new project….

A group of mainland Chinese known as Sino-Michigan Properties LLC paid $1.9 million for 200 acres of farmland on Milan city limits in purchases this year and in 2011, according to local officials and property records.

Unfortunately, the goal does not appear to be to integrate this new “city” into the existing community in and around Milan.

Rather, it appears that all of the new housing will be sold to people coming over from China.  According to the Milan News Leader newspaper, the new housing units “would be marketed to Chinese business people who want to start companies in the United States”.

In essence, we would be looking at a new Chinese city right in the middle of Michigan.

Doug Smith, senior vice president for business and community development for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., recently said the followingabout what the Chinese group plans to do….

“It’s a group that wants to build a China city, starting with housing over there in Milan”

Milan is not far from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which is a very popular destination for Chinese students.  Apparently that is one reason why Milan was chosen.

This new project would be a Chinese community built by Chinese and specifically designed for Chinese.

But isn’t this supposed to be America?

Fortunately, the project does not have final approval yet.  It still must be approved by the two townships outside of Milan where the land is located.

For some reason, the Chinese seem to be particularly interested in this area of the country.

For example, a different Chinese investment group has been busy buying up chunks of real estate over in nearby Toledo, Ohio.  The following is from an article in the Toledo Blade on May 26th, 2011….

Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., which has already purchased the nearby Docks restaurant complex for $2.15 million, put its $3.8 million offer to buy the southern 69 acres at the Marina District in East Toledo back on the table for approval by Toledo City Council. Additionally, Dashing Pacific Chairman Yuan Xiaohong, in a letter signed in Hangzhou, said the firm wants a two-year option to buy the decommissioned Toledo Edison power plant property on the site.

So should we be alarmed that the Chinese are buying up pieces of America?

Well, if they simply wanted to enjoy living in America and wanted to integrate into the wider community that would be one thing.

But it is another thing altogether to start dropping slices of communist China inside of U.S. territory.

In a previous article entitled “China Wants To Construct A 50 Square Mile Self-Sustaining City South Of Boise, Idaho“, I discussed a potential deal that Sinomach (a company controlled by the Chinese government) was exploring with the government of Idaho.  The following is a description of that potential project from an article in the Idaho Statesman….

A Chinese national company is interested in developing a 10,000- to 30,000-acre technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes south of the Boise Airport.

Full article: Chinese Cities Coming to America (Right Side News)

Beware: Germany Is Growing Resentful and Angry

Stop for a moment and think about this crisis from the perspective of the average German. Since 2008, his nation has been saddled with the unpopular, high-risk, hugely expensive task of rescuing Europe. The Germans didn’t ask for this. And they certainly aren’t responsible for the chaos. Neither the German government nor its people have taken on suffocating debt or spent profligately on frivolous comforts. The Germans don’t take long siestas, work six-hour days or pay themselves annual bonuses for simply turning up to work. To the contrary, the Germans have worked hard, saved their money and wisely lived within their means. Yet,Germany is expected to endure tremendous risk and make major sacrifices to rescue its neighbors. It’s already forked out tens of billions in bailouts, and is on the hook for tens of billions more. By the time it’s all said and done, Germany will cover more than one quarter of the total bailout.

For what? Germany’s European counterparts are thankless, frustrated, unrepentant—and in many cases, openly hostile.

Viewed from this perspective, one can understand why Germans are frustrated and resentful.

The troubling question is, where will the anger and resentment lead?

Just a few weeks ago, no mainstream German politician openly spoke about the possibility of Greece defaulting and exiting the eurozone. That has now changed. Following Sunday’s election in Greece, where anti-austerity, anti-German parties made huge gains, German hostility has boiled to the surface. On Monday, Klaus-Peter Willsch, the budgetary expert for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (cdu), stated that Brussels needs to “make Greece the offer to leave the eurozone in an orderly fashion, without leaving the European Union.”

The disdain of the German public is less diplomatic. “Germans are now predominantly of the opinion that they would be better off if Greece left the eurozone,” said Carsten Hefeker, a professor of economics and an expert on the euro at the University of Siegen. “Nothing is in writing,” said Guntram B. Wolff, deputy director at Brussels research group Bruegel, “but people really are clearly and openly talking about” Greece leaving.

Sense the frustration and resentment.

Herribert Dieter, an analyst with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, says preparations are already being made in Germany for Greece to default. “The mood in German government circles has become a little less enthusiastic, to put it mildly,” he stated. Dieter cited the example of Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who stated last Friday that membership in the EU “is not compulsory, it’s voluntary, and Greek society has a choice.” Schäuble’s remarks are a “good reflection of the changing mood of German policy makers,” stated Dieter.

“You can’t be a member of the club and disregard the rules,” he said. The Germans love rules and organization, structure and discipline—it’s one of their many admirable national traits. Problem is, the rest of Europe doesn’t have the same penchant for discipline and structure, at least not with finances. This is a recipe for confrontation, especially considering Germany has the political and economic might to air its frustration with meaningful actions.

The Germans are tired of bailing out Europe and getting nothing but complaints and hostility in return.

Die Welt continued: “Every country still only debates within its own national borders, because there is no European public sphere. Germany’s joint liability for the precarious finances of the countries in crisis remains a one-way street because the Germans can’t manage to adequately assert their positions, interests or the significant efforts they’ve made.” There’s a justified yet highly dangerous tone of resentment in that last sentence. Germany wants European integration. But it’s realizing that the EU in its present constitutiondoes not work.

“Whoever ends up governing Athens, it must be made unmistakably clear to the new leaders that they’re welcome to venture out on their own, but if they want to take advantage of the financial help from the donor countries and remain within the eurozone, then they must adhere to the stipulations already laid out” (ibid). In others words, Germany should not compromise substantially. “The German citizens are certainly not prepared to finance Greece’s vacation from reality,” warned Die Welt.

To the contrary, many Germans increasingly desire to give Greece a harsh lesson in reality!

Understand. This is not a personal assault on the German people. As I’ve noted, one can easily identify with their frustration over their reckless, thankless neighbors. Nevertheless, their welling resentment is an alarming, deeply sobering trend. You’re human; you know where resentment and anger ends. It culminates in rash, emotional decisions, in fractured, contemptuous relationships, and, often, in violence and conflict. And when it comes to Germany, history reveals a unique tendency for deep-seated national resentment to end in intense conflict.

The more intense the resentment among Germans toward their European counterparts, the more they’ll condone Germany getting tougher and stricter with Europe.

The more upset the Germans grow with Europe’s dissension, the likelier they are to demand a strong, decisive leader to whip the Continent into line.

Watch closely, and remember. It’s not the anger and resentment of the Greeks or French or Portuguese that ought to overly concern us. The nation we need to be most concerned about—and watching constantly with a critical eye—is Germany. Together, history and Bible prophecy warn that there is nothing more frightening than a German nation experiencing the convergence of deep-seated national resentment and unchecked political, financial and military power.

And Germany today has both, in excess.

Full article: Beware: Germany Is Growing Resentful and Angry (The Trumpet)

Bank of Japan opens fire in currency wars

While the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke is holding off on additional quantitative easing measures, across the Pacific the Bank of Japan has initiated a new round of asset buying.

According to the Financial Times , the Bank of Japan has announced that more quantitative easing is being implemented in the island nation due to “slowing growth and persistent deflationary forces in the world’s largest economy.”

In the new round, the Bank of Japan will buy $61 billion of assets to inject greater liquidity into the economy as the “lost decade” lingers years longer than its name implies. In addition to the asset buying, the Bank of Japan is maintaining interest rates between zero and 0.1% .

With the recent move by China to relax controls on the yuan, currency devaluations continue to be implemented as a Keynesian response to recession by governments and central banks around the world.

Full article: Bank of Japan opens fire in currency wars (NASDAQ)

‘Eurozone austerity measures to spark uncontrollable protests’

An economic commentator says the harsh austerity measures implemented in the Eurozone are likely to provoke massive protests in the bloc, which could be beyond the control of the ruling elite

So as long as the governments in Europe continue to beat the drum of austerity measures, it will reflect in high unemployment because effectively what you see is that when there is austerity measures, the government is not spending money, the unemployment register increases, when people are unemployed they are unable to pay their taxes, they do not have enough money to buy products in the economy so it becomes a very circular situation and we the demonstrations in most of the European countries on the Labor Day, strikes in France, in Spain, in Italy, in UK and most of the other countries.

So the recession is really here to stay, I think, and all these measures which are being taken, the fiscal measures, the fiscal difficulties that are being faced by Eurozone countries will not go away by austerity measures.

This is not just [what] I as an individual economic commentator [am] talking about; most of the analysts, most of the fair-minded commentators are really talking about this particular issue, that the more we want to implement austerity, the more difficulties the Eurozone economies will face. There is no doubt at all in my mind about this.

Full article: ‘Eurozone austerity measures to spark uncontrollable protests’ (Press TV)

Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million

Believe that’s bad? America itself is not far off. In the United States we’re looking at 14.5% total unemployment. This also doesn’t account for “99%’ers” and various other factors after a revision of what statistics are taken into account.

The number of unemployed people reached 5,639,500 at the end of March, with the unemployment rate hitting 24.4%, the national statistics agency said.

The figures came hours after rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Spanish sovereign debt.

Full article: Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million (BBC News)

Russia Doubles Nuclear Exports

The head of Russia’s nuclear monopoly has said the country doubled foreign orders to build nuclear reactors last year and has a $50 billion order book for the next decade.

The volume of contracts to build nuclear plants abroad almost doubled in 2011 thanks to demand from Asia, and despite jitters over atomic power following reactor meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima plant, triggered by a tsunami last March.

Full article: Russia Doubles Nuclear Exports (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)

Detroit Isn’t Back, It’s Broken

The Tigers and Lions may be serious playoff contenders and Eminem may still be making hit records, but the city of Detroit is still on the brink of disaster. The Detroit Free Press reports:

On the same day Detroit officials delivered to the state a new proposal aimed at saving the city from fiscal collapse, Detroit’s financial review team declared that a severe financial emergency exists in the city.

The report may lead Republican governor Rick Snyder to appoint an emergency commission to once again bail out the desperate city. Detroit officials and residents are fuming at the prospect of the austerity measures needed to save the city from bankruptcy.

Residents cried racism and warned of mass unrest if the state intervenes. Of the 100 public comments, only one person delivered a reality check to the audience. His job title may have saved him from the hostile crowd.

“Detroit is nothing but pollution, crime, garbage and murder,” said Michael McMahon, a resident and cage fighter, eliciting boos and insults from the audience. “I believe in cuts, layoffs and firings. If they can’t get the job done downtown … I say fire them, send someone else from Lansing and clean up this mess.”

Full article: Detroit Isn’t Back, It’s Broken (Washington Free Beacon)