With interest rates at a 5,000-year low, are we really surprised that a crash is coming?
The International Monetary Fund (imf) is warning that a financial crisis is practically guaranteed, and it’s just a matter of time before it strikes. The organization’s newly released Global Financial Stability report is sobering reading. The flaws in the global financial system have not been fixed, it says.
It highlights soaring global debt, particularly in emerging markets. The implication is that we could see a repeat of the 1997 currency crisis also known as the “Asian Flu,” which saw massive currency devaluations, contractions in global trade, economic turmoil, and social instability.
But conditions are much more dangerous today than back then. Virtually the whole world is teetering on recession, the West and Russia are back in Cold War mode, the Middle East is engaged in actual war in Syria, and the world is more interconnected than ever—potentially making the transmission of financial diseases much quicker. 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.