China Takes Aim At The Petrodollar

 

China continues to pursue its ambitious plan to make its currency—the yuan—more international.

The world’s top crude oil importer and key oil demand growth driver is now determined to get as many oil exporters as possible on board with accepting yuan payments for their oil.

China is now trying to persuade OPEC’s kingpin and biggest exporter, Saudi Arabia, to start accepting yuan for its crude oil. If the Chinese succeed, other oil exporters could follow suit and abandon the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Pulling oil trade out of U.S. dollars would lead to decreased demand for U.S. securities across the board, Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High Frequency Economics, tells CNBC. Weinberg believes that the Chinese will “compel” the Saudis to accept to trade oil in yuan.

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Trump Takes On The Deep State

This is an article that merits a lot of attention. It explains what Donald Trump is really up against: A renegade “Deep State” that does what it wants, regardless of who is President, and can outlast many presidencies.

For archiving purposes, the article will remain in full here.

 

The tweet heard ’round the intelligence world.

 

 

  • Donald Trump engages in war of words with outgoing CIA head
  • Trump policies on trade, foreign policy depart from longstanding norms
  • Past events point to policymaking powers beyond elected officials
  • Russian relations a major sticking point between Trump, much of gov’t
  • Aggressive stance towards China could result in enormous market volatility

Last Sunday, US president-elect Donald Trump launched one of his now-trademark series of broadsides against the CIA, claiming that the latest series of leaks concerning his alleged misuse of a Moscow hotel suite previously occupied by president Barack Obama was a “complete fraud”.

Trump then compared the US intelligence regime to Nazi Germany in a tweet that called the leak, which alleged various colourful activities involving prostitutes, “fake news […] one last shot at me”. Continue reading

Why a selloff in European banks is ominous

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Dark clouds are gathering around Europe’s banking sector.

 

Europe’s bank index has posted its longest weekly string of losses since 2008

European banks have been caught in a perfect storm of market turmoil, lately.

“The current environment for European banks is very, very bad. Over a full business cycle, I think it’s very questionable whether banks on average are able to cover their cost of equity. And as a result that makes it an unattractive investment for long-term investors,” warned Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank. Continue reading

Obama aims oil weapon at Putin but will he pull the trigger?

Depleting your oil ‘savings account’ might not be the wisest idea when you are both one of the largest consumers of oil in the world and not one of the largest producers.

Oil prices are on the brink of possibly their biggest correction since the global financial crisis after Vladimir Putin’s gamble to use Russia’s crude as a political weapon backfired spectacularly on the Kremlin.

A potent energy superpower, Russia had thought that it could use its status as the world’s largest oil producer and biggest exporter of natural gas through cross-border pipelines to intimidate and quite literally bully Western powers into submission over Ukraine. Continue reading

Ukraine pushes tanks and troops into separatist east

IZYUM (Ukraine) (AFP) – Ukraine pushed tanks toward a flashpoint eastern city on Tuesday to quash a separatist surge backed by Moscow — a high-risk operation that was sharply condemned by the Kremlin but won Washington’s support.

The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were the most forceful response yet by the Western-backed government in Kiev to the pro-Kremlin militants’ occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine’s rust belt.

Ukrainian forces set up a cement road barrier and began checking traffic leading to Slavyansk while fighters and attack helicopters circled overhead. Continue reading