A general view shows a unit of South Pars Gas field in Asalouyeh Seaport, north of Persian Gulf, Iran November 19, 2015. Reuters/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA
Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month’s sanctions relief.
A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil. Continue reading →
LONDON—The economic recovery in the 19-country eurozone lost steam in January, a closely watched survey found Wednesday, a sign that the turmoil in global financial markets is beginning to weigh on business activity.
Financial information company Markit said its purchasing managers’ index — a broad gauge of activity across both the manufacturing and services sectors — fell to a four-month low of 53.6 points in January from 54.3 the previous month.
According to Markit, that means the region has started off the year growing at a modest 0.4 percent quarterly tick. Rates of growth also diverged, with Spain once again leading the pack, followed by Germany. France appears to be stagnating.
As yet another reminder, and you may well already know after being a reader here for a while, Deutsche Bank has over $70 trillion in derivatives exposure. We could be seeing the effects of that right now. What’s more, Commerzbank is a “Tochterunternehmen” of Deutsche Bank. In English, that’s to say it’s a subsidiary. Therefore, the true scale of DB’s exposure is not 100% known. In this century’s total economic collapse race, Germany is making a strong push to be the first in the world. America’s in the same boat, but it has a better method in kicking the can down the road.
EUROPE’S biggest economy was plunged into fresh chaos tonight amid warnings a new financial crisis in Germany could destroy the EU.
Shares in Germany’s two biggest lenders – Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank – fell sharply again as panic gripped global markets. They have now seen their combined market value plummet by more than £14BILLION in the past three months.
Deutsche Bank shares fell by nearly four per cent to close at an all-time low amid turmoil not seen since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009.
Meanwhile shares in Commerzbank, Germany’s second biggest lender, fell even further, by 4.65 per cent, to close at their lowest level in nearly two-and-a-half years.
“The Saudis are preparing for Iran’s return,” said Mohamed Sadegh Memarian, who recently retired as the head of petroleum market analysis at Iran’s oil ministry, as they sharply cut the prices they charge for crude oil in Europe (to the biggest discount since Feb 2009). The move that will likely undercut Iran happens as sectarian tensions escalate between the rival Middle Eastern nations. As WSJ reports, the Saudi move appears to pave the way for a competition over European oil markets later this year when Iran is expected to increase its exports after the expected end of western sanctions over its nuclear program. Continue reading →
In 1990 former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told me in an interview that massive Islamic immigration into Europe kept him awake at night. Between pinches of snuff, Schmidt said he worried Muslims wouldn’t assimilate, and that this would become a big problem for the continent.
Schmidt’s ruminations are worth remembering following French President Francois Hollande visit to President Obama Tuesday to ask for help in what he has called France’s war on the Islamic State (ISIS). Hollande, who has been much more assertive than his host on defeating ISIS, to say the least, has been candid that “complicity from the inside” is one of the problems he will have to tackle. Continue reading →
Central planners around the world are waging a War on Cash. In just the last few years:
Italy made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal;
Switzerland proposed banning cash payments in excess of 100,000 francs;
Russia banned cash transactions over $10,000;
Spain banned cash transactions over €2,500;
Mexico made cash payments of more than 200,000 pesos illegal;
Uruguay banned cash transactions over $5,000; and
France made cash transactions over €1,000 illegal, down from the previous limit of €3,000.
The War on Cash is a favorite pet project of the economic central planners. They want to eliminate hand-to-hand currency so that governments can document, control, and tax everything. Continue reading →
UK Prime Minister David Cameron reflects the serious problem we have with politicians. Politicians have ZERO respect for our human rights for they only think about how they are going to raid our wealth to pay for their families and retirements at our expense. Cameron actually asked, “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication we cannot read? My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not’.”Continue reading →
Separatists on Sunday won a clear majority of seats in Catalonia’s parliament in an election that sets the region on a collision course with Spain’s central government over independence.
“Catalans have voted yes to independence,” acting regional government head Artur Mas told supporters, with secessionist parties securing 72 out of 135 seats in the powerful region of 7.5 million people that includes Barcelona.
The strong pro-independence showing dealt a blow to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, three months before a national election. His center-right government, which has opposed attempts to hold a referendum on secession, has called the separatist plan “a nonsense” and vowed to block it in court. Continue reading →
BARCELONA/BERLIN (Own report) – Just days before regional elections in Spain’s Catalonia – elections declared a plebiscite on secession – a political partner of the German Green Party is calling for the rapid secession of that region from Spain. Ethnically defined “peoples” throughout Europe should have the “right to self-determination,” recognizing “no borders,” according to a declaration signed by the Spanish member organization of the “European Free Alliance” (EFA). The EFA unites separatist parties of various political orientations from numerous EU member countries. These include organizations closely connected to Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz Party, in Hungary, conservative Flemish nationalists and a party in the tradition of northern Italian separatists, who, years ago, had used terrorism as a means of imposing South Tyrol’s absorption into Austria. Both, the EFA and the German Green Party are members of the same parliamentary caucus collective in the European Parliament. EFA subsidiaries disseminate a map of European so-called nations without states, depicting, for example, Catalonia as independent of Spain and merged with other territories in Spain and France to constitute a “Greater Catalonia.” Leading politicians in the current campaign for Catalonian separatism are propagating pan-Catalonian views, which opponents sharply criticize as “cultural racism with an expansionist demeanor.” The EFA’s map of Europe also depicts Germany merged with Austria and territories of neighboring countries to form a Greater Germany. Continue reading →
From worries that it would not raise enough funds to concerns other nations would not support it, Beijing was plagued by self-doubt when it first considered setting up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in early 2013, two sources with knowledge of internal discussions said.
However, promises by some Middle East governments to stump up cash and the support of key European nations – to Beijing’s surprise and despite US opposition – proved a turning point in China’s plans to alter the global financial architecture.
BERLIN/ULM/BRUNSSUM (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr will play a leading role in “Operation Trident Juncture,” a large scale NATO exercise, set for late September. German NATO-General Hans-Lothar Domröse will command the exercise involving more than 36,000 soldiers. The German Armed Forces’ “Multinational Joint Headquarters” based in Ulm (Baden-Württemberg) will be the main coordinator. “Trident Juncture” will exercise a military intervention in a fictitious country at the Horn of Africa with NATO’s “Spearhead” response force, comprised mainly of Bundeswehr soldiers. According to the training scenario, not only will western troops be confronting a regular army and guerilla fighters, but will also encounter “food insecurity,” “massive population displacements,” “cyber-attacks,” “chemical warfare,” and “information warfare.” According to Lt. Gen. Richard Rossmanith, commander of the “Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm,” “Operation Trident Juncture” will not only send a “message” to Russia: “Everyone should consider carefully about how they deal with us” – because NATO is “the strongest military alliance in the world” with a “360 degree” orientation.
American Web users’ access to Internet content may soon be limited, thanks to a recent decision by French regulators. France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (known by its French acronym CNIL) ordered Google to apply the European Union’s bizarre “right-to-be-forgotten” rules on a global basis in a June ruling. The search engine announced at the end of July that it would refuse to comply. If it is nevertheless forced to do so, the result could be unprecedented censorship of Internet content, as well as a dangerous expansion of foreign Web restrictions on Americans.
The European Union’s “right-to-be-forgotten” rules were first imposed in May of last year in a case decided by the European Court of Justice. The plaintiff, a Spanish citizen named Mario Costeja González, had his house repossessed in 1998 due to a tax debt. A notice of the sale was duly printed in a local paper. A decade later, concerned that the newspaper notice still appeared in search results when his name was Googled, he sued the search engine under the EU privacy law, to force it to filter the story from future search results. Continue reading →