Obama-era license aimed to let Iran convert money in dollars

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FILE – In this April 16, 2018, file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference in Cincinnati. The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran brief access to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so. That’s according to an investigation by Senate Republicans released June 6. “The Obama Administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran,” said Portman, the subcommittee’s chairman. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, file)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration secretly sought to give Iran access — albeit briefly — to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions kept in place after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite repeatedly telling Congress and the public it had no plans to do so.

An investigation by Senate Republicans released Wednesday sheds light on the delicate balance the Obama administration sought to strike after the deal, as it worked to ensure Iran received its promised benefits without playing into the hands of the deal’s opponents. Amid a tense political climate, Iran hawks in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere argued that the United States was giving far too much to Tehran and that the windfall would be used to fund extremism and other troubling Iranian activity.

The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that under President Barack Obama, the Treasury Department issued a license in February 2016, never previously disclosed, that would have allowed Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman from Omani rials into euros by exchanging them first into U.S. dollars. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system. Continue reading

Iran: The Hollowing-Out of the Regime

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Pictured: The Iranian city of Mashhad, enveloped in a haze of air pollution. Of the 500 most polluted cities of the world, Iran with 19 cities comes fifth. (Image source: Tasnim/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Iran: The Hollowing-Out of the Regime The analogies with the former East Germany suggest that Iran, too, is ripe for regime change. They also suggest that a change may come in weeks, months or years, depending on chance events and particularly on whether the local authorities and their security forces, at least in some areas, get tired of killing people.
  • What is likely to push such developments forward? The answer is that the new American policy, whether by chance or intent, may be as good as anything.

On December 28, 2017, major protests against the Iranian regime broke out in Mashhad and quickly spread to numerous other urban centers. Mostly merely noisy at first, some turned violent and eventually the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) suppressed the phenomenon, killing some and arresting thousands of others. Protests have continued, but news about them is scanty. How are they to be evaluated?

There are interesting parallels with the twilight of the East German regime. By a coincidence, the Iranian regime is in its fortieth year and the East German regime suddenly collapsed just after its leaders had held a large-scale pompous celebration of its fortieth anniversary in the capital, East Berlin. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank Formally Classified as a Problem Bank

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Deutsche Bank is now been classified as a problem bank by FDIC and has been included in a list of banks to be watched. This is the biggest bank in Europe. It cannot be merged within Germany with Commerce Bank for there is just not enough equity to overcome the derivative losses. The only other candidate is BNP, but that is a French bank. This is where the fairytale of Euroland ends. They wanted to create a single currency, but they were unwilling to actually merge the economies. This is why our sources in Italy argue they are now an occupied country. Continue reading

EU Could Switch To Euros In Oil Trade With Iran

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The European Union (EU) is considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran, Sputnik reported on Wednesday, quoting a diplomatic source.

Iran, for its part, said as early as in mid-April that it would be switching to euros from U.S. dollars in reporting foreign currency amounts, to reduce the reliance on the dollar as it was expected that President Trump would not waive the sanctions this time around.

The EU vowed on Tuesday to seek ways to work and trade with Iran. Continue reading

Another Step Towards Collapse of Petrodollar

Note: Please see the source for currency swap agreements chart.

 

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For the past year and half a major topic throughout the alternative press has been the new Chinese oil futures contract settled/priced in yuan. The fact that China is directly challenging the Federal Reserve Note, U.S. dollar, is quiet a significant change. For those that have been paying attention this new futures oil contract is nothing more than the next step in China moving completely away from the Federal Reserve Note, and the “world reserve currency” system and towards a multi-polar world with several currencies being used for international trade. Continue reading

Can US Russian Sanctions Start A Financial Crisis?

 

The US sanctions against Russia are pointless and are placing the West at risk the politicians are too stupid to even comprehend. Already, some Russian companies have asked the government for liquidity injections of up to $2 billion. Even the world’s second-largest aluminum producer Rusal has asked for help. Nevertheless, the impact of sanctions goes beyond the internal borders of Russia for they also impact the international financial markets. Continue reading

US cannot stop China’s innovation advancements

It would appear that the US is seriously worried about China’s technological advancements. Fearing the loss of the last comparative advantage over the Asian superpower has caused a genuine concern over national defense and competitiveness among America’s ruling elite.

The US using every possible means to curb Asia’s technological rise, including the banning of sales of essential chips to ZTE for seven years, invoking Section 301 of the Trade Act to investigate China’s “unfair trade practices” and barring investment in the information-technology sector. The Donald Trump administration’s target might be the Asian power’s “Made in China 2025”, a strategy meant to make China self-sufficient in an array of technologies.

The 301 investigation was meant to slow down China’s technological advancements by imposing stiff tariffs on a host of Chinese imports and barring the sales of US technology to Chinese firms. In addition, the anti-China faction of the US Congress and the Trump administration have barred Chinese investment in technology sectors. Continue reading

Gold Leaving US Vaults: Signs of Upcoming Currency War and Armed Conflict

Gold Leaving US Vaults: Signs of Upcoming Currency War and Armed Conflict

 

The Turkish government has made the decision to repatriate all of its gold reserves that are currently housed in the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). Overall Turkey was storing 220 tonnes, valued at $25.3 billion, in the US, which it repossessed on April 19, 2018.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toughened his stance against the US dollar (USD), declaring that international loans should be made in gold instead of the American currency. Ankara is seeking to reduce dependence on the US financial system. The gold’s homecoming was partly prompted by the US threats to impose sanctions if Turkey goes through with the signed deal to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems. Continue reading

Russia Buys 300,000 Ounces Of Gold In March – Nears 2,000 Tons In Gold Reserves

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Russia buys 300,000 ounces of gold in March and nears 2,000t in gold reserves
– Russia now holds just over 1,861 tonnes, more than officially reported by China at 1,842t
Both Russia and China have the power to destabilise US dollar by dumping dollar-denominated assets
– Turkey has removed all gold held in the U.S. opting for Bank of England and BIS
– Turkey follows trend set by both Germany, Netherlands and others to remove gold reserves stored in the United States
– Central bank decisions regarding gold reserves are examples of countries becoming nervous about the outlook for the dollar under the Trump administration

Russia bought another 300,000 troy ounces of gold in March bringing Russia’s total gold reserves to 1,861 tonnes or 60.8 million troy ounces as of the start of April, the central bank announced loudly at the weekend.

The continuing robust and steady accumulation of gold reserves continues and it was notable how Russian media channels loudly (more loudly than usual it seemed with many outlets covering) pronounced the continuing diversification into gold bullion by the Russian central bank. It suggests that gold is being used as a bulwark to protect Russia from the stealth financial, trade and currency wars which appear to be deepening. Continue reading

Turkey Will Repatriate All Gold From The US In Attempt To Ditch The Dollar

 

After VenezuelaGermanyAustria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, this morning Turkey also announced that it has decided to repatriate all its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to reports in Turkey’s Yeni Safak. It won’t be the first time Turkey has asked the NY Fed to ship the country’s gold back: in recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.

According to the latest IMF data, Turkey’s gold reserves are estimated at 591 tons, worth just over $23 billion. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India. Continue reading

Iran Officially Switches From Dollar To Euro

 

Just two weeks after “panic” hit the streets of Tehran as the Iranian government attempted to ‘fix’ the freefall of the Rial against the US Dollar…

Middle East Monitor reports that Iran’s feud with the US is set to get worse after Tehran announced this week that it will start reporting foreign currency amounts in euros rather than US dollars, as part of the country’s effort to reduce its reliance on the American currency due to political tension with Washington. Continue reading

America’s “Actual” GDP: The Shocking Truth

 

Saturday last we offended the pieties.

We reckoned that democracies — being shortsighted — tend toward vast accumulations of debt.

In response, reader Tom B. dealt with us as follows:

The committed ignorance of pseudointellectual arrogance and their refusal to take an economics class on the uses of the FIAT dollar is stunning! It’s the reason Warren Buffet [sic] smiles every time “financial experts” demagogue debt!

Congrats, Daily Reckoning, you’re consistently ignorant!

It is with high honor that we accept Tom’s congratulations.

True consistency is a rare feat in this world… even if consistently ignorant. Continue reading

The US Fading into Irrelevance – A Good Thing for the World

 

Chaos reigns in the United States, spreading to its closest allies. The war amongst Western elites is in full swing, manifesting itself from commercial wars to failed diplomacy, empty threats of war, corruption, and announced military withdrawals and attacks.

To sum up the last few weeks of international events, it is worth comparing the direction taken by the multipolar troika of Russia, China and Iran, and the one taken by the fading unipolar order led by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Why A Dollar Collapse Is Inevitable

 

“Naturally, the smooth termination of the gold-exchange standard, the restoration of the gold standard, and supplemental and interim measures that might be called for, in particular with a view to organizing international credit on this new basis, will have to be deliberately agreed upon between countries, in particular those on which there devolves special responsibility by virtue of their economic and financial capabilities.” 

General Charles de Gaulle, February 1965

We have been here before – twice. The first time was in the late 1920s, which led to the dollar’s devaluation in 1934. And the second was 1966-68, which led to the collapse of the Bretton Woods System. Even though gold is now officially excluded from the monetary system, it does not save the dollar from a third collapse and will still be its yardstick.

This article explains why another collapse is due for the dollar. It describes the errors that led to the two previous episodes, and the lessons from them relevant to understanding the position today. And just because gold is no longer officially money, it will not stop the collapse of the dollar, measured in gold, again. Continue reading

How far can the Americans be pushed?

 

Inspired by the Saker’s article regarding how far can the Russians be pushed, (http://thesaker.is/escalation-in-syria-how-far-can-the-russians-be-pushed/), I ask, how far can the Americans be pushed, not specifically only in Syria, but in general?

In his article, the Saker articulated in his regular rational and captivating style, the issue of Russian patience, or should we say frustration, with America’s actions and inactions in Syria. And, as I was reading the article, I began to think about looking at the situation from the other side of the mirror in a tongue-in-cheek manner; looking at it from the American perspective. Continue reading

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