Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown

https://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/bloomberg_markets_842/7b8db50483aa4d5c7af90ada3d7b68ec

Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown (Yahoo!)

 

(Bloomberg) — Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra dropped a bombshell on Twitter Tuesday: The Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas the day before was there to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country’s central bank.

The claim set off a welter of social media speculation and outrage. When asked how he knew this, Guerra provided no evidence. Continue reading

US sanctions: SWIFT network suspends Iran banks

https://i1.wp.com/www.spxdaily.com/images-hg/iran-rial-banknote-money-currency-hg.jpg

 

The SWIFT banking network, the backbone for international monetary transfers, said Monday it has suspended several Iranian banks from its service, after the United States reimposed nuclear sanctions on Tehran.

“In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, SWIFT is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system,” it said. Continue reading

An end to the dollar’s global hegemony? The Kremlin sees an opportunity.

https://images.csmonitor.com/csm/2018/10/1070876_2_1012-Russia_standard.jpg?alias=standard_900x600nc

An exchange-office screen on a Moscow street shows the currency exchange rate of the Russian ruble and US dollar in April. The Kremlin has begun making moves to insulate the Russian economy from escalating US sanctions. (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

 

The dollar has long been the world’s reserve currency. But some countries, angered by sanctions, are challenging that status, potentially undermining one of the US’s most influential tools for shaping global policy.

For average Russians, a small personal hoard of US dollars has always represented a place of safety amid the wild ups-and-downs that continue to beset the country’s national currency, the ruble.

So it triggered a touch of panic among them when the Russian government confirmed long-standing rumors that it is working on a plan to insulate the economy from escalating US sanctions through “de-dollarization.” Continue reading

EU, Iran agree to create ‘special vehicle’ to maintain trade

Iran has said it will not accept any attempts to halt country’s oil exports (Reuters)

 

To keep nuclear deal intact, EU establishes legal mechanism to keep trade with Iran, including in oil

The remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal said on Monday that they agreed to continue work to create a special mechanism to maintain trade with Iran, including in oil, following the US withdrawal from the 2015 pact.

Continue reading

The World Is Ganging up Against the Dollar

https://dweaay7e22a7h.cloudfront.net/wp-content_3/uploads/2018/08/shutterstock_1141332971.jpg

Shutterstock

 

The U.S. has been highly successful at pursuing financial warfare, including sanctions. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

As the U.S. wields the dollar weapon more frequently, the rest of the world works harder to shun the dollar completely.

I’ve been warning for years about efforts of nations like Russia and China to escape what they call “dollar hegemony” and create a new financial system that does not depend on the dollar and helps them get out from under dollar-based economic sanctions.

These efforts are only increasing. Continue reading

Europe Is Working On Alternative To SWIFT For “Financial Independence” From The US

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/heiko%20mass.jpg?itok=vgZp-573

German foreign minister Heiko Maas

 

In the aftermath of a report that Germany was working on a global payment system that is independent of the US and SWIFT, on Monday Germany and France said they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks, Bloomberg reported.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

The discussions, which also involve the U.K., are a signal that European powers are trying to get serious about demonstrating a greater level of independence from the U.S. as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda. Continue reading

E.U. Comes to Iran’s Aid

FILE PHOTO: The national flag of Iran is seen on top of the Austrian Chancellery during the visit of President Hassan Rouhani in Vienna

Reuters

 

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union agreed 18 million euros ($20.6 mln) in aid for Iran on Thursday, including for the private sector, to help offset the impact of U.S. sanctions and salvage a 2015 deal that saw Tehran limit its nuclear ambitions. Continue reading

Russia’s Medvedev: U.S. declares war on us

https://i0.wp.com/vestnikkavkaza.net/upload2/2018-08-10/15338881215b6d46799befb6.53066755.jpeg

 

The possible tightening up of U.S. economic sanctions against Russia may be treated as a declaration of economic war, which must be responded by all economic, political and other means possible, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during his visit to the Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

During his visit to the Kronotsky State Nature Reserve, Medvedev was asked what sanctions could be imposed on Russia in the future and how they can affect the country’s economy.

“I would like not to comment on the talks about future sanctions, but there is one thing I can say: if measures like a ban on banking activities or the use of this or that currency follows, this can be clearly be described as a declaration of an economic war. And this war will have to be responded – by economic, political and, if necessary, other means. And our American partners should realize this,” TASS cited the PM as saying.

Continue reading

U.S. Seeks to Thwart Iran Flying Millions in Cash Out of Germany

Foreign ministers including Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal

Foreign ministers including Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal / Getty Images

 

Iran in need of cash after President Trump reimposed sanctions

Top Trump administration officials are working to stop Germany from allowing Iran to fly more than $350 million in cash out of the country and back to Tehran as part of a bid by the Iranian regime to restock its coffers ahead of a major financial crackdown by America, according to conversations with senior U.S. diplomats and officials on Capital Hill.

The Trump administration is already working to stop the German government from allowing this transfer following weekend reports that Iran is poised to fly around 300 million Euros out of the country as part of an ongoing scheme to skirt tough new U.S. economic sanctions, which were put back into effect after President Donald Trump decided to abandon the landmark nuclear deal. Continue reading

Russia And India Ditch Dollar In Military Deals

With the US increasingly willing to use the dollar, and SWIFT, as a strategic weapon against the country’s sovereign enemies (as Iran learned every 5 or so years), Russia and India are preparing to bypass US sanctions on Moscow by using the rupee and the ruble in bilateral trade involving military deals, the Economic Times reported.

Some $2 billion in weapons deals between India and Russia have been hit as a result of the recent US sanctions, as payments get stuck. The countries are seeking to bypass such monetary bottlenecks this by switching to settlements in domestic currencies and ditching the greenback. Continue reading

If Iran resumes enrichment, the US and Israel poised to attack its facilities

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/debka/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/24094157/F-35-Beirut.-Natanzjpg.jpg

 

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: If Europe fails to back Iran against the US, Tehran will resume uranium enrichment. He is asking for trouble. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei tried Wednesday, May 23, to counter Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s ultimatum with one of his own for the European powers, the UK, France and Germany, which are trying to save the 2015 nuclear deal after the US walkout. The dictates he put before them included: European banks must safeguard trade with Iran and stop seeking new negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional Middle East activities to gratify the US president. The Europeans must further guarantee Iran’s oil sales and compensate Tehran for losses incurred from US sanctions. If Europe fails to meet Khamenei’s demands, Iran will go back to enriching uranium, effectively turning its back on the 2015 nuclear deal, he warned. Continue reading

Europe Plotting to Undermine New U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas / Getty Images

 

Lawmakers working to ensure harsh repercussions for skirting new U.S. sanctions

European countries are currently examining a range of options to counter the reimposition of harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran in a bid to continue doing business with the Islamic Republic, a move that is being met with chilly reception on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are already putting in place measures to ensure that any European nation caught skirting U.S. sanctions faces harsh repercussions, according to a new policy paper being examined by lawmakers and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

In Face of a Global Trade War

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The EU announced its first defensive measures against US plans to penalize European companies’ business engagements with Iran, by reactivating the 1996 “Blocking Statute.” That law prohibits companies from terminating their business engagements with Iran, to avoid severe penalties in the United States. Some companies from Germany and other EU countries have already announced that they will cancel their contracts with Tehran to avoid endangering their business ventures in the US. German companies, involved in profitable ventures with Russia, could be facing a similar situation. Washington threatens to demand that businesses from Germany and the EU comply also with the April 6 sanctions announced by US President Donald Trump, against some Russian oligarchs and their companies. According to government advisors, German Russia-oriented businesses are “virtually panicking” because of the escalation of a global trade war.

Continue reading

Russia Warns of ‘Financial War’ With U.S.

Russia Warns of ‘Financial War’ With U.S.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has warned of a possible “financial war” with the U.S. if its central bank assets are frozen or seized as part of economic sanctions.

 

In a sudden and somewhat shocking declaration, Russia’s financial minister has declared that any attempt by the U.S. to seize his country’s gold reserves would be deemed an act of war.

Anton Siluanov was announcing his government’s new budget and how it was crafted with likely U.S. sanctions in mind. Then, he added:

“If our gold and currency reserves can be arrested, even if such a thought exists, it would be financial terrorism.” Continue reading

Russia Increases Economic Support For North Korea As China Backs Away

 

Over the past two months, China, North Korea’s economic benefactor and formally the source of 90% of its foreign trade, has been withdrawing financial support, ostensibly under the auspices of US sanctions, as Communist Party leaders try to rein in the North’s nuclear program to appease the US and prevent a potentially destabilizing conflict on its border – a development that would be particularly unwelcome during the Communist Party’s upcoming national congress.

As we reported earlier this week, North Korea’s thriving black-market economy (the county earns hundreds of millions of dollars a year from illegal weapons sales, along with other illicit activities rumored to include counterfeiting of US dollars and the manufacture of methamphetamine) has helped blunt the economic impact of UN sanctions meant to reduce the country’s legitimate exports by 90%. Continue reading