Who Gains & Who Loses From Ex-Im Bank (In 2 Simple Maps)

In an effort to expose the effect of Ex-Im Bank's financing (costs and benefits) on America, Mercatus Center has created 2 charts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the maps show that Washington state, home of Boeing, garners the bulk of the benefits in terms of both Ex-Im Bank disbursements and as a percentage of total state export value, even though taxpayers across the nation are equally exposed to liability. This, among other reasons, is why killing The Ex-Im Bank is crucial to the future of capitalism.

Via Mercatus,

The first map shows that Washington state is the clear winner in terms of total Ex-Im disbursements, receiving a massive 43.6 percent of all Ex-Im Bank disbursements from 2007 to 2014. Washington is the home of Boeing, one of Ex-Im Bank’s biggest beneficiaries, but the sheer size is nonetheless startling. Larger states like Texas and California only respectively pulled in 10.5 percent and 8.8 percent of total Ex-Im Bank disbursements during the same time. An astounding 42 states received less than two percent of Ex-Im Bank disbursements, with 35 of these receiving less than one percent. While businesses in most states barely benefit from the Ex-Im Bank at all, their taxpayers are just as exposed to Ex-Im Bank liabilities as taxpayers in states that receive the most Ex-Im Bank backing.

The second map displays a similar pattern to the first. Washington state is again the big winner in terms of state export value supported, with an incredible 22.67 percent of state exports backed by the Ex-Im Bank since 2007. The state percentages drop off quickly from there. While almost four percent of Wisconsin’s exports and about 3.5 percent of Massachusetts’s exports were backed by the Ex-Im Bank, the Ex-Im Bank supported less than two percent of the exports of 41 states for the same time period.

The Ex-Im Bank yields negligible benefits for the vast majority of state exports. But the concentrated benefits it yields to a few beneficiaries makes the reform necessary to prevent widespread losses that much harder.

*  *  *

As we concluded previously,

So what is at stake in the Ex-Im battle is the future of market capitalism itself. If Washington lacks the capacity to say no to the shareholders of a few big US corporations that can be counted on one hand, then the statist predicate will triumph finally and for ever more.

 

Unfortunately, the script is already evident. When push-comes-to-shove during the run-up to the fall congressional elections, Speaker Boehner can be counted upon to come to the rescue of GE in his home state, and sell-out the tea party insurgents yet again.

 

And this time it will be game over. If the Ex-Im is given a new lease on life there will be no place for free market conservatives in the Republican party at all. Going forward, crony capitalism will be readily managed by the statist politicians who dominate the beltway regardless of notional party affiliation and banquet speech ideologies.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ouMuRS Tyler Durden

Who Gains & Who Loses From Ex-Im Bank (In 2 Simple Maps)

In an effort to expose the effect of Ex-Im Bank's financing (costs and benefits) on America, Mercatus Center has created 2 charts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the maps show that Washington state, home of Boeing, garners the bulk of the benefits in terms of both Ex-Im Bank disbursements and as a percentage of total state export value, even though taxpayers across the nation are equally exposed to liability. This, among other reasons, is why killing The Ex-Im Bank is crucial to the future of capitalism.

Via Mercatus,

The first map shows that Washington state is the clear winner in terms of total Ex-Im disbursements, receiving a massive 43.6 percent of all Ex-Im Bank disbursements from 2007 to 2014. Washington is the home of Boeing, one of Ex-Im Bank’s biggest beneficiaries, but the sheer size is nonetheless startling. Larger states like Texas and California only respectively pulled in 10.5 percent and 8.8 percent of total Ex-Im Bank disbursements during the same time. An astounding 42 states received less than two percent of Ex-Im Bank disbursements, with 35 of these receiving less than one percent. While businesses in most states barely benefit from the Ex-Im Bank at all, their taxpayers are just as exposed to Ex-Im Bank liabilities as taxpayers in states that receive the most Ex-Im Bank backing.

The second map displays a similar pattern to the first. Washington state is again the big winner in terms of state export value supported, with an incredible 22.67 percent of state exports backed by the Ex-Im Bank since 2007. The state percentages drop off quickly from there. While almost four percent of Wisconsin’s exports and about 3.5 percent of Massachusetts’s exports were backed by the Ex-Im Bank, the Ex-Im Bank supported less than two percent of the exports of 41 states for the same time period.

The Ex-Im Bank yields negligible benefits for the vast majority of state exports. But the concentrated benefits it yields to a few beneficiaries makes the reform necessary to prevent widespread losses that much harder.

*  *  *

As we concluded previously,

So what is at stake in the Ex-Im battle is the future of market capitalism itself. If Washington lacks the capacity to say no to the shareholders of a few big US corporations that can be counted on one hand, then the statist predicate will triumph finally and for ever more.

 

Unfortunately, the script is already evident. When push-comes-to-shove during the run-up to the fall congressional elections, Speaker Boehner can be counted upon to come to the rescue of GE in his home state, and sell-out the tea party insurgents yet again.

 

And this time it will be game over. If the Ex-Im is given a new lease on life there will be no place for free market conservatives in the Republican party at all. Going forward, crony capitalism will be readily managed by the statist politicians who dominate the beltway regardless of notional party affiliation and banquet speech ideologies.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ouMuRS Tyler Durden

25 Critical Facts About This Ebola Outbreak That Every American Needs To Know

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

What would a global pandemic look like for a disease that has no cure and that kills more than half of the people that it infects?  Let's hope that we don't get to find out, but what we do know is that more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines of fighting this disease have ended up getting it themselves.  The top health officials in the entire world are sounding the alarm and the phrase "out of control" is constantly being thrown around by professionals with decades of experience.  So should average Americans be concerned about Ebola?  If so, how bad could an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. potentially become?  The following are 25 critical facts about this Ebola outbreak that every American needs to know…

#1 As the chart below demonstrates, the spread of Ebola is starting to become exponential…

Ebola Outbreak - Photo by Leopoldo Martin R

#2 This is already the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history by far.

#3 The head of the World Health Organization says that this outbreak "is moving faster than our efforts to control it".

#4 The head of Doctors Without Borders says that this outbreak is "out of control".

#5 So far, more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines fighting the virus have ended up contracting Ebola themselves.  This is happening despite the fact that they go to extraordinary lengths to keep from getting the disease.

#6 There is no cure for Ebola.

#7 The death rate for this current Ebola outbreak is over 50 percent, and experts say that it can kill "up to 90% of those infected".

#8 The incubation rate for Ebola ranges from two days to 21 days.  Therefore, someone can be carrying it around for up to three weeks without even knowing it.

#9 For the first time ever, human Ebola patients are being brought to the United States.  And as Paul Craig Roberts so aptly put it the other day, all it would take is "one cough, one sneeze, one drop of saliva, and the virus is loose".

#10 This has already potentially happened in the United Kingdom.  A woman reportedly collapsed and later died on Saturday after she got off of a flight from Sierra Leone at Gatwick Airport.

#11 A study conducted in 2012 proved that Ebola could be transmitted between pigs and monkeys that were in separate cages and that never made physical contact.

#12 This is a new strain of Ebola, so what we know about other strains of Ebola may not necessarily apply to this strain of Ebola.

#13 Barack Obama has just signed an executive order that gives the federal government the power to apprehend and detain Americans that show symptoms of "diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled."

#14 And as I noted the other day, federal law already permits "the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease".

#15 According to the CDC, there are 20 quarantine centers around the country that are prepared to potentially receive Ebola patients…

Ebola-quarantine-stations

#16 The CDC has set up an Ebola "quarantine station" at LAX in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

#17 The largest health emergency drill in New York City history was conducted on Friday.

#18 The federal government will begin testing an "experimental Ebola vaccine" on humans in September.

#19 We are being told that the reason why we don't have an Ebola vaccine already is due to the hesitation of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in a disease that has "only affected people in Africa".

#20 Researchers from Tulane University have been active for several years in the very same areas where this Ebola outbreak began.  One of the stated purposes of this research was to study "the future use of fever-viruses as bioweapons".

#21 According to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, researchers from Tulane University have been asked "to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak".  What in the world does that mean?

#22 The Navy Times says that the U.S. military has been interested in studying Ebola "as a potential biological weapon" since the 1970s…

Filoviruses like Ebola have been of interest to the Pentagon since the late 1970s, mainly because Ebola and its fellow viruses have high mortality rates — in the current outbreak, roughly 60 percent to 72 percent of those who have contracted the disease have died — and its stable nature in aerosol make it attractive as a potential biological weapon.

#23 The CDC actually owns a patent on one particular strain of the Ebola virus…

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as "EboBun." It's patent No. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. You can view it here.

It is being reported that this is not the same strain that is currently being transmitted in Africa, but it is interesting to note nonetheless.  And why would the CDC want "ownership" of a strain of the Ebola virus in the first place?

#24 The CDC has just put up a brand new webpage entitled "Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals".

#25 The World Health Organization has launched a 100 million dollar response plan to fight this Ebola outbreak.  Others don't seem so alarmed.  For example, Barack Obama is getting ready to take a "16 day Martha’s Vineyard vacation".

Many are attempting to play down the threat from this virus by stating that unless you "exchange bodily fluids" with someone that you don't have anything to worry about.

If that was truly the case, then how in the world have more than 100 health workers contracted the virus so far?

Health professionals that deal with Ebola take extreme precautions to keep from being exposed to the disease.

But despite those extreme measures, they are catching it too.

So if this virus does start spreading all over the globe, what chance is the general population going to have?




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3 Things That Can't Stay Hidden Long: The Sun, The Moon, & The Truth

"The consensus narrative on market developments is set to implode," warns Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank's chief economist and chief investment officer. In his latest note, he explains precisely how to position ahead of the storm, with everything from calls on gold to German government bonds and more importantly, and their underlying rationale. As Jakobsen concludes, "Yes, the truth is often ugly, but often liberating too. We need to move away from chasing paper profit to investing in people, ideas and prospects. We should not fear the coming sell-off, but embrace and use it for creating a true mandate for change. It’s about time."

 

Via Saxo Bank's Steen Jakobsen,

This week saw US GDP rebound an impressive 4.0% taking the run rate for GDP in 2014 to 2.3% still shy of the ambitious 3.0% the consensus firmly believe in. Wall Street is busy selling strategies on how to hedge the coming hike in policy rates from Fed and we are, again, told how rates will explode.

This narrative will implode and shortly if I look at Saxo Bank's JABA models

Main Macro and Market calls:

  • Fixed income will outperform all assets class’ in 2014 – View established in Q4-2013. Long 1.5% Danish Government bond, Long Bunds futures, Long 10 Y USA.
  • US Dollar will sell off in H2 of 2014 – NEW VIEW. Long EURUSD and adding short USDJPY. Targets: 1.40+ and 96.00 USDJPY. Yield in US will accelerate to downside in Aug-Nov.
  • Germany will reach negative growth by Q1-2015 & France will be in recession. Euro growth reach zero again. 2014 another lost year in economics and non-reforms
  • Inflation expectations will bottom in Q4 – major buy signal for gold, silver and more importantly mining.
  • Short Dax since 10.000 – and still believe in 25-30% correction in H2-2014 as projected all year.
  • Geopolitical risk will see keep energy prices elevated – leaving the consumer with less disposable income and companies with thinner profit margins.

*  *  *
The world will see lower growth & lower yields in 2014 – yet another lost year in nonreforms and easy money.

There is no denial Q2 GDP was good, neither that the US has created more jobs (mostly parttime though), but… that the Fed is ready to take a risk and go early on raising interest denies history and even logic.

(*) The Saxo Bank JABA model is a proprietary model that uses lead and lags from multiple nbusiness & economic vectors to predict future moves.

The pink dotted line is GDP – note how is rises in Q2 only to collapse into Q1/Q2 2015 US GDP has averaged 2.0% in the last five years I don’t see it rising from this low-trend level and on the GDP I have following comments:

1.) From the 1st GDP release to the final 3rd correction the net change is on average 1.46% since 1970s – I see Q2 being 2.5% if not 2.0% offered by its third correction

 

2.) Tax receipt data does not confirm the uptick:

 

3.) US GDP has been reduced to an exercise in measuring inventories. It’s extremely volatile but also important to note they are way above their average for the last eight quarters further more in the last five years US GDP has grown 2% per year – when you exclude inventories the so called Real Final Sales even Q2’s numbers was? Yes – 2%!

 

4.) Disposable income continues to lag and so does housing – the two key components in the US economy.

 

Clearly, to me, this short-term sell-off is directly correlated to a narrative dictated by Wall Street to create trading volumes. Yes, it is a hard claim, but rest assured that next time chairwoman Yellen has a chance to show her extremely dovish credentials she will. A bigger concern for the Fed must be the fact Wall Street in its narrative almost totally ignores the wording and the text from Fed officers. Fed communication policy is failing day by day and its projections have little impact on investors.

My key call both in macro and trading remains new lows in interest rates (10 Y and above in maturity) by Q1 or Q2 2015. The high growth expectations and denial of international geopolitical risks will accelerate the move to the downside inside the next two months.

I suggest adding to IEF or simply buying more 10 Year Treasury bonds.

A new call is a weaker US dollar over the next two months. To that end I have added long EUR Sep Futures to my Alpha portfolio yesterday (31st July) below 1.3500. US data will disappoint as shown in the Saxo Bank JABA model and our US dollar model is now supporting the same outlook.

Jakobsen explains the rest in his full presentation below…
 

Steen's Chronicle August 2014




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3 Things That Can’t Stay Hidden Long: The Sun, The Moon, & The Truth

"The consensus narrative on market developments is set to implode," warns Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank's chief economist and chief investment officer. In his latest note, he explains precisely how to position ahead of the storm, with everything from calls on gold to German government bonds and more importantly, and their underlying rationale. As Jakobsen concludes, "Yes, the truth is often ugly, but often liberating too. We need to move away from chasing paper profit to investing in people, ideas and prospects. We should not fear the coming sell-off, but embrace and use it for creating a true mandate for change. It’s about time."

 

Via Saxo Bank's Steen Jakobsen,

This week saw US GDP rebound an impressive 4.0% taking the run rate for GDP in 2014 to 2.3% still shy of the ambitious 3.0% the consensus firmly believe in. Wall Street is busy selling strategies on how to hedge the coming hike in policy rates from Fed and we are, again, told how rates will explode.

This narrative will implode and shortly if I look at Saxo Bank's JABA models

Main Macro and Market calls:

  • Fixed income will outperform all assets class’ in 2014 – View established in Q4-2013. Long 1.5% Danish Government bond, Long Bunds futures, Long 10 Y USA.
  • US Dollar will sell off in H2 of 2014 – NEW VIEW. Long EURUSD and adding short USDJPY. Targets: 1.40+ and 96.00 USDJPY. Yield in US will accelerate to downside in Aug-Nov.
  • Germany will reach negative growth by Q1-2015 & France will be in recession. Euro growth reach zero again. 2014 another lost year in economics and non-reforms
  • Inflation expectations will bottom in Q4 – major buy signal for gold, silver and more importantly mining.
  • Short Dax since 10.000 – and still believe in 25-30% correction in H2-2014 as projected all year.
  • Geopolitical risk will see keep energy prices elevated – leaving the consumer with less disposable income and companies with thinner profit margins.

*  *  *
The world will see lower growth & lower yields in 2014 – yet another lost year in nonreforms and easy money.

There is no denial Q2 GDP was good, neither that the US has created more jobs (mostly parttime though), but… that the Fed is ready to take a risk and go early on raising interest denies history and even logic.

(*) The Saxo Bank JABA model is a proprietary model that uses lead and lags from multiple nbusiness & economic vectors to predict future moves.

The pink dotted line is GDP – note how is rises in Q2 only to collapse into Q1/Q2 2015 US GDP has averaged 2.0% in the last five years I don’t see it rising from this low-trend level and on the GDP I have following comments:

1.) From the 1st GDP release to the final 3rd correction the net change is on average 1.46% since 1970s – I see Q2 being 2.5% if not 2.0% offered by its third correction

 

2.) Tax receipt data does not confirm the uptick:

 

3.) US GDP has been reduced to an exercise in measuring inventories. It’s extremely volatile but also important to note they are way above their average for the last eight quarters further more in the last five years US GDP has grown 2% per year – when you exclude inventories the so called Real Final Sales even Q2’s numbers was? Yes – 2%!

 

4.) Disposable income continues to lag and so does housing – the two key components in the US economy.

 

Clearly, to me, this short-term sell-off is directly correlated to a narrative dictated by Wall Street to create trading volumes. Yes, it is a hard claim, but rest assured that next time chairwoman Yellen has a chance to show her extremely dovish credentials she will. A bigger concern for the Fed must be the fact Wall Street in its narrative almost totally ignores the wording and the text from Fed officers. Fed communication policy is failing day by day and its projections have little impact on investors.

My key call both in macro and trading remains new lows in interest rates (10 Y and above in maturity) by Q1 or Q2 2015. The high growth expectations and denial of international geopolitical risks will accelerate the move to the downside inside the next two months.

I suggest adding to IEF or simply buying more 10 Year Treasury bonds.

A new call is a weaker US dollar over the next two months. To that end I have added long EUR Sep Futures to my Alpha portfolio yesterday (31st July) below 1.3500. US data will disappoint as shown in the Saxo Bank JABA model and our US dollar model is now supporting the same outlook.

Jakobsen explains the rest in his full presentation below…
 

Steen's Chronicle August 2014




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David Stockman: The Collapse Of The American Imperium

Submitted by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,

im·pe·ri·um
noun
1. command; supreme power.
2. area of dominion; sphere of control or monopoly; empire.
3. a nation having or exerting supreme power; superpower.

David Stockman, former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, best-selling author of The Great Deformation, and veteran financier is an insider's insider. Few people understand the ways in which Washington DC, The Fed, and Wall Street work and intersect better than he does.

He's extremely concerned by the "perfect storm" he sees of concurrent failures in US policy across foreign, monetary, economic, and fiscal fronts:

If you look at the entire radar screen of things developing both domestically and internationally, we are plunging deep into a perfect storm of policy failure. The American Imperium is collapsing. There is blowback everywhere. The wreckage of prior policy mistakes of our intervention with foreign policy is coming home to roost, and the Ukraine is one area at ground zero for that.

 

But second, monetary central planning is now coming to a dead-end. It is inflating the third financial bubble of the century and the Fed is now clueless as to how it will manage to unwind the massive balance sheet expansion it has been undertaken.

 

And third, the fiscal doomsday machine continues to crank on. Washington is ignoring the fact that we are six years into a business cycle expansion and we are still running massive deficits and there is no cushion for the next upset that comes to the economy.

 

Now, why is all of this important? Because I think the foreign policy failures — the collapse of the American Imperium as I call it — is at the center of this, and it will push all of these things in the wrong direction.

 

We are now becoming much more aggressive in our foreign policy than ever before. We can't afford it by any means. And the potential for this to create black swans to roil or dislocate these very fragile markets that have been created by this massive central bank balance sheet expansion — it all makes what is happening in the Ukraine, or in the Middle East in Gaza, or in the collapse of Iraq, even more dangerous in terms of what it could trigger. So we are in a real pickle here and I think it is compounding by the day. 

At risk here is America's capability to remain the world's dominant superpower.

For example, in the current rush to demonize Russia, Stockman sees the military industrial complex (as warned by President Eisenhower) steamrolling over any of the necessary debate, diplomacy or consideration that should proceed such warmongering:

Basically, the war machine in Washington (I call it the Warfare State), couldn't abide that. There are just too many people that operate in the devil's workshop; which is to say we have all of this capacity, we have all this machinery of war-making and of intervention and of global empire that is obsolete and unnecessary — and yet it is manned by people who want something to do. Who need to justify budgets. Who need to pursue and prosecute missions. That is what I think is happening at the present time.

 

It's just the warfare state machinery has gotten itself activated into motion and it is drastically simplifying the real facts that we face and creating a narrative that is really preposterous in terms of what our national security, the safety and security of the American people, really requires in this circumstance. 

And on the domestic front, he foresees very difficult times ahead as we try to wean ourselves off of the dependency on massive thin-air stimulus our economy has developed over the past six years:

On the way up as they inflated this bubble, the smart money got on board and basically was front running everything the Fed was doing. Once they became confident that the $85 billion of bond buying was going to stabilize, if not enhance, the price of the bond and they could buy it on 98% repo leverage at $0 carry cost, they jumped in hammer and tong. And so the Fed then had this magnetic force working with it, which was the fast money and the market attempting to front run the direction of Fed policy.

 

But just think: What happens if they actually began to allow interest rates to rise or begin to attempt, through one mechanism or another, to shrink their balance sheet?

 

The fast money will get on the other side of the trade just as fast as it rode the bubble expansion to the top. And they will sell what they think the Fed is selling. And that will cause a massive unwind of the greatest overvalued market bubble in the world, which is the government bond market. 

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with David Stockman (55m:23s):

 




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How French Models Protest Low Wages

France’s nude art models have had enough – protesting low wages and poor working conditions, nude models in Paris went on strike. This is not the first time La Coordination des Modeles has staged protest: back in 2008, they held a naked protest outside Paris’ city hall after regulations stripped them of their tip-jar. The models demand equal treatment afforded most French workers, like job security or vacation pay. As The Guardian reports, the Paris mayor of cultural affairs noted “this was a lovely protest in the French, gaulois spirit of resistance.”  

As The Daily Beast reports,

Proving that there is no French profession immune from collective work stoppages, the country is now facing a potential epidemic of empty sketchbooks and blank canvasses as its nude models threaten to cover up, complaining of low wages and poor working conditions, while also fighting for the state to recognize their work as a serious career rather than a paying hobby or part-time gig.

 

A group called La Coordination des Modeles recently staged a protest complaining that most life-class nude models are treated as temp workers, with none of the perks afforded most French workers, like job security or vacation pay.

 

 

 

France’s dedicated nude models—many of whom pose full-time—say they have seen no improvements since their 2008 protest and are calling on the Ministry of Culture to again intervene on their behalf. “We’re asking for a reassessment of our wages and the problem of our status,” Patricia Clark, a member of the group, told French newspaper Liberation, “We have no status, we are technically temp workers, so we’re sitting in ejection seats, and that’s unacceptable…That’s not what a temp worker is supposed to be, he’s not supposed to be working every day, six hours per day, 33 weeks per year.”

 

 

Christophe Girard, deputy Paris mayor for cultural affairs, told The Guardian, “I think this was a lovely protest in the French, gaulois spirit of resistance.”

*  *  *

Perhaps there is a reason to cheer for socialism after all: the lower the wages, the more naked…

*  *  *

Cue gratuitous nude model images…

 




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De-Dollarization Continues: Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns

Last week we noted the very significant activity by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as it bought USDollars in size to support its peg. It appears we have found at least one smoking gun for why they were forced to do this. In what appears to be another sanctions-blowback, Russian oligarchs are de-dollarizing their cash holdings and shifting to Hong Kong Dollars. As Bloomberg reports, various Russian entities are shifting up to 40% of their cash to HKD. “Keeping money in Hong Kong dollars is essentially equivalent to keeping it in U.S. dollars because of the currency peg,” notes BofA’s Vladimir Osakovskiy, adding “for Russian companies it’s still much safer from the standpoint of sanctions.”

 

As Bloomberg reports,

OAO MegaFon (MFON), billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s wireless operator, said it has been shifting cash holdings into Hong Kong dollars, a move people say metals producer OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (GMKN) is also undertaking, as the U.S. and Europe ratchet up sanctions against Russia.

 

MegaFon decided to keep about 40 percent of its cash in Hong Kong dollars given the global markets disturbances, Chief Financial Officer Gevork Vermishyan said in a phone interview. The Moscow-based carrier has traditionally kept its foreign cash in U.S. dollars and euros, according to the company.

 

Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, is also keeping some of its cash in Hong Kong dollars now, two people with knowledge of situation said, asking not to be identified as information isn’t public.

 

The Hong Kong dollar has been linked to the U.S. dollar since 1983, and its fluctuation from the American currency hasn’t exceeded 1 percentage points since then…

Keeping money in Hong Kong dollars is essentially equivalent to keeping it in U.S. dollars because of the currency peg,” said Vladimir Osakovskiy, chief economist of Bank of America Corp.’s Russian unit. “Still, for Russian companies it’s much safer from the standpoint of sanctions.”

*  *  *
One more chip in the US Dollar’s global hegemony armor…




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Ron Paul Implores “Why Won’t Obama Just Leave Ukraine Alone?”

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute,

President Obama announced last week that he was imposing yet another round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting financial, arms, and energy sectors. The European Union, as it has done each time, quickly followed suit.
 
These sanctions will not produce the results Washington demands, but they will hurt the economies of the US and EU, as well as Russia.
 
These sanctions are, according to the Obama administration, punishment for what it claims is Russia’s role in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and for what the president claims is Russia’s continued arming of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Neither of these reasons makes much sense because neither case has been proven.
 
The administration began blaming Russia for the downing of the plane just hours after the crash, before an investigation had even begun. The administration claimed it had evidence of Russia’s involvement but refused to show it. Later, the Obama administration arranged a briefing by “senior intelligence officials” who told the media that “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” of who brought down the aircraft.
 
So Obama then claimed Russian culpability because Russia’s “support” for the separatists in east Ukraine “created the conditions” for the shoot-down of the aircraft. That is a dangerous measure of culpability considering US support for separatist groups in Syria and elsewhere.
 
Similarly, the US government claimed that Russia is providing weapons, including heavy weapons, to the rebels in Ukraine and shooting across the border into Ukrainian territory. It may be true, but again the US refuses to provide any evidence and the Russian government denies the charge. It’s like Iraq’s WMDs all over again.
 
Obama has argued that the Ukrainians should solve this problem themselves and therefore Russia should butt out.
 
I agree with the president on this. Outside countries should leave Ukraine to resolve the conflict itself. However, even as the US demands that the Russians de-escalate, the United States is busy escalating!
 
In June, Washington sent a team of military advisors to help Ukraine fight the separatists in the eastern part of the country. Such teams of “advisors” often include special forces and are usually a slippery slope to direct US military involvement.
 
On Friday, President Obama requested Congressional approval to send US troops into Ukraine to train and equip its national guard. This even though in March, the president promised no US boots on the ground in Ukraine. The deployment will be funded with $19 million from a fund designated to fight global terrorism, signaling that the US considers the secessionists in Ukraine to be “terrorists.”
 
Are US drone strikes against these “terrorists” and the “associated forces” who support them that far off?
 
The US has already provided the Ukrainian military with $23 million for defense security, $5 million in body armor, $8 million to help secure Ukraine’s borders, several hundred thousand ready-to-eat meals as well as an array of communications equipment. Congress is urging the president to send lethal military aid and the administration is reportedly considering sending real-time intelligence to help target rebel positions.
 
But let’s not forget that this whole crisis started with the US-sponsored coup against Ukraine’s elected president back in February. The US escalates while it demands that Russia de-escalate. How about all sides de-escalate?
 
Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy.

Why is “winning” Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1v3QDRQ Tyler Durden

Ron Paul Implores "Why Won't Obama Just Leave Ukraine Alone?"

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute,

President Obama announced last week that he was imposing yet another round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting financial, arms, and energy sectors. The European Union, as it has done each time, quickly followed suit.
 
These sanctions will not produce the results Washington demands, but they will hurt the economies of the US and EU, as well as Russia.
 
These sanctions are, according to the Obama administration, punishment for what it claims is Russia’s role in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and for what the president claims is Russia’s continued arming of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Neither of these reasons makes much sense because neither case has been proven.
 
The administration began blaming Russia for the downing of the plane just hours after the crash, before an investigation had even begun. The administration claimed it had evidence of Russia’s involvement but refused to show it. Later, the Obama administration arranged a briefing by “senior intelligence officials” who told the media that “we don’t know a name, we don’t know a rank and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality,” of who brought down the aircraft.
 
So Obama then claimed Russian culpability because Russia’s “support” for the separatists in east Ukraine “created the conditions” for the shoot-down of the aircraft. That is a dangerous measure of culpability considering US support for separatist groups in Syria and elsewhere.
 
Similarly, the US government claimed that Russia is providing weapons, including heavy weapons, to the rebels in Ukraine and shooting across the border into Ukrainian territory. It may be true, but again the US refuses to provide any evidence and the Russian government denies the charge. It’s like Iraq’s WMDs all over again.
 
Obama has argued that the Ukrainians should solve this problem themselves and therefore Russia should butt out.
 
I agree with the president on this. Outside countries should leave Ukraine to resolve the conflict itself. However, even as the US demands that the Russians de-escalate, the United States is busy escalating!
 
In June, Washington sent a team of military advisors to help Ukraine fight the separatists in the eastern part of the country. Such teams of “advisors” often include special forces and are usually a slippery slope to direct US military involvement.
 
On Friday, President Obama requested Congressional approval to send US troops into Ukraine to train and equip its national guard. This even though in March, the president promised no US boots on the ground in Ukraine. The deployment will be funded with $19 million from a fund designated to fight global terrorism, signaling that the US considers the secessionists in Ukraine to be “terrorists.”
 
Are US drone strikes against these “terrorists” and the “associated forces” who support them that far off?
 
The US has already provided the Ukrainian military with $23 million for defense security, $5 million in body armor, $8 million to help secure Ukraine’s borders, several hundred thousand ready-to-eat meals as well as an array of communications equipment. Congress is urging the president to send lethal military aid and the administration is reportedly considering sending real-time intelligence to help target rebel positions.
 
But let’s not forget that this whole crisis started with the US-sponsored coup against Ukraine’s elected president back in February. The US escalates while it demands that Russia de-escalate. How about all sides de-escalate?
 
Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy.

Why is “winning” Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1v3QDRQ Tyler Durden