Saturday, July 20, 2019

Russian Deputy FM: General’s Death “Result of US Policy”

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from Russia Insider:

Rybakov did not elaborate what he meant by that but it certainly ads to the avalanche of recent accusations against the US in Syria

The death of Russian Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov in Syria is the price Russia was forced to pay for hypocritical US policy, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

“The death of the Russian commander is the price paid with blood for the hypocrisy of American policy in Syria,” Ryabkov said on Monday.

General Asapov was serving as one of Russia’s military advisers in Syria. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said he was fatally wounded by an exploding shell in a sudden mortar attack by IS terrorists.

Moscow is concerned that while Washington claims it is interested in fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS\ISIL) terrorists, it demonstrates quite the opposite, according to the deputy minister.

The deputy minister said Moscow wants Washington’s statements on fighting terrorism not to be at odds with its actions on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Russian and US militaries maintain “intensive” contacts at different levels, Ryabkov said.

On Sunday, the Russian Ministry of Defense published aerial images which they say show US Army special forces equipment located north of the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor, where IS militants are deployed.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

Why Quantitative Tightening Will Fail

by Jim Rickards, DailyReckoning:
After nine years of unconventional quantitative easing (QE) policy the Federal Reserve is now setting out on a new path for quantitative tightening (QT).

QE was a policy of money printing. The Fed did this by buying bonds from the big banks. The banks would then deliver bonds to the Fed, and the Fed would in turn pay them with money from thin air. QT takes a different approach.

Instead, the Fed will set out policy that allows the old bonds to mature, while not buy new ones from the banks. That way the money will shrink the balance sheets ahead of any potential crisis.

For years leaders at the Federal Reserve have been rolling over the balance sheet to keep it at $4.5 trillion.

Spanish Suppression Of Catalan Independence Movement Continues To Escalate

by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

Disobedient Media previously reported on the suppression of the Catalan independence movement in Spain. Since our first coverage of the issue, repressive tactics in Spain have continued to escalate. Disobedient Media’s report on the issue was also disingenuously smeared by Spanish media outlet El País. The press outlet also heavily criticized Edward Snowden and Julian Assange for having expressed concern on the matter.

That El País would perceive an independent news source like Disobedient Media as damaging enough to warrant such a response illustrates the deep insecurity the Catalan independence movement has stirred in Spain. El Paísdevoted a large, inaccurate chart to our coverage of the events:

Backlash against the coverage of events in Spain comes amid reports that Spanish riot police have taken control of Catalan, despite initial resistance from Catalan police. The BBC stated: “Spanish authorities have moved to place all policing in Catalonia under central control to stop the disputed independence referendum on 1 October.” Demonstrations in favor of Catalan independence have proven so large that they prove difficult to fully capture in photographs, with Reuters reporting that approximately one million Catalans had taken to the streets in support of the upcoming referendum.

The Independent wrote that the Spanish government had called the upcoming referendum illegal and was taking steps to prevent the vote: “On Wednesday arrested 14 senior officials, seized ballot papers and raided the homes of the Catalan separatists suspected of coordinating the vote, due to take place on 1 October.” Despite these measures, supporters of Catalan independence were reported by The Guardian to have responded by distributing over one million ballots in the lead up to the referendum.

Remarkably, the EU has continued its general reticence in the face of the escalating crackdown in Spain. The Independent wrote that the European Union is unlikely to intervene in Spain over Catalan independence, saying it must “respect the constitution of the country. ” The Washington Post related that Angela Merkel’s representatives said: “Berlin has great interest in the maintenance of stability in Spain.” The EU’s quiet backing of Spain may stem from a number of issues, including the stability of the European Union as well as Catalan’s economic status. This stance has raised serious concern among those who value self-governance.

French Press discussed the EU’s reluctance to act in Catalan. Dan Dungaciu, the head of the Institute of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Romanian Academy, told the AFP: “Recognizing Catalonia would create a terrible precedent for the EU, one which Brussels would find very hard to manage and which every separatist movement would try to use in future.”

Catalonia is also regarded as a wealthy region, whose loss would greatly impact Spain. The 2008 financial crisis hit Spain particularly hard, making the Catalan region increasingly valuable. The Telegraph explained the economic situation, writing that secession would cost Spain almost 20 per cent of its economic output, and “trigger a row about how to carve up the sovereign’s 836 billion euros of debt.”

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

Hiroshima: A “Military Base” according to President Harry Truman

by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:

73 years ago. The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima “A Military Base” according to Harry Truman.

The collateral damage concept had yet to be defined. 100,000 civilians were killed in the first seven seconds of the explosion. 

Michel Chossudovsky, August 6, 2018

The dangers of nuclear war are not an object of debate and analysis by the mainstream media.

Public opinion is carefully misled. ” All options on the table”.  Nuclear weapons are portrayed as peace-making bombs.

Did you know that tactical nuclear weapons or so-called mininukes with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb are considered, according to scientific opinion, on contract to the Pentagon as “harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground”.

The Golden Solution to America’s Debt Crisis

by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

Right now, the United States is officially $20 trillion in debt. Over half of that $20 trillion was added over the past decade.

And it looks like annual deficits will be at the trillion dollar level sooner than later when projected spending is factored in.

Basically, the United States is going broke.

I don’t say that to be hyperbolic. I’m not looking to scare people or attract attention to myself. It’s just an honest assessment, based on the numbers.

Now, a $20 trillion debt would be fine if we had a $50 trillion economy.

The debt-to-GDP ratio in that example would be 40{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. But we don’t have a $50 trillion economy. We have about a $19 trillion economy, which means our debt is bigger than our economy.

When is the debt-to-GDP ratio too high? When does a country reach the point that it either turns things around or ends up like Greece?

Economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart carried out a long historical survey going back 800 years, looking at individual countries, or empires in some cases, that have gone broke or defaulted on their debt.

They put the danger zone at a debt-to-GDP ratio of 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Once it reaches 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, they found, a turning point arrives…

At that point, a dollar of debt yields less than a dollar of output. Debt becomes an actual drag on growth.

What is the current U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio?

105{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

We are deep into the red zone, that is. And we’re only going deeper.

The U.S. has a 105{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} debt to GDP ratio, trillion dollar deficits on the way, more spending on the way.

We’re getting more and more like Greece. We’re heading for a sovereign debt crisis. That’s not an opinion; it’s based on the numbers.

How do we get out of it?

For elites, there is really only one way out at this point is, and that’s inflation.

And they’re right on one point. Tax cuts won’t do it, structural changes to the economy wouldn’t do it. Both would help if done properly, but the problem is simply far too large.

There’s only one solution left, inflation.

Now, the Fed printed about $4 trillion over the past several years and we barely have had any inflation at all.

But most of the new money was given by the Fed to the banks, who turned around and parked it on deposit at the Fed to gain interest. The money never made it out into the economy, where it would produce inflation.

The bottom line is that not even money printing has worked to get inflation moving.

Is there anything left in the bag of tricks?

There is actually. The Fed could actually cause inflation in about 15 minutes if it used it.

How?

The Fed can call a board meeting, vote on a new policy, walk outside and announce to the world that effective immediately, the price of gold is $5,000 per ounce.

They could make that new price stick by using the Treasury’s gold in Fort Knox and the major U.S. bank gold dealers to conduct “open market operations” in gold.

They will be a buyer if the price hits $4,950 per ounce or less and a seller if the price hits $5,050 per ounce or higher. They will print money when they buy and reduce the money supply when they sell via the banks.

The Fed would target the gold price rather than interest rates.

The point is to cause a generalized increase in the price level. A rise in the price of gold from $1,350 per ounce to $5,000 per ounce is a massive devaluation of the dollar when measured in the quantity of gold that one dollar can buy.

There it is — massive inflation in 15 minutes: the time it takes to vote on the new policy.

Don’t think this is possible? It’s happened in the U.S. twice in the past 80 years.

The first time was in 1933 when President Franklin Roosevelt ordered an increase in the gold price from $20.67 per ounce to $35.00 per ounce, nearly a 75{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} rise in the dollar price of gold.

He did this to break the deflation of the Great Depression, and it worked. The economy grew strongly from 1934-36.

The second time was in the 1970s when Nixon ended the conversion of dollars into gold by U.S. trading partners. Nixon did not want inflation, but he got it.

Gold went from $35 per ounce to $800 per ounce in less than nine years, a 2,200{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} increase. U.S. dollar inflation was over 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from 1977-1981. The value of the dollar was cut in half in those five years.

History shows that raising the dollar price of gold is the quickest way to cause general inflation. If the markets don’t do it, the government can. It works every time.

But what people don’t realize is that there’s a way gold can be used to work around a debt ceiling crisis if an agreement isn’t reached in the months ahead.

I call it the weird gold trick, and it’s never seen discussed anywhere outside of some very technical academic circles.

It may sound weird, but it actually works. Here’s how…

When the Treasury took control of all the nation’s gold during the Depression under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, it also took control of the Federal Reserve’s gold.

But we have a Fifth Amendment in this country which says the government can’t seize private property without just compensation. And despite its name, the Federal Reserve is not technically a government institution.

So the Treasury gave the Federal Reserve a gold certificate as compensation under the Fifth Amendment (to this day, that gold certificate is still on the Fed’s balance sheet).

Now come forward to 1953.

The Eisenhower administration actually had the same debt ceiling problem we have today. And Congress didn’t raise the debt ceiling in time. Eisenhower and his Treasury secretary realized they couldn’t pay the bills.

What happened?

They turned to the weird gold trick to get the money. It turned out that the gold certificate the Treasury gave the Fed in 1934 did not account for all the gold the Treasury had. It did not account for all the gold in the Treasury’s possession.

The Treasury calculated the difference, sent the Fed a new certificate for the difference and said, “Fed, give me the money.” It did. So the government got the money it needed from the Treasury gold until Congress increased the debt ceiling.

That ability exists today. In fact, it is exists in much a much larger form, and here’s why…

Right now, the Fed’s gold certificate values gold at $42.22 an ounce. That’s not anywhere near the market price of gold, which is about $1,330 an ounce.

Now, the Treasury could issue the Fed a new gold certificate valuing the 8,000 tons of Treasury gold at $1,330 an ounce. They could take today’s market price of $1,330, subtract the official $42.22 price, and multiply the difference by 8,000 tons.

I’ve done the math, and that number comes fairly close to $400 billion.

In other words, tomorrow morning the Treasury could issue the Fed a gold certificate for the 8,000 tons in Fort Knox at $1,330 an ounce and tell the Fed, “Give us the difference over $42 an ounce.”

The Treasury would have close to $400 billion out of thin air with no debt. It would not add to the debt because the Treasury already has the gold. It’s just taking an asset and marking it to market.

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com

Balance Of Power Could Shift OVERNIGHT: Russian Finance Minister ‘Ready To Ditch The Dollar’

from Silver Doctors:

“overnight the entire monetary balance of power in the world would shift away from the US and toward Eurasia.” Here’s why…

In a testament to the success of the latest Trump sanctions against Russia, overnight Russian aluminum giant Rusal announced that its chief executive, Aleksandra Buriko, and half of its managerial board resigned to make sure the firm avoids U.S. sanctions against its founder, billionaire oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. The mass resignations were part of “the efforts that have been made by the management of the group to protect the interests of the company and its shareholders” since the sanctions were imposed last month, Rusal said in a May 24 statement.

Bavaria Final Math: Look for a CSU Plus Free Voters Coalition

by Mish Shedlock, The Maven:

The Bavaria Parliament has 192 seats. No, make that 200. Well, strike that, it’s 205.

It’s rather difficult to figure out a what constitutes a majority when the number of seats keeps changing. A reader informed me that the Landtag, the Bavarian Parliament, had 192 seats.

DW said the total was 192 to 200 posting this chart (with my anecdotes on “complex calculations”)

Not so fast! Trump says we’re leaving Syria, deep state says no

by Frank Sellers, The Duran:

The fight against terrorism isn’t real issue with all of this, but merely the premise used to justify American empire building

The US and its coalition, numbering the in dozens, have been involved in numerous military operations, including thousands of military personnel, in Syria on the premise of eradicating ISIS from the Middle Eastern country, albeit without the consent of the Syrian government of Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.

Last week, US President Donald Trump proposed pulling out of the conflict on the basis that the US has dumped a massive amount of resources into these and other operations in the Middle East, with costs exceeding $7 trillion, with no recognizable benefit to the US or its citizens, let alone to those of the country that the US military is conducting these active operations in, who have only witnessed massive death and destruction.

Russia-China trade surges 26{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in first half of 2017

from RT:
Trade between Moscow and Beijing has increased significantly in the first six months of the year, according to the Chinese customs administration.

Through June, trade between Russia and China was worth $39.78 billion. Russian exports increased 29.3 percent to $20.34 billion, while Chinese exports to Russia were up 22.2 percent to $19.44 billion.

Keiser Report: Hyper-bitconization (E1158)

from RT:

In the second half, Max continues his smash interview with Jameson Lopp of BitGo.com; the two discuss the latest in bitcoin markets and hyper-bitcoinization.

WATCH: Venezuela Food Shortage Leaves Supermarket With Nothing To Sell But Ketchup

by Tom Pappert, Big League Politics:

Video shows a Venezuelan supermarket selling ketchup, and not much else.

A startling new video posted to social media apparently shows a Venezuela supermarket with endless aisles stocked with nothing but Heinz Ketchup as the nation experiences a socialism-sponsored food shortage.

The video shows a couple walking through a supermarket, revealing aisle after aisle sparingly stocked with ketchup. Occasionally, between rows and rows of ketchup bottles, other food items can be spotted in the one minute video.

Christianity Permeates Daily Life in Russia – Even Banks and Restaurants

by Fr. Joseph Gleason, Russia Insider:

Christian artwork on city limits signs, Christian gifts from savings banks, and places for prayer in public restaurants — nobody is trying to push Christianity out of public life, on the contrary, it is welcome and referenced in most places.

In the morally decadent West, we’ve grown used to secularism invading every aspect of life—even our churches are secular! In Russia, however, there’s no such problem. Following is a video of an interesting talk about how Russian culture still involves the church in daily life, and why that’s good.
Transcript follows:

A Trained Monkey Could Do Better

by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

The first time I appeared on live financial television was August 15, 2007. It was a guest appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box program at the early stages of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Of course, none of us knew at that time exactly how and when things would play out, but it was clear to me that a meltdown was coming; the same meltdown I had been warning the government and academics about since 2003.

I’ve done 1,000 live TV interviews since then, but that first one remains memorable. Carl Quintanilla conducted the interview with some participation from Becky Quick, both of whom could not have been more welcoming.