Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kobe Steel Scandal Could Rattle US Nuclear Industry

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by Leonard Hyman and Willian Tilles, Wolf Street:

Second major scandal involving a steel supplier of reactor components.

Japan’s Kobe Steel has joined a rather unfortunate “club”. That club’s membership includes those Japanese companies recently racked by scandal and mismanagement.

Kobe’s management admitted that its employees faked quality inspection reports on its steel and other metal products used domestically in automobiles, bullet trains and nuclear power stations. So far, corporate announcements have been vague, offering little clarity about the duration of the quality control lapses or, more important, the type of components involved.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501.T) just announced that it replaced a Kobe-made piece of equipment, offering no other details. Kobe, however, is a major producer of nuclear power plants components. Even if quality control lapses did not extend to those operations, the onus may be on Kobe to prove its innocence.

So what should we expect? If these QA/QC lapses began recently, it should have little or no effect on most of the nuclear assets in the United States. Most of them were built decades ago.

Plants under construction, however, or those recently completed are another matter. In the last period of nuclear new build in the U.S. (basically the 1970s), a relatively muscular Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) took its safety responsibilities seriously, and woe to the builder that thought the rules excessive.

Unfortunately, a raging period of inflation only added to the nuclear builder’s troubles. Toward the end of the decade, the only appropriate choice for some would have been between cigarette or blindfold. Those safety requirements added to plant cost. And in an attitude that today would seem remarkable, that fact didn’t deter the NRC’s administrators.

If a nuclear power plant has to shut down due to concerns regarding the integrity of Kobe’s products, it’s needless to say it could get expensive. A typical 1,000 MW nuclear facility operating at full capacity can generate annual revenues of between $500 million and $1 billion.

Unlike a coal or natural gas fired power plant, shutting a nuclear plant down does little to reduce costs. Most nuclear costs are fixed, that is, they are spent before the thing is even turned on. Therefore, the plant’s owner will likely try to foist extraordinary expenses like these onto consumers (this is not possible in competitive markets). Or, power plant owners can stand on their rights and demand compensation from Kobe. While perhaps fruitful, it’s doubtful this process would be brief.

Thus, investors in nuclear power have reason for some near-term heightened sense of concern. Questions will be asked as to the provenance of equipment and components. Certain corporations especially under duress might adopt “truth on the installment plan” policies. All the negative news is eventually disclosed—but only after PR efforts downplay the likelihood of meaningful corporate impact.

What’s an investor to do? At this stage, with so little information available, we can’t judge whether Kobe’s latest news will make any financial difference to the nuclear industry.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

Gold Rush: Russia Stockpiling Bullion Like There’s no Tomorrow

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from Sputnik News:

The Central Bank of Russia has recently been buying bullion at an unprecedented pace. According to Argentine financial expert Gabriel Rubinstein, this policy is aimed at protecting the Russian economy in the event of crisis situations, including against dollar-related “manipulations” by the US.

“Countries stockpile gold for strategic and defensive reasons; for instance, in caserelations between nations are damaged and their currencies lose their value,” Gabriel Rubinstein, a financial consultant and former representative of the Argentine Central Bank, told Sputnik Mundo.

If there is such a situation, according to the expert, gold reserves would be the basis for a new currency or other valuable assets in the future.

“Gold, this eternal financial resource, has a real value if compared to other financial assets. The Russian government believes that it’s better to have more gold resources than dollars. Hypothetically speaking, if Russia holds tons of US dollars and the US wanted to damage its economy, this would be possible through currency manipulations,” Rubinstein said, adding that gold guarantees against such a scenario.

The Russian Central Bank has significantly increased the pace of its gold purchases. In the period between January and September 2017, the regulator bought 4.2 million troy ounces of the precious metal worth over $5 billion, 15 percent more than in the same period last year.

As of October 1, the Russian Central Bank holds $73.6 billion in gold reserves, compared with $65.5 billion a year ago, according to its data.

Russia increased its purchases of bullion after sanctions were imposed by the United States and the European Union following the 2014 referendum in Crimea and the beginning of a military conflict in eastern Ukraine. Since then, according to the World Gold Council, the Russian Central Bank has been adding some 100 tons to its gold reserves each six months, more than any other central bank in the world.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

How Socialism Ruined Venezuela

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by Rafael Acevedo and Luis B. Cirocco, Mises Institute:

In order to understand the disaster that is unfolding in Venezuela, we need to journey through the most recent century of our history and look at how our institutions have changed over time. What we will find is that Venezuela once enjoyed relatively high levels of economic freedom, although this occurred under dictatorial regimes.

But, when Venezuela finally embraced democracy, we began to kill economic freedom. This was not all at once, of course. It was a gradual process. But it happened at the expense of the welfare of millions of people.

And, ultimately, the lesson we learned is that socialism never, ever works, no matter what Paul Krugman, or Joseph Stiglitz, or guys in Spain like Pablo Iglesias say.

It was very common during the years we suffered under Hugo Chávez to hear these pundits and economists on TV saying that this time, socialism is being done right. This time, the Venezuelans figured it out.

They were, and are wrong.

On the other hand, there was a time when this country was quite prosperous and wealthy, and for a time Venezuela was even referred to as an “economic miracle” in many books and articles.

However, during those years, out of the five presidents we had, four were dictators and generals of the army. Our civil and political rights were restricted. We didn’t have freedom of the press, for example; we didn’t have universal suffrage. But, while we lived under a dictatorship, we could at least enjoy high levels of economic freedom.

A Brief Economic History of Venezuela

The economic miracle began a century ago, when from 1914 to 1922, Venezuela entered the international oil race. In 1914, Venezuela opened its first oil well. Fortunately, the government did not make the mistake of attempting to manage the oil business, or own the wells. The oil wells were privately owned, and in many cases were owned by private international companies that operated in Venezuela. It wasn’t totally laissez-faire, of course. There were tax incentives and other so-called concessions employed to promote exploration and exploitation of oil. But most industries — including the oil industry — remained privatized.

Moreover, during this period, tax rates in the country were relatively low.

In 1957, the marginal tax rate for individuals was 12 percent. There was certainly a state presence, and the public sector absorbed 20 percent of GDP. But, government spending was used mainly to build the country’s basic infrastructure.

The area of international trade was relatively free as well — and very free compared to today. There were tariffs that were relatively high, but there were no other major barriers to trade such as quotas, anti-dumping laws, or safeguards.

Other economic controls were few as well. There were just a few state-owned companies and virtually no price controls, no rent controls, no interest-rate controls, and no exchange-rate controls.

Of course, we weren’t free from the problems of a central bank, either. In 1939, Venezuela created its own central bank. But, the bank was largely inactive and functioned primarily defending a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar.

Moving Toward More Interventionism

Despite the high levels of economic freedom that existed during those years, government legislation started to chip away at that freedom. Changes included the nationalization of the telephone company, the creation of numerous state-owned companies, and state-owned banks. That happened in 1950. The Venezuelan government thus began sowing the seeds of destruction, and you can see the continued deterioration in the level of economic freedom in the decade of the 1950s.

In 1958, Venezuela became a democracy when the dictatorship was overthrown. With that came all the usual benefits of democracy such as freedom of the press, universal suffrage, and other civil rights. Unfortunately, these reforms came along with continued destruction of our economic freedom.

The first democratically elected president was Rómulo Betancourt. He was a communist-turned-social democrat. In fact, while he was in exile, he founded the Communist Party in Costa Rica and helped found the Communist Party in Colombia as well. Not surprisingly, as president, he started destroying the economic institutions we had by implementing price controls, rent controls, and other regulations we hadn’t had before. On top of that, he and his allies created a new constitution that was hostile to private property.

In spite of this — or perhaps because of it — Betancourt is almost universally revered in Venezuela as “the father of our democracy.” This remains true even today as Venezuela collapses.

Of course, compared to today, we had far greater economic freedom under Betancourt than we do in today’s Venezuela. But, all of the presidents — with one exception — who came after Betancourt took similar positions and continued to chip away at economic freedom. The only exception was Carlos Andrés Pérez who in his second term attempted some free market reforms. But, he executed these later reforms so badly and haphazardly that markets ended up being blamed for the resulting crises.

The Rise of Hugo Chávez

Over time, the destruction of economic freedom led to more and more impoverishment and crisis. This in turn set the stage for the rise of a political outsider with a populist message. This, of course, was Hugo Chávez. He was elected in 1998 and promised to replace our light socialism with more radical socialism. This only accelerated the problems we had been facing for decades. Nevertheless, he was able to pass through an even more anti-private-property constitution. Since Chávez’s death in 2013, the attacks on private property have continued, and Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, promises only moreof the same. Except now, the government is turning toward outright authoritarian socialism, and Maduro is seeking a new constitution in which private property is almost totally abolished, and Maduro will be allowed to remain in power for life.

A Legacy of Poverty

So, what are the results of socialism in Venezuela? Well, we have experienced hyperinflation. We have people eating garbage, schools that do not teach, hospitals that do not heal, long and humiliating lines to buy flour, bread, and basic medicines. We endure the militarization of practically every aspect of life.

The cost of living has skyrocketed in recent years.

Let’s look at the cost of goods in services in terms of a salary earned by a full college professor. In the 1980s, our “full professor” needed to pay almost 15 minutes of his salary to buy one kilogram of beef. Today, in July 2017, our full professor needs to pay the equivalent of 18 hours to buy the same amount of beef. During the 1980s, our full professor needed to pay almost one year’s salary for a new sedan. Today, he must pay the equivalent of 25 years of his salary. In the 1980s, a full professor with his monthly salary could buy 17 basic baskets of essential goods. Today, he can buy just one-quarter of a basic
basket.

Read More @ Mises.org

Eyewitness Confessional: There Was An Active Shooter Targeting The Bellagio Hotel During The Las Vegas Massacre

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by Alex Thomas, SHTFPlan:

In yet another astonishing eyewitness report that contradicts the official story surrounding the worst mass shooting in American history, a married couple who were celebrating their 10th anniversary in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting have come forward to reveal that there was an active shooter inside the Bellagio Hotel around the same time that supposed lone gunman Stephen Paddock was found dead.

During the confessional, a Canadian man by the name of Jeff detailed the fact that he and his wife were in the Bellagio Resort and Casino around 11:20pm on the night of the shooting when panic broke out in the hotels lobby.

Jeff begins the interview by making clear his belief that there were multiple active shooters targeting different places in Las Vegas on the night of the attack.

“First of all, I think what needs to be said is that, from my perspective, there were multiple events that occurred around Las Vegas, up and down the Strip that night. It wasn’t just centralized around the Mandalay Hotel,” the witness claimed.

The eyewitness then goes on to directly say that he and his wife were involved in an active shooter situation at a different hotel that authorities have so far done everything in their power to cover-up.

“My wife and I were in Las Vegas celebrating our 10th anniversary and on October 1st we were involved in an incident with an active shooter at the Bellagio. There is no mistake in my mind about it,” he continued.

Jeff then describes a scene in which he and his wife were walking through the main lobby when screams and gunfire erupted. Keep in mind, this is all information that the police and the FBI has hidden from the American people.

“All of a sudden there was just a crescendo of screams that started behind us in the lobby,” he claimed. “Then I heard somebody yell ‘there’s a shooter! There’s a shooter!’ And then I heard like five or six pops, like unmistakable gunfire, unmistakably.”

“That was about 11:20 when we heard the shots and the screams… at that point you could hear and see the screams and see hundreds of people coming towards us.”

Amazingly, as Shepard Ambellas noted, “The man’s claims match up to actual events captured in police audio recordings from the night of the shooting which confirms that between 11:15 and 11:18 p.m. on the night of Oct. 1 there was, in fact, something going on at the Bellagio.”

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

THE STRANGE THINGS ABOUT THOSE CALIFORNIA FIRES…

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by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:

This has certainly been a bad week for news, the Las Vegas shooting, and the fires in northern California. In fact, as I sit down to blog about this in the wee hours of the morning, I heard a brief news report on the radio that some of the bodies of victims are so badly charred and unrecognizable, that they are having to be identified from dental records, tattoos and other distinguishing features. Add to this a small hill of articles I received about it this week from readers of this website.

As one might expect, many of these articles raise questions about the origins of these fires: arson, and even terrorist arson, have been argued by a few sites. Here’s one such site, and brief article, noticed by Ms. K.M. You’ll have to scroll down a bit when you reach this link, to the article “Fires in California were not ‘Wild,’ they were caused”:

Fires in California were not “wild”, they were caused.

First, the article’s author believes that the fires are the result of – you guessed it – weaponized weather of a particularly nasty sort:

Weather weapons work by using multiple transmitters to create a collision zone where differently phased EM waves cancel each other out, and drop their electrical potential into the air (which is a semiconductor) where they cancel. This is the equivalent of biasing a transistor. Semiconductors won’t simply break down and start conducting just because a bias field is applied, in order for them to conduct in a controlled fashion they need a doping agent. In silicon the doping agents are arsenic and boron. In air, the doping agent is most likely whatever is in the chem trails. The ionosphere is the power supply, and earth is “ground”. Everything in between the ionosphere and the ground will heat up.

If enough voltage is applied to a semiconductor, it will suddenly discharge it in one big burst. This is seen in the air as lightning. The weather/geoengineering systems try to avoid this. But this time around, in California, the effects of excess voltage were readily observed by MANY MANY people, and it manifested itself in more than one way.

He then claims that the way people were affected by this alleged weapon were as follows (though notably, no actual names or interviews are provided):

Evidently the people running the geoengineering systems have become more bold, like a thief that steals more and more and more, the more the thief gets away with stealing. The same is happening with weather warfare, and this time around in California, they got bold enough to push the system hard enough so that the effects of the system in use were easily observed.

1. Some people got heart palpitations from having their bodies charged.

2. MANY MANY people saw electrical flashes that made no thunder in perfectly clear blue sky, and worse, some people even saw small blue sparks everywhere in the air around them.

3. MOST DAMNING: People are reporting that their electronics malfunctioned before the fires hit, with the most pronounced and spoken about malfunction being at a hotel (The silverado resort and spa), where ALL of the electrical systems in the hotel malfunctioned, including the electronic access doors, forcing people to jump from windows (because they could not leave their rooms) to escape an approaching fire that instantly appeared out of nowhere in perfect weather.

It is very important to make note of the malfunctioning doors, because a simple power outage will not stop those from working. Something jammed the circuits in the doors. Simultaneously the hotel lost main power, generator backup, UPS backup, and local battery backup. Not even the always operational emergency hall lights worked. . That would be totally consistent with a massively potent EM weapon causing complete electronic malfunction because not even the circuits in the emergency backup lighting that turn it on (which operate independent of everything off of a small battery right in the light itself), not even circuits at that small level worked.

First the Cuba “sonic weapon” story, and now this! Taking these assertions at face value and assuming them to be true, then, yes, electrostatic conditions in the region before the fires appear to have been highly charged. And it is worth noting for the record what many readers of this website are probably already thinking: California is allegedly one of the hot spots for regular “chemtrail spraying.” It is also worth noting that chemtrails, allegedly, have a high mixture of particulate metals, which would increase the electrical conductivity and semiconductor effect of the atmosphere, as the author of the article points out. Indeed, some researchers have pointed out that the chemtrail phenomenon may be related to President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, since there is some evidence that this spraying began around the time that the USA seriously began to plan for missile defense. Other authors have urged that ionospheric heaters such as HAARP, by beaming massive amounts of broadcast power into the ionosphere, could release massive “guided” electrical strikes in a region if the conditions are right for it, of if they have been carefully prepared.

Read More @ GizaDeathStar.com

Really Bad Ideas, Part 5: The Fed Should Have – And Defend – An Inflation Target

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by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:

Central banks in general and the Fed in particular are struggling to understand a world in which they’ve thrown everything they have at the economy without generating “beneficial” inflation. Their confusion can be traced back to some profoundly false assumptions.

Here’s a good overview of the current debate:

 

Fed ‘should defend’ inflation target or risk losing credibility: Bullard

(Reuters) – The Fed needs to mount a clear defense of its 2 percent inflation target and stop raising rates until the pace of price increases strengthens, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday.

 

The central bank risks losing credibility, and perhaps triggering a recession, if it continues to insist on “normalization” and higher interest rates without better evidence that prices are firming, he said in an interview with Reuters.

“If you are going to have an inflation target you should defend it. If you say you are going to hit the inflation target then you should try to hit it and maintain credibility,” Bullard said.

Persistent weakness this year in the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation means “we more or less lost all the progress that we made the last two years” toward the 2 percent goal, Bullard said. Continuing to raise interest rates in that environment “can send a signal to markets that the inflation target is not that important.”

The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation slipped from 1.7 percent in April to 1.4 percent in June, July and August.

Bullard, a non-voter on policy until 2019, said colleagues who blame the decline on large, one-off price moves for some goods and services were too “finely chopping” their analysis, and overlooking the fact technology or some other force is restraining prices. The argument that recent weak inflation is driven by temporary factors is perhaps the dominant view at the Fed, with culprits including major changes in cell phone pricing and the impact of slower-rising Medicaid costs.

“This idea of throwing out the unpleasant number and finely chopping the price index, you get down to a set of prices that barely can be considered representative and I think that is inappropriate,” Bullard said. “Maybe this is temporary, maybe this will bounce back. What I say to that is you want to see evidence…This is going in the wrong direction. And it is not consistent with the stories that the committee has been telling,” of inflation reaching the Fed’s target in the “medium term.”

“If the committee continues to raise rates that could turn into a policy mistake…I think inflation could drift lower instead of higher. I think a misperception about where rates need to be in this environment could possibly trigger recession if it was carried to an extreme.”

Bullard’s comments are a pointed intervention in a debate that is preoccupying policymakers worldwide, and forcing research into and a possible rethink of the way prices are set in the post-crisis world. Bullard himself completely reversed his assessment of inflation more than a year ago, flipping from among the committee’s hawks to now its most dovish.

Some Thoughts And Assertions
An inflation target implies that modest inflation is actually a good thing. This is simply wrong. Inflation is a “stealth tax” through which governments confiscate a bit of savers’ wealth each year without admitting it. If explained honestly such a trick would be a political loser always and everywhere.

Nor do rising prices increase growth or reduce debt. Just the opposite. Knowing that a currency is going to depreciate because the government has promised to make it so, rational citizens borrow as much money as possible since they’ll be paying future interest in ever-cheaper currency. This leads to what mainstream economists define as “growth” but is actually just 1) pulling future consumption into the present at the cost of lower consumption in the future and 2) malinvestment, as businesses, seduced by artificially-low interest rates, start projects that wouldn’t pass muster if the cost of money was realistic (that is, determined by market forces). So the quality of the capital stock declines over time and productivity falls.

The result: A system where the amount of debt soars, the amount of bad debt rises as a share of total debt, productivity growth slows and the inflation needed to generate future “growth” rises steadily. Governments are then forced to push interest rates ever-lower and eventually negative, which drains savers’ capital even more aggressively and tricks businesses into even more extreme malinvestment. Sound familiar?

An inflation target implies that economists can actually measure the phenomenon. This is also false. Right now, governments create an official inflation number by arbitrarily including some things and excluding others – like stocks, bonds, and house prices. The latter “assets” are for some reason assumed not matter to “the cost of living” when in fact they matter greatly. And many of them are soaring. As the following chart illustrates, stocks and junk bonds are up over 200{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} since 2009.

If you’re trying to save and invest, soaring financial asset prices make that process vastly more expensive, which is one definition of inflation. If you’re trying to find a decent home for your family, soaring home prices either make this impossible or squeeze out the other crucial things like health care, high quality food and good schools. Which is also a form of inflation.

Here’s a former central banker (funny how the former ones always seem to make more sense) on this subject:

 

Inflation isn’t low, it’s just hiding in the stock market: ex-head of Bank of Israel

(Fidelity) – Inflation is not really low, nor is its cause a mystery, Jacob Frenkel, the former head of the Bank of Israel said Friday.

 

The culprit is the global central banks, said Frenkel, who is now the chairman of JPMorgan Chase International.

Read More @ DollarCollapse.com

Senior Hungarian Gov’t Minister Says Soros ‘Agent of Satan’ Attacking Christianity

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by Dan Lyman, Russia Insider:

We couldn’t agree more.

“We see the great European attacks against families, in which Soros and his comrades want to destroy the independence and values of nation states for the purpose of watering down the Christian spirit of Europe …”

The Hungarian government has established itself as a steadfast opponent of George Soros and the globalist agenda at the political and social levels, but now they have taken the battle spiritual, warning Soros is executing a Satanic scheme to destroy Europe.

András Aradszki, Hungary’s State Secretary for Energy, delivered a speech to fellow parliamentarians titled, “The Christian duty to fight against the Satan/Soros Plan,” in which he warned of an all-out attack on Christianity, traditional values, and the nuclear family.

“We see this with abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and the forced politicization of gender theory. The Soros mercenaries do not cite the Holy Father’s thoughts on this,”

he said.

“We see the great European attacks against families, in which Soros and his comrades want to destroy the independence and values of nation states for the purpose of watering down the Christian spirit of Europe with the forced settlement of tens of millions of migrants. But the fight against Satan is a Christian duty.”

“Yes, I speak of an attack by Satan, who is also the angel of denial, because they are denying what they are preparing to do — even when it is completely obvious.”

he continued.

“They frantically try to prove that there is no quota, there is no compulsory settlement, and the Soros Plan does not exist.”

Aradszki spoke on the power of prayer in combating the Satanic-Islamic influence looming over Europe, and the importance of Christians banding together to stand against it, saying,

“the rosary is the strongest weapon against evil and it is capable of changing history. George Soros will also experience this.”

He also used his address to stress the importance of a new ‘national consultation,’ which is essentially a questionnaire and information campaign directed at voters to educate them on the ‘Soros Plan’ – specifically as it pertains to forced ‘refugee resettlement’ and border controls – and also to garner their feedback on how they would see it handled by the Hungarian government.

The survey, which can be read in full here, goes into great detail about the collusion between Soros and the EU in their agenda to overwhelm the native, Christian population of Europe with primarily Islamic foreigners from Africa and the Middle East via ‘refugee resettlement’ quotas imposed by Brussels, the re-opening of Hungary’s recently secured border, and the political and economic targeting of non-compliant countries.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com

End of Petrodollar: Rise of Economic Protectionism to Reshape Global Trade

from Sputnik News:

The era of petrodollar recycling is drawing to an end as shifts in technology and international politics render it redundant, meaning the US is entering volatile times.

Kristian Rouz — The rise of economic protectionism and nationalism in politics of the recent years, including the gradual implementation of US President Donald Trump’s agenda and Brexit reshaping the contours of European trade, are poised to bring an end to the petrodollar recycling. These developments signal the first overhaul of international economic relations since the Nixon administration in the early 1970s in the United States.

The petrodollar system entailed the end of the gold standard in the US, which had its national currency pegged to the value of gold at $35 per ounce in the aftermath of World War II. However, the severe challenges that global economy faced in the late 1960s pushed the administration of Richard Milhous Nixon to abandon the system.

“The essence of the deal was that the US would agree to military sales and defense of Saudi Arabia in return for all oil trade being denominated in US dollars,” The Huffington Post explains.

The shale revolution in oil productionin the early 2010s rendered this system irrelevant in the US, as North America is becoming increasingly independent of crude oil imports and has, in fact, increased its own oil and petrochemical exports under President Trump.

However, President Trump’s push for greater protectionism faces obstacles, mainly in the form of a significant Saudi investment in US Treasury bonds accrued over the past 40 years. The petrodollar system has allowed Saudi Arabia to increase its foreign reserves, and many other prominent oil-producing nations have followed the same foreign investment pattern.

The US, on its part, was able to increase its money supply by printing dollars, which has produced major dollar devaluation, by over 30 percent since the early 1980s. Subsequently, other oil importers, in order to pay for energy, had to buy US dollars first.

According to Foreign Policy magazine, “It does matter slightly that the trade typically takes place in dollars. This means that those wishing to buy oil must acquire dollars to buy the oil, which increases the demand for dollars in world financial markets.”

This has guaranteed a sustainable demand for the dollar in overseas markets, supporting its FX rate: during the period of ultra-high inflation in the late 1970s, whilst domestic prices in the US were advancing at a 20 percent per annum pace, the dollar held its position firmly in the foreign markets.

The end of the petrodollar system would mean lower demand for the US dollar internationally, on the one hand, and would hinder the US Federal Reserve’s ability to print greenbacks and get away with it, on the other.

Many economies are trading oil in their respective currencies, including mainland China and Russia, and Russia and Venezuela, whilst Iran and several Middle-Eastern oil producers are exploring similar deals with the EU.

Read More @ SputnikNews.com

British Reporter Calls Out Hillary On Her BS: ‘So You’re Still Blaming Others More Than Yourself?’ (VIDEO)

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by Joshua Caplan, The Gateway Pundit:

In a tense Friday interview, UK reporter Matt Frei asked failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton if she still believed others were more responsible for her election loss than she was.

In typical Clinton fashion, she gave a wishy-washy answer — refusing to flat out say “yes” or “no.”

No US reporter would have the guts to tell off Hillary Clinton like this.

How surprising.

From Washington Free Beacon:

Frei asked about her appeal to the voter during the 2016 presidential election, saying that her status as a Clinton prevented her gender from helping her.

“Your dynastic appeal or perhaps it was the opposite: The fact that you were called Clinton the fact that you were first lady basically trumped any novelty—if you forgive the term—of being the first female president of the United States,” he said. “People looked at your name and your legacy more than they looked at your gender.”

[…]

“So you’re still blaming others more than yourself?” Frei asked

“No, I take ultimate responsibility, I don’t blame others, but I think it’s important that people understand what happened,” Clinton said. “It easy to say, ‘You know she wasn’t a good candidate.’ Then why did lead all the way to the end, why did I get nominated overwhelmingly?”

Hillary did her best to sound disgusted and surprised over the news of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment and assault in a BBC interview with Andrew Marr.

Hillary Clinton was then confronted about her husband Bill Clinton’s past sexual abuse after she called Trump a “sexual assaulter”.

Hillary was referring to the Billy Bush “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump from over 10 years ago in which he made disparaging comments towards women. Trump even apologized for his “locker room talk” but has never admitted to sexual assault.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it’s in entertainment, politics. After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office,” Hillary said.

Andrew Marr responded by pointing out Hillary has dismissed allegations made by several women against her OWN HUSBAND, Bill Clinton. When asked if it was the right thing to do to dismiss the women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, she replied, “YES”.

“Yes because that has all been litigated,” Hillary arrogantly replied. “That was subject of a huge investigation in the late ’90s and there were conclusions drawn. That was clearly in the past.”

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com