Tuesday, January 28, 2020

18 low-cost REPAIR items preppers are stockpiling to keep things running once the civil war begins

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by Rhonda Johansson, BugOut News:

Survivalism isn’t simply about living like the end of the world is going to happen, as mainstream media would have you believe. It’s the ability to use nature to your advantage and ensure that you are always prepared for any situation. To that end, it is smart to always carry around a repair kit in your car and in your home. This kit should contain a variety of tools, but there are 18 must-have items that should be included.

  1. A zipper repair kit – A lot of us don’t think about this, but having this kit in your bag will save you a lot of headache. Remember that a lot of outdoor gear has zippers. Keeping these binding fasteners in tip-top shape will help make survival situations easier.
  2. Assorted plastic bags – Aim to have a pack of each varying size. Plastic bags are extremely versatile and can be used for things other than their originally intended purpose.
  3. Carabiners – These are widely-used in rope-intensive activities and prove to be crucial in emergency situations. Try to collect a set made from heavier material like steel or aluminum.
  4. Duct tape – This is the most obvious choice and a no-brainer for preppers. Duct tape can be used in a variety of ways. From repairing a tent to making a rope to splinting a broken tent pole, duct tape can fuse two things together for a short period of time.  
  5. Epoxy – These adhesives are preferred whenever a strong bond is necessary. For the most part, epoxy is used to bind construction materials together or protect surfaces from dirt and moisture. In an emergency situation, epoxy can be used to reinforce fasteners, strengthen joints in bolts, and even delay stress-induced cracking. Take note that epoxy releases harmful fumes when applied so use this only in a well-ventilated area.
  6. Epoxy putty – This is similar to epoxy but has a clay-like texture. These products are ideal for fixing anything that is leaking. You can use it to repair a hole in a canteen, for example.
  7. FiberFix – This repair wrap markets itself as “100 times stronger than duct tape,” being able to fuse heavy-duty hardware together using waterproof resin. While there are supporters for either repair tape, FiberFix is still a good addition to your prepper bag.
  8. Knife sharpener – Here’s a tip to remember: Never, ever, leave your house without having a sharpened blade. Of all things, a knife is one of the most important survival items to have. A dull blade, not so much. Make sure that your repair tool bag always has a knife sharpener in it.
  9. Paracord – This is an important survival item, with uses that are only limited by a lack of imagination. A few uses to take note of include: to use it as a splint, a suture, a splint, or even a makeshift stretcher.
  10. Pump rebuild kit for lanterns and stoves – During emergency situations, it is important to have a source of light and heat. Novice preppers typically have a portable stove or lantern with them, but often forget to include a pump repair kit. These kits are normally small and compact but can differ based on the brand you prefer.
  11. Safety pins – Another temporary fix for broken materials, safety pins come in a variety of sizes and it’s best to carry a few of each length. However, note that safety pins break and rust easily.
  12. Sealing tape for inflatables – Their intended use is for items like pool toys and air mattresses, which most people won’t have during SHTF situations. However, the tape can be used as an alternative adhesive in case you run out of any other form of tape.
  13. Sewing kit – Preppers know how to sew. This skill has applications in a lot of areas and the art of sewing is an essential. Remember to have heavy duty thread and needles in your kit, especially to repair items like a tarp or other thick items.
  14. Small nuts, bolts, and screws – You never know when you may need fasteners. Keep a collection of various sizes in your kit.
  15. Spare disposable butane lighter – Anyone who has been in the wild knows the power of fire. Always keep a spare lighter on hand to help kindle a fire.
  16. Spare mantles for portable lantern – Most people don’t realize how easily mantles break, particularly in portable items. It is recommended to keep at least two or three spare mantles for your lantern.
  17. Superglue – Another clear choice, most emergency situations require some form of adhesive, and many of them can be fixed temporarily with a dab or two of superglue.
  18. Wire ties (four- and eight-inch) – These can be used in a lot of ways and can be practical when you need a quick fix.

As you can see, the shared characteristic all these items have is versatility. Stock up on items that have more than one function. (Related: 8 common prepper mistakes to avoid.)

Read More @ BugOut.News

The New Silk Road: China’s Economic Priorities Become Official

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by James Holbrooks, The Anti Media:

On Friday, the government of China made it officially clear to Chinese companies that overseas investments in projects linked to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative will take priority going forward.

“Profound changes are taking place in international and domestic situations, and Chinese enterprises face not just relatively good opportunities but also various risks and challenges in overseas investments,” the State Council wrote in its introduction of the new rules.

The Belt and Road Initiative, unveiled in 2013, is China’s grand plan to link over 60 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe through infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, and ports.

The guidelines, according to the government, are meant to “promote the continuous and orderly and healthy development of overseas investment” in Belt and Road-linked countries, and to “effectively guard against all kinds of risks and to better meet the needs of national economic and social development.”

Without naming the “One Belt, One Road” initiative directly, the State Council’s language leaves little room for confusion, directing Chinese companies to focus overseas investments on enterprises that “promote the ‘one way along the road’ construction” and “infrastructure interconnection” between countries.

The goal appears to be to limit Chinese companies’ exposure to overseas investment risk by channeling those funds into projects that support the Belt and Road initiative. This is evidenced by a statement released by another Chinese government entity on Friday. From Reuters:

“China will strengthen rules to defuse risks for domestic companies investing abroad and curb ‘irrational’ overseas investment in its Belt and Road initiative, the state planner said on Friday.

“The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an online statement lauding the Belt and Road initiative that it would provide better guidance on risks to companies investing overseas in order to prevent ‘vicious’ competition and corruption.”

The NDRC statement highlights the Chinese government’s emphasis that the economic health of China itself should be a major consideration when contemplating overseas investments:

“Some companies focused on property rather than the real economy, which, instead of boosting the domestic economy, triggered capital outflows and shook financial security.”

This tendency of the Chinese government to go easy on companies looking to invest overseas in Belt and Road-linked enterprises was pointed out earlier this week in a Reuters exclusive published Tuesday:

“Companies enjoy a relatively smooth approval process for deals along the Belt and Road project as regulators tend to put them in a different basket when reviewing outbound investments, according to lawyers and dealmakers.”

Continuing, Reuters notes that outbound deals “currently take as long as six months to be approved by Chinese regulators” but that “Belt and Road investments tend to get regulatory clearance within three or four months.”

One Chinese financial analyst told Reuters that if you’re “doing One Belt, One Road, that becomes the first sentence in the document” for companies seeking approval to make overseas investments.

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

They Want You to ‘Punch a Nazi’: Enacting Violence Keeps You Distracted From the Real Issue

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by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:

As America continues looking downward on the deliberate divide being pushed through the mainstream, the real villains are conducting business as usual.

A week after the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virgina, another protest/counter protest is set to happen in Boston this Saturday. Boston law enforcement noted that they would shut down the “Free Speech Rally” at the first sign of trouble.

“If anyone gets out of control — at all — it will be shut down,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Hundreds of officers will be on the scene, both in uniform and undercover to attempt to keep the peace. However, if the countless other similar rallies are any indication, peace will be all but non-existent.

Make no mistake, the White-nationalists, neo-Nazis, Alt-righters, whatever you want to call them, want to be attacked.

Why would anyone want to get punched in the face, you ask? Well, it is quite simple. When violence is enacted against the white supremacists, it flips the script and they become the martyrs or victims.

Before videos emerged of white-supremacists being attacked, no one paid any attention to them. Their ideas are so horrifically stupid that they are self-defeating. However, when you punch a nazi you legitimize them. While it doesn’t legitimize their cause, it makes them victims and therefore garners more support.

There is absolutely no chance of an outspoken, swastika toting white supremacist, hell bent on a 2nd Holocaust, taking over the country and locking you up. This is why battling white supremacists is futile. There is, however, a very real system of oppression on the rise in this country that does oppress minorities, kidnaps them, cages them, and also kills them on a large scale. It was here far before Trump too.

Why aren’t these counter-protesters who show up to all these white nationalist marches out there every day trying to end the real white nationalist problem? This problem began way before Trump, Obama, or Bush, and has been perpetuated by all Presidents since Nixon. Shortly after the Jim Crow era came to an end, under the guise of ‘protecting citizens from drugs’, a new Jim Crow was ushered in. The drug war.

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Mainstream Science Now Resembling CIA Mind Control Programs To Wipe Memories

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by Aaron Kesel, Activist Post:

Years of research on mice proves that scientists can weaken or strengthen particular memories from the brain or outright delete inherited memories, the Guardian reported.

Scientists hope that the new discovery could potentially be used to help those with cognitive decline or post-traumatic stress disorder by removing fearful memories.

“We can use the same approach to selectively manipulate only the pathological fear memory while preserving all other adaptive fear memories which are necessary for our daily lives,” Jun-Hyeong Cho, co-author of the research from the University of California said.

The researchers used those mice to examine the pathways between the amygdala area of the brain responsible for emotional memories and the area that produces particular sounds. They played a series of low- and high-pitched tones that shocked the mice’s feet with electrodes on the high-pitched sounds.

“These mice are special in that we can label or tag specific pathways that convey certain signals to the amygdala, so that we can identify which pathways are really modified as the mice learn to fear a particular sound,” Cho said. “It is like a bundle of phone lines,” he added. “Each phone line conveys certain auditory information to the amygdala.”

The team then discovered it was possible to completely erase fearful or unwanted memories using a technique called optogenetics, while medication has been used for this purpose to remove the negative associations of some memories.

This technique involves using a virus to introduce genes into particular neurons in the brains of the mice that were involved in the “high-pitch” pathways.

Once the virus was inside the cells, the genes resulted in the production of proteins which responded to light, allowing researchers to control the activity of the neurons.

Taking mice with the fearful memories, the team exposed the neurons involved in the “high-pitch” pathway to low-frequency light – an approach which weakens the connections between the brain’s neuron transmitters.

“It permanently erases the fear memory,” Cho said. “We no longer see the relapse of fear.”

‘The fact that you can parcel out these memories and manipulate them in a predictable fashion is remarkable,’ Sumantra Chattarji, an expert on memory at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India told New Scientist.

‘This was impossible a few years ago.’

In another study from 2015, MIT scientist found that in animals that developed PTSD symptoms following chronic stress and a traumatic event, serotonin promoted the process of memory consolidation. When the researchers blocked the amygdala cells’ interactions with serotonin after trauma, the stressed animals did not develop PTSD symptoms, while blocking serotonin in unstressed animals after trauma had no effect.

Then earlier this year scientist from MIT and a team in Japan discovered how memories were formed simultaneously in the hippocampus and the cortex by watching how memories responded to an electric shock. In other words, one is for the present short-term and the second is for the long-term.

Scientists have also discovered that generations pass on memories to each other.

None of this is new, this is the overt or clear world scientists catching up with the black-budget scientists in bases like s4.

There was a series of CIA mind control programs including BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA, MKSEARCH and MKNAOMI during the ’50s to ’90s. The CIA sought to blank-slate test subjects wiping memories through drugs, electric shock, high-pitched sound and other torture techniques.

Dr. Ewen Cameron was partially backed by the CIA during project MKULTRA and used electrodes to zap the memories from his unwitting patients’ brains during the 1950s. This method of torture was called “psychic driving.”

After horrendous electric shocks, drugs were given to the test subjects to put them into days of prolonged delirious sleep. Cameron would then subject them to audio tapes he made, in which he repeated certain phrases thousands of times, with the hope of producing new personalities within them.

A 2012 lawsuit filed by veterans’ groups, against the CIA and the DOD, refers to Cameron’s methods. The suit also states that two researchers, Dr. Louis West and Dr. Jose Delgado, working together under the early CIA MKULTRA subproject 95, utilized two protocols: brain implants (“stimoceivers”) and RHIC-EDOM (Radio Hypnotic Intracerebral Control-Electronic Dissolution of Memory) to program the minds of victims.

Translation: they sought to bury memories, and implant false memories that never happened.

The CIA ultimately found that stress and sleep deprivation can make people more susceptible to false memories as have other researchers.

Read More @ ActivistPost.com

If the Lights Go Out, You’ll Want to Own Gold

by Peter Schiff, Schiff Gold:

Imagine the financial chaos that would ensue if there was a widespread, long-term, power grid failure. Business would literally halt.

Stop and think for a moment about how dependent the financial system is on computers. Banking, stock and bond trading, and the vast majority of our day-to-day transactions, rely on computer networks. Many people don’t even use cash anymore. Everything is digital. We even have wholly digital currencies like Bitcoin.

We take these computer systems for granted. In reality, they put us at considerable financial risk. This vulnerability is another reason you should buy gold.

During a recent interview covered in Forbes, Marc Faber talked about the importance of owning physical assets like gold and silver, and holding them outside of the banking system. He said the biggest geopolitical risk isn’t a conventional war. It’s a cyber attack that could take down the power grid.

What is our vulnerability? It is unlikely somebody would invade the US. I mean, nobody is as foolish as that. It’s unlikely that someone will go invade China … So, I think the vulnerability of society is less in direct, big world wars that are fought not with tanks. They are fought by say somebody could turn off the lights in New York, or the electricity, or the internet. If you switched off the internet, what would happen? First of all, nobody could go shopping because everybody shops with a credit card. So, in these times, you want to actually have access to something physical that is recognized as a medium of exchange.”

Of course, it wouldn’t take a cyber attack for you to lose access to your money. Governments can limit your ability to get cash. As we recently reported, EU member states are considering a proposal that would allow them to temporarily stop people from withdrawing their own money from their accounts. The policy is intended to help prevent bank runs.

During the Greek financial crisis, people faced withdraw limits and currency shortages. The entire banking system shut down for three weeks. Even when banks reopened, depositors faced withdraw limits of 420 euros a week. As a result, a robust barter economy quickly developed out of sheer necessity.

These risks underscore the importance of having access to physical gold or silver. In the event of a total electrical grid shutdown, or a successful cyber attack, or a government induced collapse, you can continue to transact business if you own precious metals.

Faber also emphasized the importance of diversification in general. In the event of a financial collapse, you don’t want to have all of your eggs in one financial basket.

By being in equities and by being in gold, and also having some exposure to bonds, you have some diversification. Then you can hope when the hour of truth occurs, you will only lose, say, 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of your assets, but your neighbor loses everything. So relatively speaking, you will have done very well.”

Read More @ SchiffGold.com

We Need A Social Revolution

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by Charles Hugh Smith, Peak Prosperity:

In the conventional view, there are two kinds of revolutions: political and technological. Political revolutions may be peaceful or violent, and technological revolutions may transform civilizations gradually or rather abruptly—for example, revolutionary advances in the technology of warfare.

In this view, the engines of revolution are the state—government in all its layers and manifestations—and the corporate economy.

In a political revolution, a new political party or faction gains converts to its narrative, and this new force replaces the existing political order, either via peaceful means or violent revolution.

Technological revolutions arise from many sources but end up being managed by the state and private sector, which each influence and control the other in varying degrees.

Conventional history focuses on top-down political revolutions of the violent “regime change” variety: the American Revolution (1776), the French Revolution (1789), the Russian Revolution (1917), the Chinese Revolution (1949), and so on.

Technology has its own revolutionary hierarchy; the advances of the Industrial Revolutions I, II, III and now IV, have typically originated with inventors and proto-industrialists who relied on private capital and banking to fund large-scale buildouts of new industries: rail, steel manufacturing, shipbuilding, the Internet, etc.

The state may direct and fund technological revolutions as politically motivated projects, for example the Manhattan project to develop nuclear weapons and the Space race to the Moon in the 1960s.

These revolutions share a similar structure: a small cadre leads a large-scale project based on a strict hierarchy in which the revolution is pushed down the social pyramid by the few at the top to the many below.  Even when political and industrial advances are accepted voluntarily by the masses, the leadership and structure of the controlling mechanisms are hierarchical: political power, elected or not, is concentrated in the hands of a few at the top. Corporations are commercial autocracies; leadership is highly concentrated and orders are imposed on the bottom 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of employees with military-like authority.

Social Revolutions Are Not Top-Down

But there is another class of revolution that does not share this hierarchical structure, nor does it manifest in the large-scale, top-down power-pyramids of the state and private corporations: social revolutions are bottoms-up affairs, lacking centralized leadership and hierarchical control mechanisms.

Social revolutions eventually influence the state and private sector, but they do not require the permission, funding or leadership of these hierarchies; as a rule, social revolutions drag the state and corporate sectors forward, kicking and screaming, as the social fabric and values of the populace change and the state and corporate sector cling to the status quo.

Examples of recent social revolutions include the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and the gay rights movement.  The leadership of the state resisted each revolution, and was essentially forced to adapt to the new social order as it became mainstream.

Once corporations figured out ways to profit from the transformed social order, they quickly introduced new products and fresh marketing: all-Caucasian advertising, for example, gave way to targeted ethnic advertising and mixed-race national advert campaigns.

When social revolutions are suppressed by the state, they may spark a political revolution as the socially oppressed come to see the overthrow of the autocratic political order as a necessary step towards liberation. 

In other cases, social revolutions may have little immediate impact on the political stage. Faith-based social secular movements–for example, the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century– were not overtly political; their eventual political impact (temperance, woman’s rights and support for the abolition of slavery) may manifest decades later.

In summary: social revolutions may generate political waves, but they need not be overtly political to do so, nor do they rely on political, financial or technological hierarchies to transform society.

The Decline of Social Groups and the Erosion of the Social Order

Robert Putman’s 2000 book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, documented the decline of social connections and what we might calling belonging in American society with reams of data. This erosion of social bonds is not limited to social groups such as bowling leagues; it is secular, spanning every social type of connection from family picnics to community and neighborhood groups.

If we extend Putnam’s findings to the core human bonds of family and friendships, we find the same fraying of social ties; people have fewer close friends, are more isolated and lonely, and family relationships are increasingly superficial or characterized by alienation.

The factors feeding this broad-based decline of connectedness and social capital are many: the nation’s economic mode of production has changed, requiring two incomes where one once sufficed, and globalization has increased both the demands on those with jobs and the number of adults who have fallen out of the work force.

This winner-takes-most economy has been accompanied by the rise of political divisiveness, a brand of politics that fosters us-versus-them disunity and the erosion of common ground in favor of demonized opponents and all-or-nothing loyalty to one party or cause.

The technological revolutions of broadcast television and radio homogenized the mainstream media even as they provided superficial substitutes for social engagement. The technologies of social media, mobile telephony and narrowcast echo-chambers of uniform opinion have created even more addictive forms of distraction that are not just shredding social connectedness—they’re destroying our ability to form and nurture social bonds, even within the family.

This dynamic was explored in a recent essay in The AtlanticHave Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Any careful observer of present-day family life would add that the addictive draw of mobile telephony has also damaged the parents’ generation and the family unit itself.

Cui Bono: To Whose Benefit?

Longtime readers know I often begin an inquiry with the time-tested question: cui bono, to whose benefit? Who has benefited from the erosion of the social fabric and social capital, from the politics of divisiveness and the mass addiction to the technologies of superficial connectedness?

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

Rohrabacher Cites Ex-Intel VIPS Report In Denouncing Russian Hacking

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by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

Republican Congressman Rep. Rohrabacher released a statement earlier this month which indicated he had drawn congress’s attention to a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) report. The VIPS memorandum, which was addressed to President Trump, stated that the DNC was most likely had not been hacked, by Russia or anyone else. The report, signed by respected intelligence leaders such as former NSA technical director William Binney, veteran CIA analyst Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou among others, cited analysis of the Guccifer 2.0 metadata which had been conducted by an anonymous source known as the Forensicator.

The VIPS report also cites Disobedient Media‘s article on the Forensicator’s analysis. Disobedient Media was the first media outlet to report on the Forensicator‘s groundbreaking findings. Their analysis suggested that the data published by Guccifer 2.0 as the NGP-VAN files had been locally copied on the east coast of the U.S., most likely with direct access to a computer which had access to the DNC information.

The metadata of these particular files are significant to the Russian hacking narrative because Guccifer 2.0 had claimed responsibility for the DNC ‘hack,’ while claiming to have been based in Romania. Guccifer 2.0 is still being cited by legacy media as the ‘hacker’ of the DNC. This would be utterly invalidated if the Forensicator’s findings are proven to be correct.

The statement published by Rohrabacher earlier in August related that VIPS’ findings, which were sparked by the Forensicator’s analysis, destroys the credibility of the charges that Russia hacked the DNC system. Rohrabacher’s statement also expressed that the VIPS findings invalidated claims that Russia impacted the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election. Rohrabacher chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.

His statement reads in part: “These bogus charges have done great damage to our ability to work with Russia and have distracted the American people from the real threat of radical Islamic terrorism. This phony campaign has been used to disrupt the right of our new president to accomplish his goals and set the policies approved by the American voters.”Rohrabacher has distributed the report to his colleagues.

Rohrabacher made headlines recently after a three hour meeting with Julian Assange, after which the congressman claimed that Assange had confirmed the Russian hacking narrative is false. Rohrabacher also claimed that Assange had indicated he might reveal this proof to the public. However, Julian Assangequickly clarified via Twitter that he does not make statements through third parties and that only official statements made by him directly or through his lawyers should be considered authoritative.

The LA Times and other media reports following the meeting related that Assange could potentially be pardoned as a result of these latest events. Rohrabacher has said that he will speak with President Trump before going public with any information that might be revealed. It comes as no surprise to this author that soon after Rohrabacher’s meeting with Assange, The Washington Post reported calls had been made for investigation into  Rohrabacher’s relationship with Russia.

This latest news may prove to be of huge significance not only in potentially dismissing a scandal which saw a dramatic increase in tension between two nuclear states, but also in refocusing public attention towards the serious corruption in the DNC that emerged in the substance of the DNC emails. The DNC’s reaction to their publication may also come under increasing scrutiny if ‘Russian hacking’ claims are dismissed.

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

Report: Hate Groups on Decline in US — Except Alt-Left Antifa Terrorists

by Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit:

Very #FakeNews CNN published a series of charts on hate groups in the United States.

Hate crimes continue to be on the decline since the 1990s.

Hate crimes against blacks are less common today as 20 years ago.

The number of racially focused hate groups are also on the decline since 2003.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes continue to be the most commonly reported hate crime.

The list did not include far left hate groups.

Today there are more Alt-left antifa members than all other groups combined.

Antifa continues tremendous growth in members and violent acts.
The Atlantic reported:

For antifa, the result has been explosive growth. According to NYC Antifa, the group’s Twitter following nearly quadrupled in the first three weeks of January alone. (By summer, it exceeded 15,000.) Trump’s rise has also bred a new sympathy for antifa among some on the mainstream left. “Suddenly,” noted the antifa-aligned journal It’s Going Down, “anarchists and antifa, who have been demonized and sidelined by the wider Left have been hearing from liberals and Leftists, ‘you’ve been right all along.’ ” An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.”

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Devil’s Trap – Part 1

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from Vigilant Citizen:

Major Sanctions Escalation? Informed Sources Say Russian Bank Disconnected From SWIFT

by Paul Goncharoff, Russia Insider:

Rumors are swirling in Moscow that a Russian bank has been removed from SWIFT

What is the foreign policy game plan ranged against Russia? It looks like the first serious baby-steps to an existential sanctioned escalation may have just been quietly taken. It may very well be that the first Russian bank was disconnected from SWIFT. While I have not heard any confirmation, the word on the Moscow financial grapevine persists.

The Russian “Tempbank” (http://www.tempbank.ru/eng/) whose management has been individually sanctioned by the US for ongoing trade with Syria and Iran was disconnected from SWIFT according to apparently “informed sources”. It seems after the sanctions were removed from Iran a while ago Tempbank went ahead and legally opened correspondent accounts with the Iranian Central Bank and a number of large banks of that country. It has further been rumored that the Tempbank chairperson, Mr. Mikhail Gagloyev received a letter from the “human rights” organization “Associations against the Nuclear Program of Iran” (UANI). This is an interesting organization in its own right. In the letter, UANI warned the Russian bank against cooperating with Iranian or Syrian companies. Meanwhile, the talk in the financial street was that the management of Tempbank was targeted for personal sanctions because of their cooperation with Iranian and Syrian businesses. If these reports are correct, then it follows that with the right amount of influence from the right sources, any Russian bank can be disconnected from SWIFT without much legal recourse or chitchat. This does not look to be a de-escalation of tensions. Then what other domino’s might follow, and to whose real advantage?

While on the subject of money and banks. Governments are struggling to discover just the right fix to get a balance between controlling public debt, which now exceeds 110 per cent of GDP for the advanced economies, and boosting the rate of economic growth. The first goal requires quite a bit of budgetary tightening, while the second needs just the opposite. What is a government or central bank to do?

One option I overheard recently being discussed by some (very respectable) EU bankers recently imbibing vodka in Moscow is to restructure (i.e.; write off, disappear) part of the government debt that has been bought up by the central banks as a direct result of quantitative easing. Their logic was since both the government and the central bank are the public sector; a consolidated public sector balance sheet would net this debt out entirely. I paused and tried to puzzle this one out over my cappuccino as I stirred in my sweetener, but no bright lights illuminated my thinking. All I could come up with was a deep breath and a vision of hyperinflation spreading like diaper rash across the world’s financial backside.

Now consider what might happen if those bonds held by central banks were simply cancelled, instead of being sold at some point in the future back into the private sector as was initially dreamed up (before NIRP’s and ZIRP’s became household monikers). Should that happen the long-term restraining effect of bond sales would also be cancelled out, so theoretically there should be an immediate stimulatory effect on nominal demand in the economy. Theoretically. In fact, the central banks in both the USA, Japan and EU have purchased so much government and commercial debt since 2008 that the effects of such an action could be rather volatile putting it mildly. It follows also that the volatility of the financial markets would be even greater if instead of just cancelling past debt, the central bank were to agree with the government to further enhance financing increases in the budget deficit by printing even more money. We would then really be in a world of hurt, as the specter of “helicopter money” becomes reality. Say goodbye to pretending there is a firewall between monetary and fiscal policy. I wonder if this way of thinking has taken root at the Fed as well, time will tell no doubt.

Except in times of war, countries have not seriously considered unleashing such extreme actions. The hyperinflationary damage, which results from the elimination of central bank capital, has normally been considered too dangerous to let out of the financial cage.

Read More @ Russia-Insider.com