Crimea Will Formally Apply To Join Russia Tomorrow After 95.5% Support Referendum; US, UK, EU Reject ResultsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2014 - 14:12
UPDATE: While earlier exit polls indicated strong support, the preliminary results are now being announced:
*CRIMEA TO JOIN RUSSIA BACKED BY 95.5%: PRELIMINARY RESULTS
*CRIMEA TO REMAIN IN UKRAINE BACKED BY 3.5%: PRELIMINARY RESULTS
With a voter turnout (79.09%) that exceeded every US Presidential election since 1900, the people of Crimea have spoken. Ukraine's leaders have called up 20,000 men for a newly-created National Guard as despite the so-called "truce" Russian APCs and Tanks are rolling. The White House is already out rejecting the vote (before the final results are released) as are the EU, UK, and France.
"The Supreme Soviet of Crimea will make an official application for the republic to join the Russian Federation at a meeting on March 17," Sergiy Aksyonov said in a tweet.
*PUTIN TOLD OBAMA CRIMEA VOTE FULLY MET INTERNATIONAL NORMS
Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliev has told RIANovosti that the region will abandon Ukraine's Hyrvnia:
*CRIMEA TO SWITCH TO RUSSIAN RUBLE APRIL 1: RIA NOVOSTI
This is not a total surprise as Reuters reported the Crimean Deputy PM stating "we are ready to introduce a ruble zone," a week ago.
From a strictly empirical perspective, the Keynesian theory is a disaster. Positivism wise, it’s a smoldering train wreck. You would be hard-pressed to comb through historical data and find great instances where government intervention succeeded in lowering employment without creating the conditions for another downturn further down the line. No matter how you spin it, Keynesianism is nothing but snake oil sold to susceptible political figures. Its practitioners feign using the scientific method. But they are driven just as much by logical theory as those haughty Austrian school economists who deduce truth from self-evident axioms. The only difference is that one theory is correct. And if the Keynesians want to keep pulling up data to make their case, they are standing on awfully flimsy ground.
Crimea Referendum Voter Turnout At 73%; EU Rejects "Illegal, Illegitimate" Vote, Seeks "Additional Measures"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2014 - 12:44
"No provocations have been reported. The situation is quiet and under control," notes Crimea's Prime Minister Sergei Aksynov (despite plenty of chatter of pro-Ukraine buildings being attacked by pro-Russian supporters in Donetsk and Kharkiv). However, what is perhaps more important is that Interfax reports, voter turnout at Sunday's referendum on Crimea' future status had reached 73% by 6 p.m. (8 p.m. Moscow time), according to a posting on the referendum's website. That is higher than every US presidential election since 1900. European leaders remain dissatisfied with this "illegal and illegitimate" vote, demand Russian forces drop back to pre-crisis levels, and are preparing new EU sanctions for Monday.
Russia-Ukraine Agree "Truce" Until March 21st; White House Warns Putin Stop Playing "Russian Roulette"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2014 - 12:05
"President Putin has started a game of Russian roulette and I think the United States and the West have to be very clear in their response," states Sen. Foreign Relations Committed Chair Robert Menendez among a slew of Sunday morning talk-show rhetoric from US politicians with the White House's Dan Pfeiffer adding "President Putin has a choice about what he's going to do here. Is he going to continue to further isolate himself, further hurt his economy, further diminish Russian influence in the world, or is he going to do the right thing?" As the "sham referendum" continues, Reuters, however, reports that Ukraine's acting defense minister believes Russia and Ukraine have agree a truce until March 21st.
With Malaysian authorities frustrated (and seemingly confused), and US and Chinese government offering "help" to solve this increasingly mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER over a week ago, we thought a quick summation of all that we know would be useful. The possibilities remain numerous but it appears the latest line of investigation is the pane vanished through "deliberate action" with the airline pilots coming under increasing scrutiny.
More of the same. Via the Kremlin:
PUTIN TELLS MERKEL RUSSIA WILL RESPECT CHOICE MADE BY CRIMEANS
PUTIN TELLS MERKEL CRIMEA REFERENDUM ON JOINING RUSSIA IS LEGAL
Even as the West (and NATO) continues to reject any legitimacy of the referendum.
The much anticipated, if largely moot, Crimean referendum vote whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, began early on Sunday, even as Kiev is accusing Moscow of rapidly building up its armed forces on the peninsula in "crude violation" of an international treaty.
It has been over a week since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared without a trace, and the world is nowhere closer to finding either where the airplane and its 239 passengers and crew are to be found, nor what actually happened. Instead, what initially was speculation about a midair disintegration, and subsequently suggested a potential case of airplane terrorism gone wrong, has now transformed into a theory that the pilot and/or crew may have been engaged in "foul play", especially since it appears that based on tracking data, that the plane flew for nearly seven hours after someone "skilled" purposefully shut down its communications and tracking beacon: possibly indicative of a stealthy midair hijacking. However, the same satellite data gave no precise location, and the plane's altered course could have taken it anywhere from central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean.
A series of crises, the latest being the ominous developments in the Ukraine and further evidence of disappointing growth in China, have rattled financial markets. Of course, with all major central banks at amazingly easy policy stances, the bet continues to be that the latest uncertainties will also pass. That may be true once again. But, as Abe Gulkowitz lays out in the inimitable style of his The Punch Line letter, one must recognize that many of the serious flaws uncovered in each of the predicaments will linger for years to come and that the policy remedies have at best covered up the fundamental issues without completely resolving them.
As the clock ticks down to tomorrow's Crimea referendum, where residents will vote to align with Russia or to stay in Ukraine, Russia Today looks at what the sunny Black Sea peninsula can offer economically and what ties it has with Moscow and Kiev. At first glance, Crimea has certain problems - a lack of energy, and more dangerously, freshwater resources. The republic's annual GDP is only $4.3 billion - 500 times smaller than the size of Russia’s $2 trillion economy. However, whatever the results of the referendum are, fixing the dilapidated state of infrastructure and transport could offer a real investment opportunity for both Russian companies and Crimean entrepreneurs.
"Property taxes are equitable and efficient, but underutilized in many economies. The average yield of property taxes in 65 economies (for which data are available) in the 2000s was around 1 percent of GDP, but in developing economies it averages only half of that (Bahl and Martínez-Vázquez, 2008). There is considerable scope to exploit this tax more fully, both as a revenue source and as a redistributive instrument, although effective implementation will require a sizable investment in administrative infrastructure, particularly in developing economies (Norregaard, 2013)." - IMF
As the daily street protests grow bloodier and bloodier, Venezuelan President Maduro has escalated his comments today, exclaiming that he "won't be bullied," and warning "prepare yourself, we are coming for you," if protesters don't "go home within hours."
*VENEZUELAN PROTESTERS HAVE 'HOURS' TO CLEAR BARRICADES: MADURO SAYS HE'LL SEND ARMED FORCES TO 'LIBERATE' PROTEST AREAS
With 28 dead in the last month of protests, things are very serious but as we warned previously, Maduro still enjoying the support of the poor - as EuroNews reports, it appears he is not going anywhere soon. John Kerry also came under fire as the foreign minister called him "a "murderer of the Venezuelan people," accusing him of encouraging the protests.
From March 1: "Obama did not attend the meeting, but he has been briefed about it by his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and his national security team, an official said."
From March 15: "Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council."
With Chinese authorities clamping down on the shadow-banking system, taking action of their bubble-bursting reforms, and now increasing the trading bands on the Yuan (to increase volatility and hopefully unwind, in a controlled manner, the biggest and most one-sided carry trade in the world's markets), we thought it perhaps surprising that growing numbers of Chinese are using UnionPay - a state-backed bank card - to illegally funnell billion of dollars out of the country. As Reuters reports, its unclear why the PBOC has not clamped down on this as documents show they are well aware of it... and as one clerk noted "don't worry... everyone's doing it."