Greece still has one card left to play in fractious negotiations with creditors: the so-called 'Russian pivot'. Over the course of difficult talks between Syriza and the troika Moscow has, at various times, sought to take advantage of the hostilities between Athens and Brussels by making a series of overtures including the possibility of Greece joining the BRICS bank. Now, at least one Greek official says the country will likely accept the invite.
Russia is moving to undercut a critical financial communications link by creating an alternative system backed by the world's rising EM powerhouses who are set to officially launch their own development bank when they convene in July. At the same time, Moscow will consider cementing its economic ties with regional allies via the establishment of a currency bloc.
In Part 1 of “The New Silk Road,” we examined the China’s plan for rebuilding the Silk Road, stretching from Europe to Asia. In Part 2, we look at currently proposed projects, and geopolitical rivalries that could stall and hamper progress. Until very recently, it was widely assumed that the US would lead its western allies in a campaign against the Russian/Chinese deal to develop the Silk Road, but events have been reversing with remarkable speed.
In an important interview with Reuters in 2012, John Butler suggested that if one country - he cited Russia - were to back its currency with gold it could cause a 20% collapse in the dollar in just 24 hours. In order to stabilise the currency and in an attempt to preserve the reserve currency status of the dollar, the U.S. would be forced against its will to back its currency with gold.
China launches international gold fund with over 60 countries as members. The large fund, which expects to raise 100 billion yuan or $16 billion, will develop gold mining projects across the economic region known as the New Silk Road.
To put Caterpillar's ongoing second great depression in context, during the Great Financial Crisis, CAT suffered "only" 19 months of consecutive retail sales declines. As of April 2015, this number is now 29, and there is no hope in sight of seeing an annual rebounce any time soon.
"The head of Germany's Bundesbank ripped into the European Central Bank on Thursday, saying emergency funding for Greek banks broke the taboo of financing governments and it was not up to central banks to decide who was or wasn't in the euro zone," Reuters reports.
Germany throws its support behind a Greek referendum on euro membership while Putin invites Athens to join BRICS Bank. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis has a plan for resolving Greece's debt problem — and he imagines the ECB chief is terrified of it.
As if the discussions in Brussels and Athens were not mired in enough uncertainty, Bloomberg reports that a Greek official confirms:
*STORCHAK ASKED TSIPRAS FOR GREECE TO JOIN BRICS BANK: OFFICIAL
The pivot appears to continue. Reportedly, Tsipras was pleasntly surprised by the proposal.
This conflict is not about Ukraine but about the future of the planet. There is no “Novorussian” or even “Ukrainian” solution. The only possible outcome is a strategic victory of either Russia or the USA which will affect the entire planet. In the following, Rostislav Ishchenko provides a superb overview of the risks and options for both sides and offers the first comprehensive “key” to the apparently incomprehensible behavior of Russia in this conflict.
Whatever happens with the nuclear negotiations this summer, and as much as Tehran wants cooperation and not confrontation, Iran is bound to remain - alongside Russia - a key US geostrategic target. What the Pentagon - with customary hubris - does not see is Moscow and Tehran easily identifying the power play; the US government's hidden agenda of manipulating a "rehabilitated" Iran to sell plenty of oil and gas to the EU, thus undermining Gazprom.
It would appear the era of the dollar's global domination as a reserve currency is coming to an end, and the stage is now being set for gold to be officially accepted as the ultimate reserve money once again, this time by the next generation of advanced nations.
The day after the crash (and thereafter), what will be the currency that is used to buy a bag of groceries, a tank of petrol, a meal at a restaurant? Certainly, the need will be immediate and will be on a national level in each impacted country, affecting everyone. Many believe the US will be prepared ahead of time with a new, electronic currency - US citizens will then become the most economically controlled people in the world, overnight. A further possibility is taking place in Mexico today. Mexico is remonetising silver. As the Great Unravelling proceeds, we would be wise to monitor what happens with the Libertad in Mexico and watch for a similar return to precious metals in other jurisdictions.
All problems, all crises, have at least one solution, if not many solutions. There is no such thing as an unwinnable scenario. Some may not be smart enough or courageous enough to see it, but the solution is always there, waiting to be discovered. The only fight that cannot be won is the fight in which the enemy makes all the rules and we foolishly abide by those rules. Life is not a game of chess, and a man can choose to be more than a pawn anytime he has the guts to do so. Collapse is already upon us; now we must decide who will determine what happens next.
To put the 28 months of declining retail sales in context, during the Great Financial Crisis, CAT suffered "only" 19 months of consecutive declines. As of March 2015, this number is now 28! Or as a more truthful Tim Geithner would say, "Welcome to the second Great Depression, Caterpillar!"