In yet another sign that Russia and China are set to work together to extricate themselves from a dependence on the dollar specifically and on Western financial institutions more generally, Russia’s largest bank has, for the first time, extended yuan-denominated letters of credit in concert with the Chinese Export-Import bank.
“The US Congress is largely at fault for all that’s happening,” the former chairman of the Federal Reserve said in Hong Kong on Tuesday. What’s interesting here is the tendency for Americans to view the AIIB as something that was ultimately created by the US — even if only inadvertently.
Greece and its creditors are set to miss a self-imposed Sunday deal deadline as talks are still ongoing, an unnamed official tells Reuters. Meanwhile, Kathimerini says "government officials attending an emergency summit under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday prepared a draft agreement as Greek sources cited by the Athens-Macedonia News Agency indicated that negotiators in Brussels were close to a deal on value added tax, curbing early retirements and the gradual merging of pension funds." And so it continues.
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.
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.