European Union

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The Swiss Referendum On Gold: What's Missing From The Debate





A “YES” vote for the gold referendum is a first step towards redressing the imbalance that exists between the SNB and the people of Switzerland. A “YES” vote will begin a process to restore restraint, accountability, and transparency on an institution that took advantage of the removal of its previous gold holding constraint already once before to explode its balance sheet, reinvent itself as a hedge fund, and significantly expand into areas of policy far beyond its original remit. Central banks should be lenders of last resort and systemic regulators. In a direct democracy, decisions regarding taxation, membership in trade / political unions, and the autonomy of the national currency should be determined by popular vote not decreed or circumvented by central bank edict.

 
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Another Keynesian Debt Boondoggle: How Brussels Plans To Turn $26 Billion Into $390 Billion





Long ago, Keynes himself pointed out, perhaps inadvertently, the profound difference between GDP and wealth. If we merely want a higher GDP print - which measures spending, not wealth - governments should handout spoons so that millions of citizens can dig holes and millions more refill them. It would appear that the statesmen of Brussels are fixing to try the modern day equivalent of just that.

 
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The Iran Nuclear Talks (In 1 Lonely Photo)





With President Obama proclaiming this morning "it's too early to tell" if a nuclear-deal with Iran is still possible; and apparent confirmation this afternoon that differences are "still significant," the US is said to be discussing extending the nuclear-deal deadline. Yet again no consequences (for a newfound 'ally') and yet again John Kerry finds himself purposeless... and now we hear Vladimir Putin will be calling Iran's Rouhani tomorrow (one can only imagine the topic of conversation).

 
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Have Central Banks Entered An Undeclared War?





The monetary tectonic plates are shifting, and predicting the next global financial earthquake is relatively easy.

 
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Frontrunning: November 19





  • Yellen Inherits Greenspan’s Conundrum as Long Rates Sink (BBG)
  • West African Mining Projects Take Hit From Ebola Crisis (WSJ)
  • Saudi oil policy uncertainty unleashes the conspiracy theorists (Reuters)
  • Senate Rejection of Keystone XL Measure Sets Up 2015 Showdown (BBG)
  • Ferguson, Missouri, remains on edge ahead of grand jury report (Reuters)
  • Putin Said to Stun Advisers by Backing Corruption Crackdown (BBG)
  • Italian ‘Invasion’ Has Swiss Fuming as Immigration Vote Looms (BBG)
  • Apple and Others Encrypt Phones, Fueling Government Standoff (WSJ)
 
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Kissinger Warns "We Need A New World Order"; Ukraine Should Forget Crimea & NATO





Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says in an interview with Der Spiegel that there currently is an urgent need for a new world order, but its coming into being will be long and complicated. "There is the Chinese view, the Islamic view, the Western view and, to some extent, the Russian view. And they really are not always compatible," he warns, adding that introducing anti-Russian sanctions was a mistake. He added that Ukraine should not hope to become a member of NATO in the foreseeable future, as the alliance will never vote unanimously for the accession of Ukraine.

 
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Canada's PM To Putin: "I Guess I'll Shake Your Hand..." Putin's Response "Was Not Positive"





“I guess I’ll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” Harper told Putin, the prime minister’s spokesman Jason MacDonald said in an e-mail.

Putin’s response to the comment wasn’t positive, MacDonald said, without elaborating

 
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Debt, Propaganda And Now Deflation





Our world, our life, has been built on debt and propaganda for many years. They have kept us from noticing how poorly we are doing. But now a third element has entered the foundation of our societies, and it’s set to eat away at everything that has – barely – kept the entire edifice from crumbling apart. Deflation.

 
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Dear Portugal, Meet Your New Landlord - China





With Wall Street having bid real estate prices to the moon in the US (and become Spain's biggest slumlord), and handed them happily over to willing Chinese 'get-my-money-out-of-China' buyer greater-fools, it would appear the Chinese (having colonized America) have found a new more attractive place to park their excess liquidity. As Bloomberg reports, at a property auction in Lisbon, Portugal last month, about 90% of the bidders for the government-owned apartments and stores on offer were Chinese. They ended up acquiring more than two-thirds of the 45 properties, with one money-launderer investor noting "Lisbon is cheap if you compare it with other cities."

 
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Axel Merk: Why The Swiss Should Vote "Yes" On The Gold Initiative





With gold already moving today on rumors of an increasingly positive tone towards Switzerland's referendum on the Gold Initiative, Axel Merk notes that it appears widely misunderstood and discusses implications for gold, the Swiss franc and Switzerland as a whole. "Gold is the people’s money, not the government’s money to splurge...gold is a store of value that ought to back the currency in circulation." Ultimately, people should never rely on their government to pursue a gold standard, but consider pursuing their own, personal gold standard.

 
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Why The Rising U.S. Dollar Could Destabilize The Global Financial System





Simply put, the dollar's rise could destabilize the entire global financial system. To understand why this is so, we have to start with the source of the risk: the world's central banks.

 
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Russia To Dispatch Long-Range Bomber Patrols Over Gulf Of Mexico, Caribbean





While the west is seemingly eager to once again restart the military escalation, if only in rhetoric for now, surrounding the east-Ukraine conflict, leading to a report that the "European Union and the U.S. will weigh further sanctions against Russia’s economy and Ukrainian separatists, after the reported movement of tanks, artillery and combat troops into eastern Ukraine", Russia has chosen to change track completely and give the US a dose of its own cooking, by bringing the military threat next to the borders of the US itself.  "In this situation, we have to maintain a military presence in the western part of the Atlantic and the eastern part of the Arctic Ocean, in the Caribbean and in the Gulf of Mexico"  Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said.

 
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Ukraine Currency Crashes After Senior EU Official Says "The Ukrainians Are Manipulating Us"





Things just got much worse for Ukraine, which has been on life support by its "western allies" ever since the US State Department-coup early in the year. Because those same allies look like they may have had enough.  According to Reuters, some in Brussels are disillusioned by the experience of helping Ukraine. EU generosity in waiving import duties and funding gas supplies from Russia may be being abused, they say. "Some in Ukraine's elite may be colluding with Russia, even as fighting in the east has begun to escalate again. "The Ukrainians are manipulating the EU," a senior EU official involved in negotiations told Reuters, saying the bloc was "waking up" to a need to better defend its own interests."

 
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Russia, China Sign Second Mega-Gas Deal: Beijing Becomes Largest Buyer Of Russian Gas





As we previewed on Friday, when we reported that "Russia Nears Completion Of Second "Holy Grail" Gas Deal With China", moments ago during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum taking place this weekend in Beijing, Russia and China signed 17 documents Sunday, grenlighting a second "mega" Russian natural gas to China via the so-called "western" or "Altay" route, which as previously reported, would supply another 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China. Gazprom CEO Miller noted that with the increase of deliveries via the western route, the total volume of Russian gas deliveries to China may exceed the current levels of export to Europe in the medium-term perspective. In other words, China has now eclipsed Europe as Russia's biggest, and most strategic natural gas client.

 
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