European Union

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European Union Commits To Sanctions Against Ukraine





Following hours of talks between three European foreign ministers and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev, the EU has decided to go ahead with sanctions:

  • *EU COMMITS TO SANCTIONS AGAINST UKRAINE
  • *EU TO WORK OUT UKRAINE ASSET FREEZE, VISA BAN SOON
  • *EU TO SUSPEND UKRAINE EXP0RT LICENSES FOR `REPRESSIVE' GEAR

Having already proclaimed this move as "blackmail", we are sure the Russians will be utilizing this move to further their support for the catastrophically divided nation.

 
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Dozens Killed In Ukraine's (Not Quite) Civil War, White House Outraged Again





The Ukrainian health minister just state that at least 64 have died since February 18th; protesters claim the number is over 100 - either way, this is horrific (and we suspect, once the Olympics is over, will get worse). As Martin Armstrong outlines below, Ukraine is the pawn on the chessboard. The propaganda war is East v West.

WHITE HOUSE URGES UKRAINE PRESIDENT TO IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAW SECURITY FORCES FROM DOWNTOWN KIEV, RESOLVE CRISIS BY POLITICAL MEANS; 'OUTRAGED' BY ACTIONS OF UKRANIAN SECURITY FORCES

Ad Russia proclaims US/EU sanctions as "balckmail." However, those power plays are masking the core issue that began with the Orange Revolution – corruption. Armstrong warns that "Yanukovych is a dictator who will never leave office. It is simple as that. There will be no real elections again in Ukraine." This is starting to spiral down into a confrontation that the entire world cannot ignore.

 
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Ukraine Region Declares Independence Sending Dollar Bonds To Record Low; Russian Ruble Tumbles To 5 Year Low





The events in the Ukraine continue to deteriorate. Moments ago Lawmakers in Ukraine’s Lviv region, declared independence after backers evicted appointed governor overnight. Lviv’s parliament formed executive committee with department heads in Governor Oleh Salo’s administration that will take over functions of regional government, Oksana Dmetryv, a spokeswoman for Speaker Petro Kolodiy, said today by phone from Lviv. Protesters also seized headquarters of security services in Lviv, a region of 2.5 million people bordering Poland. Elsewhere, there were reports of more military vehicles crossing through Kiev: if there are any more Molotov Cocktail video follow ups we will be sure to capture them.

 
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Frontrunning: February 19





  • Ukraine leader denounces coup bid, West weighs sanctions (Reuters)
  • Time to buy Imodium calls: Kuroda Easing Doomed as Yen Seen Missing 120 Level (BBG)
  • Teens Disappear From U.S. Workforce (BBG)
  • Fed Sets Rules for Foreign Banks (WSJ)
  • Quant Funds Feel Investor Bite After Underperforming (BBG)
  • China Probes Qualcomm, InterDigital Over Monopoly Concerns (WSJ)
  • Capital One says it can show up at cardholders' homes, workplaces  (LATimes)
  • SEC Gains Power to Take Profit Made From Insider Trading (BBG)
 
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This Is How Ukrainian Protesters Attack An Armored Personnel Carrier





Watch as sparks fly between a Ukrainian military APC, possibly the same one we revealed earlier, as it gets into some blazingly close encounters with the Kiev protesters. It is unclear who won however it is quite clear that at this point the proxy war in Ukraine between Russia/Gazprom and the European Union/US State Dept/Saudi/Qatar can be upgraded to "hot."

 
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Frontrunning: February 18





  • Carl Icahn wins again: Actavis to Buy Forest Labs for $25 Billion (WSJ)
  • ECB governing council member attacks German court ruling on OMT (FT)
  • China Tackles $1 Trillion Data Gap as Xi Changes Metrics (BBG)
  • FX Traders Facing Extinction as Computers Replace Humans (BBG)
  • BOJ Boost to Loan Programs Signals Room for More Easing (BBG) - actually no it doesn't as it was "factored in"
  • Four killed in Thai clashes; PM to face charges over rice scheme (Reuters)
  • Goodbye unsterilized SMP: Bundesbank Backs Measure to Boost Funds in Banking System  (WSJ)
  • Iranian Hacking to Test NSA Nominee Michael Rogers (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Clashes Leave Dozens Wounded as Putin Resumes Bailout (BBG)
 
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Venezuela Expels 3 US Diplomats For "Promoting Instability"





Having been 'busted' for their manipulation of events in Ukraine (and exposing their views of the European Union), it seems US diplomats have been up to their old tricks once again... this time in Venezuela. "Go Conspire In Washington," was the clear message sent to the US as President Maduro expelled three US diplomats from his country, accusing them of plotting with anti-government protesters in an attempt to topple his socialist government. This is the second time Maduro has kicked out US diplomats (3 more were expelled in September for 'conspiring with government opponents') as he blasted comments by John Kerry as "yet another maneuver" by Washington to "legitimize attempts to destabilize the Venezuelan democracy unleashed by violent groups in recent days."

 
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If America Continues To Go Down This Path, This Is What Life Will Be Like...





Becoming more like Europe is not a good thing.  But that is the path that we are currently on.  For the most part, Europeans live in a socialist “Big Brother” system in which the government completely dominates your life from the cradle to the grave.  Of course there are differences from country to country, but generally speaking the lives of most Europeans are very tightly regulated.  You see, the truth is that high levels of individual liberty and freedom are considered to be “dangerous” by the European elite.  They believe that if we are all allowed to just do whatever we want that it would result in utter chaos.  They are convinced that life is better when those that are smarter (them) control the lives of everyone else.

 
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Deutsche Bank Explains How, And Why, Germany Opened The OMT Pandora's Box





As Deutsche Bank revealed in a note overnight, the GCC may have, quite deliberately, opened a Pandora's Box with its decision which according to Europe's largest bank, and the one whose derivatives exposure makes that of JPM pale by comparison, (i) made it clear it regards OMT as exceeding the competences granted to the ECB by the European Treaty and that (ii) would not consider itself bound by a positive ruling of the European Court of Justice. And while in DB's opinion this action does not have any immediate market consequences, the report's authors think that it "alters substantially the level of insurance we could expect from the ECB against any return of sovereign turmoil."

 
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Frontrunning: February 12





  • Anti-Euro Party’s Le Pen Gains Supporters, French Poll Shows (BBG)
  • Carney Renews BOE Low-Rate Pledge to Fight Slack in Economy (BBG)
  • Bank of England hints at 2015 rate rise (Reuters)
  • ECB bond-buying intact and ready after court decision-Coeure (Reuters)
  • Canada scraps millionaire visa scheme, dumps 46,000 Chinese applications (SCMP)
  • Scrap this then? Vancouver facing an influx of 45,000 more rich Chinese (SCMP)
  • China's January Exports Power Higher, Up 10.6% (WSJ) ... and nobody believes the number
  • Emerging-Market Shakeout Putting Reserves Into Focus (BBG)
  • Wall Street's most eligible banker Fleming waits for suitor (Reuters)
  • Kazakh Devaluation Shows Currency War Stirring as Ruble Dips (BBG)
 
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The Golden Age of Gas... Possibly: An Interview With The IEA





The potential for a golden age of gas comes along with a big “if” regarding environmental and social impact. The International Energy Agency (IEA) - the "global energy authority" - believes that this age of gas can be golden, and that unconventional gas can be produced in an environmentally acceptable way.

 
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Guest Post: Will Austrian Bank Woes Be Again the Catalyst For A European Kondratieff Winter?





Sad affairs have been heating up in the tiny Alpine republic in the center of the European Union. While Austria experiences record unemployment at record growth rates and tax revenues  have fallen behind optimistic projections, the looming bankruptcy of a mid-sized regional bank, Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA), may propel the country to the disdained position of being the catalyst for a new round of bank failures due to interwoven banks risks on both the domestic and the international level. On Monday Austrian financial market authority FMA publicly said what the official Austria never wanted to hear as it is now confronted with a widening public discussion on a problem it had surrealstically hoped to brush under the carpet. Austria's banking woes look eerily similar to the failure of Creditanstalt in 1931 that was the fuse for the last European Kondratieff winter.

 
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Farage Blasts "Bullying Brussels", Cheers Swiss Immigration Curbs Bill





Switzerland's surprise decision in favor of curbing EU immigration, was greeted by UKIP's Nigel Farage as "wonderful news for national sovereignty and freedom lovers throughout Europe." With 50.3% of Swiss voters backing the "Stop Mass Immigration" bill proposed by right-wing populists, AFP reports that Farage (who has been outspoken over immigration and sovereignty problems in Europe) added "a wise and strong Switzerland has stood up to the bullying and threats of the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels." As we noted previously, with the EU elections rapidly approaching non-centrist status quo parties are quickly gaining attention as 'the protest vote' gains traction.

 
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Europe Stunned, Angry As Switzerland Votes To Curb Immigration





This wasn't supposed to happen. At a time when the European Union, reeling from the ongoing near collapse of the Eurozone, has been preaching its key benefits - the removal of borders and the free transit of labor - moments ago Switzerland, with a tiny majority of 50.4%, voted in favor of new immigration curbs which requires the government to set an upper limit for foreigners, risking a backlash from the (utterly toothless) European Union.

 
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