Ten Members of the U.S. Congress – along with 32 of their staff members – received secret payments from Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil company to travel to Baku in 2013, to cover the cost of travel, including souvenirs of “silk scarves, crystal tea sets and Azerbaijani rugs.”
Cold War 2.0 Caught On Tape: US Military Convoy Crosses Eastern Europe While NATO Sings Karaoke Peace BalladSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/15/2015 13:45 -0400
A day after Kiev chose hawkish US Senator John McCain to serve on President Poroshenko's advisory committee (spoiler alert: he had to decline), the US military rolls through Romania with a "simple message" for Vladimir Putin and Russia. Meanwhile, European officials hold hands and sing Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie's "We Are The World" at a NATO dinner. And yes, we have the video clips.
Kerry Meets Putin For The First Time In 2 Years As Russia And China Launch First Ever Joint Naval DrillSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/12/2015 12:51 -0400
He has previously advised to act as your own own central bank and buy physical precious metals as a hedge against currency depreciation and geopolitical crises. Faber believes that storing gold in Singapore is the safest way to own gold today.
Today’s Eurogroup meeting will be key in determining where Greece and its creditors negotiations currently stand. Over in the US today, it’s the usual post payrolls lull with just the labor market conditions data expected.
They say it's not paranoia if they are really out to get you...
The US is applying political pressure to Greece in an effort to dissuade Athens from participating in Russia's Turkish Stream Pipeline project which has been implicitly used, at various times, as a negotiating tactic in discussions with EU creditors. As the Times suggests, this is further evidence that Washington is becoming increasingly concerned that the world is rapidly shifting away from the US-dominated, unipolar model that has existed, in one form or another, since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This consternation is beginning to manifest itself in the revitalization of Cold War politics.
As we reported yesterday, in addition to Turkey and Saudi forming an alliance to topple Syria's despised anti-Qatar nat gas pipeline leader, Bashar Assad, the US has now begun training and arming Syrian rebels. But how will the US know it is arming Syrian rebels, aka opposition "freedom fighters" and al-Nusra or Islamic State jihadists who will promptly turn around and use the same weapons and training against the US? The answer: "appropriate vetting." No, really.
Ever since the mysterious, unexpected bursting of ISIS on the global stage one year ago with much fanfare and even more carefully produced with just the right amount of lighting beheading video clip, we said from the very beginning that entire rehashed sequence of events in the middle east is about one thing: removing Syria's Assad from power just so the nat gas infrastructure from Qatar can traverse the territory and enter Europe, eliminating Russia's energy dominance over the continent. Today we got the latest confirmation of this in an AP report according to which "Turkey and Saudi Arabia have converged on an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad."
It would appear America's transformation into a "Big Brother" police state is not endorsed by every branch of the government after all.
Turkey is currently trying to decide which of the two similar though competing projects - the Eurasian or the European Energy Union - would be more beneficial for the country. Russia’s attempts to build an ever closer relationship with Turkey - and the latter’s openness to such gestures - will complicate regional energy geopolitics further. Thus, Brussels and Ankara are likely to disagree on strategically important energy security issues over the coming years unless Turkey and the EU can achieve tighter cooperation under the framework of the European Energy Union. But if Turkey instead starts to pursue a more independent policy, particularly one at odds with the European Union, the Eurasian region will experience ever more unstable and competitive energy geopolitics.
Quickly looking at the potential market moving events this week, US payrolls on Friday will be the clear focus. In terms of expectations, our US colleagues are expecting a +225k print which matches the current Bloomberg consensus, while they expect the unemployment rate to drop one-tenth to 5.4%. Elsewhere, Thursday’s UK Election will be closely followed while Greece will once again be front and center.
Following yesterday's early MNI rumor that a Chinese QE is being "considered" and which sent the Shanghai Composite surging 3% and led to an initial boost in US stock futures, overnight the PBOC scrambled to once again deny such speculation. Of course, going full "cold Turkey" on Chinese stimulus would be too much for the market to handle, so in a piece by the WSJ also released overnight, the author said the PBOC would pivot from outright QE to mere LTRO, which is also not new and was reported over a week ago here in "China Floats QE Trial Balloon, PBoC May Launch LTROs." In any event, for now at least, Asian stocks are not happy despite Apple's latest blockbuster results, and neither is Europe, with the Stoxx 600 down 1%, and even the E-mini is hugging 2100 unable to levitate on any imminent central bank intervention.
This new nothingness is creating a youth, a political system and an economic outlook which is based more in peoples’ heads and minds than it is in reality.
At a certain point, even central bankers will realise they can go no further.