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 looked at currently proposed projects, and what could stall and hamper progress. In Part 3, we examine the geopolitical rivalries, prospects for success, and investment implications.
While Pope Francis has called for an end of "the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy," The Vatican City has been forced into sharing information with the US. Despite the oft-quoted Book of Proverbs prose that "[T]he borrower becomes the lender's slave," in the case of the world's largest borrower - the US government - it still acts like everyone’s master, including dictating the most ridiculous terms on financial agreements like this.
Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has released a detailed report that outlines how spyware (which some suggest originated in Israel) was used to infiltrate the hotels that hosted the Iran nuclear negotiations. From the report: "Earlier this year, during a security sweep, Kaspersky Lab detected a cyber intrusion affecting several of its internal systems. Following this finding, we launched a large-scale investigation, which led to the discovery of a new malware platform. Notably, some of the new 2014-2015 infections are linked to the P5+1 events and venues related to the negotiations with Iran about a nuclear deal."
- Pope urges Putin to make 'sincere, great effort' for Ukraine peace (Reuters)
- Merkel Tells Tsipras It’s Time to Back Talk With Policy Action (BBG)
- 'Greek tragedy' needs happy ending now: EU's Moscovici (Reuters)
- Vulture Funds Circle Greece Targeting Europe’s Best Trading Bet (BBG)
- Germany against third aid program for Greece under any circumstances, says daily (Reuters)
- Biggest OPEC Members Pump Record Oil With Rally in Jeopardy (BBG)
- Greek ruling reversing pension cuts will cost state 1 to 1.5 bln euros (Kathimerini)
- China’s Former Security Chief Zhou Yongkang Sentenced to Life in Prison (WSJ)
- MSCI backs itself into corner on China share inclusion (Reuters)
As China builds its own multilateral institutions, Beijing has been keen to dispel the notion that it seeks to supplant the Bretton Woods order with its own brand of Eastern hegemony and although one can certainly question the degree to which China’s aims are rooted purely in an inclination to be benevolent towards nations in need of fixed asset investment, Beijing is making an effort to distance itself from the way the US governs the institutions under its control.
OPEC's next task is to convince those making new investments in oil that rather than catching a bottom in oil prices, they have caught a falling knife. The cartel must dampen enthusiasm for investment for the long term if the organization's members are going to benefit. A crippled U.S. oil industry without friends in the investment world is the only way to assure that rising prices won't simply lead to a stampede back into U.S. shale deposits.
As Russia adjusts to Western sanctions stemming from the conflict in Ukraine, Gazprom is now settling all crude sales to China in renminbi. At the intersection of the petrodollar's death and yuan hegemony is: the PetroYuan...
"U.S. President Barack Obama is weighing steps to bolster Iraq's battle against Islamic State," Reuters says, as senior military officials indicate an increase in the number of US "support personnel" may be necessary. Meanwhile, Congressional war hawks are beating the drum.
While Obama is currently under fire for stating at the recently concluded G-7 summit in Germany that the US "does not yet have a complete strategy" how to deal with ISIS, the reality as relates to the true US strategy, namely the ouster of Syria's president al Assad, could not be more different. Because while ISIS continues to deflect attention from what is really happening in the middle east, the noose around Syria's Assad is tightening one day at a time, with the latest blow coming overnight after Syrian "rebels", also supported by the US (and allowed to call in B-1B strikes), scored a major military victory capturing the second biggest Syrian army base in the south of the country, located in the city of Deraa near the border with Jordan, and just 100 km south of Damascus.
Ex-US Intelligence Officials Confirm: Secret Pentagon Report Proves US Complicity In Creation Of ISISSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/08/2015 23:39 -0400
in a follow up piece to his stunning original investigative report, Nafeez Ahmed reveals that according to leading American and British intelligence experts, the previously declassified Pentagon report confirms that the West accelerated support to extremist rebels in Syria, despite knowing full well the strategy would pave the way for the emergence of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS). The experts who have spoken out include renowned government whistleblowers such as the Pentagon’s Daniel Ellsberg, the NSA’s Thomas Drake, and the FBI’s Coleen Rowley, among others. Their remarks demonstrate the fraudulent nature of claims by two other former officials, the CIA’s Michael Morell and the NSA’s John Schindler, both of whom attempt to absolve the Obama administration of responsibility for the policy failures exposed by the DIA documents.
We previously warned of the risks of escalation in The Middle East to something much more dangerous, but, as the Saudi ambassador to UK confirmed today, the risk of Wahhabis going nuclear is even higher than many expected, "...if [Iran will not offer assurances it will not pursue nuclear weapons], then all options will be on the table for Saudi Arabia... Iran’s nuclear program poses a direct threat to the entire region and constitutes a major source and incentive for nuclear proliferation across the Middle East, including Israel."
"Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, the embattled co-chief executives of Deutsche Bank AG, plan to announce their resignations, according to people familiar with the matter, an abrupt move that throws into question the future direction of one of the world’s largest banks," WSJ reports. John Cryan, former UBS CFO, is reportedly in line to take the helm.
Sometimes we get the feeling the ruling elites are investing the laws they enact with a kind of impertinent, slap-in-your-face black humor. How else to explain the Orwellian names given to the liberty-crushing laws that have been put in place since the “war on terror” started?
"The hackers who stole personal data on 4 million government employees from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management sneaked past a sophisticated counter-hacking system called Einstein 3, a highly-touted, multimillion-dollar and mostly secret technology that’s been years in the making [but is] already obsolete," Bloomberg says. Unfortunately, bureaucratic delays, Presidential pettiness, and Congressional paralysis likely mean no improvements are forthcoming.
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