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  1. #326
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    The G7 doesn't care if Puffy is having to give it away at bargain prices, that's their aim you witless fuck.
    I don't think he is, he's laughing even discounting given current prices vs production cost, which for Russia is peanuts and don't forget he's pumping gas to the EU as fast as they can use it.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/why-russian-oil-price-cap-is-easier-said-than-done-2022-06-28/

  2. #327
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    I don't think
    Yes I know. You don't even read your own articles you simpleton.

    China and India have become the biggest buyers of heavily-discounted Russian oil as Europe cut imports.

  3. #328
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    I don't know how 'heavily discounted' these Russian energy exports actually are, but it remains the fact that Russia has been enjoying it's largest ever foreign Trade surplus.

  4. #329
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I don't know how 'heavily discounted' these Russian energy exports actually are, but it remains the fact that Russia has been enjoying it's largest ever foreign Trade surplus.
    Makes a budget deficit even harder to swallow, especially when they're having to fund it from their savings.

    Arf.

  5. #330
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    but it remains the fact that Russia has been enjoying it's largest ever foreign Trade surplus.
    You still don't get it as you're repeating this crap over and over. Trade surplus because he can't import anything . . . anything that will keep his factories open, his planes in the air etc etc . . . do try to use a bit of economic common sense.

  6. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I don't know .
    Thats a good start.

  7. #332
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    Posted on July 2, 2022 by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

    India, BRICS in cold war conditions

    "The phone conversation on Friday between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin conveyed a big signal, coming on the morrow of the release of the new Strategic Concept by NATO which called Russia the alliance’s “most significant and direct threat.” The readouts from Moscow and New Delhi both highlighted the two leaderships’ determination to carry forward the momentum of economic cooperation despite the western sanctions against Russia. (here and here)
    Ironically, the West’s “sanctions from hell” have given a big stimulus to India-Russia bilateral trade, giving it a dynamism that one never suspected would be recaptured in the post-Soviet era.
    Friday’s call was agreed upon in the sidelines of the BRICS summit (June 23-24). Curiously, it has come at a time when the Western powers have stepped up their efforts to create discord among the BRICS member countries, and brainwash India, in particular, to join their bandwagon in the new Cold War conditions. India is of course cherrypicking, as obstreperous as ever on the multilateral circuit — EU, G7, QUAD.

    India’s relationship with Russia was the leitmotif of Modi’s visit to Japan in April (partly) and three visits to Europe in May as well as his two meetings with US President Biden during this period (mostly.) In the West’s calculus, China and India are giving what analysts would call “strategic depth” to Russia, which nullifies its frantic efforts to “erase” Russia. Interestingly, the western attempts to create paranoia in the Indian mind about the close ties between Russia and China are no longer having the desired effect of Delhi becoming wary of Russia’s intentions. India sees, on the contrary, great opportunities to tap into Russia’s tilt to Asia-Pacific region for economic partnerships.

    Without doubt, India is “balancing” between Washington and Moscow and BRICS summit was a great occasion to monitor that trapeze act. An unabashedly pro-western internet paper from Delhi had predicted that Modi would act as a vigilante for US President Biden, blocking any BRICS statement critical of the US. Whether that was true or not, Modi made a rather anodyne speech at the BRICS summit.
    On the other hand, Putin had stated in his speech at the summit that “Considering the complexity of the challenges and threats the international community is facing, and the fact that they transcend borders, we need to come up with collective solutions. BRICS can make a meaningful contribution to these efforts.”

    Putin added, “We are confident that today, as never before, the world needs the BRICS countries’ leadership in defining a unifying and positive course for forming a truly multipolar system of interstate relations… we can count on support from many states in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which are seeking to pursue an independent policy.”
    In his speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping made an even more direct appeal to the BRICS partners: “Our world today is overshadowed by the dark clouds of Cold War mentality and power politics and beset by constantly emerging traditional and non-traditional security threats. Some countries attempt to expand military alliances to seek absolute security, stoke bloc-based confrontation by coercing other countries into picking sides and pursue unilateral dominance at the expense of others’ rights and interests. If such dangerous trends are allowed to continue, the world will witness even more turbulence and insecurity.

    “It is important that BRICS countries support each other on issues concerning core interests, practice true multilateralism, safeguard justice, fairness and solidarity and reject hegemony, bullying and division.”
    Frankly, no matter the impressive-looking XIV BRICS Summit Beijing Declaration, the fact remains that the grouping is performing far below its actual potential and one principal reason for this is India’s zero-sum mindset regarding China, which makes it difficult for it to work with China collectively in any regional forum.
    However, any apprehension in the Indian mind that China would “dominate” BRICS is unwarranted. Russia undoubtedly occupies a special place in the structure of the BRICS. In fact, BRICS was Moscow’s brainwave and Russia was responsible for launching the format. The first ministerial meeting (in the BRIC format) took place at the suggestion of Putin in September 2006, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York. Thus, the idea of creating BRICS matured in Russia.

    Second, BRICS is a “de-ideologised” format. It shows no animus against America although it challenges western hegemony of the international political and economic order. The very fact that the Manmohan Singh government welcomed Putin’s BRIC initiative at a most sensitive juncture when India’s negotiations for a nuclear deal with the US (with eye on Washington’s embargo on technology transfer) speaks for itself.

    Moscow conceived the BRICS concept for the strengthening of the formation of a multipolar system of international relations and the growth of economic cooperation — and it has indeed contributed to the birth of a new economic system, based on the equal access of countries to financing and sales markets, a combination of state planning and market economy.

    India has a problem to appreciate that the BRICS paradigm does not lie in expanding the capabilities or ambitions of the group’s member countries, but in fostering a qualitative change in the economic development model of the Global South. India’s dog-in-the-manger attitude — sulking and politicising the forum with extraneous issues (primarily to embarrass China) — doesn’t make sense.
    Unlike India, China takes BRICS seriously. The Chinese initiative to create a BRICS Vaccine Centre has been under development and the implementation of this project amid the current conditions can be a significant achievement that will bolster the entire format of the association. Ideally, India should cooperate with the project instead of teaming up with its QUAD partners which has turned out to be a wild goose chase.

    Again, industrial innovation is slated to be a priority for China’s BRICS Presidency in 2022. Expectations are high that during its presidency, China will come up with a number of breakthrough initiatives. Clearly, now that the construction of the BRICS’ New Development Bank headquarters in Shanghai has finished, new proposals are expected from China on the development of its operations, including possibly an expansion of the number of shareholders of the bank.

    Of course, China will promote its own projects, including Belt and Road initiative. But then, China is also putting into the projects the most financial resources. It is high time for India to have a serious reassessment of values within the BRICS framework, and the changing internal balance of power in the grouping in the new Cold War conditions.

    BRICS is at the crossroads and this realisation has propelled the concept of a “BRICS+” format to the centerstage of discussions. China’s BRICS chairmanship 2022 witnessed the launch of the extended BRICS+ meeting at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Participants included Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Argentina, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Thailand.

    During the ministerial, China also announced plans to open up the possibility of developing countries joining the core BRICS grouping. Argentina and Iran have been mentioned as candidates for BRICS expansion. Be that as it may, “BRICS+” is certain to be on the agenda of global governance in times to come. "

    https://www.indianpunchline.com/indi...ar-conditions/
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  8. #333
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Translation: "Hey Vlad, how about some more of that cut price oil? Got anything else you want to sell me cheap?"

  9. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    You still don't get it as you're repeating this crap over and over.
    That is what he does. The propaganda is a broken record.

    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Trade surplus because he can't import anything . . .
    I have explained this to him as well, but he keeps spewing the same crap. He is more than a bit thick.

  10. #335
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    Them sanctions working NaGaStan?

    Economic sanctions-27688-jpeg

  11. #336
    Thailand Expat panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Them sanctions working NaGaStan?
    Yes, unlike your brain.

    Next . . .

  12. #337
    Im bored AF Backspin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Yes, unlike your brain.

    Next . . .

  13. #338
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Translation: "Hey Vlad, how about some more of that cut price oil? Got anything else you want to sell me cheap?"

    How about some Russian women?



    The men are all gone.


  14. #339
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    What is it with these morons and the graphs?

    Russia is a bankrupt gas station and no pictures can change that reality.

  15. #340
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    Russia is a bankrupt gas station
    So this is what our resident Einstein calls reality. No snubs, this is a bankrupt gas station-




    This is a Real list of Russia's top ten exports in 2021-



    1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$211.5 billion (43% of total exports)
    2. Gems, precious metals: $31.6 billion (6.4%)
    3. Iron, steel: $28.9 billion (5.9%)
    4. Fertilizers: $12.5 billion (2.5%)
    5. Wood: $11.7 billion (2.4%)
    6. Machinery including computers: $10.7 billion (2.2%)
    7. Cereals: $9.1 billion (1.9%)
    8. Aluminum: $8.8 billion (1.8%)
    9. Ores, slag, ash: $7.4 billion (1.5%)
    10. Plastics, plastic articles: $6.2 billion (1.3%)

    Russia’s Top 10 Exports 2021

  16. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    This is a Real list of Russia's top ten exports in 2021-
    So, a gas station it is.

    “Putin’s Russia is a bankrupt gas station run by a mafia that prefers to spend its time and money in London and New York. Offering any carrots to these war criminals would set the stage for a return to the appeasement and corruption that brought us to this deadly phase.”
    Garry Kasparov

  17. #342
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    Foreign Policy Fail: Biden’s Sanctions Are a Windfall For Russia!

    by Ron Paul Posted onJuly 05, 2022

    It’s easy to see why, according to a new Harris poll, 71 percent of Americans said they do not want Joe Biden to run for re-election. As Americans face record gas prices and the highest inflation in 40 years, President Biden admits he could not care less. His Administration is committed to fight a proxy war with Russia through Ukraine and Americans just need to suck it up.


    Last week a New York Times reporter asked Biden how long he expects Americans to pay record gasoline prices over his Administration’s Ukraine policy. “As long as it takes,” replied the president without hesitation.


    “Russia cannot defeat Ukraine,” added Biden as justification for his Administration’s pro-pain policy toward Americans. The president has repeatedly tried to deflect blame for the growing economic crisis by claiming Russia is solely behind recent inflation. "The reason why gas prices are up is because of Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia," he said in the same press conference.


    But Biden has a big problem: Americans do not believe him. According to a Rasmussen poll earlier this month, only eleven percent of Americans believe Biden’s claim that Russian president Vladimir Putin is to blame for high prices.


    When it comes to disdain for the average American hurt by higher prices, there is more than enough in the Biden Administration to go around.


    Brian Deese, Director of President Biden’s National Economic Council, was asked in a recent CNN interview, “What do you say to those families that say, listen, we can’t afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years?”


    His answer? “This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm.”


    Has there ever been an Administration more out of touch with the American people? If you asked working Americans whether they’d be happy to suffer poverty for the “liberal world order,” how many would say “that sounds like a great idea”?


    President Biden’s attempts to bring down gasoline prices are bound to fail because he does not understand the problem. He can beg the Saudis to pump more oil, he can even threaten the US oil companies as he did in a Tweet yesterday. He can buy and sell from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in attempt to give the impression that prices are lowing. None of it will work.


    The strangest part of this idea that Americans must suffer to hurt the Russians is that these policies aren’t even hurting Russia! On the contrary: Russia has been seen record profits from its oil and gas exports since the beginning of the Ukraine war.


    According to a recent New York Times article, increasing global oil and gas prices have enabled Russia to finance its war on Ukraine. US sanctions did not bring the Russian economy to its knees, as Biden promised. They actually brought the American economy to its knees while Russian profits soared.

    As Newsweek noted last week, Russian television pundits are joking that with the financial windfall Russia has seen since sanctions were imposed, “Biden is of course our agent.”

    Washington’s bi-partisan foreign policy of wasting trillions on endless wars overseas has finally come home. Biden is clearly out of touch, but there is plenty of blame to go around. The only question is whether we will see an extended recession…or worse.

    Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

    https://original.antiwar.com/paul/2022/07/04/foreign-policy-fail-bidens-sanctions-are-a-windfall-for-russia/

  18. #343
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

  19. #344
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    Professor snubs hath spoken. Thanks for the larf.

  20. #345
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Ron Paul oh FFS we really have hit the bottom of the barrel.


  21. #346
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Followed by Doctor Emiritus 'arry. Comedy duo. Thanks again.

  22. #347
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Followed by Doctor Emiritus 'arry. Comedy duo. Thanks again.
    If you didn't keep posting this ridiculous fucking nonsense we wouldn't have anything to talk about, so blame yourself.

  23. #348
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post


    Ohh sweet jeezus, our little bang bang is now our new Jester

    Sorry Backspin you are fired.

  24. #349
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    China Queues Up to Join the Davos Beatdown

    Date: July 5, 2022

    Author: Tom Luongo

    "The headlines are full of abject terror that Germany’s vaunted industrial base can collapse, and with it the banking sector, if Russia pulls all natural gas supplies.Of course, this is exactly what the EU said they wanted, and the question now is will they get it, to quote H.L. Mencken, “good and hard.”

    So, finally, after destroying their own economy, the politicians in Europe are considering the right question, “Did we do this to ourselves?”

    The Euro’s collapse this morning to a new twenty-year low below $1.03 is answering a resounding, “Yes. Yes you did.” I’m sure the board at Uniper, now staring at a $9+ billion bailout after Vice-Chancellor Robert Haebeck and the rest of his Green/Neocon zealots destroyed their investment in the Nordstream 2 pipeline, would agree with the market.
    And so much of this is because now the markets are fully handicapping a global recession based on a spate of terrible economic news, including Germany running a trade deficit in May for the first time in 30 years.

    So much for that argument that Europe has a positive cash flow statement and can’t/won’t break down because of it, c.f. my podcast from February with Peter Boockvar.
    But to understand why things are accelerating this quickly, beyond the Fed’s hawkishness, I think it’s high time we look at what China’s role in this is and will be.

    There’s been a lot of discussion about China’s lockdown policy since the beginning of the War in Ukraine.

    What did it mean? Are they seriously paranoid or was this their very Chinese way of supporting Russia’s efforts in Ukraine by exacerbating the massive supply chain breakdown created by Davos’ Coronapocalypse? You know I side with the latter position.
    So, after a successful BRICS Summit which saw both Iran and Argentina apply for member status (and China inviting Saudi Arabia to join it and the SCO), China announced a week ago they are loosening the COVID restrictions on foreign travelers into the country.

    China unexpectedly slashed quarantine times for international travelers, to just one week, which suggests Beijing is easing COVID zero policies. The nationwide relaxation of pandemic restrictions led investors to buy Chinese stocks.
    Inbound travelers will only quarantine for ten days, down from three weeks, which shows local authorities are easing draconian curbs on travel and economic activity as they worry about slumping economic growth sparked by restrictive COVID zero policies earlier this year that locked down Beijing and Shanghai for months (Shanghai finally lifted its lockdown measures on May 31).
    The result is, as Zerohedge pointed out at the time, the return of capital inflow to China’s equity markets on the announcement. But the markets had been forecasting capital flight into China for weeks since bottoming in April.

    Economic sanctions-szse-jpg

    That said, this is a perfect example of what I talk about all the time with respect to potential changes in the US political situation. Markets are always looking for changes in intentions by the political class.

    These little changes are seen by traders and investors as edges to be played. They may not pan out, but are bets based on a probability calculation of a state change in public policy.

    To this end, Fungal Joe is going to lift the Trump tariffs on Chinese imports this week to buy votes by hoping inflation moderates. I’m okay with him doing this trying to right the ship. Tariffs are never the answer, just like sanctions. Notice also this has zero to do with monetary policy and everything to do with supply disruptions caused by government diktat.

    This change by China signals an intention by the CCP to open China back up to tourism and business development that isn’t likely to be reversed. I expect this to be real and for China to make even more little moves like this as the summer drags on and markets churn in the West.

    With that change, capital inflow lessens the pressure on both the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) and the Hang Seng while giving China more cover to loosen monetary policy without necessarily raising rates and creates another place for capital to flow now that the ECB has capitulated.

    Economic sanctions-bigger-boat-jpg


    Christine Lagarde’s recent statements about fighting inflation being “more art than science” is just saying the quiet parts out loud. But it was what came out of the ECB’s emergency meeting a couple of weeks ago that finally signaled the end for the euro in the minds of investors.

    Not only is Germany’s industrial base being literally destroyed gleefully by its government, now the ECB is going to sell German debt to buy Italian and Spanish debt to keep from drowning. This is akin to bailing water out of one end of the boat only to throw it in the other end.

    Couple these things with the frankly, disastrous G-7 Summit where the biggest collection of unserious buffoons gathered to ban the sale of Russian gold and contemplate a global price cap on oil.

    … words fail me.

    Honestly, after this G-7 the rush into the BRICS Alliance as well the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will be unstoppable. What serious investor with real capital appreciation goals is going to look at this group of committed (and committable) lunatics and think, “Yes! I can trust my money with Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Ursula Von der Leyen!”

    No, they are looking at this crap and opening up Tradestation.

    The fact that Justin Trudeau was even invited should have been your sell signal.
    While the BRICS were talking about a new trade settlement currency and adding members, the G-7 was talking World War III while getting caught spending more time on photo ops than substantive dialogue.

    Unserious people with sophomoric ideas and an antiquated sense of their global importance (especially true of the UK and Germany) is not a recipe for global capital inflow over the long term.

    When you look at the fragility of the EU, the UK, and Canada you realize that the only thing propping up global markets at this point is the hope that the U.S. mid-terms are a complete refutation of the Davos agenda.

    If that doesn’t happen, if somehow Soros and Davos steal enough seats and put a bunch of RINOs back into Congress and the Senate to freeze any reform of Washington D.C. the collapse of the West will accelerate very quickly.

    Again, go back to what I said at the outset, the markets are looking for early indicators, edges, they can play to front run a big change in a country’s domestic/foreign policy.

    If the US has an honest political revolution in November replete with the stirrings of entitlement reform and fiscal sanity while the Fed continues raising rates, then that would be a massive buy signal for not only the US but also China.

    If not the US begins its collapse and happens for multiple reasons.

    The first is obvious. Insane Progressives and Commies will be emboldened to destroy what’s left of the Rule of Law in the US.: pack the SCOTUS, ban guns, etc.
    That will send capital fleeing to relatively safe places like Pakistan.

    The second is almost as obvious. It will confirm and solidify for a critical mass of people that the government is irredeemable and it’s time for either a new convention of States, per my recent conversation with Bill Fawell, or secession as the only real options left.

    Because when all peaceful means of revolt are taken away from people, violence ensues.

    While these evil people think they are unassailable, the reality is that they are not. If you doubt me, go look at video of the Dutch Farmer’s Revolution for confirmation of just how angry people truly are.

    None of the issues surrounding the Dems have worked at this point.
    No amount of SSRI-addled, known-to-law-enforcement-enabled shootings will roll out gun control in the US.

    No amount of screeching from unfuckable purple-hairs will bring back Roe v. Wade.

    No amount of sexual deviance at the public schools will usher in legalized pedophilia.
    These are the positions Democrats have staked their future as a party on and most of America is sincerely fed up with it while their businesses are looted, their bank accounts are emptied and their kids sexually-assaulted at school by strippers.

    This is why I fully expect voter fraud costs to soar this November and for the 2000(00) Mules strategy to fail as a result. Proud Boys and Oathkeepers will gladly stand outside drop boxes looking for some douchebag with a handful of fake ballots to “question.”
    This means they will just print votes out of thin air, but they can only really do that in places like California.

    China opening back up for business is good news. Ending COVID restrictions are necessary to shifting the flow of capital from mattresses back into the global economy. But it won’t happen fast enough without a political revolution in the US to stave off a year or two of messy activity as supply chains reroute.

    If China opens up more and the mid-terms are a blowout for normal people there is ample room for the Fed to keep going higher with rates from a US gov’t budget perspective. A good article recently from Wolf Street reminds us (and me) that only new debt is subject to the higher rates the Fed is now charging.

    We have historically low debt servicing costs.

    The budget is still a mess and it’s why entitlement reform is the key political issue going forward. So, if Soros wins this fall and Davos remains firmly in control of Washington, then there is no hope for America’s future as a 50-state compact. They will burn the rest of this country to the ground before giving up control of it.

    Even if the mid-terms go well, the transition period before the new Congress is sat will be horrific.
    Between now and then expect them to push a NATO casus belli in Ukraine on us to try and save Biden’s Depends budget, Johnson’s terrible hair and Scholz’s saggy man boobs.
    This is how they will counter China moving to attract capital, by starting another war.

    The problem for all of them is that China ultimately wins either way. All they will do is delay the inevitable because as I pointed out the other day, there isn’t the productive capacity TODAY to fight a two-front war in Europe and the Pacific.

    If NATO moves on Russia, China will move on Taiwan. The Russians are salivating at the prospect of the Brits coming in to fight them in Ukraine to free up the US to take on China.

    And the West will lose both wars simultaneously, on the off-chance the whole thing doesn’t go nuclear. I do believe pushing the US into political crisis is the ultimate Davos play here. The problem is, since Putin moved on Ukraine the way he did, there is no pulling that off without atomizing Europe in the process.

    So, for once, Davos is staring at a Hobson’s Choice rather than their victims. That Vlad, what a card!
    China doesn’t want war with the US anymore than Russia does. So opening up China’s economy and Biden lifting tariffs here are the right capital-attracting moves to force even more instability on Europe.

    If we avoid WWIII, along with the Fed putting Congress in a fiscal straightjacket, then we can effect real political change in the US

    Everyone wins.

    I do believe this is the single most important point every other analyst has missed over the past couple of years. The point of beating Davos is to stop WWIII, stop the messy dissolution of the US which would be a catastrophe for everyone, and end the cycle of violence which has emanated from the European colonial powers for centuries.
    The US can survive this fiscally and politically. The SCOTUS just flipped off the commies. The people are rejecting woke anti-storytelling like Lightyear and nearly everything Netflix and Amazon produce.

    Seen recently in the Financial Times, even Blackrock is seeing the light.

    Economic sanctions-ft-jpg


    This tells me that Blackrock’s balance sheet is in serious trouble. It tells me their AUM is falling and their ESG/DEI strategy is gutting the company from within. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Larry Fink bet the farm on Obama/Schwab getting rid of Powell and now they are staring at a collapse as Powell says, “My turn.”

    For all of their power, this is still a company with just $36 billion in shareholder equity. Apple sells that many iPhones in 2 months

    I’d love nothing more than to see Blackrock become the next Lehman Moment. I’m sure most of Wall St. wouldn’t either. There is blood in the water folks and the sharks are circling Europe. Maybe Jamie Dimon will change his middle name to Bruce just to make the point clear to everyone.

    I’m sad I gave up popcorn."

    https://i0.wp.com/tomluongo.me/wp-co...ng?w=678&ssl=1

  25. #350
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    Mainly sanctions related and how they're backfiring, some may notice THE LORD'S words:

    "at a meeting with Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, revealed proposals of army commanders in Ukraine “for the development of offensive operations

    Posted on July 5, 2022 by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

    EU economies are down on their knees

    Economic sanctions-shoigu-768x474-jpg
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), at a meeting with Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, revealed proposals of army commanders in Ukraine“for the development of offensive operations,

    Moscow, July 4, 2022

    "On July 1 at the White House, US President Joe Biden made a startling disclosure that “the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term.”
    American gas exporters have positioned themselves accordingly to fill the gap as Europe turns away from Russian imports. FT reported recently that “US liquefied natural gas producers have announced a string of deals to boost exports as the industry capitalises on shortages that have left Europe with a mounting energy crisis.”

    The deals are so lucrative that Cheniere, America’s leading gas exporter, has taken an investment decision to push ahead with a project that will boost its capacity more than 20 per cent by late 2025, anticipating long-term supply deals and locked in purchases of US gas over the coming decades. The US producers of gas are reportedly running plants flat-out to increase supplies to the EU.

    The US has overtaken Russia for the first time as Europe’s top gas supplier. Although LNG from the US is sold to Europe at much higher costs than pipeline gas from Russia, EU countries have no choice.

    With Russian supply via Nord Stream at just 40% of capacity, and deliveries to be halted completely for annual maintenance on July 11-21, the outlook for near-term Russian gas supply to Europe appears bleak.

    Germany has warned of the risk that Nord Stream gas may not return at all following the maintenance. At any rate, Russian supply to Europe is at record lows and is “set to remain constrained through the third quarter,” per S&P Global.

    Germany is heading for a major economic crisis. The head of the German Federation of Trade Unions has been quoted as saying in the weekend, “Entire industries are in danger of collapsing forever because of the gas bottlenecks — especially, chemicals, glass-making, and aluminium industries, which are major suppliers to key automotive sector.” Massive unemployment is likely. When Germany sneezes, of course, Europe catches cold — not only the Eurozone but even post-Brexit Britain.

    Welcome to the European Union’s “sanctions from hell.” The US literally hustled the Europeans into the Ukraine crisis. How many times did Secretary of State Antony Blinken travel to Europe in those critical months in the run-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine to ensure that the door to any meaningful talks with the Kremlin remained shut! And American energy companies are today making windfall profits selling gas to Europeans. Won’t Europeans have the common intelligence to realise they have been had?

    Now, Biden has washed his hands off the gas crisis. He brusquely stated at a press conference in Madrid on June 30 that such premium on oil prices will continue “as long as it takes, so Russia cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine. This is a critical, critical position for the world. Here we are. Why do we have NATO?”

    Biden’s counterfactual narrative is that the sanctions against Russia are going to work eventually and a long war in Ukraine would be Russia’s undoing. The US narrative is that if you look under the hood of the Russian economy, it may not be flexible and resourceful enough to develop an entrepreneurial bunker spirit and adopt new business models to neutralise the sanctions. Biden is convinced that Russian economy is in the grip of industrial mafias that are not very innovative and, therefore, there aren’t many options for Russia under the western sanctions.

    Biden said in Madrid: “Look at the impact that the war on Ukraine has had on Russia… They’ve (Russians) lost 15 years of the gains they made in terms of their economy… They can’t even — you know, they’re having — they’re going to have trouble maintaining oil production because they don’t have the technology to do it. They need American technology. And they’re also in a simi- — similar situation in terms of their weapons systems and some of their military systems. So they’re paying a very, very heavy price for this.”

    But even if that’s the case, how does all that help the Europeans? On the other hand, President Putin’s strategic calculations with respect to the war remain very much on track. Russian forces made indisputable progress in establishing full control over Luhansk. On Monday, Putin gave the green signal to a proposal from the army commanders to launch “offensive operations.” Five months into the war, Ukrainians are staring at defeat and Russian army generals know it.

    Russia didn’t wander into Ukraine unprepared, either. Evidently, it took precautionary steps both before and since the war to shield its economy. And this enables the Russian economy to settle down to a “new normal”. Washington’s options are quite limited under the circumstances. Fundamentally, western sanctions do not address the causes of the Russian behaviour, and therefore, they are doomed to fail to solve the problem at hand.

    To be sure, Putin has some nasty surprises in store for Biden closer to the November mid-term elections. Biden blithely assumes that he controls all the variables in the situation. Schadenfreude is never a rational basis for statecraft.

    Yesterday, the strategically important Kherson region bordering Crimea formed a new government with the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia’s Kaliningrad region heading the cabinet and Russian nationals among his deputies. Now that HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, contrary to Biden’s promise, is blasting Russian cities, expect some major Russian retaliation.

    The pathway of Russia’s offensive operations is being relaid to include Kharkov and Odessa as well, apart from Donbass. The influential Kremlin politician and chairman of Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said on Tuesday,

    “Some people are asking what our goal is and when all this will end. It will end when our peaceful cities and towns no longer come under shelling attacks. What they are doing is forcing our troops not to stop on the borders of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics (Donbass) because strikes (on Russian regions) are coming from the Kharkov regions and other regions of Ukraine.”

    How long does Biden think the Europeans will want to be involved in a protracted proxy war with Russia? Bild reported on Sunday that 75% of German respondents see recent price hikes as a heavy burden, while 50% said they feel their economic conditions are worsening; every second German fears a lack of heating this coming winter due to reduced Russian gas supplies and rising inflation in the European Union.

    Yet, Biden says war will go on “for as long as it takes” and fuel shortage will continue “for as long as it takes.” The European economy is expected to start contracting over the course of the second half of 2022 and the recession may continue until the summer of 2023 at least.

    Analysts at JP Morgan Chase, the US investment bank, said last week that Russia could also cause “stratospheric” oil price increases if it used output cuts to retaliate. It said, “The tightness of the global oil market is on Russia’s side.” Analysts wrote that prices could more than triple to $380 a barrel if Russia cut production by 5m barrels a day.

    Putin’s decree last week is ominous — the Kremlin taking full control of the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East. State-owned Gazprom held a 50% plus one share stake in the project and its foreign partners included Shell (27.5%), Mitsui (12.5%), and Mitsubishi (10%). The decree stipulates that Gazprom will keep its majority stake, but foreign investors must ask the Russian government for a stake in the newly created firm within one month or be dispossessed. The government will decide whether to approve any request.

    This will unsettle energy markets further and put more strain on the LNG market, and can be seen as a move to put more pressure on the West by concurrently restricting gas supplies to Europe and creating more demand for LNG in Asia that will draw off supplies currently going to Europe. Sakhalin-2 supplies circa 4% of the global LNG market!

    The only part of the US agenda that is going well seems to be the unspoken part of it: the very same Anglo-American objectives that Lord Ismay once predicted as the rationale behind the NATO’s existence —

    ”to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”


    https://www.indianpunchline.com/eu-e...n-their-knees/

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