Monday, April 20, 2015

Today's links

1--Removing the oligarchs, RT

In his recent radio show, Solovyov revealed that after Putin entered office, a group of oligarchs thought to have firm standing in Russian politics visited him, saying something like “Do you realize that you’re a nominal president? That it’s us who’re going to rule the country?” Putin answered: “We’ll see.”
So the task was not simply to bring oligarchs to the heel, but to root them out of power altogether.
When asked about how he managed to curb the oligarch reign, Putin said: “The means differed.”

2--Korwin-Mikke: US:  "We have to start a war"

JKM: Yes—and it was also our operation. The snipers were also trained in Poland. Even Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung already wrote who was really shooting on the Maidan. The terrorists had shot 40 demonstrators and 20 police officers in order to provoke disorders. The truth is finally coming out....

WP: NATO has a defensive doctrine, while Putin is arming on a massive scale, is sending tanks and heavy equipment to Ukraine, and you claim this is not an aggressive policy?

JKM: What NATO? The Americans! War is useful only from the American point of view. There are interest groups in the US which are pushing for armed conflict: defense industry, financiers, some politicians, generals, but also many people (some of whom I know personally) from among the neoconservatives. They are analyzing the situation with cold logic: we have built the mightiest army in the world, but we also have 14 trillion dollars in debt, and we can’t afford further development. China, which supports Russia, will soon overtake us, therefore if we are to preserve our global hegemony, we have to start a war, in a few years at the latest. Ukraine is a very convenient pretext. At present time Poland is in a position to prevent World War III.

3--TPP: Absolute capitalism

TPP elevates capitalization — the expectation of profit — as a principle to the principles of, say, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of the Rights of Man. And then, government, when it provides concrete material benefits to its citizens, must “compensate” capitalists whenever their calculated, immaterial expectations — capitalization — have been “expropriated.” What a racket! TPP is the biggest enclosure in the history of the world!

4--‘Super taper tantrum’ ahead, warns IMF, FT

Mr ViƱals also laid out a scenario which he called a “Yellen conundrum” in which the central bank is forced to tighten policy more sharply than planned because longer-term interest rates do not respond to hikes in the Fed’s target range. “This exit is a lot more complex to figure out, and this is behind the uncertainty that there is in the markets,” he said...

“The liquidity-inhibiting impact of regulatory changes, industry consolidation and other secular factors will likely become more pronounced,” the IMF said

“Markets could be increasingly susceptible to episodes in which liquidity suddenly vanishes and volatility spikes,” it said, pointing to episodes including the price gyrations seen in US Treasury prices last October

5--Easy does it: World Braces for Taper Tantrum II Even as Yellen Soothes Nerves , Bloomberg

The Fed has been very clear about saying it would be a very steady process rather than an abrupt process, and I think that should calm people down,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said in Washington....

The test now is whether developing nations have done enough to insulate their economies from the threats of a higher U.S. dollar and capital flight once the Fed boosts borrowing costs for the first time since 2006. How successful they are will help determine the strength of global growth that’s already taking a hit from weaker expansions in China and Brazil...

The latest Bloomberg survey shows 71 percent of participating economists expect the Fed to raise rates from near zero in September after a slowing of U.S. activity diluted speculation it would act as soon as June..

1990s Repeat

The big worry is for a repeat of the mid-1990s, when tighter U.S. monetary policy and a rising dollar helped trigger a worldwide financial crisis that devastated the economies of Thailand, South Korea, Russia and Brazil. By contrast, emerging markets largely absorbed the last round of Fed rate increases, which began in 2004.

In a sign of possible vulnerabilities, the IMF calculates debt has outpaced gross domestic product growth in each major emerging market since 2007. Dollar denominated corporate debt in such economies also has tripled over the past five years to $1.4 trillion.
Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil appear most at risk of any chilling of external finance, analysts at Pavilion Global Markets said in a report this month. Hungary, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa are among those whose equity markets also have considerable foreign ownership, the Montreal-based brokerage said. India may be protected after it acted to reform its economy in recent years.

6--Another giant coup for China: China's Xi Jinping to unveil $46bn super highway to Pakistan, BBC

7---The International Monetary Fund’s main committee of central bank governors and finance ministers is working on ways for the fund to provide a better financial “safety net” during a crisis, Bloomberg

Liquidity to impede falling stocks

8--Ukraine to bar Russian investors from buying state assets, IT
"Kiev plans to admit Western investors to privatization of Ukrainian state assets and legislatively bar this opportunity for Russian business, Ukraine’s Economic Development and Trade Minister Aivaras Abromavichus said on Sunday. "If we start large-scale privatization, then, of course, we’ll need to make a normal roadshow, i.e. to show what we have and invite Western investors," he said in an interview with Ukrinform news agency.
 "We’ll not allow Russian investors to buy the assets and, therefore, we need to expand the geography," he added. ...
"Everyone knows which assets the state owns. We have already stated that the sale list will exclude strategic enterprises in nuclear power engineering, forestry and the railway sector," the Ukrainian economy minister said."Many other assets that are not located on the temporarily occupied territories must be gradually put up for sale, proceeding from the fact that the state is an ineffective owner of these assets in such a situation," the minister added.

9--Hassan Nasrallah: so-called ‘Islamic State’ is Wahhabi, every Muslim must fight it

10--I was skeptical about the entire enterprise of Western journalistic coverage of Syria, particularly by American correspondents in the region. There was a lot of stuff that’s been told and transmitted that contradicted the realities on the ground. They created this myth about a moderate, secular group called the Free Syrian Army. And they were, in fact, attacking people like myself and others who were saying that the bulk of the fighting force of the so-called Syrian revolutionaries were militant fanatics of the bin Ladenite style. And in reality, we knew at the time that what is so-called the Free Syrian Army is no more than a coterie of criminal gangs and thugs that were running amok throughout the area of the so-called liberated sections of Syria, and they were engaged in sectarian kidnapping, ransoms, murder, indiscriminate shelling, and they would sometimes kidnap people, and they’d sell them to other gangs and so on.

11--Khamenei accuses US of creating Iran nuclear weapons ‘myth’ RT

Iran's supreme leader says the United States has created the “myth” of nuclear weapons to paint Tehran as a “source of threat.” The tough rhetoric comes days before nuclear talks are set to resume in Vienna.
"They created the myth of nuclear weapons so they could say the Islamic Republic is a source of threat,” Khamenei said in a televised address to a hall of several hundred military commanders, as cited by Reuters. “No, the source of threat is America itself, with its unrestrained, destabilizing interventions," he added.

The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, has meanwhile rejected a demand by US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who said a final nuclear agreement must include inspections of Iranian military sites.

The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, has meanwhile rejected a demand by US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who said a final nuclear agreement must include inspections of Iranian military sites.

12--Reuters----Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said a drive by the United States and its allies to bring Kiev closer to the West was a threat to Moscow and had forced it to react.
"The United States and its allies have crossed all possible lines in their drive to bring Kiev into their orbit. That could not have failed to trigger our reaction," he told an annual security conference in Moscow.

Echoing his comments, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told the meeting: "Considering themselves the winners of the Cold War, the United States decided to reshape the world to fit its needs.
"Aiming at complete dominance, Washington stopped taking into account the interests of other countries and respect international law."

13--Moscow sees US troops in Ukraine as step one to supplies of US weapons

14--Iran’s top diplomat noted in his message that: "To seal the anticipated nuclear deal, more political will is required."

"The Iranian people have shown their resolve by choosing to engage with dignity," Zarif said. "It is time for the United States and its Western allies to make the choice between cooperation and confrontation, between negotiations and grandstanding, and between agreement and coercion."
"Iran has been clear: The purview of our constructive engagement extends far beyond nuclear negotiations," he went on. "Good relations with Iran’s neighbors are our top priority."

"Our rationale is that the nuclear issue has been a symptom, not a cause, of mistrust and conflict [with the West]," he said. "Considering recent advances in symptom prevention, it is time for Iran and other stakeholders to begin to address the causes of tension in the wider Persian Gulf region."
"One cannot confront Al Qaeda and its ideological siblings, such as the so-called Islamic State, which is neither Islamic nor a state, in Iraq, while effectively enabling their growth in Yemen and Syria," Zarif stressed.
He highlighted the need for "establishment of a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region, to facilitate engagement", saying that "Yemen would be a good place to start."

15---Al-Qaeda Routs Yemen Army, Seizes Major Weapons Depot
 , antiwar

16--"There will be three streams of 300 fighters of the national guard. Three streams of eight weeks. Then joint exercises," Avakov said. "After completing the exercises, the U.S. partners will provide the national guard units with a special ammunition and communications equipment.”

17--Early in the war in Syria I was warning--among others but not in mainstream US media--that an ugly terrorist threat is about to emerge in Syria facicilitated by Gulf funding and arming and with the full support of the US government.  Simiarly, there is a danger perhaps bigger looming in Yemen. Saudi regime is resorting to the use of Al-Qa`idah aginast the Huthis, and allowed them to take over an airport and maybe an oil field.  All that with US bombs and rockets provided to the Saudis, and possibly indirectly to Al-Qa`idah.

the evil America has wrought

The Saudi-US-GCC alliance in Yemen is working hand-in-hand with Al-Qa`idah. What the Saudi regime calls "rebels" or "resistance" in Yemen are none other than Al-Qa`idah terrorists. The same game was played in Syria, of course. Will Richard Engel now claim that he was kidnapped by Huthis, I wonder?

Echoing his comments, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told the meeting: "Considering themselves the winners of the Cold War, the United States decided to reshape the world to fit its needs.
"Aiming at complete dominance, Washington stopped taking into account the interests of other countries and respect international law."

Famous Russian poems of WW2
Wait for Me
Do Not Call Me, Father

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