Sunday, July 12, 2015

Today's Links

1--Vladimir Putin States Russia’s New Strategy, eric zuesse

2---The Risks and Rewards of SCO Expansion, CFR

Economic integration is also growing. Moscow has proposed connecting the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)—a trading bloc composed of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia—with China's Silk Road Economic Belt, a series of investments stretching across Eurasia and South Asia. Beijing and Moscow have already agreed to a $400 billion gas deal, and Russia is now China's largest source of natural gas. SCO members are also beginning to expand cooperation on development and infrastructure issues, including resolving transnational water disputes, expanding transportation integration, and deepening cultural exchanges.....

The expansion of the SCO offers current members a number of benefits. According to Xinhua, a Chinese state-owned news agency, the expansion of the SCO would "infuse fresh vigor into the group’s future development and boost its influence and appeal on [sic] the international arena." In addition, the admission of India and Pakistan would improve the connectivity and integration of the broader region. Moreover, the addition of India, the world's largest democracy and third-largest economy, confers a new level of international legitimacy on the organization, while Pakistan, as a hub of regional and global terrorism, is a crucial partner to the SCO in stemming the tide of extremism throughout the world.

3---Putin talks credit cards?

As for financial instruments, we must launch our plastic cards on a full scale this year and make them accessible to our citizens. We must have them not only in Russia but also abroad, like some other countries are gradually doing; for instance, Japan and China. I’m sure we’ll do this 100 per cent. We have a vast market. But what have we done? Visa and MasterCard are used by 97 per cent of the people in Russia. Is this normal? Not at all, but we allowed our partners to do this proceeding from the premise that the economy is outside politics. But it happened that this is not the case. The economy is immersed in politics and, moreover, being used as an instrument of political struggle. So we’ll have to draw conclusions from this....

It is too early to speak about this. We have decided to start the process of approving full membership for India and Pakistan. We all know the background of relations between these two countries. We are hoping that the SCO will become an additional venue for finding compromises and solutions on disputed issues. We know that Iran also wants to join and we are considering this possibility. As I said, other countries are very interested but for the time being we must deal with full membership for India and Pakistan. This process has just been officially launched. We must first complete it and then decide what to do next....

I have said many times that this does not mean that we must surround ourselves by some wall. This won’t happen. We’ll use all instruments of cooperation with all countries, including the United States and European and Asian states. Naturally, we’ll primarily develop relations with those countries that want to cooperate with us. The BRICS countries want to do this. They are powerful states with a strategic prospect of development. They are leaders – the future leaders of the world and the global economy. Look at their human and natural resources and potential; look at their growth rates. So I’m confident that new instruments of cooperation will appear. They will have a favourable influence on the citizens of our countries and we’ll live in a world that will be more balanced, more safe and prosperous....

The key documents that were approved by the BRICS leaders – the Ufa Declaration, the plan of action and the Economic Partnership Strategy – contain concrete agreements on the development of our association and the consolidation of its international status, and provide for comprehensive measures to deepen our coordination in foreign policy, and expand mutual trade, investment and technology exchange.
We have opened the door to the practical operation of BRICS financial institutions – the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement, with a total capacity of $200 billion. We have agreed with our BRICS partners that, before the year’s end, a special roadmap will be developed for major collaborative projects in infrastructure, industry and agriculture

4---Record Stock Buybacks Generate Backlash

5--Santelli and Boockvar...Markets signals broken


The five emerging economies are also looking at creating a new Energy Alliance and a BRICS rating network to counterbalance the Big 3- Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, which together account for a 90 per cent share of the ratings market.
The Russian Foreign Minister on Thursday said “a new and very important period has begun in the group’s activity”.

“BRICS is also a centre of gravity for those who think the same way and favour a more just system of international relations, including economic ties,” Lavrov added.
Russia has hosted BRICS civil and academic forums in the run-up to the Leaders Summit on 8-9 July in Ufa.
The BRICS have evolved from the original four-member term coined in 2001 by then-Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill to describe the growing weight of the largest emerging markets in the global economy. In 2011, South Africa joined to give the BRICS a broader geographic representation.

7---Home sales will sputter in the second half of 2015

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