Archive for the ‘EU’ Category

Alternative Currencies Rise as the Eurozone Crisis Worsens…

Posted on 2012 07, 07 by rockingjude

The advantages of non-political innovations and cryptocurrencies

 | July 6, 2012

For weeks commentators have been discussing the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone and how a return to the drachma might be facilitated. But when it comes to currency, the drachma is not Greece’s only option. If Greece does exit the eurozone an alternative currency could emerge or an already existing one could be adopted. In some parts of Greece social entrepreneurship, technology, and skepticism of politicians have already given rise to alternate trading mechanisms and created an environment where cyrptocurrencies could become increasingly popular.

As the euro crisis worsened many Greeks began hoarding euros, and more recently there have been small runs on banks. Spending on goods has gone down and prices have been rising. In the Greek city of Volos social entrepreneurship has resulted in a modest but inspiring solution to this trend. One Volos resident started TEM, an online bartering system that allows residents to purchase groceries and other goods in exchange for services while keeping their euros to pay the rent.

With a Greek exit form the eurozone a very real possibility such examples of social entrepreneurship may well become more and more common as the crisis deepens.

Greeks have contradictory opinions on the euro. While the overwhelming majority of Greeks want to stay in the eurozone, a majority of the Greek public is also strongly against the austerity measures required in the bailout agreement. George Zarkadakis, a Greek novelist, journalist, and entrepreneur, explained the political paralysis in Greece to Reason. “The Greek idiocy was that nobody wants to reform,” he says. “Greece is a state-controlled economy, the Greek political class wants to rescue their civil service and nothing has been done in the past two years.”

The euro crisis provides an example of the kinds of situations where competitive currencies might prove useful. Modern technology has only made the development of these “currencies” easier and in many ways more desirable. Safe from the level of regulation suffered by government-issued money, cryptocurrencies are more flexible and convenient for purchases and sales.

The most prominent of these cryptocurrencies is bitcoin. Bitcoin frees those who use it from political uncertainty, fiat policies, and is less affected by international money markets than traditional currencies. Isolated from the political environment in Europe, bitcoin offers Europeans a viable alternative to the euro and to a return to traditional currencies. There have been reports of more Europeans using bitcoin as their confidence in political solutions diminishes.

(Article continues below video “Bitcoin and the End of State-Controlled Money.”)

Both TEM and bitcoin offer some welcome relief from the current situation in Europe. There is no government interference (yet) and transactions are free.

This is not to say that there are not concerns over bitcoin. George Selgin, professor of economics at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, points out that bitcoin breaks the dichotomy of fiat vs. commodity money proposed by the pioneering Austrian economist Carl Menger. Selgin calls bitcoin a “quasi-commodity system” and argues that it is not money. Bitcoin is not widely used for transactions, and according to Selgin the euro crisis is not serious enough for bitcoin (or something similar) to spontaneously emerge with any degree of influence. Even in the Weimar Republic Germans resorted to using already existing currencies like the British Pound rather than creating a new currency. For Selgin the unorthodox status of bitcoin, the lack of historical precedent, and its mono-linguistic culture makes a mainstream bitcoin emergence in Europe unlikely.

HSBC Sells Stakes in Two Indian Banks…hmmmmm

Posted on 2012 06, 28 by rockingjude


 

BY RAGHAVENDRA UPADHYAYA, ASHUTOSH JOSHI AND KENAN MACHADO

MUMBAI — A unit of U.K.’s HSBC Holdings PLC sold stakes in two Indian banks on Thursday for around $425 million, the bank said.

The bank sold a 4.73% stake in India’s third-largest non-government bank Axis Bank Ltd. for around $329 million, and a 4.74% investment in the smaller Yes Bank Ltd. for around $96 million. HSBC described these sales as the disposal of “non-core investments,” in its statement. HSBC currently runs a bank and offers other financial services in India. “India remains a priority market for HSBC,” its statement said.

The Axis and Yes Bank stakes were owned by HSBC Iris Investments (Mauritius) Ltd., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings. HSBC’s sale is the latest of several deals this year where foreign investors have cashed in on their investments made in Indian lenders over the last decade.

These sales are designed to help the foreign companies raise funds for meeting capital needs back home, or simply to book profits and invest the money in attractive markets elsewhere, say market experts.

“This is basically an asset reshuffle, given the overall macroeconomic environment in both India and in Europe,” said Shiraz Bugwadia, managing director at o3 Capital Advisors Pvt., a Mumbai based investment bank.

In February, Citigroup Inc. sold its entire stake in Indian mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. for $1.9 billion, in a move said to help the banking giant meet U.S. capital requirements. In the same month, Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean state investment company, sold 15.93 million shares of ICICI Bank Ltd. for $299.6 million, according to stock exchange data. In March, private equity firm U.S. Warburg Pincus LLC sold a 3.6% stake in India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, for around $274 million.

HSBC had bought stakes in the Indian banks over the last several years, in order to participate in the growth of India’s financial sector.

In December 2003, it agreed to buy a 14.71% stake in UTI Bank Ltd. – which later became Axis Bank – from private equity firm CDC Financial Services (Mauritius) Ltd., and the South Asia Regional Fund, for around $66.42 million. At the time, it also agreed to make an open offer to UTI Bank’s shareholders to buy at least an additional 20% of UTI Bank for $1.95 per share, according to a statement issued then.

Despite Thursday’s stake sale, HSBC continues to own a part of Axis Bank. As of March 31, it held another 4.4% in Axis Bank via Cinnamon Capital Ltd., according to stock exchange data.

HSBC bought its stake in Yes Bank through open market purchases between January and March 2008.

Representatives of Axis Bank and Yes Bank declined to comment.

Shares of both banks fell on the Indian stock exchanges. Axis Bank shares fell 3% to close at 971 rupees or $17, and Yes Bank fell 0.73% to close at 332.20 rupees or $5.8.

Write to Ashutosh Joshi at ashutosh.joshi@dowjones.com

Obama Declares National Emergency & Issues E.O. Against Russian Assets…

Posted on 2012 06, 28 by rockingjude
Kenneth Schortgen Jr. / Eaminer.com
Finance Examiner

 http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-declares-national-emergency-and-issues-e-o-against-russian-assets

On June 25, President Barack Obama issued a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to the President of the Senate stating that under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, he was declaring aNational Emergency due to actions incurred with Russia, and the Russian Federation. The submitted letter provides a declaration to Congress of the President signing Executive Order (E.O.) 13159, and its immediate implementation.

Under this National Emergency and Executive Order, the United States is seizing assets and property owned or managed by the Russian Federation relating to nuclear items and programs tied to Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU).

Pursuant to section 204(b) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), 50 U.S.C. 1703(b), I hereby report that I have exercised my authority to declare a national emergency to deal with the threat posed to the United States by the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation in the Russian Federation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material.

The United States and the Russian Federation had entered into a series of agreements that provide for the conversion of highly enriched uranium (HEU) extracted from Russian nuclear weapons into low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in commercial nuclear reactors. There were concerns that payments due to the Russian Federation under these agreements may be subject to attachment, garnishment, or other judicial process, in the United States, which could put implementation of such agreements at risk. In Executive Order 13159, the President therefore ordered blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of the Russian Federation directly related to the implementation of the HEU Agreements so that it would be protected from the threat of attachment, garnishment, or other judicial process. - White House.gov

The ramifications of this Executive Order, along with portions that remain classified from the public, have vast consequences for the American people. Earlier this year, President Obama updated and signed several Executive Orders that deal with the complete control and confiscation of U.S. assets, infrastructure, and manpower in the case of a declared National Emergency. As of yesterday, that National Emergency has been invoked, opening the door for any number of policies to be enacted by the President going forward.

Additionally, this action against Russia and the Russian Federation could have massive consequences for America in regards to foreign policy, and even a potential act of warshould Russia see fit to perceive Obama’s actions as such. With NATO and Russia both rattling sabers in the region of Syria, the possible threat of a global conflict increased with this new asset confiscation order.

Events in the Middle East, along with regime changes in Egypt, Libya, and a number of Arab states, are engulfing Russia, Europe, and the United States into a potential global conflict that could quickly grow into something not seen in 68 years. With President Obama declaring a state of National Emergency, and imposing a new asset seizure on properties owned or controlled by the Russian Federation, the ramifications for war on several fronts, along with the potential of liberties and freedoms lost to the American people has increased to dangerous levels.

Finance Executives: Tax Us Before We Kill Again!…DO WHAT????

Posted on 2012 06, 25 by rockingjude

Financial Transaction TaxThe Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 06/25/2012 12:25 pm Updated: 06/25/2012 12:42 pm

ATHENS, GREECE — The prime minister’s office says Greece’s designated finance minister, who was rushed to hospital on Friday, has resigned.

Vassilis Rapanos, chairman of the National Bank of Greece, had been named finance minister last week in the country’s new three-party coalition government. But he was taken ill before he could be sworn in Friday and has been in hospital ever since.

The prime minister’s office say Rapanos has sent a letter of resignation to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and that his resignation has been accepted.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Greece’s new prime minister was released from hospital Monday, two days after undergoing eye surgery that will prevent him from traveling to a European Union summit in Brussels this week.

The Brussels meeting comes just a week after Greece’s new coalition government was formed following months of political turmoil and two inconclusive national elections. It was to have been a key test of Greece’s hopes of renegotiating some of the austerity measures taken in return for its international bailout, under which it has received billions of euros in rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European Union countries that use the euro.

The country’s incoming finance minister, meanwhile, remains hospitalized after collapsing last week, before he could be sworn in. The ill-health that struck the top echelons of the country’s new government forced the postponement of a visit to Athens by the country’s international debt inspectors, known as the Troika – representatives from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that because the Troika needs to first travel to Athens to determine where things stand with Greece’s reform program and then inform the EU, it would be premature to expect any new decisions at the June 28-29 summit.

“That’s why we don’t expect any sort of a resolution at the EU council on Greece,” he said.

Vassilis Rapanos, Greece’s Designated Finance Minister, Resigns… ho hum..

Posted on 2012 06, 25 by rockingjude

 

Vassilis Rapanos
ATHENS, GREECE — The prime minister’s office says Greece’s designated finance minister, who was rushed to hospital on Friday, has resigned.

Vassilis Rapanos, chairman of the National Bank of Greece, had been named finance minister last week in the country’s new three-party coalition government. But he was taken ill before he could be sworn in Friday and has been in hospital ever since.

The prime minister’s office say Rapanos has sent a letter of resignation to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and that his resignation has been accepted.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Greece’s new prime minister was released from hospital Monday, two days after undergoing eye surgery that will prevent him from traveling to a European Union summit in Brussels this week.

The Brussels meeting comes just a week after Greece’s new coalition government was formed following months of political turmoil and two inconclusive national elections. It was to have been a key test of Greece’s hopes of renegotiating some of the austerity measures taken in return for its international bailout, under which it has received billions of euros in rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European Union countries that use the euro.

The country’s incoming finance minister, meanwhile, remains hospitalized after collapsing last week, before he could be sworn in. The ill-health that struck the top echelons of the country’s new government forced the postponement of a visit to Athens by the country’s international debt inspectors, known as the Troika – representatives from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

The Bankruptcy of The United States…

Posted on 2012 06, 18 by rockingjude

United States Congressional Record, March 17, 1993 Vol. 33, page H-1303

THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!
Speaker-Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressing the House:

“Mr. Speaker, we are here now in chapter 11.. Members of Congress are
official trustees presiding over the greatest reorganization of any Bankrupt
entity in world history, the U.S. Government. We are setting forth
hopefully, a blueprint for our future. There are some who say it is a
coroner’s report that will lead to our demise.

It is an established fact that the United States Federal Government has
been dissolved by the Emergency Banking Act, March 9, 1933, 48 Stat. 1,
Public Law 89-719; declared by President Roosevelt, being bankrupt and
insolvent. H.J.R. 192, 73rd Congress m session June 5, 1933 – Joint
Resolution To Suspend The Gold Standard and Abrogate The Gold Clause
dissolved the Sovereign Authority of the United States and the official
capacities of all United States Governmental Offices, Officers, and
Departments and is further evidence that the United States Federal
Government exists today in name only.

What Are America’s True Roots?*…just so we understand history…jude

Posted on 2012 06, 18 by rockingjude

~these last few topics are mind blowing to say the least, but if one thinks about it…it begins to put the puzzle together ~jude

This material has been excerpted from a 6/90 Media Spotlight Special Report — “A Masonic History of America,” by Al Danger.*

There is much speculation on the religious nature of the United States of America as it was founded. Many Christians assert that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and, therefore, it is not only our right but our duty to reclaim it for God. But is America a Christian nation in the true sense of the word?

To call anyone or anything “Christian,” whether an individual or a nation, certain criteria must be met. If we are speaking of an individual, the Biblical requirements are that he must be born again by the Spirit of God, understanding all that this entails.

If we are speaking of a nation, its purpose must be that of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ alone, without regard to any other gods. Its primary charter must be the Bible, and all who hold positions of authority must be individuals who meet the criteria necessary to call themselves Christians. A true Christian nation would be a theocracy governed by God through His prophets. His law would reign supreme in the hearts and minds of that nation’s founders, and all who founded the nation would have to meet the criteria necessary to call themselves Christians. Just as important, the nation would have to have been created in response to a covenant initiated by God with those who founded it.

As a point of information, the Pilgrims did not found the United States; they founded a small colony that eventually got swallowed up by the states and the newly formed federal government.

Final Fight for Afghanistan Begins; Purpose: Unclear…

Posted on 2012 06, 12 by rockingjude

What might be the final major U.S. offensive of the Afghanistan war has begun, according to the war’s day-to-day commander. Its purpose is a bit harder to grasp.

Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the outgoing operational commander in Afghanistan, said that US and Afghan troops recently began a push in the eastern province of Ghazni to reduce the potency of the insurgency in an area neglected by the 2010 troop surge.

“In some areas there in the east, south of Kabul, we needed to insert greater combat power, and we’ve needed to do that for quite some time,” Scaparotti told Pentagon reporters via videoconference, contradicting remarks made by the general in charge of east Afghanistan last year. Led by an additional brigade from the 82nd Airborne, the offensive will last through “the current fighting season,” he said — even as about 20,000 US forces withdraw by October, weeks before the fighting season ends.

Scaparrotti declined to provide details on how many forces make up what he described as “greater combat power”; where it goes beyond or outside of Ghazni; and said he preferred not discuss even the “intent” of the operations publicly. He also said not to think of it as the “last” major US offensive of the Afghanistan war. But it follows a recent pattern as NATO nears its 2014 deadline for turning Afghan security to its Afghan proteges: US and Afghan troops will clear areas in the east that the Afghans will be tasked with holding.

All Scaparrotti offered was that US forces were ”now undertaking operations to secure areas in Ghazni and areas surrounding Ghazni that we’ve needed to do for some time, and we’re also working very hard with our Afghan partners to then gain in strength and to hold those areas once these operations are done.”

The military has hardly made a secret of its desire for one last major push into eastern Afghanistan. The Obama administration has hardly made a secret of its desire not to replicate the grueling troop surge, which focused on the south, in eastern Afghanistan. Last week, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that another push into the east would be critical to eroding the power of the Haqqani Network, one of the most lethal components of the Afghan insurgency.

“We’ve got to get [eastern Afghanistan] and the Haqqani influence reduced in order to meet our timelines for the transition that we’re moving toward and — at the end of ’14,” Dempsey said.

Scaparrotti, whose tour in Afghanistan ends Tuesday, diminished expectations for the offensive. He spoke about “future complementary operations” with the Pakistanis as little more than a hypothetical, rather than a partnered effort to squeeze the Haqqani network on both sides of the border. And Scaparrotti said he was optimistic that NATO would meet the 2014 timetable seemingly regardless of what happens in eastern Afghanistan.

The Haqqani Network is considered responsible for the recent wave of attacks on Kabul, although Scaparrotti said the offensive is focused “on the insurgency in a broad way,” not just on the Haqqanis. But still, Scaparrotti said that Ghazni is the current heart of the effort, even though that’s not a province the Haqqani Network evidently values.

According to the general, the Haqqanis want to defend three other provinces — what is “traditionally their area of operation: Khost, Paktia, and Paktika.”

So what could well be the final major US campaign in Afghanistan doesn’t initially target the terrain that its adversary most wants. It won’t have the same access to air power that the effort to take Helmand and Kandahar enjoyed. It won’t have complementary effort on the border by the Pakistanis to deny insurgent safe havens. And whatever happens won’t change the timetable for handing over Afghanistan to the Afghans. No wonder the military isn’t exactly playing up the fight for eastern Afghanistan.

Danger Room senior reporter Spencer Ackerman recently won the 2012 National Magazine Award for Reporting in Digital Media.

Read more by Spencer Ackerman

Follow @attackerman and @dangerroom on Twitter.

Tags: Agony of A-Stan, Curtis Scaparrotti, Perils of Pakistan, Strategery

Why 2012 is Shaping Up to be a Particularly Ugly Year: Steve Keen…

Posted on 2012 06, 11 by rockingjude

 

Adam Taggart / ChrisMartenson.com

At the high level, our global economic plight is quite simple to understand says noted Australian deflationist Steve Keen.

Banks began lending money at a faster rate than the global economy grew, and we’re now at the turning point where we simply have run out of new borrowers for the ever-growing debt the system has become addicted to.

Once borrowers start eschewing rather than seeking debt, asset prices begin to fall — which in turn makes these same people want to liquidate their holdings, which puts further downward pressure on asset prices:

 

The reason that we have this trauma for the asset markets is because of this whole relationship that rising debt has to the level of asset market. If you think about the best example is the demand for housing, where does it come from? It comes from new mortgages. Therefore, if you want to sustain he current price level of houses, you have to have a constant flow of new mortgages. If you want the prices to rise, you need the flow of mortgages to also be rising.

In A Brilliant New Speech, George Soros Reveals The Exact Moment That Angela Merkel Started The Euro Crisis…Big hmmmmm…

Posted on 2012 06, 06 by rockingjude

~r…I would love to see you tear this apart!!!!..and look forward to it…~jude


Joe Weisenthal


George Soros delivered a speech today in Trento, Italy today on the Eurozone crisis and it’s an absolute dynamo.

You really ought to read the whole speech, which is on his personal webpage, as it starts off with an overview of his economic theories (which revolve around the idea that markets are deeply imperfect and prone to turn into bubbles based on human fallability and lack of knowledge) and then nicely explains how all of this explains the current crisis in Europe.

What’s fantastic is that he really gets it from all angles.

This is a really killer characterization of the Eurozone:

I contend that the European Union itself is like a bubble. In the boom phase the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a “fantastic object” – unreal but immensely attractive. The EU was the embodiment of an open society –an association of nations founded on the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law in which no nation or nationality would have a dominant position.

The process of integration was spearheaded by a small group of far sighted statesmen who practiced what Karl Popper called piecemeal social engineering. They recognized that perfection is unattainable; so they set limited objectives and firm timelines and then mobilized the political will for a small step forward, knowing full well that when they achieved it, its inadequacy would become apparent and require a further step. The process fed on its own success, very much like a financial bubble. That is how the Coal and Steel Community was gradually transformed into the European Union, step by step.


« Older EntriesNewer Entries »

© 2009-2014 Project World Awareness All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright