Blog Archives

Jim Rogers on #ruble: Russian central bank doing it right

Stacy Summary: We’ve just finished recording a double header on the rouble. It will air on Saturday morning. Hope you catch it. But, in the meantime, here is another RT piece on it including Jim Rogers with his thoughts.

What Is the Gold-Oil Ratio Telling Us?

Based on historical gold-oil ratios, oil appears extraordinarily cheap right now.

One way to establish if a commodity or asset is relatively expensive or inexpensive is to price it in something other than a fiat currency–for example, gold. Gold goes up and down in value relative to other commodities and fiat currencies, so it is itself a volatile yardstick. Nonetheless, it provides a useful measure of the relative value of gold and whatever is being measured in gold–in this case, oil.

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Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China?

Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China?

The “isolation of Russia” idea is one which has been receiving a lot of traction of late. Russia’s recent economic woes have sometimes been covered with barely contained glee despite the hardships that average Russians may have to endure if the rouble continues to collapse … not to mention the inevitable geo-political backlash.



Reuters image of the over 50% drop in the Rouble against the U.S. dollar

Russia has become isolated from its western neighbours on account of the putsch in Ukraine which led to the predominantly ethnically Russian Crimea seceding from Kiev through a democratic process.

European governments slavishly adhere to U.S. imposed sanctions. So from a western elite point of view, Russia is indeed isolated.

Whether antagonising Russia is damaging to Russia is a moot point. Certainly in Russia’s current straits the bankrupt west is in no position to help. European farmers are suffering from loss of export markets while Europe is still dependent on Russian natural gas.

So how “isolated” is Russia in reality?

 

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Havana Found

Havana Lost

Today President Obama announced the United States will resume full diplomatic relations with Cuba. I believe this is a positive move and long overdue.

What are the issues? Here’s a summary from my advocacy of this move last year:

Should We Help End Cuba’s Special Period?”

What is it like to live in a country where the government has been accused of torture, fickle application of the law to imprison citizens, unfair courts, repression of journalists, and a huge prison system? I’m not talking about the United States—in case you thought I was—I’m talking about Cuba. read more…

ChangeTip Analysis from IHB News™

ChangeTip Analysis on Tips on Twitter - IHB News™

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United States of Newspeak – Obama Calls Executive Orders “Presidential Memoranda” to Avoid Scrutiny and Issues Most in History

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If there’s one thing we have learned about Barack Obama, it’s that he is a master of deception and absolutely loves to lie to the public. He seems to enjoy conning the plebs to such a degree, I think he actually receives blasts of dopamine every time he does it. The bigger the lie, the better the rush.

The latest example relates to his issuance of executive orders, or lack thereof, something that Obama Inc. has actively attempted to portray as evidence of his restraint when it comes to executive power…

Read more here.

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Here’s What’s Wrong with Corporate America–and the U.S. Economy

Will we ever tire of navigating the multiple layers of intermediaries between the customer and the provider, while corporate profits soar to unprecedented heights?

If we had to summarize what’s wrong with Corporate America and the entire U.S. economy, we can start with all the intermediaries between the provider and the customer. There are a number of examples we’re all familiar with.

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Cuba & Brent Crude

Stacy Summary: A jibber jabber thread for your thoughts on the US shocking with restoration of ‘full diplomatic relations with Cuba?’ The embargo (except on cigars which are now allowed) and tourist ban is still on, but it’s a remarkable beginning of a new era and I should think this has lots to do with it:


Then there is Brent Crude . . . up 5.37% today!? What?

U.S. Congress: Taxpayers Now On the Hook for Bank Follies

Who? Me?

The language tacked onto the recent budget bill by Citibank ratifies the tacit agreement between our so-called leaders and the banking oligarchy to bail out every folly. The ongoing bailout results in negative real interest rates on U.S. Treasuries. Now offshore vehicles and derivatives are officially covered.

Citi has been bailed out many times by the U.S. government, and it was the largest beneficiary of U.S. taxpayer support in the last crisis. You’ll recall Citi did a 1:10 reverse stock split after the crisis. In pre-crisis terms, Citi trades at just over $5 per share.

Recently, Citi has been a heavy user of regulatory capital trades involving synthetic CDOs, total return swaps and offshore vehicles.

In recent months, my article on total return swaps has seen the highest volume activity of any article on my site.

For the first time, I posted something on Huffington Post in Germany. It is a shortened version of one of my posts on hidden bank risks. Here’s the German version: Versteckte Bankrisiken und das nächste Rettungspaket.

Once more in German: Unveiled Threat

You have probably read of Islamist terrorist activity in Pakistan and Sydney.

I was surprised at the U.S. appeasement rhetoric leading up to the negotiations with Iran, so I went outside of my usual finance writing and wrote about my experiences in Iran during the 1979 revolution (I’m American born and raised), and my subsequent following of the spread of fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East and the people who fund the movement.

I have posted in German (Unlike the previous article, I had my copy editor translate this one):

Der fundamentalistische Islam und die Wurzeln des Terrorismus– HuffingtonPost.de – December 16, 2014

Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of Terrorism – November 11, 2014

Pakistani Civilian Casualties and U.S. Drone Strikes

Our hands are not clean, either. This graphic shows drone strike victims in Pakistan: http://drones.pitchinteractive.com/

Less than 2% of the more than 3,000 people killed in Pakistan have been high profile targets. The timeline at the top gives stats for children, civilians, other (including alleged combatants). From 2004 to the end of December 2013 we killed 3,213 people in drone strikes. I do not have the source for the infographic’s numbers.

Russian Currency Crisis and Defaults Could Create Contagion in West

Russian Currency Crisis and Defaults Could Create Contagion in West

Russia’s currency market witnessed further huge volatility again today.  The finance ministry said it would start selling foreign exchange which are primarily in dollars. This appeared to reduce selling pressure on the battered rouble.

The fall of the rouble this year has been severe, with a 50 percent fall against the dollar and of course gold this year. The slide has been precipitous as in the past two days alone, it fell about 20 percent against the dollar and gold.

On Monday, the ruble fell 10% against the dollar and gold followed by another crash of 11% on Tuesday, despite a massive rate hike.

The heavy selling pressure this week, made the central bank sharply increase its key interest rate by an unexpected 6.5 percent or 650 basis points. The move did little to buttress the currency in the short term as speculators and traders continued to sell the rouble.

Momentum is clearly down and computer driven markets and increasing dominance of algorithmic or black box trading is exacerbating the rouble’s short term weakness. However, the sharp increase in interest rates and the fact that the fundamentals of the Russian economy remain reasonably sound and not much worse than many western economies, will support the rouble. It is likely to stabilise at these levels and recover in the coming months.

It is also important to note that political and economic relations between Russia and China are very good at the moment and China would likely provide financial assistance – if indeed that is needed…

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The Cromnibus Of Liberty

THE CROMNIBUS OF LIBERTY

Dubai stock exchange tumbles 33% in past month

Stacy Summary: I know it’s unfashionable to discuss; and that all the tweeting hipsters look and talk the same (i.e. rouble) but in the meantime, carnage continues elsewhere in the world . . . .


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