The purpose of this conference led by Russia is to increase regional stability and counter US involvement in the area. Because of this agenda, I find it disgusting that Medvedev is again proposing the death of the dollar. This would indeed help Russia increase power in their region by crushing our economy.
Medvedev calls for new reserve currencies
YEKATERINBURG, Russia – new reserve currencies.says the world needs
Medvedev told a regional summit Tuesday that the creation of new reserve currencies in addition to the dollar is needed to stabilize global finances.
Medvedev has made the proposal before. It reflects both the Kremlin‘s push for greater international clout and a concern shared by other countries that soaring U.S. budget deficits could spur inflation and weaken the dollar.
Airing it at a summit meeting underlined the challenge to U.S. clout. . .
Moscow is expected to use the meeting of leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to try to cement the six-nation group as a counterbalance to the U.S. presence in strategic .
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev opened the two-day meeting by saying the group would discuss the global financial crisis as well as the key issue the organization was created to address: regional security.
“Our organization has been created quite recently, but it has scored quite serious progress,” he said.
Late Monday, Medvedev had what he called a “most productive and useful” meeting withand he promised that Russia will help Afghanistan create “an efficient political system.”. . .
The 8-year-old Shanghai Cooperation Organization is dominated by Russia and China and includes Kazakhstan, , and Uzbekistan, with countries such as India, Iran and Pakistan holding observer status.Medvedev also was expected to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian leader postponed his arrival in this Ural Mountains city until Tuesday, according to the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, during protests in Iran over his bitterly disputed re-election. . . .
While Moscow and its neighbors have stressed solidarity with the West on the need for stability in Afghanistan, Kremlin critics say they have used their combined clout in the past to confound U.S. efforts.
In 2005, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization supported Uzbekistan’s eviction of U.S. forces from a base supporting operations in Afghanistan. In February, Kyrgyzstan announced it would evict U.S. forces from their only other Central Asian base — a decision widely seen as influenced by Russia. U.S. officials have said there is still hope for a deal to keep use of the. . .
The summit will be followed late Tuesday by the first full-fledged summit of BRIC, a group linking the emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India and China.
An international currency would consolidate power into the hands of a few. Absolute powers corrupts absolutely so this is not something I feel good about. Those calling for international political rule are not proposing anything regarding representation of the people because their arrogance makes them believe they will do a better job of decision making than the citizens of the world. Russian President Medvedev, who is pushing this, is a puppet of a very dangerous globalist, Vladamir Putin.
Dollar Declines as Nations Mull Reserve Currency Alternatives
By Oliver Biggadike and Chris Fournier
June 2 (Bloomberg) — The dollar weakened beyond $1.43 against the euro for the first time in 2009 on bets record U.S. borrowing will undermine the greenback, prompting nations to consider alternatives to the world’s main reserve currency.
The 16-nation euro gained for a fourth day versus the dollar as the Russian government said emerging-market leaders may discuss the idea of a supranational currency. The pound rose to the highest level since October and the Canadian dollar traded near an eight-month high on speculation signs of a recovery in U.S. and U.K. housing will spur higher-yield demand.
“There’s been a lot of talk out of Russia about a new global currency, and that’s contributing toward this latest bout of dollar weakness,” said Henrik Gullberg, a currency strategist at Deutsche Bank AG in London. “These latest comments are just adding to the general dollar weakness we’ve seen recently.”. . .
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev may discuss his proposal to create a new world currency when he meets counterparts from Brazil, India and China this month, Natalya Timakova, a spokeswoman for the president, told reporters by phone today. Medvedev first proposed seeking alternatives to the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency in March.
Regional reserve currencies are an “unavoidable” part of “regionalizing” the global financial system, Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin said in Moscow today.
The Dollar Index, which ICE uses to track the currency’s performance against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, fell as much as 1 percent to 78.39, the lowest level since Dec. 18.
“The market is looking for the opportunity to sell the U.S. dollar,” said Jack Spitz, a managing director for foreign exchange at National Bank of Canada in Toronto. “It took decades for the euro to be established. I can only imagine how long it would take for the BRIC countries to put together a currency.”
What do you get when you cross America with Finland and Russia? Hopefully this is not an insight into our move towards Socialism and Communism!
A Finnish rock band called the Leningrad Cowboys performed with the old Red Army Choir, the official choir of the old Soviet armed forces. Here is their (quite unique) version of Sweet Home Alabama:
The good news is, the price of gas is coming down. The bad news is, Russia is angry and we hope things don’t turn ugly.
Chatter has been coming out of Russia and the word is, they are not happy with the west. In fact, many Russians believe the west is orchestrating a planned drop in oil prices in order to hurt their economy, and thus their ability to wage war. Not even during the cold war did the Russian military bring their warships into the Caribbean for war drills. Hopefully we can find a healthy posture of strength without antagonism. They can be touchy over there…especially in winter.
U.S. Stocks Drop, Led by GM; Exxon Falls on $25 Crude Forecast
By Elizabeth Stanton and Jeff Kearns
Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks fell for the first time in three days, pushed down by concern General Motors Corp. may file for bankruptcy and a plunge in energy shares following Merrill Lynch & Co.’s prediction that oil will hit $25 a barrel.
Crude oil tumbled 6.8 percent to $43.59 a barrel in New York, the lowest price since January 2005. It has plunged 70 percent since the closing record of $145.29 set in July and may fall below $25 next year if the recession that’s slashing fuel demand around the world spreads to China, Francisco Blanch, commodity strategist at Merrill Lynch, wrote in a report today.
Peter Anderson sent me the following article. I stared at it for awhile trying to decide whether to share it with our readers. Lately, I have been watching the trends and feeling that military stability is so rocky that we could well see very serious world events in the near future. I have been torn about whether to share those thoughts or concentrate on encouraging all of us to focus on strengthening home and family so that we can have peace in spite of the turmoil around us. Since this is a political blog, after all, I guess I had better continue to share political viewpoints even if they are unpleasant to read.
The first half of this UK Telegraph article focuses on finances. I am sharing only the second half so click on the link at the bottom for the full story:
World stability hangs by a thread as economies continue to unravel
The political bubble is bursting. Spreads on geo-strategic risk are now widening as dramatically as the spreads on financial risk at the onset of the credit crunch.
The Communist Party lost its ideological mission long ago. The regime depends on perpetual boom to stay in power. As the economy sours, there must be a high risk that it will resort to the nationalist card instead.
Tokyo certainly thinks so. When I visited Japan’s Defence Ministry last year the deputy minister showed me charts detailing the intrusion of China’s fast-growing fleet of attack submarines into Japanese waters. “We see its warships in the Sea of Japan all the time,” he said.
Shoichi Nakagawa, the head of the ruling LDP party, was even more explicit. “What happens when China attacks Japan? Will the US retaliate on our behalf?” he said.
As for Europe, it is already fragile. Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, and Serbia have turned to the IMF. Russia is a hostage to oil prices. If Urals oil stays below $50 a barrel for long, we are going to see an earthquake of one kind or another.
It is too early in this crisis to conclude whether Europe’s monetary union is a source stability, or is itself a doomsday machine. The rift between North and South is growing. The spreads on Greek, Irish, Italian, Austrian, and Belgian debt remain stubbornly high. The lack of a unified EU treasury has become glaringly clear. Germany has refused to underpin the system with a fiscal blitz.
In the 1930s, it was not obvious to people living through debt deflation that their world was coming apart. The crisis came in pulses, each followed by months of apparent normality – like today.
The global system did not snap until September 1931. The trigger was a mutiny by Royal Navy ratings at Invergordon over pay cuts. Sailors on four battleships refused to put out to sea. They sang the Red Flag.
News that the British Empire could not uphold military discipline set off capital flight. Britain was forced off the gold standard within five days. A chunk of the world followed suit.
Nor was it obvious that Germany would go mad. Bruning persisted with deflation, blind to the danger. The result was the election of July 1932 when two parties committed to the destruction of Weimar – the KPD Communists and the Nazis – won over the half the seats in Reichstag.
We can hope that governments have acted fast enough this time – with rate cuts and a fiscal firewall – to head off such disasters. But then again, the debt excesses are much greater today. If in doubt, cleave to those countries with a deeply-rooted democracy, a strong sense of national solidarity, a tested rule of law – and aircraft carriers. The US and Britain do not look so bad after all.
I would like to ask our readers to join me in praying for our leaders to be guided in dealing with the tensions with Russia, Iran and their allies. While we are diverted with financial concerns, there is a lot of news found on the back pages and in the foreign press about the increasing volatility in the world. Just because I know scriptural prophecy will be fulfilled, does not mean I welcome it. We are trying to get ready as if we will soon need to be prepared, but pray and live daily life in good cheer as if we have many years of peace.
Russia ratchets up US tensions with arms sales to Iran and Venezuela
Russia snubbed its nose at the United States today by announcing plans to sell military equipment to both Iran and Venezuela.
The head of the state arms exporter said that Russia was negotiating to sell new anti-aircraft systems to Iran despite American objections.
“Contacts between our countries are continuing and we do not see any reason to suspend them,” Anatoly Isaikin, general director of Rosoboronexport, told Ria-Novosti at an arms fair in South Africa.
Reports have circulated for some time that Russia is preparing to sell its S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, offering greater protection against a possible US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. The missiles have a range of more than 150 kilometres and can intercept jets approaching at low altitudes.
Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said that it was logical to conclude a lucrative contract with Iran “in the current situation, when the US and the West in general are stubbornly gearing toward a confrontation with Russia”.
Russia threatens military response to US missile defence deal
Russia tonight threatened to retaliate by military means after a deal with the Czech Republic brought the US missile defence system in Europe a step closer.
The threat followed quickly on from the announcement that Condoleezza Rice signed a formal agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the controversial project.
Moscow argues that the missile shield would severely undermine the balance of European security and regards the proposed missile shield based in two former Communist countries as a hostile move.
“We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry did not detail what its response might entail.
Ms Rice, the US Secretary of State, hailed the agreement as a step forward for international security.
After 14 months of negotiations, the US is struggling to clinch agreement with its other proposed partner – Poland – where it hopes to locate the interceptor missiles designed to shoot down any incoming rockets.
Washington insists that the system will not be targeted at Russia, but will act as a safeguard for Europe against regimes such as Iran. The plan was endorsed by Nato in April.
“This missile defence agreement is significant as a building block not just for the security of the United States and the Czech Republic, but also for the security of Nato and the security of the international community as a whole,” Ms Rice said. “Ballistic missile proliferation is not an imaginary threat.”
A change of government in Poland last November saw the country introduce a range of demands including US investment in its air defences in return for siting the missiles.
Poland’s tough negotiating position has even led to a threat from the Pentagon to find an alternative site in the Baltic state of Lithuania.
The language in the Russian bill to limit free speech reminded me of the blog yesterday on the Chinese lawsuit. The leaders in these countries have set themselves up as demagogs and will not tolerate criticism. They remind me of overly sensitive bullies in grade school.Offending the dignity of political rulers was not tolerated in the pre-Constitutional world and it looks as though that intolerance is making a come back. We need to watch very closely here in America and highlight instances where free speech is threatened.
Russian lawmakers support tighter media rules on libel
Friday April 25, 3:47 pm ET
MOSCOW (AP) —
Russia’s lower house of parliament voted Friday to widen the definition of slander and libel and give regulators the authority to shut down media outlets found guilty of publishing such material.The legislation, passed by the State Duma 339-1, is the latest attempt by the government to squeeze the country’s increasingly embattled news media.
The bill allows authorities to suspend and close down media outlets for libel and slander — punishment that is identical to that for news media found to be promoting terrorism, extremism and racial hatred.
It also expands the definition of slander and libel to “dissemination of deliberately false information damaging individual honor and dignity.”
The legislation will be considered in two more readings before heading to the upper house of parliament, where approval is likely, and then goes to President Vladimir Putin for signing.
Putin has presided over a steady rollback of post-Soviet media and political freedoms. Major national television networks have come under the control of the Kremlin or its allies, and Russia’s print media have also experienced growing official pressure.
The bill’s passage comes just days after a scandal involving a tabloid newspaper that had reported that Putin had divorced his wife and planned to marry a champion gymnast.
Peter Anderson sent me this article which touches on two things that we have talked about. Remember the years that we used to send wheat to Russia so they wouldn’t starve? Now that we need wheat they have just raised their export duties to 40% to force their farmers to keep most of their booming harvests in country. Thanks friend.
Second, the green movement has our farmers growing corn for ethanol instead of growing enough grains for current demand. Prices for grains are rising rapidly and now prices are also beginning to rise for livestock because there is so much less feed being grown. Then there is the fact that the whole ethanol movement is a scam as is clearly shown in the article below. It will break the back of our agriculture system if something doesn’t change.
I read in an agricultural magazine this morning that production of wheat has been less than consumption for seven of the last ten years. We need some sanity back in our agricultural department.
Food Inflation Set to Rise Further
by Michael Pento
There was a clear consensus emanating from the annual U.S.D.A. Agricultural Outlook Forum, which I attended in Arlington, Virginia last week: most in attendance believed that food prices will continue their assent of last year (4%) and perhaps rise by another 3.8%-4% in 2008. U.S. food price inflation will be the result of increasing cost pressures from higher agricultural input prices. These prices, in turn, are the result of strong global demand, continued weakness in the U.S. dollar, the push for renewable energy, low stock-to-use-ratios and global weather that has not been conducive to crop growth in certain regions.
Globally, the two main drivers for the agricultural commodity boom are the appetites from emerging markets and the push for increased use of bio-fuels. …and Russia raised export duties on wheat from 10% to 40%!
Meanwhile, despite the fact that rising corn prices are making ethanol increasingly un-economic, the U.S. is upping the ante on bio-fuels. The mantra from the USDA, which dreams of creating an energy-independent America, was that we must break the economy’s addiction to oil. This explains the 60 ethanol plants currently under construction to go along with the 140 already in existence here. Indeed, last year’s 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol produced in the U.S. is projected to reach 8 billion in 2008. And the goal of this government agency is to take 1.2 million traditional gas vehicles off the road next year while helping to increase the production of ethanol from cellulose, as well.
Worthy goals, perhaps, but of paramount importance at this conference were Robert Dinneen, President and C.E.O. of the Renewable Fuels Association and Dr. Roger Conway of the Office of the Chief Economist from the U.S.D.A. Their contention was that it takes only .7 gallons of fossil fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol.
Here there exists much debate. According to the International Monetary fund, for example, it takes .82 gallons of fossil fuels to create a gallon of ethanol — some yield!
Yet the story might be even worse. According to David Pimentel of Cornell, it takes 29%, more fossil fuel to create a gallon of ethanol than energy yielded from the resulting fuel, a net energy loss! Cellulose and wood biomass seem even less efficient, requiring 45% and 57% more fossil fuel energy than they yield, respectively!
Included in Dr. Pimentel’s analysis are the costs associated with producing the crops including fertilization, irrigation, transportation and processing. Not included in his assessment are the costs for Federal and State subsidies or the costs associated with any resulting environmental pollution.
This professor and ecologist was quoted as saying, “The government spends more than $3 billion a year to subsidize ethanol production when it does not provide a net energy gain, is not a renewable energy source or an economical fuel.” He has also stated that ethanol production leads to natural gas and oil imports and U.S. deficits. And these doubts don’t come from someone who’s biased against alternative fuels; Dr. Pimentel endorses the use of wind power and photovoltaic cells in lieu of ethanol fuel.
Economics be damned, we’re apparently going to keep flushing money down the ethanol toilet, which will continue to put upward price pressure on grain prices at precisely the wrong moment in history, but so be it — we must simply focus on how best to invest in this trend, then.
Along these lines, I wanted to highlight one other interesting set of comments, these from C. Larry Pope, President and C.E.O. of Smithfield Food, whose honesty and candor was quite refreshing to hear. In reference to the current market situation he stated it was “…an unsustainable condition for livestock producers,” pointing out, “input prices have never been higher.” He continued, saying, “There will be a dramatic reduction in meat production and food inflation is set to rapidly increase much higher…it has to happen.”
Senior Market Strategist
http://www.deltaga.com/”>Delta Global Advisors, Inc.