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What Adolf did with malice, Merkel does with kindness

September 21st, 2015 LAIGLESFORUM Posted in Germany, Immigration, International | 2 Comments »

What Adolf did with malice, Merkel does with kindness

They’re just as dead…

by Don Hank


Germany is finding out what cosmic justice is (if you are a Christian, you call it divine justice).

Back in 2011, Germany pledged 100 million euros to support the Arab Spring. Angela Merkel was from the government and was here to help.

It may have been supported with all the best of intentions, but the Arab Spring started wars that immediately got out of control and brought terror, chaos and mass emigration to the Middle East, which is still ablaze now, 4 years later. The people who warned this would happen were very effectively silenced by the German government, which is very good at this sort of thing, having practiced at it since the 30s.

Thus, the promised democracy didn’t materialize and thousands upon thousands died.

Germany, undaunted, and always wanting to be the hero that saves the day, offered the immigrants refuge in Germany. Just as the Kanzlerin had forgotten that it was her and her allies’ support for the Arab Spring that brought them there, Angela Merkel carelessly forgot to tell them there would be a limit to the number of them taken in.

During the first days of the immigrant wave, she spoke via news sources, scolding and threatening with legal consequences all the countries that refused to open their doors as she had done, suggesting to the world that they were selfish scrooges while she was a morally superior Joan of Arc.

Then all of a sudden, reality slapped Angela in her angelic face: German capacity was overburdened.

So she found herself obliged to do what some of the other, more realistic, nations had done – the ones she had scolded for doing what she was now doing. She closed Germany’s borders.

But so what? Germany is the biggest exporter in Europe and the 2nd biggest in the world after China, thought Merkel. We’ll let them in once we get a little richer. And then we’ll…

OOOOOPPPS!!! Volkswagen, one of the main drivers of German exports was spotlighted by the EPA as a fraud, having lied about emissions from VW diesels! It will cost the company up to $18 billion dollars!

Today, VW stocks are down 25% and that could be just the beginning.

There’s more than one moral here (but a euro says Frau Merkel will not learn any of them):

1– Respect the sovereignty of other countries. Trying to export democracy – especially to a country that already has a democratically elected government and respects its minorities (think Syria) – will have unexpected consequences, such as causing untold harm to the country you wanted to “help” and bringing ruin to your own country.

2 – Don’t let success go to your head. You could go from rags to riches overnight. So don’t set yourself up as the savior of the world with infinitely deep pockets.

3 – If you are helping others, don’t throw stones at those who are not doing what you are doing. They might just be smarter than you. There are a lot of immigrants who made it to Austria or Hungary, for example, but not quite to Germany and are seriously PO’d as they contemplate the closed border; and some other countries who bowed to pressure from Merkel to open their borders and let in immigrants are now stuck with a lot of disgruntled immigrants insisting to go to Germany, where they are no longer wanted by the Chancellor whose heart was bigger than her brain.

Merkel has a problem that she wouldn’t have if she had had a little foresight and common sense.

The German nation killed a lot of people in the Third Reich by being mean and selfish.

Now they are killing them with kindness in the Fourth.

They’re just as dead either way, Angela.

Frau Kanzlerin, can the world ask you a favor?

No more favors, please.

Thank you!

Don Hank


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Accepting payment in RMB, Russia surpasses Saudis as China’s biggest oil supplier

September 20th, 2015 LAIGLESFORUM Posted in International, Russia | No Comments »

A giant step toward dedollarizing world trade

by Don Hank

In October of 2014 I lambasted US media here for refusing to alert Americans on the dedollarization scheme of non-aligned countries. Readers either didn’t discuss this with me or they told me the world would always prefer the dollar.

Then in December of 2014, renewamerica.com posted my translation of an eye-popping interview with a Chinese monetary policv expert who clearly showed that our allies, eg, in Europe, were busy setting up RMB (yuan) clearing centers, a clear sign that they believed in the future of the yuan in world trade. Again, my readers snoozed through this and the usual subjects said the yuan would never be accepted in international trade. Period.

In March of this year, I wrote a disturbing article here showing that a 1973 agreement with the Saudis obliging them to charge only USD for their oil exports was most likely the most important pillar propping up the US dollar and that if the Saudis ever reneged on this agreement, there would be little support for the USD.

In april of this year, I showed here that almost all US allies had turned their backs on the US-run World Bank and IMF by joining the Chinese-led AIIB. I told them the US could not compete with the AIIB because it was bullying it clients, for example, into accepting gay sex and privatization. At the end of the article, I warned that the “petroyuan” might be on the way. I got little reaction but again, normalcy bias led some to tell me I was worried for nothing.

The RMB has made a lot of progress in dedollarizing world trade and obviously, this is because ordinary Americans don’t see or don’t want to see it coming and the media refuse to talk about it. Therefore politicians and the Fed will do nothing about it. And now that it is too late, they are bitterly flailing about at the rest of the world.

But now we are at the talking stage regarding dedollarization. I now see an increasing number of articles in the Western press candidly admitting that the RMB is being used more and more in world trade. The latest event in this series is Russia’s acceptance of the RMB for oil payment in such a way that Russia has snatched the title of top supplier from none other than the Saudis, who seem to have made accommodations for this by raising Asian oil prices. Thus, without literally reneging on the 1973 agreement, they have made it easy for the Russians and Chinese to dedollarize, thereby cleverly circumventing the agreement.

I have also commented here and here showing beyond that shadow of a doubt that Russia had been helped more than harmed by US-imposed sanctions. These too garnered criticism from highly educated people including investment experts and authors who think the dollar is still sound as a you-know-what.

The story appears below in my translation from the Chinese journal finance.sina. The information reported here can also be found piecemeal in English in the msm.

Translation of http://finance.sina.com.cn/money/future/futuresnyzx/20150625/082522513216.shtml

Accepting payment in RMB, Russia surpasses Saudi Arabia as largest supplier of crude to China

At 8:25 on June 25, 2015 article business community favorites

Business community June 25

According to the Energy website Fuelfix.com, with the Chinese oil market share battle heating up, Russia has become China’s largest crude oil supplier (45.70, -0.24, -0.52%), surpassing Saudi Arabia.

According to e-mailed data from China’s General Administration of Customs on Tuesday (June 23), China’s imports from Russia in May amounted to 3,920,000 tonnes of oil, equivalent to 927,000 barrels a day, a record high, or an increase of 20 percent MoM, while imports from Saudi Arabia decreased by 42% to 3.05 million tons of oil compared to April.

The surge in domestic production of shale oil reduces US dependence of the US, the world’s largest oil consuming country, on foreign oil supplies, making China an important market for the world’s oil-exporting countries. The IEA [International Energy Agency] forecast in June of 2015 that Chinese oil demand will account for over 11% of global oil demand.

Chief oil analyst Amrita Sen of oil and gas analyst Energy Aspects said in an email: “As the Middle East oil was obliged to contend with competition from other parts of the oil market, Asia has become the darling of Russian oil exporters. Russia is paying increasing attention to its east, where its largest oil producer Rosneft has made a wide variety of transactions with China and is is likely to make more steady inroads for Russian oil into China.”

Supply from Russia increases thanks to acceptance of payment in RMB

Gordon Kwan, Head of Regional Oil & Gas Research at Nomura Securities commented in an e-mail on China’s currency: “After Russia begins to accept renminbi as a payment method for the purchase of oil, we expect to see more Russian oil exported to China. If Saudi Arabia wants to return to the throne, it needs to accept renminbi as payment for oil, not only the US dollar.”

Since Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia in the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, Russia has been looking for new markets for its oil. As a result of these efforts, Russia has become China’s largest oil supplier for the first time since October 2005. In 2013, Rosneft and China National Petroleum Group signed a $270 billion deal, with the former agreeing to supply 365 million tons of oil to the latter over the next 25 years. That year, Rosneft reached an $85 billion ten-year agreement with China Petroleum & Chemical Group.

Angola to China’s second-largest supplier of crude oil

In May, Russia was not the only oil-exporting country to surpass Saudi Arabia.

Data show that in May Angola sold 3.26 million tons of oil to China, an increase of more than 14%, becoming China’s second largest oil supplier. In the past 13 months, Saudi Arabia has lost its title as China’s largest oil exporter for the first time.

China General Administration of Customs data also show that Iran exported 2.2 million tons of oil to China. Iran had previously estimated that during the international sanctions, it could double its global oil sales within six months, and the international sanctions expires on June 30.

Saudi Arabia raised the price of oil supplied to Asia

In April, Saudi Arabia exported 5.26 million tons of oil to China, reaching the highest level since July 2013, capturing more of the Chinese oil market.

It is reported that, in the past four months, Saudi Arabia has raised the price of oil supplied to Asia. According to a public statement issued by Saudi Aramco, in July the price of Arab light crude and medium crude has been set to the highest level in 10 months.

Energy consultancy SCI International analyst Gao Jian told us on the phone: “Russia has used its good relations with China to increase oil supplies to that country to become China’s largest supplier of oil.  At the same time, since Saudi Arabia’s oil price is less attractive in Asia, it loses the title.”

Translated by Don Hank

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Russian sanctions hurt (II)

September 18th, 2015 LAIGLESFORUM Posted in Banking and Finance, Economics, International, Russia, World Affairs | No Comments »

Russian sanctions hurt (II)


by Don Hank

I have shown in a previous commentary that sanctions against Russia have really hurt. But not the Russians. They boomeranged on the US. How? By strengthening economic and military relations between Russia/Eurasian region and the rest of the world (eg, the accession of almost all US allies to the AIIB), military and economic coalition with China, lucrative contracts with the Saudis, India, etc.

As the icing on the cake, today I was translating an article in the Chinese economic daily finance.sina.com which shows that Russia in June sold a record amount of oil to China, and this, according to the article, for two reasons:

1—The Saudis obligingly raised their Asian benchmark oil prices selectively for Asia only, giving Russia the edge as an oil seller. (See the below time line for clues as to why the Saudis did this).

2—These oil deals with China are settled in yuan (RMB) making them more attractive to China in terms of both monetary policy (strengthening the RMB) and economics.

The latter fact is bad news for the dollar. The main thing propping up the USD is country-to-country trade settled in USD. The whole purpose of the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis in 1973 was to oblige them to accept payment only in USD for the purpose of maintaining an artificially high value of the dollar. Now Saudi Arabia itself is in fact sabotaging that deal, while sticking to the letter of it. This was a stroke of genius on someone’s part, and I think that someone was Russian President Putin.

Look at what Putin had been up to since no later than the end of 2014:

Timeline of Russia-Saudi negotiations.

1—December 2014, Putin meets with Saudi Intel Chief in Moscow


2—April 2015 King Salman bin Abdulazziz el-Saud calls Putin, sets up visit in June. (Was this motivated by the outcome of the Dec meeting?)


3—June 2015, Saudis raise benchmark oil price for Asia


4—June 2015, Russia signs 6 nuclear energy contracts with the Saudis (quid pro quo for the raised Asian oil prices?)


5—July 2015, Russia announces sale of Iskander missiles to Saudis (more quid pro quo for the raised Asian oil prices?)


There are no coincidences in events involving Russia. The tit-for-tat here is obvious. The Saudis got beefed up defenses and nuclear energy deals. Russia got a chance to sell more oil. Of course, for obvious reasons, the paper trail here omits the main details. The Saudis never disclose all the details of their agreements with other countries. But anyone who pays attention and knows what to look for can easily extrapolate the hidden details of these bargains.

Watch for more surprises soon.

As Donald Trump said: The decision makers in US policy are stupid.

Don Hank


PS: Speaking of stupid policy, did you happen to read about that fist fight that broke out in the Japanese Parliament over the latest change in the Japanese constitution allowing their armed forces to join with the US in its military adventures? An increasing number of Japanese are waking up to the insanity of US military policy and want nothing to do with US wars designed to be lost. Yet establishment thugs managed to pass this potentially disastrous piece of legislation, almost certainly under pressure from the war hawks in Washington.

Russian and US tactics are as different as day and night. Russia makes offers that tempt and reward. The US applies pressure and threats to punish.

Which side is winning?

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Russian Sanctions hurt

September 18th, 2015 LAIGLESFORUM Posted in Economics, International, Islam, Russia | No Comments »

Sanctions against Russia hurt


Don Hank


A reader tells me that the sanctions against Russia have been hurting them financially.

This is the perception throughout the West so far, unless you read reports from off the beaten trail. And then you see can easily through the lies.

You see, Western oligarchs are focused on keeping the world poor while robbing the little guy, and that is becoming an open secret. Eastern leaders can see this as a huge opportunity for doing business in ways that make everyone richer and better off. All they need to do is avoid the clumsy mistakes of the US oligarchs, and that is easy.

I have been forwarding articles showing that sanctions are not hurting Russia at all. They are gaining ground much faster than we are. Almost every one of our allies turned their backs on the World Bank (US based and led) and went over to the Chinese AIIB. This is a step toward dedollarization of world trade, which the Western press ignores pointedly (I pointed this out here http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/141009)

In fact, the drop in the ruble is a huge boon for Russia, enabling them to sell more competitively to trade partners.

Then the Saudis struck deals with Russia for more powerful arms than we had ever sold them. That too is money in Russia’s bank.

Then about a week ago, almost every Middle Eastern leader met with Putin in Moscow, showing that they are pivoting away from the US and trusting Russia. For Putin that was like taking candy from a baby, because when a country’s government and oligarchs have cheated and lied repeatedly, eventually no lone trusts them. And that government is Washington.

In June Russia broke a record, selling more oil to China than the Saudis ever had sold them! The trade with China bypasses the dollar, using RMB only. Another major step toward dedollarization and loss of prestige for the dollar.

The Saudis are cooperating by charging more for their oil sold to Asia than is sold to the West. This helps Russia tremendously and is a clear signal that those closed door deals with the Saudis involved concessions to Russia in exchange for those weapons deals.

Now Russia is making deals with India for joint oil projects. These will almost certainly be denominated in currencies other than the dollar, another step in devaluing the USD.

Then there is the New Silk Route, a joint project with China to connect far flung regions for trade. Will the trade deals be in dollars? What do you think?

Rather than harming Russia, the sanctions drove them into the arms of our one-time allies. I don’t think they are coming back. My communications with Europeans shows they no longer trust the US, particularly since the bogus US subprime paper sold all over Europe, which set the stage for the current crisis there. Virtually every educated European knows this and, while their leaders remain discrete, they are waiting patiently for Washington to fall.

Russia’s new deals and sales of arms and oil are an indirect product of our sanctions and Russia is stronger now in trade and in world prestige than it ever was before.

Sanctions not only failed but they wound up greatly strengthening Russia!

The old Wolfowitz policy of encircling Russia has failed miserably as any fool knew it would. Russia is quickly emerging as the winner. Our policy makers are, to paraphrase Trump, STUPID!

It all reminds me of the Japanese emperor Hirohito in the last days of the war. He refused to believe that Japan could lose, even after the first nuke fell on one of his cities.

So the US dropped another.

Each of Putin’s actions is like one of those nukes, greatly curtailing US strength and prestige. Yet, Washington, caught in a paroxysm of normalcy bias, continues to forge ahead with its horrible policies, somehow convincing itself that it will win.

Let us hope and pray that whoever is elected our next president will start reversing these disastrous fraudulent foreign and financial policies that make America poor and garner the ridicule of nations.

And you know what? He may not have much choice.

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August 26th, 2015 LAIGLESFORUM Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

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