Go to petedash.com now for real advice on protecting yourself against the brave new world. Time to keep your head up as to where irrational government is going?

I was going to list all the invasions by mad government onto you and people with whom America should have little quarrel with. But it would be too long from Iraq to your job, many businesses and to your privacy. Rather, let's talk what help is positively present.

Go to your premier window to be, on expertise for you and your family at petedash.com. Risk management and preparing for contingencies in the brutal world ahead. Just look at the ten principles to protection I provide some of which are practical for almost everyone, Go to my blog,  "Pick-pocket Nanny Government..." at petedash.com while access to my site and subscriptions are free. As a start. 

Need more specific insights end me a message at BCRICS@yandex.ru. I am glad to help those in need against crony capitalist and banksters who should rot in jail or elsewhere, not while you rot or worry that you might be headed to economic hell. 

I realize some others ensconced in comfortable luxury condos, C-suites with pricy Mercedes and BMWs thought I was too negative and might be a bit of a shade from being a  nutter. Close your eyes make useless disparaging remarks. But just because some are comfortable today does not mean the same for tomorrow, especially without making proper contingencies. 

Today, you are top of your league at the top suite or inherited a large fortune. Tomorrow, you could fall from the "top to the bottom". It can happen so fast in this brutal world. So for those thinking they are sitting pretty look at petedash.com, as well. What have you got to lose? Oh just maybe your money if you put your head down in the sand. Or worse your sanity if you lose most of it or all.

And do not forget, there will be some in quiet cities living well while some who did not plan objectively ahead in an informed way struggle to get to the airport and try to manage new exchange control paper work - to no avail. While others will be paying 0 to 15 percent income tax and laying calmly by their swimming pool or beach watching only the gyrations of waves not being in the middle of economic meltdown or hysteria.

Those who follow sound principles will live like this. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4hEnkBq52Co&feature=youtu.be. I have been there and will be there. But it was not always like that.

Who will you be? Where will you be?  In the game of thrones know carefully what are the consequences of today's action well beyond the moment. Or you might be wondering where your head has got of to never mind your money.

           Bringing in the New. Fantastic website improvement for your use

 Current traffic is in the thousands re old site, traffic for medium term with new site  is hundreds of thousands. Objective: Become one of the most definitive independent sites showing a total disinterest in supporting most top "elites" manifesto to grab more power for themselves, others cash from harding working average people,and to monopolize the information channels at the expense of sane, sound fiscal and monetary management and social justice and freedom. 

To say it how it is no matter what, that will ensure my audiences have real insights in planning ahead in both a practical and strategic manners.People are tired of the constant swill of lies they are being fed by too much of the leadership. They want to hear it as to how it is even if it hurts. And to those who do not want to know get an "education" or start spending your money. or better still go to petedash.com.



                                                     "Global Rankings Study Depicts an America in Warp Speed Decline" 
                     New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Scandinavia depicted as much more balanced

From access to healthcare and education, gender equality, attitudes toward immigrants and minorities, the U.S. looks like a second-rate nation. "

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/global-rankings-study-depicts-america-warp-speed-decline

Harvard professor led study rates New Zealand as best country " ... The top 10 is rounded out by Switzerland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Denmark and Australia. "

Quite parallel to my ranking of best countries on the Peter Dash radio show, Speaker.com done a year ago. My focus was top five. These are places to look at regarding second passports, relocation and diversifying investments. 

I would possibly only disagree with Iceland as being overrated in this study for now. It needs to better recover from the massive banking disaster foisted on it, which interestingly it has responded with an approach that did not fully let the Icelandic and global bankers bleed the country to make-up for these banksters incredible disastrous mistakes. Hopefully Ukraine might learn a lesson from Iceland and send in the activists from Iceland there to,provide advice and exchange on restructuring the Ukraine economy.


                                                         Liechtenstein Bank CEO, Dead

Just after updating my "Suicide Bankers" article about a murder/suicide of a Dutch banker and his family, someone then knocks off an offshore banker CEO in Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is a place which has been accused of being too involved with shady banking in the past. 

However, nowadays the bankers who have reaped enormous rewards by piling in money from dubious sources are now faced with a dilemma. If they do not report suspicious activity of some of their clients, their bank could be faced with hundreds of millions of dollars of fines from various western countries, especially the United States. We have seen this happen in the case of HSBC over drug lord laundered money from Mexico.

However, when these banks out some of their clients, they can find that the repercussions can be very negative, I presume. Clients may include those who find it as easy to put away people as ordering a sandwich. And some people take it very unkindly when their money in accounts is frozen or even seized by authorities.

In my book ZUrabia, the assassin protagonist threatens his Swiss bankers if his account money is revealed and seized. Another character in my book with Swiss bank accounts, a nuclear physicist working with terrorists is involved in developing and planting a nuclear bomb in a downtown cathedral in Zurich. This is partly done as an act of revenge against his bankers for collaborating with the CIA in freezing his account, and then confiscating his money gained from helping with nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. 

It has been my contention with all these new investigations of private accounts, supported by new legislation, particularly in the United States that there was going to be some nasty fall-out. And I wonder if the number of fast expanding murder?/suicides of bankers relates to these kind of pressures connected to so called "dirty  account" exposure and various whistleblowing about such or other very questionable banking practices.

These indeed are difficult time for bankers. Possibly, this partly explains all the retirements of recent or planned of by many CEO Canadian bankers and others.Banking may not be considered so safe anymore. But who knows. However, one thing can be said for sure, the lives of of certain private wealth and investment bankers are becoming highly stressed for many reasons. And clearly deadly in some cases. Banks would best direct psychiatrists and "risk management" specialist towards bank executives and senior managers themselves not only respectively to the clients or their related business and soon, it would seem.                 
          

                    You Have been warned: Move your money now. Brutal world on new precipice?

While the situation in Ukraine fluctuates daily, its prognosis whether over the short or medium term does not look good. A recent shooting of an Ukraine soldier combined with popular up thrusts by ethnic Russians to take-over East Ukraine, indicates the genie may be out of the bottle unless huge diplomatic efforts are now deployed by all critical parties. Hence, there will be likely serious repercussions for investors.

First, I still believe in the long term benefits of most investors investing in the Moscow stock markets as valuations cannot go so much lower in percentage terms from peaks. However, some attached hedging for the short term may be in order given how more potentially ugly it could get in Ukraine. At worst is the possibility of civil war. And less probably, but still more possible World War III .

In fact, last year I visited Ukraine and was amazed at how much crumbled infrastructure there was and the general level of poverty there for a so-called European country. It has been badly managed for decades. This was the southern area of Ukraine,Odessa that I visited. This is an area where many ethnic Russians live. 

Remember as Gerard Celente says, a major trend forecaster "When you have nothing to lose, you lose it." That is what has been happening to huge numbers of Ukrainians whatever their ethnicity. And with the pro IMF, bankster "Prime Minister" in power, cutting pensioners' measly payments in half and having stirred up tensions by the "coup" in Kiev, I am becoming less optimistic about that country. 

The net result while Ukrainians get evermore tense and suffer, Washington will go after Moscow for blaming it and vice versa. There are more aggravating movements by  NATO in deploying assets to bordering countries to Russia My prediction is that more will take place and a new arms race may be thrust by Washington on countries like Poland and Baltic states to prop up the US defense industry, thereby deteriorating social programs and possibly regional stability.
 
Clearly such overall deteriorating atmospherics might lead to broadening of sanctions and counter sanctions and other unhelpful actions to rebuilding global economic confidence.Therefore, stock markets around the world, including emerging market ones and European ones could be especially negatively affected as the risk premium goes up. A new European premium could be established because of its comparatively higher degree of interconnectedness with Russia and Ukraine, geographically and economically. One has to just think about potential refugee problems, never mind sanctions to really understand the European economic blowout potential of the Ukraine and related problems..And already, the US stock markets are at post 2007 record or near record highs that are beginning to look like excess exuberance. Ukraine could be a major excuse among a number for a pullback at some point.

Very simply, it may be time to take some profits from the US markets and put more into precious metals without exceeding around the five percent level in your portfolio. Having a fair amount of cash in main currencies without having excessive amounts in US currencies would be a good idea. 

If possible, stretch out your holdings into Singapore dollars, Chinese yuan positions before year end, New Zealand and Australian dollars, Swiss francs and various Scandinavian Krona and Canadian dollars after a  further major correction. The bulk will still stay in Euros and secondarily dollars. You may want to top up with some yen as it may have run its depreciating course for awhile but generally yen is not attractive as long as PM Abe stays in power.

For a year or more I said stay away from US treasuries and many other government bonds. That has proven very wise as funds that have been overly dependent on them have lost out badly including some of PIMCOs. I see no reason to do otherwise even if we experience a "dead cat" bond  bounce through a stock market correction.

I announced on this site to dump or reduce gold ETFpositions significantly in spring of last year and indicated to get into gold miners last fall and this has worked out well. I moved out of of Canadian dollars last year and this has worked out as I put them to work into euros and US dollars. I have modified some of those positions recently. Gold miners  over March though, have not performed so nicely. However, in for the long haul and have kept them at a very reasonable portion of my portfolio but with a little pruning in February.

Indeed now, the world is in a very precarious situation with a possibility of an aggravated corporate property debt fall-out in the Chinese market to go a long with a fall-out resulting froma revving   up of tensions and sanctions vis a vis Ukraine. This is also not to forget the massive economic problems in Japan regarding the government debt "bomb" and deteriorating relations between Japan and China over territorial disputes.

Combined with a certain degree of phony wealth remaking in the market especially in dark pools and excessive asset inflation, investors need to be highly cautious. That is despite UBS and others saying it is time to go into high yield. I would suggest the only high yield that looks good is the three to five percents yield on quality Australian, Canadian and Singapore bank shares that may plummet too but show solid rebound potential. As well, staples like Nestle, Proctor and Gamble to main name technology brands like IBM will do the same even if you have to endure significant capital losses in the duration before recovery.

Be very very worried so I strongly suggest you look at the 10 principles laid out in my blog at petedash.com regarding Nanny Government. I will be shortly consolidating my blogs onto that site for free under subscription or other parts of the site. Eventually, not all my advise will be free. 

I expect petedash to become a sentinel for major independent advice well outside the influence of the mainstay institutions that have caused so many to be conned into making the wrong life-style and investment decisions. I will not be satisfied until the traffic there reaches hundreds of thousand and over a million eventually. I expect the political advice will also be helpful to government, political parties and advisory groups as well so as to avoid corrupting sycophantic unprofitable and growth stopping and job killing thinking. good luck with the brutal world ahead.

        Rick Mercer Tells how it is with too many (G7) Leaders in speaking about Stephen Harper?
  Makes Putin's approach look cogent, direct and more straightforward? Implications for the West's future..

http://www.bajanreporter.com/2013/10/rick-mercer-report-freundel-mia-in-barbados-take-note-unanswered-questions/

I am getting to the conclusion that too many western leaders are too worried about (outwardly looking like) pleasing all the people, all the time and cannot even admit one mistake or talk in an in depth way to the public.This contrasts with Vladimir Putin who even admitted some problems with contractors on the Sochi Olympics and the need to further crack down on corruption. 

As well, he has been so direct and in command of knowledge of the key issues, that western reporters at a major interview with him were left stunned as they were so used to getting the vacuous obfuscations that Rick Mercer blames Harper for. Instead, they got detailed responses even technically substantive at times well beyond smoozed talking points put forward by western spin doctors, and that can make the public snooze at best or get indignant. He even calls out reporters directly and strongly when he sees they are completely distorting reality. The last time I saw that in Canada was with Pierre Trudeau, a former prime minister. 

However, the blarney factor will not work anymore or much less in the West. People in too many cases in many western democracies are in critical condition economically or are approaching such levels. They not only want real answers, they are starting to demand them, if not beg for them. We can see this particularly in places like Spain and Greece. This is so even if at times leaders need to give a good talking to those for holding silly ideas that spending like a gushing geyser or taxing like an alcoholic approaches drink will not do. 

Thus, Mr Putin does not cower to call out missiles in Poland and coups in Kiev as not friendly acts and will not give responses made in mush. Nor would he or his circle, now or has been presumedly in the past been so keen to participate in endless NATO roundtable rambles as Russia gets pummeled from NATO expansion. Some in the West may not call that cricket or just plain rude and arrogant. The same thinking was behind blaming those who have been unfairly walked over such as pensioners in Kiev as being better by way of IMF medicine? A pig with lipstick is still a pig no matter what the salesperson calls it. And they do not fly even in Moscow.

The real worries by much of the West should be internal. Rather, the continued approach by too many western leaders could move them to creating modern day German Weimar republics leading to authoritarian government.Then using FEMA or similar camps for instance, for originally unintended purposes and to deal with just plain lunacy as it breaks out as food stamp programs further and other welfarism explode the deficit or society implodes in response to an indiscriminate cutting of the deficit while society gets more polarized and demonstrations make Occupy Wall Street look petite.

Let me put it this way, given America's trajectory. Vladimir Putin's approach to government may start looking attractive. But the idea in America was to empower individuals to take care of themselves through a free enterprise system promoting self-initiative and work ethic and free speech. It was not to be a government "Big Brother" listening in everywhere with a welfare system operated massively especially for Wall Street and other crony capitalists to growing legions of poor at the street levels. It was not to act as a massive yoke on real workers and the middle class.

Otherwise, welcome to an America where actual voters may one day practically bleed for a strong man to cut through the BS. Not a very pleasant scenario, but one increasingly probable on the longer term as America moves to where Russia was once before Mr. Putin arrived on the scene. Into fiscal and political chaos and bankruptcy. Then see who will care what is happening in Russia.


                        Pick-Pocket Investment Bankers and Brokers Steal Your Money in a Flash:
               Forget Vladimir Putin, Wall Street is the Number One Rival to Average Americans By Far?

Michael Lewis and his book, "Flash Boys" documented the unethical, if not illegal practices on Wall Street regarding flash trading. It is finally getting some heavyweight attention. But only after insiders have literally "stolen" billions.Re http://www.cnbc.com/id/101552392

The problem is insiders quickly getting their share trades ahead of others in the new scheme to rip off average investors. Does it ever stop on Wall Street and elsewhere? The mortgage back securities debacle hailed enough reason for investment firms to clean up their act. Now they are seemingly back to piling on further. And the situation is so bad that even big traders and senior management at Charles Schwab, one of the largest brokers in the United States are pretty well calling it a big mess that needs to be cleaned up.

Worse, the Schwab people are worried that so low in image among investors has their business become that it could affect capital formation, and even damage society's commitment to the pro-enterprise system. Rather, there were times when the belief was that Soviet communism might be the main threat or even Chairman Mao in China. Yet the supposed citadel of making the markets work may be the chief enemy in many people's eyes to not only freedom, but free enterprise. All due to its inability to stop over-the-top greed and let the little guy win for once or even one time. A  walled street to opportunities to the the average investor continues to know no boundaries to ripping you off, especially with the ever more powerful technologies associated with trading.

In fact, there is a thesis that Russia and China are demonstrating at times more philosophical and institutional commitment to free enterprise than Wall Street. Whatever the truth, it is getting scarier, not only for retail investors but those In America who want to definitively think that America represents the good guys. Now one wonders if Wall Street is America's chief rival rather than Vladimir Putin as the former's larceny seems gigantic. Very sadly, not unexpectedly, Wall Street Washington apologists in government are late comers to correcting the problems, once again, like American Attorney General Eric Holder who really need to do better. 

This time for once will they even send one flash trade gangster banker to jail. Be sure some believe Holder has been put in his position because he had a long history of being soft on big shot, politically connected white collar criminals. Possibly, there should be a statute to limit how long Holder can stay in office given how many crooked and corrupt bankers have benefited from the statute of limitations running out on them courtesy of this AG? We shall see if those accusations hold up. 

Meanwhile, Holder has arrived months after the heisters have committed their "hold-up". We need better than this especially if the US government is going to run around the world pointing fingers and accusing others of lack of democracy, unfair business practices and lack of level playing fields, as well as lack of transparency. The hypocrisy all around is beginning to turn into a stench that can be smelled from all the way from Harlem to Helsinki or even beyond to Moscow, Riyadh and Beijing.


           Wall Street based Gold Paper Market and US Government Gold Holdings Becoming Risky?
                                 What Investors really need to think about before they are ripped off.

I am now down to believing that it is much safer to buy gold through top reputable jewelers, minted coin purveyors or bullion dealers and possibly gold mining stocks. I also believe it might be good to have your gold stored in your vault (or safe room under lock) at home or a quickly accessible safety deposit box of a branch of a low risk bank. Here is why.

First, the US Federal Reserve Bank cannot seem to deliver the German gold it holds in a reasonable time frame. This might indicate that not only the Fed has lent out too much of their gold and/or cannot get it back or re-assign it. As well,it is very difficult to access much physical gold period in the open market and possibly, without further shooting the price of gold through the roof if too many of these contracts are delivered on by requesting physical gold. Hence, why German authorities have acquiesced to the Fed to more slowly return the physical gold that they have been "holding" for Germany. Germany may be also scared what high sky-rocketing gold prices might do to a recovery that is already fairly weak in the US and is downright anemic in Europe.

As well, the inability of one of Holland's main banks (ABN) to deliver gold on any contracts for delivery is very worrisome. Instead, their commitment to only pay in cash in gold spot price terms, tells us something. That large quantities of physical gold are not available. It also may begin to tell us that governments and their international banker partners are doing everything to dampen the gold price. That they may be very worried about a further upswing in gold prices, which will not only be damaging to their mass derivative short positions, but in sucking investor confidence out of the economy, especially in US dollars in which too many banks are also over positioned.

Now, that most of this paper market for gold is located in the United States and propped up by Wall Street should tell you something. That it is hugely overwritten well beyond the accessible physical gold supply should also tell you something. It might be prudent for example to have a more manageable level of Gold ETFs and start substituting them for real gold or for those quality miners with decent reputations that produce real gold and have access to plenty of reserves of it.

The other question is whether the US federal government one day will simply recalibrate the price of gold so as to protect all the gold shorts of its bankster friends and then further support rulings that cheap extra printed US dollars it provides to the banks can then be used to repay gold contracts that one thought permitted the buyers physical gold in return.

Conclusion. Be careful not to overly invest in gold, but by all means as an insurance policy have a distinct but small portion of your portfolio in gold in bullion, coins and miners say no more than 5 percent. The White House and key banksters do get together and have  a committee through which they can come to agreement to support massive intervention into the market. There is a view they have already done so to keep gold prices from further skyrocketing. And they may do so again in a major way. This is not unprecedented as we have seen from what the Franklin Roosevelt administration did and the lame duck Obama administration might be willing to do so before leaving office.

Also, given Russia's and Iran's significant gold purchases, the US government causing gold to fall might be seen as a timely way to punish both countries if they further behave in a way not to the US government's liking. This again will "kill two birds with one stone" from the Western governance perspective as it will make it easier for Wall Street and other major banks in the West to deliver on any physical gold contracts that they have no option but to do so. Remember, such Wall Street banks have limited exposure to both of those countries.

However, here is one important reason why I think physical gold and gold miners outside the US or US control will do very well on the long term. The golden elephant in the bankster China shop is China. If it combines with other BCRICS, like Russia, it may be able to significantly undermine any western government chicanery along with western banksters to put a hole in efforts to increase the attraction of the physical gold market. Here is how.

The People's Bank of China, even including  Hong Kong and Macau monetary authorities could decide to set their own gold price more in keeping with true market principles along with Russia and other countries. We could call these the True Gold Market Countries Association (TGMCA). Hence, all physical gold sent from foreign countries, to and kept at TGMCA private banks or in the case of  foreign sovereign gold sent to the People's Bank of China would be redeemable in the physical gold moved there. Or by the option of the gold owners, the gold could be redeemed in Chinese Yuan. Since the Yuan is well on its way to becoming an international tradable reserve currency, thus it might one day work. I believe even average investors will be able to hold yuan in Europe within years.

So the US authorities know that BCRICS have both enough economic and military firepower to protect themselves from any excess blowback from the White House and the banksters including the FED on keeping the gold market from being too fixed by the banksters. Hence, I believe Russia and China and even other countries like Iran, Turkey and Brazil will keep on buying gold as well as individual Indians despite their central banker's inclination - at least for now- to play to Wall Street. Interestingly, as Turkey kept on buying gold, its government started coming under pressure from the US and the media.

The net result is that significant forces will remain in play to keep the price of gold to good levels in the short to medium term. And in the longer term it might break its peak price of around 1900 dollars an ounce. In the scenario where the US dollar is greatly eroded as a lead reserve currency, as is happening, expect gold to be a great hedge against that currency and any potential inflation associated with it..

The new order will be defined by serious growth oriented, low debt and low taxation countries backing their currencies by sufficient gold. This will make them less open to attacks by the US Fed as an instrument to undermine them politically and strategically. Or to be blackmailed by the United States to further bail it out from the mountain of suffocating debt they must purge one day.


                                                           Suicide Bankers: Part II

Money is clearly not everything: For top Dutch banker, Peter Schmittman, 57, he is dead and most of his family. A family feud and murder/suicide appears to be the reason. It is all very sad.

But it may provide an opportunity to remind banks of the terrible psychological damage they do by not only ripping off customers and small shareholders as what happened as a result of the break up and takeover of his bank by various other banks. It can take a toll it seems on the bankers even when they still make money on such deals for themselves. Though, of course it is too early to know the exact cause of death.

Incidentally, he was involved in that deal to which I was a small retail investor. I remember it well, as I lost thousands of dollars like many because of it. Despite the crushing failure of the deal, and the government having to come in to save his bank, the Dutch banker instead left ABN with 8 million euro as settlement pay. Here is a replay of Suicide Bankers that hopefully will provide helpful insights on why banking has become in a word - deadly - for some.

                                                                       Suicide Bankers: 

                                   What Their Impact Tells Us about Today's Western Banks

The banking profession used to be full of dull jobs and people leading relatively non-eventful lives. But now we have announcements regularly about bankers committing suicide or being suicided every week to go along with periodic "financial explosions" of derivative positions and sovereign debt. 

There was a time when real worthiness of credit, capacity and character were the three important "C words" when looking at whether to lend to clients or in the general management of a bank's everyday administrative and investment affairs. Another C was collateral, meaning focusing on real assets, not phony ones when ensuring the client had the capacity to repay, or when issuing or managing investment instruments.

Bankers were looked at sometimes as overly prudent tight-wads, and were not much more paid in many positions than (top) government bureaucrats. They were about as risky in behavior as these government managers. And highly constrained by those same governments containing regulators with much less interest to aspire in becoming the high salaried people they regulated. In a nut shell, the temptation to be pals to the bankers and look the other way to indiscretions were much weaker thereby constricting bankers from becoming colorful gamblers of the likes of Dick F. at Lehman Brothers. I would add the greater spirituality of those past times, higher morality about money and sense of community were probably stronger, as well.

But in too many places in the world, bankers at the top, today are particularly focused on the investment side, and on their related bonuses and willingness to take on excessive risks to offset the low interest rates they get on loans. Too many find ways to skirt around appropriate regulations. Media attention, for example, has been on the enormous salaries and bonuses of those who occupy what Is referred to in bank lingo as the C-suite. And how sweet it is with CEOs and their senior VPs getting tens of millions of dollars based on profits being generated significantly by risky derivatives. Sadly, many of these investments are lacking in real asset worth or for their serious contributions in growing western economies, such as in adding manufacturing capacity producing real products.

In summary, bankers today especially in New York or London and their branches elsewhere in too many cases, have become Ponzi scheme artists. They are building  pretend wealth out of excessive money printing from the central banks, conning average depositors in taking pittance on their deposits and reinvesting those retail deposits into certain highly risky instruments that even Las Vegas casinos would have problems with. The ever quicker speed of money and need for rationalization of staffing, particularly in the "loser banks", which have begun to crap out as the Ponzi goose eggs have (threatened one day to) come home to hatch, has put enormous pressure on investment and bank personnel at all levels.

In essence, this stress attached to growing worries about fines and a new coming crisis especially in the last several years commensurate with a greater intensity of pace in the banking profession have become increasingly harder to bear. This is bringing about an environment more and more conducive to employees cracking and even taking their lives.

Some bankers have also come to understand the destructive dimensions of their modern profession, be it in the derivative field or in areas of sovereign debt that they have dealt with that is causing impoverishment and misery around the world. Consequently, the profession is being increasingly despised by more than a significant few on Main Street, which is further demoralizing, making even one CEO financier equating the public as a lynch mob out to hang executive bankers. 

There are also now analysts in the media trashing them openly on a regular basis, which could not be imagined two or three decades ago. It has been a sad evolution in the degradation of reputation of a once, proud sector for which I had much more respect for during my father's time. And it no doubt has become too much for many financiers with sensitivities and a conscience in particular.

So the question these days about the alarming mysterious deaths or suicides of bankers has probably more of a clear modern context excluding possibly the Great Depression, amply named. Yet those in the mainstream alternative media, pardon my oxymoron as some of these news channels on the Internet are better covered than some of the main main media, are putting out conspiracy ideas explaining these deaths.

One view is that many bankers at the top investment level, now see a huge economic depression about to unfold and they and their banks hand in it. They see themselves being at risk of losing their jobs or worse being prosecuted, all making them wonder whether they will be disgraced. Bad enough worries by the way that some British bank CEOs and others are refusing to take millions of dollars of bonuses and in one case years back, even one gave up a knighthood. 

To certain bankers, they even feel relief when they find they still have a "stay out of jail card", sometimes given around the same time that their own financial corporations are charged billions in fines. This includes in too many instances what amounts essentially to levels of fraud and racketeering for which Al Capone and the Mafia would be envious if they had gotten away with. But at least the main Mafia would probably avoid ripping off single mothers and seniors or silently watching it happen. Some banks have clearly not been below mafia standards, and in some cases have laundered massive amounts of their money.

Hence, I believe that ever growing stress is the increasing explanation and that there are likely not assassins out there duplicating characters in my book, putting away corrupt, interest rate fixing, gold price manipulating, mortgage lending fraud committing, huge money laundering or trading with the enemy type bankers. There is as well, no secret organization to the best of my knowledge like Z5 in my book, acting as a government/ do-gooder philanthropist type intelligence agency, hunting down and rubbing out those truly evil bankers, who effectively have killed off the economies of whole countries and impoverished a number of them so they could get their bonus blood money. And this is all done in my novel with poetic justice of an assassin operative with a clean day job like a teacher, nurse or doctor that one top Wall Street banker characterized as more useful to society than bankers. Of course, such fiction should absolutely stay as fiction for it should be the criminal system that should deal with rogue bankers. I mean the criminal justice system, of course.

No, instead of conspiracies or my book being an existing template for justice against the most corrupt rogue bankers, it is the accumulated stress of these bankers' jobs from the ever increasing worries that their gamblers' derivatives will "blow up" in their face along with their careers that are likely causing suicides. Just ask the folks at JP Morgan where a twist of vocabulary has led to the Great Whale harpooning major senior executives out of a job, and no doubt putting a chill on the banking waters around Manhattan to the City of London. 

There are worries about not only potential risks to reputations, but deteriorating marriages and already soured family lives that are taking their tolls in too many cases from working long hours to keep their jobs evermore under threat from some exploding derivative or new regulatory development. Some bankers, no doubt feel so empty about their lives, overworked in screwing up the world and spiritually vacuous for their complicity in doing so, as they take regular public pounding after pounding. Though surely this does not relate to the majority, just a worrying minority.

As well, new restructuring, including evermore jobs being threatened by computerization and pushes by shareholders to force executives and others to step up the proof that their high bonuses are deserved, create demanding additional stresses. Finally, there are big negative forces on various bankers to make up for huge derivative losses, previous and  knowingly incoming and unstoppable, thereby creating a pressure cooker in the already boiling "boiler room" atmosphere of many parts of banks today.

I do not know for absolute certainty whether several of the mysterious deaths of bankers in the last months, that some even count as being closer to a few dozens, occurred because of stress. I do not even know if a few of these bankers might have been bumped off because of what they knew or whether they had become perceived as whistle blower risks.  Or whether according to one conspiracy, it is all a diversion to allow some bankers to fake their deaths, so they can escape prosecution or liquidation. Then going all incognito, after plastic surgery while running off to luxury, low taxation places like the Cayman Islands or Barbados. What creative imagination at the very least fit for a novel!

But what I do know, is that many banks today particularly at the investment level are becoming negative places psychologically and spiritually to be connected with by many. So much so that (Harvard) graduate business students no longer see them as supremely attractive places from which to start their lucrative careers. Instead, they see them as more difficult places to keep their jobs or sanity and beginning to pay much less than many other alternatives.

Furthermore, bankers today should appreciate the begrudging respect their profession had decades ago when my father worked as a senior banker. A period when he would say that although he might have been perceived as being underpaid, he liked to think he was undisputedly providing money worth to his clients. There was even a time when bankers actually got to know the families of customers without getting financially incestuous with them, celebrating a Bar-Mitzvah or christening within a client's family. 

Unfortunately, in too much of today's banking world especially at the top, it is all a Ponzi racket scheme of just generating manipulated spread sheets of converting bad loans that are questionable into paper profits, pressures to turn out new volumes of customers and their money like a supervisor of sausage production under quotas in a salami factory and questionable investing in risky derivative trading.  In essence, too much of banking has too often become a financial wasteland, a fraud and now a collapsing one with employees more and more worried about their future, and in some cases their legal or non-legal guilt in ripping off a variety of ordinary people.

In reality, the current suicides could just be the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with so much banking and many bankers these days. It is fortunate that indeed, as in my book, there are not banker vigilantes going around and hunting down some of the most despicable fraud and Ponzi artists in the system living out in the Caribbean on their schooner yachts and jet setting around, for instance. 

The recent suicides are in my estimation a further cry from even some of Wall Street's own at the top that the system has become plain ugly. That my thesis of the brutal world ahead should still be heeded in your financial and non-financial planning. For the rest of us much lower paid, regular people or lower level wealthy, we need to take note. Investors and depositors beware, the suicide bankers may just be another scary canary in Canary Wharf and Wall Street, telling us that the financial system is becoming suicidal in  itself.



                   Is the West out of (its) Mind in Dealing with Vladimir Putin?

The outgoing head of the US intelligence oversight committee, Mike Rogers says they cannot get into the head of the President of Russia. That even the CIA bungled the task of calculating what he would do with Crimea.

Now we have one Bloomberg News commentator explaining that Putin cannot take Alaska. Other commentators worry that the Russian president will swallow whole portions of Eastern Ukraine or at least Moldova. NATO worries about Poland and the Baltic states too being (re)swallowed directly or by some new form of Finlandization. These are indeed trying times for those who feel the need to get into the head of the Russian president.

All of these overreactions, nervous reactions or knee jerk reactions just support my contention that too much of the West has become irrational or even mad. The West, especially Washington is so use just to steamrolling over anyone in their way after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that they have actually got flustered by someone who will directly counter their move. And often effectively.

The last time this happened in a major way was with Fidel Castro. The US had a "how dare you attitude" that such a government could exist and be so critical of the US government. Between the Bay of Pigs fiasco to the numerous failed attempts to assassinate President Castro at the time, the US remained indignant that they could not terminate Cuba's influence. The recent CIA initiated false Cuban Twitter site described by one US senator as "dumb, dumb, dumb" shows that there is no end to some of the follies committed by the US government against sentinels that stand up against it. While I found little attractive about Castro's regime, especially in the past, some of the efforts by previous US governments were well out of line unless one is a certain type of neo-conservative.

So I think we have a new sentimental so to speak with Vladimir Putin. Rather than having a new set of sanction policies that largely failed with Cuba to be applied to Russia, even starting at a weaker level, more positive engagement should be promoted with Russia.

If Rogers feels President Putin is too isolated to understand then he can only blame himself and his likes for it. They "kicked" the Russian leader out of the G8 and are breaking many relations between various US agencies and Russian ones. Hence, expect it will get even more obtuse for the US to read his intentions.

 I also do not know whether Rogers believes that Obama nominated US ambassador to Moscow, Oprah Winfrey will do any better than the CIA in getting enough into Mr. Putin's mind, especially if she does reach her posting. But surely, not having an American ambassador present here does not help.

President Putin is his own man and that may be very confusing to the G7 leaders who take their marching orders from a number of constituencies who are more easily readable for their intentions. 

We know that these groups will try to continue the salami effect to eventually get Ukraine into NATO (and the EU) and eventually the same for other neighbors on its flanks. NATO rockets in Ukraine, officially designated for Iran will be the next dishonest pitch regarding a Ukraine in NATO. My guess, if such actions are implemented or even overly encouraged, the West will really not want to know what will be in the minds of Vladimir Putin and his inner circles.

These G7 leaders can continue to harp on describing him as arrogant, too powerful, strutting around, being on another planet, overly talking down to them, chastising or even being a chess player. But when he is good and ready, usually after it has happened, he will be likely happy to engage NATO or any G7 leader. That means taking off-setting actions to sanctions and NATO creep.

For my guess is that between G7 and NATO, he feels he has essentially no reliable partner leading those countries and that neither do they have the integrity, nuanced thoughtful geopolitical strategy or real influence that count. He will not talk to them in any optimistic hope that they will not undermine Russian civilization and maybe western civilization, too. Would it be too harsh to say he has contempt for most G7 leaders, especially as he sees western sanctions so poorly played out between streams of hot rhetorical air. Probably, but who knows.

Rather, my other guess is that President Putin has largely given up on G7 leaders in his own mind. They are not so much a rival as increasingly seen as non-existent, non-capable partners. My other guess is he would probably prefer at this time to deal more with the likes of Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan or Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs who he considers have real power and competency at least in their fields.

So if he is really nice, he will not invade Alaska and certainly not New York City or Toronto, well at least not today. But you will be notified after he at least becomes the number one shareholder of the banks that count through ways only Google tax lawyers might understand. I am of course joking, I think. maybe Jamie and Lloyd should move to Moscow City at least some of their senior executives with Chinese bank executives as the new world order unfolds.

But keep still guessing as I am, because who knows what is churning in the secret corridors of his mind, never mind the Kremlin. If it is consoling to the West, I would suggest he has more plots of how he will react to any more American and NATO incursions and sanctions than in all the Shakespearean tragedies put together. If you can play 10D chess, you might possibly understand his decision making and strategizing. Or maybe not. 

I think we are done -in this speculative analysis that is. Over to you the great experts in the "all knowing ears and eyes"  of western security apparatuses. But I would suggest you tread very carefully because not only do you not know what is in his mind, he has captured the vast support of the hearts and minds of the Russian people. And their minds are more easily readable. They have had enough of Obama, NATO expansion and the excesses of today's western liberal values and will defend their sphere with little compromise. In other words, a new more positive approach will be needed to better engage the President of Russia to understand what is next on his mind before it might be too late?



                                   America's Greatest Resources: Innovators, manufacturers,     
                                                                   And its people

The greatness of America is being eclipsed by the federal government, its bankster friends and a welfare mentality possessed within different layers of society.

The American genius behind such start-ups as Apple, Google, Microsoft along with solid traditional producers like Exxon or Ford are being overshadowed by government out of control.

There needs to be a further push for a renaissance of manufacturing and environmentally sustainable resource exploration and development along with further growth of technology and environmental manufacturing industries. This joined with the further expansion of US consulting into growth and potential growth markets will serve America well.

The only problem is that government is a huge yoke over the investment future of these solid value added and strategic sectors. A debt "bomb" that threatens to sink all ships. The other problem is that Wall Street is a giant casino with a bail out (of jail) automatic free card from the government . And a sector that has in the past and may in the future decimate the economy once again.

The American banking industry, however because of its destructive power and ease to greed must be particularly regulated to prevent it from destroying this nascent revival of US manufacturing. Certain banksters must not be allowed to join up internationally with elements in the CIA, State department etc in further besmirching the reputation of America by supporting invasions, directly and directly that amount to additional theft.

Too often these invasions are partly done so as the banksters can act as vultures (feeding on poor countries like Ukraine, stealing even the little money going to pensioners). After silent coups and full or partial invasions, they have "full" access to the targeted countries' taxpayer dollars or grossly discounted assets. These are served up by the puppets they put in place through Washington co-conspirators.Taking, not building is too often such a result. They are not sound capitalists, they are pillagers along with some of their Washington friends.

Such a strategy in the end reduces US foreign export potential and investment opportunities important to sustain American enterprise in the long term by generating very bad will towards the US by key players they will need on side, as well as global citizenry. Certain defense companies that have got out of control in impacting American geopolitical strategy should also be reined in before they shoot up the planet further. Not all defense companies are so guilty.

In essence, America getting back to basics or extending the basics of providing solid useful manufactured products and modern helpful services to the home market and world is necessary. Excess militarization, individual privacy invasion, out-of-control banksters and bureaucracy do not substitute for generating prosperity and global power and respect on a sustainable basis. There is an end game to this. It is called overreach and empire collapse. Just ask the British.

Casino derivatives, subsidies and bail-outs for failure vis a vis banks should have little place, as well as high corporate and personal taxes. Indeed a renaissance in thinking in Washington is required to save both the US economy and the global economy and peace. But it may be too late to implement there?

The American people are evermore ready for fundamental reform and overall are sick of a welfare economy and one based on military projection. They want to get back to real work, keep solid jobs and yes, even be respected as a positive model for the world. 

Washington largely needs to get out of the way with some important exceptions in the banking area, so as to let the people grab the levers to America's salvation. Yes you can America. And absolutely yes you must given the huge approaching crisis unless massive reforms are undertaken.The world awaits and is ready to support this proposed bold new direction to revive the fortunes of the many not just a few for awhile. End of story.
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      The US Government Overall is Insane by Definition?
    How to protect yourself from the Washington "maniacs"

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Are many other western governments, not so far behind? Investors should insulate themselves from the evermore increasing madness of these governments. Important tips are provided.


By examining US economic and military policies, one has to come to one general conclusion about US governance, particularly Washington. And measuring it against what is largely accepted as a good definition of insanity that was formulated by the genius, Albert Einstein. The US government is largely insane. And the many who ensure its current direction, follow it in lock step and/or adhere to most of its overarching policies might consider themselves the same.

This view is also consistent with the President of Saxo Bank who is describing many of these western governments as being irrational.That governments unable to fulfill expectations or rationally defend the destruction they have manifested on their overall constituents (or those of others abroad) will come up with ridiculous explanations of why things have gone wrong. 

And they irrationally blame or fiscally penalize those who are not responsible or in a way that is extremely disproportionate. This has key implications evermore for the serious investor when faced with governments, which have little ability or political motivation to truly avoid repeating the same big mistakes or find it is too late to do so.

So let us put this theory to the test. In the early 2000s, Federal Reserve Bank Chair Allan Greenspan with deputy Chair Ben Bernanke decided printing of lots of money and holding interest rates down extensively and continuously would create and maintain prosperity. That government fiscal deficits were either immaterial or highly secondary. Net result was a massive bubble and collapse in 2008 almost causing another Great Depression.

Post 2008 crisis, one of the doomsday economics architects, Ben Bernanke finds himself as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank. More insanity. He prints more money, so huge (trillions!) that has never been printed before in the history of the "Universe". All at the same time that the US debt goes to unchartered massive levels with the deficit out of control. 

Does anyone need to wonder what will happen? Einstein's insanity principle will apply that's what. Except, since the mistake was magnified many more times over the first one, it logically follows that the resultant disaster could be much greater. 

Now, listen to this video diagnosing the fall-out of the 2008 economic meltdown by a former top US banking regulator who already had dealt with a previous banking fraud connected to the savings and loan banking disaster that was not learned from thereby generating more regulatory insanity.

Years ahead you will hear similar explanations behind the insane repetition of many policies that almost destroyed the US economy several years ago. Already, too easy loans to qualify for are being put in place with so much money printing. http://vvarticles.mercola.com /sites/articles/archive/2009/05/07/ The-Quiet-Coup-How-Bankers-Seized-America.aspx.

So as investors attempting to be rational as governments show more irrationality, including watching the sanctions imbroglio play out between Russia and United States, what to do. I believe you need to judge governments based on the following before making some major investment decisions.

As a fundamental question, you need to ask if governance structures and actors are rational, overall in respect to the target areas you are investing in and examine the extent of current and likely impact of that irrationality. Do the governments in question have enough of their feet anchored in fiscal, monetary and geopolitical reality and how protected are they from other governments that might be irrational?

1) For example, the US congress is deadlocked at best on fiscal issues, has a 10 percent public approval rating and has a very limited ability to control massive deficits, manage debt and massive hidden liabilities, now or in the medium to long term future.The president's foreign policy along with his inability to come to enough grips with runaway expenditures are disasters.

Action: Avoid insanity by avoiding to invest in most US companies overly dependent on government business, including crony capitalists. Do not put all your eggs in the US currency basket. Do not overly invest in companies in countries way too dependent on America or American customers. Do not buy US government bonds and treasuries. When she blows, it will be severe especially on those US government dependent. 

Comment: Taxes in fiscally failed countries will go up a lot eventually and/or services like community public security could continue to go down in many communities and certain states. Countries may even fragment because of central government insanity as we see indications of in UK, Italy and Spain.(Even some commentators talk of such long term fragmentation possibilities in the US vis a vis Texas, Alaska etc) Others may just simply politically implode, e.g. Greece etc. Do not be there, physically or in terms of being overly invested in these countries or similar ones.

2) Another definition of insanity is getting involved in highly expensive and unwinnable wars again and again and again, including the current financial ones with Russia and possibly other big states in the future. 

Action: Do not get stuck with the tax bill for this fiscal military madness or end up enlisted (drafted) be it you or those who you love. Think about taking out a second citizenship especially in countries that can generally isolate themselves from taxation excess extraterritorial reach of the United States or any country you might be a citizen that is also fiscally mad or by its closeness to the US may become economic and high taxation collaterally damaged. Associate with appropriate neutral and/or least militarized countries projected to have moderate to low military expenditures in relation to GNP, at least for the longer term.

That leaves Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, Russia and possibly Equador, Panama, and Singapore as last men standing and possibly a few offshore tax havens in the Caribbean and Polynesia. In the European sphere, maybe only Germany along with Russia will be able stand up to or sufficiently survive the fiscal and military madness of the US in the end. There is no guarantee in this, though in respect to Germany.

However, the successful attempts by German industry to modify US sanction applications and their impact re Russia, shows some truth to this. It is not fully clear whether Switzerland, Scandinavia and Benelux can anymore act sufficiently independently to US fiscal and/or militarization. Though most of those countries, nevertheless are generally well run though a few may be overly dependent on investment banking, which can suffer enormously in meltdown periods. This certainly applies to London.

And Japan is both extremely highly indebted and limits foreigners from getting citizenship, as well as being highly militarily aligned with the US. The UK is an indebted aircraft carrier for the US. Canada could suffer huge collateral damage from the US economy and is easily manipulated too often to toeing the US line. It benefits by having sane fiscal policies though but dreadful weather in most parts.

Australia looks more promising as not being as overly reliant on US economic forces and has a reasonably decent fiscal management though high taxes. New Zealand  also looks reasonably good this way with more promise of lower taxes and less interest in supporting US militarization.

In conclusion, countries that consistently repeat fiscal, monetary and military madness together especially consider as insane. Thus, keep away from them as much as possible particularly if you feel that you could be open to discrimination from them now or in the future based on their fiscal, monetary military (or even ethnic/religious) madness.  

This especially includes possibly in terms of being residents or citizens of those places. If necessary, renounce your citizenship or residency with them while you still have a chance before the next meltdown. Good luck to you with the brutal world ahead. And do not forget to go to my blogs at petedash.com for more advice.


     More US Sanction Lunacy to Cost US Business Billions?

What a gem of the White House by trying to use MasterCard and Visa against Moscow? End result, an abysmal failure.

The Obama government has thus created a massive PR failure, and an illegal move as well? that could cause these two US companies eventually hundreds of millions of dollars of lost business in Russia if not more by speeding up the development of an alternative Russian credit/debit card system. 

No wonder MasterCard and Visa put a full stop to these US government sanctions being applied only after two days by pressing their lawyers into action. The question is now whether any more western governments really foolishly want to take on the legal departments of large US and other multi-nationals that are fed up with the anti-business nature of the poorly thought out sanction initiatives. Ones that are compromising the development of what is possibly their largest retail market in Europe with almost no strategic benefit to the West of having any of these sanctions. Sad but true no matter what side of the sanction equation one might be.


Remember though there are still knuckle heads in the sanction corridors who think Obama should order Exxon and Ford Motors to leave Russia. I would like to see that order put forward for Senate approval that would spell the end of anyone thinking the US Congress has a lot credibility left. But maybe that would collapse too in the US courts along with the political careers of the nincompoops who would push it. I certainly would hope so. 

http://rbth.com/business/2014/03/24/visa_and_mastersard
_withdraw_sanctions_against_two_russian_banks_35341.html


Rich US Couple with millions rips off $160,000 in Welfare.


Could go to jail for 20 years for stealing benefits due for poor, while living on large yacht and having millions on deposit. Hmm, sounds like some banksters living in the Caribbean.

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/04/01/couple-allegedly-living-lavish-lifestyle-on-food-stamps-captured/


Now, Wall Street got corporate "welfare" payments in forms of bailouts but no jail. I know they paid it all back, but only after being stuffed with money from the Federal Reserve Bank. Good fodder for the Keiser report of Russia Today News.  
 
           Time to Invest in Russia: Banks, Oil and Gas

The ruble is very cheap so are shares of Russian companies from Sberbank to Gazprom. Therefore, there may not be a better time in post Soviet Russia to invest here from a strategic perspective. Again, corporate and personal income taxes are very low and authorities continue to improve on reducing corruption and increasing transparency and due process.

I may invest in Rossiya Bank and other solid organizations that have been particularly hit by sanctions. For they are likely ones for which the Russian government will go out of its way to make more easily profitable. This might include giving them a huge chunk of credit card business that might result from the development of an alternative to a Master Card system that eventually even the West might be forced to accept as a quid pro-quo of doing credit card business in the huge emerging retail market of Russia. 

Master Card and Visa must be starting to kick themselves, especially when one thinks about how much VISA made from the Sochi Olympics and that the next soccer World Cup will be in Russia. The two brands are becoming synonymous in the retail public minds with being "traitors." That would be a shame if these brands degraded further.

Gazprom is a buy because many European companies will continue to want to buy from it to maintain a diversity of sources over the Middle East and even new US and Canadian export sources in the future. The sanctions issues more than ever shows the importance of diversity. 

So short of various American neo-cons committing another coup, but this time in Washington, Russia will rebound as a good place for investments despite recent exits of private capital. The country has too many sound fundamentals now or developing in the future not to be considered as a worthy destination for at least a small portion of capital from many portfolios -  notwithstanding another breakout of US mad neo-cons including the effervescent Senator John McCain.


    Merry Christmas, Merry Crimea: NATO has been outed 

From takes of Michael Lewis- http://online.wsj.com/news/ articles 
/SB10001424052702304432604579473281278352644?mod=WSJ_article_EditorsPicks -to Michael Sandellhttp:// www.ted. com/talks/michael_sandel_why_we_shouldn_t_trust _markets_with_our_civic_life, too much of the West has overall become corrupt and needs a rearranging of priorities. Not more brutality to those who want to work hard for the better. Michael Lewis' new book, "Flash Boys" shows further how corrupt Wall Street is and the heavy rigging of markets. 

Is there now only a veneer of democracy in much of the West consistent to the ideas of popular political philosopher Sandell? See Bloomberg news as above for this excellent video on the excess influence of big money and how freed up markets need to be the focus over a market society. When those with money, especially the banksters become too dominate overall, we are left with little and in fact become belittled.

In the end, this produces a society fit for the crass without class that will break every agreement it can get away to its (economic) advantage so as to grab money willy-nilly? Such as NATO's written promise, including by way of US President Reagan to Russia to keep Eastern Europe neutral.To grab Ukraine so it can be further shaken down for money for western banks irrespective whether it uses fascists to do it or militarily destabilizes the region. The response from Russia, Merry Christmas, Merry Crimea. I can't wait for Easter.

NATO has "invaded" Russian Strategic Missile Servicing/ Production? Read on.

The above is a very important additional reason why the "coup" in Kiev is really well over the line as far as Russia is concerned consistent with its right to self-defense. It is amazing in a way that Russia has not reacted more negatively to the events in Kiev given the important aspects of Russian missile servicing and component production in Ukraine. This all shows a degree of restraint that John Kerry does not seem to want to recognize, but that strangely pro-freedom libertarians and serious pro-enterprise Europeans seem to understand much better.

NATO, therefore may need to consider the Russian response further as potentially more assertive if it does not come up with concessions for it essentially taking over the vast majority of Ukrainian territory. It would thus be useful not only for the protection of the European economy and employment, but for reducing military tensions that sanctions not proceed further at a bare minimum. No more waving of red flags is needed.

And most importantly that the May elections in Ukraine take place under significant observation of the OSCE and without fascist, Jewish hate-mongers, and anti-Russian elements being permitted to spew their poison. A Kiev government full of virulent anti-Russian elements, as presently composed, who might be charged with control or oversight of such missile component production is not prudent.

http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/ukraine/delivery-systems/

"However, Russia requires Ukrainian assistance as well, as many prominent missile types still in use by the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces were designed, manufactured, and/or assembled at then Soviet facilities located in what is now Ukraine. Ukraine therefore remains involved in the modernization of the Russian strategic arsenal. During the debates in the Russian parliament on START II ratification, Pivdenmash reportedly received a Russian request for information on the feasibility of restarting ICBM production in Ukraine. [16] Additionally, in 2003 Ukraine's National Space Agency transferred approximately 30 non-deployed UR-100N (NATO: SS-19 “Stiletto”) to Russia, a move that helped modernize the Russian UR-100N force. Today, Ukraine's enterprises, under contract with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, have continued to provide a wide range of services aimed at extending the service life of those missile complexes still in use. The contract to provide life extension services for Russia's R-36M [NATO designation SS-18 'Satan'] missiles systems was renewed in a Russian-Ukrainian treaty signed in January 2008. [17]"

  


Could Russia destroy the value of the US dollar according to top experts. (Could it ruin the value of the Canadian dollar given its very low supply and recent major pressures on it?) I think yes, but so far has no reason to do so and is highly not recommended.
http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_28/Russia-s-secret-weapon-crashing-US-economy-by-collapsing-petrodollar-5071/

Do not forget my radio show.
http://www.spreaker.com/show/the_peter_dash_show

Though have had technical issues broadcasting out of Russia with my mobile. Hope to sort it out and to update petedash.com.


Mobs taking to the streets in America, not only Kiev.    http://video.foxnews.com/v/3396408540001/mobs-of-teens-terrorize-downtown-louisville-/?intcmp=obnetwork#sp=show-clips. My blogs at petedash.com explain it in part in "Nanny Government. "

You have been warned by the central bank of central banks, Bank of International Settlements. US Dollar's role to significantly decrease as reserve currency according to it. 

Cutting through BIS BS, means not be somewhat cautious about dollar role but be very cautious as to your positions in US dollars especially over medium to longer terms. 

I will be buying rubles over that period and yuan, most likely and Swiss francs, as well as gold related investments.When BIS gets down on US dollar that is troubling.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/29/us-markets-usd-reserves-idUSBREA2S0H220140329

Y

Grief gags

                                                           News and Blogs

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Siemens has cordial meeting with President Putin. Also the Russian president had cordial meetings with various other major players out of main limelight. One included a former  German chancellor who supports the Russian position on Crimea.

http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6926
 
                                     Harper Hyper on Hyphenated Canadians.

So okay, I am an Irish-Canadian, a Scottish-Canadian and an English-Canadian. And maybe a Norman-Canadian if I go back far enough. But more importantly, I am a Canadian. A Canadian who was not brought up in Scotland and neither Ireland. As much as I might have some interest In Ireland, I know little about it, have only a vague idea of its politics and might be able to name a few cities there. I am certainly happy that some of its politics in North Ireland did not carry over too much to my own more tranquil homeland.

After all, regarding Scotland, it was four generations ago that my great grandfather came from there. I remember my father telling me of his coming from some poorer rural area, being displaced by Scottish aristocrats ensconced in London banking clubs supporting the clearances. He could speak Gallic and rose to being in charge of the Montreal telephone company. It was a great Canadian story of rags to riches. But I am not even sure I have all my historical facts correct, it was so long ago.

The same might be said for Ukrainian Canadians. Many of the current generations have a distant memory of what it was like for many Ukrainians whose forefathers and mothers came even before World War I. The current generations are as Canadian as most Canadians and not so reflective of values in today's Ukraine,now or back in the days of their ancestors. And I am no more Scottish or Irish than the average Ukrainian-Canadian is Ukrainian out of Ukraine.

Someone once said that Europe has too much history and North America, not enough. However, sometimes it is important to move beyond European history that divided many ethnic groups. A reason why many fled it to countries like Canada, supporting tolerance and democracy and having wide open spaces and dreams. Yet, when we were sometimes too caught up with European and ethnic divisions for example, we experienced various tragedies connected to Europe and that should have stayed there as much as possible.

One included what was for many generations of Canadians a dark secret. That was the internment of many Ukrainian-Canadians, pardon my hyphenation, through World War I. Not in Communist Russia am I speaking but in Canada. Had they been seen as centrally Canadians, they would not have been seen as allies of Austria and Germany, which the government of Ukraine was in far off lands. And which was an enemy of the time to the British Empire, run out of London, from which Canada overly defined its foreign polices.

The same would have been for Japanese-Canadians who were interned even more massively both in the United States and Canada during World War II. As well, many German-Canadians got stereotyped and discriminated as being enthusiastic for Hitler, or the Kaiser during World War I, which they were all clearly not. Remember, Eisenhower, the head of European forces against Hitler was of German descent and certainly did not refer to himself as a German-American. He was an American first and foremost.

The conclusion is that Canada in its relatively successful experiment of multiculturalism has benefited when its communities gave increasing strength to developing their common glue of being Canadian. Not in focusing on being a hyper hyphenated Canadian.That does not mean dismissing our heritages but focusing on our Canadianism.

I remember an Irishman, quite a heavy reader telling me that Irish Americans are not Irish and claiming a hyphenation is an exaggeration particularly since many of irish heritage do not understand Ireland or reflect sufficiently on its values and culture. That trying to say one is Irish, when one is really American is quite superficial. There is something to be learned from these wise words.

Maybe what this Irishman is saying is that  for any descendant of immigrants be they for instance of British stock, French stock, Russian stock or any stock, especially if our forefathers and mothers came generations ago, we are or should be Canadians first and foremost. And celebrate that. Albeit in the context of two founding language groups and without denying the special relationship we have with First Nations peoples. This underscores equality, and as well, ensures the interests of Canada as a country are represented first and overall.

Hence, Canada should care about what happens in Ukraine, principally because it matters to us as a member of global society and how we see ourselves fitting into it. We should take pride in Lester Pearson who helped to establish UN peacekeeping forces and other people who promoted efforts to stop communism, like a previous NATO ambassador George Ignatieff. That Pearson had a British ethnic background and Ignatieff had a Russian one should just about have been immaterial. Our first loyalty is to ensure Canadians in Crimea and Ukraine (and Russia) are protected, as well as Canadian assets and peace in the region. 

Thus, Prime Minister Harper pulling out the ethnic card of saying that no to stopping Russia's reabsorbing of Crimea is like showing mass insensitivity to Ukrainian- Canadians, including former neighbors is at best theatrical. At worst, it could be furthering divisions between Russian-Canadians, pardon my hyphenation and their Ukrainian neighbors as well, as a consequent logic. If I remember my history correctly, Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker somewhat of a model to Harper did not much like this idea of ethnic hyphenation.

The better politics is that for every time we presume or see a persecution of one group over another in  the world, we should not assist such divisions in being brought fully home in ethnic terms. Hence, if the Prime Minister believes that Russia overstepped international law in a grievous way in dealing with Ukraine then that should be his primary expression. 

It should not be primarily stated that our concern is because of so many Canadians being of Ukrainian descent make the issue so relevant. Rather, a cynic might feel the PM is "ethnicizing" the politics in Canada to get more Ukrainian-Canadian votes in the upcoming federal election in 2015.

Therefore, I can see a battle emerging out West between him and NDP party leader Thomas Mulcair, where many Ukrainian-Canadians live, pardon my hyphenation again, to prove who is more pro ethnic Ukrainian, including who goes to more folkloric Ukrainian events, subsidizes or promises to subsidize Ukrainian organizations in or outside Canada, who wears the most yellow-blue ribbons and so one. We shall have to wait and see how low the next federal election generates to.

I hope Ukrainian-Canadians pardon my hyphenation, will not swallow that approach. rather they will look at both sides of the issue from a Canadian perspective and come to a conclusion about the Crimean issue. That is the Canadian way of fairness and openness.

Meanwhile, I am kind of disgusted with the increasing pandering of PM at times to base politics to stay in power. However, I believe he has accomplished much in demonstrating frugal and prudent fiscal policies to ensure our debt does not get out of control. 

So, I do not know whether this frugality connects to any Scottish or even Ukrainian ancestral heritage, he might or might not have. And frankly, if he has or did not have any such heritages, it would be very secondary to me and most Canadians particularly of the current generations. 

We are all Canadians foremost and not Americans, Europeans, Asians or anyone else for that matter. Prime Minister Harper needs to better remember that as he usually does as Canada attempts to position itself better in this evermore brutal, competitive and too divided world. 

We need to stand together as Canadians for important common principles, including equality above ethnic origins and for open dialogue, even if we disagree together on key issues. Otherwise, we will sow the seeds of hatred,dissension and persecution in our own peaceable kingdom, which so far is an envy to many. Let us make it even better as a standard bearer to the world for peace and fairness.

           Proposal Revisited on Reducing West-Russia Tensions Regarding Crimea:

             How to Avoid "Thermonuclear" Economics of Mass Mutual Destruction                               


It is now time for the OSCE to show its further muster. This is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was set-up strongly, post Cold War to bridge the remaining divides, essentially between East and Western Europe. If there ever was a time for this organization to get very busy, it has to be now. Here follows the outline, and I stress outline for beginning to solve the so called crisis related to Crimea. It might save us all from not only an investment portfolio disaster but more importantly, to save precious lives of the innocent.

While the referendum results on Crimea may not be to the liking of much of the West as they are looked at in the days ahead, the voice of the Crimean people needs to be respected. However, I do not see a problem if Russia under proper terms of agreement with the OSCE were to oversee a confirming referendum later in the spring. This would lay out the more specific terms of Crimea's status, including treatment of minorities such Ukrainians, Tatar Muslims and Jews for example.

Such a multi-question referendum later on under OSCE observation and possible administration could contain what the West might refer to as a clarifying and legally final binding question on Crimea's status. 

My guess would be that it would be seen by the majority of Crimeans as an irritating and redundant one, though only if not presented as a part of a more expanded referendum. So such a proposal might become stillborn, but nevertheless I propose it in the hope it might help deescalate the unsatisfactory level of tensions between the West and Russia over Crimea.

But if such a referendum could be helpful to key parts of the international community to help them better understand that international law is being respected, then why not. Again the confirmation question, so to speak could be written differently but would provide a number of voting options

A) Re-attach Crimea to Russia with a certain definitional framework discussed in a pre-publicity, information campaign. 

B) Crimea as a confederal part of Ukraine with a definitional framework discussed in a pre-referendum campaign. For example, Russian Crimeans could have special citizenship privileges vis a vis Russia. Maybe Italian Tirol might provide a model as these (German speaking) Italians with historical roots to Austrian Tirol have special "residency" cards for Austria, I believe. Of course this option could involve a much stronger confederal Ukrainian option than the arrangement Italian Tirol has with Italy.

C) Reintegration of Crimea back to the status quo of pre Russian "militia" takeover or pre-March 15 2014, referendum in terms of status.

OSCE observers would ensure no chicanery by either side. OSCE would count the votes with a Russian scrutinizer present and from Switzerland, for example representing western interests.

This or a variation of it is better than having extreme sanctions from the West that might lead all the way to World War III or something like it that is now being seriously discussed by some major media outlets (e.g. Pravda)  here in Russia and the West.

Frankly, speaking I think Angela Merkel, the German chancellor has one upped President Obama by having another losing red-line strategy. Her view about major destabilizing sanctions being inevitable if Russia does not stand down on the Crimean referendum and its results is destructive. It could undermine Europe's credibility, the way such red-line tactics did not work for Obama on the Syria question. Or worse, it could paint Europe into a corner of making the wrong decision to save face.

I have admired this leader for her sound judgements on economic matters. But I am afraid to say she looks completely out of her league on this crisis. In fact, not one western leader has shown any imagination, not even of the kind seen in the belated intelligent decision making regarding preventing intervention into Syria. However, ex-Chancellors Helmut Kohl, her previous mentor and Helmut Schmidt have had some intelligent things to say about restraint on sanctions, as well

Merkel's position is highly compromising, potentially to the high export oriented German manufacturing industry, Europe's wealth generator for EU governments' revenues, subsidies, loans, employment and banking stability funds. It could be less than helpful also to the German banking industry, which has hundreds of billions of dollars loaned out to Russia. No wonder the head of Siemen's "rushed" over on March 26 to the Kremlin for face to face discussions with the Russian president.

Do we need to even mention the impact of disruptions on Russian gas flows and their impact on Germany, specifically and Europe in general. Some of the crazy fascists in key national security posts in the Kiev government are even mentioning disrupting Russian gas pipelines sending precious and irreplaceable energy to German homes and industry. Now they are threatening even the new "pro-West" parliament with an attack. How does Merket feel about Germany supporting such a government with neo-Nazis in it to top it all off? This is bloody shameful, never mind maddening.

And where is Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign minister who should be worried that some of her good work in Tehran is going to be completely undermined by the German chancellor. It is hard to see the most solid agreement on denuclearizing Iran if President Putin is put offside over the Ukraine crisis. Has the EU gone berserk?

This crisis is becoming potentially pure poison for the Chancellor's political future if things economically and seriously disintegrate or go wrong militarily. For she will be the primary point person in the West held responsible for not preventing the horrible resulting chaos and possible mass killings and maiming due to more possible insurrections in the Ukraine. This includes even war as an outside, but realistic possibility with sanctions spinning out of control. 

Bismarck, German chancellor who largely was able to keep the peace in Europe through statecraft in the nineteenth century would be turning in his grave, never mind Catherine the Great who she admires so much.

Again, it may be time for the Secretary General of the United Nations and the  OSCE organization to step in the breach as the latter is beginning to do as recent reports indicate as I update this.  

There could be this elaborating referendum under international OSCE monitors to follow in May or earlier if it can be logistically accomplished. This would demonstrate the magnanimous character of President Putin who in my estimation is clearly head and shoulders above most of his G8 counterparts in geo-politically strategizing and overall international political experience. Sorry folks, not a very popular thing to say to my fellow westerners. But facts are facts and should be dealt with as such. You are dealing with someone who now rarely miscalculates on the big international chessboard scheme.

In fact, I fear that is one of the problems for "my" proud western leaders and certain elite members who run them. Despite them all lining up with their much greater economic resources, President Putin keeps on winning on major international G8 questions that seriously impact Russia. In fact, Forbes, a top US business magazine, declared him so astute as to designate him as the most powerful person in the world. Nothing to sneeze about. 

For example, G7 tried to  undermine him on Syria and lost. They refused to indicate that the 
Sochi Olympics could be highly successful and to attend it and he delivered in spades with Russia finishing in first place in gold medals and total medals. Russia even got more medals than any country did in the last Winter Olympics much to my "consternation" as a proud Canadian. 

On another win for Mr. Putin, the United States government was found to be a massive miscreant in the way the NSA gathered people's personal information, comprehensively and listened in on its allies like Chancellor Merkel. It is now surprising that she is now acting as bosom buddy with Obama on the Ukraine crisis?

Again, Mr. Putin won there, giving asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and his treasure trove of top secrets brought onto his door step. Mr.Putin has been winning so often on tactical issues, no wonder the White House is ready for a fight. But we need to put this also in the larger and more sensitive context of strategic issues.

While Canadian Prime Minister Harper is not so well versed in geopolitics, clearly so- I am glad to say, nevertheless  we of Canada still got that precious ice hockey gold medal than escaped the "clutches" of Mr. Putin and all Russians for that matter. One cannot always win everything, every time. That is an important principle for all to have including being gracious about it.

However there are some things that are clearly demanding less compromise. Because NATO creep has been very destructive to Russia's image and perceived security, it is now resulting in a inevitably strong reaction to NATO practically being on its way to near the gates of Moscow, Therefore, this is not a game that Mr. Putin and Russia can afford to put on line like a hockey match at the Olympics. It is neither another basketball scrimmage game where everyone shakes hands after NATO tramples over Russia's backyard.

It is also rightfully perceived as threatening Russia's independence to be a strong unique voice to the USA. That offsetting voice it sees as being important for the world. After the end of the Cold War with the much more massive military and security apparatuses in the single hands of the US, it all makes many countries worry. Nowhere are these worries more exercised than in Moscow. These worries, incidentally also extend into Canada on cultural matters, banking, water resources and trade conflicts, but to list a few.

One thing for certain, Crimea specifically or Ukraine in general is not worth causing World War III over. Messieurs Putin and Obama and Ms Merkel can hopefully agree to that. This is a country that has been a mess and President Putin may have scored another victory by not having to bail out that which Europe and the US are now faced with due to their facilitating a coup over the previous more pro-Russia government. To the probable tune of tens of billions of dollars. Congratulations and Merry Christmas as President Putin would say. 

However, once Ukraine is sorted out, there will nevertheless likely have to be a new OSCE conference to draw up a new entente between the Eurasian grouping in which Russia is a center piece and which includes former republics of the Soviet Union and NATO in which the US is center pierce and the EU where I think Germany is center piece. Or is it America given some of the recent utterances of the German chancellor?

A repeat of a Ukrainian crisis is not on if the world economy is to survive, as well as possibly humankind. But after Merkel's performance, maybe it will be the US as the unofficial center piece for  the EU. Is the EU that bankrupt, politically and economically that it has to take its orders from Obama and his financial friends? New EU elections may indicate as well as coming ones in France that average European citizens are not so open to this excessively pro US approach, be it from Obama or the czars in tow in Brussels.

Yet, if NATO had any real collective intelligence, it would find a joint solution to share the financial grief with Russia of helping to solve this Ukrainian Pandora's box. But as I have said in my previous article in the Vancouver Province and various Post Media outlets, political leadership in the West is so lacking and fractured. This dispute over Crimea is highly demonstrative of it.

However, we shall see if this crisis occasion will bring the better out from western leadership in the end. So far Frau Merkel makes me kind of shudder if this is the best our side in the West can do. Hopefully, the OSCE will come up with something in its better collective wisdom over that of the US, NATO and the EU, which are increasingly being discredited as effective peace makers in regards to Russia. That is very sad, indeed following the mess in Syria.

.

   Europe cracking up inside! Do investors need to take care with Western Europe?


Recent referendum results or opinion polls in Catalonia, Spain and Venice, Italy respectively and the upcoming poll on separation of Scotland from Britain are indicative of an important trend. Large swathes of the European population are increasingly voting for separation and are fed up with certain centralist elites who they feel are "butchering" their future. 

They also feel at the same time that central governments are too insensitive to their local cultural and economic realities. They especially see it in their tax bills and the ever expanding central government debt they are worried they are going to disproportionately get stuck with. And the debt levels in some of these European countries are freaking out the regions.

For investors, they need to stand back a bit to let the dust fall. One European banker told me, a senior one, that he wondered whether Europe would head back to being much more of  a collection of fiefdoms/ regions, possibly with the Germans having the most power in such a fragmented system. 

However, Germany would fragment less because of its relatively greater degree of economic sustainability. There would be a kind of new Charlemagne empire with Brussels being replaced by a much smaller bureaucracy say in a more humble place like Aachen while the central bank stays in Frankfurt. Well something or other of a return to a kind of new "dark ages" from the perspective of the Eurocrats.

For investors, I have to say they are behind the ball in not thinking that some of these weaker countries and the regions that might eventually emerge as countries or semi-sovereign spaces will not be kicked out of the euro -or prevented from joining at some point. That bank account holders in such places may see some kind of unfavorable conversion of their euros into old weaken currencies from pesetas to drachmas to who knows what. However, they might be provided an option to have euro accounts, but be somewhat blindsided by some degree of forced conversions or new restrictions on capital outflows.

On the positive side, places like Venice might feel strong enough - or is that nostalgic enough- to begin to back Venetian money with gold, if they were able to separate or get new special powers. This might help put them in a position of becoming a strong offshore banking center and free- trade zone. I am getting excited about it already while imagining a new career as a gondolier.

So if you are going to have a bank account in Europe, choose countries that likely will keep the euro or have it converted into a stronger currency and not be subject to internal fragmentation. Hence, I believe Germany is a top selection country in Europe for holding a bank account. They are also "controlling" the  European Central Bank and are not likely to let rules pass that very negatively impact German account holders in the way the ECB caused  many depositors in Cyprus to get ripped off. German efficiency is generally not to be sneezed at, as well as reliability though French banking is also sufficiently good, especially in the major offshore territories and places.

As well, as to why Germany would be a good choice for a bank account, is that large branch banks like Deutsche Bank to Sparkasse would likely get bailed out in a crisis as many German voters would be merciless if they did not. It could cause even governments to fall if the rules were too punitive regarding failed big banks.However, the qualifier is that one does not know whether the Cyprus rule could one day infect the German republic. 

But given the past experiences with Nazi Germany and the Stasi in East Germany, the Germans are one of the most sensitive countries overall to maintaining democracy and their image of being democratic. Authoritarianism applied to their banking system is not likely, but let us see as a test how they treat their Russian clients over the period of sanction development.

The only area that might one day split from Germany is Bavaria. It is an outside possibility for this to happen or any serious fragmentation in Germany. But it would be interesting if Russia kept on getting larger, as well as its Eurasian economic space while significant European countries started to fragment and countries like the United Kingdom began to pull back from their involvement in the EU. 

I suspect the so called threat from Russia proclaimed by manipulative pro-sanction hawks and pro EU politicians will be used to prevent both more fragmentation and EU member states asking to reduce their EU participation. How successful this strategy could be, who knows? But it will make many G7 leaders who have their own internal fragmentation challenges, wanting to create unity from conjuring up another bogey man enemy. Be it Russia for now or another country later. I doubt if it works, hence the successes of pro-fragmentation forces in the G7 may be possible now more than any time in the recent past.

For now, investors and account holders in Europe ought to look more favorably at consolidating a good part of their accounts  be held in solid large size German banks, albeit keeping below the one hundred thousand euro threshold. This is irrespective of the bank account insurance schemes, which can involve total comprehensive coverage on all amounts and most accounts.The  Germans, if they choose, can stand up against bullying governments like the US, though maybe just.

Switzerland is looking good also as the Swiss franc remains a safe haven currency and splittist politics are manageable as the country is already one of the most decentralized countries in the world and quite economically sustainable - for now. US depositors need not apply to Switzerland unless they possibly procure property there first. They may have a somewhat better reception in Germany.

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               Russia "Kicked out" of G8, so what: Replace it with the B8 plus Russia 


The G8 has been anachronistic since 2008, when the USA decimated due to Wall Street banker follies had to reach out for help to BRICS. And to other countries with major money reserves that helped it, plus Russia all of which will still be in the G20.  

Furthermore, now when the G7 component meets with the G13, it will have a much less cooperative member, as Russia has important remaining alliances, relations and leverages with others in the G20. In other words, the G7 has weakened its position in the G20, which will not be so good if there is a new global financial crisis that requires the solidarity of this group.

Prime Minister Harper of Canada in characterizing Russia's response to this expulsion seemed to get into a personalized attack of Vladimir Putin. Even describing him as bluffing and strutting about. Let me provide some wise advice. Look at the more professional messaging of Russian foreign minister Lavrov who overall keeps it professional and to the point. A man who has steady nerves and has gone through enough crises to know that this one over Ukraine will pass. So he will still not want to burn his bridges with his interlocutors like John Kerry and other foreign ministers if he can. We see a seasoned diplomat who could teach many a G7 leader some wisdom in diplomacy.

Vladimir Putin is another man who knows how to keep calm, not only when everything around him was going deadly crazy in the Russian embassy in Germany, but now when the world has become more deadly and brutal. And even when the G7 has piled on ungraciously, well after the whistle was blown. 

Prime Minister Harper of Canada has every right indeed to have a nervous tone in his voice these days. Again, Canada, needs to be aware that it may be better for President Putin to be his own G1. For the old adage is to keep your friends close, but your enemy closer. The Russian president now has a freer hand, including a more PR controlled environment to his suitability. 

He can take more distinct actions he thinks are in his country's favor than having to play to the G7's collective posturing -or even increasing irrelevance. By kicking him out, they have just furthered that group's irrelevance while never mind making the remaining members look petty and possibly even weak.

P.S. I prefer the B8 plus one, the b standing for banks and the one for Russia. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citi Corp, Societe Generale, Rothschild, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and UBS are the B8. Though I see from what I have copied below it has an interesting slang parallel not originally intended.This group would more quickly figure out a more positive solution to the Ukraine crisis than the G7 with much less extraneous noise. 

After all, they are the real power behind the thrones (see petedash.com on this) and are more professional in sizing up Mr. Putin who they know really runs things in Russia unlike the G 7 "dwarfs" who are more and more poor cousin talking heads for Wall Street and Canary Wharf or derivatives thereof. 

The G7 confab in Holland looked so bereft of relevance and substance and smelled of total photo-op. Not to say I overall like this B8 group with enthusiasm, but think the Russian president should send out invitations to them at some point to come to beautiful Sochi to better deal with getting more solid support in the West. Of course, strategically, this might prove profitable for all.Heck throw in Shell Oil and Exxon as observers given their huge stakes in or with Russia.
        
                                                                    B8
B8 (sometimes written bait or beight) is an exceptionally popular slang term which came about in the early 21st century. Its generally flexible meaning of 'bad' or 'poor' gave it cult status and wide spread usage, which, inevitably led to various adaptations. These are numerous and include binse, b8 rinse, b8 coichen life and b8 coichen du two rinse and so on...
"Mate, this is f'kin' b8" 
"Shit look outside, its raining b8!" 
"You're B8" 
"B8 life!"
by Marcoiche Cardinse February 07, 2008
 


 Banksters being arrested, not only psychologically crashing: NATO their last hope?   


It appears that too much of the current financial order is falling apart, both spiritually as well as financially. The increased suicide rate of bankers may reflect an underlying unhappiness with not only stress levels, but of the increasingly recognized immorality by the public, as well as some of the bankers themselves as to what the banks are doing. These financiers may also have worries about their growing legal and criminal culpability and risks of some of their actions.

For example, the pesky Icelanders are going after the most corrupt bankers who helped to create the 2008 meltdowns and rip-offs of many citizens. It appears Ireland and Russia are also largely cooperating in dealing with the fraudsters, joining support of publics in heavily indebted, 2008 affected/infected countries. The affected populations do not want to be tithed forever to pay for the banking madness. See this article, though I do not know how overall good the site is but it makes interesting reading.

http://politicalvelcraft.org/2012/06/21/iceland-revolution-continues-9-rothschildrockefeller-self-proclaimed-global-elites-arrested-for-icelands-financial-collapse-of-2008/

The question is whether large segments of the western banking community are the ones really scared of Vladimir Putin. That the provocations in Ukraine are meant to weaken him as he is a "champion" against many western financial swindlers who he saw first hand as to what they did to his country in the early 1990s.That is until he got charge of Russia and significantly changed his country's fiscal management and relations with most of Wall Street and elsewhere in international banking. Do they now want to use Ukraine to break him?

These banksters had somewhat of a similar negative affect on certain western countries later, stripping them down for removal of their prize assets on the cheap. Russia will be the grand prize for another "raping" if he were to let NATO to commit much of a one step forward strategy until it swallows everything. It will not happen as the Russian people were sick of it enough in the 1990s.

So there we have it in significant part the whole jewel in the crown, the Ukraine exercise being mobilized by a bankster rep "prime minister" in one of the final thrusts and cuts by top banksters employed against Russia. It is all about finance as the President of France once said?

Is NATO the final attack dog of Wall Street to pry open the rest of Eastern Europe for their plundering through more so called  debt conversion to share ownership of prize government assets?The Reagan doctrine, not to violate Ex Warsaw Pact countries neutrality was badly ignored. Including that heroic president's commitment to Russian President Gorbachev to keep NATO out of Russia's backyard.,

The whole world now knows and sees the emperor without his clothing on no matter how the Obama  administration indignantly portrays itself as a victim protecting the free world when we know it is all about protecting and enhancing money of the western financiers to a significant effect. This will not end well for the old order, no matter what the sanctions might be. 

It is now better that the West provide the expertise to helping Russia out of its conundrum not try to financially and diplomatically squash it. That the West should call off their NATO attack dog. Or are the fifth columnists now out of reach and their financial backers to Obama's and the G7 control. If so that would be very very sad to recognize that Wall Street is so fundamentally calling NATO and EU shots and shorts regarding Russia. Hopefully that is too pessimistic thinking.
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   Have I now got your attention: Time for give and take on the Russia - G 7  divide.

My rather conservative friends and others back in Canada and elsewhere must think I have flipped to show any kind of support for Russia on the Crimean issue. It would be wrong to conclude -and take the easy way out- to think I have been seduced by some former KGB agent. or had too much vodka or worse, Russian beer. That I will break out in Russian and chants of comrad when I return to mother Canada.

Or one relative or more might be thinking I am just trying to stir things up. A generally simple analysis, but if one means challenging bad convention or herd thinking then I take it as as a compliment? To borrow from my high school of an idea being preached there by its headmaster, one needs to be comfortable about being uncomfortable at times. These would be wise words for G7 leaders to apply more in earnest in dealing with the issue of Crimea and Vladimir Putin.

Read on for really why I have done somewhat of an excessive dump on this site in support of Russia. That may have even somewhat enraged some readers. I hope so if it has made them give more attention to all sides of this important issue. One that may be lacking real deep and fair thinking in the western mainstream. More than even a great pity given its potential impact on the global economy and matters of peace.

One thing I have learned is the importance of applying a constructivist teaching methodology, as to encourage my students to employ critical thinking. This involves looking at problems from unusual angles and perspectives. While not admitting to be acting as a full expert in international affairs, of any kind by the way, I have to give most G7 leaders a failing grade and President Putin a B of recent on the crisis in Ukraine.

I initially gave the Russian President an A for quick and efficient response to excessive meddling at first by the West in Ukraine whose insensitivity to Russia's needs is clear. But I now think the President needs to do some "placating" of the international community by more fully employing the OSCE to absolutely legitimize the obvious, that Crimeans wish a new arrangement, probably as a reattachment  to Russia. Any further referendums must be legitimized by international organizations like the OSCE and be observed by legitimate international monitors if all hell is to be prevented from breaking out in Ukraine and possibly beyond.

I have previously explained why, here in one of my essays why the OSCE needs to conduct a confirming referendum in Crimea. By doing so, President Putin would cement his achievements. Such an initiative would freeze western warmongers almost in their tracks, and even strengthen more the Russian president's claim to statesmanship and full expertise on matters of international law. It might provide a model for any further referendums, as well it would lower the pitch for sanctions.

A lot of my previous pieces would be shocking for some of my careerist schoolmates and various brown nosers to political leaders who do not want to fall outside the main herd - well, the main herds at the G7 elite levels. This also includes many of my fellow Conservatives. 

Would it be really so much to see a few alternative views as expressed on Bloomberg news or by Marg Wente at the Globe and Mail in the courts of G 7 leaders. A demonstration of the critical thinking that goes back several decades in the American education system and is supposed to be at least in theory at the heart of western learning, distinguishing it supposedly over authoritarian cultures and systems? And supposedly, most G 7 leaders are very well educated to it - or is it to short term votes and too much banker money. 

Let us hope not too much of the latter as bankers have very little thinking, never mind critical thinking, on matters of complex international affairs outside of maybe making money. After all, some of them put both Hitler and Lenin in power. Not such a bright bunch in foreign affairs, which reminds one that the new Ukrainian "prime minister " is one and that the others that led European governments did not last so long. But I digress.

Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense and no soft dove, put forward in the film, the Fog of War the need to empathize with the so called enemy in order to better deal with it. The West has generally completely failed with Russia from the point of this key principle in understanding an adversary.

And in the Art of War, the advice is provided to be sure you are on good solid ground when you ready for attack or to receive attack. President Obama fails at this miserably too, as all major sanctions lead to two way heavy losses not the desperate victory the US needs, since it has not won any worthwhile wars since WW II and the US public is very aware of it more than any time before. 

Obama comes to "battle" on bad ground even with substantial weaponry. Those of his  European partners do not feel the need or courageous enough to bring this sufficiently to his attention. That does not make Europe a strong back-up for reinforcements as mixed loyalty privately but publicly acting as sycophants does not make reliable partners in the end.

I feel that Seymour Hirsch is right about the collective level of government nincompoopery in the West with some important exceptions. And Vladimir Putin has to be seen practically as last man standing given that he has the most solid understanding of his field strategy. But he just needs to know that given Russia's lower level of economic resources, he has been scoring too well against the Goliath. 

In the Art of War, if you cannot slay the Goliath you may need to appease it a bit after so many victories against it. Just like Syria, President Putin needs to turn another US Obama fumble into another touchdown for him and his administration.The President of Russia must sadly play both ends to the greater good of both, which benefits Russia. Face saving is an important concept learned from the East and being a graceful victor.

My guess is that Mr. Putin needs to pull back and consolidate and let the US "beast" reflect and ensure Russia does not get blamed for wrecking it too much and the global economy. After all, some western leaders may soon need a few countries to play the blame game with. Some more self-inflicted injuries, economically or otherwise that are occurring a plenty do not have to be assisted with by Russia. Thank you very much, many of the western governments are sadly doing a rather nice job of economically imploding, pardon my irony.

There is a time when it is better to lay quiet and prepare and even allow the wounds of your  indestructible enemy to heal before it shows irrational destructive temper. For Russia has proven it is capable of the final acts of attack to create massive losses to sanction approving detractors.The Goliath knows it, but worst fears it so roars loudly to convince its allies that it is still invincible and should be loyally followed. 

It is rather wise to remove some of that fear with a generous diplomatic initiative that could prove beneficial. The OSCE would seem the best place through which a resolution can be made. Then the G7 can return to being confused by Vladimir Putin in a more sober manner, believing the old order is still in place as evidence increasingly shows is the contrary. (See my take below on the new gold world order). 


    Security of Massive Russian Investments and Investors in Much of West in Doubt?        

Could sanctions, thus cause capital to be drawn into pro-business, low tax Russia?


The application of US led western sanctions against Russia appears to be already backfiring even this week. Possibly, this is in anticipation of more sanctions being announced against rich and influential Russians who have substantial investments in the West, particularly Europe or tax havens overseen by European countries. This may explain in part why the Moscow stock exchange had one of its best days ever that was even noticed by White House press reporters. 

It may be partly due to two things. Many Russian investors abroad are feeling that their assets will be next for attack by the Obama White House. A White House that even in its press conference is bearing down on Russian investments and in turn Russian investors. Whether one looks at this as lunacy and self-inflicted pain, is another story.

The point is that half a trillion US dollars to possibly even a trillion dollars of Russian money flows through the West. If Russian investors (and even their visible friends) feel they are going to be directly and even indirectly discriminated by the US government, then why should they hold their money and investments there, especially if denominated in US dollars that are increasingly problematic.

Many business people in America already knew about the reverse logic of the Obama administration when it came to encouraging real sustainable growth. One of  the administration's first acts was to hit even harder against Americans who held money offshore than to properly incentivize its returns. All while too many of those who committed financial crimes and were the friends of the administration got off criminally Scot free.

Furthermore, its attitude was to cut no deals for the trillion dollars that major firms are holding abroad. So now this administration is not only discouraging repatriating of huge sums of potentially job creating money giving more hope, it wants to chase Russian investor money away?


In fact, it had one Russian oligarch in Austria arrested right around the time sanctions were being introduced. So for any Russian investors, especially in America or on western soil, they have to ask themselves this question. Do you feel lucky by having so much money in America, for example?  Or do you have a better and what some might consider a more patriotic solution to your current problems? That solution is to take a sizable amount of money and start buying into the Russian economies, including regional ones In Crimea.

This is not an act of charity as Russian stocks have some of the lowest P/E ratios in the world and among them some solid investment potential. Even investors like Jim Rogers, not admirers of everything about the Russian government and Dr. Marc Faber have recognized these low valuations and serious investment opportunities in Russia. 

In fact, the  head of one of France's largest banks, Societe Generale has smartly said that they will overall remain in Russia for strategic reasons. What he is saying is Russia spells significant rates of return, if not now, certainly in the future. And that they will largely ignore destructive politics. Many American corporations be they Ford Motors to McDonald Corporations know of what he speaks. They have a huge presence here. Recognizing the existing powerful consumer market and its growth potential.

When the press secretary of President Obama said go short on Russia, he revealed two things. How petty the Obama, administration has become towards Russia, maybe an act of hubris for so many foreign policy failures on their part and successes by Russia on its part. All while Russia has more limited economic resources. 

The other was a reflection of a lack of understanding of business and economic reality. Business people will see through a lot of the meaningless rhetoric and will buy wherever they can where prices are low. Buy low, sell high will not be fundamentally interrupted by a president in his last years of office, and likely about to see more pro-business and libertarian oriented congressmen in office by November. 

Stepping up the rhetoric against Russia to get more votes will not impress most of US business or certainly US foreign investors like Russia s who already wonder whether they are being spied on. And I very much doubt that sanctions against Russia it will impress US voters who want stability that underpins job growth and have more to think about than Crimea. they have clearly shown interventionist fatigue and feel the White House increasingly out of touch.

Finally, the Russian rich and their bank accounts from London to New York to Amsterdam to Cyprus to the British Caribbean have been providing important benefits to these economies. If they feel they will be put more under the eye of the US Justice system, Scotland Yard or the RCMP in Canada for example, they will react. They will reduce their investments or even remove them. This may or may not affect some western currencies and financial institutions' standings. But it could eventually.

There will be a domino effect possibly with China. For it is clear that the Obama administration and certain governments of the West like the Harper government in Canada have not been too happy with China on a range of issues. If Russian investors become excessively discriminated against because of political tensions around sanctions against Russia and on other irritants be it economic and military frictions, then these Chinese investors will have to wonder whether they might be next as the fall-out from Russian sanctions potentially snowballs.

All of what we have seen by the Obama administration with some exception, reinforces that it is just short of being amateurish in dealing with Russia no matter how many resources it has at hand. That to make up for weakness not only with Russia, it thinks it can be thuggish, be it with commissioned approval of the NSA excesses or passive approval or using fifth columnists in Ukraine allied with political extremists. 

These are worrisome trends that investors have to give attention as the US government and certain other western ones get desperate for revenues as their fiscal, monetary and even social policies unwind. As they give up on following due process and transparency so as to win at all costs?

For in the end, the US government is worried that all its dependents, and even too much of the middle class, turning on it as it goes bankrupt and increases taxes rather than what Russia will do 'next"? Ukraine maneuvering  is one of its many staged distractions in part as its activities around Syria and Iraq were. It should focus at home and listen to the brighter voices of the Pauls.

Russian investors have to start thinking about these full enforcement apparatus of the Obama administration and five eyes starting to overly look into their affairs. They have to measure this against whatever worries they might have with some risks in Russia. They also have to really worry about where American civility and civil society are going that they thought would protect them. Under Obama, who knows what is possible, now in the West.

Fortunately, many Russian investors are now being welcomed home and only need to consider a very low tax regime. It may be a regime that requires more tax payments than in certain offshore ones, but considerably lower than what the people in the Obama administration would like them to pay, now or in the future. A Russian economic environment is one with significant profits both short and long term that can off-set potential small losses due to low Russian taxes.  

This is now their best Investment welcoming window for on-shoring their investments possibly in this century. I believe because of these pro-business policies, Moscow City will become the new Singapore over the next generation, if not earlier. No one beloved it possible for Singapore to develop so well with many in the US bad mouthing it for what they considered to be an authoritarian government. 

For foreign investors what does this spell out for them. Again, Moscow stock exchanges are at near lows or the lowest as far as valuations. One may never see them at these levels again. This is a huge resource rich country with massive petroleum reserves that have even attracted the likes of Exxon that so far has not decided to pull-out, irrespective the invective of the Obama administration. That should tell one something.

Before the Crimea issue, I advised global investors to begin to give very serious attention to looking into investing in Russia. I believe we will be soon at a point where those who wait too long will miss many long term opportunities of great significance. Watch if Russian investor money begins to come home over the next year or so.

I believe this money will. Russia is a buy. The Obama administration may be trying to drive an investment panic and currency crisis onto Russia but it will be found to be short in another way. Short on vision for peace, economic and business acumen. I welcome it being replaced by a more thoughtful, non-interventionist, pro-business Republican administration with the likes of more honest leadership that is more respected around the world. 

P.S. Western investment plays during sanctions. Switzerland should win out of the turbulence though the Swiss franc is pegged against the Euro for now. The Germans in the end might talk a lot through Chancellor Merkel  but allow circumvention of Obama led sanctions and the same for the Netherlands. I expect these countries by a kind of stealth will grab investment opportunities in Russia while certain other European governments bad mouth and more religiously apply their sanctions and as a result could lose business for their companies in Russia.

Thus, once again German businesses will cement their dominant place in Europe along with the Dutch and Swiss (banks) heavily invested or as beneficiaries directly or indirectly vis a vis Russian commodities or investments. Meanwhile, American businesses in Russia will have to at least suffer until the end of the Obama presidency.

Did the US not learn anything about the failed sanctions against Russia of a previous administration to stop gas exports from Russia to Europe? Nope, and not a second time lucky in my estimation. Exxon knows this as well as Ford. So they will just wait it all out with disgust. Hence President Putin is at the stage of check if not checkmate and match with the Obama administration. Further sanctions will just advance this "game" to a worse conclusion. As a North American, and generally wanting America to succeed, it is  all becoming embarrassing.

                    Senator Rand Paul Warns about US Government "Fifth Columns" 

ZUrabia, my dystopian book was scary enough in mapping out possible dangerous futures by governances infected by fascists and pro-terrorists. But listen to Senator Rand Paul about his worries about the US going totalitarian with a full array of NSA equipment being deployed. I think 

in some ways what may be happening with the US federal government is more worrisome than ZUrabia. Paul is one of the few decent politicians in Congress and the whole world should pray that he makes it to the presidency.


http://www.infowars.com/rand-paul-concerned-about-who-is-truly-in-charge-of-our-government/


                                        Sanctioning Mutually Assured Madness 


I was just watching a very insightful movie called "Dr. Strangelove". While exaggerated and meant as a kind of dark dystopian humor regarding the dangers of the nuclear Cold War era, it should make us pause, nevertheless. In the movie, a rogue American General decides to take it upon himself to launch an all out strategic nuclear attack on Russia without authorization by the US president. To say the least, the end is not pretty.

Into the post Cold War era, we have Russia and United States armed to the teeth, including with long and short range nuclear missiles. And with one of President Putin's advisor so mad about fifth column moves of NATO into Ukraine, that in frustration warning America that Russia can reduce the US to radioactive dust.

While economic sanctions by the West may not get Russia to seriously contemplate nuclear bombing, or heaven forbid, to carry out a nuclear launch, those in top strategic command should take heed. The possibilities of nuclear war are not dead, if the atmospherics between Russia and America were to descend into a kind of strategic hell, then who knows what would be possible. Remember one shot in a not so significant country in the Balkans caused the launch of World War I, about a hundred years ago that resulted in millions being killed.

When I see all the money, especially on the US and NATO side that went into developing and using bombs needlessly and tragically, I think what could have been an alternative world to the military industrial complex. One that could have redirected the funds in eliminating the ghetto and especially bringing minorities and Africans out of poverty. Money that could have been used to keep certain groups out of jail and homelessness. 

Was that what President Obama's administration was supposed to be about solving? Was it  supposed to be about finally eliminating the manifested vision of the warning of Dwight Eisenhower about a military industrial complex that would strangle and is strangling American society and possibly large parts of the world. That is choking off revenues from positive development of societies.

Instead, the President appears to be too much of an accomplice of this by way of Libya and previous excess readiness to attack Syria. To the positive end are attempts to bring Iran on side and finally to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. So his legacy is not all bad. 

However, he keeps returning to supporting the military-industrial-intelligence-police and banking complex, this time by letting his people generate a mess in Ukraine. Wall Street does not know enough as well, not to exceed certain basic lines of decency, even after individuals at the top have stuffed money into their pockets illegally or certainly unethically, and do not need any further cash personally.

Unbelievably, they are also still willing to cause havoc in poor countries like Ukraine including further stripping down the poor there so Wall Street can profit even more. They are so outrageous about it  that they even orchestrated getting one of their own so to speak, put in charge as Ukrainian "prime minister " These people have no class no matter what possessions they have, by people, countries or assets. Such continued actions, including unreasonable sanctions, can frustrate countries into finally going mad.

Let us also not forget about all the NSA and CIA intrusions into congress (never mind the vast array of countries) -and ally heads of state and unexplained activities related to 9/11. If the US administration is not fully in control in dealing with these cancers spread by the worst parts of the complex, then what future are our children facing? And that question may need to be asked increasingly even by  evermore worrying and watched US senators, not only foreign officials on US sanction lists. One is asking and his name is Senator Rand Paul.

The US government leadership needs to get under control even what President Nixon described as a beast that he admitted he did not know how to manage at times. That is possibly before it devours the many including large swaths of Americans at many levels. And not to forget large parts of the world.

Wars are started out of countries or by individuals feeling backed into hopeless situations. Feeling that large scale injustices have been or will soon be done to them. Russia is sensing being at such a point. And if some mad general or other creates a false flag, or relations and communications deteriorate due to excessive sanctions or military or fifth column maneuvers, who knows what is possible.

It all should remind us in the end what is at stake. Major efforts to eliminate the emerging potential war madness need to made with the strongest efforts. Or we may see what we thought could never happen because too many, including NATO and the US government felt more (falsely?) secure about Europe with the end of the Cold War.

A movie worth watching by those who wish more peace between America and Russia and still fear nuclear war.

http://blip.tv/moviearchives/dr-strangelove-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-bomb-5462653


        US "Invasion" of Canada Welcomed by Harper Government? Ukraine, next?

                           
The excellent, finance minister Jim Flaherty is being replaced in the Canadian cabinet by ex-Merill Lynch investment banker, Joe Oliver. Combined with the Goldman Sachs background of the new US ambassador to Canada, one can safely underline that the Harper government will be very close to getting strong input from Wall Street. 

This combines with the strong international banker background of the Ukrainian "prime minister" who Canadian Prime Minister Harper has been lavishing praise on whom he will be visiting to prop up,  Is this consistent to Harper being too positive towards the US investment banking community priorities and those of US President Obama. Permitting a kind of invasion of Canadian and Ukrainian sovereignty by stealth and placation? One would hope not.

The Harper government is indeed looking like a tired one given this approach at times of overly mimicking Obama's fatigued foreign policy that by design or not seems to support the US military industrial-intelligence-police complex and its Wall Street financiers. This lack of imagination and fatigue are also reflected in important resignations from the PM's chief of staff to the finance minister. This government is just about burnt out in Quebec, where all his hype about supposedly saving Ukraine from Russia does not play out so well and where his poll ratings have been a disaster for years. 

I believe because of Harper's largely uninspiring US copycat tendencies that included wanting to take Canada to war in Iraq, President Putin has been largely ignoring him for a long time. Canada in Moscow is almost totally invisible and irrelevant here, excluding some of our important independent business people connected to companies like Kinross Gold, etc. And who Harper has essentially abandoned. They have given an earful of what they think about the ambassador not having been around to promote Canada's economic interest

And to offset much remaining and competing government support from certain Western European countries and those of China and beyond.

For the Harper government, I now sadly have to refer to it as part of G7 minus one, it being the one. (US representing Canada, too often thereby essentially removing Canada as a separate voice in the G7 picture or G8 picture

That being said, we do not have to disagree with Washington all the time, but we do need a more made in Canada policy for all Canadians. Harper just does not get it and Flaherty's resignation and replacement is a real blow as such.

 It should be also said, that the Prime Minister made some important fiscal and courageous past  decisions beneficial to the economy, coincidentally that were much less imitating of US fiscal policy, just as Russia did. He has had important successes, but his geopolitical instincts betray a fine legacy of foreign policy from John A. MacDonald to Robert Borden to .Diefenbaker,  Chretien and Lester Pearson. That indeed is tragic, no matter how many votes he thinks that might be in his politics of ethnicity. I hope for a reverse in policy by the PM so that Canada can move forward, be relevant and more demonstrably sovereign at home and abroad. Nevertheless, I wish him well.


         Moscow and Russia in general, great places now for Westerners to Visit


I have mentioned before the great beauty of Russia. Moscow is full of fascinating iconic buildings and churches for example to go along with the Communist kitsch of hammer and  sickle displays on  government buildings. There  are some great outstanding hotels providing first class service (Metropol, Ritz, Kempinski (near Lubyanka) Savoy and Bolshoi) that make your eyes pop out due to their elegance and decor. 

Moscow may be kind of off the tourist urban track, but I suggest you beat a track to it before the ruble rebounds. You can even stay at a five star, downtown luxury hotel, called the Golden Apple for 100 dollars a night. So not everything is prohibitively pricey. I go for the shawarma for 3 dollars when I am hungry and on budget. The BBQ chickens are half the price of those in the  West.

Muscovites tell me to tell westerners that they are all still very much welcomed. For the events in Ukraine only reinforce pride in Russians and therefore outreach to many tourists coming to Russia and behaving in a respectful way. There is a great tolerance to overall diversity here as it is a very international place.

Russians also have a tremendous amount of fascinating culture and long history to share with western tourists. And they are proud to do so including giving discussion and attention to master authors and composers of Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy, Checkoff and many more for which each seems to have their own museums. And the museums are so numerous, as well as theatre. 

This is a city full of highly literate people, a good number of  whom have élan to match the palatial decor of the gorgeous metro stations. You will see them in the parks as well that are everywhere making Moscow one of the greenest major cities anywhere. 

I have noticed now more bargains in the shops and with the Russian ruble declining so much it is becoming more interesting to travel within Russia, eat at the many great restaurants and go to the great 24hour nightclubs.  Today I bought a pair of beautiful Italian designed shoes of great quality and only for a hundred dollars at a shop in the outer part of Moscow near the metro line. I find a lot of great products away from the center at reasonable prices.

Remember, the turmoil in emerging markets combined with the situation in Crimea has brought the strong ruble down a lot of recent. So not only does there appear to be quite a few items having their prices slashed these days. But the slow (though stable) economy and the lower value in the ruble can add up to a 75 percent saving over some regular prices.

As well, the beauty of classical shopping arcades like Gum department store by Red Square are unrivaled in America or Canada.The festive decorations at Christmas and other occasions are unbelievable. I have never see anywhere else such dedication to beautifying arcades or a city during Christmas time.

The great thing is many of the wondrous estates that are three hundred or more years old are near these ends of metro station lines where there are bargain basement priced goods. Gimki, Archangel and others are splendid in beauty and relatively soon will be in floral pageantry as spring arrives with the very well celebrated Easter and May Day. The gardens around the massive, imposing Kremlin are a feast for the tingling senses..

Again, come to Moscow and generally ignore this Canadian embassy travel warning. The Russian people, once you get to know them are very hospitable. They can go out of their way to help you with directions. I have found Moscow to be safer than London. So what are you waiting for this summer, spring, fall or even what little time is left in winter.

http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/Russia. It is up to you to decide whether your situation merits going to Russia, But I would not worry for the most part. Excluding some references possibly to the North Caucus this travel advisory is way over the top! It borders on being propaganda and wonder why the Canadian government would be trying to make Russia look so much worse than it is for potential visitors?. 

Of course, Crimea may be a little iffy for visiting at this stage, But I have heard it is one of the most fascinating places to visit for tourism and look forward to visiting it one day. I would characterize Russia  as less dangerous for crime than many parts of Canada, but invite many Russians to visit beautiful Canada and to ignore the current politics of the Canadian government. Most average Canadians are open-minded people explaining why millions of them no longer live in Canada as they are very adaptive to integrating with many different cultures and perspectives.

" ..... a New York resident filed a lawsuit against the bankers for colluding to manipulate the London gold fix price." From Hindu Line, website 

                                         A Note on many exiting bankers

The following site contains some priceless wit about Canadian top executive bankers. And to my classmate Gord Nixon, Royal Bank CEO, if I do not see you at the class reunion to discuss what you plan for retirement, I say "après vous la deluge" The words, more or less attributed to King Louis of France before the revolution. Go to here- http://www.thebeaverton.com/national/item/1153-big-5-banks-worried-canadians-not-saving-enough-for-retirement-of-bank-CEOs. 

The sad situation is that too many bankers are retiring by jumping. But however you cut it, there is an eerie feeling that something big and nasty is coming ahead in the economy and financial world. There are just too many retirements or worse, lately in the western financial world.


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                     How the Rambo Analogy Fits Vladimir Putin and Russia of Today:
                             And why they could wreak havoc if sanctions get ugly


In the movie, Rambo: First Blood, where Sylvester Stallone plays the hero, John Rambo, one may recall is a person of character who has fallen on hard times. In fact, a Vietnam war veteran, Medal of Honor recipient and hero but now misunderstood by his community for the sacrifices he made, including putting his life on the line for them. He appears to be a once important fighting machine, considered no longer relevant and burnt out. He is seen as a drifter and loner, kind of in his own past world and unadapted to modern times.

Into one community he drifts. The police sheriff there does not much like how he looks and could not really care what his past war contributions were or really anything about his past. His attitude is we do not need you and to evermore push Rambo out of his so-called territory. To really deny him enough serious respect. In fact, he puts Rambo in jail for refusing to get out of the way and to leave town. For his defiance, Rambo is stripped down and even abused at the police station by some of the sheriff's deputies who think it is all good fun. That is until Rambo decides he is not going to take it any longer.

Russia is in a way in this crude but useful analogy, like Rambo at this point. It has essentially for years been abused geopolitically (less so recently) maybe because it was a worrying reminder to the West of the old "war" where Russia led the drive of pushing world socialism that many, particularly in the West would like to forget ever existed. Memories to be forgotten including Russia's previous co-dominant position back until the 90s as a major contending superpower to the United States.

The Cold War was not a winning war for Russia, neither was the Vietnam one for the West that Rambo reminds people of in the film by continuing to wear Vietnam vet soldier clothes.Then like Rambo, post war, Russia tried to reinvent itself and was abused and disrespected in those early attempts. Russia at the hands of western bankers and western decision makers, became  described by neocons as a spent force and an economic midget, no longer carrying much weight. Rambo by seemingly everyone from the police to politicians is seen as a relic, as well.

Also, Russia post 1990 tried to join the western club to play the free market game. It thought  it would be at least treated as an equal partner, but instead kept on getting pushed around by NATO to a smaller and smaller reach of influence. All after the Soviet Union fragmented itself into many pieces, as part of the reform process conducive to the West's wishes, as well as those of nationalist groups.

When it protested that it was not being respected and was losing power, it was further disrespected with additional attempts to run its influence out of town, being Europe, with its tail behind it. Vladimir Putin is the individual embodiment of a kind of Rambo finally standing up for his country. And like John Rambo, he has got to the point of deciding he  would not be taking it anymore, even beyond the logic of whether he could win on the longer term by forcefully fighting back against NATO.

To remind those who have forgotten this movie or not seen it: the lack of decency and the patronizing attitude taken by the sheriff, along with the abuse netted out by his assistant on Rambo, eventually enrages Rambo to a boiling point where he mercilessly beats his captors before he escapes. Then Rambo visits mayhem on the sheriff's town especially after the police try to kill him. All this despite having tried to negotiate a fair entente with his oppressors that would have permitted him to come in out of the cold with some dignity. In essence, the police in general are ethical scum and Rambo despite his hard edges is a man of virtue and badly understood.

Rambo had begun to visibly stand his ground. Yet for some of the sheriff's men, pathological bullies to the core, that was considered as unforgivable especially by the ones who torture him and to whom he  severely retaliates . These assistants are largely a viscous proud lot, not always under strict control by the sheriff, sometimes acting like a fifth column. Sounds familiar as we watch certain elements of the CIA spy on Congress and who made a huge mess of Libya or Iraq? Or water boarded huge numbers of prisoners.

Rambo also becomes a total wrecking crew, once one of the manic police assistants tries to rub him out later with sniper fire. All  much to the consternation of a lonely minority of the assistants, who for the most part are afraid to speak up. The sheriff proves ineffective in reining in these bullies. 

But the sheriff won't step down in taking it to Rambo. The firefight gets so bad and personal between the two so that the Sheriff at the end of the movie finds himself in a stretcher with terrible multiple gun wounds. All after Rambo shoots up and blows up the rest of the community that despised and spurned him. The rage running, through his blood is unbelievable for all the years of perceived abuse and being talked down to despite his attempted service to the wider community.

Now, you might be better able to understand the Russian collective mentality, even if the metaphor is rough. That is in a way what a good number of Russians feel about the lack of respect they have received from the West, if not condensation, derision and even manipulation. Even after all the help they tried to provide against jihadist terrorism and on the Iranian nuclear dossier or in attempts to save the West from suffering the fall-out it created in Iraq or Libya. And the ungrateful appreciation for keeping America from suffering a Syrian debacle. It all made it  easy for Ukraine to become a last last straw. If it was not a drawing of first blood by America then maybe it was the final big slap in the face.

Vladimir Putin's tough guy image whether dispensing with a judo opponent or riding bare shirt on bareback is part of this idea of redemption from being so disabused and seen previously as so weakened. I believe that for quite some period that Russia has been denuded of pride and respect too much. Some of this relates to lack of self-confidence previously, but more of it relates to the pushy manner NATO has behaved since the removal of the Iron Curtain.

In the Rambo analogy, America is the overstepping sheriff - or self-declared policeman of the world overly throwing its weight around. And I suppose some of its assistants are the fifth column  that helped to stage the silent coup (see petedash.com, my blog) in places like the Ukraine. Who possibly got out of control of the Sheriff. Read certain officials of the State Department and the CIA  and the NGOs and fascist parties they funded in real life. And for this in Ukraine and NATOs many expansions, Vkadimir Putin is accusing America as drawing not only first blood, but many previous times before. The Rambo in the film, a kind of figure admired by many Americans as the underdog, would never have been as patient before strongly reacting to what NATO did.

During the beginnings of the mayhem carried out by Rambo, a colonel of the US army special forces is sent in to help the sheriff deal with his ex fellow, special operations commando. For the colonel trained and mentored Rambo. However, the sheriff being very proud does not want the help.The dialogue goes like this

Sheriff: "So the army sent in someone to help us, thinking we could not handle him. You are just here to save your boy, Rambo."

Colonel Trautman:  "We didn't come in to save Rambo. We came in to save you from him."

The colonel's words prove true as Rambo is well trained in lethal combat and for all kinds of operations under any circumstance. He can eat anything if he has to that would make a billy goat puke as the colonel says. He can deal with anything that the opposition can throw him. He needs few resources and can use even the most basic materials to meet out a powerful counter-attack by any opposition even when totally outnumbered or outfirepowered. Read Vladimir Putin and his forces as being equally capable to deal with the worst of western sanctions even if Russia were to become economically hindered.

He is one determined, one man army out to give a big lesson to a community who he feels wronged him and even betrayed him.  Replace the community with NATO. Replace a good part of Europe, as the town and surrounding area over which Rambo extends his target range.

The real problem is that at one time, Chancellor Merkel might have proved to be that kind of colonel that Rambo in the end listens to - only by the way after he literally flattens the town. But her performance has discredited any possibility of being that mentor, as well as the rest of the seven dwarfs of the G7, pardon my condescending tone. But their behavior with Russia and dealing with this crisis has earned them this label for now.

So the question is who is going to be the colonel mentor to prevent Putin from having a Rambo response if the sheriff (Obama) or his out-of-control? fifth column is foolish enought to fully provoke Putin and Russia collectively. It looks to me that the sad answer is no one. At least for the moment.

Trautman also informs the sheriff before all the major mayhem occurs, to just back off and let things cool off. Let Rambo get away with his incursions. And then to resolve the issue when Rambo is less enraged. I would advise the same right now particularly since the West has essentially gotten the most of Ukraine. Or the worst of it, one could argue given the composition of that "government" and how costly it will be to the West for a long time.

In the movie, the sheriff refuses to listen to the good advice from the colonel. In the end, the sheriff goes out on a stretcher and the town is left in total flames when they finally do put a stop to Rambo. The Medal of Honor winner finally gets new respect from the community, a kind of  Pyrrichic victory but everybody really loses.

That is the way I see the current situation possibly unwinding with respect to Ukraine. Putin and Russia will certainly get respect. Thus, I would hope some kind of Colonel Trautman will emerge in Russia that can calm down the situation. And that the sheriff and his assistants will be put under control before they further enrage the situation on their side. Or in Ukraine and other parts bordering Russia.

Can foreign minister Lavrov and Secretary of State Kerry do so along with the OSCE under Swiss leadership. I hope so because the final damage will make what happened with Rambo fictionally look like a picnic. It will not be one town, but many more that could suffer terribly.

My apologies to Hollywood and the reader for possibly overly extending this Rambo metaphor. But I think if it helps many in the West to begin to get the picture of today's Russia, so be it. And my apologies to Presidents Putin and Obama for these simplified characterizations at times. But it is done to move peace forward as the world awaits their vital and combined leadership to ensure it.

See the Troutman scene through YouTube. Replace the Sheriff with Obama. Substitute all references to Rambo with President Putin. (And somewhere in the distant hills "Rambo" is planning his next move, I mean  someone else?) Get that Troutman equivalent to Obama fast, maybe a wise US general.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mSzCbJVTxDY. Time for deep reflection.

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                           How to avoid World War III and For Cooler Heads to Prevail                                   

It is now time for the OSCE to show its muster. This is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was set-up strongly, post Cold War to bridge the remaining divides, essentially between East and Western Europe. If there ever was a time for this organization to get busy, it has to be now. Here follows the outline, and I stress outline for beginning to solve the so called crisis related to Crimea. It might save us all from not only an investment portfolio disaster but more importantly, to save precious lives of the innocent.

While the referendum results on Crimea may not be to the liking of much of the West as they are looked at in the days ahead, the voice of the Crimean people needs to be respected. However, I do not see a problem if Russia under proper terms of agreement with the OSCE were to oversee a confirming referendum later in the spring. This would lay out the more specific terms of Crimea's status, including treatment of minorities such Ukrainians, Tatar Muslims and Jews for example.

Such a multi-question referendum later on under OSCE observation and possible administration could contain what the West might refer to as a clarifying and legally final binding question on Crimea's status. 

My guess would be that it would be seen by the majority of Crimeans as an irritating and redundant one, though only if not presented as a part of a more expanded referendum. So such a proposal might become stillborn, but nevertheless I propose it in the hope it might help deescalat the unsatisfactory level of tensions between the West and Russia over Crimea.

But if such a referendum could be helpful to key parts of the international community to help them better understand that international law is being respected, then why not. Again the confirmation question, so to speak could be written differently but would provide a number of voting options

A) Reattach Crimea to Russia with a certain definitional framework discussed in a pre-publicity, information campaign. 

B) Crimea as a confederal part of Ukraine with a definitional framework discussed in a pre-referendum campaign. For example, Russian Crimeans could have special citizenship privileges vis a vis Russia. Maybe Italian Tirol might provide a model as these (German speaking) Italians with historical roots to Austrian Tirol have special "residency" cards for Austria, I believe. Of course this option could involve a much stronger confederal Ukrainian option than the arrangement Italian Tirol has with Italy.

C) Reintegration of Crimea back to the status quo of pre Russian "militia" takeover or pre-March 15 2014, referendum in terms of status.

OSCE observers would ensure no chicanery by either side. OSCE would count the votes with a Russian scrutinizer present and from Switzerland, for example representing western interests.

This or a variation of it is better than having extreme sanctions from the West that might lead all the way to World War III or something like it that is now being seriously discussed by some major media outlets (e.g. Pravda)  here in Russia and the West.

Frankly, speaking I think Angela Merkel, the German chancellor has one upped President Obama by having another losing red-line strategy. Her view about major destabilizing sanctions being inevitable if Russia does not stand down on the Crimean referendum and its results is destructive. It could undermine Europe's credibility, the way such red-line tactics did not work for Obama on the Syria question. Or worse, it could paint Europe into a corner of making the wrong decision to save face.

I have admired this leader for her sound judgements on economic matters. But I am afraid to say she looks completely out of her league on this crisis. In fact, not one western leader has shown any imagination, not even of the kind seen in the belated intelligent decision making regarding preventing intervention into Syria. However, ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, her previous mentor has had some intelligent things to say about restraint on sanctions..

Merkel's position is highly compromising, potentially to the high export oriented German manufacturing industry, Europe's wealth generator for EU governments' revenues, subsidies, loans, employment and banking stability funds. It could be less than helpful also to the German banking industry, which has hundreds of billions of dollars loaned out to Russia. 

Do we need to even mention the impact of disruptions on Russian gas flows and their impact on Germany, specifically and Europe in general. Some of the crazy fascists in key national security posts in the Kiev government are even mentioning disrupting Russian gas pipelines sending precious and irreplaceable energy to German homes and industry. How does Merket feel about Germany supporting such a government with neo-Nazis in it to top it all off? This is bloody shameful, never mind maddening.

And where is Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign minister who should be worried that some of her good work in Tehran is going to be completely undermined by the German chancellor. It is hard to see the most solid agreement on denuclearizing Iran if President Putin is put offside over the Ukraine crisis. Has the EU gone berserk?

This crisis is becoming potentially pure poison for the Chancellor's political future if things economically and seriously disintegrate or go wrong militarily. For she will be the primary point person in the West held responsible for not preventing the horrible resulting chaos and possible mass killings and maiming due to more possible insurrections in the Ukraine. This includes even war as an outside, but realistic possibility with sanctions spinning out of control. 

Bismarck, German's chancellor who largely was able to keep the peace in Europe through statecraft in the nineteenth century would be turning in his grave, never mind Catherine the Great who she admires so much.

Again, it may be time for the Secretary General of the United Nations and the  OSCE organization to step in the breach as the latter is beginning to do as recent reports indicate as I update this.  

There could be this elaborating referendum under international OSCE monitors to follow in May or earlier if it can be logistically accomplished. This would demonstrate the magnanimous character of President Putin who in my estimation is clearly head and shoulders above most of his G8 counterparts in geo-politically strategizing and overall international political experience. Sorry folks, not a very popular thing to say to my fellow westerners. But facts are facts and should be dealt with as such. You are dealing with someone who now rarely miscalculates on the big international chessboard scheme.

In fact, I fear that is one of the problems for "my" proud western leaders and certain elite members who run them. Despite them all lining up with their much greater economic resources, President Putin keeps on winning on major international G8 questions that seriously impact Russia. In fact, Forbes, a top US business magazine, declared him so astute as to designate him as the most powerful person in the world. Nothing to sneeze about. 

For example, G7 tried to  undermine him on Syria and lost. They refused to indicate that the 
Sochi Olympics could be highly successful and to attend it and he delivered in spades with Russia finishing in first place in gold medals and total medals. Russia even got more medals than any country did in the last Winter Olympics much to my "consternation" as a proud Canadian. 

On another win for Mr. Putin, the United States government was found to be a massive miscreant in the way the NSA gathered people's personal information, comprehensively and listened in on its allies like Chancellor Merkel. It is now surprising that she is now acting as bosom buddy with Obama on the Ukraine crisis?

Again, Mr. Putin won there, giving asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and his treasure trove of top secrets brought onto his door step. Mr.Putin has been winning so often on tactical issues, no wonder the White House is ready for a fight. But we need to put this also in the larger and more sensitive context of strategic issues.

While Canadian Prime Minister Harper is not so well versed in geopolitics, clearly so- I am glad to say, nevertheless  we of Canada still got that precious ice hockey gold medal than escaped the "clutches" of Mr. Putin and all Russians for that matter. One cannot always win everything, every time. That is an important principle for all to have including being gracious about it.

However there are some things that are clearly demanding less compromise. Because NATO creep has been very destructive to Russia's image and perceived security, it is now resulting in a inevitably strong reaction to NATO practically being on its way to near the gates of Moscow, Therefore, this is not a game that Mr. Putin and Russia can afford to put on line like a hockey match at the Olympics. It is neither another basketball scrimmage game where everyone shakes hands after NATO tramples over Russia's backyard.

It is also rightfully perceived as threatening Russia's independence to be a strong unique voice to the USA. That offsetting voice it sees as being important for the world. After the end of the Cold War with the much more massive military and security apparatuses in the single hands of the US, it all makes many countries worry. Nowhere are these worries more exercised than in Moscow. These worries, incidentally also extend into Canada on cultural matters, banking, water resources and trade conflicts, but to list a few.

One thing for certain, Crimea specifically or Ukraine in general is not worth causing World War III over. Messieurs Putin and Obama and Ms Merkel can hopefully agree to that. This is a country that has been a mess and President Putin may have scored another victory by not having to bail out that which Europe and the US are now faced with due to their facilitating a coup over the previous more pro-Russia government. To the probable tune of tens of billions of dollars. Congratulations and Merry Christmas as President Putin would say. Who indeed are the bright boys and girls in the Obama White House and in Brussels who are the architects of this?

However, once Ukraine is sorted out, there will nevertheless likely have to be a new OSCE conference to draw up a new entente between the Eurasian grouping in which Russia is a center piece and which includes former republics of the Soviet Union and NATO in which the US is center pierce and the EU where I think Germany is center piece. Or is it America given some of the recent utterances of the German chancellor?

A repeat of a Ukrainian crisis is not on if the world economy is to survive, as well as possibly humankind. But after Merkel's performance, maybe it will be the US as the unofficial center piece for  the EU. Is the EU that bankrupt, politically and economically that it has to take its orders from Obama and his financial friends? New EU elections may indicate as well as coming ones in France that average European citizens are not so open to this excessively pro US approach, be it from Obama or the czars in tow in Brussels.

Yet, if NATO had any real collective intelligence, it would find a joint solution to share the financial grief with Russia of helping to solve this Ukrainian Pandora's box. But as I have said in my previous article in the Vancouver Province and various Post Media outlets, political leadership in the West is so lacking and fractured. This dispute over Crimea is highly demonstrative of it.

However, we shall see if this crisis occasion will bring the better out from western leadership in the end. So far Frau Merkel makes me shudder if this is the best our side in the West can do. Hopefully, the OSCE will come up with something in its better collective wisdom over that of the US, NATO and the EU, which are increasingly being discredited as effective peace makers in regards to Russia. That is very sad, indeed following the mess in Syria.


                                    What to do if  "World War III" Breaks Out?

Some great suggestions follow in my blog on the new gold order at petedash.com. I will only add a few more suggestions here as to how families can protect themselves if the situation in  Ukraine or due to events there greatly escalate.

Russia has now probably reached its limit in standing down to NATO  "encirclement" and the western banksters from its perspective.

Unfortunately, they are more frustrated and ready for a fight including re-establishing the former Russian empire than anytime before the end of the Cold War. 

This makes their actions less predictable from the rationalist materialist perspective that came to dominate mutual assured destruction geo-politics of the Cold War era.

Simply, because their vision of losing it all over the Ukrainian issue does not play out well. It is a massive loss of face that they are not willing to accept again. 

The first being in the collapse of the Soviet Union was hard to swallow especially for the current President and a lot of his and older generations. 

Which means very strange unpredictable counteractions to sanctions need to be thought of as a possibility. In other words, counteractions that may hurt Russia more than the West but would still be pushed to signal that Russia will not be easily bullied from its perspective.

A North American, materialist perspective sees Russia as having to suffer unbearably from various counter-sanctions and hence would not carry them out.

Sorry fellow North American, more well off folks, from the perspective of living in Russia. indeed, they are probably willing to do so, and rather efficiently even based on their comparatively more limited financial resources.

First specific response to real major sanctions? Russia just dumps its US dollars and forces gold to go to an astronomical level in a short period. 

Losses on US dollars will be made up on hedges and bullion holdings by Russia.

Unnerves investors who dump stocks and US dollars. 

This means selling off some of your riskier stocks now especially of companies centered with much business activity in potential fall-out markets. And before major sanctions are announced.

Volatility follows with major rebound in the value of the US dollar. This follows with threats of military intervention but done first through underground tactics and operations as used in Ukraine

China gets involved if it sees NATO trying to destabilize Russia through advanced currency and political underground wars a la Ukraine.

The dollar undergoes a much more serious attack with China propelling gold higher with Wall Street, Zurich and London panicking to dump their shorts on gold and and more longs on dollars.

What for you to do?

Again buy even  more gold now, plus other precious metals, much more so than suggested in my previous blog and radio shows. Store it in Hong Kong or Panama. Or possibly a deep bunker controlled by a reputable Swiss bank.

Obama will try to grab more money from anyone as the US economy begins to tank more because of risk in markets leading to an expanding deficit. 

And as dollar's attraction as top reserve currency compromised.

Keep only the most solid low risk stocks with healthy dividends and do not hold them in the US but in Hong Kong or Singapore brokerage accounts with solid bank subsidiaries in Polynesia.

Australia or New Zealand could represent secondary locations, for having banks with high transparent financial strength -if there are still any there. Open some accounts there.

For relocation selections under such risk scenarios, Polynesia and deep Caribbean:Trinidad, Grenada, Grenadines and Barbados are good places. No wonder Mick Jagger and Richard Branson live down there

Indeed in the the small but significant rising chances of thermonuclear war, head for the Southern Hemisphere.

Ground zero places should be vacated and that second home in the deep Caribbean or in the Southern Hemisphere should be bought now before prices in US dollars or euros sky rocket, for the choice properties people will be looking for.

Or at least buy a cabin in the wilderness, properly stocked with food, firearms and books and a radio.

Parts of urban US, Canada and, Europe could become uninhabitable  if someone pushes the big button to create a false flag or from a nuclear jihadist terrorist.

And the question is could this lead to nuclear war. Who knows?

Remember ZUrabia. I believe it has theoretical basis to be prophetic and to be learned from.

Prepare or possibly overly suffer or even perish from any possible new economic or other kinds of fall-out. 

Your choice, at least in part. Go to petedash.com to find out more on how to protect yoursel and love ones. It is free for now.
 
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                  Do not Fxxk with Mother Russia If You Have Any Respect for History

        Here is why Canada and the West Need to Take Very Great Care with Putin's Russia

As someone who was an associate researcher at a Harvard institute started by Henry Kissinger, I got a first hand taste of the concept of realpolitik. Looking at its benefits not only its high costs at times. On the positive, it is the same concept that got China to open up to America and the West, in general. All despite strong reservations among many in the West that it would backfire if one had anything to do with Chairman Mao who had massive numbers of people put away for political reasons during the cultural revolution.

However, despite the discomfort level of dealing with Mao back in the 1970s, these openings have largely born positive fruit, including changing China from being a strong adversary to one that produces in a low cost way many useful consumer and other products for the West at bargain prices. This even includes the Apple computer on which I am writing this article. It also has resulted in the near elimination of hunger in China and the start up of countless successful businesses. employing millions who would have otherwise starved had they not gotten those jobs.

Canada has also benefited from this China opening with massive increased sales of its commodities, including wheat, which it sold to the Chinese people back when they were hungry -while America did not do so because it simply saw China as an undeserving threat. This was the humanitarian way and "realpolitik" of the Prime Minister of the day, John Diefenbaker and his successors. Even Mr Harper, today's conservative Canadian Prime Minister also came to the realpolitik conclusion of developing a more positive tone with China.

It was understood in the end that the importance of China to the West was such as to not let many of the grievances between the two sides prevent the development of a constructive relationship. The same should be applied to Russia, especially when things settle down. 

It will be also an applicable approach when the full true story emerges as to the US meddling in Kiev, a meddling for which many Canadians including the Council of Canadians have been criticizing, if not denouncing for decades with respect to US interference in my own country. This was the same meddling that John Diefenbaker, as a conservative Prime Minister of Canada in the late 1950s and early 1960s complained about vociferously

By the way, the new Ambassador to Canada is a former banker of Wall Street's Goldman Sachs. And he was also an Obama political fund raiser from Chicago, the hometown of Mr. Obama. Chicago is now only next to Detroit in fiscal municipal mismanagement and over indebtedness to the banksters. 

Nice job Mr. Obama underscoring my thesis that western bankers run too much of government policy input and formulation and in turn with the big five Canadian banking cartel largely run the Canadian government regarding its key economic and monetary policy. 

Okay, Mr. President   I know you cannot help yourself from stopping the banksters or otherwise you would be a political goner. Why not al least have your "Bullworth" moment you talked about wanting and tell us they were also significantly behind what happened in the Ukraine. 

Or did the "fifth column" forget to tell you as they increasingly ignore you and directly deal with the  banksters or their reps and even run rough shod through Congress' intelligence oversight committees -see petedash.com for my blog on that. 

Too much of Washington is an irrational joke out of control running havoc and helter skelter through the world consistent to the sound interpretation of the President of Saxo Bank. A great embarrassment, if one wishes to be kind about it to many largely well run American manufacturers and citizens abroad who actually produce real things and have real cash. Who will never return it to Obamaland to have their money confiscated by the US government and it's overseers, the United Banksters of America.

Hence, the Canadian government needs to become more mature and honest on questions of geopolitics and sound capitalism and recognize, not just one side to the Ukrainian story. All this irrespective of how they count Ukrainian-Canadian votes for the next coming election in 2015 or what they are "suggested" to do by the new permanent representative to Canada from the United Banksters of America by way of nomination from Goldman Sachs. 

For if Canada is not careful, it could do lasting damage to this important bilateral relationship with Russia, which could impact issues from Arctic sovereignty to oil and gas resource issues. 
Canadian business opportunities and associated future jobs from trade and investment with Russia could also be affected. Russia has great potential to be the new China in growth one day. It will be easy to leave Canada out of it, if Ottawa is not careful even with its actions of today. Federal elections are not everything when it comes to a future of a country. 

And a Canada that has good relations with Russia will inevitably benefit Canadian and American financial institutions in the end and even friends of the ambassador of the United Banksters of America. 

A world at war will not be overly helpful to most on Wall Street or Bay Street. The zillionaire paid banksters should not forget that too and the potential impact of it all on their own children.Or are too many so psychopathic that they are too beyond this thinking overall.

While Ukraine may not remain the biggest issue forever, the bad taste left due to any excessive response with sanctions visibly supported by the Canadian government might not be forgotten by the Russian people, as well as the Russian government for a long time. A Russian people that overall are much more solidly behind Mr. Putin than Americans are behind Mr. Obama or Canadians are behind Mr. Harper in terms of general popularity these days. 

One needs to remember ones European history even for many in North America who have no interest in it or knowledge of it. Russians can be very "stubborn" against real or perceived aggression. They are a huge country which has a record of winning, if necessary at all costs against anyone. 

Hitler and Napoleon certainly found that to be true. They will not allow a fascist infected government next door to it in Ukraine to carry the day especially carved up by a bankster prime minister promising to faithfully fiscally butcher his citizens for the United Banksters of Switzerland. Or is that America?

I very much empathize with the idea of principled resistance even when the vast majority or constellation of forces seem to be against one, and even if one is left scrounging in the countryside for breadcrumbs. Personally, I have practically been there at the same time Russia was being hammered by the United Banksters in the early 1990s with defaults and restructuring.

But the true losers emerge in the end.That is why America is very worried that BCRICS countries could become in the ascendancy very soon with their own global banking and monetary institutions.So certain US centered elites want to make their moves to forestall that ascendancy with massive sanctions against one of its leading opponents, meaning Russia, using Ukraine as a convenient untruth. Fat chance, as they might have to see the hard way through tough lessons.

I have seen how short sighted and truly limited these elites can be. First with my warnings about the environmental positions on the Canadian forest industry in the 80s to 90s, and the predicting  of the first victory of a PQ separatist Quebec government much to disbelief/disgust  of very well off bankers to be classmates. And now my prediction that western sanctions will badly "blow-up in their faces" of certain western banksters and their certain puppet-like governments. Remember, I grew up with these people and know their thinking. 

One thing for sure, German industry knows this latter prediction has great validity and hence, largely have a more sensible view, just as they taught me when as a young forestry student a more sensible long term perspective on better forestry practices. I learned many things from the Austrians and Germans - in what not to replicate. 

The North American and Anglo-Saxon elites in particular, have largely not. They looked primed to repeat the worst parts of continental European history and abuse Europe into such  a repetition of it. That is if Europe does not win over against these "fifth columnist" forces following their orders from Wall Street to Canary Wharf.

The Germans have enough of this history to know how terrible disasters can occur through cowboy and reckless, short-sighted geo-political behavior including the so called strategic support of Nazis by German banksters of the 1930s. That behavior in the end, gobbled up a lot of  German warmonger banksters including the one who provided his house for the meeting place of the Final Solution that led to the mass execution of Jewish people. 

So why would today's German bankers want to repeat that history, or manufacturers for that matter? So, instead of  pre-World War II, Germany, now think of Ukraine to some degree of parallel. And in the context of ever accelerating support of the extreme right in much of Europe as prophesied in my book ZUrabia.

Therefore, Merkel, the German Chancellor needs to better reflect on all this as she stares in her office at the portrait of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia who shares something very important with President Putin. 

They were both trained in part in Germany, understood German complex thinking, spoke German and were resolute in not shrinking from making Russia greater. That portrait must be staring back poingently these days.

Both Catherine the Great and Vladimir Putin exercised their maneuvers often with great strategic success and Prussian-like precision. (see Crimea for Putin and Odessa for Catherine the Great) Catherine the Great, though Prussian has her portrait throughout the museums of Russia. 

This is another side of Russia the West needs to carefully think about. There are different kinds of Russian leaders besides the Yeltsins or last of the Romanovs. There are ones who who do not get pushed over such as Peter the Great or humiliated by powerful neighbors. Ones who have learned a lot as to what the West thinks - from living near it, or in it, or borrowing the better parts of it. 

In short, Russia should be treated with more dignity and intelligence than the short-sighted encircling movements by NATO in its salami approach of expanding its regional influence. A salami approach that the West knew would inevitably be challenged and knew would be provocative to Russia and it's allies. An encirclement that would have been met with a huge military response in the days of of Catherine the Great. 

If you conclude that NATO was setting up Russia to creating a forceful response in defending itself and its people, you would be right. If you conclude that NATO is not today run by people of the stature of Frederick the Great of Prussia or Dwight Eisenhower but a bunch of greedy empty vessels taking their marching orders from the gutless techno-banksters, you would be right again.

After all, provocateurs are usually cowardly bullies or surrogates of them, some hiding as much as possible in C offices in relative anonymity and having a low public profile. That are hoping they or whoever they represent cannot only trounce their supposed victims to be, but blame their opponent for being the aggressors. Such a strategy applied against Russia courtesy of the western bankster and their fifth columnist' "soldiers' will likely end badly. 

Being here on the ground in Russia gives me some unique perspectives that not even our "runaway" Canadian ambassador may be capable of providing or at  least courageously telling Canada's leaders. I indeed hope I am wrong in that judgement as someone who likes to be proud of my country as I was at the Olympics. 

Russia has too much culture and history from the time of the Romanov empire to the Soviet one to these successful Sochi Olympics. It should not be treated like some tin-pot rusting power and a final chess piece to be gobbled up by an immoral greedy empire led by vulture "squid" financiers of Goldman Sachs and the like. 

Furthermore, it will not behave like certain countries that are content to act as subsidiary powers to the United States banksters, increasingly fifth columnist controlled government. Neither will it find itself in a position to want to fall like some JP Morgan bankers. It very much has reason to survive if not fully thrive.

Furthermore, Russia will not turn itself over, like the now illegal bankster led Ukraine to the western bankers and have itself stripped down under the IMF trusteeship in bankruptcy. These subsidiary governments demonstrate at times they are no more than geopolitical equivalents of harlots to Wall Street. 

And Wall Street has shown itself as not immune to using the real ones, too, to firm up a big deal. It is all on record. These people disgust me and more and more millions, practically by the day. No wonder some of these bankers feel like jumping, sadly to say. That is if they were not pushed.

Rather, Russians are a proud people who have seen a lot and fought a lot. And they might just be in a highly collective bad mood to really screw it to NATO and the "fascist" elements in the Kiev government that was overall a result of an illegal coup. (Again, this is all beginning to sadly look like a play out of my book ZUrabia.) 

I have never seen the West sufficiently showing a bit of humility with Russia or respect of it since the post Soviet era. Now is the time to do so in light of NATO's provocative Russian encirclement strategy, inclusive of atomic weapons and missiles moved to its doorstep.

Let us get real with this relationship because Russia under Putin is very real, indeed. It will not fall-over and is ready to even walk through Dante's Inferno, once again to slay the devil of sanctions or aggression. It will defend itself from another attempted humiliation blowing in on the western winds of an evil storm driven by the horses of a bankster fired apocalypse. I kid you not.

Fortunately, there are still many wiser heads in the West, including the majorities of significant portions of the electorate that want peace. The inability of NATO to get its way in Syria shows that the current storm in relations between the West and Russia does not have to go through total hell before a positive resolution is confirmed. 

Let us all pray and work harder for our children's future, together. They surely deserve a better world that the one we adults have made hot for them. It would be nice if my own country mattered in finding a realistic solution. But I am afraid pigs will fly before Mr. Harper is able to break away from his new vampire squid in Ottawa to be.

P.S. And Happy St. Patrick's Day to the land of fee spirit and home of my ancestors who won their freedom despite all the odds against the forces of oppression against it by the earlier generations of the London banksters. And let us not forget that the new  breed of London banksters are still trying to figure out how to skin the thick skinned Irish potato, besides all the others including the Ukrainian "small potatoes".
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                    McCain, Least Popular US Senator and His Likes Need a New Vision

Is it a coincidence that the most pro-interventionist senator has the lowest popularity among those who occupy the American Senate://www.newsmax.com/politics/john-mccain-senate-poll-arizona/2014/03/06/id/556544? That a man who practically stomped over to the White House and demanded intervention in Syria is seen not only as anachronistic but plain mad by some of his adversaries. A man whose views of the President of Russia are shrill, even in the current context.

I do not know sometimes what is exactly wrong with Senator McCain. His recent attack on Senator Cruz borders on the bizarre. While many Americans respect his war record and that of defeated presidential candidate Bob Dole, they both may need to recognize that their positions on many policies are dated. That America does not have the resources or sufficient moral position to go in "everywhere" and "kick ass". And even President Reagan who Bob Dole said he supported restrained himself from being a direct interventionist.

It is 2014 not 1942 when America had high moral ground to enter the European war theatre. Where America showed its high ground with the likes of Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower who incidentally said beware of the war hawks peddling weapons for unnecessary future wars. We know where they are now, the lobbyists on K Street with direct pipelines and revolving doors with the Pentagon and the CIA. They may be the biggest crony capitalists of all time.

Rather, people like General Patton were larger than life heroes, and so was my uncle, A US brigadier general who practically worked themselves to death supporting the great fight. I genuinely think they would find those K Street people to be puny and a lot of the arm merchants and bazaars to be "filthy". And the generals in NSA, at least some of them to be creepy. And all this for their WW II sacrifices including those of the heroic Bob Dole. That is the tragedy that America is becoming ever like what the greatest generation would find anathema and McCain is fighting the charge to make it worse?

Subsequently to WW II, particularly since the days of John F. Kennedy, there have been too many invasions, deaths of millions of innocents in the supposed name of spreading or defending American style democracy. Allies were arm twisted to humiliation and isolated for standing up against these useless "genocides" .They are called the wars of Iraq and Vietnam and Cambodia. First, Lester Pearson, Canadian PM said no way to Vietnam and was reported to have been physically abused by US President Lyndon Johnson for keeping Canada out. 

Then George Bush and his Chief of Staff could not believe it when PMs Chretien of Canada and Jaques Chirac of France said no to another supreme folly called Iraq that McCain supported. Making racist jokes or viscous innuendo against the French for doing what came to be known as the very right thing -staying as far a way from Iraq as possible. Even a good number believe George Bush should go before a Nuremberg style dock at The Hague for crimes against humanity in Iraq given how baseless and destructive was that debacle. Believing it spiritually and a decent thing to bring along Tony Blair, his junior partner in mass annihilation crime. These chicken hawks, including Dick Cheney, VP to Bush were not of the character of the men of World War II. 

The world is tired of the old bellicose warhorses and chicken hawks. The young people of United States and the world want a better future. They want jobs, not more bombs whose manufacture are considered the worst investments. Ones that produce another bomb that is cratering the life out of the economy and youth's future: the debt bomb.

We the vast majority of the world are so sick and tired of all the machinations on our behalf by the McCains, jetting over to Kiev and stirring up protesters they do not even understand. And saying that they really think they know what the people of vastly different countries want. That is trying to shove the American form of democracy down their throats even if they have to ally themselves with neo Al-Qaeda groups in relation to the Syrian battlefield or neo-fascists in Ukraine? That is pure decadence.

There are dozens of better models of democracy or processes to democracy and not coincidentally with them are those countries generally not aggressive in promoting their forms of it be they in Scandinavia, Switzerland or New Zealand, for instance. Hence, the reason why self-critical and anti-status quo elements of the Tea Party that appeal to younger Republican Party members are looking to developing models that are well beyond what McCain and his like are presenting at CEPAC, the conservative congress. The Tea Party is far from perfect, but certainly deserves more respect than what the establishment elders in large part are giving it.

I have only one thing to say to the McCains of America. Your time is largely over. Your vision may have begun to lose momentum in the post 1950s of the "coups of the danger men" (see my new website blogs at petedash.com) and surely in the shadows of the break-up of the Soviet Union. We need peacemakers with a new generation of Marshall Funds paid for by the banksters in major part, fit for the modern era to assist those in need.

America should not be throwing around government money that it does not have to bring  governments full of fascists formed by the "coups of the danger men" and banksters into the NATO fold eventually. It could be argued that NATO is another anachronism, also too costly to the US taxpayer and which needs to be greatly downsized, never mind the billions the US will be now sending to Ukraine. Pure geopolitical and fiscal madness, you say. For sure and do not forget, supported by Senator McCain.

Another interesting question needs to be posed. Which Republicans fought the crony capitalists the least? We know the answer to that question, Senators Dole, promoter of Archers Daniels Midlands with its  huge government subsidies. We also need to keep an eye on those with the loose hand on the global trigger or even the NSA computer keyboard. And so does the Republican Party. 

Senators Rand Paul and Cruz are more the future in the American conservative movement of the likes of great reformers of Theodore Roosevelt to Eisenhower and Reagan. It is time for America to move forward not backwards. It is that simple to ensure both the prosperity and freedom of America and to the benefit of the entire world. The Dole and McCain ways mean only more debt and derision for America. There is too much of it, period and it is time to ensure a more positive narrative so as to make the world once again look up -not down- at America.

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          US Dollar Eventually To Get Hammered if Serious Sanctions Applied Against Russia?

Make no mistake, Vladimir Putin is ready, if necessary, for a fight down to the wire with Obama over Crimea and any Western sanctions. The Russian president is a leader that lines up his ducks in a row before he goes on a hunt. And Russia could be ready, to apply another proverbial idiom, to be the straw that breaks the US dollar back. An application of rigorous sanctions against Russia could effectively end up being a major trap, so to speak in which the Obama administration gets economically stuck. But the worse part is that it could potentially prove disastrous for the evermore feeble global economy.

The problem is the dollar has been in the sickhouse for decades and has been moving towards critical condition in the last years. There is now a possibility of a synchrony of events, a currency black swan and one that will catalyze a major shift away from the dollar as being the most dominant reserve currency. This could soon even impact the US standard of living through inflation, for example. And if things go too far, there could be a collapse of individual city and state economies throughout America and a terrible impact on England. Here are some important reasons why it could happen.

Russia has 400 billion dollar equivalent of reserve funds. It can dump US treasuries up to possibly 50 to 100 billion in various ways while using destructive derivatives in the extra billions to leverage an attack on the dollar and particularly the UK pound, if the Cameron government becomes overly supportive of such sanctions. This would be particularly true if Russian investors in England get nervous given that they have enormous holdings in the UK. They may get desperate to go to gold and elsewhere as they also see their Russian assets diminish (in harder currency equivalency) and experience temporary pressure  including taxation by the Russian government on them to offset the impact of any potential foreign sanctions.  

The Kremlin might technically not win in shoring up the ruble. But a "surprise attack" and well strategized timing could send the US and London stock markets reeling alongside mass purchases of gold and non-US currencies by investors. It could add risk to the fragile US recovery. This all amounts to a very costly result due to Obama's possible hubris or overreaction against a government he needs on side in the more worthy "war on terror" and ensuring Tehran moves forward on its commitment to nuclear peace.

Russia could actually make money in this crisis by having properly hedged derivatives or simply through their huge reserves of gold on deposit or even in the ground through their miners. Once the monetary environment stabilizes, they could buy back certain western currencies on the cheap. The cheap ruble for now could actually power the economy by generating more exports.

Here is another negative on the dollar. Any Russian government, as well as their commercial banks' refusal to pay back dollar based loans resulting from their assets being frozen, would cause serious damage to US (and foreign) banks. This could further suck out confidence from Wall Street and the US economy in turn, as well as Europe. 

That is unless the US government wants to expand its huge existing unfunded liabilities to support those US banks hit by Russia. Or to expand the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve Bank to more dangerous levels.

Markets, as well as investors around the world may use this conflict as a serious opportunity to get the Obama administration to make the fiscal cuts and monetary reforms that are essential to prevent disequilibrium. As one says, a crisis is a terrible opportunity to be wasted. But would it work. I would very much doubt it with this president, given his ideological rigidity, which reduces labor participation rates and jacks up welfare and food stamps.

All of this just might give the Chinese government the further initiative to accelerate the dumping of its one trillion dollars of US treasuries and replace them with gold that US banks may have to start chasing down and removing their shorts on. That is another terrible crack in the US economy that  the price of gold has been going up and exiting the continental United States and increasingly so.

The vitriolic attack, recently by a public Chinese media organ on the US ambassador to China indicates that the Chinese government could use the run on the dollar to bash the US for awhile, playing to increasingly nationalist sentiment, as it's own economy is painfully restructured. Frankly speaking, the Chinese are more worried that their holdings of US dollars is one of their greatest points of potential economic weakness.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are extremely displeased with the Obama administration over Iran and Syria. They may not be enamored with Russia's position but could dump enough dollars timed with Russia to make Obama change his position, if not on Syria then in pushing Israel to a fuller resolution of the Palestinian issue. That may be already starting to happen, albeit in the very early stages as far as the Saudis are concerned.

The Saudis might buy a lot more gold anyway given the riskier global environment at the expense of its dollar reserves that they already see as being excessive, including in their sovereign funds. However, that might not be done as forcefully if Obama looks like he is trying to come down on the Israeli government to push support of the Saudis' ideas for peace in the Middle East and adjacent areas. That is another 200-300 billion in US dollar reserves in that Middle East region that could be leveraged directly and indirectly against the US dollar. 

As well, from its perspective, an increasingly displeased Israeli government with friends throughout global financial institutions who are also more worried these days about their dollar holdings, might at least try to use a softening in buying of US dollars to wake up the Obama administration that it is not going to let Israel be "bullied". 

If you are coming to a conclusion that the Obama administration at the political level does not know what it is doing in foreign policy, then welcome to the ever expanding club. How it could make so many enemies at the same time, including those allies who are peeved with all its over -the-top NSA intrusions is truly beyond belief. 

The psychological affect of any Russian facilitated attack on the dollar may be important, as we see students of the most updated economic theory explaining the depth of the 2008 meltdown, based partly on irrational behavior and pure unmitigated fear. Dollar dumping might reach an unstoppable point of no return like a train wreck to be in high speed motion, if Russia and its allies prime it efficiently. Thus, huge private funds and retail investors could be led to a stampede against the US greenback currency in a worse case scenario. If the momentum gets to a critical level, watch out. It could lead to a run on American banks abroad and even at home.

Now excuse me while I put my money where my mouth is. I am going to dump some US dollars realizing how overexposed I am with them. I am changing them into Swiss francs and possibly Chinese renminbi at some point. In a few weeks, I may even buy some Russian rubles out of all this rubble. As it is clear, the Russian currency will recover given that Russia still has a lot of longer term fundamentals going very much in its favor. 

This is what I mean by any major sanctions against Russia having serious unintended consequences against the US dollar in the end. And no doubt they already are just through threats alone. The Obama administration needs to stand down in talking about them, not only in implementing at least any serious ones. But I doubt they will be able to swallow this reality, just as they seem impervious to properly managing the debt and deficit and money supply.
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                                                          "The Insider Report"

How does the below based on my west coast media interview square with today's realities? All  I know is that my portfolio is nicely up since that article appeared a year ago. Gold has paid off.

Clients will have the opportunity to sign up for my "insider report" on a limited number basis from my new website. Though initially, as a promotion it will be free for a very limited number of first subscribers as a celebration of the start of this new business initiative.

The website is being finalized by one of America's top PR web specialists whose background includes work with Ogilvy of Madison Avenue, yet is a true libertarian in soul and spirit.

The below quotes are from an article about my investment advice and background and are selected from a major newspaper and sister websites having at least a half million circulation.

"Short-sighted decisions by business and government leaders have helped create an increasingly nasty world, Dash says. Unemployed and underemployed global youth are seething with frustration, terrorism's menace is growing, household debt is unsustainably high and western governments will be tempted to wage wars to distract electorates from their own fiscal failures, he says. And don't forget about the rising number of natural disasters, thanks to climate change."

'I foresee a brutal world ahead of us'


 

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View to a Bankster Kill? Tough punishment requested to stop massively destructive banking?

Top expert on banking says capital punishment needs to be applied to various western banksters who he considers are financial terrorists. Points to jurisdictions in Asia where it has been done. Notes few bankers who committed fraud etc went to jail in the West and how some central banks colluded with them. Is this over the top thinking, or can certain bankers be considered worse than serial murderers given the large swaths of destruction and pure massive theft they have left behind?

               http://rt.com/op-edge/banksers-financial-crimes-prosecute-criminals-209/
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                                              Silent Coups of the "Dangermen"
                  From Washington to London to Kiev, a fifth column is taking over?

The intelligence and law enforcement communities may be in significant political charge in the West, one day, especially the United States: because political intelligence, integrity and judgement are too often missing among too many politicians there. Hence, the potential for chaos and widening political distrust among the public is getting to unhealthy levels. Read on and understand why western democracy is weakening, leading to possibly a very widening empowerment of these communities.

Information is now the new "political gold" including the ability to gather that which is critical for national survival and prosperity and to process it properly. Thus, western political leaders who do not do so, or unable to trust their intelligence agencies to provide the "right info stuff", and/or who try to assert the people's will over these agencies without knowing what they are doing, can sadly find themselves at times in a very bad state.

That is they eventually lose credibility and effectiveness for themselves and even their nation without the critical information to prevent cataclysmic events or simply decline. A prevention which in turn helps to position leaders as effective defenders of their nations, economically, politically and militarily. 

Net result, a leader who does not know how to manage intelligently his intelligence community can appear as an amateur and create very bad policy, even leading to dangerous circumstances for global security. If he or she is not replaced because of it, a government can reach a level of blatant failure that can further undermine public loyalty and even corporate loyalty to key state institutions. He can even make strategic competitors look more attractive. Is that happening to the United States? You be the judge.

It is thus, no wonder that the President of Russia on foreign policy and global security is so effective pound for pound relative to certain US leaders. Rather, Vladimir Putin has long experience in the intelligence field of knowing how to source valuable information with comparatively many fewer resources than President Obama has, to bluntly ensure the fake, including red flags are separated from the real and to give it expeditiously to the operational side where necessary and ensure timely results. For example, just ask Saudi Arabia or John Kerry, Secretary of State, all in respect to Syria. Look at how swiftly he has taken Crimea under control without a shot.

Importantly, when regular legislative and regulatory systems internally break down (The US Congress is popular among about only 10  percent of voters and too many US banks practically became lawless rogues unto themselves), opposition from the street to difficult but non-street opposition groups multiply. Witness Occupy Wall Street, for example in the United States during the period of the Great Recession. Witness the rise of the libertarian, anti-taxation, pro-gun and prepper movements. Dysfunction and protest becomes the norm.

For large elements of the elites to save themselves from being swallowed by these rising tides of new opposition forces, their incompetency and/or economic misconduct, shall we say, the "big ears and eyes " combined with law enforcement become critical to fast expand and fund from their perspectives of self-preservation. 

There is also a view that NSA uses its information gained from commercial eavesdropping to empower one company over another when the open market should be the final arbitrator. That can be the epitome of crony capitalism, which also succors the excess favor of government intelligence and enforcement agencies in a failing or declining system. With their massive intelligence budgets in the post Cold War and now post 9/11 eras, western intelligence chiefs are under pressure to look relevant as federal budget deficits strangle the economy. 

One can therefore understand the frustrations of libertarians like ex-congressman Ron Paul having stated that the CIA needs to be axed. Of course, more realistically it's needs to be reformed not destroyed. And it needs to find more cooperative avenues to work with the Chinese and Russians against the real terrorists, extreme Jihadist and financial bankster swindlers of mass destructive proportions.

During difficult economic times as the world is evermore experiencing, intelligence and enforcement reps also take on more force at cabinet meetings in deteriorating environments, which some forecasters like Dr. Marc Faber are predicting ahead, as I am. Simply speaking, when the zoo breaks out, governments become less enamored with civil niceties.

Unfortunately, critics then, within and outside cabinet are castigated for being against excess force at times, and getting in the way of enforcement agencies stopping even regular dissenters, which they besmirch even using psy-ops of messing up their lives. There might have been a lot of nice fellas of decent backgrounds connected with Occupy Wall Street, but what did police and intelligence people care if it was beginning to stop economic and traffic flows. 

Gutless politicians and intelligence oversight committees with some exceptions are also easily intimidated, too ignorant or just too plain lazy and living the good life in Washington to figure out or ask in detail as to what is really happening. Just look at Senator Feinstein. They do not have the capacity to know whether someone under investigation by the state is a true nihilist rather than an inconvenient truth to the political success of an administration, or the police. They are overly dependent on their intelligence community and police "handlers". Ones now, according to the New York Times, who spy on these intelligence oversight groups. If so, that would be pathetic.

These committees and their subcommittees can become too skewed to membership that is decadent, ideologically rigid and even psychopathic in composition to sufficiently care what happened to many legitimate political protesters or again, decent reformers. Sounds a touch like South Africa under Apartheid just some years before it crumbled, except the hard working middle class this time of all races are increasingly the primary victims of these elites.

Criticisms, also become fewer by such politicians and others against the police and various assets when they fear there is so much potential for public disorder. For even in episodes of the police gunning down needlessly a mad women and single mother on a driving rampage near Congress, police who did it got rave reviews when brought before Congress for a show of appreciation. Now, that is what I call paranoia and the police being given more and more a carte blanche in America to do what they like. 

Remember, innocent witnesses or unarmed suspects of terrorism under interrogation were shot multiple times in the head by the police in London and Boston. And  the police  did not get sufficiently disciplined by their political masters about these incidents? This is symptomatic of highly perceived or actual security environments falling apart much so that few in authority are wanting to hamstrung the police at all, it would seem.

It is important to note that police and intelligence personnel are considered almost singularly the last and primary defense of a corrupt/incompetent governance whose leadership can be first enthralled with them or at least overly dependent on them. Oh yes and eventually both scared of them and to say no to them. And finally taken over by them. Is such a process moving forward in America and England? Are Cameron and Obama enough onto this? I wish them well, but I doubt that they can do much to get these behemoths under control for the greater larger good and peace internally or between the West and Russia.

Yet, the most intelligent and educated largely avoid going into these stress ridden law enforcement and intelligence professions, some of which are centered around putting ones life on the line for gutless politicians and corrupt bankers at times. And not always well paid. No wonder London police and intelligence personnel can feel demoralized at times, and wanting to strike out at what they perceive as wishy-washy public oversight paid much greater salaries and benefits, now or when they go (back) into the corporate private sector.

Again, has this resulted in some police illegally using their time to work privately during regular hours for crony capitalists and using resources of the state to generate large alternative revenues? Have the army, police and intelligence communities in America and especially England largely given a finger to most of their oversight politicians given the expanding contempt for them. 

Have they evermore started to play with their supposed political  masters as they more and more become centers of even dominating influence. A very British coup in process? And a very Ukrainian one too by elements of the CIA and MI5 and their proxies working together, even at times unknown in serious details to the cabinets. Where the commercial benefits to western bankers and certain corporations trump Downing or Pennsylvania avenues ability to reign in their "spooks" or at least sufficiently. Notice the new leader of tUkraine put in by this silent coup is a former  banker with string ties to western financial institutions.bI rest my case.

Once on this course of over dependence and being manipulated by these agencies, the leader can become just a sort of puppet of this defense-industrial-intelligence complex for example, even worrying about his own personal situation, as society becomes more polarized and law enforcement becomes more important and harder to oversee (given the mass multiplying emergency political and economic "fires" unless they have been brutally or otherwise  put out by then). A particularly weak leader will be shaking in his boots to ensure they are subsidiary to his leadership. Even refusing to cut their massive bloated budgets in some cases such as the NSA and using  it for more constructive purposes like on a "war against poverty" and a "war for productivity".

Management by increasingly major or massive crisis or disaster like 9/11 or economic meltdown does not lend itself well to democracy. The leader, especially if not seasoned in managing the military-intelligence complex can become eventually a casualty to it during such troubled times. In fact, at worst a " talking head" apologist and stooge of it and a blindly loyal lap dog. In essence, a waste of time for most voters who incidentally a large majority of whom do not vote at various government elections and levels. My Harvard research underscored that back since the 1970s. There has been a crisis of political institutional legitimacy for  four decades creating a dangerous vacuum.

Are you thinking Kennedy about casualties to this complex? Why does President Obama look so much physically older after five years at the job. Yet President Putin does not so much after more than a dozen years at or near the top of a country rising out of a very difficult post-Soviet period?Putin has control over his complex while Obama does not.

Speaking of Vladimir Putin, love him or hate him, at least essentially he controls and understands his intelligence establishments and better understands their limits and strengths, it would appear. His long years in the KGB, sadly to say in a way, are now strengths in a brutal world as he understands how to prevent and manage crisis situations.That makes for better sleeping, no doubt well for him, anyway.

That does not mean all his decisions are at the pinnacle of enlightenment. But we have at least one G8 leader seasoned with managing real foreign risks, threats and intelligence information- professionally. The success of the Olympics shows he can generate first class international results and security in a country still with a transitional economy to a fully developed one and with a southern border that makes America's problems with Mexico look like a pic-nic.

The G7 would do itself well after it takes off its human rights cap in making some of its legitimate complaints to President Putin, to connect into this leader's expertise, especially in dealing with terrorism and hot spots. And that was why a lack of cooperation by the US with Putin and his teams initially on the Boston bombers demonstrates the case. 

They would do well to think of the consequences of trying to overly manipulate outcomes in Ukraine that in fact undermine democracy and ethnic harmony. On this, they should again think back to Libya, which by the way went way beyond Obama's preferred outcome in my judgment. Will he let that happen in Ukraine, too, albeit using more underground and underhanded tactics than overt military intervention. There is again a worry that CIA hawks are controlling the USA ground game in Kiev and the US president could find himself compromised by his intelligence-complex, just as he must have been in Benghazi. Though who knows to what degree he knew what he was signing off for.

But first, leaders to be intelligence management effective, must at least have the basic common-sense and political intelligence of course. They must not just be proficient in domestic political image maneuvering, communication expertise and be overly attracted to the gloss and sound-bite vapidity held in high esteem by much of western media. One that include politicians generating ratings evermore attractive to their advertisers' needs to get you "shop until you drop or pop." 

Obama has done well for years in propping up commercial advertising for media, given his charismatic looks, good communication skills initially and much greater access to media than a good number of predecessors. That does not always convert to sound life and death judgment making and strategic plotting at a global level. In fact, it can distract from it. Interestingly President Putin is not interested in being highly talkative to the media.

Therefore, I suspect in the brutal world years ahead and the growing importance in sourcing and managing quality intelligence, we shall see more intelligence agency heads or longer serving, foreign affairs and intelligence experts in the West take high elected or non-elected office.To get the same results as Russia is achieving in global security on a per dollar basis. And to be empowered so to speak to clean up the messes the intelligence amateurs have left behind in office. Again, that will not be optimal to strong, healthy democratic leadership which can work intelligently and sometimes forcefully with its intelligence community.

On that issue of the quality of today's western political leaders, Seymour Hirsh, Pultizer Prize winner is right: much of the western political establishment these days is represented by "nimcimpoops". And sadly, I would say, dangerously so as they make easy pickings after all, to what are the unelected professional intelligence establishments whose agendas are clearly not always balanced to the public good. 

They of course have their own agendas to simplify their work. Attach us all up to a brain scanner if they could, processed by big Bertha, the nanny computer. Maybe not, but the idea must send some of them into an orgiastic rapture along with their watching the movie, Minority Report. That view is to gather everything you know about all and all will be right or can be made right. Scary stuff indeed, as the police and intelligence communities become more and more central in defining a leaders' scope and quality of decision making. To the point if collective leadership is (perceived as) weak and policies are economically and politically destructive to public order and critical geopolitical self-interest, the intelligence-military-enforcement complex becomes the leadership by proxy or directly. 

Just ask President Putin, an intelligence community grown leader brought in part to arrest the process of chaotic, badly led Russia of the 1990s.That in my mind is where America and England in particular are headed, even if at a slow boil at times even as they harshly criticize some of Mr. Putin's edict like decision making. That is also an additional reason why the Obama administration in particular, has no right to be in Ukraine and think they are providing models of liberation. For by all appearances they are headed in the wrong direction economically and democratically while Russia is largely not, even if at times not starting from the most favorable position in terms of rights and freedoms and economic prosperity.


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    World War III on the Way? Solutions to preventing Ukraine from becoming a flash point 

Unfortunately, the United States has found itself involved in too many wars and the number seems to have gotten larger since the Soviet Union fell apart. During this period, the remaining core Russia was too busy restructuring itself in the post Soviet aftermath and re-equipping itself economically to think too much about standing up against NATO, at least effectively. It was an initial period of chaos, government debt default and apparently, when US and overall, western finance largely abandoned Russia in its period of  need and rebuilding. 

It was also a time when the Russian people felt to some degree humiliated, especially as they saw President Yeltsin unable, to put it politely, manage the economy in a sober sustainable way. The former great power, indeed looked crippled and in some ways, was deservedly paying a price for not supporting over several decades, a more efficient market driven economy. It was also paying the cost for having an enormous unwieldy military-industrial-complex. That has largely changed with Russia making the reforms away from fiscal irresponsibility, socialism and militarism while America goes the opposite way.

After a dozen years of the Putin administration, the economy is stable, a great improvement over the initial transfer years from communism. It might not be more dynamic than Europe as a whole. However, unlike Europe, Russia is teeming with natural resources, huge spaces for expansion and agricultural development and important Asian neighbors growing much faster than Western Europe. It also has a specially funded reserve from oil revenues and reasonably no-nonsense approach to fiscal management.

Because of it's lower economic GNO base and previous stated factors, it has great potential for growth. Importantly, it is on a peaceful basis with its Asian neighbors  that includes  the huge economies of China  and Japan. It should be remembered that the Japanese Prime Minister attended the Sochi Olympics while western leaders essentially boycotted it, to even the disgust of the President of the International Olympic Committee, and a German.

Into this mix we have the United States on decline, but still on a trajectory to expand its NATO influence practically to the gates of Moscow but this time through Kiev. NATO's expansion has been rapid while the "Russian Bear" was between the operating table and the recovery room, post Soviet, initial era. However, it has just about fully recovered.

The successful staging of the Olympics is now a monumental recognition of this albeit more symbolically. The Russians carving out a new serious position of diplomacy in the Middle East regarding facilitating the stand-down of the US from intervening in Syria is another example. The prophetic warnings from Russia that interventions in Iraq and Libya might lead to chaos and further instability proved to be true, as well as France and Canada's warnings that there were no weapons of mass destruction basis for intervention in Iraq. 

Yet the White House decided to embark itself on what amounted to be in the end an act of terror - regional that is. So much so that many thoughtful human rights experts believe that George Bush Jr and his junior partner, Tony Blair should be tried at The Hague for war crimes.

Now we seem to have The White House essentially intervening in the Ukraine, not forcefully yet, as another ill-thought out scheme. It is part of the NATO expansion momentum that was strategically possible while the Russian bear was in traction, hibernation or whatever metaphor one wishes to use. 

But this time, despite, a lot of military and economic cards it is holding, it is now the American grizzly that is limping badly and has lost credibility over the many costly wars it has fought to no victory. This legacy goes back to the Korean War in the 1950s. The grizzly is tired and worn down and should take its own rest to get healthy again.c
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If Ukraine, thus is going to be like the way Serbia was to World War II, a regional player of not huge value in itself but the fuse to a bigger bang, there is going to be a possibility of human slaughter from the breakout of modern war unseen before. That may even pale in comparison to World War I, if not World War II.

It is clear that NATO, a once great organization still has huge military capability with America as it's center piece. However, the willingness of its members to attack Russia, a country with its huge short, medium and strategic missile capability would make many of  NATO members think twice. 

Russian troops could be at their doorstep in hours practically even if beaten back. This is far from the case in respect to the possibility of Russian troops getting anywhere to American shores,  with the unlikely exception of Alaska.( Incidentally, Alaska was sold by Russia for a "dime" to America, which probably represents the first humiliation of Russia vis a vis America.but that is another story for another time.)

Hence, most NATO members if not massively arm twisted by the US would not even contemplate fighting unless Russia attacked NATO. And even then they might not. But the problem is a false flag could be engineered as Hitler did in Poland, by some groups attached or separate to NATO, especially neo-conservatives and their allies to egg-on Russia. That means getting Russia, for example to take what it might perceive as defensive actions, but which NATO  by charter definition or extended interpretation could define as provocation for war.

The Ukraine tinderbox is sending forth provocative tinder-box sparks. It is thus the duty of parties on both sides to prevent Ukraine from being the 1914 Serbia of the year 2014. It needs to be remembered that Russia is an ally of China and Iran, and is thus, no guaranteed walk-over by NATO. And if an ever prouder Russia is further humiliated or threatened to be sent back to a 1990 position, it is very unlikely it will take it lying down. 

Therefore, the somewhat now more foreign policy seasoned President Obama really needs to know what he is doing if he does not want America to find itself in a disastrous war that will make Iraq look like a picnic while his fiscal deficit murders his economy, already due to unnecessary and excessive militarization.There is too much on the line and an America post 9/11 and post Great Recession needs a war over Ukraine like it needs a hole in its head. Both great nations of Russia and America need to stay commonly focused on the war on extremist jihadists and defusing the Middle East, which is the real tinderbox that needs immediate focus.

On the other hand, Russia needs to redouble its PR efforts, especially post Olympics to play up its positives and get on with economic and political reforms, as it's seems to be doing to create more optimism and stability for its people. It needs to have a program of expanded goodwill ambassadors hitting alternative and main media to help the West better understand developments here. The New York Times Op.ed. piece by President Putin is a great example of this. 

 I believe there also needs to be many more cultural exchange programs and bureaucratic innovation to assist millions more from abroad to take in the great wide and culturally fascinating landscapes including religious ones. People to people exchange almost always breaks the dark filter that much of western media has against Russia or other discriminatory fetishes it has. 

Tourism and cultural exchange such as experienced successfully at the Olympics should be what Russia emphasizes and what America and NATO embrace along with expanded trade. Military exchange of fire between these two powers is clearly anachronistic and deadly to the planet's survival and that of its children. 

If you love children President Obama, you will take much more care of how you develop the current and future NATO posture. There is a very big angry bear ready to bite back badly and not take it lying down like Iraq. It is much more sure two footed than ever before, even if you do not like it that way. The stakes are much higher and so is the legacy of your Presdency, Mr. Obama if you and others continue to play games with Ukraine. At least that is my reading of the situation and perception here on the ground in Russia. 

Everyone should stay out of Ukraine under a reconstituted government that was duly elected not that came about due to a coup. Or one that probably can only be established to the majority satisfaction with new elections under the monitoring of CSCE and possibly under a new decentralized constitution that could follow.

As a Canadian, I could only wish that our diplomats in the great tradition of Nobel prize-winner, Prime Minister Lester Pearson could be unharnessed from Washington's excessive influence to facilitate peace over the Ukraine, a country with special ties because so many great Canadian citizens immigrated from there or were descendants of Ukrainians. 

After all, John Diefenbaker, Prime Minister Harper's  inspiration was no slouch to standing his ground against an American administration. Also many of his neighbors were ethnic Ukrainians who had worked wonders on the Canadian farm fields, escaped from Stalin's pogroms or various types of corruption. But Russia today is seriously different to what those Ukrainians escaped during the Soviet period as I can personally attest. But yes, it is still in democratic transition, not unknown to the West, as well.
 
There it's is. What the Russians really probably want to tell the Americans is the worst endgame scenario if America is not more prudent. Let a thousand exchange programs of peace and culture break-out, instead. But my gut feeling is that NATO, an overall beneficial organization at one time, especially in the Soviet period has gone one bridge too far. And is about to burn its last bridge with Russia, unless those of goodwill mobilize public opinion energetically against war as was done for Syria. I have a very very bad feeling about what Ukraine will be remembered for in the annals of human history.

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                                                                                  Wacko Wall Street at it Again?

Citicorp received one of the largest government bailouts in the history of banking and even it's share value "broke the buck" more or less, going to the one dollar valuation, which is considered a point where stock exchanges start looking at delisting. Its most recent new CEO sees himself as a quiet guy who focuses on being prudent, instead of giving colorful speeches that can be polarizing as some accuse Jamie Diamond of being. A CEO that incidentally seems to have been told to go quiet and work on fundamentals as supposedly the Citicorp chief is doing. But neither he nor his new counterpart at Citibank have been having a great old time, as both have lost serious money and in the case of JP Morgan, those losses include its people jumping from skyscrapers.

Now Citicorp, supposedly the new darling shows us it is not. According to this following website article, it had to write down 25 percent of its housing loans in Mexico. What was that all about? http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-citigroup-mexico-insight-idUSBREA1O07Q20140225. HSBC, when it was in Mexico never incurred such loses there. Rather, it was receiving too much money, as in laundered money in Mexico, which resulted in massive fines and an unusual massive apology from its US CEO.

Again, the low interest rates generated by the US Fed keeping money market returns to the super low range,and Citi's knowledge that the US government would likely prevent it from failing, means that such banks as Citi are looking to riskier, high return assets and practices.. This inevitably leads to such problems as Citi's New Mexican debacle. It also may lead to too much cooking the books about what are real levels of loan losses and existing capital buffers. The worse is when previous dead loans are improperly brought back to life onto the loan book, which can lead to a relatively massive increases of profits on paper and CEOs being celebrated as turn-around artists by shareholders. The Fed pumping up bank capital reserves artificially with massive inflows of printed money that because of is huge volumes limits returns on saving accounts is not positive either in demonstrating the long term financial strength of many US banks. These and other actions have in my estimation led to the false idea that the main Wall Street banks are healthy again.

Thus, I suggest investors be cautious on the long term about whether Wall Street banks deserve the serious investment attention that people like Dick Bove think they do as well as  Bill Gross at PIMC0. Instead one needs to go to Australian and Canadian banks that are better regulated, more conservatively managed and centered in sounder economies to put ones money.. However, wait for the full correction in the stock market of the relatively high priced Canadian and Australian banks. Financial institutions in many ways are still sick, so buyer beware of them.

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                                                                        "Anglo Saxon" Core is  Getting Rotten?

             Investors need to consider the possibilities of a new emerging growth order  beyond one too centered on the UK and USA                   

America by sheer size will remain a central core of the global economy, but the writing has been on the wall for decades that its share of the economic pie has been significantly decreasing and likely will continue to do so. Meanwhile, England is but a shadow of itself, somewhat temporarily pumped up by a second financial bubble that is making housing more unaffordable. It is way too dependent on a financial sector that is far from steady.

The most damming evidence of America's sad decline, which I would like to see arrested, is certainly not in its inferior student scores, that compare badly with those of Scandinavia and Asia. It is in the fact that China, America's prime lender with that of Japan are dumping US treasuries and that the US Federal Reserve is slowly but surely becoming like its counterpart in Argentina as being the buyer of last resort of these instruments. Very worrisome is the US deficit is still "exploding" to uncharted levels, as well as the balance sheet of the US Federal Reserve despite the over celebrated, very modest tapering. See the websitehttp://etfdailynews.com/2014/02/21/china-must-be-very-concerned-about-the-u-s-dollar/ which contains a Bloomberg business news story on China retracting from buying US treasuries and instead starting to aggressively buy gold.

I think a last ditch effort has backfired  by US bullion banks,, along side possibly  the US Federal Reserve to lower the price of gold so as to signal to China that it will do everything to maintain the US dollar as an important reserve currency.. That is another sign of America's decline, which in my view started with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the accelerated domination of  "war-mongering" politics in the US with  the Vietnam War. It was no wonder that the last great Republican president was Dwight Eisenhower, who brought attention to the public of the industrial military complex and possibly John F. Kennedy who tried to prevent its spread. Even President Reagan showed little appetite for direct intervention. 

When an empire, is down simply to guns without gold to push its position in the world that also becomes worrisome. America is not bankrupt yet but is beginning to move to the teeter on bankruptcy. So the pattern has been to use its very costly military to extract benefits or try to convince others that it deserves more respect. It is not working and leading to a viscous circle with all but a few friends. The less it is respected, the more it threatens intervention. The more it threatens the more it loses respect especially when not backed up by a significantly sound fiscal situation including foreign reserve surpluses. Even National Security Advisors of the president admit that the economic strength of a nation is very much important to its global strength and respect. When America is positively strong economically and in a truly democratic way, the world as a whole benefits enormously. A weak nasty and overly invasive America electronically or otherwise is not even positive for NATO.

While I have bought some US dollars over the last several months, I am now leaning to go back to my normal exposure to US dollars by reducing my holdings of them in a serious way. At least over the next months. I have held and continue to hold no US government investment instruments. I expect the US government to default, directly or indirectly, but it is hard to predict the timing of this. I do not have a lot of confidence in Great Britain either, especially given how strongly it has connected itself with America and the overall structural problems with that economy. So for sure, I would not contemplate holding any guild, UK bonds.There is also widening social polarization in both economies and the tough times following the 2008 crash, of rampaging, burning and looting in England and mass Occupy Wall Street demonstrations indicate the "social powder keg" potential if those economies go back to deep recession.

Again, do not hold excessive amounts or a large portion of your investment portfolio in the United States, with the exception of parts of the Midwest including and especially Texas, which are generally business friendly, full of useful natural and agricultural  resources and generally low in debt and deficits, I would suggest  that Americans move their money to those states with low taxation, good personal property and asset protection laws and commitment to fight the Feds on all frontiers against their cleptocracies of theft by excessive taxation, gun control efforts and privacy violations. Also, open a bank account across the border in Canada, the Caribbean or Mexico if need be, knowing though that FACTA, the special US tax law, can demand  severe penalties for those who do not report offshore bank accounts and monies on which taxes have not been properly paid. 

It is my humble view, one needs to prepare for an eventual falling apart of England and the United States. however improbable that may seem.This potential for fragmentation has gotten so bad that the Scottish separatist government has decided to hold a referendum this year on whether Scotland should skedaddle from the UK. My report on London crime rates, demoralization and corruption of the police forces there and again the structural economic problems including managing immigration flows and relations with the EU makes me highly suspect of whether London should be at the top of destinations for investor immigrants. 

London is certainly far from the worst, though and offers massive cultural and educational benefits but not so much more than much 
safer Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney or Melbourne or even possibly, Aukland, Zurich and Singapore. Though it may be harder in months time to get permission to move to Switzerland given the referendum there that passed a number of new restrictions on immigration. This could become a pattern in Europe, including London and one day in America, too. So I would focus on the remainder countries previously listed and Eastern Europe, selectively for the more adventurous. Moscow, may be also included which is greatly underestimated as one of the top cosmopolitan cities in a positive transition mode that may have some of the lowest taxes of all the big European places.

The successful staging of the Olympics in Russia and it's demonstrated more logical and pragmatic approaches in reducing risks for war, make it a likely place that will keep war away, outside and inside most of its boundaries. Though Ukraine is certainly putting some worrisome strains on Moscow's patience,but the fallout there might lead to the largest country in the world, meaning Russia getting even larger. Again, the United States and the UK are more susceptible to increased social and even frontier fragmentation internally. And the EU may relatively soon be in a process if not of devolution, certainly decentralization due to the rising splittest political forces not only in England, but throughout much of the western continent. Obama and UK Premier Cameron hopefully learned some lasting wisdom from their experiences over Syria. However, we shall see.

It is a pity to include Great Britain and the United States as seriously declining powers that are now in a state of denial about the  corrosive forces at play internally to making them less attractive places for living and managing fiscal resources. Britain has been in a long-term decline since the 1920s but saw some recovery during the days of Margaret Thatcher and the early period of Blair before he got Britain entangled with the warmongering policies of George Bush. That was highly destructive to efforts to turn around Britain's declining trajectory as well as Britain's excessive integration into Europe. This includes its wasteful spending on the EU bureaucracy and not fully thought out immigration policies. America too needs to have better streamlined immigration policies and restrictions against illegal migrant workers without getting carried away with it.

It is also the declining ratings of many media establishments connected with most of the status quo elites in both countries that are also signaling that most of the population, especially the hard working middle class are fed up with the tread mill of working their guts out and paying what amounts to half of their pay checks to taxes and inflation. The first revolt was that against Wall Street, which was well deserved, but too long in duration and obnoxious. But both governments,especially the Obama administration could be the next one in focus by protesting forces.

If Prime Minister Cameron is not careful to make Britain a more middle class, pro-Britain for the British landscape, he could find himself in opposition or needing  the UKIP party as his new coalition partner, if they permit it. On the American side, libertarian or neo-libertarians could take control eventually of the Congressional segment of the Republican Party and even the White House in 2016. These are troubling times for these once two great nations, and they need to get on with the real heavy lifting of meaningful structural reform, which includes taking on powerful crony capitalists,value destroying bankers,banking and monetary policies and social welfarism and political correctness gone mad.

Reagan and Thatcher to some degree showed that these two countries could be reinvented. though they made some serious mistakes in deregulation and being overly ideological at times. But they showed the importance of relatively principled politics of fiscal discipline even if not always applied with finesses and sophistication. America and Britain need to be great again. If not, it is clear that the West will be on its way to decline with the exception of some parts here or there which will increasing join up with the growth behemoths of Asia, in particular to form a new Asian lead synthesis with its "junior" western partners. And that might be a pity. As well, many in this new partnership will have another common joining factor. They will have control over the majority of gold reserves, production and gold on deposit to further back up their currencies from full-scale monetary blow-out. 

This is a final call for getting to the final gate. The final boarding call to the new world order may be missed by these once proud great nations if more serious actions are not taken to more soundly and justly rebuild their economies. The other passengers will not wait this time for them to take the lead or for anyone as they scramble to the old order exit.

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                                     The Coming "Unimagined" Financial Crisis and the Subsequent New Gold Order                

Marc Faber, top media commentator on business channels, warned about the massive US money printing exercise causing unintended consequences. These included stock market, precious metals, Asian real estate and currency bubbles, for example. I also call it neurotic money as we see so much volatility played out most recently in the fast depreciating currencies of emerging markets. This has also been true for the currencies of commodity based western economies such as the Australian or Canadian dollars. But something worse is definitely coming.

For we should worry where the next leg of fresh money will hit that is hot off the printing presses of the US, Japan and the overall West. It could lead back to a stock market and other asset meltdown like scenarios as experienced in 2008 in the West, as more and more investors conclude the intrinsic value of these assets too, do not match current market values. As well, loss of confidence in EM currencies cannot help but have a collateral effect on developed markets, and make investors nervous about the next casualty of US and Japanese printing press, hot money.

On the other hand, values in the current western stock markets for instance, will be better accepted if one is to assume that the paper money on which they are calculated has significantly less value than thought, and thus stock prices deserve to be at least partly inflated. This is the case, even if inflation is not obvious in supermarket "land" of the average consumer who sees no highly visible rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) but more than the government is indicating.

But let us remember though that CPI is a rather obsolete measurement of paper currencies'  long-term decreasing purchasing value. For eventually, one would think higher priced assets not calculated into CPI, overall will affect product inputs, rents, possibly labour and future positive expectations about the economy in important quarters. This will all lead to consumer price increases in a more profound way than presently. Though for now, most of the immediate benefits from asset inflation in these markets go largely to millionaires who by their relative numbers and consumer purchasing behavior can only impact the CPI in a fairly limited way, particularly on the short term.

However, at some point, there could be a general recognition that asset appreciation without enough underlying new profits and sufficient additional productivity is symptomatic of the overall lack of worth, or declining worth of currencies.That too much of asset appreciation is asset inflation and thus, not fully sustainable as attractive places for making real money. And asset inflation on a fairly continuous basis (over time) is leading to real inflation at the street level, compounding the problem of decreasing real incomes for the many. This further resultant erosion of street sentiment in the relevant economies could eventually affect investor sentiment. 

There are therefore, growing questions as to whether stock price rises (further down the road) will mean much in seriously improving broad scale public confidence in the overall economy. Will it all lead to true enduring economic recovery for the many or just enrichment now of the few with delayed inflation for the many? Eventually this understanding by investors that their overall stock price gains in significant part might not be real enough - including in equivalent gold ounce conversions, may also lead them out of stocks to precious metals with artificially depressed prices.

Hence, there is enough reason to believe that individual investors will be looking to alternatives to stocks such as picking up physical gold. After all, it is much more in limited supply and has already gone through its own bubble burst like gold miners. It will be a recognition of the challenges of a fast expanding US dollar supply and that of various lower worth, paper derivative investments not sufficiently and properly backed up by real valuable assets or a fundamentally sound economy.

So a better question I pose that assists in reaching a more comprehensive conclusion of the real solid value of markets is how much in gold ounces is something worth relative to a previous period and projected to be. Again, this appears to be a better means of getting a measure of real value of assets. Political risk events could cause a distortion though, for this phenomenon of "low" gold ounce equivalency during a non-inflationary or pre-inflationary period. 

So for now and the last year, the trend in US stock markets seems positive as many assets appreciate as calculated in how many gold ounce equivalents they represent and their trend lines. And a lower gold price too would seem to indicate lower political global risk, also good for the economy and most stocks Yet, I will reiterate this is likely a short to medium term situation.

Price in gold ounce equivalents (PRIGO) as I coin the new rough indicator on measuring real asset intrinsic value, shows that excluding the last year and possibly 2008, for the most part, the long term trend in real asset values (excluding some commodities) in the last two or three decades has been unimpressive or even next to "horrific". This has been especially true given the limited positive movement in many valuations of major stock markets over these decade periods in real terms. Some key stock indices have even experienced major decreases. 

Thus, parking investments with gold became increasingly a preferred option (excluding a few years ) as contrasted against most but not all indices of major exchanges. Not a bad record until Wall Street and the Feds, plus some European banks started to more energetically manipulate gold prices down? An investigation is underway and may show some truth to this. If true, it is likely downward pressure on gold will be partly alleviated as it may become harder to reproduce such price distortions in the future. But who knows given the machinations of certain elements on Wall Street to Canary Wharf.

In fact, current PRIGO valuations make a kind of horror show of how much paper money and real asset valuations have declined overall. As well, the ratio of US and much of western and Japanese debt to gold ounces available is massive. All this should be considered alarming, if even a small percentage of sovereign and private bank bond debt were to be converted into gold. 

Not to be forgotten, gold is one of the few assets of limited supply with long term and historically proven demand and value. And many assets have been going down significantly or rising relatively slowly in real value on a long term basis when measured against gold.

And it could get worse. If creditor nations one day ask for debt repayment in gold, even in a significant small part, it would likely cause a spectacular increase in the price of gold and probably lead to a collapse of various paper markets.The fact that the US Federal Reserve Bank has a hard time just returning a government's gold they are holding, Germany in this case, may demonstrate how little physical gold there is. 

Thus, the only true weapon left against those countries, which could "kill" the US economy with such a request for payment in gold, not US dollars, is the US military along with key allies like the UK. This is Wall Street's last sad card and possibly that of London's banking world to threaten foreign countries causing a US collapse related from even letting the market allow a serious but not huge rise in gold (as a pseudo primary reserve currency.) Or other substitutes to the US dollar such as the renminbi, euro or a basket of currencies as Kuwait switched to. The latter might have proven fatal to the US if major reserve holding countries had adopted Kuwait's stance. It is important to underscore that Nigeria's central bank is committed to dumping dollars and replacing them with renminbi as their recent announcement indicates. This is Africa's most populated country and seen as n economically rising one.

An interesting question is whether Saudi Arabia, a major gold holder will hint at doing the same when Obama visits there in his "emergency" meeting with the Saudis. The Saudis are angry enough with Obama's foreign policy to contemplate moving to that position but not radically or immediately so. Too many of their investments remain in America and in US dollars. But any hint that they might one day do so will further add to the long term piiling on against the dollar. 

There in fact is also a view that Gadafi's military demise in Libya was due in part to his interest in introducing a new reserve currency in Africa. And not to forget what happened to one high level senior international banker who questioned whether the US Federal Reserve was really holding a significant amount of gold for a huge bank. But that is all mostly speculation to be fair about it. Is it not?

The bottom line, a number of countries will aggressively guard their reserve currency status of their money more seriously than their embassies or nationals abroad, for example. Are they willing to do just about anything to protect their currency's status, including doing deceitful things with the gold market, as well as possibly deploying all manners of their security services and electronic eavesdropping? Let us not be naive in the post Edward Snowdon revelation world.

Let us also not forget that some banks have their own "secret services" who are following every single word on blogs that they worry about are undermining their valuations and exposing them for the frauds their paymasters are. Sorry, I was only kidding on the last part, I have no evidence to support that position?

However, it is unlikely that any major military confrontation would need to come to a head over gold, we hope, to make up for Wall Street plunderers. As it should not be forgotten that any future demand for payment in gold could cause a default on US debt, of an order that would likely crush or significantly damage these globally interdependent creditor economies, not only the US. 

Hence, why Germany is possibly being polite about being (temporarily?) "ripped off" of its gold so as not to overly undermine the US dollar. And why China and Russia are not more interventionist to make it more expensive for certain US "banksters" to refurbish their physical gold reserves they have improperly or badly managed. 

May one also reiterate that no doubt, not all US or western banks or western bankers overseeing gold holdings have likely mismanaged their  banks' gold deposits. But there seems to be worrisome signals given gold price fixing evidence that some may be up to the task. The Germans did not decide to move their gold outside of the United States for a whim. 

But now think about this. If the US dollar were to show any further serious declines, new US debt denominated in gold, as opposed to old debt, might be demanded step by increasingly accelerated step. With the People's Republic, holding nearly a trillion dollars of US debt, it may require one day, terms of repayment in gold ounces by those countries with US dollar denominated debt owed to them. 

Remember, the Chinese have historically done it before in demanding gold as trade payment. The reaction at the time by Great Britain, which did not like this policy of China marginalizing the British pound as a principal trade currency was to flood China with opium to get at the Chinese gold. And that is a historical fact.

The Chinese government, therefore, does not increasingly trust and is historically very sensitive to those (in the West) who do not prudently manage their currencies, budgets and debt especially when engaged in significant trade with them. And we mean physical gold or possibly other scarce assets in lieu would be demanded from those parties to which it lost confidence in the value of a currency in which they had been previously paid back in. 

How do you like them rotten golden apples Mr. Obama if your administration does not start making more progress on deficits and debt? Some officials in Beijing you can bet are thinking about these matters on a strategic basis who are very seriously high up. They would be foolish not to.

Nevertheless, looking at it somewhat more positively, with the US currency eventually tanking or significantly further decreasing because of high US debt, the gold reserves and other parts of large foreign reserves in China will empower the Chinese government and its business allies to covert some of their burgeoning foreign reserves into buying up large swaths of America without a shot being fired by the US military. Or until nationalism starts rising in America to a feverish pitch, that is.

This will be another more indirect reason why high gold prices could threaten US economic and eventually political sovereignty, especially if actual gold being held by the Feds and US bullion banks prove to be rather illusory. That foreign countries would step up into buying into America would be about the best scenario for gold playing out in a way that allows a rebooting of the US economy. The problem still being no one knows how the huge debt "bomb" and future taxes will play out in the USA.

That is still also to say, Asia along with certain emerging market countries essentially could take over a huge slice of the US by selling their ever more valuable gold to American banks, which might desperately need it, now or one day. The banks would then ensure populist nationalists against China would be fairly muted by their influence with the main media. 

But do not fully count on Wall Street being able to get media on its side, especially since alternative media has strengthened along with the rise of the Tea Party. Wall Street and Washington may not be fully able to save themselves by financially selling out America to China and other large foreign exchange reserve countries including Saudi Arabia. But it seems to be trying. 

However, countries like China and Russia, more and more see holding real gold as one of the best ways to secure their future. They are frightened how the US debt and deficits may one day cause devastation to any of their US investments. So they and other countries with such a pro-gold strategy will be hard pressed to part with their precious metal holdings, especially with the proceeds going to America, which at times is "bellicose" to them. Is it all like a do-loop to Hell for the Obama administration? You betcha.

Once the vast majority of private investors also become equally and fully aware of the importance of (holding) physical gold, they will wish to know how their assets at the very least are appreciating or depreciating in gold terms to better understand their real intrinsic value. CPI will become highly secondary to them in calculating the price trends of gold and tangible asset values. If they do not start growing in gold terms, they may dump them for gold and other faster rising commodities.

The only hitch is that the US government and US banks in particular along with others, in desperation might commit to gold price domestic (and international) price suppression. This sounds currently as being too familiar including in places like India whose central banker is also suppressing the price of gold. He should get a major money based award from Wall Street! In fact he did.

As well, the US government might even essentially confiscate the gold in businesses and individual's bank holdings based on significantly demanding lower prices to the market as they scramble to get the real stuff to support the government's high spending ways.Then expect the possibility of an investor insurrection against American stock markets and drying up to some extent of foreign direct investment? 

My guess, is if this scramble for gold were to happen along side confiscatory type government restrictions in a very major way, it would be a prelude to default and/or an economic implosion. I think it will happen anyway within a generation if not sooner irrespective of what happens to gold or what restrictions governments put on it.

As more investors are impacted by more price bubbles in various regions' real estate, the stock market, developed world currencies and emerging market currencies (again!) they will get the feeling of 2008 déjà vu. They will increasingly see how fake so many paper investments are as some experienced with AIG credit default swaps before the government bail-outs. Finally, they will eventually come back to realize what quality assets are really limited in supply and are able to retain and grow real value that is sustainable on the longer term. 

Otherwise, nothing will have been learned by retail investors from the 2008 crises. That is a possibility. The public memory of why 2008 happened is increasingly becoming distant and/or forgotten. Lucky for much of Wall Street, not so lucky for the average retail investor.

In essence and on the other hand, serious investors will become more aware as to which assets are attractive in terms of gold price movements. More importantly, it will mean reestablishing gold and other precious metals from their perspective as being some of the most attractive asset classes. Certain non-precious metal and non-commodity stocks and many paper derivatives will be left for the retail "suckers".

That of course does not mean that gold itself cannot at times have its own bubble and get ahead of itself and money supply excesses. But such a phenomenon may very well be coming to an end this year. Then watch gold come back with a vengeance as serious investors even further recognize that precious metals remain the best real game in town to protect and grow the real value of their portfolios. 

It may take some time, but when the price of gold significantly rebounds, the sky could be almost the limit, as people become more fully aware how limited is the supply of this yellow metal. Supply will be additionally limited from recent mine shutdowns, reduced production from so many existing mines and massively contracted exploration activities. 

However, manipulation by bullion banks, other parts of Wall Street and certain other western central banks causing a downward spiral of gold prices, could continue a short-term to medium-term fall-out on gold prices. All of which could be followed by one of the most powerful gold bull markets in the history of gold. 

All of the above could coincide with a collapse of western civilization at the worst if major structural and moral changes on and beyond the Street do not take place. It has happened before if you read your history with many finding solace by holding gold during the mayhem. I am not fully predicting it, but am saying it is now within the realm of possibility given a 17 trillion dollar US debt, which is very understated. No civilization has an automatic carte blanche to maintain itself if it becomes too morally bankrupt, decadent and oh yes, financially bankrupt. Welcome to the modern western Middle Ages if we are not too careful.

That is what worries many (investment) banks as gold's major turn-around may lead to a new era of real investment where too much of their hocus-pocus, Wall Street investment instruments and the value destruction masterminded by various government co-conspirators will be shown up for what they are. And evermore abandoned by investors or not taken up.

That will mean a big hit to the profits of certain banks and banker bonuses. That will decimate some banks into oblivion if we do not get more big government bail-outs of banks, which are now supremely politically unpopular. Others which buy into gold and take a more conservative approach like Canadian banks may do better.

Certain bankers worry that one day many of their various paper investments they issue, or to a lesser extent hold, will be measured against various physical gold tests, even if a gold standard is not completely reintroduced. This will force financial institutions to provide much more value for investment money to Main Street and others, thereby cutting into their proprietary trading and hence earnings. But what we are talking about is a revolution in investment that would likely take decades, if it ever occurs.

Importantly, on a shorter time horizon, countries prudent by having large gold and precious metal reserves, sensible spending, investment and debt management and holding much gold and other precious metals in physical form, below or above ground will become more important world players, including their banks. 

Hence, why Australian, Canadian, German,and solid Swiss banks and latterly, certain Chinese, Latin American and Russian banks, on the long term could offer good value.The new gold order in part is the new world order and not coincidentally. Smart countries, corporations and individuals will be the ones with much real gold; not holding a lot of hocus-pocus Wall Street derivatives of mass investment destruction such as the London whale of JP Morgan fame.

Thus, certain Wall Street banks and high deficit/debt countries have every reason to work extra time to "kill" the price of gold and "con" people into holding questionable government debt instruments being sold by them rather than see investors going for physical gold that the banks do not have the ability to print or get printed. Or even hold to the levels they say they have? And unfortunately, certain banks may lose their trust at the retail and even non-retail levels as good gold fiduciaries so to speak, if they are not more careful.

This lost of trust will be primarily to the benefit of German, Canadian, Australian and Singapore, and somewhat to a lesser extent Hong Kong banks, especially subsidiaries attached to the former countries operating in HK. In a third improving category for trust to protect gold holdings and prices would be China, Russia and parts of Latin America such as Brazil, Chile and possibly Colombia, Ecuador and Panama.

That there has been so much resistance in the gold market recently to faster declining gold prices is most worrisome to London, Wall Street and the US government in particular. They may be sweating about one day being called upon to return all or a lot of the physical gold under custody they may not have, at a real intrinsic value, not at the prices they are trying to manipulate them to. This could provide a doomsday for markets.They know it but not all of the public do. 


HENCE, THE PRIVATE AND CENTRAL BANKSTERS WILL DO EVERYTHING TO STEP UP THE PRESSURE TO DECREASE THE PRICE OF GOLD AT WHICH THEY NEED TO BUY IT BACK, WHICH MAY VERY WELL WORK ON THE SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM. This demands patience and discipline on part of the current regular gold investor who may wish to partially hedge against gold for the moment if holding significant amounts.

It still cannot be forgotten that too many governments and banks are evermore poker faced about how badly the global economy still is. These banks may not be fully straight forward about their true reserve capital levels, extent of risk due to leverage, loan loss potential and the future for their average retail clients and investors. 

Naturally, few of these banks are suggesting that gold is a good buy as they "game" the gold market. So maybe one should buy gold if one does not have any serious gold investments and ones "gold vaults" are bare or thin. Again, all to protect against coming piercing bubbles, calamities and weakened financial strength of many financial institutions.

We will eventually find out the true extent of bubbles and longer term inflation caused by asset appreciation connected to money supply expansion. One thing for sure, you should best not be on the wrong side of these major swings of asset value destruction that could get worse. As we have seen with EM currencies and the 2008 meltdown, it can be quite painful and swift. 

Sadly, these price distortions and bubbles seem to be increasing everywhere over the long term? So without careful planning and monitoring, the average investor and middle income earner at some point, looks like they are especially going to get smashed. That is if they have not been already. That dim future may be more guaranteed and/or repeated, if retail investors, in particular do not take proper sensible contingencies by holding some real gold and related investments. 

It, therefore, might  be wise to own gold even if of initial limited value and/or as a small percentage of your portfolios. Because when the crisis in gold comes, many will probably lose their shirt excluding those with some serious holdings of physical gold and solid gold miners. Do you really feel ready for the next big crisis? Remember this, even the CEO of Goldman Sachs says that it is inevitable.

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                             Message to the Indian Central Banker and Investors in India:

                                                          Get out while you can?

                                                  

Raghuram Rajan has been a darling of central bankers for some time. He has been a kind of celebrity, as well with a range of praise from being an astute practitioner of his trade, a great family man and even being referred to as a handsome and sexy guy. He even kept to the mantra of low inflation and fiscal responsibility, not always popular in a country with significant communist and socialist parties or movements in a variety of regions.

Unfortunately, on the issue of fiscal responsibility, India particularly in recent years has gotten away from such an approach. Now unfortunately, India's central banker wants to play the blame game too much by holding the US responsible in media headlines, effectively for the  high current account deficit, possibly in the hope of saving his job. Or at the very least to divert blowback attention to him from politicians looking for a fall guy for the emerging crisis in the Indian economy. It will not economically work, and will end badly for average Indians and investors in India.

Mr Rajan made the first large mistake, but that was possibly popular with the finance department, of putting restrictions on purchases of gold by Indians. Buying gold in large quantities for national or family celebrations has been an ongoing tradition in this populous subcontinent, time immemorial. It, therefore, cannot be explained as being a major source of the problem with the current account deficit that has become dangerously bloated.

Rather, the restrictions on gold purchases, which he has orchestrated only underline structural problems. Indian gold imports, a significant part of which comes originally from abroad, including Canadian and America companies, are false external "whipping boys" and are not the overall cause of the alarming current account deficit.

The reason there had been a step-up increase in gold purchases prior to Mr Rajan's ill thought-out and unmanageable restrictions on gold imports, is in part due to the decreasing confidence of Indians with respect to the rupee and the economy, in general. For those who have bought gold in that vast country that has not always been politically stable or cohesive historically, have not been disappointed as they have seen a measurable return on their gold investments against the Indian currency. Indians have every right to look to gold for partial stability in an unstable region.

The response to restrict it makes gold only more attractive with many Indians purchasing it illegally or through offshore accounts. Thus, the central banker's actions are fairly counterproductive, and one might add are bordering on being embarrassing. In fact, it is likely that Canadian and other non-Indian banks and investment firms have benefited from Indians outside the country making gold and gold related investment purchases as they wait for more Indian government investment restrictive shoes to fall off.

it also needs to be pointed out India remains a country still too full of  government corruption and wasteful spending. Thus, when external forces are not in its favor like US tapering, these cracks tend to get psychologically magnified particularly if  leaders have gotten away from sound responsible fiscal management as they have done so in too many places, not just restricted to certain emerging market ones. Poorly structured economies even can be put under by real stormy winds. 

But let us not forget that currencies like the Chinese renminbi and to a lesser extent the Russian ruble have reasonably stood up against the US dollar during the additional US tapering fall-out. Both China and Russia, even if they have their own problems with corruption like so many governments in the world, have at least seriously built up significant reserves. 

Conversely, South Korea in the late 1990s did not and ended up as a foreign exchange reserve, basket case having to suffer the severe medicine of the IMF. And Britain during the 1970s suffered almost the same ignominious fate, being so weak that speculators like George Soros were able to descend on the pound sterling and rip it apart without mercy. (Incidentally, George Soros appears to be betting on a new global meltdown, but his predictions on gold showed that he is as infallible at times as the rest of us.)

That the Indian central banker says emerging markets are on their own and as if it were some special oracle like message, reflects naïveté or maneuvering. I presume that hopefully it is the latter as all bets would be off on his leadership if he were to think the world is (supposed to be) a giant cooperative economic enterprise. It is clearly not and has never been so for the most part, despite important efforts periodically to the opposite.

Unfortunately, his fatalistic statements provide nervousness to investors in India, domestic and international. For it dramatically sounds Ike a desperate call for a life-line rather than an admission, as he once made, of the true internal structural problems domestic actors must take charge of. 

Thus, this Indian central banker should think carefully of the consequences of how he sounds and more importantly of those of his policy recommendations and actions. He should realize that he is beginning to look and sound incompetent, and even somewhat feeble about having the power to save the rupee or India from punitive interest rates. 

He is also trying to internationalize his inabilities by saying that US efforts to get under control a very damaging central bank bloated balance sheet is negative and core to India's current economic problems and even  the future of many other emerging market countries. He should squarely return the problem to Indian politicians and get off his media soap  box and back to sound fiscal talking and action as an independent central banker of the most populous country in the world.

However, to be fair to Mr. Rajan, emerging markets for years, including China have been worried about irresponsible US monetary policy, but the difference is some countries have better immunized themselves against the shorter and long term consequences of it. This will also separate winning economies from losing ones. For as a homegrown analogy goes, we know the farmers with crop insurance and hedging often do better on the long term than the ones who do not. 

Well managed economies start at home and show why Australia and China to some extent much better weathered the 2008 meltdown while others like the United States and England were smashed by it. It is better to be successful than running around looking for excuses.

It is also getting clearer that Mr Rajan may be out of his league. To review, his policies on trying to "cripple" the price and purchases of gold in India were the first signs. This blaming mild US tapering by his US central bank peer, Janet Yellen for India's woes is another sign. 

Again being fair to Mr. Rajan, the bigger sign is that India's central banker and possibly no central banker can probably get India's economic house in order on the short to medium term. Given India's importance to the South Asian regional economy, that should certainly worry its neighbors and given its geopolitical importance, it should worry many more.

My suggestion is that until we see more solid fiscal leadership and less of the blame US game in India, investors should take an investment holiday from that country in large part if they are risk adverse. Or at the very least, begin to buy shares of solid Indian companies with a large presence in and exports to countries like Germany and the United States. Some of those listings like Infosys may be highly discounted from their optimal price because of foreign exchange rates and stock market movements. However, during these "troubled times" some of these Indian multinationals have been able to do nicely.

All the noises from this central banker are beginning to make me shiver about where this fascinating country I loved and visited some years back is headed. Let us hope that India can get back on its sound trajectory of growth and continue to widen the middle class. 

Because the level of poverty in the country still demands that politicians there return to their better economic senses for those who had any in the first place. Until they do, expect more exiting of longer term money, less foreign investment and more purchases of gold by Indians at least externally. 

This in summary spells a brewing economic crisis unless the bull is taken by the fiscal horn if necessary, instead of the media bullhorn being used by Mr. Rajan against the US Fed. Let investors ignore how charming and sexy he and his messages might be to many Indian voters and politicians. They should stick to examining and promoting economic fundamentals and generally exit India now while they can. That might soon include Mr. Rajan, too.

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                                                           Suicide Bankers: 

                       What Their Impact Tells Us about Today's Western Banks

The banking profession used to be full of dull jobs and people leading relatively non-eventful lives. But now we have announcements regularly about bankers committing suicide or being suicided every week to go along with periodic "financial explosions" of derivative positions and sovereign debt. 

There was a time when real worthiness of credit, capacity and character were the three important "C words" when looking at whether to lend to clients or in the general management of a bank's everyday administrative and investment affairs. Another C was collateral, meaning focusing on real assets, not phony ones when ensuring the client had the capacity to repay, or when issuing or managing investment instruments.

Bankers were looked at sometimes as overly prudent tight-wads, and were not much more paid in many positions than (top) government bureaucrats. They were about as risky in behavior as these government managers. And highly constrained by those same governments containing regulators with much less interest to aspire in becoming the high salaried people they regulated. In a nut shell, the temptation to be pals to the bankers and look the other way to indiscretions were much weaker thereby constricting bankers from becoming colorful gamblers of the likes of Dick F. at Lehman Brothers. I would add the greater spirituality of those past times, higher morality about money and sense of community were probably stronger, as well.

But in too many places in the world, bankers at the top, today are particularly focused on the investment side, and on their related bonuses and willingness to take on excessive risks to offset the low interest rates they get on loans. Too many find ways to skirt around appropriate regulations. Media attention, for example, has been on the enormous salaries and bonuses of those who occupy what Is referred to in bank lingo as the C-suite. And how sweet it is with CEOs and their senior VPs getting tens of millions of dollars based on profits being generated significantly by risky derivatives. Sadly, many of these investments are lacking in real asset worth or for their serious contributions in growing western economies, such as in adding manufacturing capacity producing real products.

In summary, bankers today especially in New York or London and their branches elsewhere in too many cases, have become Ponzi scheme artists. They are building  pretend wealth out of excessive money printing from the central banks, conning average depositors in taking pittance on their deposits and reinvesting those retail deposits into certain highly risky instruments that even Las Vegas casinos would have problems with. The ever quicker speed of money and need for rationalization of staffing, particularly in the "loser banks", which have begun to crap out as the Ponzi goose eggs have (threatened one day to) come home to hatch, has put enormous pressure on investment and bank personnel at all levels.

In essence, this stress attached to growing worries about fines and a new coming crisis especially in the last several years commensurate with a greater intensity of pace in the banking profession have become increasingly harder to bear. This is bringing about an environment more and more conducive to employees cracking and even taking their lives.

Some bankers have also come to understand the destructive dimensions of their modern profession, be it in the derivative field or in areas of sovereign debt that they have dealt with that is causing impoverishment and misery around the world. Consequently, the profession is being increasingly despised by more than a significant few on Main Street, which is further demoralizing, making even one CEO financier equating the public as a lynch mob out to hang executive bankers. 

There are also now analysts in the media trashing them openly on a regular basis, which could not be imagined two or three decades ago. It has been a sad evolution in the degradation of reputation of a once, proud sector for which I had much more respect for during my father's time. And it no doubt has become too much for many financiers with sensitivities and a conscience in particular.

So the question these days about the alarming mysterious deaths or suicides of bankers has probably more of a clear modern context excluding possibly the Great Depression, amply named. Yet those in the mainstream alternative media, pardon my oxymoron as some of these news channels on the Internet are better covered than some of the main main media, are putting out conspiracy ideas explaining these deaths.

One view is that many bankers at the top investment level, now see a huge economic depression about to unfold and they and their banks hand in it. They see themselves being at risk of losing their jobs or worse being prosecuted, all making them wonder whether they will be disgraced. Bad enough worries by the way that some British bank CEOs and others are refusing to take millions of dollars of bonuses and in one case years back, even one gave up a knighthood. 

To certain bankers, they even feel relief when they find they still have a "stay out of jail card", sometimes given around the same time that their own financial corporations are charged billions in fines. This includes in too many instances what amounts essentially to levels of fraud and racketeering for which Al Capone and the Mafia would be envious if they had gotten away with. But at least the main Mafia would probably avoid ripping off single mothers and seniors or silently watching it happen. Some banks have clearly not been below mafia standards, and in some cases have laundered massive amounts of their money.

Hence, I believe that ever growing stress is the increasing explanation and that there are likely not assassins out there duplicating characters in my book, putting away corrupt, interest rate fixing, gold price manipulating, mortgage lending fraud committing, huge money laundering or trading with the enemy type bankers. There is as well, no secret organization to the best of my knowledge like Z5 in my book, acting as a government/ do-gooder philanthropist type intelligence agency, hunting down and rubbing out those truly evil bankers, who effectively have killed off the economies of whole countries and impoverished a number of them so they could get their bonus blood money. And this is all done in my novel by with poetic justice of an assassin operative with a clean day job like a teacher, nurse or doctor that one top Wall Street banker characterized as more useful to society than bankers. Of course, such fiction should absolutely stay as fiction for it should be the criminal system that should deal with rogue bankers. I mean the criminal justice system, of course.

No, instead of conspiracies or my book being an existing template for justice against the most corrupt rogue bankers, it is the accumulated stress of these bankers' jobs from the ever increasing worries that their gamblers' derivatives will "blow up" in their face along with their careers that are likely causing suicides. Just ask the folks at JP Morgan where a twist of vocabulary has led to the Great Whale harpooning major senior executives out of a job, and no doubt putting a chill on the banking waters around Manhattan to the City of London. 

There are worries about not only potential risks to reputations, but deteriorating marriages and already soured family lives that are taking their tolls in too many cases from working long hours to keep their jobs evermore under threat from some exploding derivative or new regulatory development. Some bankers, no doubt feel so empty about their lives, overworked in screwing up the world and spiritually vacuous for their complicity in doing so, as they take regular public pounding after pounding. Though surely this does not relate to the majority, just a worrying minority.

As well, new restructuring, including evermore jobs being threatened by computerization and pushes by shareholders to force executives and others to step up the proof that their high bonuses are deserved, create demanding additional stresses. Finally, there are big negative forces on various bankers to make up for huge derivative losses, previous and  knowingly incoming and unstoppable, thereby creating a pressure cooker in the already boiling "boiler room" atmosphere of many parts of banks today.

I do not know for absolute certainty whether several of the mysterious deaths of bankers in the last months, that some even count as being closer to a few dozens, occurred because of stress. I do not even know if a few of these bankers might have been bumped off because of what the knew or whether they had become perceived as whistle blower risks.  Or whether according to one conspiracy, it is all a diversion to allow some bankers to fake their deaths, so they can escape prosecution or liquidation. Then going all incognito, after plastic surgery while running off to luxury, low taxation places like the Cayman Islands or Barbados. What creative imagination at the very least fit for a novel!

But what I do know, is that many banks today particularly at the investment level are becoming negative places psychologically and spiritually to be connected with by many. So much so that (Harvard) graduate business students no longer see them as supremely attractive places from which to start their lucrative careers. Instead, they see them as more difficult places to keep their jobs or sanity and beginning to pay much less than many other alternatives.

Furthermore, bankers today should appreciate the begrudging respect their profession had decades ago when my father worked as a senior banker. A period when he would say that although he might have been perceived as being underpaid, he liked to think he was undisputedly providing money worth to his clients. There was even a time when bankers actually got to know the families of customers without getting financially incestuous with them, celebrating a Bar-Mitzvah or christening within a client's family. 

Unfortunately, in too much of today's banking world especially at the top, it is all a Ponzi racket scheme of just generating manipulated spread sheets of converting bad loans that are questionable into paper profits, pressures to turn out new volumes of customers and their money like a supervisor of sausage production under quotas in a salami factory and questionable investing in risky derivative trading.  In essence, too much of banking has too often become a financial wasteland, a fraud and now a collapsing one with employees more and more worried about their future, and in some cases their legal or non-legal guilt in ripping off a variety of ordinary people.

In reality, the current suicides could just be the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with so much banking and many bankers these days. It is fortunate that indeed, as in my book, there are not banker vigilantes going around and hunting down some of the most despicable fraud and Ponzi artists in the system living out in the Caribbean on their schooner yachts and jet setting around, for instance. 

The recent suicides are in my estimation a further cry from even some of Wall Street's own at the top that the system has become plain ugly. That my thesis of the brutal world ahead should still be heeded in your financial and non-financial planning. For the rest of us much lower paid, regular people or lower level wealthy, we need to take note. Investors and depositors beware, the suicide bankers may just be another scary canary in Canary Wharf and Wall Street, telling us that the financial system is becoming suicidal in  itself.

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In response to Bill, sports reporter of LA Times, here are some quotes of Olympic athletes from the main website.

Canadian figure skater Kaitlyn Weaver, who performed in the ice dancing couples competition, said that the crowd’s loud cheers and applause raised her spirits:

"It's electrifying. I was thinking to myself, 'Thank goodness we're doing a happy program', because I couldn't help but smile out there. I was also thinking, 'Do everything right'. We were improvising with each other a little bit out there. Those are the memories we're making here that I'll never forget."

British skater Nicholas Buckland enjoyed much the same experience:

"We wanted to use the energy from the crowd and feed off it. It doesn't matter whether it's for the Russians or you. It's a great energy. It doesn't distract us at all."

Maxim Trankov, Olympic champion in pair figure skating and team competitions, thanked his countrymen for their relentless support from the stands:

"It's an incredible emotion; it's one of our favorite cities in Russia. It's so warm outside and inside because of the emotions. I hope we will skate very well and show our best skating for all the Russian people. It's pressure, but that pressure pushes us."

For the first time, the ice at Iceberg was being used for both figure skating and short track; although in these types of competitions it is best for the athletes to skate on ice of different temperatures, with short track skaters compete on colder ice than that used for figure skating. Nevertheless, careful preparation and management of the ice meant that at the end of training sessions and performances the athletes offered warm praise about the quality of ice at Iceberg.

                                   Getting Shaken Down in Sochi but not Shaken

My overall Olympic experience to date has been terrific. The sports venues are excellent and as a bonus, my home team Canada has won in every event I have attended. By the looks of the flags in the arenas, it seems that many Canadians came and  I sometimes feel that the Canadians outstrip the Americans in visible presence. As well, Russian fans have been gracious and polite and even offering me drinks.

However, in Sochi, I have never met taxi-drivers as avaricious and so difficult with some exceptions or a five star hotel that was so lacking in basic international standards. Hence, probably why unfortunately I can now understand why many Muscovites, internationally travelled, often  avoid Sochi. Possibly, over time and with patience, Sochi will become fully up to excellent global hotel and taxi standards. But it is clearly not quite there, yet.

Nevertheless, please come to Sochi and also try to forget about the language inconveniences and use them as opportunities to pick up some Russian language even if only a few phrases and the basic number system. Tax drivers, though far from all, can be obnoxious in many places in the world, which is one reason I am a great walker besides needing to burn off some fat. 

Sochi is also a very clean city with its museums all spruced up and is a lot better than in the past dealing with foreign visitors. The mountains nearby rival the alps for beauty and are very high, even higher than the French alps. The ski facilities look first rate and so does the snow. 

A lot of westerners can be spoiled in terms of the service they usually get, but need to get out of their full comfort zone and to some degree, their security zone to experience the wider fascinating world. That has allowed me to experience directly many interesting cultures that are not always properly represented in the media or even travel guides. Such adventuresome tourists benefit from the two way, people to people exchanges and generally help the world to be a better off place altogether. So stop "whining" and get out and see something different. Sochi and Russia as a whole in this respect are worthy goes and overall, have pleasantly surprised me.

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                                Clean Competition Inspired by Olympic Spirit

 Two leading stories positioned beside each other on the CTV, private Canadian news channel web site. A dedicated Russian skier who broke her back training for her Olympic run. The other about Jean Charest, previous head of a Quebec liberal government  that was continuously plagued by Quebec construction industry scandals and Brian Mulroney, former, Canadian Prime Minister (enough said) saying give the scandal ridden Senate, a chance. http://www.ctvnews.ca/sochi/russian-skicross-racer-komissarova-undergoes-surgery-after-breaking-spine-1.1688014

 I will follow the sports stories and be reminded that much should be learned by the purer competitive spirit of the the Olympic traditions. Read the story about the Russian skier. Congratulations on both Canada's and Russia's medal count. And may both countries' fine athletes inspire their youth about clean competition. Clean competition from various politicians, governments, bankers and the media as a start of a list of those considered less desirable by the general public.

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Proud as a Canadian to read this comment to Russian Today news story. It was about  a member of  the Canadian Olympic team staff lending a hand and ski to a Russian competitor so he could finish his Olympic event in dignity before his home crowd.

 

Nirbijan Nirvichara 12.02.2014 19:30

While western media and governments continue trashing Russia non-stop, western people remain passionate descent people.
Thank you Canada and thank you Justin Wadsworth for defeating western Cold War spirit and showing human side of people in the West.

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                   "The  Medusas seemed to be working also successfully." 

Do you have a Medusa working for you on your investments? However, the quote above excerpted from my book describes the figurative effects of a Swiss hotel exterior on reinforcing the stony personality of certain pompous guests, not likely your or my investment adviser. But who knows. However, the Medusa I am recommending is neither a Swiss banker, though I have met a few, including a female one. This one will hopefully put a warm expression on your own face eventually, rather than one of stone that the sirens of Greek tragic mythology were famous for literally creating on ill-prepared, doomed seafarers. 

More seriously, my Medusa is a significant gold miner in Australia, part of which I purchased. Maybe I was inspired by my book where there are two references to the name, or maybe I actually did some solid homework on the company, as well. I would like to think the latter, but I have always thought that irrespective of the best research, investors  should see the stock exchange as being up to providing the "proverbial" dangers of the Medusa siren legend tragedy. This will help them think twice before making foolish self-destructive moves that could shipwreck their finances and leave them stone cold as they look at a rocky future. Hopefully,  the Medusa (MML) on the Australian stock exchange is not up to having an impact on its shareholders as the "original" ones had on their victims. Instead, the more benign, Australian commercial version may work to your success, especially for new shareholders coming in at its very discounted share price.

Nevertheless, irrespective of the need to avoid excessive risk which gold stocks can involve, one needs to take some risks near the investment shoals in order to move ahead of the pack. If not, then one is left with accounts getting around one to two percent interest rates by socking away too much of your financial future in your dead money bank accounts. 

So with these thoughts in mind, let us look at this Medusa, which hopefully will not crash you. Firstly, this is a company that has seen its share price go down by about 60 percent in the last year, but equally has had a profit margin of the same percentage. Analysts give it generally a positive overall rating of about 2.25  (below 2.5 is very good) with the majority rating it from outperform to buy.  So it is definitely a time to begin to give it serious consideration.

Given Medusa's current share price in the two to three Aussie dollar range, but having reached over eight dollars only a few years ago, this stock altogether looks attractive. This is even outside the context of an eventual consolidation of the gold industry when mergers and acquisitions will accelerate, once a full shake-out takes place. This will include many gold company operations being rationalized to provide cost structures that will bring high returns in the next gold bull market. At its bargain price, Medusa seems like an eventual takeover target.

Another important point is that the Aussie dollar after going down by 10 percent against the US dollar in the last several months, is less risky on a foreign exchange basis than it was last year when it was in its non-discounted, overpriced form. This is the same partial rationale for considering buying Canadian gold miners listed in Canada, where the Canadian dollar, as well, has seen a major downward move against the US dollar, euro, Swiss franc and British  pound, for example. As these currencies are attached to countries or areas with huge investment pools and interest in gold, demand for these shares are further reinforced. These currency exchange rates cannot but help to stimulate purchases of these countries' precious metal ETFs and other positive gold investment instruments.

I am reasonably confident in years ahead that those who buy now into quality discounted gold and other precious metal stocks, as well as bullion will reap good rewards. However, one needs to have solid stock picks in a diversified gold portfolio to protect against the few companies that may get cleaned out and even delisted.

I am definitely calling for a gold price of over 2,000 dollars in the next major bull run, which could lead to a 100 percent return, annualized up to a 20 percent return over a five to ten year period. Gold investors will need to be patient, however, given the overall negative forces against gold at Wall Street bullion banks and the US Fed, though hopefully changing with the new Fed chair.

Meanwhile, through careful research, I continue to buy into many Australian and Canadian gold miners with worldwide plays in a diversity of good locations including the United States, Australia, Canada, Russia, China, Latin America and east and Southeast Asia. I expect less safer places like the Arabian peninsula, Myanmar (and eastern Russia) to become exciting frontier environments for those with longer term horizons. 

Regarding South Africa and other parts of Africa, they could produce very solid returns as well, particularly after some kind of labor peace is well established in the former. That is likely to come as commodity prices move up and both sides realize that the only  alternative to peace is a polarization leading to pure chaos for a country so heavily dependent on the mining industry. But this is not going to happen overnight without  likely further unsettling but interim major political and labour problems. This could significantly affect the overall global growth in supplies of gold and other precious metal output on the shorter to medium terms. Of course, this will contribute to either slow downward pressures on price or to reduce resistance to price increases.

So far, since the beginning of the fall of 2013, I have come back into gold investments after dumping gold ETFs in the first part of 2013. ETFs in gold and silver may at some point be good buys, though. There are also Gold ETF shorts in which you can hedge your bets on the near term but be careful with them as some are highly leveraged. Continuing along, two miners in my portfolio have been already up since the fall, one substantially and two are down in small  percentages. Given that gold took quite a tumble in 2013, I am highly satisfied with these stocks and my investment strategy. 

Other commodity mining stocks provided an annualized return in Canadian dollars of about 20 percent inclusive of dividends. Currency trades have led to sizable rewards as measured in Canadian dollars as I have been negative on the Canadian dollar for years. Proceeds in part have gone to charities including those in education institutions as promised. That is part of the update on my portfolio management for now, which I will periodically provide. 

Meanwhile, Medusa at this point looks like a good addition that will not drive us mad. Well, an investment metaphor in part borrowed from my own novel to remind one again of the siren perils that are not so novel about investing in gold miners, ETFs or even bullion. Be they of the likes of a Medusa or another risky investment creature.

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                         LA Times Reporter's  Sour "Propaganda" on Olympic Spirit in Sochi

http://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/la-sp-sochi-plaschke-20140207,0,3172243.column#ixzz2stw5mJUo

A piece by Bill Plaschke in the LA Times on Sochi, really shows how too many American journalists, though far from all, are open to such superficial and stereotypic analysis of other cultures at times, which are largely unknown to them. As a Canadian, I have been aware of this all my life  even when down at Harvard. However, I would say my experiences with average Americans have been largely friendly and positive. Especially with those living near the border or in the South where politeness to me has been almost overwhelming.

However, Plaschke is approaching  being what we call the reverse ambassador or in broad terms "the ugly American" at least with respect to his recent article on Russia. His thesis is that the Russian people are so repressed that it is patently reflected in the images and moods of the locals in Sochi. 

As well, to show how good a sport Bill is, he is charging the locals for having so much glum that they are "killing" the Olympic spirit. I am now going to give him a bit of an education, maybe because it is partly due to being a teacher who has lived widely around the world, including about a year in Russia. That includes spending about a week in this Olympic hosting city, where I will be going soon, again but this time for the Olympics.

Firstly, Sochi is not the richest city on Earth so people struggle a lot on a daily basis like in many such places. That does not always help with the happy index particularly now that many Russians are exposed to American commercialism. Let us not forget that their markets have opened up to the world, so many know more and more as to what they materially do not have. That can be a pity and dispiriting. This problem is also not uncommon to many Americans who are poor or struggling to stay in the middle class, as well.

However, at least the Russian federal and local governments have been trying to increase the wealth and employment opportunities in Sochi by developing the hotel and sports infrastructure along with services. It is more the lack of wealth that creates uncertainty than the governmental system. But surely, government as an institution makes a lot of people a bit glum, be it in America or elsewhere. This is especially true during these days of universal budget restraint and less than optimum use of tax payer resources at times - to say the very least.

But here are my own mostly anecdotal experiences with Sochi to contrast and give more balance over Bill's writings. I was picked up at their modern looking airport for free and taken to my beautiful new boutique hotel. The instructions to find my ride were impeccable. The driver was not super friendly, but as I tried out my Russian and gave positive feedback about the city, he became friendlier. A word of advice, Bill. Russians have had some bad experiences with foreigners like massive invasions, historically and bad mouthing by outsiders like him for generations. Speaking Russian and sincerely, but not overly complimenting them for their service and efforts are helpful.

Russians in general, including those in warmish climate Sochi, I find are not too friendly at first, and can be put off by our North American culture that generally overly promotes it upfront in new relationships or initial contacts.  If you do not know well the Russians you meet and smile quite a lot to them, they may see you as superficial. This is particularly true for Russian men but not exclusively so.

Russians are also are more focused on getting the main task done, top down and sometimes brusquely. Maybe this is left-over from the Soviet period, though less obvious among younger Russians. But so what. For if you really get to know the Russian people you will find they have a great heart and understanding of you when you are down and need to be pulled up.

The kaleidoscope of cultural diversity often makes the world more interesting than having McDonald's restaurants dominate the Russian restaurant or global landscapes, for example. But notice Bill that nevertheless, there are a lot of McDonald's too in Russia with generally positive enough service and much more Americanization than a generation ago. (Sometimes I think some Russians are actually too Americanized, especially in the stressful hustle and competitive bustle of Moscow, possibly explaining why they too like Americans are not at the top of the Economist magazine published happy index of countries.)

But I digress. The next person I met was the manager and receptionist of the hotel. When I joked that I better look at the room before I paid -what I consider somewhat steep hotel charges in Sochi-  she refused to take my credit card for the whole period and instead, showed me the room to ensure I was content with it. Her English was great and you could see in her eyes a real concern to make the guests happy. She was more interested in getting the job done than looking like the happiest person or the most fully relaxed. Another hotel was booked out for the Olympics but they were so very polite and positive to me that they phoned around until they found a hotel room for me and then spent a lot of time happily directing me to the hotel.

For many service people in Sochi, they knew that getting it right in the run-up to the Olympics and especially during the Olympics is really so important to establish their brand on a sustainable level. As a result, many have been as nervous as a young ballerina going from a small theatre to the Bolshoi stage for the first time. These people need our empathy, not discouraging and badly distorted? articles from the LA Times and other major to minor American publications. Who would want to ever go to Sochi as a tourist based on this LA Times high profile article that characterizes Sochites as practically close to feeling like inmates. It is insulting at worst and economically injurious. To a people who arevin quest of having a better life.

And in case one thinks I am being paid directly or indirectly for this piece, I am not. In fact, I get a relatively modest income here as essentially a teacher and can work in many other countries paying much more.. But I love it here in Russia because of the fantastic and fascinating culture and great spirit of the Russian people to overcome adversity even if all is not perfect. And their willingness, even if sometimes slowly to keep the transformational process moving. It is really a privilege to watch these changes from within, represented in part by seeing the Olympics develop to fruition. 

As also a novelist, I respect Russians' great continued interest in literature over video games and hallucinogenic drugs too popular in the West, though alcoholism is a very serious problem among a major segment of the Russian male population. You see many Russians reading on the metro, which is palatial work of art.

Not to forge! this is a country that put the first satellite in space (in the same year I was born of 1957, making me a Sputnik baby) and the first space station currently orbiting Earth. It is a country with the second highest number of strategic nuclear missiles, and more positively, a legacy of some of the best artists  including authors like Tolstoy and composers like Tchaikovsky. As well, it is the largest country on Earth with plentiful resources. Certainly, it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a mix of vast expanses of wild nature and incredible architecture along with a return to great spirituality. It has enormous potential that also needs positive encouragement to be more fully realized

I think if we visibly have more of the kind of journalism from writers like this one from the LA Times, much of the world and certainly the Russians themselves would become more critical of America. Because such journalism does get reported here and elsewhere in emerging market countries friendly to Russia. It leaves a very sour taste in the mouth about whether the American government is truly respecting political diversity and other cultures.

Such a reaction would be too bad, because most Americans like the good underdog who has been unfairly pushed down. And that is what I and many others are beginning to see Russia as being from the way Syria was positively played out by the Russian leadership to the Olympics so far being highly successful. And all being reluctantly recognized particularly by some Obama backed liberals and political appointees.

Maybe that is what is gnawing on parts of the US liberal establishment that conservative Russia is a lot more functional and wiser than they would like it to be. Instead, the US government should be a bit more humble about its own supposed exceptionalism, as Russia is identifying such need for modesty more than any other country. 

But such competition from Russia and others is indeed, positive at times to keep us all grounded whatever our country, whatever our greatness, as America surely is in many things as I type this on my iPad. It is good that America has a critic that can stand on its feet and not be bullied as Canada, Australia and Europe have been at times, especially by the junior Bush government. Lack of competition is unhealthy.That being said, reforms from open markets to respect for individual dignity need to move  more forward here -as well as in America where there has been exposures by Snowden about the NSA excesses.

There is also a morally corrupt piling up of US government debt that is squashing economic rights of US youth and many others who need attention. Such a 17 trillion dollar US debt problem is essentially non-existent in Russia and needs to be praised rather than just cost over-runs repetitively criticized at the Olympics. I see the former in America debt "bomb" rather than the latter Olympic cost over-runs in Russia as being more representative of a corrupt national government. Though both governments need to work on this issue and are doing so.

If Plaschke, his newspaper and the "military industrial complex" significantly based in California need an enemy to maintain markets, I suggest they go elsewhere like focussing on themselves.Of course, most countries including Germany of Angela Merkel, as well as the Russian president would just prefer more peace to break out than the likes of "Russia Kill Bill" to go nasty. I believe most average Americans, irrespective of their voting preferences have shown this to be true by their collective stance against needless military intervention.

I worry that certain US liberal to neo-liberal journalists throughout America are trying to demonize the Russian government to provide the fuel for some new bold intervention disaster in the future when they will want to discredit Russian peacemaking input. I think Syria shows that game has run its course, and is an evermore declining high for most American newspaper readers, at least for the many conservatives and independents. 

So over to you Bill for your next piece on Russia, which I hope will be more balanced. Meanwhile, I also hope at the very least, this journalist's last one on Russia is generating advertising dollars and shareholder value for some decent publisher capitalist. Because I cannot think of anything more positive about this piece of his, from no doubt a journalist with a usually good reputation of saying how it and being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. I and many others expect better from the LA Times and hopefully we shall see better as the Olympics move forward as so does Sochi with more positive publicity.

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            Dedicated Phone Line Used To Fix Gold Price: But not so dedicated?

The below primer will show you how gold prices are fixed. While this was once done at the offices of the Rothschild Bank in London, it is now done over the telephone among five select banks.

Clearly, the Rothschilds knew something was up when they left the group not too long before the telephone began to be used to make these transactions. This certainly reduced the level of privacy in doing so.

They were smart enough to know one day that this legalized scheme would be open to accusations of real gold price manipulation. And that would not do well, especially with all the anti-Zionist conspiracy nuts out there, thinking the Rothschilds are embarking on some scheme to control and manage the gold supply to their conspiratorial needs.

Now, we know those conversations in the gold fixing conference calls have been "recorded" through meta data collected by the NSA and can be accessed to the commercial benefit of certain friends of the NSA in theory.

Yes, indeed the Rothschilds did rather well from not leaving themselves open to being accused of gold price fixing. And they certainly have a good pipeline to all the quality research keeping them abreast of gold price movements. Good luck out there little people in the gold market. you will need it.

 


                                                                                   Primer on Gold fixing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The London gold fixing or gold fix[1][2] is the setting of the price of gold, determined twice each business day on the London market by the five members of The London Gold Market Fixing Ltd, on the premises of N M Rothschild & Sons. It is designed to fix a price for settling contracts between members of the London bullion market, but informally the gold fixing provides a recognized rate that is used as a benchmark for pricing the majority of gold products and derivatives throughout the world's markets. The gold fix is conducted in United States dollars (USD), Pound sterling (GBP), and the Euro (EUR) daily at 10.30am and 3pm, London time, via a dedicated telephone conference facility.

History[edit]

On 12 September 1919 at 11:00am the five principal gold bullion traders and refiners of the day performed the first gold fixing. The original members were N M Rothschild & Sons, Mocatta & GoldsmidPixley & AbellSamuel Montagu & Co. and Sharps Wilkins. The gold price was determined to be four pounds 18 shillings and ninepence (GBP 4.18s.9d = 4.9375) per troy ounce. The New York gold price was US$19.39. The first few fixings were conducted by telephone until the members started meeting at the Rothschild offices in New Court, St Swithin's Lane.

In 1933 Executive Order 6102 was signed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, requiring US citizens to turn in their gold for $20.67 per ounce. Afterwards, the price of gold was set at $35.00 per ounce.

Due to wartime emergencies and government controls, the London gold fixing was suspended between 1939 and 1954, when the London gold market was closed.

On 21 January 1980 the gold fixing reached the price of $850, a figure not overtaken until 3 January 2008 when a new record of $865.35 per troy ounce was set in the a.m. fixing. However, when indexed for inflation, the 1980 high corresponds to a price of $2,305.18 in 2011 dollars,[3] thus the 1980 record still holds in real terms.

The fixing historically took place at the London offices of N M Rothschild & Sons in St Swithin's Lane, but since 5 May 2004 it takes place by a dedicated telephone conferencing system. Until 1968, the price was fixed only once a day, when a second fixing was introduced at 3 p.m. to coincide with the opening of the US markets, as the price of gold was no longer under control of the Bank of England, a result of the collapse of the London Gold Pool. In April 2004 N M Rothschild & Sons announced that it planned to withdraw from gold trading and from the London gold fixing. Barclays Capital took its place on 7 June 2004 and the chairmanship of the meeting, formerly held permanently by Rothschilds, now rotates annually.

Process[edit]

The five participating banks are market makers. They may have gold orders on their own behalf (proprietary trading), their client's behalf (brokerage), or frequently some of each. Client orders will generally be limit orders. A buy limit order is executed unless the price is above a preset value. A sell limit order is executed unless the price is below a preset value.

The lead participant will begin the fixing process by proposing a price near the current gold spot price. The participants then simulate the result of trading at that price. First, each bank looks at its limit orders and determines how many are eligible to trade at that price. They can also consider how much gold their proprietary trading desk would trade at the same price. The bank then states a single value, the net amount (in ounces) of gold they wish to buy or sell. After each bank provides this value, they determine if the overall net amount is 0. If so, all transactions succeed and the fix is complete. The chair then states, "There are no flags, and we're fixed."

Otherwise, the chair must change the proposed price. If the amount of gold the banks proposed to buy is higher than the amount proposed for sale, he must raise the price. That will decrease the number of proposed purchases, both because more buy limit orders will fail and because of proprietary traders. At the same time, it increases the number of proposed sales, both because more sell limit orders succeed and because of proprietary trading.

Conversely, if the amount proposed for sale is higher, he must lower the price. This will have the exact opposite effects from above, increasing the number of proposed purchases and decreasing the number of proposed sales.

This process iterates until a fix is found. Buyers are charged 20 cents per troy ounce as a premium to fund the fix process; this results in an implicit bid-offer spread.

As with other forms of market making, participants attempt to predict the direction of the market and increase profits through timing.[4]

Participants can pause proceedings at will. Originally, it was done by raising a small Union Flag on their desk. Under the telephone fixing system, participants can register a pause by saying the word "flag."

The current five participants in the fixing, who must be members of the London Bullion Market Association, are:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ London Gold Fixing
  2. Jump up^ Latest gold fix prices
  3. Jump up^ ”Why gold is breaking records”, CNNMoneycom, 12 May 2010.
  4. Jump up^ "The Gold Fix Mechanism". BullionVault. Retrieved January 02, 2012.

External links[edit]

The Coming "Unimagined" Financial Crisis and the Subsequent New Gold Order                

Marc Faber, top media commentator on business channels, warned about the massive US money printing exercise causing unintended consequences. These included stock market, precious metals, Asian real estate and currency bubbles, for example. I also call it neurotic money as we see so much volatility played out most recently in the fast depreciating currencies of emerging markets. This has also been true for the currencies of commodity based western economies such as the Australian or Canadian dollars. But something worse is definitely coming.

For we should worry where the next leg of fresh money will hit that is hot off the printing presses of the US, Japan and the overall West. It could lead back to a stock market and other asset meltdown like scenarios as experienced in 2008 in the West, as more and more investors conclude the intrinsic value of these assets too, do not match current market values. As well, loss of confidence in EM currencies cannot help but have a collateral effect on developed markets, and make investors nervous about the next casualty of US and Japanese printing press, hot money.

On the other hand, values in the current western stock markets for instance, will be better accepted if one is to assume that the paper money on which they are calculated has significantly less value than thought, and thus stock prices deserve to be at least partly inflated. This is the case, even if inflation is not obvious in supermarket "land" of the average consumer who sees no highly visible rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) but more than the government is indicating.

But let us remember though that CPI is a rather obsolete measurement of paper currencies'  long-term decreasing purchasing value. For eventually, one would think higher priced assets not calculated into CPI, overall will affect product inputs, rents, possibly labour and future positive expectations about the economy in important quarters. This will all lead to consumer price increases in a more profound way than presently. Though for now, most of the immediate benefits from asset inflation in these markets go largely to millionaires who by their relative numbers and consumer purchasing behavior can only impact the CPI in a fairly limited way, particularly on the short term.

However, at some point, there could be a general recognition that asset appreciation without enough underlying new profits and sufficient additional productivity is symptomatic of the overall lack of worth, or declining worth of currencies.That too much of asset appreciation is asset inflation and thus, not fully sustainable as attractive places for making real money. And asset inflation on a fairly continuous basis (over time) is leading to real inflation at the street level, compounding the problem of decreasing real incomes for the many. This further resultant erosion of street sentiment in the relevant economies could eventually affect investor sentiment. 

There are therefore, growing questions as to whether stock price rises (further down the road) will mean much in seriously improving broad scale public confidence in the overall economy. Will it all lead to true enduring economic recovery for the many or just enrichment now of the few with delayed inflation for the many? Eventually this understanding by investors that their overall stock price gains in significant part might not be real enough - including in equivalent gold ounce conversions, may also lead them out of stocks to precious metals with artificially depressed prices.

Hence, there is enough reason to believe that individual investors will be looking to alternatives to stocks such as picking up physical gold. After all, it is much more in limited supply and has already gone through its own bubble burst like gold miners. It will be a recognition of the challenges of a fast expanding US dollar supply and that of various lower worth, paper derivative investments not sufficiently and properly backed up by real valuable assets or a fundamentally sound economy.

So a better question I pose that assists in reaching a more comprehensive conclusion of the real solid value of markets is how much in gold ounces is something worth relative to a previous period and projected to be. Again, this appears to be a better means of getting a measure of real value of assets. Political risk events could cause a distortion though, for this phenomenon of "low" gold ounce equivalency during a non-inflationary or pre-inflationary period. 

So for now and the last year, the trend in US stock markets seems positive as many assets appreciate as calculated in how many gold ounce equivalents they represent and their trend lines. And a lower gold price too would seem to indicate lower political global risk, also good for the economy and most stocks Yet, I will reiterate this is likely a short to medium term situation.

Price in gold ounce equivalents (PRIGO) as I coin the new rough indicator on measuring real asset intrinsic value, shows that excluding the last year and possibly 2008, for the most part, the long term trend in real asset values (excluding some commodities) in the last two or three decades has been unimpressive or even next to "horrific". This has been especially true given the limited positive movement in many valuations of major stock markets over these decade periods in real terms. Some key stock indices have even experienced major decreases. 

Thus, parking investments with gold became increasingly a preferred option (excluding a few years ) as contrasted against most but not all indices of major exchanges. Not a bad record until Wall Street and the Feds, plus some European banks started to more energetically manipulate gold prices down? An investigation is underway and may show some truth to this. If true, it is likely downward pressure on gold will be partly alleviated as it may become harder to reproduce such price distortions in the future. But who knows given the machinations of certain elements on Wall Street to Canary Wharf.

In fact, current PRIGO valuations make a kind of horror show of how much paper money and real asset valuations have declined overall. As well, the ratio of US and much of western and Japanese debt to gold ounces available is massive. All this should be considered alarming, if even a small percentage of sovereign and private bank bond debt were to be converted into gold. 

Not to be forgotten, gold is one of the few assets of limited supply with long term and historically proven demand and value. And many assets have been going down significantly or rising relatively slowly in real value on a long term basis when measured against gold.

And it could get worse. If creditor nations one day ask for debt repayment in gold, even in a significant small part, it would likely cause a spectacular increase in the price of gold and probably lead to a collapse of various paper markets.The fact that the US Federal Reserve Bank has a hard time just returning a government's gold they are holding, Germany in this case, may demonstrate how little physical gold there is. 

Thus, the only true weapon left against those countries, which could "kill" the US economy with such a request for payment in gold, not US dollars, is the US military along with key allies like the UK. This is Wall Street's last sad card and possibly that of London's banking world to threaten foreign countries causing a US collapse related from even letting the market allow a serious but not huge rise in gold (as a pseudo primary reserve currency.) Or other substitutes to the US dollar such as the renminbi, euro or a basket of currencies as Kuwait switched to. The latter might have proven fatal to the US if major reserve holding countries had adopted Kuwait's stance. It is important to underscore that Nigeria's central bank is committed to dumping dollars and replacing them with renminbi as their recent announcement indicates. This is Africa's most populated country and seen as n economically rising one.

An interesting question is whether Saudi Arabia, a major gold holder will hint at doing the same when Obama visits there in his "emergency" meeting with the Saudis. The Saudis are angry enough with Obama's foreign policy to contemplate moving to that position but not radically or immediately so. Too many of their investments remain in America and in US dollars. But any hint that they might one day do so will further add to the long term piiling on against the dollar. 

There in fact is also a view that Gadafi's military demise in Libya was due in part to his interest in introducing a new reserve currency in Africa. And not to forget what happened to one high level senior international banker who questioned whether the US Federal Reserve was really holding a significant amount of gold for a huge bank. But that is all mostly speculation to be fair about it. Is it not?

The bottom line, a number of countries will aggressively guard their reserve currency status of their money more seriously than their embassies or nationals abroad, for example. Are they willing to do just about anything to protect their currency's status, including doing deceitful things with the gold market, as well as possibly deploying all manners of their security services and electronic eavesdropping? Let us not be naive in the post Edward Snowdon revelation world.

Let us also not forget that some banks have their own "secret services" who are following every single word on blogs that they worry about are undermining their valuations and exposing them for the frauds their paymasters are. Sorry, I was only kidding on the last part, I have no evidence to support that position?

However, it is unlikely that any major military confrontation would need to come to a head over gold, we hope, to make up for Wall Street plunderers. As it should not be forgotten that any future demand for payment in gold could cause a default on US debt, of an order that would likely crush or significantly damage these globally interdependent creditor economies, not only the US. 

Hence, why Germany is possibly being polite about being (temporarily?) "ripped off" of its gold so as not to overly undermine the US dollar. And why China and Russia are not more interventionist to make it more expensive for certain US "banksters" to refurbish their physical gold reserves they have improperly or badly managed. 

May one also reiterate that no doubt, not all US or western banks or western bankers overseeing gold holdings have likely mismanaged their  banks' gold deposits. But there seems to be worrisome signals given gold price fixing evidence that some may be up to the task. The Germans did not decide to move their gold outside of the United States for a whim. 

But now think about this. If the US dollar were to show any further serious declines, new US debt denominated in gold, as opposed to old debt, might be demanded step by increasingly accelerated step. With the People's Republic, holding nearly a trillion dollars of US debt, it may require one day, terms of repayment in gold ounces by those countries with US dollar denominated debt owed to them. 

Remember, the Chinese have historically done it before in demanding gold as trade payment. The reaction at the time by Great Britain, which did not like this policy of China marginalizing the British pound as a principal trade currency was to flood China with opium to get at the Chinese gold. And that is a historical fact.

The Chinese government, therefore, does not increasingly trust and is historically very sensitive to those (in the West) who do not prudently manage their currencies, budgets and debt especially when engaged in significant trade with them. And we mean physical gold or possibly other scarce assets in lieu would be demanded from those parties to which it lost confidence in the value of a currency in which they had been previously paid back in. 

How do you like them rotten golden apples Mr. Obama if your administration does not start making more progress on deficits and debt? Some officials in Beijing you can bet are thinking about these matters on a strategic basis who are very seriously high up. They would be foolish not to.

Nevertheless, looking at it somewhat more positively, with the US currency eventually tanking or significantly further decreasing because of high US debt, the gold reserves and other parts of large foreign reserves in China will empower the Chinese government and its business allies to covert some of their burgeoning foreign reserves into buying up large swaths of America without a shot being fired by the US military. Or until nationalism starts rising in America to a feverish pitch, that is.

This will be another more indirect reason why high gold prices could threaten US economic and eventually political sovereignty, especially if actual gold being held by the Feds and US bullion banks prove to be rather illusory. That foreign countries would step up into buying into America would be about the best scenario for gold playing out in a way that allows a rebooting of the US economy. The problem still being no one knows how the huge debt "bomb" and future taxes will play out in the USA.

That is still also to say, Asia along with certain emerging market countries essentially could take over a huge slice of the US by selling their ever more valuable gold to American banks, which might desperately need it, now or one day. The banks would then ensure populist nationalists against China would be fairly muted by their influence with the main media. 

But do not fully count on Wall Street being able to get media on its side, especially since alternative media has strengthened along with the rise of the Tea Party. Wall Street and Washington may not be fully able to save themselves by financially selling out America to China and other large foreign exchange reserve countries including Saudi Arabia. But it seems to be trying. 

However, countries like China and Russia, more and more see holding real gold as one of the best ways to secure their future. They are frightened how the US debt and deficits may one day cause devastation to any of their US investments. So they and other countries with such a pro-gold strategy will be hard pressed to part with their precious metal holdings, especially with the proceeds going to America, which at times is "bellicose" to them. Is it all like a do-loop to Hell for the Obama administration? You betcha.

Once the vast majority of private investors also become equally and fully aware of the importance of (holding) physical gold, they will wish to know how their assets at the very least are appreciating or depreciating in gold terms to better understand their real intrinsic value. CPI will become highly secondary to them in calculating the price trends of gold and tangible asset values. If they do not start growing in gold terms, they may dump them for gold and other faster rising commodities.

The only hitch is that the US government and US banks in particular along with others, in desperation might commit to gold price domestic (and international) price suppression. This sounds currently as being too familiar including in places like India whose central banker is also suppressing the price of gold. He should get a major money based award from Wall Street! In fact he did.

As well, the US government might even essentially confiscate the gold in businesses and individual's bank holdings based on significantly demanding lower prices to the market as they scramble to get the real stuff to support the government's high spending ways.Then expect the possibility of an investor insurrection against American stock markets and drying up to some extent of foreign direct investment? 

My guess, is if this scramble for gold were to happen along side confiscatory type government restrictions in a very major way, it would be a prelude to default and/or an economic implosion. I think it will happen anyway within a generation if not sooner irrespective of what happens to gold or what restrictions governments put on it.

As more investors are impacted by more price bubbles in various regions' real estate, the stock market, developed world currencies and emerging market currencies (again!) they will get the feeling of 2008 déjà vu. They will increasingly see how fake so many paper investments are as some experienced with AIG credit default swaps before the government bail-outs. Finally, they will eventually come back to realize what quality assets are really limited in supply and are able to retain and grow real value that is sustainable on the longer term. 

Otherwise, nothing will have been learned by retail investors from the 2008 crises. That is a possibility. The public memory of why 2008 happened is increasingly becoming distant and/or forgotten. Lucky for much of Wall Street, not so lucky for the average retail investor.

In essence and on the other hand, serious investors will become more aware as to which assets are attractive in terms of gold price movements. More importantly, it will mean reestablishing gold and other precious metals from their perspective as being some of the most attractive asset classes. Certain non-precious metal and non-commodity stocks and many paper derivatives will be left for the retail "suckers".

That of course does not mean that gold itself cannot at times have its own bubble and get ahead of itself and money supply excesses. But such a phenomenon may very well be coming to an end this year. Then watch gold come back with a vengeance as serious investors even further recognize that precious metals remain the best real game in town to protect and grow the real value of their portfolios. 

It may take some time, but when the price of gold significantly rebounds, the sky could be almost the limit, as people become more fully aware how limited is the supply of this yellow metal. Supply will be additionally limited from recent mine shutdowns, reduced production from so many existing mines and massively contracted exploration activities. 

However, manipulation by bullion banks, other parts of Wall Street and certain other western central banks causing a downward spiral of gold prices, could continue a short-term to medium-term fall-out on gold prices. All of which could be followed by one of the most powerful gold bull markets in the history of gold. 

All of the above could coincide with a collapse of western civilization at the worst if major structural and moral changes on and beyond the Street do not take place. It has happened before if you read your history with many finding solace by holding gold during the mayhem. I am not fully predicting it, but am saying it is now within the realm of possibility given a 17 trillion dollar US debt, which is very understated. No civilization has an automatic carte blanche to maintain itself if it becomes too morally bankrupt, decadent and oh yes, financially bankrupt. Welcome to the modern western Middle Ages if we are not too careful.

That is what worries many (investment) banks as gold's major turn-around may lead to a new era of real investment where too much of their hocus-pocus, Wall Street investment instruments and the value destruction masterminded by various government co-conspirators will be shown up for what they are. And evermore abandoned by investors or not taken up.

That will mean a big hit to the profits of certain banks and banker bonuses. That will decimate some banks into oblivion if we do not get more big government bail-outs of banks, which are now supremely politically unpopular. Others which buy into gold and take a more conservative approach like Canadian banks may do better.

Certain bankers worry that one day many of their various paper investments they issue, or to a lesser extent hold, will be measured against various physical gold tests, even if a gold standard is not completely reintroduced. This will force financial institutions to provide much more value for investment money to Main Street and others, thereby cutting into their proprietary trading and hence earnings. But what we are talking about is a revolution in investment that would likely take decades, if it ever occurs.

Importantly, on a shorter time horizon, countries prudent by having large gold and precious metal reserves, sensible spending, investment and debt management and holding much gold and other precious metals in physical form, below or above ground will become more important world players, including their banks. 

Hence, why Australian, Canadian, German,and solid Swiss banks and latterly, certain Chinese, Latin American and Russian banks, on the long term could offer good value.The new gold order in part is the new world order and not coincidentally. Smart countries, corporations and individuals will be the ones with much real gold; not holding a lot of hocus-pocus Wall Street derivatives of mass investment destruction such as the London whale of JP Morgan fame.

Thus, certain Wall Street banks and high deficit/debt countries have every reason to work extra time to "kill" the price of gold and "con" people into holding questionable government debt instruments being sold by them rather than see investors going for physical gold that the banks do not have the ability to print or get printed. Or even hold to the levels they say they have? And unfortunately, certain banks may lose their trust at the retail and even non-retail levels as good gold fiduciaries so to speak, if they are not more careful.

This lost of trust will be primarily to the benefit of German, Canadian, Australian and Singapore, and somewhat to a lesser extent Hong Kong banks, especially subsidiaries attached to the former countries operating in HK. In a third improving category for trust to protect gold holdings and prices would be China, Russia and parts of Latin America such as Brazil, Chile and possibly Colombia, Ecuador and Panama.

That there has been so much resistance in the gold market recently to faster declining gold prices is most worrisome to London, Wall Street and the US government in particular. They may be sweating about one day being called upon to return all or a lot of the physical gold under custody they may not have, at a real intrinsic value, not at the prices they are trying to manipulate them to. This could provide a doomsday for markets.They know it but not all of the public do. 


HENCE, THE PRIVATE AND CENTRAL BANKSTERS WILL DO EVERYTHING TO STEP UP THE PRESSURE TO DECREASE THE PRICE OF GOLD AT WHICH THEY NEED TO BUY IT BACK, WHICH MAY VERY WELL WORK ON THE SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM. This demands patience and discipline on part of the current regular gold investor who may wish to partially hedge against gold for the moment if holding significant amounts.

It still cannot be forgotten that too many governments and banks are evermore poker faced about how badly the global economy still is. These banks may not be fully straight forward about their true reserve capital levels, extent of risk due to leverage, loan loss potential and the future for their average retail clients and investors. 

Naturally, few of these banks are suggesting that gold is a good buy as they "game" the gold market. So maybe one should buy gold if one does not have any serious gold investments and ones "gold vaults" are bare or thin. Again, all to protect against coming piercing bubbles, calamities and weakened financial strength of many financial institutions.

We will eventually find out the true extent of bubbles and longer term inflation caused by asset appreciation connected to money supply expansion. One thing for sure, you should best not be on the wrong side of these major swings of asset value destruction that could get worse. As we have seen with EM currencies and the 2008 meltdown, it can be quite painful and swift. 

Sadly, these price distortions and bubbles seem to be increasing everywhere over the long term? So without careful planning and monitoring, the average investor and middle income earner at some point, looks like they are especially going to get smashed. That is if they have not been already. That dim future may be more guaranteed and/or repeated, if retail investors, in particular do not take proper sensible contingencies by holding some real gold and related investments. 

It, therefore, might  be wise to own gold even if of initial limited value and/or as a small percentage of your portfolios. Because when the crisis in gold comes, many will probably lose their shirt excluding those with some serious holdings of physical gold and solid gold miners. Do you really feel ready for the next big crisis? Remember this, even the CEO of Goldman Sachs says that it is inevitable.

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                                             Yellen Goes for Gold? 

 New Fed Chair needs to have an "Olympic" moment on changing important Fed Policies

While it is clear that new Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen will not be competing at even a fashion Olympics, there was something interesting that some may have not noticed she was wearing. That was when she was giving testimony before the US Senate last year regarding her nomination for the Chair post at the Fed. I may be wrong, but it appears she was wearing a gold necklace with silver looking buttons on her outfit.

This leads to a more meaningful discussion as to whether she will be more pro-gold and silver than her predecessor, Ben Bernanke who was heading policy when key bullion banks seem to have fixed downwards the price of gold.

There is also speculation that the Fed, which has become the world's largest "hedge fund" may have caused distortions in a very calculated way in ensuring the downward movement of the price of gold by dumping gold ETFs.

A big question is whether there is a supreme lack of transparency on how the Feds under Bernanke provided "inside information" to spur on the major decrease in the price of gold. When one says "inside" information here is what we mean.

The Bullion banks in part are represented on various Federal Reserve boards and committees. This gives them a direct pipeline to both help decide whether to taper and the timing of it, and to know in the end about its final timing and extent, as examples of their influence. This allows them to get ahead of the general market curve knowing what major market events are to be shaped by the massive suasion and access to massive money that the US Fed has.

There is something more profound. The Fed given its massive economic and market shaping influences is "inside information". By this virtue, it knows before almost all about many trends at times, be they in precious metals, foreign exchange movements to bonds and other investments.

Because it is holding so many increasingly questionable US Treasurys, prudence would say that the Fed is trying to do offsets of those risks with various profitable, even juiced hedging operations. 

But that is as if your banker had privileged information on many corporations,which it had as clients. Furthermore, it could at any time use the clients' deposits or the ones it expanded on its own to benefit from that inside information through trading

 It is difficult to make a simple analogous example in the private sector, but to say the Fed is investment environment manipulator and investor benefactor, especially given its special direct connections to Wall Street. In essence, it is in a commanding position on playing the market to win at any time, at the expense too often of the common investor.

For average investors and others who are supportive of eliminating conflict of interest, and making markets fairer for all, the Fed can be seen as the ultimate insider, as well as some of its Wall Street friends.

Hence, average investors are in a compromised situation one might argue until Wall Street is kicked off all Fed committees. In addition, possibly the Fed should be restricted or limited from being involved in derivatives and other paper investment instruments. As well, the Fed should be transparent about all its major trades, including those of gold, the moment the Fed approves them. All trades need to be thoroughly and honestly reported for each quarter as well as assets and their location. These trades and asset reporting need to be subjected to an outside auditor approved by Congress.

It would be nice to think that Chair Yellen was wearing gold at that important hearing she had before members of Congress. Was it an indicator of the importance she attaches to gold over her predecessor? But if it were, I suspect that will be the only inside information the general investor and public will be getting from her. 

Rather, the Fed needs to step up to the gold plate and purchase more so as to help those who invest in US Treasurys have more confidence in both the US dollar and government debt instruments. Hopefully this will be part of the new policy priorities by the Yellen "administration". 

We also need from her more transparency by the Fed, at the earliest possible, about its moves in markets so as to reduce conflict of interest and prevent it from becoming the ultimate insider that would make the likes of JP Morgan salivate. That is if it were not on Fed boards already.

Then we could give the Fed a gold medal for having the mettle to stand up against Wall Street insiders who are constantly rigging the markets, it would seem. It would be an Olympic size moment at least in the history of the Fed in protecting the average investor and saver in America and in fact, around the world. And yes Janet, you should not only wear some gold but make the Fed wear it too. Meanwhile, a bit more transparency at the US central bank on its trades and assets would be most appreciated.

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                                 "DEAD" Money to Compensate for Tapering?

Folks, there is now true financial salvation for governments not properly paying their debts off and/or managing their finances prudently, especially if interest rates rise because of tapering as they already have in certain emerging market countries.

If quantitative easing does not work to solve the debt problems of a country or a bank, the rumor starting with Greece is that there will be new loans with practically a Debt Extension Ad-Infinitum. What I will coin in abbreviation as "DEAD" money.

The specific rumor through CNBC is that Greece might have its loans extended to 50 years from 30 years. Why not a thousand given how bad the economy is. After all, Greece is an ancient civilization where a thousand years is imaginable? 

More seriously, when central banks after all their monetary sorcery are not able to solve fundamental government debt issues, no surprise, the lenders can get kind of desperate about facing another round of debt write-offs. And too worried about the political "mobs"  (on welfare) they created by already destroying so much private and public wealth. They will wonder what will happen if they turn off the financial taps to government, thereby emptying the hand that feeds the massive numbers of the socially alienated. DEAD money is partly to make up for that too by temporarily reducing annual debt repayments.

Of course, a country seven years into a recession like Greece does not want to scare debt markets  further by sounding the alarm of a new default. And not too good for EU zone confidence. The beauty of DEAD money ( pardon my dark humor ) is to keeps the "patient" fiscally sick so it provides continuous opportunities for the banks to lend endlessly to governments and make more money.  The further beauty is that it leads to avoiding taking write-offs within the time space of current bank management responsible for initiating or managing those loans. 

But interestingly, worries about potential bubble effects of 40 year mortgage loans, led the responsible Canadian Minister of Finance to essentially terminate them. Somebody's brain in the Canadian government on these matters seems to be working. The same conclusion on 50 year Greek government bonds should be reached, and quickly.

To me such a preposterous extension, where 30 year notes or bonds are already out there in "the  twilight zone of nobody knows what is going to happen by maturity" are already getting a little long in the tooth as debt instruments go. Fifty years, now that is the Methuselah of debt where any raking back of bankers bonuses on the non-performance of these bonds would have to be from their estates. Or likely the Generation Y of today who will be a generation set up for theft and fiscally left exhausted as these bonds simultaneously mature with this age group's golden years.

In essence, stringing out debt payments over 50 years with inflation and risk considerations taken into account and hidden discounts placed in the recalculated payments is just a new default by another name. 

My hunch is the people who brought you things like London whales and mortgage funny money derivatives are salivating from what they could do in creative accounting (to taxpayers) by making such extensions. 

When you see bankers giving countries 50 year calibrated loans you know that country is fiscally just about dead. The creative talents from Wall Street to Canary Wharf never fail to surprise, except the specific timing of the disaster fall-outs they keep producing.

If this "experiment" with Greece is permitted, start getting prepared for Obamabonds that will make the Brady bunch of bonds that creatively bailed out Mexico decades ago look rock solid. They will come in 100 years extensions, 200, or how about patriotic sounding tricentennial bonds just as a starter for extending the maturity of US debt.

We have gone from financial fairyland to embarking on financial lunacy. The central bank and bankster financial instrument medicine men should just write off much of the US debt beginning now. 

The game is up and no new circus acts on a tightrope of threads is going to do it. Fifty year bonds to maturity give me a break and give that  man a cigar who came up with this idea. Lit up at both ends of course with financial gunpowder inside.

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Beautiful, Brave Russian People Deserve Your Appreciation at the Olympics and Beyond:     Here is why.

Russia, has gone through massive changes that can only be considered heroic. This includes the transformation from communism to a free-market style economy to the building of the Sochi Olympics from just about near scratch.

In 1989, the Soviet system collapsed. Russians decided to take a massively bureaucratic, rigid system and increasingly embrace open markets, including joining the World Trade Organization. Few societies, maybe not even China have seen such a radical transformation in such a short period.

Initially, the chaos led to mass shortages for many in the early 1990s when even care packages from outside the country were welcomed by families. So difficult were the circumstances, people throughout many neighborhoods developed all sorts of gardens to ensure they got fed. There were also few injections of loan money from the West, so many Russians suffered from a kind of going cold turkey off communism. In fact, the experiment led to defaults on Russian government debt, which further exacerbated the situation. 

Banks, indeed, can be cruel and Russians learned this well before 2008, and hence are much better positioned to deal with any crash inspired by irresponsible Western finances, banking and debt.

My point is when one considers where Russia was under people of the likes of President Brezhnev or the chaos of the early post Soviet years under President Yeltsin, Russia has made an amazing transformation. 

Instead of a rigid communist system, debt defaults and food and other shortages, the economy is at least relatively stable and the country is poised to have a successful Olympics and some years later, the World Cup of football (soccer). It even has a surplus salted away in an oil fund reserve.

Meanwhile, the people in Sochi have gone from creators of a small traditional resort into overseers of one of the greatest and largest international events on Earth. They, along with advisors, managers and workers from other parts of the country have been undergoing for the most part a whole transformation in understanding international top traveller needs in the space of a few to several years. The President and his team have been everywhere to reinforce the games' importance and need for dedication to excellence.

To many of the Russian people, I salute you for taking on such momentous and tough challenges without whining about it. The Russian people are use to great burdens and stoically conquering that which seems unconquerable. Look at Napoleon, look at Hitler, the overly rigid Tsarist system, Stalin and now look at the fast changes to the post Soviet system. 

Russians can endure and survive just about anything. They have proven so throughout war and peace, for more than the last two centuries. And wrote about their suffering more eloquently than any other nation, save for maybe the Irish. They have become through it all a beacon of hope to rejuvenation after tragedy. And such a beacon to the entire world as they single handedly prevented possibly just about World War III by way of US intervention In Syria.

I expect the Olympic torch for many Russians will remind them of this eternal flame of hope that will be demonstrated in Sochi's successful commencement. That all the naysayers against Russia will once again be left stuck in their mud as they try retreat from their words of offense and efforts to wound.

The Phoenix years of when Russia will return to a greatness that will be admired may very well be driven in part by Sochi. Russia has just begun that next long arduous trip to salvation, where it will get it right but also stand tall both spiritually and economically. It is evermore a sovereign country bowing down to no one and eventually being looked up to by the many. Russia is back but anew.

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 US Dollar remains problematic despite EM Fall-out

Karen H.,World Bank whistleblower has underscored how the US dollar is a disaster and is not backed by enough real assets but rather is backed by debt. That the vast expanding US debt situation enriches bankers and is needless and drives up poverty in America.

Therefore, it is almost humorous to see, if the impact was not so serious, for the US dollar acting as a safe haven against emerging market currencies, some of which are  better backed up by gold (e.g. Russian rouble) or under better fiscal management. The same goes for Australian and Canadian dollars that have taken a beating. 

The panic attack on emerging market currencies and those of resource based smaller developed economies is but a broad scale wake-up call at the very least that is heralding something bad is coming to all shores. It is just not a counter action to tapering of some "measly" 20 billion a month when one has to remember the US Fed balance sheet is now up to well over 3 trillion in various questionable assets they have been bought to prop up Wall Street at the expense of savers.What it is could represent a very major stock market correction and latterly, in money and bond markets in most countries,

As well, it could bring about a kind of new global economic D-day as a major economic restructuring begins in China making up for a distorted economy not having developed its consumer side. Rather, the People's Republic has been massively over invested in property through over-lending and badly directed resource allocations, particularly at the local levels.

Is the Jim Chenos thesis about to play out where major Chinese banks and the government are now going to have to take a big hit. My guess is it is due, but it does not have to be catastrophic to China whose stock markets, to some extent, have already built in  government tightening of the past year to try and cool down resulting bubbles from massive lending.

However, the US markets and other developed markets are highly sensitive after being on the direct receiving end and brunt of the 2008 meltdown. Thus, serious disruptions can easily take place about China not having a very soft landing.

Therefore, I would not be surprised that the shorts of western stock markets could do well for quite some time.The dollar crisis is coming too, but as Karen H is saying, it may be that too many in the public are now aware of  market fixing to let these negative forces, including the US banksters from fully getting their way in poisoning the financial wells for the many. 

Most worrisome is her view that much of the massive US debt that some calculate in the hundreds of trillion range will have to be repudiated. If markets ever come to understanding this, be very careful about where you have bank accounts and in what currencies. Because then you may see the United States of "Argentina" playing out. Never they said would a default happen in the European Union or other developed world countries. However, look what happened to Greece as top officials at the European Central Bank had to eat crow.. Never would central bank officials orchestrate the theft of depositors money from failing banks? Well just look at the bail-ins in Cyprus. Possibly, get ready for in the same in America, one day?

No wonder governments are so little trusted by the public who feel skewered by the central and private banksters and their sorcerers in the government. Hopefully, like in the movie called "Network" people at the general public level are not willing to take it any more and swallow the peanuts being thrown at them by Wall Street, Brussels and Washington. Or the billions, if not trillions ripped off of savers, tax payers and even the poor and hard working legitimate businesses.qaqDdeq

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Peter Dash worked throughout Asia as a teacher, university lecturer, and corporate trainer for more than fifteen years. He has lived and worked around the world and has been a freelance journalist and a researcher at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs. He graduated from Lower Canada College in Montreal and the University of British Columbia, earning his Master of Applied Linguistics degree from the University of Southern Queensland.