As Europe’s democratically elected leaders (and the people they represent) grow increasingly wary of the tsunami of refugees flooding their nations, prompting calls for restrictions on visa-free travel and an end to the so-called Schengen agreement, unelected EU leaders, clinging to their centralized power, are increasingly warning of the consequences of any restrictions. As EUObserver reports, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned that the euro is pointless if people can’t move around freely to use it.
Having already called for a European standing army, in order to show Russia “that [The EU is] serious about defending European values,” EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday, in his first
speech to the European Parliament since the attacks in Paris that
killed 130 people, that Europe’s single currency would come under threat if the Schengen visa-free travel zone fails. As EUObserver reports,
Juncker warned that the euro is pointless if people can’t move around freely to use it.
“If the spirit of Schengen leaves us … we’ll lose more than the Schengen agreement. A single currency doesn’t make sense if Schengen fails,” Juncker told the parliamentarians.
“Schengen is one of the main pillars of the construction of Europe,” he added.
The Schengen system of open borders has come under pressure as EU member states struggle to stop the influx of refugees – a level of displaced not seen since the end of World War II. Schengen has 26 members, though a few are not EU states. It is one of the major achievements of the European Union, allowing for free flow of people and goods.
“We have to safeguard the spirit behind the Schengen agreement,” Junkcer said, admitting: “The Schengen system is partly comatose.”
“Those who believe in Europe, those who believe in its values and principles, freedoms, must breathe new life into the spirit behind Schengen,” he noted.
“A single currency doesn’t make sense if Schengen fails,” he repeated.
He again warned against equating terrorists with refugees, saying politicians should not exploit the tragic Paris attacks.
“Those who carried out these attacks in Paris, those who incited these attacks, are the same people who are forcing the unlucky of this planet to flee, please don’t get things mixed up,” Juncker said.
The real driver of Juncker’s push becomes clear when we see what plans he has…
Speaking at the parliament, where legislation on sharing airline passengers’ data has stalled, Junkcer called on MEPs to cover people flying within the EU in the law.
He also confirmed the EU commission willi come forward with proposals on an EU-wide border guard and coast guard system in December, and called for more effective cooperation between European intelligence services.
More centralization, more surveillance, and less sovereignty.. all under the guise of protecting you the european people.
via Zero Hedge Read More Here..
With over 1.6 million internally displaced in South Sudan, and another 600,000 refugees in neighboring countries, are oil price declines exacerbating humanitarian crises in oil-producing African countries, and can we expect further deterioration as a result of the recent price depression?
This is a worthwhile issue to explore given South Sudan’s overwhelming reliance on oil revenues to fill government coffers; a similar situation that can be duplicated throughout Africa with not only oil, but other commodities exports as well. But, do price changes really exacerbate these conflicts? The answer is: it depends.
For starters, commodities predation makes sense in any number of interstate conflicts, but how about civil conflicts? Much of academic research viewed civil conflicts as tightly bound to various grievances by internal factions within the state. For example, divisions in various ethnic groups and historical conflicts between differing factions come to mind as reasons many may give for civil strife. However, there is a strong competing claim in the literature, popularized by Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler in the mid-2000s. Their claim is that “greed” and not grievance is a significant factor in fueling these disputes. Greed in the sense of this research refers to economic and financial gains being furnished to competing factions in civil wars. This approach is highly significant in that commodities exporters have a much higher probability of encountering civil war as a result of these economic payoffs to internal actors and furthers the robustness of our understanding of civil war.
One should not discount the myriad grievances present amongst the varying ethnic groups in South Sudan, but this research seems to be quite relevant given its oil exports and that much of the fighting and resulting population displacement have been localized in South Sudan’s oil producing regions in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile. The conflict has significantly disrupted operations centered in these oil producing regions imposing significant strain on government revenues through forgone income from Nilepet and increasing risk to other overseas players in the sector which is dominated by China (in particular CNPC (PTR) and Sinopec (SNP), India’s ONGC (ONGC:IN), and Malaysia (Petronas), with marginal activity by France’s Total (TOT), Kuwait’s Kufpec, and Kuwaiti-Egyptian Tri-Ocean Energy.
So, how do commodities pricing impact these conflicts? Well, the same research provides an answer: not much. While commodities, such as oil, may act as a central component to contributing to conflict in the first place, shifts in the price of that commodity typically do not correlate with an increase or decrease in violence within the state. These resources remain a “prize” regardless of ongoing price fluctuations.
This means the recent depression in oil prices, even if it continues for some time, probably will not affect the level of internal conflict, and therefore should not induce further internal displacement. Importantly, if this does occur, it will be due to reasons other than the price of oil.
The timing is another important component. South Sudan’s oil income was already drastically cut back before the price drop in late 2014, which means fiscal adjustments, as well as the issuance of new debt, has already occurred. So, there was little modification to be had as a result of the forgone income from oil price decreases. In the year of its independence, South Sudan was producing nearly 350,000 bbl/d, and due to transit issues with Sudan, dropped to a trickle for 2012, and then in 2013 and 2014 resumed only to approximately 120,000 to 150,000 bbl/d.
So, there wasn’t really much oil income being transferred to the general population to begin with, so it’s not as if the population is forgoing income that may force displacement. Much of the oil income, since the inception of the state, has gone towards the military and fighting internal conflicts. For this reason, and others, oil funds simply were not making their way to the domestic population even before the price declines, which means the internal displacement is not a result of reduced benefits from the state.
There are, of course, some caveats to consider. One issue is the price drop may affect third party aid donors, negatively impacting South Sudan. Norway and Canada, two large aid donors to South Sudan both have their own oil-based problems. While both diversified, advanced economies, Norway and Canada still derive significant portions of their respective budgets from oil revenues, which have of course decreased. Norway contributed $83 million, and Canada $66 million, each in 2013 alone, and both are in the top 5 of South Sudan’s donors. And, although this hasn’t affected their announced aid budgets for 2016, it might impose large enough constraints causing aid decreases starting in 2017, further reducing societal benefits from aid flows.
Despite the potential contribution of oil to civil wars, if this humanitarian crisis worsens or expands, it will not be due to oil price fluctuations, but due to other factors, requiring an adjustment in political analyses in this situation, and others like it. As we have seen in the past, the key to these types of development situations is determining ways to reduce incentives for commodities predation – not an easy task for nations with limited resources and negligible institutional capacity.
via Zero Hedge Read More Here..
Beatrix von Storch, a European MP and a deputy head of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, wants NATO to reconsider Turkey’s membership in the alliance over Ankara’s unwarranted decision to shoot down a Russian warplane in Syria and slams Chancellor Merkel’s desire to have closer ties with Ankara.“If the information coming from high places in Washington that Turkey shot down the Russian plane over Syria is true, then […]
Vía Veterans Today http://ift.tt/1PfIm7f
A Turkish fighter jet launched a missile at a Russian bomber on Tuesday well ahead of the Su-24 approaching the Turkish border, the chief of Russia’s Air Force said. The bomber remained on Turkish radars for 34 minutes and never received any warnings.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Vía RT News http://ift.tt/1Q2m5s8
Christine Lagarde and the IMF Executive Board recently announced their intention to include the Chinese renminbi (RMB) in the Special Drawing Rights’ (SDR) valuation formula. This would bring the Chinese currency into an exclusive group – alongside the US dollar, the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen – of 5 global currencies that make up the IMF’s own reserve currency.
So, what will this promotion really mean for the yuan?
In market terms, not a whole lot it would seem.
The inclusion of the RMB in the SDR basket will not significantly increase demand for the currency. It is simply an acknowledgment that the Chinese currency has fulfilled two of the IMF criteria for inclusion; that it was “widely used” and that it was “freely usable”.
“The reason for there to be little effect is just that reserve currencies, SDRs, even central bank foreign exchange reserves, just aren’t all that important these days. There’ll be a little more demand for yuan than there otherwise would have been…” Tim Worstall, Forbes
The decision is, however, a significant PR win for the Chinese leadership, both domestically and internationally, who have made their inclusion in the SDR one of their biggest fiscal priorities of the next 5 years. As Masahiko Takeda, writing for Chinese Spectator put it:
“It is clearly a symbolic victory in China’s efforts to raise its status in the international financial community, commensurate with its growing importance in the global economy”.
It should be noted that inclusion in the SDR is very different from increasing China’s share in the IMF quota, which has also long been pending. The IMF’s quota represents the member country’s voice in the decision making at the IMF and is closely linked to the country’s influence over the IMF.
If approved, as expected, at a November 30 board meeting, it would mark the first significant change to the IMF’s “Special Drawing Rights” (SDR) basket since the inclusion of the euro at its creation in 1999.
In a statement, the People’s Bank of China thanked the IMF for the recommendation and said it was “an acknowledgment of the progress in China’s recent economic development, reform and opening up”.
Read more on the GoldCore.com blog
Today’s Gold Prices: USD 1064.65, EUR 1005.79 and GBP 707.73 per ounce.
Yesterday’s Gold Prices: USD 1070.50, EUR 1009.41 and GBP 710.30 per ounce.
Silver in USD – 1 Month
US markets were closed yesterday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Gold close to lowest in nearly six years on stronger dollar – Reuters
Gold flat as US celebrates – Proactive Investors
Indian gold demand seen falling to 8-year low in festive quarter – Reuters
Gold Trades Sideways in Asia – WSJ
Gold Heads for Sixth Weekly Decline as Fed Rate Decision Looms – Bloomberg
The falls and rises in Chinese gold imports – Sharps Pixley
Chinese stocks plunge as regulators widen probe into market – The Telegraph
RBI to make gold monetisation scheme simpler to help it take off – Economic Times
As gold, platinum prices fall, investors flee precious metal funds – CNBC
The dark side of cash – MoneyWeek
Read more News & Commentary on GoldCore.com
Must-read guides to international bullion storage:
Vía Max Keiser http://ift.tt/1NyfkPQ
Western press and officials now warn that the Rwandan massacres of 1994 are close to a replay in Rwanda’s neighbor Burundi, which shares its Hutu-Tutsi-Twa demographic. Prominent Western voices blame Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza for seeking and winning a third…
Vía Global Research http://ift.tt/1TajUC3
Banks are headed towards rough waters and it’s not just me who believes so. You may be getting the rose-colored glasses edition from the media and Wall Streeet (ahem, banks!) but all you have to do is read past the soundbyte laden 1st paragraph or so. Take this recent article from Bloomberg quoting the FDIC: FDIC Says Bank Profits Rose in Third Quarter, Warns of Credit Risk. We’re going to ignore the credit risks potion (which is an entire article on its own) and focus on a singe sentence where the FDIC agrees with Reggie in that the Fed’s monetary policy is B@llsh1t!:
“In the environment of low rates, interest-rate risk and credit risk have increased…”
Let’s parse this statement. “In the environment of low rates, intereste -rate risks and credit risks have increase…” So, the premium on the interest that you are charged for being (or operating in a) high risk is not being charged, despite the fact said risks “have increased”?!?!?! Basically, teh safety cushion that modern markets price into higher risks has been removed and rates are low despite the fact that the risks about dicate rates should be high? Tell me, what’s wrong with this picture?
Here’s another snippet causing me to reminisce on a blast from the past:
“Revenue growth for the industry as a whole has been modest since 2009,” he said. “This is partly a reflection of the challenging interest-rate environment.”
Uh huh! Listen these clips from 2011 below…
You’ve heard me pontificate on these topics before…
- Mark-to-Fantasy Becomes an Ugly Reality with the Impact of (S&P) 500 Enrons
- … le in most mark to model contraptions is the prevailing risk free interest rate – the same (not so) risk free rate that the world’s central banks (including the Fed) are trying to so hard to synthetically su …
- Created on 01 November 2015
- The Global Currency War – USA Edition
- CNBC ran a very interesting article this morning, basically laying out the groundwork for the Fed to push interest rates lower – that’s right, lower! This video puts it into perspective. Th …
- Created on 15 October 2015
- Reggie Middleton’s Prognosticated Market Crash and False Positives in Interest Rate Raise Promises
- … forbid the Fed actually follows up on one of its many bluffs and does inch interest rates up. The real estate markets will collapse. Those who visit NYC and Miami know there’s rampant construction ala 2007 …
- Created on 24 August 2015
- As I Promised, the Nordic States’ Central Bank QE Program Slides Backwards and Starts To Collapse
- … xed exchange rate Free capital movement (absence of capital controls) An independent monetary policy It is both a hypothesis based on the uncovered interest rate parity condit …
- Created on 26 June 2015
- How to Blow a Trillion Dollars and Look Like You (Don’t) Know What You’re Doing While Blowing It
- … Let’s see how much tens of billions euros and a trillion dollar promise is worth in terms of buying time from an interest rate and currency storm… The Trillion Dollar Promise worked for 4 month …
- Created on 06 May 2015
- 2010 Contrarian Prediction of the Disastrous Consequences of ZIRP & Free Money Policy In the Banking System, Year 5
- … ing affected by low interest rates— they are killing its spread income. Now, go to the 0:55 marker in this video and listen for a minute or two, then continue reading. Chairman and Chief Executive …
- Created on 17 April 2015
- “Fu$k the Fundamentals!”: Negative Rates In EU Will Absolutely Wreck the Very System the ECB Sought to Save
via Zero Hedge Read More Here..