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Iran, Russia integrate banking systems

Iran, Russia integrate banking systems

52 Iranian and 106 Russian banks integrated their interbank communication and transfer systems for trade and financial operations
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(Photo Credit : Atta Kenare/AFP)

A top Iranian official announced on 30 January that Iran and Russia had integrated their interbank communication and transfer systems to help enhance trade and financial operations in an effort to bypass strict economic sanctions on their financial infrastructure.

With the signing of the agreement, 52 Iranian and 106 Russian banks are connected through the Russian Financial Message Transfer System, which will facilitate economic relations between the two countries, said Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Mohsen Karimi.

“This system is immune to sanctions as it is based on the infrastructures of both countries,” Karimi said, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.

The global consortium SWIFT, the world leader in secure financial messaging services, excluded Iranian banks from its system following the reimposition of economic sanctions by the United States on Iran in 2018.

As a result of that suspension of services, the Iranian banking system is disconnected from the international one, making banking transactions with other countries difficult.

Russia was partially excluded from SWIFT last year due to its invasion of Ukraine.

While economic relations between the two countries have grown to 4 billion in recent years, Tehran has sold drones to Russia, which it has used in its invasion of Ukraine.

Official trips between the two countries have also multiplied in recent months, with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visiting Russia in January 2022 and Iranian Foreign Minister Hosein Amir Abdolahian making two trips to the Russian capital in less than a year.

“In today’s world, a country’s status is largely related to its economic power … We need economic growth to maintain our
regional and global position,” Iran’s top authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in a televised speech.

As West, Debt & Stocks Implode, East Gold & Oil Will Explode

AS WEST, DEBT & STOCKS IMPLODE, EAST GOLD & OIL WILL EXPLODE 

“The risk of over-tightening by the European Central Bank is nothing less than catastrophic” says Prof Kenneth Rogoff .

At Davos he also said: “Italy is extremely vulnerable. But this could pop anywhere. Global debt has gone up massively since the pandemic: public debt, corporate debt, everything.”

Rogoff believes that it is a miracle that the world averted a financial crisis in 2022, but the odds of a major accident are shortening as the delayed effects of past tightening feed through.

As Rogoff said: “We were very fortunate that we didn’t have a global systemic event in 2022, and we can count our blessings for that, but rates are still going higher and the risk keeps rising.”

But lurking in the murkiness is also the global financial assets/liabilities which is almost $500 trillion including the shadow banking system at 46% of the total. The shadow banking sector includes  pension funds, hedge funds and other financial institutions which are largely unregulated.

oil

Shadow banking is not subject to the normal mark-to-market rules. Thus no one knows what the real position or losses are. This means that central banks are in the dark when it comes to evaluation of the real risks of the system.

Clearly, I am not the only one harping on about the catastrophic global debt/liability situation.

And no one knows the extent of total global derivatives. But if they have grown in line with debt and also with the shadow banking system, they could easily be in excess of $3 quadrillion.

oil

Cultures don’t die overnight, but the US has been in decline since at least the Vietnam war in the 1960s. Interestingly, the US has not had a real Budget surplus since the early 1930s with a handful of years of exception.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Fed Is a Purely Political Institution, and It’s Definitely Not a Bank.

The Fed Is a Purely Political Institution, and It’s Definitely Not a Bank.

fedpic

Those who know Wall Street lore sometimes recall that Fed chairman William Miller—Paul Volcker’s immediate predecessor—joked that most Americans believed the Federal Reserve was either an Indian reservation, a wildlife preserve, or a brand of whiskey. The Fed, of course, is none of those things, but there’s also one other thing the Federal Reserve is not: an actual bank. It is simply a government agency that does bank-like things.

It’s easy to see why many people might think it is a bank. “Bank” is right there in the name of the twelve regional banks that make up the system: for example, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The Fed also enjoys many titles that make it sound like a bank. It’s sometimes called the “lender of last resort.” Or it is sometimes called “a banker’s bank.” Moreover, many people often call the Fed “the central bank.” That phrase is useful enough, but not quite true.

Moreover, even critics of the bank often repeat the myth that the Federal Reserve is “a private bank,” as if that were the main problem with the Federal Reserve. And then there are the economists who like to spread fairy tales about how the Fed is “independent” from the political system and makes decisions based primarily on economic theory as interpreted by wise economists.

The de facto reality of the Federal Reserve is that it is a government agency, run by government technocrats, that enjoys the benefits of being subject to very little oversight from Congress. It is no more “private” than the Environmental Protection Agency, and it is no more a “bank” than the US Department of the Treasury.

It’s a Purely Political Institution

…click on the above link to read the rest…

A Banking Crisis Looms

A Banking Crisis Looms

My columns have turned rather apocalyptic of late, but for a valid reason. Just this week, we got confirmation that our financial system is, again, on the brink of collapse, when the Bank of England (BOE) was forced to enact, de facto, a bailout of the pension funds of the United Kingdom.

On Sept. 28, around noon, the Bank of England stepped (back) into the gilt markets and started buying government bonds with longer maturities to stop the collapse in their value, which could have caused the financial system to become unhinged. Pension funds were faced with major margin calls, which threatened to cause a rapidly cascading run on their liabilities, as trust in their liquidity and solvency would have become questioned by a widening circle of investors and customers.

Effectively, the BOE stepped in to limit the vicious circle of margin calls faced by pension funds because of the crashing values of the gilts.

Without the BOE intervention, mass insolvencies of pension funds—and thus most likely other financial institutions—could have commenced that afternoon. It’s obvious that if one of the major financial hubs of the world, the City of London, would face a financial panic, it would spread to the rest of the world in an instant.

It looks as though the global financial system was pulled from the brink of collapse, once again, by central bankers. However, this was only a temporary fix.

It’s now clear that an outright financial collapse threatens all Western economies, because if pension funds, often considered very dull investors because of their risk-averse investing profile, face a threat to their insolvency, it can happen to any other financial institution…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Pozsar Warns Of Another “Lehman Weekend” As Russia Sanctions May Trigger Central Bank Liquidity Flood

Pozsar Warns Of Another “Lehman Weekend” As Russia Sanctions May Trigger Central Bank Liquidity Flood

In a remarkable show of force and unity, western powers cast aside all their previous concerns about Russian energy supplies and uniliaterally announced the nuclear option of imposing sanctions on the Russian central bank coupled with targeted exclusions from SWIFT of key Russian banks.

  • *EU APPROVES BANNING ALL TRANSACTIONS WITH RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK

The move has sparked a bank run in Russia, as locals scramble to pull out whatever hard currency they can get their hands on before it runs out, and is certain to trigger chaotic moves in FX and commodities when markets reopen in a few hours. Already some Russian banks are offering to exchange rubles for dollars at a rate of 171 rubles per dollar on Sunday, compared to the official closing price of 83 on Friday before the European/US announcement about targeting the Russian central bank. In other words we are looking at a 50%+ devaluation of the Ruble. Additionally, widespread announcements of divestments in Russian equities by the likes of BP pls and the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund mean that the Russian market will be a bloodbath on Monday.

As Bloomberg notes, commodities are heading for a manic start to the week as investors scramble to assess how the West’s latest sanctions on Russia will affect flows of energy, metals and crops.

The coming days are fraught with event risk for crude, even aside from the sanctions fallout. There’s a midweek meeting of OPEC+ on output; the Biden administration may tap stockpiles; and Iranian nuclear talks look to be nearing a conclusion. On top of that, American crude inventories at the key Cushing hubcould sink to the lowest since 2014 if there’s another modest draw.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trudeau Will Freeze the Bank Accounts of All Protestors

Desperate and unwilling to speak directly to the truckers, Justin Trudeau is now vowing to freeze the personal and business bank accounts of those involved in the Freedom Convoy. Trudeau is drunk with power and passed the emergency order despite the premiers of Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta stating it is an unnecessary move. Only Ontario’s Doug Ford supports the extreme measure. Quebec Premier Francois Legault believes the emergency order will “throw oil on the fire.”

This is the first time that a Canadian prime minister invoked the 1988 Emergencies Act, which is intended for an “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians.” Deeming a peaceful protest an act of terrorism is an act of free speech oppression. Trudeau believes he deserves praise for refraining from deploying troops to end the protest through violence. “We are not suspending fundamental rights or overriding the Charter of Rights and Freedom. We’re not limiting people’s freedom of speech. We are not limiting freedom of peaceful assembly. We are not preventing people from exercising their right to protest legally,” Trudeau said while speaking at Parliament Hill on Monday.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told reporters, “We would prefer that the emergency act not be invoked. But if it is, we would very much prefer that it not be applied to Alberta. It’s not needed. It could make the situation even more complicated.” Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe stated that the police already have the tools required to remove illegal blockades, therefore, “Saskatchewan does not support the Trudeau government invoking the Emergencies Act.” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh supports Trudeau’s decision but said it points to a larger problem with the Trudeau Administration. “The fact that the Prime Minister is resorting to this measure is proof of a failure of leadership…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Inflation Is The Kryptonite That Will End Our Decades-Long Monetary Policy Ponzi Scheme

Inflation Is The Kryptonite That Will End Our Decades-Long Monetary Policy Ponzi Scheme

“It means buckle your seatbelt Dorothy, because Kansas is going bye-bye.”

The linchpin that allows the world’s nefarious central banking model to be so effective is that the commonfolk – the plumber, the electrician, the teacher, the bartender, bus driver or barber – don’t understand it.

Countless times, I have reminded my readers and listeners that the inflationary “machinery of night” blankets the most regressive tax possible upon the people who can least afford it, and does so in an extraordinarily convenient way for elites, politicians, central bankers and central planners whose titles and “jobs” hinge upon nobody questioning them and/or figuring out how the system works in the first place.

Today, the fabric of our modern banking world is held together by a logical fallacy of a system, wherein central banks are afforded the asinine luxury of being able to print infinite amounts of “money”, which is then disproportionately distributed toward the ruling class, billionaires, and elites, instead of the people who need it the most.

This shows up, literally, as a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” that has widened consistently since the late 1970’s.

As a result of the most recent re-distribution of purchasing power disguised as “monetary stimulus” during the Covid-19 “crisis”, billionaires amassed an additional $4.1 trillion of wealth during a period of time in which the World Bank estimates that “some 100 million people have fallen into extreme poverty,” Bloomberg reported, in conjunction with the World Inequality Report, in December.

As I have asked many times, when the Fed considers stimulating by printing trillions: why not just divide up the money evenly amongst everybody in the country? Why must it be re-balanced and then deployed in a fashion that benefits those who already own financial assets?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Zombie Ship of Theseus

The Ship of Theseus is an old philosophical thought experiment. It asks a question about identity. Suppose you replace all of the boards of a ship with new ones—is it still the same ship?

We are not going to try to resolve this millennia-old paradox. Instead, we are going to add one more element, and then tie it to the monetary system. The additional element is what if the replacement boards are adulterated in some way. That is, each new board is warped, or weakened, or otherwise not fit for purpose.

It should be clear that replacing boards with unsound wood does not alter reality, only the ship. It does not remove any constraints such as the need to be watertight. It does not make anything better, only adds new flaws.

Let’s call this new ship, with each original board replaced with these adulterated boards, the Zombie Ship of Theseus. It looks like the Ship of Theseus. However, it does not work like it. It has been corrupted to work in a different way, i.e. to lull sailors into going out to sea, where a storm will drown them.

 

The History of our Warped Monetary System and Currency

So how does this relate to the monetary system and the currency? There has been a centuries-long process of replacing important boards. Let’s highlight the key changes.

The Original System

At the Founding of America, there was the original Ship of Theseus. One had the right to deposit one’s gold (we will leave out silver, as this complicates the story somewhat) and get a paper bank note in exchange. Or one could keep one’s gold, if one did not like the terms. One had the right to redeem the note, and get one’s gold back…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

War Drums Are Beating

War Drums Are Beating

A RISK NOT DISCUSSED

It was around 2017 when I began seeing the ridiculous climate hysteria being pushed not just by dreadlocked physics deniers chaining themselves to trees but at an institutional level.

This, I thought to myself, was something very, very dangerous and which — if taken to any greater level — would ultimately bring about war.

The past two decades have seen Russia sanctioned and repeatedly threatened by Western powers. One of the many threats and arguably the most fierce has been eliminating Russia from the international payments system SWIFT.

Prepare a swift response to Russia invading Ukraine, Latvia tells west

From the article:

A swift reprisal package against Russia – including US troops and Patriot missiles stationed in the Baltics, the cutting off of Russia from the Swift banking payments system and reinstated sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – must be prepared now in case it invades Ukraine, the Latvian foreign minister has said.

And this:

“If Nato fails to protect its member states or its territories,” he warned, “then it will not just be a military and political failure but a complete mental collapse of the system of values that have been built since the end of world war two. It will mean the whole transatlantic community will be in complete disarray and the glue that keeps us together has failed”.

This horse has already bolted. The “glue” holding this ball of wax together is more like slime and “isht” is falling through the cracks in every direction, while the bureaucrats desperately try to hold it all together. It won’t work.

Now, this isn’t solely an EU-Russia issue. This is a West vs East issue.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economist Michael Hudson Explain Bankers Are Parasites and Not Part of the Real Economy

Economist Michael Hudson Explain Bankers Are Parasites and Not Part of the Real Economy

Turning Out the Light When the Bankers Leave Town

I have written before how a friend of mine who is very senior at one of the investment banks in New York called to see if I would go to dinner. I thought he was here in Florida to catch a breath of fresh air and relax outside of what use to be called the Big Apple, but is now only called the Arm-Pit of the World thanks to COVID.

I can attest that the major banks, despite what they are saying, are abandoning both New York and London. In Europe, the long-standing hatred between France and England spans countless generations. France is seeking to punish the English by denying them access to EU markets. This has led bankers to start to shift their top talent to the EU because once the nut-case Boris Johnson decided to destroy Britain to Build Back Better, taking instructions from Gates and Schwab, there is now no going back. I have stated at conferences there were meetings I had in the EU where I was not allowed to bring a Brit because it was assumed they are just biased.

The Financial Capital of the World is moving. It will eventually end up in China post-2032. We have the worst possible politicians systematically destroying the West all for this Great Reset.

Understanding the Persecution of John Law

COMMENT: Hi Mr. Armstrong…..this is a surprising (to me) summary, on John Law. Every piece I ever read about him, cast him as a complete scoundrel, yet you obviously write with admiration. Just another example of history depending on someone’s perspective. You never cease to surprise. And that’s good.

HS

REPLY: John Law was actually a brilliant man. His legacy is not so different from John Maynard Keynes. He advocated deficit spending ONLY in times of recession, but governments have spent relentlessly with deficits that never end. We call this “Keynesian economics” when in fact he never advocated such a system. Likewise, John Law never advocated what the French government did in creating the Mississippi Bubble.

It is true that John Law fled to Amsterdam, but this is when he studied real banking operations and saw that money was actually virtual. Because coins were counterfeited or their edges shaved, bank money was more valuable than coins. Once the coins were deposited, each had to be inspected. So the bank became a sort of guarantor of the validity of the coins. Here is an ancient coin from Lydia with numerous banking marks applied, verifying that the coin had been inspected by them before for the same reasons.

It was this first-hand observation that led John Law to see that money was actually virtual, whereby people preferred bank money to actual coins. John then returned to Scotland, where he published in 1705 his Money and Trade Considered, with a Proposal for Supplying the Nation with Money. Law would later publish a second edition in 1720. He attempted to use his writing to convince the Scottish Parliament to adopt his ideas about money, but they declined, giving rise to the adage that a genius is never acknowledged in his native land (i.e. Columbus, Einstein to just mention two)…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

john law, currency, money, martin armstrong, armstrong economics, banking, banks,

The Big Banks’ Green Bafflegab

The Big Banks’ Green Bafflegab

Look behind their pro-climate ads and do what they do. Follow the money.

There must be a basement somewhere on Bay Street full of English majors. Every day they churn out great reams of verbiage about “environmental, social and governance strategy” and fill annual reports with a dozen different ways to say that the big five Canadian banks care about the environment.

Except the numbers tell a different story, and if you want to know the truth, then the old adage “follow the money” will steer you in the right direction, passing quickly through all the green bafflegab and arriving at the conclusion that the banks are sacrificing our climate to make a profit.

The latest news is a recent pledge by TD to achieve a “target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions associated with our operations and financing activities by 2050,” trumpeting that it’s the first Canadian bank to do so. Sounds good, yes?

But dig deeper and there’s no mention that since the Paris Agreement TD has financed more than C$135 billion in fossil fuel projects, the eighth largest amount out of all the banks on the planet. What will TD’s net-zero pledge do to alter this climate-killing practice? It doesn’t say. But judging from the collective shrug from the oil patch, probably not much.

What TD does say is that it will “work closely with clients” rather than decide that certain clients probably shouldn’t be clients. Notably, Suncor, Cenovus and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. all also have 2050 net-zero pledges, so presumably TD will continue to finance them, whose products rapidly fill our atmosphere with “green” carbon while our life-support systems fail.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mapping out the Banking Elite’s Goal for a Cashless Monetary System – Part Two

Mapping out the Banking Elite’s Goal for a Cashless Monetary System – Part Two

In the first part of this article we traced the development of the ‘Utility Settlement Coin‘ – a project that began in 2015 and which has now evolved through the inception of a consortium called Fnality International. Fnality are comprised of a number of the world’s biggest banks including Barclays and UBS, all of whom are shareholders in the scheme. Their objective as stated on the company’s website reads:

Fnality International has been founded to create a network of decentralised Financial Market Infrastructures (dFMIs) to deliver the means of payment-on-chain in tomorrow’s wholesale banking markets.

In practice, what Fnality are seeking to deliver is the construction of a distributed ledger technology based global payment system, one that can ‘facilitate tokenised, peer-to-peer markets‘.

Before we look into this more, let’s examine some of the key figureheads behind the project. First there is the CEO Rhomaios Ram, who for the best part of two decades worked for Deutsche Bank in roles that included European Head of Currencies & Commodities and Head of Transaction Banking in the UK and Ireland. The Chairman of Fnality, Jim Turley, has also worked at Deutsche Bank in various different positions. Outside of commercial banking, Turley once served on the board of the New York Fed Foreign Exchange Committee.

But perhaps the standout name on Fnality’s management team is Daniel Heller, the firm’s advisor on regulatory affairs. Described as an expert in financial sector regulation and financial stability, Heller has a track record of having served at both the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. At the BIS he was head of the Secretariat of the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, whilst at the IMF he was the executive director for Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and four Central Asian republics. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Crisis-O-Rama

Crisis-O-Rama


All of a sudden, events are looking a bit fluxy out there, as though the world is shuddering through some spooky ch-ch-ch-changes, like a monster waiting to be born, with strange convergences of ecology, politics and economy, and there’s only so much you can do to prepare, really. Criticality is in the air!

The horses are out of the barn on the Wuhan Coronavirus. Air travel was curtailed too late in the game — and still only partially — with asymptomatic-but-infectious human carriers winging to every corner of the world and probably contaminating airports all along the way. There’s plenty of thought and counter-thought on what exactly is going on behind the scenes in China. The ruling party has knocked itself out demonstrating its earnestness in the crisis, performing great feats like the construction of a one-thousand-bed hospital in ten days, shutting down the lunar new year festivities (like cancelling Christmas here), and locking down a hundred million citizens in quarantine. Pretty impressive.

But there’s also a theory that the Coronavirus affords a cover for cascading failures in China’s corrupt and shifty banking system. The country had already stepped across some frontiers in demographics, energy consumption, and industrial growth that were shoving it toward contraction for the first time in two generations. Coronavirus has shut down a lot of production in big things like cars and big-little things like cell phones, and supply lines are shutting down to world markets. This amounts to the first big test of the integrated global economy, as well as the world’s debt-saturated business model.

When a lot of parties and counterparties can’t pay each other because their revenue flows are cut off, the securities, currencies, equities, and other abstract representations of wealth go south. The US and Europe are no better positioned for a crisis in their banking arrangements, and confidence is starting to crack.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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