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Anti-Lockdown Protests All Across EuropeIncreasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.

Anti-Lockdown Protests All Across EuropeIncreasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.

As the alleged “second wave” of the Coronavirus “pandemic” is reported to be sweeping across Europe in recent weeks, many governments have enthusiastically embraced their totalitarian side and granted themselves sweeping new “emergency powers” alongside new lockdown measures.

The public has been markedly less co-operative this time around. Rebelling against the seemingly arbitrary limitations which are not supported by either science or common sense. Protests have taken place all across the continent.

GERMANY

Thousands of people gathered in Berlin over the last few days, protesting the Merkel government passing a new lockdown law. Police turned water cannons on the crowds, and nearly 200 people were arrested.

The mainstream reported “hundreds” of protesters, but as pictures plainly show it was more like tens of thousands:

 

SPAIN

After the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez declared a sixth-month state of emergency in late October, there were days of protests across the country.

Barcelona, already a hot-bed of anti-government feeling due to the brutal repression of the Catalan Independence referendum, saw violent confrontations between riot police and protestors

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

US Expands Nord Stream 2 Sanctions As Germany Vows Pipeline Completion “Not If, But When”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long vowed he’ll “do everything” to stop Nord Stream 2, last month indicating the US is building a coalition of countries to fight against it, given Washington sees it as a massive compromise to Russia, giving it leverage over Europe as well as Ukraine.

“From the US point of view, Nord Stream 2 endangers Europe because it makes it dependent on Russian gas and endangers Ukraine – which in my opinion worries many Germans,” Pompeo said weeks ago.

On Tuesday the State Department expanded US sanctions targeting companies working on the Russia to Germany gas pipeline. While sanctions already target the specific European companies and their executives directly at work on the project, they’ve now been extended to include sanctions even on firms upgrading, servicing, or installing equipment on the ships laying the pipeline.

Image via DW/DPA

Here’s the relevant section on the State Department’s updated NS2 sanctions webpage:

“Such activities subject to sanctions pursuant to PEESA (the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019) or other authorities may include, but are not limited to, providing services or facilities for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels, or funding for upgrades or installation of equipment for those vessels.”

There remain some exceptions, however, out of environmental concerns. The State Department says the sanctions “will not apply to persons providing provisions to a relevant vessel if such provisions are intended for the safety and care of the crew aboard the vessel, the protection of human life aboard the vessel, or the maintenance of the vessel to avoid any environmental or other significant damage.”

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

U.S., European Oil Majors Could Create Supply Crisis With Renewables Push – Russia’s Rosneft

U.S., European Oil Majors Could Create Supply Crisis With Renewables Push – Russia’s Rosneft

Rosneft is looking to double down on hydrocarbons and extract up to 5 billion tons of light-quality oil in the Arctic.Alexander Rumin / TASS

U.S. and European oil majors’ commitment to moving away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy threatens oil supplies and prices, Russia’s state-run oil giant Rosneft has said, according to the Financial Times.

BP, Chevron, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell and Total have to varying degrees laid out strategies they say are compatible with the Paris climate treaty. They have announced measures over the past year that include reducing the carbon intensity of their products, transitioning into renewable energy, storing “captured” CO2 underground and offsetting emissions through reforestation.

Rosneft criticized these moves in a sign of what the FT described as “a growing divide” between state-backed oil companies and the energy companies that helped shape today’s oil industry.

“It is an existential threat for supply. It is an existential threat for price volatility,” it quoted Rosneft first vice president Didier Casimiro as saying at the newspaper’s commodities summit.

“We will have a [supply] crunch, price volatility and, yes, higher prices,” Casimiro said.

The oil majors’ move away from their core business, he added, means other players “will need to step in” and “take that responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Rosneft is looking to double down on hydrocarbons and extract up to 5 billion tons of light-quality oil in the Arctic through its Vostok Oil project. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin has described the project as the biggest in the history of the modern global oil industry.

The U.S. Treasury earlier this year sanctioned Casimiro and Rosneft’s Geneva-based trading arm, where he is chairman of the board and president, for allegedly propping up Venezuela’s oil sector.

Gazprom Blasts $7.6BN Polish Antitrust Fine On NS2 Pipeline As Move To Kill It “By All Means”

Polish authorities have fined Russia’s Gazprom a whopping and unprecedented $7.6 billion (or 6.5 billion euros) for constructing the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany.

While Poland anti-trust authorities have claimed Nord Stream 2 is fundamentally a politically motivated attempt to punish Polish consumers while increasing European dependence on on Russian imports, Germany has stood by the project even amid the Navalny poisoning affair which has strained its relations with Russia over the past month.

Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection decision seeks to legally force the six companies jointly building and financing the project to cancel their contracts, despite the gas pipeline being in its final phase of development. This includes European investors OMV, Wintershall, Engie, Shell and Uniper.

NS2 pipeline construction in the Baltic, file image.

“Carrying out the project is tantamount to breaking the rules of law and of fair competition that will lead to an increased dependence of gas recipients on the internal market on one supplier – Gazprom,” the Polish antitrust office said.

It charged that if allowed to go live it will result in “serious consequences for Poland’s and the EU’s economy,” by restricting the range of supplies while inevitably increasing gas prices for consumers.

But no doubt defenders of NS2 also see this as part of Washington’s broader war on the project, which has included past sanctions on executive heads of European companies involved, given recent deepening US military ties to Poland.

State-owned Gazprom, meanwhile has denounced the “unprecendented fine” as unlawful and unjustified. The fine’s “unprecedented amount evidences the decision to oppose implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project by all means,” the statement said, according to TASS.

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

Rising Civil Unrest in Europe – Will it Lead to Revolution

What’s to Be Done Now with All These Zombie Companies?

What’s to Be Done Now with All These Zombie Companies?

Saving the Zombies in Europe.

Europe’s zombie firms are multiplying like never before. In Germany, one of the few European economies that has weathered the virus crisis reasonably well, an estimated 550,000 firms — roughly one-sixth of the total — could already be classified as “zombies”, according to research by the credit agency Creditreform. It’s a similar story in Switzerland.

Zombie firms are over-leveraged, high-risk companies with a business model that is not remotely self-sustaining, since they need to constantly raise fresh money from new creditors to pay off existing creditors. According to the Bank for International Settlements’ definition, they are unable to cover debt servicing costs with their EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) over an extended period.

The number of zombie companies has been rising across Europe and the Anglosphere — due to of two main factors:

  • Central banks’ easy money forever policies, which brought interest rates down to such low levels that even firms with a reasonable chance of default have been able to continue issuing debt at serviceable rates. Many large zombie firms have also been bailed out, in some cases more than once. Spanish green energy giant Abengoa has been bailed out three times in five years.
  • The tendency of poorly capitalized banks to continually roll over or restructure bad loans. This is particularly prevalent in parts of the Eurozone where banks are especially weak, such as Italy.

A Bank of America report from July posits that the UK accounts for a staggering one third of all zombie companies in Europe. They represent 20% of all companies in the U.K, up four percentage points since March, according to a new paper by the conservative think tank Onward. In the two hardest-hit sectors — accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment and recreation — the proportion of zombie firms has soared by 9 and 11 percentage points respectively, to 23% and 26%.

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

Cheap Mediterranean Natural Gas Could Spell the End for the NATO Alliance

Turkey NATO Natural Gas Feature photo

Cheap Mediterranean Natural Gas Could Spell the End for the NATO Alliance

It’s a strange and unprecedented spectacle when countries like Israel, Greece, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, and others lay claims over the Mediterranean, while NATO scrambles to stave off an outright war, among its own members.

How Poor Leadership can Create Collapse or Make It Faster: Lessons from European History

How Poor Leadership can Create Collapse or Make It Faster: Lessons from European History

The damage that a bad leader can generate is simply fearsome, especially if that leader has a lot of power and he is nearly impossible to remove from his position. If then that leader controls a large military apparatus, even including nuclear weapons, then the disasters that can happen are beyond the imaginable. If you, like me, doubt the competence of our current leaders, there is plenty to be worried about.

The problem seems to be that our system of choosing leaders guarantees to propel to the top all sorts of power-mongering psychopaths. And as the power we manage increases, going from nuclear weapons to the control of the Web, the chances for truly disastrous damage created by an incompetent leader also increase.

Maybe there should be a science of incompetent leaders that might be a branch of the more general “science of evil.” In this post, I propose a brief exploration of this field that starts with the idea that the past is the way to understand the future. So I repropose a theme that I had already examined: that of Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III) (1808-1873) one of the best examples we have of an incompetent leader who ruined the state he was leading. At that time, fortunately, there were no nuclear weapons available and Luis Napoleon himself was not so aggressive and bloodthirsty as other famously bad leaders. Nevertheless, the damage he generated was considerable and we can learn something from his story.

Napoleon 3rd: how to destroy an empire in the making.  

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

 

The anatomy of a financial crisis

In this blog, we present the anatomy of a financial crisis. A characteristic feature of a banking crisis is that it tends to follow, more-or-less, the same path regardless of the ‘shock’ or ‘trigger’ that initiates it.

The next phase of the crisis is likely to be a global financial crisis, as we have been anticipating for quite some time (see, e.g., Q-Review 4/2017). However, few understand what a financial crisis is, though it is probably among the most feared economic phenomena of mankind.

So, let’s dive in.

The initiation

If a banking system is sound and robust, it can usually withstand financial and economic shocks.

But a banking system may be fragile. Usually this is due to high leverage levels, where banks have either lent aggressively or carry risky financial investments on their balance sheets—usually both. Banks can also have a weak financial position, with chronically low profitability and insufficient reserves. As we have explained earlier, this is exactly the state the European banking sector finds itself in.

The onset of a financial crisis requires a trigger. The most common is a recession or the expectation of recession among consumers and investors.

Recession leads to diminished income and defaults by both corporations and households. This increases the share of non-performing loans in bank loan portfolios, reducing the value of loan collateral and increasing bank risks and capital needs. As write-downs and losses increase, mistrust among other banks and depositors and investors does as well. The bank’s share price will usually start to reflect this.

A ‘bank run’

If suspicion spreads, banks will be apprehensive about counterparty risk and will be unwilling to lend to one another even on an overnight basis.  If allowed to continue, this will have a calamitous impact on liquidity in money markets.

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

Europeans Are Waking Up to Government Covid Tyranny. Why Are We Still Asleep?

Europeans Are Waking Up to Government Covid Tyranny. Why Are We Still Asleep?

Tens of thousands of Germans marched through Berlin on Saturday, proclaiming a “Day of Freedom” and demanding an end to government-mandated face masks and “social distancing.” The UK and Netherlands also saw large protests against their governments’ tyrannical actions in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to media accounts, the Berlin protesters held signs reading “We are being forced to wear a muzzle,” “Natural defense instead of vaccination,” and “We are making noise because you are stealing our freedom!”

Good for them!

The New York Times Tweeted that the masses of Berlin demonstrators were all “Nazis” and “conspiracy theorists.” Does the “paper of record” really want us to believe there were perhaps a million Nazis active in the streets of Berlin? Wouldn’t that be alarming?

The fact is, Europeans are realizing that their government-mandated lockdowns did little or nothing to protect them from the virus, while causing economic catastrophe and untold human suffering.

They likely looked around and noticed that Sweden, which never locked down its economy, rejected face masks, and kept its restaurants and other places of business open, did not fare any worse than the countries that have been turned into open air prisons for much of the year. In fact, Sweden had a lower death rate from the virus than strict lockdown states like the UK and France. No wonder people are starting to get angry.

Unfortunately, while the Europeans are waking up, Americans are still asleep as our freedoms continue to be trampled. While Europeans demand an end to government tyranny, here we see states with minuscule new deaths returning to lockdown. It is as if all the wannabe tyrants from mayors to governors are finally realizing their secret dreams of ruling by decree. Their dreams are our nightmares!

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

US Threatens European backers of Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, NATO in DC’s Crosshairs

US Threatens European backers of Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, NATO in DC’s Crosshairs

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is nearing completion despite all the best efforts by the U.S. to stop its construction, causing a rift between Washington and its largest European ally and the potential end of NATO.

The U.S. is starting to fret about the imminent completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the second of two underwater gas pipelines running from the Russian Baltic city of Ust-Luga to Greifswald, Germany, and has begun issuing informal threats of repercussions to companies who are backing the nearly-finished project. 

According to unnamed sources, at least a dozen American officials from three separate departments held video conference calls with European contractors working on the pipeline, while U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo reportedly warned private European backers of “risk[ing] the consequences” of continuing their support for the key energy infrastructure project.

Several European energy concerns, such as France’s Engie, Germany’s Wintershall Dea and Uniper and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell have indirect financial ties to the massive $11.7 billion-dollar underwater oil pipeline being constructed by Russia’s partially state-owned Gazprom, which will double Russia’s oil export capacity to Europe and seriously infringe on Atlanticist designs over the old continent.

Only six percent of the 1,200-mile pipeline remains to be laid in Danish waters, which is stalled due to U.S. sanctions against the European contractors working on that particular stretch. However, Denmark has recently circumvented the sanctions by licensing different vessels, and construction is set to resume by September.

Gazprom CEO, Alexei Miller disregarded claims that U.S. sanctions would stop the project from being completed, and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the pipeline would be commissioned before the end of this year. The completion of the Russian pipeline would mean a practical end to the viability of American LNG exports to Europe; a fate the U.S. has been trying to avoid since the project’s beginning in 2012.

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

Europe Has Been Preparing a Global Gold Standard Since the 1970s

Europe Has Been Preparing a Global Gold Standard Since the 1970s

Research reveals that European central banks have prepared a new international gold standard. Since the 1970s, policies that paved the way for an equitable and durable monetary system have gradually been implemented.

In my view, the current fiat international monetary system is ending—unconventional monetary policy has entered a dead end street and can’t reverse. I have written about this before, and will not repeat this message in today’s article. Instead, we will discuss a topic that deserves more attention, namely that European central banks saw this coming decades ago when the world shifted to a pure paper money standard. Accordingly, European central banks have carefully prepared a new monetary system based on gold.

When the last vestige of the gold standard was terminated by the U.S. in 1971, circumstances forced European central banks go along with the dollar hegemony, for the time being. Sentiment in Europe, however, was to counter dollar dominance and slowly prepare a new arrangement. Currently, central banks in Europe are signaling that a new system that incorporates gold is approaching.

If you want to read a summary of this article you can skip to the conclusion.

Contents:

  • The Rise and Fall of Bretton Woods
  • Europe Equalizes Gold Reserves Internationally
  • Private Gold Ownership Distribution
  • Setting the Stage for a Gold Standard
  • Conclusion
  •  Sources

The Rise and Fall of Bretton Woods

At the end of the Second World War, a new international monetary system called Bretton Woods was ratified. Under Bretton Woods, the U.S. dollar was officially the world reserve currency, backed by gold at a parity of $35 per ounce. The United States owned 60% of all monetary gold—more than 18,000 tonnes—and promised the dollar to be “as good as gold.” All other participating countries committed to peg their currencies to the dollar. Bretton Woods was a typical gold exchange standard.

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

Russia Denies Causing Latest Radioactivity Over Europe; UN Agency Says Origin “Still Unclear”

Russia Denies Causing Latest Radioactivity Over Europe; UN Agency Says Origin “Still Unclear”

Last Friday monitors with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) issued an alarming report that its radiation sensors based in Scandinavia picked up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air over the Baltics and Scandanavia. Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing or possible nuclear power plant leakage anywhere around the globe.Leningrad plant in the town of Sosnovy Bor. TASS/Getty Images.

The Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,”according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo. The UN nuclear agency has been investigating the ‘mystery’ radioactivity, which while not considered in large enough concentrations to harm humans, still “are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” according to the prior CTBTO statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

However it’s clear that there was a release of “very low” levels of man-made radioactivity.

The UN watchdog said Tuesday that the small amounts of radioactive isotopes detected over a significant area spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia still have an unclear origin and cause.  

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) director general, Rafael Grossi, also sought to assure the public that “the levels reported to the IAEA are very low and pose no risk to human health and the environment.”

According to the AP, European countries are being asked to self-report any radiation releases. So far at least 29 have voluntarily reported no known incidents within their borders, including Russia. Map issues by the CTBTO showing a spike in radioactivity over Nordic countries. 

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

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Europe On Alert After Unknown Radioactivity Spike Detected Over Baltic Sea

Almost a year ago Russia admitted to releasing significant amounts of radiation into the air that triggered warning alerts in the region of the far north Arctic Circle port cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk, after a failed weapons test involving a “small-scale nuclear reactor” that killed Russian scientists – which was believed connected to Russia’s hypersonics program. 

We can’t help but recall that incident now with new reports of radiation sensors based in Scandinavia again picking up abnormal radioactivity levels in the air. Perhaps there’s some further failed weapons tests happening somewhere in the region?: 

“Radiation sensors in Stockholm have detected higher-than-usual but still harmless levels of isotopes produced by nuclear fission, probably from somewhere on or near the Baltic Sea, a body running a worldwide network of the sensors said on Friday,” Reuters reports.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed the higher than normal activity.

Its ultra-sensitive networked sensors set up across Europe and the world are capable of picking up nuclear weapons testing when it occurs anywhere around the globe.

As Reuters reports further, the Stockholm monitoring station “detected 3 isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with Nuclear fission at higher than usual levels,” according to CTBTO chief Lassina Zerbo, who made the announcement on Friday. 

The additional particles were picked up by the sensors last Monday and Tuesday, and confirmed by the nuclear monitoring organization. Zerbo pointed out, however, that it wasn’t at levels harmful for human health.

Russian nuclear plant in Saint Petersburg, AFP via Getty. 

“These are certainly nuclear fission products, most likely from a civil source,” the CTBTO said in a statement. “We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.” 

The organization further speculated that the source could have come from anywhere spanning from western Russia to Baltic countries to parts of Scandinavia

European Civil Unrest Erupting in Germany & the Netherlands

European Civil Unrest Erupting in Germany & the Netherlands

Riots are erupting all over Europe. In Stuttgart, a total of 400 to 500 people participated in the riots since Sunday night with 19 police officers injured. The same is unfolding in the Hague in the Netherlands. These politicians know nothing about human nature. Our studies of time and riots warned that a simple correlation provided a forecast that the civil unrest would turn violent after 4 to 6 weeks. We have even provided a listing of US civil unrest incidents.

These politicians are clueless as to what they are trying to do, using this virus as the excuse to civilly imprison people until they destroy all CO2 producing companies. They are fully conspiring with the climate change people by using the virus as the excuse to destroy the world economy.

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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