In the Middle East, Strange Times Make for Strange Bedfellows

Re-Blogged From worldview.stratfor.com

Highlights

  • The Iranian threat is pulling the once-clandestine relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia into the public eye.
  • But there are other factors encouraging the two countries to work more closely with each other, including their legitimacy at home and abroad.
  • As Israel and Saudi Arabia move into uncharted territory, both risk exposing themselves to pushback and new dangers.  

A map of Saudi Arabia and Israel

(OMERSUKRUGOKSU/iStock)

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In Lebanon, Saudi Arabia Attempts the Impossible

Re-Blogged From https://worldview.stratfor.com

Highlights

  • In the regional competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon is the most recent proxy battleground.
  • Iran’s political and security connections in Lebanon mean Saudi Arabia will have a hard time countering its influence there.
  • Saudi Arabia can wield some financial tools to try to pressure Lebanon, but Iran has the means to cushion some of the impact.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

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In Praise Of The Whistleblowers

By Charles Thorngren – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Whistleblowers run a two-pronged battle – on the one hand they are lauded for their honesty in exposing wrongdoing in the fields in which they are involved – on the other, they are hated and despised for their actions by those who want to cover misdeeds, or preserve the status quo.

The world of finance has a long history of such characters – some, like Michael Lewis, the ex-bond salesman from Wall Street, who worked for Salomon Brothers in the 1980s and exposed the work practices and ethos which subsumed banks and trading houses – have made their fortunes by such whistleblowing.

Others, like Hervé Falciani, an employee of HSBC’s Swiss private bank, who opened the door onto the bank’s money laundering techniques, and gave details of the hidden accounts of 130,000 wealthy individuals to the tax authorities, was jailed for 5 years for his activities.

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Oil Rich Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars

By Mark O’Byrne – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-PHoenix500.com

  • President Maduro ‘ Venezuela will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,”
  • Oil traders ordered to stop accepting U.S. dollar in exchange for crude oil
  • Order comes following calls from Russia and China to find alternatives to current reserve system
  • U.S. Dollar accounts for two-thirds of global trade
  • Venezuela has over ten-times more oil than United States
  • Super powers are gradually turning to gold to avoid using world’s main reserve currency
  • Are we seeing the beginning of the end for the U.S. dollar?

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Outlook For The Dollar Price Of Gold

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Now that gold has become overbought on Comex, the price is vulnerable to being trashed, yet again, by the too-big-to-fail banks. It is a familiar operation in gold futures markets, where speculators buying contracts protect themselves with stop-losses. All the TBTF banks need is a pause in the speculator’s buying and a little good news (bad for gold). Ideally, the active contract will be running into maturity, so the speculators are forced to put up or shut up: in other words, sell the contract, roll it into another later maturity, or stand for delivery.

Bearing in mind these speculators are running highly leveraged positions, greed turns to fear on a sixpence. The TBTF banks will have supplied the speculators with their longs by going short. From the moment you go long, you are trapped in a trader’s version of Hotel California.

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New Eastern Energy Cartel: Replacement To The Dead Petro-Dollar

By Jim Willie – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

The Petro-Dollar is dead. It had served so well for over 40 years in maintaining the USDollar as global currency reserve, while keeping tight the controls on geopolitical power. The link between crude oil and the USDollar has been broken, painfully evident since 2016 with a harsh price decline that cannot rise about the $50 level. It remains stuck below that level despite heavy collusion in a demonstration that OPEC is dead defunct also. A void has been created in the energy sector, a most important sector. Enter Russia & China to fill the void. Both the crude oil market and the natural gas market have new alliances which feature nations acting in a cooperative manner.

The common element is Russia on the production side, complete with pipeline arrays. The common other element is China on the demand side with large customer needs and financial influence. This article describes the two emerging organizations, which the Jackass calls the Oil Consortium and the NatGas Cartel. It will serve the Eurasian Trade Zone. It will function outside the USD payment system. It is ripe for Gold payment structure in the near future. In no way do these qualify as coffin nails for the Petro-Dollar. The funeral for the corrupted abused hegemon USDollar might have taken place with the Trump charade in Saudi Arabia a month ago. The emerging energy organizations signal the new dawn after the funeral without eulogy.

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Iran’s President Tacitly Admits Iran is Cheating on Nuclear Agreement

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog

Countering recent US sanctions and President Trump’s talk of ending the “bad” nuclear agreement with Iran, Iran’s president threatened to restart its nuclear program. If his threat is true as stated, he unwittingly admitted something highly supportive of Trump’s position:

Mr. Rouhani said that a reconstituted nuclear program would be “far more advanced,” a veiled threat that the country could start enriching uranium up to the level of 20 percent…. “Iran will definitely revert to a far more advanced situation than it had before the negotiations, not in a matter of weeks or months but in a matter of days or hours.” (New York Times)

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