Saturday, March 14, 2015

News Recap: Greece, Ukraine and Other Musings

So much is happening around the world it is very hard to keep up with events. In this blog post I will try to just list some key news topics. I will place some links to articles on each topic within a short summary for that topic. 

Also, I will add some links to growing speculation I see around the internet that this fall (most mention September) some kind of financial crisis event is anticipated. Let me be clear, I have no idea if anything unusual will happen in September or any other time. I just see trends on the internet while doing research. When I see a trend become more widespread, I may mention it here just so readers will know it's out there. 


The Ukraine

Under this topic we have news that the IMF has approved a new aid/loan package to try and keep the Ukraine government afloat. Russia is actually chipping in its share of this IMF funding. It's more and more obvious that both the US and Russia are increasing military movements that seem like an increase in tensions. Time will tell. Then we have the Russian opposition politician who was gunned down in Moscow. There is all kinds of speculation as to who was behind that. I won't even go there. To top things off we have rumors that Putin may have health issues. Something Russia has quickly denied. I won't even pretend to say that I can get to the full truth behind all that is going on related to the Ukraine. What we know for sure is that how all this gets resolved can certainly impact the global monetary system. The IMF is taking a risk pouring more money there when the conflict is still far from resolved. But letting the Ukraine default would be a huge risk as well. Rock, meet hard place.


Here again the IMF is at risk. But probably more at risk are the other EU lenders. Greece owes a lot of money and there is considerable doubt they can pay it later this year. In fact, they may not even try to pay it. Germany and Greece are very much at odds. There are rumors that Greece might be putting out feelers to Russia at some point. The only thing that seems clear about Greece is that nothing is going to get truly fixed there any time soon. Rock, meet hard place.

Can the Fed Raise Rates? Will They?

We have reached such a low point on this topic that markets wait breathlessly to see if the FED is going to continue to use the word patience or not. Let that sink in. What is supposed to be the greatest free market economy in the world hangs on every word that the US Fed utters to decide what will happen next. Jim Rickards talks about the Fed conundrum on Bloomberg TV earlier this week here. The Fed wants inflation. If they raise rates, they likely get deflation. Rock, meet hard place. 

Yuan-Ruble Futures Trading

"Moscow trading in ruble-yuan futures will begin on March 17 with the pair of currencies expected to become the third most popular by volume, says Moscow Exchange (MOEX) Deputy Chairman Andrei Shemetov."

UK to Join New China Backed Bank

"The UK is the first big Western economy to apply for membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The US has raised questions over the bank's commitment to international standards on governance. "There will be times when we take a different approach," a spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron said about the rare rebuke from the US."

Meanwhile, a lot of people seem to think that this fall we will see some kind of financial crisis involving a severe stock market selloff and/or currency crisis. Many are pointing to September for various reasons. We have seen date sensitive predictions like this come and go. Will this time be different? I don't know, but below are a few links to examples of the predictions.

Will the next financial Crisis start on September 13, 2015? 
(How's that for being specific on timing :)

David Morgan with Greg Hunter - Debt Bomb to Explode in September 2015

Blomberg - Predictors of 1929 Crash see 65% Chance of 2015 Recession

Bill Holter - Too Many Dollars and Yet not Enough 
(no specific date mentioned)

Business Insider - The Financial Crisis of 2015
(This predicts April 2015, but was written in 2011)

There are many more out there. We'll just see what actually happens. If we do get another big financial crisis this year, former IMF staffer Peter Doyle says don't expect any kind of early warning from the IMF.

Last but not least, let's just file this in the strange but true department:

A Russian TV station issues a "live report" talking about a meeting in the past tense that Mr. Putin is not scheduled to attend until next Monday - USA Today covers it here. The whole Ukraine/Russia/US/EU/Putin story is so bizarre and filled with contradictions, it is virtually impossible to cover in any meaningful way. But we will give it our best. What we do know is that a debt default there could clearly impact the global monetary system.

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