Magazine: Critical Gold/Silver News

Latest News that affects your Gold and Silver Investments.

Putin Wants Russia to Sell Energy in Roubles

Peter’s Commentary

One of the easiest ways for Putin to attack the US is to start selling energy without settling payments in the US dollar.

If Russia starts to sell energy without the US dollar being involved, you can expect the US dollar index to drop significantly overnight. Remember that Russia sells gas to a lot of European countries. What if Russia made the transactions in German marks or French francs? Last week Putin made the following statement:

Putin says Russia should aim to sell energy in roubles
Thu, Aug 14 12:47

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia should aim to sell its oil and gas for roubles globally because the dollar monopoly in energy trade was damaging Russia’s economy.

“We should act carefully. At the moment we are trying to agree with some countries to trade in national currencies,” Putin said during a visit to the Crimea region, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine earlier this year.

Conclusion

A move away from using the petrodollar for oil and gas settlements would cause the US dollar index to fall significantly and the price of gold in dollars would go higher.

Relations thawing between Russia, Germany and France?

Peter’s Commentary

The article inserted below and a couple of other recent articles are suggestive of progress towards better relations between Russia and other European countries. Russia does have a big stick as it provides natural gas for the region.

RIA Novosti, MOSCOW, August 18, 2014

The foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France have made some progress during Sunday’s talks on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The sides discussed international efforts towards the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, the ministry reminded.

“Some progress was made in all issues. It was agreed to continue the dialogue in this format, which could find concrete proposals for consideration of Russian, German, France and Ukraine leaders,” the ministry wrote on its Facebook page.

Negotiations between Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Pavlo Klimkin of Ukraine seeking to end fighting in eastern Ukraine were held Sunday night at the Villa Borsig hotel in Berlin, Germany. They were also attended by German foreign chief Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his counterpart in France, Laurent Fabius. According to Steinmeier, the talks were difficult, but the sides made progress on certain points.

The foreign chiefs are expected to report back to their respective heads of government and decide on Monday or Tuesday on the format of follow-up negotiations.

This is the second four-party meeting of the kind. During the previous talks on July 2, also in Berlin, the four foreign ministers agreed on a declaration that called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine’s southeast. Source

Conclusion

Any thawing in the relationships between these countries and Russia should reduce geopolitical tensions and likewise will reduce any political risk premium figured into the price of gold.

In The West Respect for Truth No Longer Exists — Paul Craig Roberts

Peter’s Commentary I’m inserting Paul Craig Roberts post here in its full version. Read my earlier posts about AirMalaysia flight MH 17 and also the Russian armed convoy that was supposed to exist and supposed to have been partially destroyed. Then come to your conclusion about the accuracy of Western media reporting these two events.

In The West Respect for Truth No Longer Exists

Paul Craig Roberts, August 17, 2014

The Western media have proved for all to see that the Western media comprises either a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or a whorehouse that sells war for money.

The Western media fell in step with Washington and blamed the downed Malaysian airliner on Russia. No evidence was provided. In its place the media used constant repetition. Washington withheld the evidence that proved that Kiev was responsible. The media’s purpose was not to tell the truth, but to demonize Russia.

Now we have the media story of the armored Russian column that allegedly crossed into Ukraine and was destroyed by Ukraine’s rag-tag forces that ISIS would eliminate in a few minutes. British reporters fabricated this story or were handed it by a CIA operative working to build a war narrative. The disreputable BBC hyped the story without investigating. The German media, including Die Welt, blared the story throughout Germany without concern at the absence of any evidence. Reuters news agency, also with no investigation, spread the story. Readers tell me that CNN has been broadcasting the fake story 24/7. Although I cannot stand to watch it, I suspect Fox “news” has also been riding this lame horse hard. Readers tell me that my former newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, which has fallen so low as to be unreadable, also spread the false story. I hope they are wrong. One hates to see the complete despoliation of one’s former habitat.

The media story is preposterous for a number of reasons that should be obvious to a normal person.

The first reason is that the Russian government has made it completely clear that its purpose is to de-escalate the situation. When other former Russian territories that are part of present day Ukraine followed Crimea, voted their independence and requested reunification with Russia, President Putin refused. To underline his de-escalation, President Putin asked the Russian Duma to rescind his authority to intervene militarily in Ukraine in behalf of the former Russian provinces. As the Russian government, unlike Washington or EU governments, stresses legality and the rule of law, Russian military forces would not be sent into Ukraine prior to the Duma renewing Putin’s authority so to do.

The second reason the story is obviously false is that if the Russian government decides to invade Ukraine, Russia would not send in one small armored group unprotected by air cover or other forces. If Russia invades Ukraine, it will be with a force capable of rolling up the rag-tag Ukrainian forces, most of which are semi-private militias organized by nazis. The “war” would last a few hours, after which Ukraine would be in Russia’s hands where it resided for hundreds of years prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Washington’s successful efforts in 1991 to take advantage of Russian weakness to break apart the constituent provinces of Russia herself.

The third reason that the story is obviously false is that not a single Western news organization hyping the story has presented a shred of evidence in its behalf.

What we witness in this fabricated story is the total lack of integrity in the entirety of the Western media.

A story totally devoid of any evidence to support it has been broadcast world wide. The White House has issued a statement saying that it cannot confirm the story, but nevertheless the White House continues to issue accusations against Russia for which the White House can supply no evidence. Consequently, Western repetition of bald-faced lies has become truth for huge numbers of peoples. As I have emphasized in my columns, these Western lies are dangerous, because they provoke war.

The same group in Washington and the same Western “media” are telling the same kind of lies that were used to justify Washington’s wars in Iraq (weapons of mass destruction), Afghanistan (Taliban = al Qaeda), Syria (use of chemical weapons), Libya (an assortment of ridiculous charges), and the ongoing US military murders in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

The city upon the hill, the light unto the world, the home of the exceptional, indispensable people is the home of Satan’s lies where truth is prohibited and war is the end game. Source

Update: After pretending that the Russian humanitarian truck convoy contained a hidden invasion force, the stooge Kiev government was forced by facts on the ground to officially acknowledge that the trucks only contained aid for those that the Kiev stooge government has been bombing and attacking with artillery. Source

Air Malaysia Flight MH17…What happened?

Peter’s Commentary

Remember my post last week about not getting the true story of the Malaysia Airlines crash? Well now WSWS.org is thinking along the same lines.

jet aircraft

Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17?
By Niles Williamson, 18 August 2014.

The deafening silence of the US media and government about the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 one month ago reeks of a cover-up.

In the hours and days immediately after the crash, without a single shred of evidence, US officials alleged that the passenger jet was shot down by an SA-11 ground-to-air missile fired from pro-Russian separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. They launched a political campaign to obtain harsh economic sanctions against Russia and strengthen NATO’s military posture in Eastern Europe.

Picking up on the scent, the CIA attack dogs in the US and European media blamed the crash squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The cover of the July 28 print edition of German news magazine Der Spiegel showed the images of MH17 victims surrounding bold red text reading “Stoppt Putin Jetzt!” (Stop Putin Now!). A July 26 editorial in the Economist declared Putin to be the author of MH17’s destruction, while the magazine ghoulishly superimposed Putin’s face over a spider web on its front cover, denouncing Putin’s “web of lies.”

Anyone comparing the media’s demonization of Putin with their treatment of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi had to conclude that Washington was launching a campaign for regime change in Russia like those it carried out in Libya and Iraq—this time, recklessly pushing the United States towards war with a nuclear-armed power, Russia.

Having built up the crash into a casus belli against Russia, however, the US media suddenly dropped the matter completely. The New York Times has not found it fit to print a word on the MH17 crash since August 7.

There is no innocent explanation for the sudden disappearance of MH17 from the media and political spotlight. The plane’s black box has been held in Britain for examination for weeks, and US and Russian spy satellites and military radar were intensively scanning east Ukraine at the time of the crash. The claim that Washington does not have detailed knowledge of the circumstances of the crash and the various forces involved is not credible.

If the evidence that is in Washington’s hands incriminated only Russia and the Russian-backed forces, it would have been released to feed the media frenzy against Putin. If it has not been released, this is because the evidence points to the involvement of the Ukrainian regime in Kiev and its backers in Washington and the European capitals.

From the outset, the Obama administration presented no evidence to back up the incendiary charges that Putin was responsible for the MH17 crash. In his press briefing on July 18, the day after the crash, President Obama stated that it was still “too early for us to be able to guess what the intentions of those who might have launched this surface-to-air missile might have had.”

While cynically exploiting the crash to pressure and threaten Russia, Obama warned that “there will likely be misinformation” in the coverage of the crash. In a backhanded acknowledgment that he had no evidence to support his claims, he said: “In terms of identifying specifically what individual or group of individuals or personnel ordered the strike, how it came about those are things that I think are still going to be subject to additional information that we’re going to be gathering.”

In the event, the misinformation on the MH17 crash came from the Obama administration itself. Secretary of State John Kerry went on a media blitz on July 20, arguing that the pro-Russian separatists and the Russian government were responsible for the shoot-down.

The sole evidence he presented were a few, dubious “social media records” posted to the Internet. He presented unauthenticated audio recordings of separatists speaking of a plane crash, edited and released by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence agency, which works closely with the CIA; YouTube video clips showing a truck moving unidentified military equipment along a road; and a retracted social media statement claiming responsibility for shooting down a plane attributed to separatist leader Igor Strelkov.

Very quickly, the US government’s story line on MH17 began to collapse. At a press briefing on July 21, State Department spokesperson and former CIA Middle East analyst Marie Harf declared that the Obama administration’s conclusions regarding the downing of the plane were “based on open information which is basically common sense.” Challenged by reporters to provide the evidence, she admitted that she could not: “I know it’s frustrating. Believe me, we try to get as much out there as possible. And for some reason, sometimes we can’t.”

After a month during which Washington has failed to release evidence to support its charges against Putin, it is clear that the political offensive of the NATO governments and the media frenzy against Putin were based on lies. Source

Conclusion

Surely, if there was evidence of Russian involvement, we would have heard about it by now? The fact that all is quiet certainly points towards involvement from the Ukrainian military forces.

Ukraine’s Alleged “Convoy Shelling” Disinformation Forgotten

Peter’s Commentary:

On Friday, we awoke to the news that an armed convoy had entered the Ukraine from Russia and had been shelled and partially destroyed by the Ukrainian forces. Indeed, the Telegraph and the Guardian both reported Russian military vehicles had entered the Ukraine.

And Reuters reported “That Ukrainian artillery destroyed a significant part of a Russian armed column.” And according to Reuters, this was confirmed by President Petro Poroshenko to British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Three days later, it now appears that this was all a hoax and that no Russian military vehicles had entered Ukraine.

ZeroHedge, August 18, 2014,  reports:

Friday’s main event, Ukraine’s alleged attack of a Russian military convoy, has come and gone, and as we mused on Friday has promptly faded into the memory of all other fabricated headlines released by the country engaged in a major civil war and an even more major disinformation war. To be sure, Germany’s DAX has recovered virtually all losses, US futures are up about 9 points, and the 10 Year is back to 2.37%. One wonders what algo-slamming headline amusement Ukraine has in stock for us today, although anyone hoping for a quick “de-escalation” (there’s that word again) will have to wait following yesterday’s meeting of Russian, Ukraine, German and French ministers in Berlin where Russia’s Lavrov said he saw no progress on Ukraine cease-fire, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in Berlin, adding that a cease-fire should be unconditional.

“As long as they’re betting on a military solution, and as long as the authorities in Kiev are using military victories over their own people to shore up their position in Kiev, I don’t think there’s any point to what we’re trying to do now.” He also said that Russia takes full responsibility for ensuring there are no illegal border crossings and Russia doing all it can to control border, sees progress. He concluded that he expects humanitarian aid to be delivered soon. In other words, nothing new.

Conclusion

Deliberately providing false news is a very dangerous strategy as it obviously increases tensions and makes it more likely for war to break out.

Is that what somebody is hoping will happen?

I hope not, but it does show that the media has become far to eager to get news out first, than to make sure that it is correct.

Any Major Bank Failure Could Cause Financial Meltdown and You Could Lose Your Bank Deposits

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC] reported last week that a failure of a major bank could cause another financial crisis.

From the wsws.org website, August 13, 2014:

Under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul, some 130 banks are required to submit so-called “living wills.” These are supposed to document how a bank, in case of bankruptcy, would prevent financial contagion to other banks and a broader financial crisis.

The largest and most complex of these banks–Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp. and UBS, have been required to file their wills before the others.

Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the FDIC, spoke plainly about the FDIC and Federal Reserve’s findings. He said, “Despite the thousands of pages of materials these firms submitted, the plans provide no credible or clear path through bankruptcy that doesn’t require unrealistic assumptions and direct or indirect public support.

“Unfortunately, based on the material so far submitted, in my view each plan being discussed today is deficient and fails to convincingly demonstrate how, in failure, any of these firms could overcome obstacles to entering bankruptcy without precipitating a financial crisis.” (Emphasis added). Source

What has happened since the 2008 financial crisis is that the larger banks have become even larger, more complicated and more interconnected than they were before the crisis.

Hoenig demonstrates this by saying:

“The eight largest US banking firms have assets equivalent to 65 percent of GDP. The average notional value of derivatives for the three largest US banking firms at year-end 2013 exceed $60 trillion, a 30 percent increase over their level at the start of the crisis. There have been no fundamental changes in their reliance on wholesale funding markets, bank-like money market funds, or repos, activities that have proven to be major sources of volatility. And, when failure is imminent, no firm has yet shown how it will access private sector ‘debtor in possession’ financing, a critical element in restructuring a firm.”

Essentially, the banking situation today is far worse than it was in early 2008.

And now we get the news that JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs along with other banks are still creating highly speculative derivatives.

From Bloomberg, August 12, 2014 J.P. Morgan joins Goldman in designing derivatives for a new generation:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is offering a swap contract tied to a speculative-grade loan index that makes it easier for investors to wager on the debt.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is planning as much as 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) of structured investments that bundle debt into top-rated securities, while ProShares last week started offering exchange-traded funds backed by credit-default swaps on company debt.

Wall Street is starting to return to the financial innovation that helped extend the debt rally seven years ago before exacerbating the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The instruments are springing back to life as investors seek new ways to boost returns that are being suppressed by central bank stimulus. At the same time, they’re allowing hedge funds and other investors to bet more cheaply on a plunge after a 145 percent rally in junk bonds since 2008. Source.

So we have the FDIC admitting openly that the failure of a major bank could cause a financial crisis. We have the knowledge that more and more exotic derivatives have been created which can only cause the crisis to be more severe when it occurs.

And what is the plan to assist the banks in a time of crisis?

It is no longer possible to use tax payers’ funds. So bail-in procedures have been put in place all over the westernized banking world. These use creditors funds to bail-in a bank, in other words, depositors in the bank will most likely be issued long term debt in the bank but needs to be saved.

Fed Vice Chair Fisher who is number two at the Federal Reserve after Janet Yellen, spoke about strengthening the financial system on August 11, 2014:

Additional steps have been taken in some countries. For example, in the United States, capital ratios and liquidity buffers at the largest banks are up considerably, and their reliance on short-term wholesale funding has declined considerably.

Work on the use of the resolution mechanisms set out in the Dodd-Frank Act, based on the principle of a single point of entry–though less advanced than the work on capital and liquidity ratios–holds the promise of making it possible to resolve banks in difficulty at no direct cost to the taxpayer.

As part of this approach, the United States is preparing a proposal to require systemically important banks to issue bail-inable long-term debt that will enable insolvent banks to recapitalize themselves in resolution without calling on government funding–this cushion is known as a “gone concern” buffer.” Source.

Conclusion:

If you keep your money in a major bank, you are at risk of a bail-in and could be issued long term debt instruments in place of your funds.

This is a major reason why you should have some physical holdings in gold and silver in your own possession as an insurance policy in the event of another financial meltdown.

The True Story Of The Malaysia Airlines Crash?

Ron Paul has just come out with a statement saying that the government is likely hiding the truth about the Malaysian Airlines flight 17 crash.

From Voices of Liberty, August 11, 2014 by Ron Paul:

“The US government has grown strangely quiet on the accusation that it was Russia or her allies that brought down the Malaysian airliner with a buck anti-aircraft missile.

The little that we have heard from U.S. intelligence is that it has no evidence that Russia was involved. Yet the war propaganda was successful in convincing the American public that it was all Russia’s fault. It’s hard to believe that the U.S., with all of its spy satellites available for monitoring everything in Ukraine that precise proof of who did what and when is not available.

When evidence contradicts our government’s accusations, the evidence is never revealed to the public—for national security reasons, of course. Some independent sources claim that the crash site revealed evidence that bullet holes may have come from a fighter jet. If true, it would implicate western Ukraine.

Questions do remain regarding the serious international incident. Too bad we can’t count on our government to just tell us the truth and show us the evidence. I’m convinced that it knows a lot more than it’s telling us.” Source

An article by Malaysia’s English language newspaper, the New Straits Times, published August 7, 2014, places the blame on Ukrainian government forces.

In a damning report dated Aug 3, headlined “Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts”, Associated Press reporter Robert Parry said “some US intelligence sources had concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame”.

The New Straits Times quoted experts who had said that photographs of the blast fragmentation patterns on the fuselage of the airliner showed two distinct shapes — the shredding pattern associated with a warhead packed with “flechettes”, and the more uniform, round-type penetration holes consistent with that of cannon rounds.

Bociurkiw is a Ukrainian-Canadian monitor with OSCE who, along with another colleague, were the first international monitors to reach the wreckage after flight MH17 was brought down over eastern Ukraine.

In the CBC interview, the reporter in the video preceded it with: “The wreckage was still smouldering when a small team from the OSCE got there. No other officials arrived for days”.

“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like machinegun fire; very, very strong machinegun fire,” Bociurkiw said in the interview.

Parry had said that Bociurkiw’s testimony is “as close to virgin, untouched evidence and testimony as we’ll ever get. Unlike a black-box interpretation-analysis long afterward by the Russian, British or Ukrainian governments, each of which has a horse in this race, this testimony from Bociurkiw is raw, independent and comes from one of the two earliest witnesses to the physical evidence.

“That’s powerfully authoritative testimony. Bociurkiw arrived there fast because he negotiated with the locals for the rest of the OSCE team, who were organising to come later,” Parry had said.

Retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko had also weighed in on the new shootdown theory with Parry and pointed to the entry and exit holes centred around the cockpit.

“You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30mm caliber projectile.

“The edge of the other, the larger and slightly frayed exit holes, show shreds of metal pointing produced by the same caliber projectiles. Moreover, it is evident that these exit holes of the outer layer of the double aluminum reinforced structure are shredded or bent — outwardly.” Source

The investigation into the MH 17 plane crash continues in the Netherlands and is being led by the Dutch Safety Board. An international team of approximately 25 accident investigators has collected as much investigation information as possible in Ukraine. The team has relocated to the Hague to continue its work.

The Dutch Safety Board states:

The team’s efforts will initially focus on the report of preliminary findings, which the Dutch Safety Board aims to publish in a few weeks’ time. The report will contain the first factual findings arising from the investigation based on various sources, such as the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder (the black boxes), air traffic control data, radar and satellite images. This data is currently being compared and will subsequently be analysed.Source

Hopefully, we will get the true story behind what happened and it will be reported in the US media.

Imposing Sanctions on Russia Could Sink the Dollar and the US Economy

Peter’s Commentary:

Ron Paul warns that the sanctions against Russia are liable to cause more countries to stop using the US dollar for transactions thereby decreasing its value dramatically.

From the Ron Paul Institute, August 10, 2014:

Ron Paul

The US government’s decision to apply more sanctions on Russia is a grave mistake and will only escalate an already tense situation, ultimately harming the US economy itself.

While the effect of sanctions on the dollar may not be appreciated in the short term, in the long run these sanctions are just another step toward the dollar’s eventual demise as the world’s reserve currency.
 
Not only is the US sanctioning Russian banks and companies, but it also is trying to strong-arm European banks into enacting harsh sanctions against Russia as well.

Given the amount of business that European banks do with Russia, European sanctions could hurt Europe at least as much as Russia. At the same time the US expects cooperation from European banks, it is also prosecuting those same banks and fining them billions of dollars for violating existing US sanctions.

It is not difficult to imagine that European banks will increasingly become fed up with having to act as the US government’s unpaid policemen, while having to pay billions of dollars in fines every time they engage in business that Washington doesn’t like. 
 
European banks are already cutting ties with American citizens and businesses due to the stringent compliance required by recently-passed laws such as FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). In the IRS’s quest to suck in as much tax dollars as possible from around the world, the agency has made Americans into the pariahs of the international financial system.

As the burdens the US government places on European banks grow heavier, it should be expected that more and more European banks will reduce their exposure to the United States and to the dollar, eventually leaving the US isolated. Attempting to isolate Russia, the US actually isolates itself.
 
Another effect of sanctions is that Russia will grow closer to its BRICS (Brazil/Russia/India/China/South Africa) allies. These countries count over 40 percent of the world’s population, have a combined economic output almost equal to the US and EU, and have significant natural resources at their disposal.

Russia is one of the world’s largest oil producers and supplies Europe with a large percent of its natural gas. Brazil has the second-largest industrial sector in the Americas and is the world’s largest exporter of ethanol. China is rich in mineral resources and is the world’s largest food producer.

Already Russia and China are signing agreements to conduct their bilateral trade with their own national currencies rather than with the dollar, a trend which, if it spreads, will continue to erode the dollar’s position in international trade.

Perhaps more importantly, China, Russia, and South Africa together produce nearly 40 percent of the world’s gold, which could play a role if the BRICS countries decide to establish a gold-backed currency to challenge the dollar. 
 
US policymakers fail to realize that the United States is not the global hegemon it was after World War II. They fail to understand that their overbearing actions toward other countries, even those considered friends, have severely eroded any good will that might previously have existed. And they fail to appreciate that more than 70 years of devaluing the dollar has put the rest of the world on edge.

There is a reason the euro was created, a reason that China is moving to internationalize its currency, and a reason that other countries around the world seek to negotiate monetary and trade compacts.

The rest of the world is tired of subsidizing the United States government’s enormous debts, and tired of producing and exporting trillions of dollars of goods to the US, only to receive increasingly worthless dollars in return.

Conclusion 

The US government has always relied on the cooperation of other countries to maintain the dollar’s preeminent position. But international patience is wearing thin, especially as the carrot-and-stick approach of recent decades has become all stick and no carrot.

If President Obama and his successors continue with their heavy-handed approach of levying sanctions against every country that does something US policymakers don’t like, it will only lead to more countries shunning the dollar and accelerating the dollar’s slide into irrelevance.

Overall ISIS Advance Has Not Been Stopped Warns General

Peter’s Commentary:

The limited air strikes in northern Iraq have not slowed the overall operational goals of ISIS according to the Pentagon. Iraq are requesting more help from the US.

800px-F-16_June_2008

Government Site; F16 Image released to Public Domain

According to the Washington Times:

Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the Pentagon’s joint operations chief, said 15 air strikes by F-15E, F-16 and drones had slowed the Islamic State’s advance toward Irbil in Kurdish territory, and that’s about it when it comes to battlefield effectiveness.

“So I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by [the Islamic State],” Gen. Mayville said.

“These strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria,” he said. “ISIL remains focused on securing and gaining additional territory throughout Iraq, and will sustain its attacks against Iraqi and Kurdish security forces and their positions as well as target Yazidis, Christians and other minorities.” Source

Masoud Barzani, president of Kurdistan region of Iraq has requested US help.

From Gulf News:

“There can be no overstating how perilous the situation is. The terrorist blitzkrieg of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has swept from Syria into Iraq, with its goal of conquering and controlling a large swathe of the world. While some of its more distant aspirations may be beyond its grasp, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East and Central Asia are not.”

“Last week, the terrorists launched a new offensive directly targeting Kurdish-protected towns, including the Mosul dam area, the Sinjar district and the Rabia crossing into Syria.”

“For centuries, this area of Iraq has been home to multiple religions and sects. Not any more. As a first order of business, terrorists ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay an exorbitant tax or suffer deadly consequences. Those not conforming have been killed in the most horrific of manners.”

“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is virtually empty of Christians. Hundreds of thousands of residents, including Christian and Yazidi religious minorities, are at immediate risk of being slaughtered. There can be no doubt that this fits the description of genocide.”

“The peshmerga face an enemy that has vastly superior US weaponry. It is essential that we receive military support from the US and other friends immediately. Every day that the terrorists are able to operate freely brings more loss of life, a mounting humanitarian crises, destruction and horror.”

“Every religion, state and community must voice its support for civilisation and humanity. And those countries with capacity to help — first and foremost the US — must understand that this is an urgent danger and act accordingly. We must stop the terrorists now. With air support and military equipment, we can.”

 Conclusion

The US air strikes around Irbil have had a very small effect on the overall Isis organization. The president of the Kurdistan region of Iraq is asking for more US help in order to prevent genocide.

SEC Imposes Redemption “Gates” On Money Market Funds

Peter’s Commentary

There are $2.6 trillion invested in money market funds.  The SEC has just voted to impose “gates” to restrict redemptions of money market funds during periods of market turmoil. This is highly likely to cause money market investors to transfer funds to other investments, such as equities. This could help propel equities to unexpectedly high bubble figures.

ZeroHedge reports:

Moments ago the gates arrived, when following a close 3-2 vote (with republican commissioner Piwowar and democrat Stein dissenting), the SEC adopted new rules designed to curb the risk of investor runs on money market funds, capping the end of a years-long heated debate between regulators and the industry dating to the financial crisis according to Reuters.

Among the changes, funds will have to switch to a floating share price instead of the current $1/share (hence the term breaking the buck). But the key part: “The SEC’s rule will require prime money market funds to move from a stable $1 per share net asset value, to a floating NAV. It also will let fund boards lower redemption “gates” and fees in times of market stress.”

The Fed itself, has warned in April 2014 that the possibility of suspending convertibility, including the imposition of gates or fees for redemptions, can create runs that would not otherwise occur… Rules that provide intermediaries, such as MMFs, the ability to restrict redemptions when liquidity falls short may threaten financial stability by setting up the possibility of preemptive runs.

So why impose the “Gates”?

Clearly, everyone understands that the only purpose behind implementing “gates” is to redirect the herd. And with some $2.6 trillion in assets, money markets can serve as a convenient source of “forced buying” now that QE is tapering, if only for the time being. The only question is whether the herd will agree to this latest massive behavioral experiment by the Fed, and allocate their funds to a stock market which is now trading at a higher P/E multiple than during the last market peak.

And should this particular exercise in inflating stock bubbles fail, then gating bond funds, another “reform” which as we reported last month is in the works, should certainly force equities to unseen bubble proportions.

On the other hand, a blow off top in which the S&P rises by a few hundred points in weeks if not days may be just what this market needs for its final catharsis before everyone realizes just how insane centrally-planned things have gotten, and the long-delayed reset can finally take place. Source