Russian Foreign Minister: US Military Must Leave All Of Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Thursday that US forces must leave all of Syria. Speaking to Interfax news agency, Lavrov stated that the UN Security Council has not approved the work of the United States and its coalition in Syria, nor has been invited by the legitimate Syrian government.
Concerning a prior statement by US Defense Secretary James Matisse voicing the intent for US troops to stay in Syria until achieving progress in a political settlement, Lavrov pointed out that such statement is ‘surprising’ because it means that Washington reserves the right to determine such progress and wants to maintain control over parts of Syrian territory in order to achieve the result it wants.
The Russian minister affirmed that according to the UNSC No.2254, which the United States supported, the decision on the future of Syria can only be taken by the Syrian people and this is what Moscow will begin with as a starting point in its contacts with the Americans later.
He also expressed his satisfaction that cooperation with the US in Syria is possible if the Americans’ goal is to fight terrorism.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Thu, 12/28/2017 –.

US Slashes United Nations’ Budget By $285 Million Following “Stunning” Jerusalem Rebuke

The United States announced a $285 million cut in the United Nations’ “bloated” budget for next year, negotiated by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. A statement by the United States Mission to the United Nations reads:
Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. -Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget. In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U. S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.
Pleased with the cuts, Haley added “you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency’ while protecting our interests.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 25, 2017.

Next Phase in Forcing Biometric Tracking on Consumers

Ironically, banks in Mexico lead the way. In 2018, banks in Mexico will face new regulations that will oblige them to collect biometric data (finger prints and iris scans) on all of their customers. Whenever a customer asks for a new home or car loan, cashes in a paycheck, applies for a credit card or opens a new savings account, the bank in question will have to request the customer’s digital fingerprints and then match those fingerprints with data against information in the database of the National Electoral Institute.
Foreign-owned subsidiaries of global banks like BBVA and Citi are thrilled with the initiative arguing that it will help them combat identity theft. Most high street lenders in Mexico have already agreed to help build a single biometric database, says Marcos Martnez, president of Mexico’s Banking Association (ABM).
The ultimate goal is to develop a unique identification system that will work alongside the government’s national ID scheme, which is in the final stages of development. According to the former Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (and now presidential candidate for the governing PRI party), Jos Antonio Meade, by the summer of 2018 all Mexicans will have a single biometric identification number.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Dec 23, 2017.

You Milked It, You Own It

This is the sort of horse**** that really pisses me off.
Like everyone in my generation, I am finding it increasingly difficult not to be scared about the future and angry about the past.
I am 35 years old – the oldest millennial, the first millennial – and for a decade now, I’ve been waiting for adulthood to kick in. My rent consumes nearly half my income, I haven’t had a steady job since Pluto was a planet and my savings are dwindling faster than the ice caps the baby boomers melted.
So let me see if I get this right. You’re 35, which means you were of voting age when Obamacare was passed. You went to college after the scam of ramping college prices, driven by student loans, went into place. In other words you got to vote for the majority of that **** too.
But generalizations about millennials, like those about any other arbitrarily defined group of 75 million people, fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. Contrary to the clich, the vast majority of millennials did not go to college, do not work as baristas and cannot lean on their parents for help. Every stereotype of our generation applies only to the tiniest, richest, whitest sliver of young people.
Well that last sentence is true.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-16.

Oil Producers Turning To Crypto To Solve Sanctions Problems

Authored by Tom Luongo,
Last week, Venezuela announced it would develop a national cryptocurrency backed by its oil reserves, the Petro. Now there is a report that Russia is considering the same thing. Iran will likely follow suit.
As of right now this is just a rumor, but it makes some sense. So, let’s treat this rumor as fact for the sake of argument and see where it leads us.
The U. S. continues to sanction and threaten all of these countries for daring to challenge the global status quo. There is no denying this. And so much of what we see in the geopolitical headlines are knock-on effects of this challenge.
The Geopolitical ‘Why’
From the Middle East to North Korea, the Dutch changing their laws to block Nordstream 2 to the Saudis breaking off relations with Qatar, everything you read about in the news is a move on the geopolitical ‘Go’ board.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.

NUDGE, NUDGE, WINK, WINK

As you may or may not have noticed I have added a new advertiser to replace Amazon. They are called MyFinance. Sadly, none of their ads have boobs. Their ads are under every post and the Savings Rate and Mortgage Refinance ads on the sidebar are theirs. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if you checked out their ads on a regular basis to help old TBP pay the bills. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. If you get my drift. I also signed up with BJ’s online. That’s the wholesale club for you dirty minded old men. Their ad is on the right side too.

The Burning Platform


This post was published at The Burning Platform on Dec 9, 2017.

India’s $207 Billion Mess Is Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity For Asia’s Richest Banker

In October, we discussed Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s, decision to hand over $32bn to recapitalise India’s state banks. The motivation was India’s slowing growth rate and the need to add one million Indians to the workforce every month. Crippled by massive bad debts, the state-owned banks were struggling to extend more credit to the economy. The announcement caused a surge in India’s Sensex equity index, led by the banks. India has the second highest bad debt ratio of the world’s largest economies – possibly third since China’s official figure is patently incorrect.
***
Enter Uday Kotak, Asia’s richest banker (net worth over $10 billion) and managing director of India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Kotak is a self-made man. Turning down a job offer from a multinational, he set up a financial services conglomerate, beginning with bills discounting before adding stockbroking, investment banking, mutual funds and car finance. Kotak thinks he’s spotted a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ in Indian finance…so it probably bears considering. Nor is he alone as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds are also taking a close look. The opportunity is in India’s bad loans, as Bloomberg explains.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 22, 2017.

In China, More Regulation Does Not Mean More Enforcement

Editor’s Note: The future is predictable. The more you know what is about to be, the more you can plan accordingly. We want to help you prepare, but first we need to know what you need to know. Take our survey and tell us what we should produce next. At the end of this month, we’ll answer you with a video series addressing your top three concerns about geopolitics.
Last week, Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan penned a letter, published on the bank’s website, discussing problems in China’s financial sector. His letter focused on the private sector, where poor regulatory oversight has encouraged the creation of bubbles in areas such as online lending and real estate. It also discussed the uncertainty over where local government authority ends and central authority begins, citing this as a reason for the difficulty of managing the financial system.
This coincides with recent central government efforts to better control outbound and inbound investment – efforts that have proven hard to enforce. Taken together, this shows that top government officials in China understand, and aren’t afraid to talk about, the problems in the financial system. But there are no simple solutions. Creating new committees and regulations is easy; pre-empting problems and enforcing changes are not.
Of all the Chinese economy’s problems, none are more serious than those in its financial sector, because a failure of the financial system would hurt the entire economy. Firms starved of finances would shut down or slim down, creating unemployment and thus social instability. Instability in a tightly controlled country of 1.4 billion people is potentially catastrophic. To fight this threat, China last week did what it does – it created a new regulatory body, the Financial Stability and Development Commission, to regulate shadow banking, asset management, peer-to-peer Internet finance, and financial holding companies.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on NOVEMBER 13, 2017.

How Mother Theresa Cash Propped-up the Vatican Bank

Technically, she was one of the richest women in the world, although her fortune is all for charity and held in trust.
Born Agnes Gonxha in Albania, Mother Teresa founded the world-famous ‘Missionaries of Charity’ and spent the majority of her life in Calcutta, India, providing care for people living in poverty there. Before her passing in 1997, she had opened 517 missions in more than 100 countries.
Her brand of altruism soon developed a worldwide reputation, with her name becoming synonymous with good deeds and earthy sacrifice in the service of the poor.
In 2003, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was beatified by the Vatican, approaching sainthood.
She was not without her critics however. Accusations of mishandling cash followed the iconic charity figure after her death. Critics maintain that the hundreds of millions of dollars collected by her foundation have not been distributed as effectively as many thought.
This week another new chapter to this story has emerged. According to a newly-released book by Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, it was Mother Teresa’s cash savings which helped to prop-up the Vatican’s shadowy financial institution, and that if she had withdrew those funds the bank could have potentially defaulted, said Italy’s La Presse magazine.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on November 10, 2017.