Why King Coal Will Keep Its Crown

For climate change activists and those hoping for an energy future dominated by renewables or even less-polluting natural gas, the death of coal cannot come quickly enough. But with coal still the dominant form of cheap electricity throughout the world, it is unlikely the bogeyman of climate change will disappear anytime soon.
That’s because the price of coal, compared to other fuels, is just too good to refuse. Just look at China, where the country’s double-digit economic growth has largely been fueled by coal, which fulfills 60 percent of its energy mix.
According to a chart showing the levelized cost of energy — the price at which electricity must be generated from a source to break even — coal is the second-cheapest form of energy behind hydropower, at $40 per megawatt hour.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/17/2014.

The New Great Game Round-Up: September 15, 2014

China- Russia Keep a Very Close Eye on the Islamic State, SCO Counts on India-Pakistan in Dealing with Afghan Chaos & More!*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U. S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.
When the heads of state and the heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization gathered in Wales last week for the 2014 NATO summit, Western media made a big fuss about the underwhelming meeting hailing it as ‘one of the most important summits in NATO’s history’ but when the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held a historic summit in Tajikistan one week later, it did not even make the news in the West. Although the heads of state of the SCO are not exactly on the same page when it comes to Ukraine, they found common ground and they also agreed on a number of other issues. In a swipe at Washington, the SCO leaders condemned any unilateral buildup of missile defense systems and, most importantly, they finally approved the documents for the admission of new members:
SCO approves new procedure for joining organization The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have approved a new procedure for joining the organization, RIA Novosti reported.
Memorandum on the obligations of a State wishing to join the SCO was signed after the meeting of the Council of the Heads of the Member States of the SCO in Dushanbe Sept. 12.
New admission rules will allow including India and Pakistan into the SCO at the next summit in 2015. India and Pakistan have already applied for full membership in the organization.

This post was published at Boiling Frogs Post on Christoph Germann | September 15, 2014.

This Russian Trend Is Not Europe’s Friend

The cold war is on, literally, because it will determine who will survive Europe’s upcoming cold winter – a Europe with decreasing Russian gas supplies, or Russia now officially starved of Western sources of funding. The “Plan Bs” – Europe has record gas inventories in storage giving it hope it can last out an entire winter without any incremental Russian gas, while Russia is increasingly reliant and hoping on China-based sources of funding. While it remains to be seen just how Russian corporations will react to the recently imposed credit starvation, the chart below shows the steps Russia is now taking ahead of the European winter. Clearly, the trend in Russian gas supplies into Europe’s core distribution hub, Slovakia, is not Europe’s friend.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/17/2014.

What draws Modi to China

Modi is due to visit the U.S. in exactly twelve days from now. But there is nothing of the American rhetoric that used to mark a Manmohan Singh visit to the White House.
An idea was thought of initially to propitiate Modi by granting him the privilege of addressing the US Congress. But it has been quietly shelved.
The heart of the matter is that there had been a pronounced ‘militarization’ of India’s strategic outlook through the past 10-15 years, which was a period of high growth in the economy that seemed to last forever.
In those halcyon days, geopolitics took over strategic discourses and pundits reveled in notions of India’s joint responsibility with the United States, the sole superpower, to secure the global commons and the ‘Indo-Pacific’. 

This post was published at Asia Times

CHINESE STATE MEDIA: THIRD WORLD WAR COULD BREAK OUT OVER US/RUSSIA CLASH

Beijing must prepare for new global conflict, warns PLA professor In an editorial for the state-run People’s Daily, Chinese PLA Professor Han Xudong warns that Beijing should prepare itself for a third world war which could arise out of the conflict between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.
‘As the Ukrainian crisis deepens, international observers have become more and more concerned about a direct military clash between the US and Russia. Once an armed rivalry erupts, it is likely to extend to the globe. And it is not impossible that a world war could break out,’ writes Xudong, noting that ‘the world has entered an era of new forms of global war’ based around the Internet and the concept of sea power.
The professor goes on to predict, ‘It’s likely that there will be a third world war to fight for sea rights,’ and that in order for China to be ready for this new conflict, Beijing needs to, ‘develop its military power based on a global war’ so as to guard against becoming a passive victim of events.

This post was published at Info Wars by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | SEPTEMBER 16, 2014.

Crude Oil Collapses – Plot Against Russia or Economics?

The global demand for oil is declining as the United States moves toward self-sufficiency and is the only nation still in a positive economic trend. Everywhere else we see the global economy turning down since 2007 including China and Russia no less Europe. But the level of pessimism in the USA does not imply a bull market for commodities no less oil.
The oil price has fallen in the past week for the first time since one and a half years under the $ 100 mark dropping to test the $90 level. On our models, the critical support lies at $92 and $82 going into 2015. A year-end closing below $92 will shift oil into a neutral position whereas a 2014 closing below $82 will warn of a sharp decline cannot be ruled out.
The global oil demand rose by only 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in the second quarter. This increase in oil demand is the lowest in almost 3 years. The only place where demand has risen is in North America, whereas in Europe and Asia demand has been noted generally less. The recent slowdown in demand growth is exceptional in fact but the rising levels of taxation and the rise in draconian policies in Europe to bail out banks and municipal governments has seriously impacted expectation no less the fact that youth unemployment remains over 60%. This has impacted everything and is even sending marriage trends back to the 19th century where the age differentials are widening drastically. Girls are marrying increasingly older men to be able to start families since those near their own age in Europe are the equivalent of marrying someone virtually homeless living with their parents.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 16, 2014.

The Great Unraveling

It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen? It was a time of beheadings. With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright sunlight, a Muslim with a British accent cut off the heads of two American journalists and a British aid worker. The jihadi seemed comfortable in his work, unhurried. His victims were broken. Terror is theater. Burning skyscrapers, severed heads: The terrorist takes movie images of unbearable lightness and gives them weight enough to embed themselves in the psyche. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: Everything is going to hell and no one does anything, especially the great powers.
Free-Market Analysis: This Times editorial was featured at the top of the well-known Drudge Report and has obviously had an impact on the chattering classes.
It’s written in pseudo-liturgical cadences and is reminiscent of the great allegorical poem that we have often quoted by WB Yeats, “The Second Coming.”
Yeats’s poem is justly famous for the serious nature of his topic, which was the end of World War I and the ruin it had left behind. The ruin was both cultural and spiritual. After “The Great War” few certainties remained untouched. The brutal sacrifice of so many lives to achieve nothing of import led to extreme nihilism and end of cultural certainty. We live with that today.
This article has those intonations, and the Internet is buzzing over its construction and presentation. Here’s one reaction, posted at the blog Patheos.com:
The Great Unraveling: A Necessary Look at Reality … This morning, the New York Times published an exquisitely-written dose of reality via Roger Cohen. If “only Nixon could go to China” then perhaps only a NYT columnist could spell this out and thus permit us to credibly acknowledge that the center is not holding.

This post was published at The Daily Bell By Staff News & Analysis – September 16, 2014.

China to invest $100 billion in India over 5 years

Chinese president Xi Jinping will bring along with him $100 billion or Rs 6 lakh crore of investment commitments over five years during his upcoming India visit next week. This is nearly thrice the $35 billion secured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Japan trip.
Jinping will land in Modi's home state Gujarat on September 17 — the Prime Minister's birthday — following his visit of Tajikistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Confirming this, Liu Youfa, China's consul-general in Mumbai, told TOI, "On a conservative estimate, I can say that we will commit investments of over $100 billion or thrice the investments committed by Japan during our President Xi Jinping's visit next week. These will be made in setting up of industrial parks, modernization of railways, highways, ports, power generation, distribution and transmission, automobiles, manufacturing, food processing and textile industries."

This post was published at India Times

China Russia v USA Europe

China has aligned itself with Russia as often an ally in the international arena. China has made it known that it stands ready to use the right of ‘veto’ any decision of the UN Security Council on the situation in Ukraine directed against Russia. To a large extent, our sources have been highlighting the outrage the world has had about the NSA and its wholesale collecting of everything on a global basis right down to tapping into Merkel’s personal phone calls. The price of the NSA has been the reversal of everything administrations sought to accomplish since Richard Nixon in making the world more peaceful. The paranoia of the NSA is reminiscent of Stalin who could not sleep at night worrying about who might be thinking about his demise. The NSA has rekindled the threat of world war and its arrogance is strangely the same aspect that led to the fall of the Athenian Empire as one-by-one its allies turned against it because of its lack of respect for other countries.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 15, 2014.

Who Started World War I?

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, By Christopher Clark, HarperCollins, New York 2013, 697pp.
The question of the causes of the outbreak of the First World War – known for many years during and afterwards as the Great War – is probably the most hotly contested in the whole history of historical writing.
At the Paris Peace Conference, the victors compelled the vanquished to accede to the Versailles Treaty. Article 231 of that treaty laid sole responsibility for the war’s outbreak on Germany and its allies, thus supposedly settling the issue once and for all.
The happy Entente fantasy was brutally challenged when the triumphant Bolsheviks, with evident Schadenfreude, began publishing the Tsarist archives revealing the secret machinations of the imperialist ‘capitalist’ powers leading to 1914. This action led the other major nations to publish selective parts of their own archives in self-defense, and the game was afoot.
Though there were holdouts, after a few years a general consensus emerged that all of the powers shared responsibility, in varying proportions according to the various historians.
In the 1960s, this consensus was temporarily broken by Fritz Fischer and his school, who reaffirmed the Versailles judgment. But that attempt collapsed when critics pointed out that Fischer and his fellow Germans focused only on German and Austrian policies, largely omitting parallel policies among the Entente powers.
And so the debate continues to this day. A meritorious and most welcome addition is The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by the Cambridge University historian Christopher Clark.
Clark explains his title: the men who brought Europe to war were ‘haunted by dreams, yet blind to the reality of the horror they were about to bring into the world.’ The origins of the Great War is, as he states, ‘the most complex event of modern history,’ and his book is an appropriately long one, 697 pages, with notes and index.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on September 15, 2014.

US Equity Futures Unable To Rally Despite Avalanche Of Bad Global News

Any other Monday and futures would be scorching higher. After all it was a nearly perfect storm of bad news: from China’s disastrous economic news, the worst since Lehman, to the Scottish vote where the latest poll tally had the Yes between 46% and 54%, to the dispatch of a second Russian humanitarian convoy into Ukraine, an event which a month ago sent the S&P 500 crashing, to ISIS openly defying the US by signing a non-agression pact with the “moderate” Syrian rebels to launching a new splinter group in Algeria and threatening to take over the Suez Canal, to the BIS once again warning about bubbles and complacency, and culminating with the Pope himself warning that World War III may have started, surely the S&P would be well over 2000 on any new normal day if not at new record highs.
Yet something appears to have changed not only because the USDJPY is not some 100 pips higher overnight on, well, nothing but because the S&P, which is treading water, has yet to spike on no volume reasons unknown. That something may be algos which are too confused to buy ahead of this week’s Fed announcement which may or may not have some notable changes in language or the Scottish referendum on the 18th. Or it could simply be that algos are no longer allowed to openly manipulate and rig the market on the CME as of today now that “disruptive market practices” are banned (why weren’t they before)?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2014.

Washington’s War Against Russia – Paul Craig Roberts

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Washington’s War Against Russia
The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government. If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 14, 2014.

Fifty-three percent of Chinese polled believe World War 3 will happen soon

September 2014 – BEIJING – 53 percent of respondents in China thought that China and Japan would have a shooting war in the next six years, which may inevitably lead to war on a world-wide scale. The poll highlighted the deep-rooted mistrust that exists between the two countries, and the pessimistic world view that could lead to World War 3. The poll was jointly conducted by the China Daily and Japanese NGO Genron. Although the majority of Chinese respondents thought there’d be war by 2020, only 29 percent of Japanese felt that same way. Nevertheless, high feelings of mistrust existed on both sides. 93 percent of Japanese had a negative impression of the burgeoning Asian superpower, and 87 percent of Chinese felt the same way about Japan. It’s a hatred that has run deep since World War 2. In fact, China just recently marked the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the World War. The Chinese government has even declared it a national day, right as tensions continue to rise. Japan isn’t helping matters much either. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized as being ‘insensitive’ after visiting the Yasukuni shrine in January. The shrine is dedicated to those who died in war, including convicted war criminals. Most disturbing of all is the conflict over the Senkaku islands (known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Pinnacle Rocks in English-speaking countries.) The islands have been a potential flash-point, with both sides claiming ownership despite Japanese administrative control.

This post was published at UtopiatheCollapse on September 14, 2014.

Chaos of War – The Next Will Be no CNN TV Special

According to reliable sources, the primary reason I have been for backing off of war is because this is by no means going to be some TV CNN special where you watch things be blown up on TV as if it were a surreal movie or video game. First, Russia has intercontinental nuclear capability but it also has battle-field tactical nuclear weapons that would be used if their troops were truly going to lose. Secondly, China will support Russia and has already come out and taken their position against the arrogant posturing of the United States. Thirdly, there are sleeper cells within the United States that will take out power-grids and poison water supply. Cut the power and the USA will fall into chaos in a matter of days. In part, this is why Homeland Security has bought more than 1700 tanks for domestic use and it is also the thinking behind 1033 and the militarization of the police domestically. Either way, be it sovereign default on pensions and social programs that are inevitable or a domestic attack that takes out power-grids and poisons the water supply, troops are here to react. Homeland Security has been staging military drills taking various cities without notice to local politicians.
The stupid warlike Republicans who want to attack ISIS had better think twice before going down this road. If America puts boots on the ground, we will be drawn deeper and deeper into a war that nobody is going to win.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 13, 2014.

Dropping Oil Prices Put These Countries at Risk

Executive Report with ISA Intel: This report is part of Oil & Energy Insider, the Oilprice.com premium publication. It gives subscribers an information advantage when investing, trading, or doing business in the energy sectors.
The oil markets woke up at the end of the summer of 2014 realizing that there was not as much demand out there as they thought. Suddenly, the world is flush with supplies, and there aren’t enough buyers out there to gobble it all up.
That has Brent prices at their lowest levels in over two years.
The International Energy Agency said that weakening demand for oil worldwide is ‘nothing short of remarkable.’ What is even more remarkable is the blunt language used by the IEA, usually a buttoned-up and bureaucratic bunch.
But for the third month in a row the IEA was forced to slash its demand forecast for 2014. The agency now expects oil demand to grow by just 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) between 2013 and 2014, a downward revision of 65,000 bpd from a month earlier. It is also 300,000 bpd less than what the IEA expected for the year in its July report.
For 2015, growth in oil demand is expected to only reach 1.2 million bpd, or 165,000 bpd less than the agency thought one month ago. The agency pins the slowdown on weak growth in Europe and China.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi responded to reporters’ questions about what OPEC would do. Prices ‘always fluctuate and this is normal,’ he said. He dismissed the notion that OPEC would resort to drastic measures to prop up prices.
‘We are confident that the current price drop does not call for an emergency meeting…. The price drop was not big and was expected…. I expect it to rebound again,’ Kuwait oil minister Ali Saleh Al-Omair said.

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 12, 2014.

U.S. Syrian Rebels & U.S. ISIS Agree On A ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact – Episode 466

The following video was published by X22Report on Sep 12, 2014
Australia’s part time jobs skyrocketed on the latest report. Spanish and Italian debt are at record highs. Consumers believe the recovery illusion. Retail sales down, but the push for sub prime auto loans makes it seem like retail is improving. Spain is moving towards a civil war, riot gear has been purchased. China seeking expansion of strategic ties with Iran. UK building 3 bases for the upcoming war. US trying to prove Assad is apart of how ISIS makes it money. FSA and ISIS make a non aggression pact to fight Assad. US reporting that ISIS now has anti aircraft weapons and bombing will not help. ISIS is now creating a cyber caliphate to cyber attack the financial institutions and the power infrastructure. Be prepared for a false flag event.

China Daily: “Western Sanctions Will Make Moscow Back The Chinese Yuan Against The Dollar”

Op-Ed posted in China Daily
West’s Antics Pushing Russia closer to China
The recent NATO summit in Wales, held against the background of the armed conflict in Ukraine, has brought back the Cold War atmosphere to Europe. NATO’s partnership with Russia remains formally suspended. In fact, NATO is treating Russia more as an adversary than a partner.
The alliance is setting up a “Rapid Reaction Force” to deal with emergencies on Europe’s eastern flank. The alliance’s military infrastructure is moving toward that exposed flank, and closer to Russia’s borders. NATO forces will now spend more time exercising in the east, and their presence there will visibly grow. NATO-leaning Ukraine, which the alliance alleges is an object of “Russian aggression”, has been promised financial and military support.
The Ukraine crisis is not just about Eastern Europe, it is also about the world order. The Kremlin is seeking Washington’s recognition of what it regards as its core national security interest: keeping Ukraine as a buffer zone between Russia and the West, particularly NATO. Washington, on principle, denies Moscow this “imperial privilege”, and insists on the freedom of all countries, including Ukraine, to choose alliances and affiliations.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/12/2014.

US Unveils Latest Russian Sanctions, Putin Immediately Responds That Russia Drafting Retaliation

Moments ago, as was widely preannounced, the US Treasury unveiled its latest round of Russian sanctions. While the bigger picture was well-known, here are some of the highlights:
U. S. SANCTIONS FOCUS ON FINANCIAL, ENERGY, DEFENSE SECTORS U. S. TREASURY ADDS SBERBANK TO SANCTIONS LIST, U. S. TREASURY SANCTIONS AFFECTS GAZPROM, GAZPROM NEFT, LUKOIL, ROSNEFT, AND SURGUTNEFTGAZ U. S. TIGHTENS DEBT FINANCING RESTRICTIONS TO 30 DAYS As Bloomberg reports, action deepens existing sanctions on Russian financial institutions, expands sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, targets additional energy- and defense-related firms, U. S. Treasury says in statement. “Today’s actions demonstrate our determination to increase the costs on Russia as long as it continues to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen says in statement
Treasury Dept says it ‘maintains significant scope to expand these sanctions.’
Sberbank added to sanctions list; Treasury also tightens ‘debt financing restrictions by reducing from 90 days to 30 days the maturity period’ for sanctioned banks
Also imposes sanctions that ‘prohibit the exportation of goods, services (not including financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production for Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil’
Step affects 5 cos.: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft, Treasury says
And instantly: PUTIN: GOVT DRAFTING PROPOSALS TO RETALIATE AGAINST SANCTIONS
PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA TO RETALIATE ONLY IF IT SERVES ITS INTERESTS PUTIN SEES MORE POSITIVES THAN NEGATIVES IN LATEST SANCTIONS PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE `HELD HOSTAGE’ BY OUTSIDE INTERESTS PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA WON’T IMPOSE TRAVEL BANS IN RETALIATION So back to square one, as Russia and China get progressively closer.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/12/2014.

11/9/2014: Some Recent Links on Ukrainian Conflict

Here is an interesting compendium of academic and analysts’ voices dissenting from the prevalent Nato/US rhetoric on the long-term prospects for Nato’s role in Ukraine. Note: some of the links come via RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency, which is hardly surprising, given the consistent spin in the opposite direction that we get from the traditional Western media. Another note: this collection of links is not a comprehensive reflection of the reality. It is not designed to be such. In reality, nothing is/can be comprehensive, especially when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine. My point is that much of what we are bombarded with in the social media and traditional media is one-sided. Here is a different side to the same stories. Ukraine and Nato: “The world could plunge into a new Cold War with Russia and China emerging as a new financial centers, unless the West changes the existing financial structures, a professor at University of California, Davis Wing Thye Woo said …at the discussion at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.’I think that if changes do not occur in the international [financial] institutions of today, I think that we are basically encouraging a China-Russian alliance to formulate an alternative center to the US,’ Woo said.”

This post was published at True Economics on September 11, 2014.

U.S. Free Syrian Army & U.S. Created Islamic State Working Together To Remove Assad – Episode 464

The following video was published by X22Report on Sep 10, 2014
French economy is imploding and is now being blamed for collapsing the rest of the Euro zone. Mortgage applications continue to fall. The FED is now asset stripping local government to protect banks from bank runs. Russia and China are in talks to create their own SWIFT payment system. China is deploying troops to protect its investments in South Sudan. Forces are being prepared to go into Libya. President Obama has been warned by Syria and Russia not to bomb Syria. The Islamic State has its eye on Saudi Arabia. The U. S. Free Syrian Army is now working with the U. S. created Islamic State to fight against Assad. The goal is the same, remove Assad and attack Iran. Be prepared for a false flag event which will lead to WWIII.