Ukraine Tensions Ease for Now, BRICS Start Bank, Harry Reid Protesters are Domestic Terrorists

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[video] A deal to “de-escalate tensions” in the Eastern Ukraine has been reached between the EU, U.S., Russia and Ukraine. I guess this is good news, but I would call it extremely temporary. This is supposed to lead to disarming the pro-Russian militia and returning control of government buildings in Eastern Ukraine. Loyal Ukrainians and pro-Russian factions have been going at it, and I am not sure this deal is going to “de-escalate tensions.”

I don’t think the Russians are worried about sanctions over the Ukraine. I think they and many other countries are trying to halt the use of the U.S. dollar as fast as they can. The latest evidence of that is news of the BRICS making great strides in developing alternatives to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid says the folks that protested at the Bundy ranch in Nevada recently are “domestic terrorists.” That is harsh language, especially from the government that set up 1st Amendment zones for protestors miles away from the ranch. The 1st Amendment is everywhere in the U.S. I guess all the folks at the BLM failed civics class.

Join Greg Hunter of as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

ZeroHedge: BP Manager In Charge of Cleaning Up the Gulf Oil Spill Sold $1 Million In BP Stock Before the Severity of Spill Became Known

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The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today:

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former 20-year employee of BP p.l.c. and a senior responder during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill with insider trading in BP securities based on confidential information about the magnitude of the disaster.  The price of BP securities fell significantly after the April 20, 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and the subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in an extensive clean-up effort.


According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, BP tasked Keith A. Seilhan with coordinating BP’s oil collection and clean-up operations in the Gulf of Mexico and along the coast.  Seilhan, an experienced crisis manager, directed BP’s oil skimming operations and its efforts to contain the expansion of the oil spill


The complaint alleges that within days, Seilhan received nonpublic information on the extent of the evolving disaster, including oil flow estimates and data on the volume of oil floating on the surface of the Gulf.

Seilhan sold his family’s BP securities after he received confidential information about the severity of the spill that the public didn’t know,” said Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit.

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silverguru: The Most Important Thing Eric Sprott Ever Said

Latest video from David Morgan, the silver guru: Prepare for the coming of the greatest transfer of wealth. Buy physical silver and storable food.


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ZeroHedge: PaGiNG DR KRuGMaN…

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Paul dabbled in the occult
The spirit of Keynes he’d consult
He was told in a trance
To help debt advance
With a system collapse the result
The Limerick King

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AltInvestorshangout: Federal Reserve and the Warfare State


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I explain how the Fed has a hand in promoting in an aggressive warfare state.

ZeroHedge: “Hillary For President” Fundraiser Busted For Illegal Campaign Contributions

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If you listen carefully, you can hear the stampede of politicians distancing themselves from their once best-friend – Hotel magnate Sant Singh Chatwal – as AP reports, he plead guilty Thursday to charges he secretly funneled more than $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions to three unnamed candidates and coached someone to lie about it. Without the contributions “nobody will even talk to you,” Chatwal said. “That’s the only way to buy them, get into the system.” Welcome to the ugly truth of American politik.



The FT details that Sant Singh Chatwal, chairman of Hampshire Hotels Management, pleaded guilty on Thursday to making more than $180,000 in illegal federal campaign donations to three candidates through “straw donors” who were reimbursed, the DoJ said in a statement.

He raised at least $100,000 for Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama.


The justice department did not comment on whether Mrs Clinton was one of the three candidates, but it said there was no allegation that candidates took part in or were aware of Mr Chatwal’s scheme.


Mr Chatwal was skirting legal limits on contributions to an individual candidate’s campaign of $2,300 in 2008 and $2,400 in 2010.

As AP explains the fraud was extensive…

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ZeroHedge: Putin’s Top 10 Q&A Quotes: “The US Will Cut Off Their Nose To Spite Their Face”

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Originally posted at Russia Today,

Ukraine’s crisis was, predictably, at the center of Vladimir Putin’s annual televised interview. He said the situation can only be solved through a compromise between internal players. Below are the president’s ten most significant quotes.

“[Yanukovich] didn’t have the heart to sign an act that would see force used against his citizens”

Answering a question from an ex-Berkut – Ukrainian special forces – commander as to whether the ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has always been such a “weakling and traitor,” Putin said that Yanukovich did his duty as he thought was right, proper and necessary.

“I spoke with him, certainly, many times, during the crisis, and after he arrived in the Russian Federation; we talked about using force… The gist of his answer was that he thought about using force many times, but he didn’t have the heart to sign an act that would see force used against his citizens,” Putin said.

“Faina Ivanovna, dear, what would you need Alaska for?”

Asked by a pensioner if Alaska could follow Crimea’s example, Putin said “We’re a northern country. 70 percent of our territory is in the North or Far North. Is Alaska in the southern hemisphere? It’s cold there as well. Let’s keep cool about it,” Putin said.

According to Putin, he is also aware of the fact that some Russians call Alaska “Ice-Krym” (“Krym” is the Russian for Crimea).

“Tanks, jets against own people?! Are they nuts? Read more »

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ZeroHedge: What Oil War Premium?

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Central bank’s ongoing and so-far-successful efforts to crush short-term volatility and encourage hapless individuals into the world’s nominally rising stock markets has had consequences. Inequalities abound (rich vs poor, corporate profits vs capex/jobs, bond yields vs growth hopes) but nowhere else is this more evident – given the ever-increasing crescendo of the drum-beat of war around the world – than in oil price volatility. As the chart below shows… oil price volatility is at its lowest in 21 years. We can’t help but be reminded of Taleb’s priceless phrase that there is no freedom without noise – and no stability without volatility.”



This constant suppression of short-term volatility can lead to only one thing…

The Black Swan of Cairo

How Suppressing Volatility Makes the World Less Predictable and More Dangerous

Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks. In fact, they tend to be too calm and exhibit minimal variability as silent risks accumulate beneath the surface. Although the stated intention of political leaders and economic policymakers is to stabilize the system by inhibiting fluctuations, the result tends to be the opposite. These arti?cially constrained systems become prone to “Black Swans” — that is, they become extremely vulnerable to large-scale events that lie far from the statistical norm and were largely unpredictable to a given set of observers.


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ZeroHedge: Princeton Study Confirms ‘US Is An Oligarchy’

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Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.


- From a recent study titled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens by Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University

In response to the publication of an academic study that essentially proves the United States is nothing more than an oligarchy, many commentators have quipped sentiments that go something like “so tell me something I don’t know.” While I agree that the conclusion is far from surprising to anyone paying attention, the study is significant for two main reasons.  

First, there is a certain influential segment of the population which has a disposition which requires empirical evidence and academic studies before they will take any theory seriously. Second, some of the conclusions can actually prove quite helpful to activists who want to have a greater impact in changing things. This shouldn’t be particularly difficult since their impact at the moment is next to zero.

What is most incredible to me is that the data under scrutiny in the study was from 1981-2002. One can only imagine how much worse things have gotten since the 2008 financial crisis. The study found that even when 80% of the population favored a particular public policy change, it was only instituted 43% of the time. We saw this first hand with the bankster bailout in 2008, when Americans across the board were opposed to it, but Congress passed TARP anyway (although they had to vote twice).

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ZeroHedge: A Blueprint for Investing in Frontier Markets

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By: Mark Wallace at

Our friends at Pathfinder Capital have created an excellent report on frontier markets. These guys live and breath the frontier, putting boots on the ground where most of us wouldn’t care to visit.

Both of the founders are ex-military guys who cut their teeth in places like Libya, Iraq and eastern Europe. Chris and I have spent a lot of time with them, including at our Meet Ups in Mongolia, Cambodia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. We really respect their analysis and expertise. We recommend taking the time to download and review their report linked at the end of this post.


Courtesy of Pathfinder Capital

Last week we attended an asset management conference in London, in which the agenda featured several prominent speakers and a panel conference on emerging markets. We noted that some of the UK’s largest fund managers would be represented in the discussion, so with our curiosity piqued we walked down to Threadneedle Street in order to listen in.

For the most part the event did not disappoint – it’s always useful to hear other fund managers discuss the issues that keep them awake at night. However we were somewhat taken aback by one comment at the emerging markets panel; in general, this person (a partner at a firm claiming to focus on the emerging markets) told the audience that he didn’t see any reason to distinguish between the emerging and frontier markets, given the relatively high correlations of their currencies and equity indices.

Emerging and Frontier Markets Performance

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