Russia’s Slow Walk to Financial Independence

I've been critical of the Bank of Russia's slow-rolling their interest rate cuts for more than a year now.  This ultra-conservative approach has worked to also slow the growth of the domestic Russian credit cycle, keeping borrowing costs well above the demand for Russian debt. Last Friday the bank lowered its benchmark lending rate 25 … Continue reading Russia’s Slow Walk to Financial Independence

The Power of Siberia and China’s Next Natural Gas Moves

Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline is more than two-thirds complete.  It will be delivering gas to China by the end of this year.  A second pipeline is still under discussion. A report yesterday from Alex Mercouris at The Duran noted some frustration from China over the irregular liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies coming from its … Continue reading The Power of Siberia and China’s Next Natural Gas Moves

Marillion Live: No F.E.A.R. in Orlando

No band has had more of an effect on my adult life than Marillion.  Saying that is surprising even to me. So, seeing them for the first time since 1985 in Orlando the other night just down the road from where that club shooting took place was something I needed both personally and professionally. It … Continue reading Marillion Live: No F.E.A.R. in Orlando

February Issue of Gold Goats ‘n Guns Newsletter Released

"Now is the winter of our discontent," Shakespeare wrote a generation before Maunder Minimum gripped the planet in a vicious cold cycle that produced famine and political changes which shaped the world for centuries. The sunspot cycles are lining up for a similar generation of cold weather.  The effects of this inform this month's Gold Goats … Continue reading February Issue of Gold Goats ‘n Guns Newsletter Released

The Death of the “Death of Contagion” Central Bank Meme

Last year now-former FOMC Chair Janet Yellen downplayed the possibility of another financial crisis.  In her hubris she believes the central banks have walled off the financial system from 'contagion risks' brought on by over-investment in synthetic derivative market products. Like generals, however, central planners are always fighting the last war. We're experiencing a major … Continue reading The Death of the “Death of Contagion” Central Bank Meme

Rosneft End-Runs U.S. Kurdish Policy in Iraq

In what can only be seen as smart geopolitics, Russian state oil giant Rosneft just paid the recently vanquished Iraqi Kurds $1.3 billion for E&P (Exploration and Production) rights in their region. Remember that both Syrian and Iraqi Kurds enjoy nearly complete autonomy to govern themselves within those countries. Baghdad isn't happy, but this is … Continue reading Rosneft End-Runs U.S. Kurdish Policy in Iraq

Merkel and Schultz Will Love Germany to Death with Grand Coalition

"While our loving Watchmaker loves us all to death." -- Rush "BU2B" Politicians are cockroaches who walk upright. If there was ever an example of political leadership selling out their constituents for their own agendas it is the coalition negotiations happening in Germany right now. Both Angela Merkel and SPD Leader Martin Schultz have to retain … Continue reading Merkel and Schultz Will Love Germany to Death with Grand Coalition