Major Chinese banks ditching US dollar to prop up domestic currency

RT – July 3, 2018

China’s state-owned banks have reportedly been buying US dollars in forwards on behalf of the central bank (PBOC) and immediately selling them on the spot market for yuan to support the domestic currency.

PBOC deputy governor and head of the foreign exchange regulator Pan Gongsheng said China was confident it could keep the yuan basically stable and at a “reasonable” level.

A government central bank buys domestic currency when it wants to strengthen it. By protecting the buying power of domestic currency the country protects its citizens from inflation risks and rising consumer prices.

The government can also weaken domestic currency by selling it on the foreign exchange market. While hurting the domestic consumer, this step helps major export economies, such as China. It makes export goods cheaper to produce at home and, therefore, more competitive on the global market.

“It feels like the state-owned banks are stocking up on bullets to prevent the yuan from falling too much,” an unnamed trader at a Chinese bank in Shanghai told Reuters.

In early trade on Tuesday, yuan weakened to a low of 6.7204 against the dollar, the lowest since August 7, 2017. The Chinese currency’s downturn comes ahead of July 6, when US tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods are to kick in. Beijing has promised to retaliate with tariffs on US products.

https://www.rt.com

Merkel, Macron announce plans for new eurozone budget

DW – June 19, 2018

Germany and France have agreed to “open a new chapter” in European Union relations, after Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron met to finalize plans for sweeping reforms of the 19-member eurozone, including a new parallel budget.

Tuesday’s talks at Meseberg castle outside Berlin have a lot riding on them: Merkel’s political survival rests on her finding a European solution to prevent another influx of migrants to Germany, while both leaders have staked their reputation on further reworking the eurozone.

“We are working to make sure that the eurozone budget will be used to strengthen investment, also with the aim of strengthening convergence within the eurozone,” Merkel said.

http://www.dw.com

EU Approves Retaliatory Tariffs Against US Amid Trade Row – Reports

Sputnik News – June 14, 2018

The European Union has unanimously approved a set of retaliatory tariffs against the US trade duties, including those on whiskey and motorcycles, according to AFP citing sources.

“Member states have today unanimously supported the commission’s plan for the adoption of rebalancing measures on the US tariffs on steel and aluminum,” the media outlet reported, citing a source from the European Commission on condition of anonymity.

The retaliatory measures are expected to take effect “in coming days,” the source was quoted as saying.

Other officials claim that the measures will enter into force in early July.

The move came as a response to Donald Trump’s recent decision to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports.

https://sputniknews.com

Venezuela’s hyperinflation soars to 24,571 percent

DW – June 12, 2018

The South American country is spiraling further into a humanitarian disaster spurred by the government’s economic policies, which have caused inflation to skyrocket 24,571 percent in the past 12 months.

The opposition-dominated Venezuelan parliament issued fresh economic data on Monday, showing that inflation for the month of May spiked 110.1 percent compared with April, and sending annual inflation to a staggering 24,571 percent.

With daily inflation running at 2.4 percent, the country’s currency, the bolivar, plunged about 98 percent in the course of the past 12 months alone.

“It’s a tragedy that we are experiencing every day,” said the parliament’s finance commission spokesman Rafael Guzman as he revealed the latest figures.

http://www.dw.com

Sweden Tries to Halt Total Cashlessness With Lawmaker Proposal

Amanda BillnerNiklas MagnussonRafaela Lindeberg – June 11, 2018

(Bloomberg) — A key committee of Swedish lawmakers wants to force the country’s biggest banks to handle cash in an effort to halt the nation’s march toward complete cashlessness.

Parliament’s Riksbank committee, which is in the process of reviewing the central bank law, proposed making it mandatory for banks to offer cash withdrawals and handle daily receipts. The requirement would apply to banks that provide checking accounts and have more than 70 billion kronor ($8 billion) in deposits from the Swedish public, according to a report.

The lawmakers said there needs to be “reasonable access to those services in all of Sweden,” and that 99 percent of Swedes should have a maximum distance of 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the nearest cash withdrawal. The requirement doesn’t state how banks should offer those services, and lenders can choose whether to use a third party, machines or over-the-counter services.

The move is a response to Sweden’s rapid transformation as it becomes one of the most cashless societies in the world. That’s led to concerns that some people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope without access to mobile phones or bank cards. There are also fears around what would happen if the digital payments systems suddenly crashed.

https://www.bloombergquint.com

Europe should stand up to US threats and defend interests, ex-Austrian chancellor tells RT

RT – June 7, 2018

Europe should defend its interests from US policies that undermine the “international system of norms,” former Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said on RT’s Worlds Apart.

Schuessel, who also served as president of the European Council, told RT’s Oksana Boyko that the Trump administration posed a serious threat to the “international systems of norms” and should not be allowed to disregard international law with impunity.

Criticizing Washington’s decisions to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and initiate a trade war with its Western allies, Schuessel said that Europe “should stand up and defend our interests.” He suggested that Europe could seek remittal through international bodies such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

The former Austrian chancellor also noted that souring US-Europe relations could provide an opportunity for Brussels and Moscow to increase economic, political and security cooperation.

https://www.rt.com

EU set to implement retaliatory tariffs from July

DW – June 6, 2018

The EU executive said Wednesday it would start imposing higher duties on a number of US products in July in response to US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to slap higher tariffs on some EU exports.

The Trump administration had made up its mind not to grant the EU any exemptions from duties that had earlier been imposed on China and other nations.

As a result, European Union producers now have to put up with a 25-percent tariff on steel exports and a tariff of 10 percent on aluminum shipments to the United States.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said Wednesday that formalities in finalizing the EU’s response should be completed this month and “that the duties start applying from July.”

http://www.dw.com

U.S. Imposes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on EU, Canada, and Mexico

Michelle Moons – May 31, 2018

The United States ended a delay of steel and aluminum tariffs for the European Union, Canada, and Mexico with a proclamation on Thursday.

The proclamation means that steel and aluminum tariffs of 25 and 10 percent, respectively, temporarily delayed for these and various other countries, will now be imposed on the EU, Canada, and Mexico.

Findings of section 232 investigations into the effect of steel and aluminum imports on the national security of the United States were released in January. President Donald Trump concurred in a March proclamation with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s findings from the January reports that included “steel mill articles are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States.”

http://www.breitbart.com

Russia ready to ditch dollar in favor of euro in foreign trade – finance minister

RT – May 24, 2018

Settlements in US currency could be dropped by Russia in favor of the euro if the EU takes a stand against the latest US sanctions on Moscow, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“As we see, restrictions imposed by the American partners are of an extraterritorial nature. The possibility of switching from the US dollar to the euro in settlements depends on Europe’s stance toward Washington’s position,” said Siluanov, who is also Russia’s first deputy prime minister.

The EU initially supported Washington’s sanctions against Moscow, but has recently criticized US President Donald Trump’s policy of imposing trade restrictions on other countries. The EU was also hit by the introduction of US import duties on steel and aluminum. The situation escalated even more after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran.

“If our European partners declare their position unequivocally, we could definitely see a way to use the European common currency for financial settlements, such as payments for goods and services, which today are often subject to restrictions,” Siluanov said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

https://www.rt.com

Why America Is Heading Straight Toward The Worst Debt Crisis In History

Micheal Snyder – May 25, 2018

Today, America is nearly 70 trillion dollars in debt, and that debt is shooting higher at an exponential rate. Usually most of the focus in on the national debt, which is now 21 trillion dollars and rising, but when you total all forms of debt in our society together it comes to a grand total just short of 70 trillion dollars. Many people seem to believe that the debt imbalances that existed prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 have been solved, but that is not the case at all. We are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in history, and with each passing day that mountain of debt just keeps on getting bigger and bigger. It simply is not mathematically possible for debt to keep on growing at a pace that is many times greater than GDP growth, and at some point this absurd bubble will come to an abrupt end. So those that are forecasting many years of prosperity to come are simply being delusional. Our current standard of living is very heavily fueled by debt, and at some point we are going to hit a wall.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Comment: John Durrad http://www.setapartbytruth.org

The financial situation in America and most of the western world is at crisis level. It is clear to see that this is a forerunner of the time just ahead after the Seventh Trumpet and Third Woe of Revelation 11 is blown.

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth as lightened with his glory.
And hr cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, …
…And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:” Rev 18:1-2, 11

The merchants of the earth even now are starting to feel the pinch. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—the two government sponsored guarantors of the American housing market hold, or back about half of US mortgages. Word is that they are simply “too big to fail.”
According to Bible prophecy they will fail, not just yet, but the time of the fall of Babylon the great is edging ever closer!