Economic crisis looming?

Europeans nations are ‘repatriating their gold’??
The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has announced it is bringing home the country’s 100,000 ounces (3 tons) of gold reserves from London.
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The decision to repatriate gold reserves, in total worth some 33 billion Hungarian forint (US$130 million), was also explained as being for safety reasons, in case of a potential geopolitical crisis.

It is also in line with international trends as storage of gold reserves out of the country is now considered risky by many central banks, including Austrian, German and Dutch regulators. They have recently decided to repatriate their gold reserves.

Bron Suchecki@bronsuchecki

Hungarian National Bank not messing about when bringing back Hungary’s gold reserves – were those guys needed to protect it or to “encourage” Bank of England to let it go? http://hungarytoday.hu/news/hungarian-national-bank-decided-bring-gold-reserves-back-home-661461 

Hungary’s central bank has been keeping gold reserves since its foundation in 1924. The amount was continuously growing until World War II. The largest amount of gold held was around 65-70 tons at the beginning of the 1970s. The bank then decided to decrease gold reserves to the lowest possible level and invest in sovereign debt instead. In light of the Bretton Woods system’s collapse, the decision was considered safer, more liquid and potentially with higher yields.

Germany repatriates $28bn in Cold War gold from France & US

At the beginning of 2010, the tendency to keep reserves outside the country has changed again and central banks have started to accumulate gold as a potential response to a financial crisis.

The US and Germany are currently the world’s largest holders of gold. Hungary has one of the tiniest amounts of the precious metal compared with other Central European countries. Since 1992, Budapest’s activity has remained steady as the MNB hasn’t bought or sold any of its gold reserves.

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Sylver is a Belgian vocal trance and europop group, which originally consists of lead vocalist Silvy De Bie and keyboardist/songwriter Wout Van Dessel. They were active between 2000 until 2014, when De Bie decided to focus on her solo career.

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Silvy De Bie

Silvy became a Flanders child star when she was nine years old.

Her performance was so well-received that an independent recording studio signed her to a contract. Under the name “Silvy Melody” she recorded some songs (including a Dutch version of Ben) as solo-artist and also some numbers together with other famous Belgian singers. Many of her songs were in top 10 charts. Her career as child star stopped abruptly in 1994 due to Belgian law regarding child labour which is forbidden in Belgium.

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Market sell-off could get ‘significantly worse’ says strategist

The ongoing sell-offs in equity markets are drawing slight parallels with the crash of the late 1980s, according to Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon.

He has raised concerns around recent market moves, telling CNBC: “Without wishing to be too alarmist, there have been a few parallels to what was happening 30 years ago in terms of what’s been happening to the dollar, what’s been happening to oil prices, what’s been happening to Treasury yields.”

© Getty Images / Marty Melville

Derrick said that “It’s all very September/October 1987 from that perspective.” The strategist referred to the volatile market dubbed ‘Black Monday’ that began on October 19, 1987, in Asia before spreading to Europe and then the US later in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average then plunged more than 500 points or 22 percent in a single day.

READ MORE: Decade after financial crisis JPMorgan predicts next one’s coming soon

Derrick’s worries follow last week’s market rout that saw US stocks suffering their worst loss since March, with the Dow losing almost 1,400 points in two days. According to the strategist, the current events won’t play out like they did 31 years ago. However, he warned that a “confluence of different circumstances” could lead to a serious risk-off event, leading the market to get “significantly worse” this week.

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He explained that one of those circumstances was a no-deal Brexit. “The danger is that, in all of this, if we come back and there’s no deal that actually we end up in stasis, we end up in gridlock in parliament and actually the default is that we end up in the end of March with Article 50 being triggered with no deal, that’s the worst case.

Why do asset bubbles burst?

Financial_Markets_Wall_Street

An asset bubble occurs when the price of an asset, such as stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities, rises at a rapid pace without underlying fundamentals, such as equally fast-rising demand, to justify the price spike. … Eventually, one of several triggers causes the asset bubble to burst.

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Trump ‘bought and paid for’ by wealthy Saudis?

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“I’ll go with definition number two, Lesley.”

Even as of mid-2017, reporters were pointing Trump had some serious “conflicts of interests” in his dealings with Saudi Arabia. They pointed out that wealthy Saudis have bailed him out of bankruptcy, at least twice.

In other words, Trump owes them — ‘Big time’.

TRUMP’S CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN SAUDI ARABIA

By Carolyn Kenney and John Norris, Center for American Progress — June 14, 2017

Deals before diplomacy

President Donald Trump’s early entanglements with Saudi Arabia largely consisted of wealthy Saudis buying his assets on the cheap as he veered time and again into bankruptcy. In 1991, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal purchased Trump’s yacht, Trump Princess, after Trump was forced to surrender it to creditors because he was roughly $900 million in debt. Talal’s purchase provided Trump “with desperately needed cash” at the time, according to Newsweek. In 1995, Trump’s lenders pressured him to sell the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which Talal purchased for $325 million, $65 million less than what Trump paid for it in 1988. Over the years, Trump and Talal have exchanged Twitter jabs at one another. In one such exchange, the Saudi prince highlighted how he twice bailed Trump out, this coming after Trump retweeted an apparently Photoshopped image of Talal with television journalist Megyn Kelly, claiming the prince was a co-owner of Fox News.

[…]

As has been the pattern with Trump’s conflicts in other countries, he seemed to suddenly shift his policies toward Saudi Arabia as soon as his business interests were at stake. Speaking at a 2015 campaign rally in Alabama on the same day that he formed four of the Jeddah companies, Trump said: “Saudi Arabia, I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them?  I like them very much.” Similarly, during a January 2016 Fox News interview, Trump stated in reference to any potential future Iranian incursion in the region, “I would want to protect Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is going to have to help us economically.”

[…]

Saudi Arabia, like every other country where Trump has business interests, was exempted when the president signed an executive order suspending entry to the United States for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—as a means to thwart terrorist attacks. Notably, Saudi Arabia was not includeddespite the fact that 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks and Osama bin Laden himself were all Saudis and despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has frequently funded extremism and has been a large source of foreign fighters for the Islamic State.

[…]

There’s more to the Trump Co. (and Jared Co.) historic dependence on deep pockets Saudi exhorters “benefactors” in the above article (and in my detailed postfrom a few days ago).

And what does Saudi Royalty get in exchange for their “bought and paid-for” mouth piece in the White House?

An echo chamber for their fabricated cover stories, and a compliant parrot for their unproven denials:

“It sounded to me like maybe these could be rogue killers, who knows?” he said. The president also said King Salman “flatly denied” any knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“The denial from the Saudi King was very strong.” Trump also said.

www.businessinsider.com

Where have we heard this before?

Everyone knows “strongman killers” and “democracy hijackers” — are brutally honestwhen asked a direct question by Trump.

“Everybody knows this.”

  

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Because Killers and autocratic Dictators

— never lie.   Never.

Brexit fears are holding back UK manufacturing investment, study finds

Survey of companies finds half are holding back planned investment because of uncertainty over exit from EU.

Britain’s manufacturers are putting the brakes on investment plans as uncertainty over Brexit makes them more reluctant to spend money on new factories and machinery, a report reveals.

The amount invested by UK manufacturers in new plant and machinery has slowed to 6.5% of turnover, from 7.5% last year, according to a survey by EEF, the industry trade body, as companies press the pause button until there is further clarity on a Brexit deal.

Britain’s business community has warned the government that it must urgently agree a Brexit transition deal with the EU or risk losing UK jobs and investment.

“With global demand on the up, conditions should be ripe for industry to make new investments in capacity and productivity-enhancing technology, but Brexit means the future outlook for investment is not clearcut,” said Lee Hopley, EEF’s chief economist.

The 328 companies taking part in the annual EEF/Santander investment monitor were almost evenly split over whether they intend to increase spending in the next two years.

A small majority, 51.1% of manufacturers, intended to spend more on plant and machinery, either to replace obsolete equipment or to take advantage of new opportunities on the back of an improved global outlook.

For the other half, uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the EU was holding back planned investment, while there was also little focus on investing to improve process efficiency.

Hopley said the chancellor, Philip Hammond, should use his forthcoming budget on 22 November to introduce measures that would encourage business investment.

“Political uncertainty is adding to the hurdles of cost and lack of skills in holding back spending on automation technology,” she said. “The forthcoming budget can at least start to address the latter of these challenges, starting with an ambitious industrial strategy that tackles barriers to investment head on and ensures UK manufacturers are equipped to compete for the future.”

Official figures to be published on Wednesday are expected to show UK growth stalled at 0.3% in the third quarter, having grown at the same rate in both the first and second quarters of 2017.

However, George Brown, an economist at Investec, said a weak growth rate of 0.3% in the third quarter was unlikely to scupper the Bank of England’s plans for an interest rate rise at its November meeting. If the Bank’s monetary policy committee does raise rates from an all-time low of 0.25% next month, it would be the first increase in more than a decade.

Another leading UK business trade body, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), also urged the government to use next month’s budget to help companies prepare for Brexit rather than prioritise “goodies and giveaways”.

“The best possible Brexit deal won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if conditions for growth aren’t right here at home,” said Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC. “The chancellor has a unique chance to move the dial on growth and productivity now, leaving the UK in a position to succeed over the long term. Action to slash the up-front costs faced by business, to incentivise investment, and to improve mobile coverage and infrastructure would lead to a real boost to productivity, wages and trade.”

The lobby group’s proposals included a special Brexit investment allowance, to incentivise business investment during the process of leaving the EU.

“At a critical moment for the UK economy, the chancellor must be bold and deliver a big budget that prioritises economic confidence and investment,” Marshall said. “A budget that prioritises goodies and giveaways rather than future-proofing the economy would be a dereliction of duty by the government as a whole.”

The Federation of Small Businesses called on Hammond to use his budget to provide investment to deliver on promised improvements in the UK’s broadband and road networks.

The body urged the chancellor to make good on its 2015 commitment to a universal service obligation, providing UK-wide access to broadband by 2020. It also called on the government to provide support for the major road network initiative, which aims to increase investment in routes under local authority control in England.

“The UK has slower download speeds than Romania, Bulgaria and Thailand,” said Mike Cherry, the FSB national chairman. “We welcome the government’s commitment to an ambitious industrial strategy. But clearly we’re not going to have an economy of highly paid, highly productive workers when a significant proportion of businesses can’t even access the internet.”

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Saudis thought Trump would shrug at killing journalist, may have thought they were doing him a favor

On Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting with Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. One focus of their discussion is the disappearance and suspected murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo has already thanked the Saudis for “supporting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation” even though they have yet to allow Turkish authorities into the consulate, have presented a false covert story of “tourists” for a group of Saudi intelligence agencies entering the country, and repeatedly provided false information in saying that Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he came in. To date, the Saudis have been anything but transparent, done everything possible to delay, and have stalled every attempt to get to the truth. Pompeo is praising the Saudis, when they have not only very likely murdered Khashoggi, but obfuscated and lied on every aspect of his fate.

At a Monday chat with the press, Donald Trump suggested that Khashoggi was done in by “rogue killers.” Killers who apparently boarded a plane in Saudi Arabia, landed in Istanbul, came inside the consulate, detained, beat, killed and dismembered Khashoggi using a bone saw, left in a black van taking the journalist’s severed body with them, reboarded a plane, and flew back to Saudi Arabia. Also on Monday, several sources reported that the Saudis would float a new story, one in which Khashoggi was detained for questioning and “accidentally” killed. But despite wide reporting, no official Saudi source has yet offered up this explanation.

According to CNN, Turkish authorities are reporting that they will, at last, be given access to the consulate building on Tuesday. Turkish sources have previously stated that they had both audio and video evidence that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate.

Through the whole incident, Donald Trump has insisted that the United States is deeply concerned—unless, of course, it would hurt a $110 billion arms agreement with Saudi Arabia. That arms sale is helping to enable the Saudi intrusion into Yemen, where US bombs have been dropped on a school bus, as well as other civilian targets. The invasion of Yemen is one of the topics that most concerned Khashoggi, and was connected to his departure from Saudi Arabia. But there was another reason that Khashoggi fell out of favor with Saudi leader bin Salman, and that connection makes what’s already an unimaginably ugly incident even uglier.

Saudi authorities banned journalist Jamal Khashoggi from writing in newspapers, appearing on TV and attending conferences, the Alkhalij Aljadid reported in Arabic.

This came after Khashoggi’s remarks during a presentation he made at a Washington think-tank on 10 November in which he was critical of Donald Trump’s ascension to the US presidency.

It may not be simply that Mohammed bin Salman thought Donald Trump would look the other way if he ordered the murder of Khashoggi—he may well have thought he was doing Trump a favor. After all, Trump has made his position about the press exceeding clear.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!

And even before the election, Trump had suggested a solution.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Many journalists are honest and great – but some are knowingly dishonest and basic scum. They should.be weeded out!

Not only has Trump presented the press as the enemy, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s willing to defend those who murder journalists to shut them up. Here is Trump talking about the murder of journalists by Vladimir Putin.

“He’s always denied it. It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody,” Trump said. “So, you know, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”

And Trump talking about the actions of the Saudi ruler in connection with the death of Khashoggi.

Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened “to our Saudi Arabian citizen.” He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer.

Saudi Arabia, where 48 people were officially beheaded in state-sanctioned executions in just the first four months of 2018 as part of the “anti-corruption” campaign that saw Mohammed bin Salman take firm control over the country, had every reason to believe that they could get away with killing Khashoggi without incurring any punishment from the United States. Trump had already shrugged his shoulders at nearly 200 Russian journalists killed under Putin, and he had repeatedly spoken of US journalists in terms that, in Saudi Arabia, would immediately justify being put to death.

But is the connection stronger than that? Did bin Salman expect that Trump would not just ignore Khashoggi’s murder … but praise it? Reports have indicated that the US knew of threats to Khashoggi months ago. Did Trump know?

And was Jamal Khashoggi a subject of discussion between Mohammed bin Salman and Donald Trump or Jared Kushner?

The first opportunity for that discussion came before Trump even moved into the White House. Khashoggi’s statements about Donald Trump, the ones that got him banned from any reporting in Saudi Arabia, came on November 10, 2016, immediately following Trump’s election. Just six days later, when press reports suggested that few foreign leaders had spoken with Donald Trump, Trump insisted that he had spoken with “many foreign leaders” including “Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia.”

How difficult is it to believe that on that occasion, one of the topics might have been Saudi leaders pointing out to Trump that they had moved swiftly to silence anti-Trump voices in their media?

On May 20, 2017, Donald Trump and Jared Kushner arrived in Riyadh for Trump’s first trip outside the US. It was the first time that any U.S. president made Saudi Arabia his first trip outside the country, bypassing more traditional trips to Canada or the UK. On that same visit, Donald Trump announced an arms deal for Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion, the largest arms deal in history. While there, Trump and Kushner met with both Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and not-yet crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Before going on that trip, Trump made his first tweets declaring journalists not just “losers” or “fake” but the enemy of the people. He repeated that charge in a tweet just a day after returning. How unlikely is it that the subject of journalists in general, and maybe Khashoggi in particular—who was by that time living in the United States—would have come up in the discussion?

Everything about what Trump has said, every indication he has made, has demonstrated that he’s willing to accept the denial of authoritarian dictators. Among those executed by beheading in Saudi Arabia are those whose “crime” consisted of being critical of bin Salman. The Saudi leader had every reason to think that Trump wouldn’t just ignore his murder of Jamal Khashoggi, but would thank him for the act.

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