Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Finanza e Sistema Bancario

Canada. Come negli Stati Uniti i fondi pensione sono in grave sofferenza.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-15.

2022-08-14__ Canada. Come negli Stati Uniti i fondi pensione sono in grave sofferenza.pgn

Con un certo quale ritardo rispetto agli Stati Uniti anche in Canada l’inflazione sta portando in sofferenza fondi di investimento e, soprattutto, fondi pensioni.

* * *

Fondi Pensioni ed Inflazione. Il macello è già iniziato. L’inflazione li falcia senza pietà.

Soaring inflation is hitting retirement savings hard.

I fondi pensioni di S&P 500 hanno un buco di 382 miliardi Usd.

General Electric. 31 mld Usd di buco nel fondo pensioni.

Inflazione. Powell e Lagarde non sanno che pesci prendere.

Usa. Un panino 18 Usd, una libbra di pomodori 12 Usd, patatine fritte 15 Usd.

America. Wall Street. Da Sep2021 al Jun22 18 la capitalizzazione ha perso 15.5 trilioni di dollari.

* * *

In Canada a giugno la inflazione aveva raggiunti l’8.133%.

Nulla quindi di cui stupirsi se il Canada Pension Plan Investment Board sia entrato in sofferenza e se gli investitori, sia privati sia istituzionali, vivano nel terrore di quanto avverrà, ossia il default.

* * * * * * *

Il Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, il più grande fondo pensionistico del Paese, ha registrato un rendimento negativo del 4.2% nel primo trimestre fiscale, penalizzato da un più ampio sell-off delle azioni globali. Il fondo ha chiuso il trimestre con un patrimonio netto di 523 miliardi di dollari (409 miliardi di dollari), ha dichiarato giovedì il CPPIB. Il fondo ha subito perdite anche negli investimenti a reddito fisso, mentre gli investimenti in private equity, credito e immobiliare hanno contribuito modestamente al calo, ha dichiarato il fondo.

I mercati azionari globali sono stati colpiti quest’anno dall’accelerazione dell’inflazione – e dagli aumenti dei tassi d’interesse delle banche centrali per contrastarla – che hanno pesato sugli utili societari e fatto temere una recessione. I rialzi dei tassi hanno anche danneggiato i prezzi delle obbligazioni, un’altra importante classe di attività per CPPIB.

I mercati finanziari hanno vissuto i primi sei mesi dell’anno più difficili dell’ultimo mezzo secolo e il primo trimestre fiscale del fondo non è stato immune da questo calo generalizzato. Il rendimento nominale netto annualizzato a cinque anni del fondo è sceso all’8.7%, dal 10% del trimestre conclusosi il 31 marzo, mentre il rendimento a 10 anni è passato al 1.3% dal 10.9%.

Sappiamo che i canadesi sono preoccupati per l’impatto della volatilità dei mercati sui loro piani pensionistici e possono trarre conforto dal fatto che il Fondo dovrebbe garantire una solida performance nel lungo periodo, anche in presenza di turbolenze periodiche come quelle a cui stiamo assistendo quest’anno.

* * * * * * *

«Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country’s largest pension fund, posted a negative 4.2% return in its fiscal first quarter, hurt by a broader sell-off in global equities. The fund ended the quarter with net assets of C$523 billion ($409 billion), CPPIB said Thursday. The fund also experienced losses in fixed-income investments, while private equity, credit and real estate investments also contributed “modestly” to the decline, the fund said.

Global equity markets have been hammered this year as accelerating inflation — and central banks’ interest-rate increases to combat it — have weighed on corporate earnings and prompted fears that a recession may be in the offing. The rate hikes have also hurt bond prices, another major asset class for CPPIB»

«Financial markets experienced the most challenging first six months of the year in the last half century, and the fund’s first fiscal quarter was not immune to such widespread decline. The fund’s five-year annualized net nominal return fell to 8.7%, from 10% as of the quarter ended March 31, while its 10-year return slipped to 10.3% from 10.9%»

«We know Canadians are concerned about the impact of market volatility on their retirement plans, and they can take comfort in the fact that the Fund is expected to deliver solid performance over the long term, even with periodic turbulence such as we are witnessing this year»

* * * * * * *


Canada’s Biggest Pension Posts 4.2% Drop on Equity Meltdown

– Interest rate increases hurt fund’s fixed-income investments

– Private equity, credit, real estate contribute to decline

* * * * * * *

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country’s largest pension fund, posted a negative 4.2% return in its fiscal first quarter, hurt by a broader sell-off in global equities.

The fund ended the quarter with net assets of C$523 billion ($409 billion), CPPIB said Thursday. The fund also experienced losses in fixed-income investments, while private equity, credit and real estate investments also contributed “modestly” to the decline, the fund said. 

Global equity markets have been hammered this year as accelerating inflation — and central banks’ interest-rate increases to combat it — have weighed on corporate earnings and prompted fears that a recession may be in the offing. The rate hikes have also hurt bond prices, another major asset class for CPPIB.

“Financial markets experienced the most challenging first six months of the year in the last half century, and the fund’s first fiscal quarter was not immune to such widespread decline,” Chief Executive Officer John Graham said in the statement. “The uncertain business and investment conditions we noted in the previous quarter continue, and we expect to see this turbulence persist throughout the fiscal year.”

The fund’s five-year annualized net nominal return fell to 8.7%, from 10% as of the quarter ended March 31, while its 10-year return slipped to 10.3% from 10.9%.

CPPIB saw C$3.1 billion of foreign-exchange gains in the most recent quarter as the Canadian dollar weakened against the US currency. The fund also saw gains by external portfolio managers, quantitative trading strategies and investments in energy and infrastructure.

The Chief Actuary of Canada conducted its regular, three-year review of the long-term sustainability of the pension plan and confirmed that it remains sustainable over the 75-year projection period at its legislated contribution rates. The chief actuary’s findings are based on the assumption that the base account will earn an average return of 3.95% above Canadian consumer price inflation through 2093.

“We know Canadians are concerned about the impact of market volatility on their retirement plans, and they can take comfort in the fact that the Fund is expected to deliver solid performance over the long term, even with periodic turbulence such as we are witnessing this year,” Graham said.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Mondiale, Materie Prime, Putin, Russia

Russia. Mr Putin ha vinto la guerra energetica. – Bloomberg.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-15.

2022-08-13__ In the Energy Markets, Putin Is Winning the War 001

«Putin is winning the energy battle»

«No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets.

«Putin sta vincendo la battaglia energetica»

«Non importa quale indicatore si usi, il presidente russo Vladimir Putin sta vincendo sui mercati energetici»

* * * * * * *

Questo articolo allegato riporta in modo ben coordinato una lunga serie di elementi già noti. La sua intrinseca novità consiste nel fatto che è edito da Bloomberg, ossia dal tempio dell’ideologia liberal, tutto loggia e culto di ogni anche impensabile possibile perversione.

Ammette ore rotundo che la Russia del Presidente Putin abbia vinto il conflitto che Joe Biden e la Nato gli hanno dichiarato, coprendola di sanzioni, nella vana speranza di portarla al fallimento.

* * * * * * *

Non importa quale indicatore si usi, il presidente russo Vladimir Putin sta vincendo sui mercati energetici. Mosca sta mungendo la sua mucca da mungere, guadagnando centinaia di milioni di dollari ogni giorno per finanziare l’invasione dell’Ucraina e comprare il sostegno interno alla guerra. Quando le sanzioni europee contro le esportazioni di greggio russo entreranno in vigore da novembre, i governi della regione si troveranno di fronte a scelte difficili, poiché la crisi energetica inizierà a colpire consumatori e aziende.

I costi dell’elettricità per le case e le imprese sono destinati a salire a partire da ottobre, poiché l’aumento dei proventi del petrolio consente a Putin di sacrificare le entrate del gas e di comprimere le forniture all’Europa. I prezzi nel Regno Unito saliranno probabilmente del 75%, mentre in Germania alcune aziende municipalizzate hanno già avvertito che i prezzi aumenteranno di oltre il 100%. La Russia è riuscita ad armare le forniture energetiche.

I governi occidentali saranno sempre più costretti a spendere miliardi per sovvenzionare le bollette delle famiglie o, come già avviene in Francia, per assumere il controllo delle società elettriche.

Il primo indicatore che mostra come Putin abbia invertito la tendenza del petrolio è la produzione russa di greggio. Il mese scorso, la produzione del Paese è tornata a livelli vicini a quelli prebellici, con una media di quasi 10.8 milioni di barili al giorno, solo marginalmente in calo rispetto agli 11 milioni pompati a gennaio, immediatamente prima dell’invasione dell’Ucraina.

Dopo questa lotta iniziale, la Russia ha trovato nuovi clienti per il milione di barili al giorno circa che i raffinatori europei hanno smesso di acquistare a causa dell’autosanzione. La maggior parte di questo greggio sta finendo in Asia – in particolare in India – ma anche in Turchia e altrove in Medio Oriente. Una parte è ancora presente in Europa, con gli acquirenti che continuano ad acquistare greggio russo prima dell’introduzione delle sanzioni ufficiali prevista per l’inizio di novembre.

Il secondo indicatore è il prezzo del petrolio russo. Inizialmente, Mosca è stata costretta a vendere i suoi sapori di greggio con sconti enormi rispetto ad altre varietà per attirare gli acquirenti. Nelle ultime settimane, tuttavia, il Cremlino ha riacquistato il potere di determinazione dei prezzi, approfittando di un mercato ristretto.

Il greggio ESPO è passato di mano alla parità con Dubai. Il greggio Urals, il fiore all’occhiello delle esportazioni russe di petrolio verso l’Europa, non sta beneficiando quanto l’ESPO, poiché i suoi principali acquirenti sono tradizionalmente paesi come la Germania piuttosto che l’India. Ma sta anche recuperando il prezzo, vendendo di recente a 20-25 dollari al barile in meno rispetto al Brent di riferimento, dopo essere stato scambiato con uno sconto di quasi 35 dollari all’inizio di aprile. Mosca sta trovando nuovi commercianti di materie prime, spesso operanti dal Medio Oriente e dall’Asia e probabilmente finanziati dal denaro russo, disposti ad acquistare il suo greggio e a spedirlo verso mercati affamati.

L’ultimo indicatore del successo russo è politico, più che di mercato. A marzo e aprile, i politici occidentali erano ottimisti sul fatto che il cartello OPEC, guidato da Arabia Saudita ed Emirati Arabi Uniti, avrebbe abbandonato l’alleanza con la Russia. È accaduto il contrario.

Nonostante il viaggio del Presidente degli Stati Uniti Joseph Biden a Riyadh, Putin ha mantenuto la sua influenza all’interno dell’alleanza OPEC+. Poco dopo la partenza di Biden dall’Arabia Saudita, il vice primo ministro russo Alexander Novak, persona di riferimento della nazione per la gestione delle relazioni con il cartello, è volato nel regno.

La vittoria sul mercato petrolifero significa che Putin può permettersi di rinunciare alle entrate limitando le vendite di gas naturale all’Europa, mettendo sotto pressione Berlino, Parigi e Londra, che si stanno preparando a un massiccio aumento dei prezzi dell’energia al dettaglio e a una potenziale carenza che potrebbe portare al razionamento quest’inverno. Mosca sta facendo così tanti soldi vendendo petrolio che può permettersi di limitare le forniture di greggio anche ai Paesi dell’Europa orientale, come ha fatto all’inizio di questa settimana.

Una combinazione di freddo, aumento della domanda di elettricità e impennata dei prezzi nel corso dell’anno rischia di minare il sostegno occidentale all’Ucraina. I politici europei che sono stati ansiosi di ottenere il plauso internazionale ostentando il loro sostegno a Kiev potrebbero essere meno disposti a pagare il conto interno per evitare la povertà energetica tra i loro elettori.

Putin sta vincendo la battaglia energetica.

* * * * * * *

«No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets. Moscow is milking its oil cash cow, earning hundreds of millions of dollars every day to bankroll the invasion of Ukraine and buy domestic support for the war. Once European sanctions against Russian crude exports kick in from November, the region’s governments will face some tough choices as the energy crisis starts to bite consumers and companies»

«Electricity costs for homes and businesses are set to soar from October, as the surge in oil income allows Putin to sacrifice gas revenue and squeeze supplies to Europe. UK prices are likely to jump by 75%, while in Germany some municipal utilities have already warned prices will increase in excess of 100%. Russia has successfully weaponized energy supplies»

«Western governments will come under increasing pressure to spend billions either subsidizing household bills or, as is already the case in France, by taking control of power companies»

«The first indicator showing how Putin has turned the oil tide is Russian crude production. Last month, the country’s output climbed back to near pre-war levels, averaging almost 10.8 million barrels per day, only marginally down from the 11 million pumped in January immediately prior to the invasion of Ukraine»

«After that initial struggle, Russia has found new customers for the million barrels a day or so that European oil refiners have stopped purchasing due to self-sanctioning. Most of that crude is ending up in Asia — notably India — but also in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. And some is still showing up in Europe, with buyers still purchasing Russian crude ahead of the planned introduction of official sanctions in early November»

«The second indicator is the price of Russian oil. Initially, Moscow was forced to sell its flavors of crude at huge discounts to other varieties to entice buyers. In recent weeks, however, the Kremlin has regained pricing power, taking advantage of a tight market»

«ESPO crude has changed hands at parity to Dubai. Urals crude, the flagship Russian oil export to Europe, isn’t benefiting as much as ESPO, as its key buyers have traditionally been countries such as Germany rather than India. But it’s also recovering in price, selling recently at $20 to $25 a barrel cheaper than the Brent benchmark, after trading at a discount of almost $35 in early April. Moscow is finding new commodity traders, often operating from the Middle East and Asia and probably financed by Russian money, willing to buy its crude and ship it to hungry markets»

«The final indicator of Russian success is political, rather than market related. Back in March and April, Western policy makers were optimistic that the OPEC cartel, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, would ditch its alliance with Russia. The opposite has been the case»

«Despite a trip by US President Joseph Biden to Riyadh, Putin has retained his influence inside the OPEC+ alliance. Soon after Biden departed from Saudi Arabia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the nation’s point-person managing the relationship with the cartel, flew to the kingdom»

«The oil market victory means Putin can afford to forego revenue by restricting natural gas sales to Europe, putting pressure on Berlin, Paris and London, which are bracing for massive retail energy price increases and potential shortages that may lead to rationing this winter. Moscow is making so much money selling oil it can afford to restrict crude supply to Eastern European nations, too, as it did earlier this week»

«A combination of cold weather, surging demand for electricity and soaring prices later this year risks undermining Western support for Ukraine. European politicians who’ve been eager to win international kudos by flaunting their support for Kyiv may be less willing to foot the domestic bill for averting energy poverty among their own voters»

«Putin is winning the energy battle»

* * * * * * *


In the Energy Markets, Putin Is Winning the War – Bloomberg.

No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets. Moscow is milking its oil cash cow, earning hundreds of millions of dollars every day to bankroll the invasion of Ukraine and buy domestic support for the war. Once European sanctions against Russian crude exports kick in from November, the region’s governments will face some tough choices as the energy crisis starts to bite consumers and companies.

Electricity costs for homes and businesses are set to soar from October, as the surge in oil income allows Putin to sacrifice gas revenue and squeeze supplies to Europe. UK prices are likely to jump by 75%, while in Germany some municipal utilities have already warned prices will increase in excess of 100%. Russia has successfully weaponized energy supplies; Western governments will come under increasing pressure to spend billions either subsidizing household bills or, as is already the case in France, by taking control of power companies.

The first indicator showing how Putin has turned the oil tide is Russian crude production. Last month, the country’s output climbed back to near pre-war levels, averaging almost 10.8 million barrels per day, only marginally down from the 11 million pumped in January immediately prior to the invasion of Ukraine. Based on industry estimates, oil production is slightly higher so far this month. 

It isn’t a blip: July marked the third consecutive month of oil production recovery, with output up significantly from this year’s low point of 10 million barrels set in April, when European buyers started shunning Russia and Moscow scrambled to find new buyers.  

After that initial struggle, Russia has found new customers for the million barrels a day or so that European oil refiners have stopped purchasing due to self-sanctioning. Most of that crude is ending up in Asia — notably India — but also in Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East. And some is still showing up in Europe, with buyers still purchasing Russian crude ahead of the planned introduction of official sanctions in early November. Everyone who bet that Russian oil production would continue to drop — myself included — got it wrong. 

The second indicator is the price of Russian oil. Initially, Moscow was forced to sell its flavors of crude at huge discounts to other varieties to entice buyers. In recent weeks, however, the Kremlin has regained pricing power, taking advantage of a tight market. 

ESPO crude, a category of Russian oil from the Far East, is a good example of the new trend. At the low earlier this year,  it sold at a discount of more than $20 a barrel to Dubai crude, the regional oil benchmark for Asia. Recently, ESPO crude has changed hands at parity to Dubai. Urals crude, the flagship Russian oil export to Europe, isn’t benefiting as much as ESPO, as its key buyers have traditionally been countries such as Germany rather than India. But it’s also recovering in price, selling recently at $20 to $25 a barrel cheaper than the Brent benchmark, after trading at a discount of almost $35 in early April. 

Moscow is finding new commodity traders, often operating from the Middle East and Asia and probably financed by Russian money, willing to buy its crude and ship it to hungry markets. With Brent crude hovering at close to $100 a barrel, and with Russia able to offer smaller discounts, there’s plenty of money coming in to the Kremlin. For now at least, energy sanctions aren’t working. 

The final indicator of Russian success is political, rather than market related. Back in March and April, Western policy makers were optimistic that the OPEC cartel, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, would ditch its alliance with Russia. The opposite has been the case.

Despite a trip by US President Joseph Biden to Riyadh, Putin has retained his influence inside the OPEC+ alliance. Soon after Biden departed from Saudi Arabia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, the nation’s point-person managing the relationship with the cartel, flew to the kingdom. A few days later, OPEC+ announced a minuscule oil production increase, keeping pressure on global energy markets.

The oil market victory means Putin can afford to forego revenue by restricting natural gas sales to Europe, putting pressure on Berlin, Paris and London, which are bracing for massive retail energy price increases and potential shortages that may lead to rationing this winter. Moscow is making so much money selling oil it can afford to restrict crude supply to Eastern European nations, too, as it did earlier this week.

A combination of cold weather, surging demand for electricity and soaring prices later this year risks undermining Western support for Ukraine. European politicians who’ve been eager to win international kudos by flaunting their support for Kyiv may be less willing to foot the domestic bill for averting energy poverty among their own voters.

In public, European governments are still resolute in their determination to wean themselves off Russian energy. Privately, they must be acknowledging the hardships that stance threatens to inflict on their economies. Putin is winning the energy battle; let’s hope that leverage isn’t powerful enough to prompt Western politicians to soften their stance in the real war.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Stati Uniti

Cina e Formosa. Report numerico che ne quantizza i rapporti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-10.

2020-03-16__ Pallottoliere 001

Il commercio di Taiwan con la Cina è di gran lunga superiore a quello con gli Stati Uniti. L’anno scorso, la Cina continentale e Hong Kong hanno rappresentato il 42% delle esportazioni di Taiwan, mentre gli Stati Uniti avevano una quota del 15%. Circa il 22% delle importazioni di Taiwan lo scorso anno proveniva dalla Cina continentale e da Hong Kong, contro il 10% degli Stati Uniti. Molte aziende con sede a Taiwan gestiscono fabbriche nella Cina continentale. Nel 2021, le aziende di Taiwan hanno ricevuto 200.1 miliardi di dollari in ordini di esportazione dagli Stati Uniti.

I dati mostrano che Taiwan dipende dalla Cina per gli scambi commerciali più di quanto non dipenda dagli Stati Uniti, anche se questa settimana il presidente della Camera dei Deputati Nancy Pelosi ha appoggiato Taiwan in una visita di alto profilo.

Gli Stati Uniti riconoscono Pechino come unico governo legale della Cina, pur mantenendo relazioni non ufficiali con Taiwan. Tuttavia, i legami economici e commerciali di Taiwan con la Cina continentale e Hong Kong sono cresciuti a tal punto che la regione è di gran lunga il principale partner commerciale dell’isola.

Molte grandi aziende taiwanesi del settore high-tech, come il più grande produttore di chip al mondo, la Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. o TSMC. – hanno fabbriche nella Cina continentale. L’anno scorso, la Cina continentale e Hong Kong hanno rappresentato il 42% delle esportazioni di Taiwan, mentre gli Stati Uniti hanno avuto una quota del 15%. In totale, nel 2021 Taiwan ha esportato beni per 188.91 miliardi di dollari verso la Cina continentale e Hong Kong. Le esportazioni di Taiwan verso il Sud-Est asiatico sono state addirittura superiori a quelle verso gli Stati Uniti, con 70.25 miliardi di dollari verso la regione, contro i 65.7 miliardi di dollari verso gli Stati Uniti. Come fonte delle importazioni di Taiwan, la Cina continentale e Hong Kong si sono nuovamente classificate al primo posto con una quota del 22%. Gli Stati Uniti hanno registrato solo una quota del 10%, dietro a Giappone, Europa e Sud-est asiatico. Le esportazioni di Taiwan verso il Sud-est asiatico sono state addirittura superiori a quelle verso gli Stati Uniti, con 70.25 miliardi di dollari verso la regione, contro 65.7 miliardi di dollari verso gli Stati Uniti. Come fonte delle importazioni di Taiwan, la Cina continentale e Hong Kong si sono nuovamente classificate al primo posto con una quota del 22%. Gli Stati Uniti hanno raggiunto solo il 10%, dietro a Giappone, Europa e Sud-est asiatico.

Negli ultimi anni, Taiwan ha acquistato una quantità crescente di prodotti dalla Cina continentale e viceversa.

Negli ultimi cinque anni, le importazioni di Taiwan dalla Cina continentale sono aumentate di circa l’87%, contro una crescita del 44% delle importazioni dagli Stati Uniti. Le esportazioni di Taiwan verso la Cina continentale sono cresciute del 71% tra il 2016 e il 2021. Ma le esportazioni verso gli Stati Uniti sono quasi raddoppiate, con una crescita del 97%. Nel 2021, le aziende di Taiwan riceveranno 200.1 miliardi di dollari in ordini di esportazione dagli Stati Uniti.

* * * * * * *

«Taiwan’s trade with China is far bigger than its trade with the U.S.. Mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 42% of Taiwan’s exports last year, while the U.S. had a 15% share. About 22% of Taiwan’s imports last year came from mainland China and Hong Kong, versus 10% from the U.S. Many Taiwan-based companies operate factories in mainland China. In 2021, Taiwan businesses received $200.1 billion in U.S. export orders»

«Data show that Taiwan depends more on China for trade than it does on the U.S., even if U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her weight behind Taiwan this week in a high-profile visit»

«The U.S. recognizes Beijing as the sole legal government of China, while maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan. Still, Taiwan’s business and economic ties with mainland China and Hong Kong have grown so large that the region is by far the island’s largest trading partner»

«Many large Taiwanese companies in high-tech industries such the world’s biggest chipmaker — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or TSMC. — operate factories in mainland China. Last year, mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 42% of Taiwan’s exports, while the U.S. had a 15% share. In all,

. Taiwan’s exports to Southeast Asia were even greater than those to the U.S. — at $70.25 billion to the region, versus $65.7 billion to the U.S. As a source of Taiwan’s imports, mainland China and Hong Kong again ranked first with a 22% share. The U.S. only had a 10% share, ranking behind Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia. Taiwan’s exports to Southeast Asia were even greater than those to the U.S. — at $70.25 billion to the region, versus $65.7 billion to the U.S. As a source of Taiwan’s imports, mainland China and Hong Kong again ranked first with a 22% share. The U.S. only had a 10% share, ranking behind Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia»

«In recent years, Taiwan has bought an increasing amount of products from mainland China, and vice versa.

Over the last five years, Taiwan’s imports from mainland China have surged by about 87% versus 44% growth in imports from the U.S. Taiwan’s exports to mainland China grew by 71% between 2016 and 2021. But exports to the U.S. nearly doubled, growing by 97%. In 2021, Taiwan businesses received $200.1 billion in U.S. export orders»

* * * * * * *


Taiwan’s trade with China is far bigger than its trade with the U.S.

– Mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 42% of Taiwan’s exports last year, while the U.S. had a 15% share, according to official Taiwan data accessed through Wind Information.

– About 22% of Taiwan’s imports last year came from mainland China and Hong Kong, versus 10% from the U.S., official data showed.

– Many Taiwan-based companies operate factories in mainland China. In 2021, Taiwan businesses received $200.1 billion in U.S. export orders, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service.

* * * * * * *

Beijing — Data show that Taiwan depends more on China for trade than it does on the U.S., even if U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her weight behind Taiwan this week in a high-profile visit.

Taiwan came under military and economic pressure from Beijing this week, after the democratically self-ruled island allowed the visit of Pelosi — the highest-ranking U.S. official to set foot on Taiwan in 25 years.

The visit came despite warnings from China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory and maintains the island should have no right to conduct foreign relations. The U.S. recognizes Beijing as the sole legal government of China, while maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan.

Still, Taiwan’s business and economic ties with mainland China and Hong Kong have grown so large that the region is by far the island’s largest trading partner.

Many large Taiwanese companies in high-tech industries such the world’s biggest chipmaker — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or TSMC. — operate factories in mainland China.

Last year, mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 42% of Taiwan’s exports, while the U.S. had a 15% share, according to official Taiwan data accessed through Wind Information.

In all, Taiwan exported $188.91 billion in goods to mainland China and Hong Kong in 2021. More than half were electronic parts, followed by optical equipment, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance.

Taiwan’s exports to Southeast Asia were even greater than those to the U.S. — at $70.25 billion to the region, versus $65.7 billion to the U.S., the data showed.

As a source of Taiwan’s imports, mainland China and Hong Kong again ranked first with a 22% share. The U.S. only had a 10% share, ranking behind Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia.

                               Growing trade with mainland China

In recent years, Taiwan has bought an increasing amount of products from mainland China, and vice versa.

Over the last five years, Taiwan’s imports from mainland China have surged by about 87% versus 44% growth in imports from the U.S.

Taiwan’s exports to mainland China grew by 71% between 2016 and 2021. But exports to the U.S. nearly doubled, growing by 97%.

Top U.S. purchases of Taiwan’s goods include electrical machinery, vehicles, plastics and iron and steel products, according to U.S. government data.

Many Taiwan-based companies — such as Apple supplier Foxconn — operate factories in mainland China.

In 2021, Taiwan businesses received $200.1 billion in U.S. export orders, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service.

                         Comparable to Shanghai

According to a 2020 census, about 157,900 people from Taiwan resided in mainland China, a roughly 7% decrease over the preceding decade.

The entire island of Taiwan was home to about 23.6 million people in 2020, slightly less than Shanghai’s population of roughly 25 million people at the time.

However, Taiwan’s economy is larger than Shanghai’s, at about $781.58 billion versus $680.31 billion last year, according to official figures.

In 2021, Shanghai’s share of mainland China’s GDP was 3.8%.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Unione Europea

Blocco Europeo. Siccità e calura rimettono in auge la siesta, ma si prepara all’inverno.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-09.

2022-08-08__ Van Gogh La Siesta 001

«Extreme temperatures could help revive another traditional Spanish heat adaptation: the siesta»

* * * * * * *

In tutta Europa, le città a corto di gas si preparano a spegnere le luci. Limiti al risparmio energetico sull’illuminazione e sull’uso dei condizionatori d’aria hanno attirato l’attenzione in Spagna, Francia e Germania.

A seguito delle argomentazioni della scorsa settimana da parte di un Primo Ministro Pedro Sanchez adeguatamente privo di cravatta, la Spagna ha pubblicato martedì nuove regole che stabiliscono che nessuna attività commerciale sarà autorizzata a raffreddare i propri interni al di sotto dei 27 gradi Celsius (81 gradi Fahrenheit) o a riscaldarli al di sopra dei 19 gradi Celsius (66 gradi Fahrenheit) in inverno …. Il decreto prevede anche la sospensione dell’illuminazione dei monumenti, il divieto per i negozi di accendere le proprie vetrine dopo le 22.00 e l’obbligo per i negozi di avere un display elettrico che mostri la temperatura interna ai passanti.

In risposta ai timori che il presidente russo Vladimir Putin possa tagliare le forniture di gas, l’Unione Europea ha deciso di ridurre il consumo di energia del 15%, innescando una vigilanza continentale su termostati e interruttori della luce.

L’Italia e la Grecia hanno imposto un tetto massimo di 27 gradi per l’aria condizionata negli edifici pubblici e a luglio Parigi ha introdotto multe (anche se di modesta entità, 150 euro) per le aziende che lasciano finestre e porte aperte mentre fanno funzionare l’aria condizionata.

I problemi energetici della regione sono aggravati da settimane di clima caldo e secco e dal basso livello dell’acqua in diversi fiumi europei, che sono fondamentali per il trasporto del combustibile alle centrali elettriche tedesche e per il raffreddamento dei reattori nucleari francesi.

Quando arriva l’inverno, l’energia per il riscaldamento diventa la priorità.

 Queste proposte hanno suscitato la reazione del vice-capogruppo parlamentare dei cristiano-democratici, Jens Spahn, secondo il quale le misure del governo minacciano i tedeschi con una triplice minaccia per questo inverno …. Vivere al freddo, fare la doccia al freddo, prendere freddo.

La Spagna è meno dipendente dalle forniture energetiche russe rispetto a molti altri Stati europei – gli operatori di rete hanno dichiarato che il Paese potrebbe sopravvivere a un’interruzione totale delle forniture di gas russo.

Madrid e altre città spagnole hanno affrontato quest’estate temperature molto elevate: Le massime hanno raggiunto i 43 gradi Celsius (110 gradi Fahrenheit) e più di 600 persone sono morte per motivi legati al caldo solo nelle prime due settimane di luglio. Ma l’umidità estiva generalmente bassa della Spagna rende le temperature interne più alte un po’ più sopportabili di quanto non lo siano altrove.

 Nel porto settentrionale di A Coruña, la città principale più fresca della Spagna, il punto di allerta è fissato a soli 26 gradi Celsius (78,8 gradi Fahrenheit), a testimonianza di un ambiente costruito più per proteggere dalla pioggia che dal caldo estremo. Ma nel sud di Córdoba – dove i residenti hanno a lungo gestito alcune delle temperature più alte d’Europa con strade strette, piccole finestre esterne e cortili ombreggiati – le morti in eccesso iniziano a salire solo quando il mercurio raggiunge i 40 gradi Celsius.

Le temperature estreme potrebbero contribuire a far rivivere un altro tradizionale adattamento al caldo spagnolo: la siesta.

* * * * * * *

«Across Europe, Gas-Strapped Cities Prepare to Power Down. Energy-saving limits on lighting and air-conditioner use have drawn heat in Spain, France and Germany.»

«Following arguments last week from a suitably tie-less Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain published new rules Tuesday stipulating that no business will be allowed to cool its interior below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) or to heat it above 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter …. the decree also calls a halt to the illumination of monuments, bans stores from lighting up their windows after 10 p.m., and requires shops to have an electric display showing the temperature inside to passersby»

«In response to fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin will cut off gas supplies, the European Union has agreed to trim energy use by 15%, triggering a continent-wide watchfulness over thermostats and light switches»

«Italy and Greece also have 27-degree caps on air conditioning in public buildings, and in July, Paris introduced fines (albeit a modest 150 Euros) for businesses that leave windows and doors open while running their AC»

«The region’s energy woes are being compounded by weeks of hot, dry weather and low water levels in several European rivers, which are critical for shipping fuel to German power plants and for cooling French nuclear reactors»

«Once winter sets in, power for heating becomes the priority»

«Such proposals prompted pushback from the Christian Democrats’ deputy parliamentary leader, Jens Spahn, who said that the government measures threatened Germans with a triple threat this winter …. Live cold, shower cold, catch cold.»

«Spain is less dependent on Russian energy supplies than many other European states — network operators have stated that the country could survive a total shut-off of Russian gas supplies»

«Madrid and other Spanish cities have been facing punishingly high temperatures this summer: Highs have reached 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) and more than 600 people died for heat-related reasons in the first two weeks of July alone. But Spain’s generally low summer humidity makes higher indoor temperatures somewhat more bearable than they might be elsewhere»

«In the northern port of A Coruña, Spain’s coolest major city, this alert point is set at just 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit), reflecting a built environment designed more to shield from rain than extreme heat. But in southern Córdoba — where residents have long managed some of Europe’s highest temperatures with narrow streets, small external windows and shaded courtyards — excess deaths only start climbing once the mercury hits 40 degrees Celsius»

«Extreme temperatures could help revive another traditional Spanish heat adaptation: the siesta»

* * * * * * *


Across Europe, Gas-Strapped Cities Prepare to Power Down

Energy-saving limits on lighting and air-conditioner use have drawn heat in Spain, France and Germany. 

Following arguments last week from a suitably tie-less Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain published new rules Tuesday stipulating that no business will be allowed to cool its interior below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) or to heat it above 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. In place until November 2023, the decree also calls a halt to the illumination of monuments, bans stores from lighting up their windows after 10 p.m., and requires shops to have an electric display showing the temperature inside to passersby.

Such curbs are not entirely new — public buildings in Spain, except hospitals, already follow a 27-degree cooling cap — but the extensive reach of this suite of power-saving measures reflects the seriousness of a looming threat: an energy crisis brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In response to fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin will cut off gas supplies, the European Union has agreed to trim energy use by 15%, triggering a continent-wide watchfulness over thermostats and light switches. In Berlin, for example, the city government has pledged to reduce its own energy consumption by 10%, and the city has already stopped illuminating its monuments by night, plunging sights such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column into non-customary darkness. Italy and Greece also have 27-degree caps on air conditioning in public buildings, and in July, Paris introduced fines (albeit a modest 150 Euros) for businesses that leave windows and doors open while running their AC.

The region’s energy woes are being compounded by weeks of hot, dry weather and low water levels in several European rivers, which are critical for shipping fuel to German power plants and for cooling French nuclear reactors.

Once winter sets in, power for heating becomes the priority. As Bloomberg’s Javier Blas has argued, Paris may face a high risk of cold-weather blackouts; energy-saving measures in France include a ban on heating café terraces. Berlin’s boroughs are contemplating reducing temperatures in public offices and schools during the winter, lowering the temperature of public swimming pools and rearranging the schedules of public workers to capitalize on daylight hours. Such proposals prompted pushback from the Christian Democrats’ deputy parliamentary leader, Jens Spahn, who said that the government measures threatened Germans with a triple threat this winter: “Live cold, shower cold, catch cold.”

Spain is less dependent on Russian energy supplies than many other European states — network operators have stated that the country could survive a total shut-off of Russian gas supplies. And while the EU-wide target for energy reduction is 15%, Spain is only being asked to cut back by 7%. Still, the energy-saving measures have also received some criticism from conservative Spanish lawmakers. Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the state of Madrid, said on Twitter that she would not follow the rules on illuminating buildings because it would generate insecurity, deter tourism and bring “darkness, poverty, sadness” — a vivid threat in a nocturnal culture where 10 p.m. is a standard dinner time.

It might surprise some North Americans, who enjoy comparatively crisp indoor temperatures in offices and public spaces, that it’s the lighting bans, not the AC caps, that are drawing more complaints. Madrid and other Spanish cities have been facing punishingly high temperatures this summer: Highs have reached 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) and more than 600 people died for heat-related reasons in the first two weeks of July alone. But Spain’s generally low summer humidity makes higher indoor temperatures somewhat more bearable than they might be elsewhere, and traditional Spanish construction norms produce buildings better designed to keep heat out.

The difference that the built environment makes can be seen in Spain’s heat alert system, which issues public warnings when a city exceeds a temperature after which excess deaths are known to rise. In the northern port of A Coruña, Spain’s coolest major city, this alert point is set at just 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit), reflecting a built environment designed more to shield from rain than extreme heat. But in southern Córdoba — where residents have long managed some of Europe’s highest temperatures with narrow streets, small external windows and shaded courtyards — excess deaths only start climbing once the mercury hits 40 degrees Celsius. While some construction from the late 20th century onwards jettisoned the heat-placating solutions of the past, Spain’s cities have tools other than mechanical air cooling to keep interiors livable in summer.

Furthermore, air conditioners increase external temperatures — and thus cooling demands — contributing to the heat island effect that can make urban heat waves especially dangerous. After the death of José Antonio González, a 60-year-old street cleaner who died of heat stroke in July after collapsing while working in Madrid, Spain’s unions have been pushing for heat to be recognized in law as an occupational hazard. (It’s believed that Gonzalez may have kept working because he was on a monthly contract he could not risk losing.) Cleaning companies have since agreed to move afternoon street cleaning shifts to the evening, a policy already in action.

Extreme temperatures could help revive another traditional Spanish heat adaptation: the siesta. While many Spanish professionals still take a long afternoon break following lunch before returning to the office into the early evening, it has been more rare for blue-collar workers to have time to do the same. That could change — not just in Spain but in other countries where siestas are non-traditional. In Germany, for example, unions are currently pressing for summer siesta rights for construction workers. As climate change pushes extreme heat northward, Spain’s time-tested tool for managing its dangers could well be following.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Brasile, Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, India, Materie Prime, Russia

Algeria. È interessata ad entrare nel Club di Brics.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-09.

0000-0000__ Brics 001

È nella logica delle cose che l’Algeria confluisca nel Club dei Brics.

Questi sono un insieme di paesi emergenti, in parte già emersi, collegati da rapporti economici privi di imposizioni ideologiche, rispettosi delle altrui sovranità. È una parte di mondo libero.

L’ingresso della Algeria nel Club dei Brics assommerebbe in questo Club la maggior quota mondiale degli energetici estrattivi lasciando l’enclave liberal occidentale sostanzialmente immiserito, sempre che non scompaia.

* * * * * * *

I BRICS ci interessano come alternativa ai centri di potere tradizionali, ha dichiarato il presidente algerino Abdelmadjid Tebboune in un’intervista televisiva. Il Presidente algerino Abdelmadjid Tebboune ha suggerito che il suo Paese, il più grande esportatore di gas naturale dell’Africa, potrebbe entrare a far parte del gruppo economico dei BRICS, che comprende Russia e Cina. Il commento di Tebboune arriva dopo che il presidente russo Vladimir Putin – il cui Paese è colpito da sanzioni occidentali per l’invasione dell’Ucraina – a giugno ha invitato i leader dei BRICS a muoversi verso la formazione di un vero sistema multipolare di relazioni intergovernative.

Il gruppo BRICS comprende anche le principali economie emergenti di Brasile, India e Sudafrica. Il presidente ha aggiunto che il Paese nordafricano soddisfa buona parte dei criteri economici per entrare nel blocco. I membri dei BRICS rappresentano attualmente quasi un quarto del prodotto interno lordo mondiale.

Tebboune ha partecipato a un vertice virtuale dei BRICS alla fine di giugno, quando Putin ha invitato i leader del gruppo a cooperare di fronte alle azioni egoistiche dell’Occidente. Algeri si è astenuta quando l’Assemblea Generale delle Nazioni Unite ha approvato a maggioranza una risoluzione a marzo che chiedeva alla Russia di ritirarsi immediatamente dall’Ucraina. Anche Cina, India e Sudafrica si sono astenuti. Durante una visita in Algeria a maggio, il ministro degli Esteri russo Sergei Lavrov ha dichiarato che l’anno scorso gli scambi commerciali tra il suo Paese e l’Algeria hanno raggiunto i 3 miliardi di dollari.

* * * * * * *

«The BRICS interest us as an alternative to traditional power centres, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in a televised interview. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suggested that his country, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, could join the BRICS economic group that includes Russia and China. Tebboune’s comment comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin — whose country is hit with Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion — in June called on BRICS leaders to move towards formation of a truly multipolar system of inter-government relations»

«The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa. The president added that his North African country meets a good part of the economic criteria for joining the bloc. BRICS members currently account for nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product»

«Tebboune participated in a BRICS virtual summit at the end of June, when Putin called on leaders of the group to cooperate in the face of selfish actions from the West. Algiers abstained when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution in March demanding Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine. China, India and South Africa also abstained. On a visit to Algeria in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said trade between his country and Algeria had reached $3 billion last year»

* * * * * * *

Algeria, Africa’s Largest Natural Gas Exporter, Talks Of Joining BRICS

“The BRICS interest us” as an alternative to traditional power centres, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in a televised interview.

Algiers: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suggested that his country, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, could join the BRICS economic group that includes Russia and China.

Tebboune’s comment comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin — whose country is hit with Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion — in June called on BRICS leaders to move towards “formation of a truly multipolar system of inter-government relations”.

The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa.

“The BRICS interest us” as an alternative to traditional power centres, Tebboune said in a televised interview late Sunday. “They constitute an economic and political force.”

He underlined that there was no need to “get ahead of things” but promised “good news”.

The president added that his North African country meets “a good part” of the economic criteria for joining the bloc.

BRICS members currently account for nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.

Tebboune participated in a BRICS virtual summit at the end of June, when Putin called on leaders of the group to cooperate in the face of “selfish actions” from the West.

Sanctions over Ukraine have pushed Putin to seek new markets and strengthen ties with countries in Africa and Asia.

Algiers abstained when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution in March demanding Russia immediately withdraw from Ukraine.

China, India and South Africa also abstained.

On a visit to Algeria in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said trade between his country and Algeria had reached $3 billion last year.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti

L’America è in recessione e la Fed non riesce a contenere la inflazione.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-06.

FED 001

«the worst may still be to come»

Banche americane. Si prospetta un secondo trimestre di perdite.

Mondo. Ci si prepari ad una recessione epocale. – Bloomberg.

Biden. Axios fa una impietosa ma realistica analisi. Biden è impotente contro la inflazione.

Usa. Volevano far fallire la Russia e stanno fallendo loro. Persi 11,700 miliardi.

Usa. Midterm. I sondaggi darebbero Congresso e Senato ai Repubblicani.

Fondi Pensioni ed Inflazione. Il macello è già iniziato. L’inflazione li falcia senza pietà.

Usa. 81% degli adulti teme la inflazione e la recessione questo anno.

Usa. Misurata in modo corretto l’inflazione è al 17.1% annualizzato. – Bloomberg.

* * * * * * *

L’economia statunitense si è contratta per il secondo trimestre consecutivo. Vogliamo vedere la domanda al di sotto del potenziale per un periodo prolungato, per creare un rallentamento e dare all’inflazione la possibilità di scendere. Anche prima che la Fed iniziasse ad alzare i tassi a marzo, i tassi ipotecari hanno iniziato a salire in anticipo, quasi raddoppiando dalla fine dell’anno scorso a quasi il 6% e rendendo le case già costose ancora meno accessibili.

Il calo del 14% degli investimenti residenziali nel secondo trimestre è stato il maggiore degli ultimi 12 anni. E con la Fed che continua ad alzare i tassi – forse un altro punto percentuale quest’anno, come ha suggerito Powell mercoledì – il peggio potrebbe ancora venire.

La spesa per i consumi, che rappresenta circa i due terzi dell’economia statunitense, è rallentata a un tasso di crescita annualizzato dell’1% nel secondo trimestre, rispetto al ritmo dell’1.8% del primo. Il rallentamento della crescita è stato determinato da un calo del 4.4% della spesa per i beni.

Corretto per l’inflazione, il consumo di generi alimentari è sceso di 33.5 miliardi di dollari, con il risultato che i generi alimentari hanno avuto il maggiore impatto sull’economia in quasi mezzo secolo. L’economia sta chiaramente perdendo slancio.

Il freno delle scorte indica che le aziende sono molto preoccupate e stanno riducendo le spese. Questo fa parte dell’atmosfera di recessione.

* * * * * * *

«The U.S. economy contracted for a second straight quarter. We do want to see demand running below potential for a sustained period to create slack and give inflation a chance to come down. Even before the Fed began raising rates in March, mortgage rates began rising in anticipation, nearly doubling since late last year to nearly 6% and making already pricey houses even less affordable»

«The second quarter’s 14% decline in residential investment was the largest in 12 years. And with the Fed still raising rates – perhaps another full percentage point this year, Powell suggested on Wednesday – the worst may still be to come»

«Consumer spending, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy, slowed to a 1% annualized growth rate in the second quarter, from a 1.8% pace in the first. The slowing growth was driven by a 4.4% drop in spending on goods»

«Adjusted for inflation, food consumption fell $33.5 billion, resulting in food having its largest drag on the economy in nearly half a century. The economy is clearly losing momentum. The inventories drag tells you that corporations are very concerned and are pulling back on their spending. That’s part of a recession atmosphere»

* * * * * * *


The U.S. economy is shrinking. The Fed’s rate hikes may have only just begun to bite

(Reuters) – The U.S. economy contracted for a second straight quarter, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point to a range of 2.25%-2.50% in an effort to slow growth and ease price pressures.

The report likely won’t change Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s view that an economy that is adding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month is not in recession, and won’t deter him from raising borrowing costs further.

But he and colleagues will be parsing it carefully for clues on where their policy tightening to bring down decades-high inflation is already having an effect, where it may yet begin to bite, and whether they are on track for the soft landing they aim for or the harder crash that analysts increasingly fear.

“We do want to see demand running below potential for a sustained period to create slack and give inflation a chance to come down,” Powell said on Wednesday. “It’s also worth noting that these rate hikes have been large and they’ve come quickly, and it’s likely that their full effect has not been felt by the economy. So there’s probably some additional tightening – significant additional tightening in the pipeline.”

The GDP adds to evidence that the aimed-for slowdown is already happening, although only part of that is due to the Fed. Here’s a partial breakdown:

                         SLUMP IN HOUSING: FED RATE HIKES AT WORK

Of all the categories in GDP, the interest-rate sensitive housing sector is where the effects of the Fed’s actions to tighten financial conditions are the most obvious. Even before the Fed began raising rates in March, mortgage rates began rising in anticipation, nearly doubling since late last year to nearly 6% and making already pricey houses even less affordable.

The second quarter’s 14% decline in residential investment was the largest in 12 years aside from the stall in housing during the initial lockdowns to stem COVID-19 infections in the second quarter of 2020.

It is unusual for this large of a housing subtraction from economic growth to occur outside of a recession.

Other recent data shows homes sales are declining with sales of previously owned homes falling for a fifth straight month in June, and housing starts and building permits also declining further.

And with the Fed still raising rates – perhaps another full percentage point this year, Powell suggested on Wednesday – the worst may still be to come.

                         CONSUMER SPENDING SLOWING: SOME FED EFFECT BUT MORE TO COME

Consumer spending, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy, slowed to a 1% annualized growth rate in the second quarter, from a 1.8% pace in the first, the report showed.

The slowing growth was driven by a 4.4% drop in spending on goods, which had soared during the pandemic, and a look under the hood suggests that much of that was down to high inflation rather than a reaction to higher borrowing costs.

For example, in nominal terms, consumers spent nearly $6 billion more on food for consumption at home than in the first quarter but took home less of it. Adjusted for inflation, food consumption fell $33.5 billion, resulting in food having its largest drag on the economy in nearly half a century.

Meanwhile, spending on services rose 4.1%, the report showed, as people freed from pandemic restrictions spent on travel and restaurants. It’s not clear how long that will last though, said Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics.

“The question really is… what is the staying power of service spending? The Fed is really hiking into a slowdown… (it’s) in a tough spot,” Farooqi said, noting households will soon begin to tap out their savings and take on more credit card debt to finance their lives.

                         BUSINESS SPENDING SLIPS: PART FED

Business spending – or nonresidential fixed investment, in the parlance of the Commerce Department – slipped 0.1% on an annualized basis, driven mostly by a slump in spending on structures by every industry except mining and drilling, which was busy putting up rigs to get more oil from the ground as energy prices soared.

“The economy is clearly losing momentum,” wrote JP Morgan’s Michael Feroli, noting the decline in business spending along with the drops in consumer spending on goods and investment in housing. “At least the Fed has something to show for its rate hikes.”

                         INVENTORIES, EXPORTS: UNCLEAR

The report reflected a slowdown in inventory accumulation and a boost to growth from trade, both of which analysts said at least partially reflected pandemic-disrupted supply chains. But for some, they suggest worries of a downturn to come.

“(The inventories drag) tells you that corporations are very concerned and are pulling back on their spending. That’s part of a recession atmosphere,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

                         GLIMMER OF HOPE ON INFLATION: MORE NEEDED

Inflation as measured by the core personal consumption price index, a measure central bankers are attuned to because it strips out more volatile components like food and energy, fell to 4.4% in the second quarter from 5.2% in the first. While that is a move in the right direction, that’s still way above the Fed’s 2% goal and as Powell said repeatedly on Wednesday the central bank needs much clearer evidence of inflation coming down before policymakers relax their guard.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Russia

Germania. Tre mesi alla crisi invernale del gas. Poi Kaputt lei e la Europa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-05.

Andrà Tutto Bene 001

Il Presidente Putin è perfettamente conscio della situazione attuale della Germania, e con essa del blocco europeo.

Attualmente ha ridotto le forniture del gas ad un livello tale da imporre il depauperamento delle scorte, che dovrebbero quasi terminare agli inizi di novembre.

Quello sarebbe il momento ideale per chiudere i rubinetti.

L’articolo riportato è melenso ed edulcorato.

Nei fatti la Germania, e con essa il blocco europeo sarebbero kaputt.

L’inverno si preannuncerebbe essere gelido, e buio e gelo inducono a riflettere. Il vero problema non è quello del popolo, bensì quello della industria: senza corrente elettrica chiude i battenti.

Ma ne hanno fatte troppe per fermare la mano del Presidente Putin.

* * * * * * *

Il palazzo presidenziale della Germania a Berlino non è più illuminato di notte. La città di Hannover sta spegnendo l’acqua calda nelle docce delle sue piscine e palestre, e i comuni di tutto il Paese stanno preparando rifugi di riscaldamento per tenere le persone al sicuro dal freddo. E questo è solo l’inizio di una crisi che si estenderà in tutta Europa.

Forse siamo ancora in piena estate, ma la Germania ha poco tempo da perdere per evitare una carenza di energia quest’inverno che sarebbe senza precedenti per una nazione sviluppata.

L’amministrazione del cancelliere Olaf Scholz è stata lenta nell’affrontare la vulnerabilità della Germania, stabilendo solo di recente obiettivi di riduzione della domanda, mentre gli sforzi per assicurarsi forniture alternative falliscono.

Il Cremlino probabilmente manterrà i flussi vitali di gas verso l’Europa a livelli minimi finché continuerà lo stallo sull’Ucraina. Per la Germania si profilano razionamenti e recessione e le autorità hanno espresso la preoccupazione di disordini sociali se la carenza di energia dovesse sfuggire al controllo.

L’ultima mossa della Russia è arrivata la settimana scorsa, quando Gazprom ha imputato a un problema di turbina la riduzione dei flussi sul gasdotto chiave Nord Stream a circa il 20% della capacità. Per colmare il divario, il suo ministero ha permesso la ripresa di centrali elettriche a carbone in disuso, con una battuta d’arresto per gli sforzi climatici, e raccomanda ai tedeschi di installare soffioni efficienti e di lavare i panni a temperature più basse.

Gli aumenti dei costi, che cominceranno ad essere applicati seriamente da questo autunno, aumentano la pressione sui poveri. Già circa 1 tedesco su 4 è caduto in povertà energetica, il che significa che i costi per il riscaldamento e l’illuminazione incidono sulla capacità di coprire altre spese. Le ondate di freddo in Europa e in Asia costringerebbero le compagnie energetiche a lottare per le forniture già limitate di gas naturale liquefatto.

L’impennata dei prezzi che deriverebbe da questo scenario potrebbe spingere le compagnie a fermare gli impianti quest’inverno e distruggere circa il 17% della domanda industriale di questo combustibile. Con gli impianti di stoccaggio pieni al 68% e i tassi di ricarica che potrebbero diminuire dopo il taglio dei gasdotti della scorsa settimana, la Germania rischia di non raggiungere l’obiettivo governativo del 95% entro il 1° novembre.

Il 16% delle aziende industriali sta considerando di ridurre la produzione o di abbandonare alcune attività a causa della crisi energetica. Alcuni dirigenti dell’industria chimica sostengono che la produzione potrebbe spostarsi in Turchia, dove c’è accesso ai gasdotti dell’Azerbaigian. La maggior parte dei tedeschi sostiene l’Ucraina, ma i critici potrebbero guadagnare terreno con l’abbassamento delle temperature.

* * * * * * *

«Germany’s presidential palace in Berlin is no longer lit at night. The city of Hanover is turning off warm water in the showers of its pools and gyms, and municipalities across the country are preparing heating havens to keep people safe from the cold. And that’s just the beginning of a crisis that will ripple across Europe»

«It might still be the height of summer, but Germany has little time to lose to avert an energy shortage this winter that would be unprecedented for a developed nation»

«Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s administration has been slow to address Germany’s vulnerability, only recently laying out targets to cut demand as efforts to secure alternative supplies fall short»

«The Kremlin is likely to keep vital gas flows to Europe at minimal levels as long as the standoff over Ukraine continues»

«Rationing and recession are looming for Germany, and authorities have voiced concern about social unrest if the energy shortage spins out of control»

«Russia’s latest move came last week, when Gazprom blamed a turbine issue for reducing flows on the key Nord Stream pipeline to about 20 per cent of capacity»

«To bridge the gap, his ministry has allowed the revival of mothballed coal-fired power plants in a setback for climate efforts and recommends that Germans install efficient shower heads and wash clothes at cooler temperatures»

«The cost increases, which will start filtering through in earnest this fall, add to pressure on the poor»

«Already around 1 in 4 Germans has slipped into energy poverty, meaning costs for heating and lighting affect the ability to cover other expenses»

«Cold snaps across Europe and Asia would force energy companies to battle for already-tight supplies of liquefied natural gas»

«The price surge from such a scenario could prompt companies to halt facilities this winter and destroy some 17 per cent of industrial demand for the fuel»

«With storage facilities 68 per cent full and top-up rates likely to drop after last week’s pipeline cut, Germany risks falling short of the government’s target of 95 per cent by Nov 1»

«16 per cent of industrial firms are considering reducing production or giving up certain operations because of the energy crisis»

«Some chemical-industry executives say production could move to Turkey, where there is access to Azerbaijani pipelines»

«Most Germans support Ukraine but critics could gain traction as temperatures drop»

* * * * * * *


Germany Has Three Months to Save Itself From a Winter Gas Crisis.

Germany’s presidential palace in Berlin is no longer lit at night. The city of Hanover is turning off warm water in the showers of its pools and gyms, and municipalities across the country are preparing heating havens to keep people safe from the cold. And that’s just the beginning of a crisis that will ripple across Europe.

It might still be the height of summer, but Germany has little time to lose to avert an energy shortage this winter that would be unprecedented for a developed nation. Much of Europe is feeling the strain from Russia’s squeeze on natural gas deliveries, yet no other country is as exposed as the region’s biggest economy, where nearly half the homes rely on the fuel for heating.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s administration has been slow to address Germany’s vulnerability, only recently laying out targets to cut demand as efforts to secure alternative supplies fall short. With Moscow continuing to tighten deliveries and France struggling to export electricity to its neighbours, little respite is expected and the risks go beyond this winter.

“The challenges we’re facing are enormous and they affect significant areas of the economy and society,” said Robert Habeck, Germany’s vice-chancellor and economy minister, after unveiling a plan to pass on cost increases from energy companies to consumers. “But we are a strong country and a strong democracy. These are good prerequisites for overcoming this crisis.”

The Kremlin is likely to keep vital gas flows to Europe at minimal levels as long as the standoff over Ukraine continues, said sources. That means shortages in the region will likely persist, with gas prices for every year through 2025 having already hit a record this year.

Rationing and recession are looming for Germany, and authorities have voiced concern about social unrest if the energy shortage spins out of control. The country can’t even count on France, where faulty nuclear reactors are compounding the gas crunch. Electricity prices in Europe’s 2 biggest economies surged to records last week.

Russia — historically the European Union’s biggest gas supplier, covering about 40 per cent of demand — has gradually reduced deliveries in evident retaliation against sanctions. The EU’s challenge is to keep energy flowing across borders in a test of the bloc’s unity and its resolve to resist President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

“Russia’s policy has always been to divide because then they are stronger,” said Martins Kazaks, governor of the central bank of Latvia, the former Soviet Republic that’s now part of the euro area. “If we allow ourselves to be divided, then we will get weaker,” he said in an interview.

Russia’s latest move came last week, when Gazprom blamed a turbine issue for reducing flows on the key Nord Stream pipeline to about 20 per cent of capacity. In the fallout, gas prices jumped over 30 per cent last week, and electricity prices broke one record after another.

Habeck, who oversees energy policy, called Gazprom’s rationale “farcical”, but acknowledged that the situation is serious and renewed his plea for companies and consumers to step up savings efforts. To bridge the gap, his ministry has allowed the revival of mothballed coal-fired power plants in a setback for climate efforts and recommends that Germans install efficient shower heads and wash clothes at cooler temperatures. 

If measures to re-balance supply and demand fail, the government has the power to declare a gas “emergency”, which would involve the state taking control of distribution and deciding who gets the fuel and who doesn’t.

While households and critical infrastructure like hospitals are protected from cutoffs, there’s no guarantee room temperatures will be as comfortable. Germany’s biggest landlord already announced plans to reduce heating during the night, and public buildings including the Reichstag in Berlin are turning down thermostats.

The cost increases, which will start filtering through in earnest this fall, add to pressure on the poor. Already around 1 in 4 Germans has slipped into energy poverty, meaning costs for heating and lighting affect the ability to cover other expenses, said the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. The government is now working on aid programmes for low-income households.

Cold snaps across Europe and Asia would force energy companies to battle for already-tight supplies of liquefied natural gas. The price surge from such a scenario could prompt companies to halt facilities this winter and destroy some 17 per cent of industrial demand for the fuel, said Penny Leake, a research analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “If Nord Stream flows remain at 20 per cent, we are getting close to the danger zone,” she said. 

With storage facilities 68 per cent full and top-up rates likely to drop after last week’s pipeline cut, Germany risks falling short of the government’s target of 95 per cent by Nov 1. The country’s network regulator says reaching that level is hardly possible without additional measures. 

The corporate sector is already reacting. A survey of 3,500 companies by business lobby DIHK showed that 16 per cent of industrial firms are considering reducing production or giving up certain operations because of the energy crisis.

It’s not just Germany. High energy prices have prompted fertiliser producer CF Industries Holdings to announce it would shut one of its UK plants permanently. Cargill Inc, the world’s top crop trader, also closed a British oilseeds processing plant, while in France, supermarkets including Carrefour and Monoprix agreed to reduce energy consumption.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Germany is at risk of losing 4.8 per cent of economic output if Russia halts gas supplies, and the Bundesbank has pegged the potential damage at 220 billion euros (S$310 billion). While it is certain to be a painful hit, the fear in Germany is that a structural loss in competitiveness will soon follow. 

Energy-intensive industries will likely gravitate to regions with reliable renewable-power resources like Germany’s windy coast or solar-rich areas in the Mediterranean, potentially hollowing out industrial regions along the Rhine and in Germany’s south, said a senior executive at a major German manufacturer. Some chemical-industry executives say production could move to Turkey, where there is access to Azerbaijani pipelines.

Most Germans support Ukraine — about half say the government should continue backing of Kyiv despite rising energy costs, said a Policy Matters poll for Die Zeit — but critics could gain traction as temperatures drop. That would heap even more pressure on Scholz. 

Despite being months into the crisis, his administration just started publicly communicating a goal to cut demand by as much as 20 per cent. And in a sign of the growing urgency, it recently raised its minimum target for gas storage — now 15 percentage points higher than EU-wide levels. BLOOMBERG

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Russia, Stati Uniti

Sudan, Russia, Oro. L’America è out. Ed il contrabbando ferve. Ira dei liberal.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-04.

2022-08-03__ Russia Sudan Oro 001

La Cnn ha pubblicato un mastodontico articolo sul Sudan e sui suoi rapporti con la Russia ed il traffico dell’oro.

Lo segnaliamo perché è stato scritto nel più perfetto neo-linguaggio liberal, quale da tempo non si leggeva.

Sembrerebbe che non abbiano nessun altro problema, quale, per esempio,

Usa. Misurata in modo corretto l’inflazione è al 17.1% annualizzato. – Bloomberg.

* * *

Il termine ‘pro democracy’ indica la completa accettazione dell’ideologia liberal. Il resto è solo una bieca dittatura sanguinaria.

Hanno il dente avvelenato che il Sudan non si curi dei diktat statunitensi, cosa che agli occhi dei liberal è un peccato mortale.

Quanto poi la Russia, l’articolo gronda un odio irredimibile, quale non lo si leggeva da tempo.

L’articolo, come di abitudine, è pieno di interviste rilasciate da augusti sconosciuti, sempre poi che esistano, che l’autore assume essere verità universali.

Merita di essere letto, con molto buon senso.

* * * * * * *

Giorni dopo che Mosca ha lanciato la sua sanguinosa guerra contro l’Ucraina, un aereo cargo russo si è fermato sulla pista di Khartoum, una striscia di asfalto circondata da sabbia rosso-arancio. Il manifesto di carico dell’aereo indicava che era carico di biscotti. Il Sudan esporta raramente, se non mai, biscotti. All’interno della stiva, scatole colorate di biscotti si estendevano davanti a loro. Sotto di esse erano nascoste casse di legno contenenti la risorsa più preziosa del Sudan. L’oro. Circa una tonnellata.

Questo incidente di febbraio – raccontato alla CNN da diverse fonti ufficiali sudanesi – è uno degli almeno 16 voli russi di contrabbando di oro in partenza dal Sudan, terzo produttore africano del metallo prezioso, nell’ultimo anno e mezzo.

Le prove suggeriscono anche che la Russia ha colluso con l’assediata leadership militare del Sudan ….. In cambio, la Russia ha prestato un potente sostegno politico e militare al Sudan.

Il crescente legame tra i governanti militari del Sudan e Mosca ha generato una ‘intricata rete di contrabbando d’oro.

L’ingerenza della Russia nell’oro del Sudan è iniziata seriamente nel 2014, dopo che l’invasione della Crimea ha provocato una serie di sanzioni occidentali. Le spedizioni di oro si sono rivelate un modo efficace per accumulare e trasferire ricchezza, rafforzando le casse dello Stato russo ed eludendo i sistemi di monitoraggio finanziario internazionale.

Lo svantaggio dell’oro è che è fisico e molto più complicato da usare rispetto ai bonifici internazionali, ma il rovescio della medaglia è che è molto più difficile, se non impossibile, congelarlo o sequestrarlo. Circa l’85% dell’oro in Sudan è venduto in questo modo …. 32,7 tonnellate non sono state registrate nel 2021. Il generale Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader dell’unità paramilitare Rapid Support Forces (RSF), è un beneficiario chiave del sostegno russo, in quanto principale destinatario delle armi e dell’addestramento di Mosca. Questi agenti di Wagner sembrano far parte di un crescente clima di paura mentre Mosca stringe la sua presa sull’oleodotto del Sudan, dicono le fonti.

* * * * * * *

«Days after Moscow launched its bloody war on Ukraine, a Russian cargo plane stood on a Khartoum runway, a strip of tarmac surrounded by red-orange sand»

«The aircraft’s manifest stated it was loaded with cookies. Sudan rarely, if ever, exports cookies»

«Inside the hold, colorful boxes of cookies stretched out before them. Hidden just beneath were wooden crates of Sudan’s most precious resource. Gold. Roughly one ton of it»

«This incident in February — recounted by multiple official Sudanese sources to CNN — is one of at least 16 known Russian gold smuggling flights out of Sudan, Africa’s third largest producer of the precious metal, over the last year and a half»

«The evidence also suggests that Russia has colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership …. In exchange, Russia has lent powerful political and military backing to Sudan»

«The growing bond between Sudan’s military rulers and Moscow has spawned an intricate gold smuggling network»

«Russia’s meddling in Sudan’s gold began in earnest in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea prompted a slew of Western sanctions. Gold shipments proved an effective way of accumulating and transferring wealth, bolstering Russia’s state coffers while sidestepping international financial monitoring systems»

«The downside of gold is that it’s physical and a lot more cumbersome to use than international wire transfers but the flip side is that it’s much harder if not impossible to freeze or seize»

«Some 85% of the gold in Sudan is sold this way …. 32.7 tons was unaccounted for in 2021»

«Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary unit, is a key beneficiary from Russian support, as the primary recipient of Moscow’s weapons and training»

«Those Wagner operatives appear to be part of a growing climate of fear as Moscow tightens its grip on Sudan’s gold pipeline, sources say»

* * * * * * *

Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine

Khartoum, Sudan (CNN)Days after Moscow launched its bloody war on Ukraine, a Russian cargo plane stood on a Khartoum runway, a strip of tarmac surrounded by red-orange sand. The aircraft’s manifest stated it was loaded with cookies. Sudan rarely, if ever, exports cookies.

A heated debate transpired between officials in a back office of Khartoum International Airport. They feared that inspecting the plane would vex the country’s increasingly pro-Russian military leadership. Multiple previous attempts to intercept suspicious Russian carriers had been stopped. Ultimately, however, the officials decided to board the plane.

Inside the hold, colorful boxes of cookies stretched out before them. Hidden just beneath were wooden crates of Sudan’s most precious resource. Gold. Roughly one ton of it.

This incident in February — recounted by multiple official Sudanese sources to CNN — is one of at least 16 known Russian gold smuggling flights out of Sudan, Africa’s third largest producer of the precious metal, over the last year and a half.

Multiple interviews with high-level Sudanese and US officials and troves of documents reviewed by CNN paint a picture of an elaborate Russian scheme to plunder Sudan’s riches in a bid to fortify Russia against increasingly robust Western sanctions and to buttress Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine.

The evidence also suggests that Russia has colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and to deprive the poverty-stricken country of hundreds of millions in state revenue.

In exchange, Russia has lent powerful political and military backing to Sudan’s increasingly unpopular military leadership as it violently quashes the country’s pro-democracy movement.

Former and current US officials told CNN that Russia actively supported Sudan’s 2021 military coup which overthrew a transitional civilian government, dealing a devastating blow to the Sudanese pro-democracy movement that had toppled President Omar al-Bashir two years earlier.

“We’ve long known Russia is exploiting Sudan’s natural resources,” one former US official familiar with the matter told CNN. “In order to maintain access to those resources Russia encouraged the military coup.”

“As the rest of the world closed in on [Russia], they have a lot to gain from this relationship with Sudan’s generals and from helping the generals remain in power,” the former official added. “That ‘help’ runs the gamut from training and intelligence support to jointly benefiting from Sudan’s stolen gold.”

At the heart of this quid pro quo between Moscow and Sudan’s military junta is Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and key ally of President Vladimir Putin.

The heavily sanctioned 61-year-old controls a shadowy network of companies that includes Wagner, a paramilitary group linked to alleged torture, mass killings and looting in several war-torn countries including Syria and the Central African Republic (CAR). Prigozhin denies links to Wagner.

In Sudan, Prigozhin’s main vehicle is a US-sanctioned company called Meroe Gold — a subsidiary of Prigozhin owned M-invest — which extracts gold while providing weapons and training to the country’s army and paramilitaries, according to invoices seen by CNN.

“Through Meroe Gold, or other companies associated with Prigozhin employees, he has developed a strategy to loot the economic resources of the African countries where he intervenes, as a counterpart to his support to the governments in place,” said Denis Korotkov, investigator at the London-based Dossier Center, which tracks the criminal activity of various people associated with the Kremlin. The center was started by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, now living in exile in London.

CNN, in collaboration with the Dossier Center, can also reveal that at least one high-level Wagner operative — Alexander Sergeyevich Kuznetsov — has overseen operations in Sudan’s key gold mining, processing and transit sites in recent years.

Kuznetsov — also known by his call signs “Ratibor” and “Radimir” — is a convicted kidnapper who fought in neighboring Libya and commanded Wagner’s first attack and reconnaissance company in 2014. He is a four-time recipient of Russia’s Order of Courage award and was pictured alongside Putin and Dmitri Utkin — Wagner’s founder — in 2017. The European Union sanctioned Kuznetsov in 2021.

The growing bond between Sudan’s military rulers and Moscow has spawned an intricate gold smuggling network. According to Sudanese official sources as well as flight data reviewed by CNN in collaboration with flight tracker Twitter account Gerjon, at least 16 of the flights intercepted by Sudanese officials last year were operated by military plane that came to and from the Syrian port city of Latakia where Russia has a major airbase.

Gold shipments also follow a land route to the CAR, where Wagner has propped up a repressive regime and is reported to have meted out some of its cruelest tactics on the country’s population, according to multiple Sudanese official sources and the Dossier Center.

CNN has reached out to the Russian foreign ministry, the Russian defense ministry and the parent organization for the group of companies run by Prigozhin for comment. None has responded.

Responding to the findings of CNN’s investigation, a US State Department spokesperson said: “We are monitoring this issue closely, including the reported activities of Meroe Gold, the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group, and other sanctioned actors in Sudan, the region, and throughout the gold trade.

“We support the Sudanese people in their pursuit of a democratic and prosperous Sudan that respects human rights,” the spokesperson added. “We will continue to make clear our concerns to Sudanese military officials about the malign impact of Wagner, Meroe Gold, and other actors.”

                         Receding into the shadows

Russia’s meddling in Sudan’s gold began in earnest in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea prompted a slew of Western sanctions. Gold shipments proved an effective way of accumulating and transferring wealth, bolstering Russia’s state coffers while sidestepping international financial monitoring systems.

“The downside of gold is that it’s physical and a lot more cumbersome to use than international wire transfers but the flip side is that it’s much harder if not impossible to freeze or seize,” said Daniel McDowell, sanctions specialist and associate professor of Political Science at Syracuse University.

The hub of Russia’s gold extraction operation lies deep in the desert of northeast Sudan, a bleached landscape peppered with gaping chasms where miners toil in searing heat, with only tents fashioned from scraps of tarpaulin and sandbags providing any respite.

Miners from those remote artisanal mines converge on al-Ibaidiya — known as ‘gold town’ — every morning, lugging sacks of gold in carts hauled by donkeys along the town’s unpaved roads. The highest bidders for their goods, many of them say, are almost invariably merchants dispatched from a nearby processing plant known by locals as ‘the Russian company.’

It’s a helter-skelter selling process that sources tell CNN is the nerve center of Russia’s gold siphoning. Some 85% of the gold in Sudan is sold this way, according to official statistics seen by CNN. The transactions are mostly off-the-books, and Russia dominates this market, according to multiple sources, including mining whistleblowers and security sources.

For at least a decade, Russia has hidden its Sudanese gold dealings from the official record. Sudan’s official Foreign Trade Statistics since 2011 consistently list Russia’s total gold exports from the country at zero, despite copious evidence of Moscow’s extensive dealings in this sector.

Because Russia has benefited from considerable government blind spots, it is difficult to ascertain the exact amount of gold it has removed from Sudan. But at least seven sources familiar with events accuse Russia of driving the lion’s share of Sudan’s gold smuggling operations — which is where most of Sudan’s gold has ended up in recent years, according to official statistics.

A whistleblower from inside the Sudanese Central Bank showed CNN a photo of a spreadsheet showing that 32.7 tons was unaccounted for in 2021. Using current prices, this amounts to $1.9 billion worth of missing gold, at $60 million a ton.

But multiple former and current officials say that the amount of missing gold is even larger, arguing that the Sudanese government vastly underestimates the gold produced at informal artisanal mines, distorting the real number.

Most of CNN’s insider sources claim that around 90% of Sudan’s gold production is being smuggled out. If true, that would amount to roughly $13.4 billion worth of gold that has circumvented customs and regulations, with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars lost in government revenue. CNN cannot independently verify those figures.

An anti-corruption Sudanese investigator who has tracked Russia’s gold dealings in Sudan for years provided CNN with the coordinates of a key Russian processing plant. When CNN arrived at the site, some five miles from al-Ibaidiya, a Soviet flag fluttered above the compound. A Russian fuel truck was parked outside.

A casual encounter with the guard — who confirmed that the facility belonged to the so-called “Russian company” — quickly turned into a tense confrontation.

The guard spoke through a walkie talkie, conveying CNN’s request to speak to “the Russian manager.” A group of Sudanese men then rushed to the scene and ordered the CNN crew to leave, before the CNN car was tailed by the security detail.

“You need to go,” another Sudanese employee at the plant told CNN. “This isn’t a Russian company. It is a Sudanese company called al-Solag.”

Al-Solag is a Sudanese front company for Meroe Gold, the US-sanctioned Russian mining business, according to five official Sudanese sources and company registration documents reviewed by CNN.

Al-Solag’s formation over the last year has marked a key turning point for Russia’s presence in Sudan. Under the new model, Russia’s dealings have receded into the shadows, making the arrangements more reliant on Sudan’s military leadership and further enabling Russian actors to circumvent state institutions, including regulations pertaining to foreign companies, under the guise of a local business. CNN has reached out to Sudan’s military leadership for comment, and received no reply.

‘Too much US scrutiny’

In 2021, Russia’s Sudan envoy, Vladimir Zheltov, called for an impromptu meeting with Sudanese mining officials.

Appearing visibly nervous, Zheltov demanded that Meroe Gold be “obscured” after becoming subject to “too much US scrutiny,” according to a whistleblower from Sudan’s Ministry of Mining who had first-hand knowledge of the meeting.

By June of this year, Zheltov’s demands had materialized. The transfer of Meroe Gold’s assets to the Sudanese-owned al-Solag appeared to have been completed. An analysis of the registration documents of the two companies revealed striking similarities, including two identical lists of legal penalties.

Under Sudanese law, a company wishing to transfer their holdings must also transfer judgments against it. It is illegal to have an undeclared foreign partner.

Sudan’s anti-corruption committee, a watchdog set up to assist Sudan’s transition to democracy, then blocked the attempted subterfuge, according to a former civilian official with direct knowledge of the events. The anti-corruption committee sent a detailed report to the armed forces in September 2021 with evidence of the Meroe Gold transfer to al-Solag, urging them to stop what they dubbed a “crime against the state.”

The watchdog also accused the military of complicity in Russia’s dealings, drawing the ire of the military leadership who lambasted the committee for “harming the armed forces,” according to the former civilian official.

“The Russians and Sudanese officers saw the civilians in the government as an obstacle to their plans,” the former official added.

In October 2021, a month after the anti-corruption committee stopped the transfer of holdings from Meroe Gold to al-Solag, Sudan’s military staged a coup — which US official and former official sources accuse Russia of backing — and the junta immediately dismantled the committee.

“Russia is a parasite,” the former official told CNN. “It pillaged Sudan. And it has exacted a very large political penalty by terminating a democratic project that could have turned Sudan into a great nation.”

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary unit, is a key beneficiary from Russian support, as the primary recipient of Moscow’s weapons and training. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan — the country’s military ruler — is also believed by CNN’s Sudanese sources to be backed by Russia.

Human rights groups have implicated both Burhan and Dagalo (known as Hemedti) in alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sudan’s Darfur conflict that started in 2003.

On the same day that Russia launched its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Hemedti was heading a Sudanese delegation in Moscow to “advance relations” between the two countries.

Wagner boots on the ground

On a dusty border-crossing between the CAR and Sudan in March 2019, a bespectacled 34-year-old Russian frantically sent his boss — Meroe Gold owner Mikhail Potepkin — a plea for help.

“Radimir is pissed that no one was warned,” wrote Aleksei Pankov in a Telegram conversation which the Dossier Center shared with CNN. He was referring to Kuznetsov, the menacing high-level Wagner operative, depicted as manning the border alongside Sudanese intelligence operatives.

“Tell Radimir that it was a ‘closed’ operation. That’s why we didn’t warn him about it,” came Potepkin’s reply.

“F**k, Radimir is scary. I almost s**t my pants,” Pankov wrote back.

This exchange is part of a string of evidence collected by CNN that establishes Kuznetsov as a key Wagner enforcer across key locations in Sudan.

CNN has also seen official Sudanese communiques referencing Kuznetsov as a “problematic” armed Russian who was overseeing security at the Russian gold processing plant near al-Ibaidiya. A source familiar with Meroe Gold’s activities in Sudan told CNN that Kuznetsov also frequented the company’s offices in Khartoum.

Wagner operatives deploy to Sudan on a rotational basis, the Dossier Center told CNN, and Kuznetsov may be one of several Wagner men in the country. These are strategically dispatched to protect Russia’s smuggling scheme that has grown in importance since Russia launched its war on Ukraine.

Those Wagner operatives appear to be part of a growing climate of fear as Moscow tightens its grip on Sudan’s gold pipeline, sources say.

Several local journalism networks whose work CNN has drawn on for this report — such as Mujo Press, al-Bahshoum and activist journalist Hisham Ali’s Facebook page — have been targeted in recent months, driven into exile under the threat of assassination. Ten protesters were gunned down in demonstrations in June alone, three of whom were prominent pro-democracy activists. CNN security sources believe they were deliberately targeted.

High-level Sudanese officials repeatedly urged CNN’s Nima Elbagir to steer clear of protest sites. Since CNN began this investigation, Elbagir has been put on the military junta’s hit list, according to multiple Sudanese security sources.

As images of Russian tanks encircling Kyiv were flashing on TV screens at Khartoum International Airport, employees watched as the plane laden with cookies and gold took off last February. Senior army brass had intervened and a sense of foreboding set in.

Some of the officials who uncovered the haul were reassigned, some to regional duty stations, and others were sent to army reserves, according to a source with direct knowledge of the incident.

“They paid for doing their jobs,” the source told CNN.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Russia, Stati Uniti

Usa. Le sanzioni di Joe Biden hanno generato un possente mercato dello Yuan.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-02.

 2022-08-01__ Rublo Yuan 001

«Joe Biden’s assertion that sanctions had turned the ruble into rubble»

«L’affermazione di Joe Biden secondo cui le sanzioni avrebbero ridotto il rublo in macerie»

si è rivelata essere una galattica cantonata.

L’effetto più vistoso ed importante è stata la generazione di un blocco euroasiatico politico, finanziario, economico e militare.

La Russia prosegue a vendere i propri prodotti energetici entro questo blocco, mentre l’enclave liberal occidentale soffre una severa penuria di materie prime.

Russia. 2022Q2. Export 153.1 miliardi. Annualizzato sarebbero 612.4 miliardi.

Tutta questa impresa ha gravato sui Contribuente Elettori americani, concorrendo potentemente alla generazione di una inflazione incontrollata.

Usa. Misurata in modo corretto l’inflazione è al 17.1% annualizzato. – Bloomberg.

Sequenziali gli aggiustamenti sui mercati internazionali.

Cina. Le riserve in dollari americani sono scese sotto il trilione.

Ma l’effetto di maggiore portata è stato sul mercato valutario

«The war in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s pivot east and sent local demand for China’s yuan surging»

«They are actively shifting to currencies other than the dollar and the euro»

Nel blocco euroasiatico lo yuan è diventato la valuta di riferimento e di riserva, scalzando il dollaro americano.

Sta prendendo corpo una larga porzione di stati a livello mondiale che si avviano alla dedollarizzazione.

In pratica, tutto il modo libero si sta dollarizzando.

Brics Plus. Sono diventati la prima potenza mondiale e l’occidente liberal ne è escluso.

Joe Biden è diventato il becchino degli Stati  Uniti.

* * * * * * *

La guerra in Ucraina ha accelerato l’orientamento della Russia verso est e ha fatto impennare la domanda locale di yuan cinese, contribuendo a domare un rally del rublo durato quattro mesi che ha messo sotto pressione le imprese e il bilancio.

I volumi di scambio giornalieri della coppia yuan-rublo sono quasi raddoppiati questa settimana rispetto alla scorsa, raggiungendo mercoledì il massimo giornaliero di 7,82 miliardi di yuan (1,16 miliardi di dollari).

I volumi della coppia di valute yuan-rublo sono ora superiori a quelli della coppia euro-rublo. …. Si stanno spostando attivamente verso valute diverse dal dollaro e dall’euro. …. Il gigante dell’alluminio Rusal offre il primo bond locale russo in yuan.

Nonostante l’isolamento della Russia, la sua valuta ha registrato un’impennata da febbraio. Le aziende hanno continuato a convertire in rubli miliardi di dollari di entrate derivanti dalle esportazioni di energia, mentre i controlli valutari e il crollo delle importazioni hanno fatto sì che ci fosse poco appetito per il biglietto verde.

Ma l’appetito per lo yuan, così come il taglio dei tassi superiore alle previsioni della scorsa settimana, sembrano raffreddare un rally che ha minato l’affermazione del presidente statunitense Joe Biden secondo cui le sanzioni avrebbero trasformato il rublo in macerie.

Il volume degli scambi yuan-rublo ha raggiunto i 94 miliardi di yuan a luglio, rispetto ai 54 miliardi di giugno.

Prestate attenzione alla coppia yuan-rublo, e vedrete che la valuta cinese si è rafforzata in modo più significativo quando i volumi di scambio hanno raggiunto un record.

Il volume degli scambi è quasi raddoppiato nell’ultimo mese, mentre non si può ancora parlare di una ripresa così forte delle importazioni.

* * * * * * *

«The war in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s pivot east and sent local demand for China’s yuan surging, helping tame a four-month ruble rally that’s piled pressure on companies and the budget»

«Daily trading volumes in the yuan-ruble pair are on track to almost double this week compared with last, hitting an all-time daily high of 7.82 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) on Wednesday»

«Volumes for the yuan-ruble currency pair are now higher than for the euro-ruble pair»

They are actively shifting to currencies other than the dollar and the euro ….     Aluminum Giant Rusal Offers Russia’s First Local Bond in Yuan»

«Despite Russia’s isolation, its currency had been on a tear since February. Companies continued to convert billions of dollars of revenue from energy exports into rubles, while currency controls and collapsing imports meant there was little appetite for the greenback»

«But appetite for the yuan, as well as a bigger-than-forecast rate cut last week, appear to be cooling a rally that undermined US President Joe Biden’s assertion that sanctions had turned the ruble into “rubble.”»

«The volume of yuan-ruble trading reached 94 billion yuan in July compared with 54 billion in June»

«Pay attention to the yuan-ruble pair, and you’ll see the Chinese currency strengthened more significantly when trading volumes were at a record»

«The trading volume almost doubled over the past month, while we can’t yet talk about such a strong recovery in imports»

* * * * * * *


Ruble Is Stumbling as Yuan Trading Volumes Soar to Record

(Bloomberg) — The war in Ukraine has accelerated Russia’s pivot east and sent local demand for China’s yuan surging, helping tame a four-month ruble rally that’s piled pressure on companies and the budget. 

Daily trading volumes in the yuan-ruble pair are on track to almost double this week compared with last, hitting an all-time daily high of 7.82 billion yuan ($1.16 billion) on Wednesday, according to Moscow Exchange data. Volumes for the yuan-ruble currency pair are now higher than for the euro-ruble pair, the figures show. The ruble is the worst performer against the dollar among emerging markets this month. 

Sweeping sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine have cut Russia off from global markets, making dollar and euro investments toxic for local investors. The government has suggested buying the currencies of so-called friendly nations to cool the ruble’s surge this year, but there’s no indication that the latest jump in yuan trading was due to coordinated interventions.  

“Not only Russia’s government, but also private and institutional investors, participants in foreign economic activity are interested in avoiding external infrastructure risks,” said George Vaschenko, the head of Russian stock-market operations at Freedom Finance LLC. “They are actively shifting to currencies other than the dollar and the euro.” 

Aluminum Giant Rusal Offers Russia’s First Local Bond in Yuan

The Bank of Russia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Despite Russia’s isolation, its currency had been on a tear since February. Companies continued to convert billions of dollars of revenue from energy exports into rubles, while currency controls and collapsing imports meant there was little appetite for the greenback. 

The ruble touched its strongest level in seven years years last month, stoking concern the gains would hinder companies’ competitiveness and reduce budget revenue from exports in local-currency terms. 

                         Ruble as Rubble? 

But appetite for the yuan, as well as a bigger-than-forecast rate cut last week, appear to be cooling a rally that undermined US President Joe Biden’s assertion that sanctions had turned the ruble into “rubble.”

The currency is down more than 16% in so far in July and is set to snap a four month run of losses against the dollar. The volume of yuan-ruble trading reached 94 billion yuan in July compared with 54 billion in June, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Moscow Exchange daily data as of the close Thursday. 

“The dollar gained through cross-currency effects,” said Egor Zhilnikov, chief analyst at Promsvyazbank PJSC. “Pay attention to the yuan-ruble pair, and you’ll see the Chinese currency strengthened more significantly when trading volumes were at a record.”

At the end of June, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the government is considering reviving a version of its pre-war fiscal rule to divert energy earnings into foreign exchange, thus indirectly weakening the ruble. The new approach would target currencies not hit by sanctions. He didn’t specify what currencies might be considered.

Governor Elvira Nabiullina said last week that the Bank of Russia is ready to start purchases under the budget rule as early as this year.

Andrey Kochetkov, a dealer at Otkritie Bank FC in Moscow, suggested that the government may already be in the market. 

“The trading volume almost doubled over the past month, while we can’t yet talk about such a strong recovery in imports,” he said. “So it seems that the participation of the authorities in foreign exchange trading is the most likely reason” for the ruble’s weakness, he said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Cina, Stati Uniti

Cina. Le riserve in dollari americani sono scese sotto il trilione.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-07-28.

Banca Centrale Cina

Le notizie importanti non hanno bisogno di essere espresse con molte parole.

* * * * * * *

La Cina detiene il debito statunitense sotto i 1,000 miliardi di dollari per la prima volta dal 2010 …. A maggio il portafoglio cinese di debito pubblico è sceso a 980.8 miliardi di dollari.

Si tratta di un calo di quasi 23 miliardi di dollari rispetto ad aprile e di quasi 100 miliardi di dollari, pari al 9%, rispetto al mese precedente …. Il Giappone è ora il principale detentore del debito statunitense con 1,200 miliardi di dollari.

Il calo del debito arriva mentre la Federal Reserve statunitense ha aumentato i tassi per fermare l’inflazione che corre al ritmo più veloce dal 1981.

* * * * * * *

«China holdings of U.S. debt fall below $1 trillion for the first time since 2010 …. China’s portfolio of government debt in May dropped to $980.8 billion»

«That’s a decline of nearly $23 billion from April and down nearly $100 billion, or 9%, from the year-earlier month …. Japan is now the leading holder of U.S. debt with $1.2 trillion»

«The debt decline comes as the U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising rates to stop inflation running at its fastest rate since 1981»

«When rates rise on bonds, prices drop, meaning a capital loss for investors who sell the bonds ahead of maturity»

* * * * * * *


China holdings of U.S. debt fall below $1 trillion for the first time since 2010

– China’s portfolio of government debt in May dropped to $980.8 billion, according to Treasury Department data released Monday.

– It marked the first time since May 2010 that China’s holdings fell below the $1 trillion mark.

* * * * * * *

China’s holdings of U.S. debt have fallen below $1 trillion for the first time in 12 years amid rising interest rates that have made Treasurys potentially less attractive.

Continuing a trend that began early in 2021, China’s portfolio of U.S. government debt in May dropped to $980.8 billion, according to Treasury Department data released Monday. That’s a decline of nearly $23 billion from April and down nearly $100 billion, or 9%, from the year-earlier month.

It also marked the first time since May 2010 that China’s holdings fell below the $1 trillion mark. Japan is now the leading holder of U.S. debt with $1.2 trillion.

The debt decline comes as the U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising rates to stop inflation running at its fastest rate since 1981. When rates rise on bonds, prices drop, meaning a capital loss for investors who sell the bonds ahead of maturity.

China’s holdings of U.S. debt have fallen below $1 trillion for the first time in 12 years amid rising interest rates that have made Treasurys potentially less attractive.

Continuing a trend that began early in 2021, China’s portfolio of U.S. government debt in May dropped to $980.8 billion, according to Treasury Department data released Monday. That’s a decline of nearly $23 billion from April and down nearly $100 billion, or 9%, from the year-earlier month.

It also marked the first time since May 2010 that China’s holdings fell below the $1 trillion mark. Japan is now the leading holder of U.S. debt with $1.2 trillion.

The debt decline comes as the U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising rates to stop inflation running at its fastest rate since 1981. When rates rise on bonds, prices drop, meaning a capital loss for investors who sell the bonds ahead of maturity.