Voices from Russia

Friday, 21 November 2014

A Tale of Two Gold Reserves… Russian Goes UP… Ukrainian Goes DOWN…. Now, Which Economy is in the Shitter? BTW… Yatsenyuk Sez “Only Rogue States without International Support need Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves”



During October 2014, the Bank of Russia reported that Russian international gold reserves increased 1.6 percent… to 37.6 million ounces (1,169.5 metric tons), compared to 37 million ounces as of 1 October. The monetary value of the gold reserves increased by 0.6 percent… up to 45.307 billion USD (2.07 trillion Roubles. 277.485 billion Renminbi. 2.8 trillion INR. 51.154 billion CAD. 52.033 billion AUD. 36.368 trillion Euros. 28.916 billion UK Pounds) from 45.016 billion USD (2.058 trillion Roubles. 275.703 billion Renminbi. 2.785 trillion INR. 50.825 billion CAD. 51.68 billion AUD. 36.134 billion Euros. 28.736 billion UK Pounds) at the beginning of September. The proportion of gold in international reserves rose to 10.57 percent from 9.91 percent. At the beginning of January, Russian international gold reserves amounted to 33.3 million ounces (1,036 tonnes). Thus, for the first nine months of 2014, Russian gold reserves rose 12.9 percent. The price of gold since the beginning of the year increased 13.3 percent. Increase in Russian gold stocks in 2013 was 8.1 percent (77.759 tons)… it increased to 33.3 million ounces from 30.8 million ounces. However, the monetary value of gold in reserves decreased by 21.2 percent to 39.99 billion USD (1.828 trillion Roubles. 244.92 billion Renminbi. 2.47 trillion INR. 45.288 billion CAD. 45.91 billion AUD. 32.1 billion Euros. 25.523 billion UK Pounds) from 51.039 billion USD. (2.332 trillion Roubles. 312.59 billion Renminbi. 3.146 trillion INR. 57.8 billion CAD. 58.59 billion AUD. 41.04 billion Euros. 32.57 billion UK Pounds). The proportion of gold in international reserves declined to 7.8 percent from 9.5 percent. In recent years, the physical volume of gold in international reserves (on 1 January) has steadily increased:

  • 2007: 402.0 tons
  • 2008: 450.0 tons
  • 2009:  519.0 tons
  • 2010:  637.6 tons
  • 2011:  789.9 tons
  • 2012:  883.2 tons
  • 2013:  958.0 tons

20 November 2014

Rossiya Segodnya



Over seven years, Russian national gold reserves have increased almost three-fold. I’d say that CIA and Stratfor assessments that the Russian economy is in the shitter are a bit strident and off-base, wouldn’t you? It tells you much about ALL American assessments of Russia… it isn’t very good, is it? Remember, both Stratfor and Langley (especially, the former) have agendas that shape their “intelligence”… that DOES affect their “judgements” (to put it charitably).



Recently, the news came out that there’s almost no gold left in the vaults of the National Bank of the Ukraine. This news came directly from the head of the Ukrainian National Bank, V А Gontareva. Where did the precious metal go? Gontareva didn’t specify where the gold suddenly disappeared to, but we know that the gold in the vaults is only about an eighth of what it should be. She said, “There’s a small amount of gold bullion, but it’s literally 1 percent of the gold reserves”. Zerohedge Edition found enough conspiracy theories, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t contain truth. Back in March 2014, the IMF stated that the gold reserves in the Central Bank of Ukraine as of February 2014 were 42.3 tons, i.e. 8 percent of the gold reserves. Curiously, at that time, the coup was in full swing, which means that the substantial amount of gold in reserve was due to the foresight of former President V F Yanukovich. Moreover, during the reign of that “hateful” Ukrainian President, gold reserves increased steadily and reached a record just before his overthrow. Earlier, Zerohedge reported on a strange event that occurred almost immediately after the coup. You can find the information presented below in many Ukrainian media sources. Zerohedge’s publication was from 7 March 2014.

Tonight, a plane took off for the USA from Borispol Airport loaded with the Ukrainian gold reserves. As reported by airport workers, at 02.00 MSK, an unmarked transport aircraft landed at the airport. According to Borispol staff, before it landed, four cars and two large trucks pulled up, all without licence-plates. About fifteen people in black uniforms, masks, and body armour got out of the cars. Some of them had machine guns. These people placed over forty heavy boxes in the plane. After this, some of the masked men boarded the plane. They carried out the loading in a rush. After the operation, the unmarked cars immediately left the runway, and the plane took off hastily. Those who saw this secretive “special operation” immediately alerted airport officials, from whom they received a strong recommendation “not to meddle in other people’s affairs”. Later, a newspaper asked a former senior government official, who said that, according to him, the “new leaders” of the Ukraine spirited away the entire Ukrainian gold reserve to the USA.

Of course, the accuracy of this story is virtually impossible to verify, and it’s even more difficult to get any official confirmation of the “flight” of the Ukrainian gold reserve across the ocean. Nevertheless, one can assume that the price for the “liberation” of the Ukraine was the transfer of the Ukraine’s gold to the Fed. In addition, Germany stores much of its gold reserves at the Fed. After the stunning announcement in January 2013 that the Bundesbank planned to repatriate 674 tons of gold stored now at the Fed and in the Central Bank of France, nothing happened. The reasons for this are likely to lie completely in politics, despite official statements to the contrary. We’ve already written on why Germany didn’t repatriate its gold at the Federal Reserve.

19 November 2014

Vesti Ekonomika



So… the USA stole the Ukrainian gold reserves… that means that it doesn’t view the long-term survival chances of the Uniate junta as being good. In short, the American neoliberals (both “liberals” and “conservatives”) are the same under the skin… they’re acquisitive bastards intent on winning at any cost. “We’ve got ours and to hell with you”. That goes for both John Kerry and Marco Rubio… for Chilly Hilly and Ted Cruz… and for Barack Obama and Wet Willy Romney. They’ve got your best interests at heart, dontcha know…



A P Yatsenyuk said, “Only rogue states without international support need gold and foreign exchange reserves. The Ukraine isn’t one of them”.

20 November 2014

Donbass Tsentr



Now, that’s interesting… only rogue states need gold and foreign exchange reserves! Reflect on this… Langley and Stratfor take this crackbrained loon seriously. Crazy world, ain’t it?



Saturday, 13 October 2012

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Who’s the Boss?


The current American election campaign will determine who’ll sit in the White House in Washington DC for the next four years. However, whoever’s elected, they’ll run the White House, but they’ll definitely not rule the country. A number of recently-released reports highlighted long-suspected, but not confirmed, old truths. Who leaked them to the media, no one knows. However, the first-ever official audit of the US Federal Reserve System (which functions as a central bank in the USA) singled out the fact that the Fed allocated incredibly huge amounts of money for American businesses during and after the 2008 crisis.

According to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), “Wall Street made the largest coup in world history at the expense of American taxpayers. An independent audit conducted at my request revealed that the Federal Reserve earmarked a startling 16 trillion USD (498 trillion Roubles. 12.35 trillion Euros. 10 trillion UK Pounds) at zero interest for major financial institutions, large corporations, and wealthy individuals without the approval of Congress and president, as required by law”. If it weren’t for Senator Sanders’ credibility, and the fact that it came from data in an independent audit, this information could easily pass for a tall tale designed to create a sensation. However, Washington officials and the Fed’s leadership made no rebuttals concerning the reports; the American news media, usually so thirsty for sensation, have kept a stony silence on this as well. This shows all concerned who’re the bosses of the so-called “free” American media. After all, silence is consent.

However, it’s a mistake to think that the Federal Reserve, which performs central bank functions in the USA and has the right to print dollars, is subject to the government. The US Federal Reserve is a privately-run corporation, which assumed central bank functions in 1913 because of collusion between top politicians and bankers. Even though the Constitution doesn’t mention it, it’s been virtually uncontrollable; it’s practically independent from the government and President, the Federal Reserve has steered American economic policy since 1913. There can be no doubt as to whose interests the US Federal Reserve is trying to protect. A recent audit revealed that the recipients of the billions issued by the Fed since 2008 include Wall Street’s principal banks, including such “poor” institutions as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch.

At present, these banks are injecting huge funds into the election campaign of billionaire Mitt Romney, who declared Russia “Enemy Number One” and promised generous funding for military programmes. The Democratic candidate’s campaign isn’t experiencing any shortages of funds either. According to reports, the current election campaign is costing Obama about one billion dollars (31.1 billion Roubles. 775 million Euros. 625 million UK Pounds). Of course, these billions for the election race aren’t coming out of the blue. Regardless of who wins the election, the winner may think that they’re master in the White House, but they’ll be sadly mistaken.

9 October 2012

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

12 June 2012. This is Why You Should Vote AGAINST Wafflin’ Willy in November


The Dwindling Wealth of the American Family: By the Numbers

The Great Recession wiped out a huge chunk of the average family’s wealth, setting the USA back by nearly two decades. The median American family… the exact middle between the wealthiest and the poorest… had the same amount of money in 2010 as it did in 1992, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance, an extensive and detailed look at American wealth undertaken every three years. While the latest data is 18 months old, it underscores the astonishing economic devastation wreaked by the Great Recession, which, beginning in 2007, swept away a chunk of the wealth accumulated since the early 1990s. The Fed defines “wealth” as income plus assets… like homes, cars, and stocks… minus debts. Here’s a numerical look at the average family’s struggles:

126,400 USD 

(4.18 million Roubles 101,000 Euros. 81,200 UK Pounds)

Median American family net worth in 2007

77,300 USD 

(2.56 million Roubles. 61,800 Euros. 49,600 UK Pounds)

Median American family net worth in 2010

Family median wealth dropped 40 percent since 2007


95,300 USD

(3.15 million Roubles. 76,200 Euros. 61,200 UK Pounds)

Median home equity… the value of a house minus the balance owed on the mortgage…  in 2007

55,000 USD

(1.82 million Roubles. 44,000 Euros. 35,300 UK Pounds)

Median home equity in 2010

Median home equity dropped 42.3 percent since 2007


49,600 USD

(1.64 million Roubles. 39,700 Euros. 31,900 UK Pounds)

Median family income in 2007

45,800 USD 

(1.52 million Roubles. 36,600 Euros. 29,400 UK Pounds)

Median family income in 2010

Median family income dropped 8 percent since 2007


3,100 USD

(102,500 Roubles. 2,500 Euros. 2,000 UK Pounds)

Median credit card balance in 2007

2,600 USD 

(86,000 Roubles. 2,100 Euros. 1,700 UK Pounds)

Median credit card balance in 2010

Median credit card debt declined 16 percent since 2007


15.2 Median percentage of education-related debt in 2007
19.2 Median percentage of education-related debt in 2010

4 percentage point increase in median education-related debt since 2007

The proportion of median education-related debt increased 26.4 percent since 2007


7 Percentage of Americans late on debt payments in 2007
11 Percentage of Americans late on debt payments in 2010

4 percentage point increase in Americans late on debt payments since 2007

The proportion of Americans late on debt payments increased 57.2 percent since 2007


49,600 USD

(1.64 million Roubles. 39,700 Euros. 31,900 UK Pounds)

Median value of stock-based retirement plans in 2007

44,000 USD 

(1.46 million Roubles. 35,200 Euros. 28,300 UK Pounds)

Median value of stock-based retirement plans in 2010

Median stock-based retirement plans lost 7 percent of their value since 2007

12 June 2012

This Week

As quoted in Yahoo News



The above tragedy is the direct result of the Republican Party’s policies. This is what happened when GWB gave tax cuts to the affluent effluent and embarked on hellishly-expensive wars of aggression at the same time. We’re paying for it… no, we got none of the gain… yes, we got all of the pain. Reflect on this… Wafflin’ Willy, King Rush, Queen Ann, Grover Norquist, and all the rest say that that’s what’s normal… that ordinary people should pay for the fecklessness and irresponsibility of the top Five Percent. They call themselves “Christians”… fancy that…

You know what to do on 6 November. The president ain’t perfect, but the mess would’ve been worse had he not done what he did. Mittens wants to reinstate the very policies that caused this mess in the first place. You know what to do in the secrecy of the voting booth…


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Who Owns the Currency?


Editor’s Foreword:

I usually don’t “cut n’ paste”, but this is an important article. It’s a read n’ heed… compare THIS to the gaseous nonsense spouted by Rush Limboob and the Fox “News” claque. You can see the difference… objective truth as opposed to partisan Republican rightwing horseshit.



I have a friend that calls me from time to time to discuss the financial crisis. I should say from the outset that my friend operates on the far end of the curve. That’s to say, his views and thoughts are generally ahead of the mainstream by at least a couple of years, but his predictions freakishly all come to pass. Recently, he called me to discuss the Euro and currency in general. He asked me a simple question, “Who owns the Euro?” Well, surely, the European Central bank owns the Euro. No! Definitely… all the members of the European Union own the Euro? If the European Central Bank owns the Euro, or, if all the members of the European Union own it, then, why is there a crisis with the Euro? Why is there talk of members leaving the European Union or talk of the Euro collapsing or disappearing? I did some research and here’s what I found.

Currency is, or I should say was, originally backed by something. Usually, it was gold or silver. The question is, “Who backs it?” Whose gold or silver backs currency? Does the government back it, or, is currency privately backed? In addition, where is all the gold and silver that backs or backed currency? Let’s start with the world’s reserve currency, the USD. The USD became the world’s reserve currency at the end of the Second World War, replacing the British pound. The Bretton Woods agreement effectively anointed the USD as the world’s reserve currency because the US economy was by far the strongest in the world with the most industrial output, the most production of oil and coal, and, of course, the most powerful military in the world. Backing the USD was gold, with Fort Knox holding 7,500 tons that secures the USD, or did. You see, there’s no public record, oversight, or audit to ensure the gold is actually there. Who gave the United States 7,500 tons of gold in the first place?

There are 33 trillion USD (1.05 quadrillion Roubles. 24.7 trillion Euros. 21.3 trillion UK Pounds) in circulation. When you add all the euros, pounds, yen, and other currencies together, there are 88 trillion USD (2.78 quadrillion Roubles. 65.9 trillion Euros. 56.8 trillion UK Pounds) equivalents in circulation. Yet, when you look at all the derivative positions in the market, then, there are 650 trillion USD (20.5 quadrillion Roubles. 487 trillion Euros. 420 trillion UK Pounds) in value. There seems to have been some double counting, or, worse, duplication. Has someone being duplicating currency? What about the USD? Who owns the USD? Actually, as we know, printed on the USD are the words Federal Reserve Note. We know that the Federal Reserve’s a private institution. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 by the congress with the Federal Reserve Act. Does the Federal Reserve own the 7,500 tons of gold that backs the USD? Unlikely! Is there an organisation within the Federal Reserve that owns the gold? I think not. If we go a little further back in time, we get to 1688. This is when William III decreed that printing money was no longer a sovereign right. In 1694, the Bank of England was formed, a private institution, which was granted the power to print money.

It should be noted that for the first 150 years of America’s life, the colonies there fought for the right to issue their own currency, or scrip, which was free of interest and used to settle trade. The current Federal Reserve is the third incarnation of its kind in the United States. Banks and central banks have tried successfully to control the issue and supply of money into a country’s monetary system. This is the practise today. There’s no logical reason why sovereigns, each country, can’t print and control the issue of their own currency and issue it without interest. The problem with currency today is that it’s become a commodity. Rather than being used as a tool for the settlement of trade and to facilitate stable money supply, currency itself is being traded. As a result, we have hugely volatile markets across almost every asset class, and sovereigns are loaded with unnecessary debt that they’ll never pay back. None of this provides a stable money supply or the ability to settle trade.

So, who owns the Euro? I don’t know. What I do know is that whoever it is, they aren’t handing over more until the financial system is reformed. The commoditisation of currency appears to have included duplication. Why do banks have so much money, stock markets have so much value, yet, sovereign nations have perpetual debt? Financial system reform’s likely to be wholesale and soon. It’d be fair to see people arrested for financial fraud and corruption across many countries. The Occupy Wall Street movement is a modern day civil war. The people want control of their money back.

22 November 2011

Sam Barden

Sam’s Exchange


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