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


Thursday, 16 August 2012

The “Not-so-Special” Relationship


The Special Relationship is a phrase used to describe the exceptionally-close relation between the USA and Great Britain. Winston Churchill first coined it in a speech in 1946, and the Special Relationship covers the political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, military, and cultural spheres. The Special Relationship came into being at the same time as the Bretton Woods agreement, which, many believe (including me), is no longer relevant in the 21st century economy. Whilst we continue to hear that the USA and Great Britain still enjoy exceptionally close ties, much closer than with any other country, the evidence is mounting to suggest that the Special Relationship is, in fact, not so “special” anymore.

The latest episode in the not-so-Special Relationship is the attack on British banks by the Americans. The USA is accusing Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank of laundering some 250 billion dollars of transactions over 10 years for the Iranian régime, hiding some 60,000 transactions from American regulators. They did it with the help of American consultancies and accounting firms, but the most striking thing is that, throughout this 10-year period, the Special Relationship was continually held up as the basis for everything that’s gone on between the USA and Great Britain.

The Standard Chartered Bank affair comes hot on the heels of another British bank under immense pressure from the United States, HSBC. HSBC stands accused of laundering drug cartel money, specifically in Mexico. Rumours have long been abounded about banks laundering drug money, especially American banks. However, yet again, another British bank is getting all the limelight in the USA for all the wrong reasons, with no sign of the Special Relationship coming to the rescue!

Of course, another big British bank recently coming under the glare of publicity was Barclays; they blew the whistle on themselves over the Libor scandal. This time, Barclay’s American CEO Bob Diamond fell on the British Sword when it came time for heads to roll in the Libor scandal. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke came out and said that he believed that Libor is structurally floored, which is true, yet, despite the Special Relationship, he was unable to voice his concerns prior to the scandal erupting or to work together to create a better system.

If we go back to the invasion of Iraq in 2003,  Tony Blair used the Special Relationship to justify why he was so economical with the truth to the British cabinet about the legality of going to war. In fact, many would say that he simply lied under the cover of the Special Relationship. His premiership never recovered from this, nor it would seem has the Special Relationship.

In 2010, BP suffered a horrendous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on their Deep Water Horizon platform, which resulted in nearly 5 million barrels of oil flowing into the ocean. BP had partners on the platform, one of which was the American oil services company Halliburton, which had connections to former-Vice President Dick Cheney. Far from stepping in to offer support to BP and taking some of the responsibility, the USA and Halliburton did the opposite, ensuring that BP took the blame publicly. One of the results of the Gulf oil spill was that the CEO of BP changed. It went from being headed by a British national to being led by a US national. Far from the Special Relationship offering economic support, in fact, it did the opposite, and a prize British asset remains under the leadership of an American.

The latest rumour is that New York is trying to edge London out as a global financial capital. This could explain why British banks are coming under attack from the United States. This is despite the fact that in 2008 the American banking system gave us Bernie Madoff, AIG, “too big to fail”, subprime lending, a frozen derivatives market, and a nation full of underwater mortgages. A defaulting European Union would be a disaster for the American banks that have underwritten all the credit default swaps on European debt, of course. It’d be like a biblical moment, insofar as credit default swaps are like insuring against a flood in the desert, and, right now, the clouds over the desert are very, very dark.

Whatever the truth is, the shape of the financial system is changing, and the Special Relationship really isn’t so special anymore. Instead of all capital flows going via either London or New York, the 21st century market model will see capital flows going directly between trading partners, on a peer-to-peer basis, and the USA and Great Britain will have to compete with each other for a piece of these flows, whether they are with Russia/Eurasian Union, China, the Middle East, Africa, or South Asia.

It seems that the US/Anglo banking cabal already understands the changing world, and whatever the rules of the Special Relationship were in the past, they no longer hold in a world of not-so-Special Relationships.

16 August 2012

Sam Barden



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