Russia & China will have their own “Ratings Agencies”

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As we have mentioned before, Western ratings agencies have always been “overrated” and much credibility has been lost in recent years (except in the West) however, they can have more impact than a nuclear device. Economies and banks can be destroyed if, the procrastinating, hypercritical agencies decide to downgrade a bank or economy.

The Russians and Chinese have had enough, and will not be dictated too, by the very instigators of the 2008 Sub-Prime issues. The too big to fail, double standards mentality that prevails in the US, will no longer be of concern to Russia & China.

The two countries have recently signed an agreement. In a new joint venture, to try and re-balance the global finances, the new institution will investigate joint investment projects, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced during a recent visit to China. There is also talk of the creation of a new bank that will bring competition to the “all prevailing” IMF (international monetary fund). Also on the agenda is, a rival Credit Card payment system to counter the VISA/MasterCard monopoly that was used as a weapon against Russia recently.

Moscow recently discovered just how expensive a negative rating can be. S&P and Moody’s both downgraded Russia because of the Crimea situation. According to S&P rated just one grade above junk, of course in true American style the other agencies quickly followed suit (as they do).

The Russian bond market reacted negatively to the downgrades. Interest rates raised up so far, that Moscow had to curb plans to issue any new bonds. The downgrades were also detrimental to the Ruble and stocks on the Moscow exchange. After the S&P downgrade, the Central Bank of Russia was forced to intervene and raise interest rates, to put the brakes on investors withdrawing from the country.

China has also been irritated with its treatment by the Western rating agencies and has created its own agency, The Dagong, which still has to gain any credibility as an agency in the world.

The Dagong bases its ratings more strongly on fundamentals such as debt ratio, China and Russia are in considerably better positions than the US. Measured against economic performance, Moscow’s liabilities are less 13%. That’s as far as gross debt is concerned. If you include reserve assets from the sovereign wealth fund into which part of Gas/Oil proceeds flow, then Russia is “debt-free”. China’s is in the region of 20% as compared to the US where it’s over 100%.

Moody’s, Fitch etc. rate the US on average the top AAA grade, The Dagong rates it A-
Russia and China are far better with The Dagong, Beijing is given AAA, and Russia is given A, which is two grades higher than the US. At this time Western agencies rate Russia three grades below the U.S, and China two grades below it.

It appears that in the avoidance of being pushed into a third world war the Russians, Chinese and some members of the BRICS countries have grown weary of the “one sided US Dollar”, and their countries dependencies of the US currency. In the last 2 years China, Russia, Malaysia have been trading oil in their own currencies, putting further pressure on the Dollar.

Personally, i see this as a positive move to bring some “balance” back into the world, (all be it, the financial world). Having a ratings agency that offers a different perspective to the Western Monopoly that currently exists. After all “competition is good for the consumer, monopolies work better for businesses & Governments”.

Litecoin falls to ASIC mining

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If you have been mining lite-coins with GPU cards, and have noticed that you are generating a fraction of what you were previously mining, there is a good reason………….
ASIC miners are now available and have been shipped to early birds that took the plunge, and put their money where there mouth was.
The difficulty levels have now risen to as hefty 14,492.62 which you can see below.LTCN

So not only are there still global shortages of the GPU cards necessary to mine, the electricity and hardware costs, in most countries, far outweighs the coin returns (at current value).
However for those of you that missed the boat don’t despair, you still have the ability to speculate on the “Coin” markets with CFDs.

Why Harley Davidson?

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Why a Harley?

As the world economies are still in crisis, my wife thinks im going through a midlife crisis, Its not that Harleys are superior to other machines. I have owned and ridden many different bikes mainly Japanese and British (or they used to be British) ride quality, parts availability, fuel economy were all equal or superior.

So why a Harley? Its a combination of many things……….Harley like Triumph, Norton, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Ferrari and a few select others has pedigree, a history, and been established since 1903. These bikes were built by “people” hands on. The designs have changed very little over the years so they retain a look that is both retro and modern at the same time (if that makes any sense).

The next reason was simplicity of customization, the after market choices with Harley is mind blowing and you only need “half a Brain” (and some tools) to do it yourself. So you can keep it standard or tear it apart and make it your own. Regardless of what you do, everybody still understands its a Harley Davidson.

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I wanted one, its as simple as that. So many opinions over the years “they dont handle”, “they are slow”, “they break down all the time”…..bla, bla, bla. Most of these opinions came from people that have “never owned or ridden a Harley. It was old stories passed down through history (people only remember the bad things).

Not on my list at the time was, notoriety, every-time i go out, i get the “thumbs up” or the “OK” sign from pedestrians, or the nodd from other bikes. Car drivers at the traffic lights still attempt to talk to me over the 100dB Vance & Hines Short Shots, which never ceases to amaze me. If i am parked outside a shop or bar there will always be someone waiting to have a chat about the bike.

Maybe it will last a year, maybe a lifetime (whats left of it :-)) most important is, its fun.

 

 

The End of The American Dream

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The World economies have issues and the macros are always misrepresented however, the United States epitomizes the corruption, neglect and bad management.

The USD is failing, the US has been extending its own line of credit for decades and not even providing budgets to predict their extravagant spending.

This is the end of “The American Dream”  that has been lived at the expense of other less fortunate nations.

US Debt

Unemployment is running at close to 13% and even this figure is dumb d down.

Bureau of Labor Stastics U1-U6

U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force
U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force
U-3 Total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate)
U-4 Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers
U-5 Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.

The US uses the U3 figure to represent its unemployment.

The US debts have spiraled out of control, ignored by political parties to the detriment of their own people.

Total US debt today is $17,527,112,550,828, the last 6 digits move too quickly to count. You can see The US Debt Clock in real time here.

For every person in the US it means a debt of $193,620, for a family of 4 that’s $774,480 which somewhere along the line will have to be collected in TAXES. (which is impossible)

Governments owed by the US as of March 2014:

1. China, Mainland, $1.27 trillion dollars
2. Japan, $1.2 trillion dollars
3. Belgium, $381.4 billion dollars
4. Carib Bkg Ctrs, $312.5 billion dollars
5. Oil Exporters, $247.4 billion dollars
6. Brazil, $245.3 billion dollars
7. All Other, $198.8 billion dollars
8. United Kingdom, $176.4 billion dollars
9. Taiwan, $176.4 billion dollars
10. Switzerland, $175.7 billion dollars

 

Since January 2010, the following cities have filed for bankruptcy:

 

Detroit, Michigan
San Bernardino, California
Mammoth Lakes, California
Stockton, California
Jefferson County, Alabama
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Central Falls, Rhode Island
Boise County, Idaho

Food Stamps

A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

So how does the US reduce this debt and get their books in order?

War, unfortunately for the “normal people” and the rest of the world, the only way the US can wipe the slate and boost its industries, is to have another World War. Incidentally the US has been involved in conflicts around the globe since 1775, that’s 238 years of Waring.

At this time Its making direct moves to antagonize Russia, China and North Korea just to make sure that it happens.

 

Lite-Coin falls to ASIC Mining

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If you have been mining lite-coins with GPU cards, and have noticed that you are generating a fraction of what you were previously mining, there is a good reason………….
ASIC miners are now available and have been shipped to early birds that took the plunge, and put their money where there mouth was.
The difficulty levels have now risen to as hefty 10,763.14 which you can see below.ASIC Litecoin

So not only are there still global shortages of the GPU cards necessary to mine, the electricity and hardware costs, in most countries, far outweighs the coin returns (at current value).
However for those of you that missed the boat don’t despair, you still have the ability to speculate on the “Coin” markets with CFDs.

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