Russia-China Gas Deal: End of US Superpower?

Shanghai China and Russia signed a $400 billion gas deal giving Moscow a megamarket for its leading export and linking two major powers that, despite a rocky history of alliances and rivalries, have drawn closer to counter the clout of the United States and Europe.

 The 30 year deal which Mr. Putin called an “epochal event,” will lead to pipelines and billions of dollars in investments by these two nations. This also solidifies a Russia-China alliance that puts the US and it's NATO allies trailing behind. Back in 2012 the Obama Regime blocked the Keystone Pipeline which is a 1,661 mile pipeline from Canada into the US including Nebraska, Illinois, and the Texas Gulf Coast. This pipeline would create over 20,000 jobs and produce over 700,000 barrels of oil a day; while bringing industry and respect back to the former United States.

With western sanctions over Russia following the Ukraine crisis this deal once again puts Russia into the global market despite the European Union, United States and NATO all being against them. Providing lower gas prices than the EU China also offered a loan of $50 billion dollars and gas is expected to start flowing by 2018.

   Our government it seems for awhile now hasn't been good at anything except military force so don't expect us or our children to have industry come home. Our bridges are collapsing, our railroads are over 100 years old and we a have millions of barrels of oil in Alaska and the Gulf Coast we aren't allowed to pump. Only the entrepreneurship spirit which built this country will save this country. It's up to all of us to do what we can for ourselves and others; working together we can overcome.  

                                                                                                                                                -Sodaghar 6/4/14

Cold War 2

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, Ukraine (AP) - Masked gunmen stormed the parliament of Ukraine's strategic Crimea region as Russian fighter jets screamed above the border, while Ukraine's newly formed government pledged to prevent a national breakup with the strong backing of the West - the stirrings of a potentially dangerous confrontation reminiscent of Cold War brinksmanship.
 Moscow, meanwhile, has launched a major military exercise involving 150,000 troops and put fighter jets on patrol along the border. Barack Obama’s national security adviser said it would be a “grave mistake” for Vladimir Putin to send soldiers into Ukraine to restore a friendly government after the upheaval. The White House sent a stern message Sunday to Russian President Vladimir Putin to butt out of the Ukrainian crisis, warning a military intervention on his part “would be a grave mistake.”

 And then you have rational people like myself saying "Not again". Why does the US always feel the need to get involved in all Geo-politics even if the region is for strategic counter measures. We have had too much war and too much bad news in the country and nobody wants to hear Cold War rhetoric from politicians who've never even been in fight. This Slavic territory has been contested for a long time and if these people want to shape their own destinies I say so be it. No more American deaths in the name of national security or policing the world.
                                                                                                            -Sodaghar 2/27/14

Bitcoin Exchange Shutdown and Vultures Swarm Calling for Regulation

 Mt.Gox the largest Bitcoin Exchange has shut down causing an estimated loss of $300,000,000 plus worth of Bitcoin to go unaccounted for. This has left the Bitcoin market to fall about 50% of it's value currently trading at around $540 per 1 BTC. The closure of Mt.Gox has lead to a swarm of supporters, media, and politicians to call for regulations on Bitcoin.

"U.S. Treasury Department, for example, has suggested that bitcoin exchanges should follow anti-money-laundering rules that apply to money-transfer companies such as Western Union Co"

 I for one say no thanks. I was originally intrigued by Bitcoin because of the fact there is no oversight over what is being done with my money. Yes, you can launder money and yes you can buy illegal goods using Bitcoin but I say fuck you in telling me or watching where my money goes. This is a big blow for Bitcoin and I wouldn't be surprised if governments had something to do with it. I for one lost a small fortune due to this and for now my days in the BTC trade are over. The US Government is the largest holder of Bitcoin and they are scared to death of anything that can destroy their fiat banking system. I see this as an attempt to co-op the Bitcoin exchanges and turn this into their favor. Perhaps a One World Currency??

 We all take risks doing anything online we even take risks shopping outside. The recent Target credit card breach left over 10million of it's customers credit cards to become compromised. Everyday we become targets in both the digital and the real world. That is why we should protect ourselves and our money. I still feel BTC is the future and a good investment but I will feel the opposite if we let bureaucrats and regulators step in.

Even with my loss I still see anything outside the fractional reserve banking system as something to embrace so long as it's not issued or regulated by the same central banks.

                                                                                                               -Sodaghar 2/27/14

Bank Imposes Cash Withdrawl Restriction

Some HSBC customers have been prevented from withdrawing large amounts of cash because they could not provide evidence of why they wanted it, the BBC has learnt. 

Listeners have told Radio 4's Money Box they were stopped from withdrawing amounts ranging from £5,000 to £10,000. HSBC admitted it has not informed customers of the change in policy, which was implemented in November. The bank says it has now changed its guidance to staff. New rules
Stephen Cotton went to his local HSBC branch this month to withdraw £7,000 from his instant access savings account to pay back a loan from his mother.
A year before, he had withdrawn a larger sum in cash from HSBC without a problem.
But this time it was different, as he told Money Box: "When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for. They wanted a letter from the person involved."
Mr Cotton says the staff refused to tell him how much he could have: "So I wrote out a few slips. I said, 'Can I have £5,000?' They said no. I said, 'Can I have £4,000?' They said no. And then I wrote one out for £3,000 and they said, 'OK, we'll give you that.' "
He asked if he could return later that day to withdraw another £3,000, but he was told he could not do the same thing twice in one day.

As this was not a change to the Terms and Conditions of your bank account we had no need to pre-notify customers of the change”
HSBC customer letter
He wrote to complain to HSBC about the new rules and also that he had not been informed of any change.
The bank said it did not have to tell him. "As this was not a change to the Terms and Conditions of your bank account, we had no need to pre-notify customers of the change," HSBC wrote.
Frustrated customers Mr Cotton cannot understand HSBC's attitude: "I've been banking in that bank for 28 years. They all know me in there. You shouldn't have to explain to your bank why you want that money. It's not theirs, it's yours."
Peter from Wiltshire, who wanted his surname withheld, had a similar experience.
He wanted to take out £10 000 cash from HSBC, some to pay to his sons and some to fund his long-haul travel plans.
Peter phoned up the day before to give HSBC notice and everything seemed to be fine.
The next day he got a call from his local branch asking him to pay his sons via a bank payment and to provide booking receipts for his holidays. Peter did not have any booking receipts to show.
The following day he spoke to HSBC again and this time, having examined his account, it said he could withdraw the £10,000.

Belinda Bell is another customer who was initially denied her cash, in her case to pay her builder. She told Money Box she had to provide the builder's quote.
Customer protection HSBC has said that following customer feedback, it was changing its policy: "We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account. Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for."
"The reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We are writing to apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced."

In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent”
Douglas Carswell MP for Clacton
Money Box asked other banks what their policy is on large cash withdrawals.
They all said they reserved the right to ask questions about large cash withdrawals.
But none of them said they would require evidence of what the money was being used for before paying out.
Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, is alarmed by the new HSBC policy: "All these regulations which have been imposed on banks allow enormous interpretation. It basically infantilises the customer. In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent."
But Eric Leenders, head of retail at the British Bankers Association, said banks were sensible to ask questions of their customers: "I can understand it's frustrating for customers. But if you are making the occasional large cash withdrawal, the bank wants to make sure it's the right way to make the payment."