World View: Hillary Clinton Blasts Russia and China's Syria Policies

World View: Hillary Clinton Blasts Russia and China's Syria Policies

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Libor banking scandal investigation spreads rapidly
  • Finland ‘will not hang itself to the euro at any cost’
  • Denmark announces negative interest rates on deposits
  • Euro crisis has returned to Spain with full force
  • Furious Hillary Clinton blasts Russia and China over Syria
  • Mexico to import eggs as bird flu epidemic ravages poultry

Libor banking scandal investigation spreads rapidly

Last week I referred to the reaction to the Barclays interest-fixing investigation as a “mini-panic” because of the rapid changes in public opinion. Of course five years ago, bankers could do no wrong, even though they were often openly committing fraud. But even two weeks ago, it seemed that no bankster would ever be investigated for anything, even where there was evidence of massive fraud, because Generation-X regulators in Washington and elsewhere adamantly refused to investigate and prosecute, since banks are huge political contributors. As far as I can tell, the fuse was lit on Barclays because the prosecutors were initially American and the the bank is British, so no political contributions were a factor. And public attitudes, especially in Britain, have changed in just a few days from seething fury to open outrage.

Now authorities in the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada are opening investigations into almost every major bank in the world. In particular, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is expected to be investigating several American banks, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, while Germany’s BaFin regulator has initiated a “special investigation” into Deutsche Bank.

As I’ve said many times, the hatred directed at bankers lasted decades after the 1930s, and the same thing will happen again after this crisis. Reuters

Finland ‘will not hang itself to the euro at any cost’

Finland has already threatened to block many of the eurozone’s plans for the European Central Bank (ECB) to print money to purchase Spanish and Italian bonds, but now they’re taking their objections one step further by threatening to become the first country to leave the eurozone. According to Finland’s finance minister, Jutta Urpilainen: 

“Finland is committed to being a member of the eurozone, and we think that the euro is useful for Finland. Finland will not hang itself to the euro at any cost and we are prepared for all scenarios.

Collective responsibility for other countries’ debt, economics and risks; this is not what we should be prepared for. We are constructive and want to solve the crisis, but not on any terms.”

As far as I know, there are no states that are considering seceding from the United States this time. Telegraph

Denmark announces negative interest rates on deposits

Many people believe that interest rates cannot go below zero, but in fact 0% interest is nothing more than a psychological barrier. In a deflationary spiral, where money becomes more valuable and there are few safe investments. a person with a lot of money is willing to pay a small interest rate to someone who he feels will keep the money safe. The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its main interest rate to a record low 0.75% on Thursday, the lowest rate ever. The Danmarks Nationalbank responded by cutting its own interest rate on Certificates of Deposit to a negative value: -0.20%. Danmarks Nationalbank (PDF) and Irish Times

Euro crisis has returned to Spain with full force

Spain 10-Year bond yields at 6.95% on 06-Jul-2012

Spain 10-Year bond yields at 6.95% on 06-Jul-2012

There was a summit last Friday of euro zone leaders, and it was supposed to fix the euro crisis and “restore confidence” to the markets. The summit caused the briefest and tiniest blips of improvement, but one week later Spain is back in full crisis mode, with 10-year bond yields (interest rates) at around the unsustainable 7% mark, and likely to go up farther. As I keep saying, almost every day now, there is NO SOLUTION to the euro crisis. No solution exists. At some point, there will be a full-scale panic, leading to a worldwide financial crisis. Make sure that you and your family are prepared. IberoSphere

Furious Hillary Clinton blasts Russia and China over Syria

There was a “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting in Paris on Friday, attended by delegates from 100 countries. Russia and China, which have continued to support Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, did not send any representatives to the meeting. Many meeting members were extremely critical of Russia, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said the following in a very angry tone of voice:

“We also think it is imperative to go back to the Security Council and demand implementation of Kofi Annan’s plan, including the Geneva communique that Russia and China have already agreed to. So we now have them on record supporting a transition. And we should go back and ask for a resolution in the Security Council that imposes real and immediate consequences for non-compliance, including sanctions under Chapter VII.

Now what can every nation and group represented here do? I ask you to reach out to Russia and China and to not only urge, but demand that they get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. It is frankly not enough just to come to the Friends of the Syrian People, because I will tell you very frankly, I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all – nothing at all – for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price, because they are holding up progress – blockading it – that is no longer tolerable.

Syria’s currency and foreign reserves have collapsed. Sanctions on oil alone have deprived Assad of billions of dollars in lost revenues, and his ability to finance his war grows more difficult by the day. What’s keeping him afloat is money from Iran and assistance from Russia and the failure of countries represented here to tighten and enforce sanctions. You cannot call for transition on the one hand and give the regime a free pass on sanctions on the other. So we need to push for even stronger implementation at the working group meeting next to be held in Doha on sanctions.”

It is unusual for a U.S. diplomat to make such a blistering attack on another country. U.S. Department of State

Mexico to import eggs as bird flu epidemic ravages poultry

The Mexican government is preparing to import up to 132,000 tons of eggs to prevent a surge in prices as a consequence of a bird-flu outbreak in the west. Nearly a million birds have died or had to be slaughtered as a result of the epidemic, although they represent only 1.7% of the country’s egg-producing poultry. Fox News Latino