this is russia

Photo taken 6/12/12 in Warsaw at a Poland vs. Russia match during the 2012 Euro Cup hosted by Ukraine and Poland

“It’s not going to be called that [USSR]. It’s going to be called customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that. But let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.” – Hillary Clinton, October 2012 (Source)

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. For half a millennium, world affairs were dominated by Eurasian powers and people who fought with one another for regional domination and reached out for global power. Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia–and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” Pg. 30, 1997

As a macro-oriented investor, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of what the causes and true intentions are of our political elite. This basic understanding creates the foundation toward better comprehending foreign policy decisions. Ultimately this comprehension allows us to formulate a much more accurate geopolitical analysis. The next step as an investor is to then implement that analysis into an investment strategy that produces winning results.

Through the use of the main stream media, the men and women who desire a world order under their system of control, deceive and manipulate the general populace into believing many falsehoods. While a large percentage of the American population may realize they’re being swindled, very few actually take the time to try and understand why.

“Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.” – Bodie Thoene

The US is an empire that is currently participating in the Great Game. This is a game played by the oligarchs of the world where the ultimate prize is global supremacy. Coming to the realization that our leaders in Washington are caught up in this neurotic “game” where human life is simply taken as collateral damage all in the quest of accumulating wealth and power may surprise some. But to those of us who have a basic understanding of history and the inherit lust for power found in those men and women who usually seek it, we should not be taken aback.

“And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.” – Lord Acton

In 1904 Sir Halford John Mackinder formulated what is known as the Heartland Theory which outlines the necessary steps world powers should take in order to achieve what is essentially world domination. The theory can be summarized by the famous dictum:

Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;
Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island;
Who rules the World-Island commands the world.

The Heartland stretches roughly from the Volga to the Yangtze and from the Himalayas to the Arctic. The World Island is essentially the Eurasian landmass. This area contains the vast majority of natural resources and people, giving the owner an incredible amount of wealth and power.

A large percentage of this area was controlled for quite some time by the Russian Empire until the USSR ultimately succeeded it. During the 19th century, Imperial Russia was in a consistent battle against primarily the British Empire over its continued expansion southward through Central Asia. In order to protect its “Crown Jewel”, the British engaged the Russians in what was to become known as the Great Game.

Great Game Cartoon

The Russian Bear sits on the tail of the Persian Cat while the British Lion looks on — a cartoon representing a phase of The Great Game

We now find ourselves in the midst of a New Great Game (New, New Great Game may be more appropriate). Following the collapse of the USSR, the US found itself in a position without equal. Now the lone superpower, the US had a choice to either fallback or push forward. It should be evident in regard to which direction the US chose.

Globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski explained the setting of the New Great Game and how America should proceed in the 21st century when he wrote his 1997 classic “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives“.

“This huge, oddly shaped Eurasian chessboard–extending from Lisbon to Vladivostok–provides the setting for “the game.” If the middle space can be drawn increasingly into the expanding orbit of the West (where America preponderates), if the southern region is not subjected to domination by a single player, and if the East is not unified in a manner that prompts the expulsion of America from its offshore bases, American can then be said to prevail. But if the middle space rebuffs the West, becomes an assertive singly entity, and either gains control over the South or forms an alliance with the major Eastern actor, then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically. The same would be the case if the two major Eastern players were somehow to unite. Finally, any ejection of America by its Western partners from its perch on the western periphery would automatically spell the end of America’s participation in the game on the Eurasian chessboard, even though that would probably also mean the eventual subordination of the western extremity to a revived player occupying the middle space.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” Pg. 35

Let’s break down Brzezinski’s logic. What he’s basically saying is that the Eurasian landmass is one big chessboard (“The Grand Chessboard”) and in order for the US to win this geopolitical chess match it must do a couple of things.

First, if the Caucuses and other Central Asian states can be drawn into the orbit of the West (being the EU and NATO), while the southern region (being the Middle East) does not come under the control of either the Arabs (think Gulf Cooperation Countries) or the Persians (Iran) or some other power (Russia/Eurasian Union or China), and the East (China) does not unify SE Asia in a way that disrupts US supremacy in the Pacific, America wins. But, if the middle space (Central Asia) rebuffs the West by unifying itself (think Eurasian Union led by Russia) and somehow gains control of the South or forms an alliance with China, then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks. The same would be the case if somehow China and Japan were to unite (doubtful). And finally, if for some reason the major EU countries (France and Germany) were to reject the US in favor of looking east, that would put the nail in the coffin for the US on the Eurasian landmass. Also, if the US were to leave the “game”, the EU would probably be consumed by a revived player in the middle space (Moscow led Eurasian Union consuming the Brussels led European Union).


5,500 miles away on the western Eurasian Steppe, the US is engaged in a major proxy war over the future of Ukraine. The significance of Ukraine to the average American is inconsequential, but to the globalist oligarchs in Washington, Ukraine represents a major pivot toward securing its preponderance on the Eurasian landmass while eliminating Russia’s ability to be a major player in the ongoing regionalization of the world.

“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be resentful of the loss of their recent independence and would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south. China would also be likely to oppose any restoration of Russian domination over Central Asia, given its increasing interest in the newly independent states there. However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia. Ukraine’s loss of independence would have immediate consequences for Central Europe, transforming Poland into the geopolitical pivot on the eastern frontier of a united Europe.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” – Pg. 46

The conflict in Ukraine had been simmering for quite some time, patiently awaiting a trigger that would spark the current war. That spark was to come in November of 2013 when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych turned away from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of looking east toward Moscow and the (eventual) Eurasian Union. Upon the move made by Yanukovych, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian protesters led by pro-Western Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the now elected Prime Minister, marched through Kiev over the disagreement with Yanukovych’s decision.

It wasn’t long before the likes of John McCain were giving speeches in the middle of Kiev’s Independence Square calling for “freedom” and “democracy” and essentially the ousting of Yanukovych. Why is it that a US Senator from Arizona is in Kiev issuing statements of propaganda during the midst of a “revolution”? He’s there because the battle over Ukraine represents a major battle between that of the West (Washington/EU/NATO) and Russia. To be as blunt as possible, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted on December 11, 2013, “Eurasia versus Europe in streets of Kyiv tonight”.

McCain - Ukraine

The influence of the US meddling in the affairs of Ukraine could not be better demonstrated then the leaked recording of a phone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State, Victoria Nuland, and Geoffrey R. Pyatt, the US ambassador in Kiev. In the phone conversation which can be listened to here, Nuland and Pyatt essentially layout who they desire to have in power in Kiev. This phone conversation simply validates what was already known to anyone paying attention in that the US assisted in the financing and development of the opposition parties in Ukraine which led to the overthrow of the former government led by Yanukovych. It wasn’t long after this leaked recording (certainly done by the Russians) in early February, that Yanukovych fled the country to find safety in Russia.

As the Sochi Olympics came to a close on February 23, and Yanukovych had fled the country, Putin finally made the move to seize Crimea. Given the circumstances, Putin’s play was inevitable. Crimea, sitting on the Black Sea, contains an extremely strategic naval port (Sevastopol) for the Russians. Losing control over such a port would be unacceptable to the Russians as it would isolate its access to the Black Sea and ultimately the Mediterranean. This marked the beginning of what Marin Katusa correctly acknowledges as a war of secession, not a civil war.

The Split - UkraineUkraine, or “little Russia”, has deep historical ties with its Russian neighbor. Though not all of that history is peaceful, the Slavic ties between the two countries is unquestionable. As the above map shows, the eastern part of Ukraine is heavily populated by native Russians while the Western part of the country is much more Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian, etc.

Vladimir Putin during his speech at the Valdai International Discussions Club in Sochi back in late October of 2014 described how the borders formed after WWII (otherwise known as the ‘Great Patriotic War‘ to the Russians) mixed and matched various cultures and ethnicities thus creating nation states in Eastern Europe that were not necessarily homogenous.

“As for western Ukraine, perhaps you are not aware that Ukraine gained territory following World War II? Some territory was transferred from Poland and some from Hungary…What was Lvov if not a Polish city? Are you not aware of these facts?…Poland was compensated through the territory it gained from Germany when the Germans were driven out of a number of eastern regions. If you ask around, you will see that there are whole associations of these expelled Germans…I cannot judge here and now whether this was right or wrong, but this is what happened. In this respect it is difficult not to recognize that Ukraine is a complex, multi-component state formation. This is simply the way historical developments went.” – Vladimir Putin, 10/24/14, Valdai International Discussions Club

There’s no doubt that many Eastern European countries fear an expanding Russian sphere of influence. After living under Soviet control for almost fifty years post WWII, the people living in these “borderlands” (land between Germany and Russia) have no desire to once again live under the authoritarian control of Moscow. After the official collapse of the USSR in 1991, the vast majority of these countries looked West toward the “safety” of the EU and NATO. Opting for what was/is believed to be a chance at free-market capitalism and democracy over communism and authoritarianism.

NATO Expansion

This NATO/EU expansion has not sat well with a resurgent Russia. It is in particular the expansion of NATO up to the borders of Russia that has most alarmed Putin and his oligarchs. Considering Putin is a rather staunch Russian nationalist who considered the fall of the USSR to be the “major geopolitical catastrophe of the century”, it should not come as a surprise that Putin is fighting back against the West. From reading and listening to Putin’s remarks it is easy to gather the sense of unease that he has in regards to being surrounded by the Washington led NATO.

“Didn’t they tell us after the fall of the Berlin Wall that NATO would not expand eastwards? However, the expansion started immediately…You see, nobody has ever stopped. This is the main issue of current international relations. Our partners never stopped. They decided they were the winners, they were an empire, while all the others were their vassals, and they needed to put the squeeze on them. I said the same in my Address [to the Federal Assembly]…This is the problem. They never stopped building walls, despite all our attempts at working together without any dividing lines in Europe and the world at large…I believe that our tough stand on certain critical situations, including that in the Ukraine, should send a message to our partners that the best thing to do is to stop building walls and to start building a common humanitarian space of security and economic freedom.” – Vladimir Putin, 10/24/14, Valdai International Discussions Club

(SIDE NOTE: Don’t be fooled into believing that Putin is some hero saving humanity from the “evil” oligarchs of the West. Putin and his cronies are just as vicious and cold-blooded as any of these other men who seek power. Human life is taken for granted in the quest for wealth and power, and the radicals that sit atop this global hierarchy, whether they be from the East or the West, do not care in regard to how extreme they’ll have to go in order to achieve their goals and objectives, or more importantly to survive)

While I was backpacking through the Baltics during the spring of 2008, I remember the sense of pride I felt when I saw the following plaque located in the main square in Vilnius, Lithuania:

Bush Declaration - Vilnius

“Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America” – George W. Bush, President of the US, Vilnius City Hall, November 23, 2002

Being a rather naive 21-year-old at the time, I failed to truly grasp the meaning of this plaque. Now that I’m a bit older with a tad more knowledge, I have a much better appreciation for the meaning of this message and its implications. Considering the predicament we now find our world in, this plaque demonstrates the far-seeing strategies of those building world order (from the West) and the objectives and enemies in which they have.

While analyzing events that have occurred in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucuses, Middle East, and Central Asia over the past twenty years it becomes a bit clearer in regard to determining what the strategy is of our leaders in Washington. Ultimately, the Western globalists would like to bring Russia into their “order” as a junior partner.

“Presumably, a democratic Russia would be more sympathetic to the values shared by America and Europe and hence also more likely to become a junior partner in shaping a more stable and cooperative Eurasia. But Russia’s ambitions may go beyond the attainment of recognition and respect as a democracy. Within the Russian foreign policy establishment (composed largely of former Soviet officials), there still thrives a deeply ingrained desire for a special Eurasian role, one that would consequently entail the subordination to Moscow of the newly independent post-Soviet states.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives”Pg. 51

NATO has successfully added Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria as members over the last fifteen years. However, the drive to expand NATO is still underway. Strategically, NATO has targeted membership for both Georgia and Ukraine, two states that border Russia to the South and West. If both Georgia and Ukraine were to become members of NATO, Moscow would be completely surrounded with the exception of Belarus, Finland (EU and Eurozone), and Azerbaijan (very Western friendly).

The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 was in partial response to Georgia’s desire to join NATO. The controversy between Russia and Georgia over the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia stem back to the dissolution of the USSR, however, what potentially sparked the ultimate showdown in August of that year was the Georgian push to join NATO. Washington has feverously supported the ascension of not only Georgia, but also Ukraine into NATO. The delay in these two countries from joining NATO has primarily been related to German/French resistance in appeasement to Russia who is defiantly opposed to such a maneuver.

Georgia as a NATO member also helps solidify the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor which is being built in order to provide an alternative gas supply for Europe. Currently, the EU is heavily dependent upon Russian gas. Eastern Europe in particular is basically entirely dependent on Russian gas for its energy, which creates a very uneasy situation for many of these countries as relying on Russian gas makes them dependent upon Putin and Gazprom. This creates a situation, such as we’ve seen in Ukraine, where if you either disagree with or upset Putin, the gas is turned off. The pipeline politics that is in play right now is rather complex and the EU is struggling to find a unified position. Though there have been many calls for and some action taken to create an EU Energy Union, it has been difficult to find a consensus.

Southern Gas Corridor Map

Southern Gas Corridor that includes the now cancelled Nabucco Pipeline

The cancelling of the South Stream pipeline in early December of 2014 by Russia has also created quite a bit of controversy and animosity amongst EU members. In particular, the countries of Southeastern Europe such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, etc. were expecting to have a secure flow of Russian gas that was no longer dependent upon a sketchy Ukrainian transit. Now that this project has been cancelled, SE Europe is finding itself in a rather precarious position as they no longer can expect a stable supply of gas for at least a few years until the Southern Corridor is completed. The Russian-Turkish-Greek Turkish Stream pipeline is a possibility as well, but of course this project is mired in controversy.

Blue Stream

Putin has been able to revive Russia economically primarily through its exports of oil and gas. In an environment of $100+/bbl oil and $10+/mmbtu gas, the Putin controlled Gazprom and Rosneft have been able to accumulate an extraordinary amount of profits over the years. In addition, by controlling the primary source of energy for Eastern Europe, Putin is able to leverage a considerable amount of power. As Kissinger says, “control the energy supply, control the continent”.

However, with the EU looking to import LNG from North America, develop the Southern Gas Corridor which would see gas from the Caspian Sea flow through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey into the EU, Russia’s market share in Europe is being threatened. This isn’t even considering a potential pipeline stemming from Qatar which is made possible with Assad falling in Syria. Therefore, Putin’s window to retain his market share is dwindling. It is also why he has begun to look east (primarily China) in order to open up new markets for Russian oil and gas.

The timing of the $400 billion Russian-Chinese gas deal was significant in that it demonstrated Putin’s precarious position. As Louis Gave of Gavekal Research based out of Hong Kong stated in a Real Vision TV interview dated January 19 of this year, “Putin needed a deal real bad, and he got a real bad deal.” China is supposedly to have gotten a deal done at a ~40% discount to European gas prices. The Chinese are perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the crisis in Ukraine as their patience and shrewdness is getting them not only cheap oil and gas, but also equity stakes in various Russian corporations. In addition, as Russia is in the limelight, China is making aggressive moves toward establishing regional hegemony in SE Asia, Central Asia, and the Pacific.

Putin’s regime is under attack and he is well aware of it. Sanctions along with low oil and gas prices are causing serious strain on Russia’s finances and economy. Washington is looking for regime change in Moscow, and as Simon Hunt in a recent Real Vision TV interview pointed out, Kiev was the dress rehearsal for Moscow.

Successful regime change in Moscow is a tall order filled with an incredible amount of risk that has the potential to lead to a full blown war. The EU is caught in the middle of a battle between Washington and Moscow that leaves the Germans (the de facto hegemon of the EU) with some serious choices to make. George Friedman, Founder and Chairman of Stratfor (“shadow CIA”) and author of the recently released “Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe“, described in a recent interview of how the current crisis in Europe and the direction it takes will be primarily dependent upon the decisions in which the Germans make going forward.

The Germans/EU are stuck in a position of either looking East or West as Washington and Moscow stand their ground and refuse to negotiate. It’s a battle between the pro-Western ‘Atlantic Integrationists’ and the ‘Eurasian Sovereignists’. Various interests are at stake and the competition within the EU to set the course is fierce.

The major fear of the American Atlanticists is a coalition between that of Germany and Russia which would unite German capital and technology with Russian natural resources and manpower. This has been a longtime fear of the Anglo-American establishment and the possibility of this happening is real.

“The course of restricting Russia’s opportunities is led not by European nations but primarily the US. Many analysts in Russia, the European Union and even the United States itself are stressing that Americans are trying to prevent the unification of the potentials of Russia and the EU guided primarily by the objective of keeping its own global leadership.” – Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister (Source)

Remarks and statements have been made numerous times over the past decade by both leaders in Russia and the EU over the creation of a unified free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok (with the intent of eventual monetary and political union as we are witnessing with the EU…all under the auspices of the UN of course). However, the question is not over regionalization, it is over who will lead the development of such order. Putin has his plans for the Eurasian Union and its eventual merger with that of the EU. The Western Atlanticists have their vision of a unified Europe merged with North America under NATO and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Russia as a subordinate junior partner (read my blog post The Economic Integration of NATO for more information). Here in lies the “game” and the stakes could not be higher. Human life is at risk while the oligarchs in Moscow and Washington duke it out.

Eurasian Union Flag

Official flag of the Eurasian Union

“Russia and the EU agreed to form a common economic space and coordinate economic regulations without the establishment of supranational structures back in 2003. In line with this idea, we proposed setting up a harmonized community of economies stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a free trade zone and even employing more sophisticated integration patterns. We also proposed pursuing coordinated policies in industry, technology, the energy sector, education, science, and also to eventually scrap visas. These proposals have not been left hanging in midair; our European colleagues are discussing them in detail.

Soon the Customs Union, and later the Eurasian Union, will join the dialogue with the EU. As a result, apart from bringing direct economic benefits, accession to the Eurasian Union will also help countries integrate into Europe sooner and from a stronger position.” – Vladimir Putin, “A new integration project for Eurasia: The future in the making“, “Izvestia”, 10/3/11

“Russia’s only real geostrategic option–the option that could give Russia a realistic international role and also maximize the opportunity of transforming and socially modernizing itself–is Europe. And not just any Europe, but the transatlantic Europe of the enlarging EU and NATO. Such a Europe is taking shape, as we have seen in chapter 3, and it is also likely to remain linked closely to America. That is the Europe to which Russia will have to relate, if it is to avoid dangerous geopolitical isolation.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” Pg. 118

On January 1st, 2015, the Russian led Eurasian Economic Union officially came into existence. The union consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia, with Kyrgyzstan to join in May. Modeled after the European Union, the EEU is the most recent regional organization to come into existence. The ultimate objective of the regionalization of the world is to move away from the current nation state structure and into a more regional, federalized structure that falls under the dominion of the UN.

“We do not have a New World Order…We cannot leap into world government in one quick step. In brief, the precondition for eventual globalization — genuine globalization — is progressive regionalization, because thereby we move toward larger, more stable, more cooperative units.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, “State of the World Forum”, 1995

“The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another.” – Henry Kissinger, “World Order”, 2014, Pg. 371

The regionalization of the world is in no way guaranteed to succeed, but it is certainly underway. Success is in question not only because of the nationalism which is sure to arise (which is already growing within the EU), but also because of the maniacal behavior of the various oligarchs who are looking to build such a structure. The egos amongst the men and women who “lead” this world are significant and it is guaranteed that they will fight for what is their vision of world order and the regional hegemony that will precede such an order. Meanwhile, the lives of average people are disturbed immensely for a cause in which they have no real understanding.

In the past, propaganda techniques utilized by the state have been extremely successful in manipulating the thoughts and fears of men and women. However, due to the advent of the internet, a moment in history that shares a strong comparison to that of the invention of the printing press, a global political awakening is occurring.

“[The] major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Council on Foreign Relations speech in Montreal, 2008 (Source)

As both Hillary Clinton and Zbigniew Brzezinksi have shared, a resurgent and regionally hegemonic Russia is not acceptable. The establishment of a Moscow led Eurasian Union by Putin and his fellow oligarchs falls into direct conflict with that of Brzezinksi’s American strategy on the Eurasian Chessboard. Keeping the Ukraine out of this new regional structure is imperative toward isolating Russia away from Eastern Europe and pushing them toward a politically unstable, Muslim dominated, economically weak and underdeveloped Central Asia. The coup in Kiev successfully reoriented Ukraine toward the West, but whether or not the government in Kiev can survive is up for debate. In addition, the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, otherwise known as “New Russia” (Novorossiya), along with Crimea, are most likely long gone from the government in Kiev.


“The crisis we are talking about is not the Ukrainian crisis. It’s a global crisis. And if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, nobody can tell where his tanks will be tomorrow. His maniac idea I mentioned is also global. To stop Putin is not only Ukraine’s major goal. It should be the goal of the entire civilized world.” – Andriy Parubiy, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (Source)

Indeed, the failure of the American-led effort to expand NATO could reawaken even more ambitious Russian desires. It is not yet evident–and the historical record is strongly to the contrary–that the Russian political elite shares Europe’s desire for a strong and enduring American political and military presence. Therefore, while the fostering of an increasingly cooperative relationship with Russia is clearly desirable, it is important for America to send a clear message about its global priorities. If a choice has to be made between a larger Euro-Atlantic system and a better relationship with Russia, the former has to rank incomparably higher to America.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” Pg. 200-201

Ukrainian nationalists along with the support of Washington may be willing to confront Putin, but their efforts are meaningless if the EU led by Angela Merkel and Germany decide to play ball with Moscow. It seems rather apparent that the European elites do not want another European war, however, they may not have a choice. Playing both sides off one another in order to lead to a peaceful resolution is the ideal situation, but the time for peace may have already come and gone.

“We are pawns in the game of influence between the United States and Russia. Russia is a great country, a great people, with which Europe has many common strategic interests. We need to talk with Russia…Regarding Ukraine, we behave like American lackeys…the aim of the Americans is to start a war in Europe to push NATO to the Russian border.” – Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front Party (Source)

“I’m not for the policy of attaining goals by making things worse. I think that sanctions must stop now.” – Francois Hollande, French President (Source)

“The goal was never to push Russia politically and economically into chaos. Whoever wants that will provoke a much more dangerous situation for all of us in Europe…We want to help solve the conflict in Ukraine, not to force Russia to its knees.” – Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s deputy chancellor (Source)

The economic sanctions that have targeted not only Russia, but the Russian oligarchs in Putin’s orbit, were another attack on the regime. The attack on the Russian ruble that led to “Black Tuesday” on December 16, 2014, where the markets witnessed a ruble crashing to as high as 80-1, was another shot at Putin’s ability to retain economic and social order within Russia.


1-year chart of the USD.RUB

We are now seeing the US calling for the supply of weapons to Ukraine. If this begins, the collapse of the Minsk II agreement is all but guaranteed. Besides the US supplying weapons directly to Kiev, NATO is actively creating new bases and stations in at least seven Eastern European countries.

The direct economic, trade, and currency war is well underway. The boots on the ground proxy war is currently in a ceasefire, but the stability of such is highly fragile. We are now seeing the stationing of troops and supplies in the “borderlands” along with military exercises being conducted by both sides. In addition, we are seeing strategic diplomatic maneuvers in Central Asia taking place amongst Washington’s ambassadors:

“One of the most prominent Color Revolution experts in America’s coup d’état toolkit has been hurriedly recalled from retirement for immediate deployment to Kyrgyzstan. Richard Miles, the engineer of the first Color Revolution in Serbia and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, has been appointed as charge d’affaires in Kyrgyzstan until a new ambassador is confirmed by the Senate, because the former one, Pamela Spratlen, has been reassigned as the US Ambassador to Uzbekistan. While it is not known how long Miles will remain in Kyrgyzstan, which will be the Eurasian Union’s weakest economy when it joins in May of this year, ordinary citizens there already suspect that foul play is being planned against their country and have protested his arrival. Given that Miles’ track record of regime change makes him worthy of the ‘Male Nuland’ moniker, it’s appropriate to investigate what tricks the US may be up to in Central Asia, and how it may be trying to force the Ukrainian scenario onto Russia’s southern doorstep.” – 3/10/15 US Dispatches Regime Change Specialist to Pro-Russian Central Asian ‘Stan’

Putin understands he is under attack, and he isn’t backing down. Putin has done an incredible job of inspiring Russian nationalism amongst his population. His support levels are the highest of any political leader that I’m aware of at well over 80%. In addition, he has been able to effectively and understandably stir up a strong anti-American sentiment amongst the general Russian population.

Two days after the ruble crashed on Black Tuesday, Putin held his annual press conference where in answering a question about the economic stress underway in Russia he gave the following answer (edited):

“You know, at the Valdai [International Discussion] Club I gave an example of our most recognizable symbol. It is a bear protecting his taiga. You see, if we continue the analogy, sometimes I think that maybe it would be best if our bear just sat still. Maybe he should stop chasing pigs and boars around the taiga but start picking berries and eating honey. Maybe then he will be left alone. But no, he won’t be! Because someone will always try to chain him up. As soon as he’s chained they will tear out his teeth and claws. In this analogy, I am referring to the power of nuclear deterrence. As soon as – God forbid – it happens and they no longer need the bear, the taiga will be taken over.

We have heard it even from high-level officials that it is unfair that the whole of Siberia with its immense resources belongs to Russia in its entirety. Why exactly is it unfair? So it is fair to snatch Texas from Mexico but it is unfair that we are working on our own land – no, we have to share.

And then, when all the teeth and claws are torn out, the bear will be of no use at all. Perhaps they’ll stuff it and that’s all.

So, it is not about Crimea but about us protecting our independence, our sovereignty and our right to exist. That is what we should all realize.

If we believe that one of the current problems – including in the economy as a result of the sanctions – is crucial… And it is so because out of all the problems the sanctions take up about 25 to 30 percent. But we must decide whether we want to keep going and fight, change our economy – for the better, by the way, because we can use the current situation to our own advantage – and be more independent, go through all this or we want our skin to hang on the wall. This is the choice we need to make and it has nothing to do with Crimea at all.”

It is interesting to note that as Putin talks about the West’s desire to have a stake in Russia’s natural resources, Warren Buffet recently sold his stake in Exxon Mobile. This is noteworthy due to the fact “Exxon boosted its Russian holdings to 63.7 million acres in 2014 from 11.4 million at the end of 2013, according to data from U.S. regulatory filings. That dwarfs the 14.6 million acres of rights Exxon holds in the U.S., which until last year was its largest exploration prospect.” Considering Buffet is a value-oriented, long-term investor who took his position in Exxon just over one year prior, does it not raise your eyebrow that just maybe Buffet understands the risks outweigh the potential rewards for a Western oil and gas company doing business in Russia? It’s something to consider.

Besides stirring up Russian nationalism, Putin has made aggressive moves to ally and integrate economically, politically, and militarily with the East. The major oil and gas deal signed with China is one move, but there are numerous other examples of Putin’s strategy to rebuff the West.

The establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) may be the most notable attempt Putin and China have made at deterring Washington and NATO.


“Finally, some possible contingencies involving future political alignments should also be briefly noted, subject to fuller discussion in pertinent chapters. In the past, international affairs were largely dominated by contests among individual states for regional domination. Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America’s status as a global power. However, whether any such coalitions do or do not arise to challenge American primacy will in fact depend to a very large degree on how effectively the United States responds to the major dilemmas identified here.

Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an “antihegemonic” coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower. Averting this contingency, however remote it may be, will require a display of U.S. geostrategic skill on the western, eastern, and southern perimeters of Eurasia simultaneously.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” Pg. 55

“The result could, at least theoretically, bring together the world’s leading Slavic power, the world’s most militant Islamic power, and the world’s most populated and powerful Asian power, thereby creating a potent coalition.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” Pg. 116

“According to Zbigniew Brzezinski’s theory, control of the Eurasian landmass is the key to global domination and control of Central Asia is the key to control of the Eurasian landmass….Russia and China have been paying attention to Brzezinski’s theory, since they formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2001, ostensibly to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security, but most probably with the real objective of counterbalancing the activities of the United States and NATO in Central Asia.” – Hamid Golpira, Tehran Times, 11/20/2008

It seems as though Brzezinski’s worst fear has come to fruition. The establishment of the SCO, led by China and Russia, is no doubt a Eurasian military alliance created in order to act as a deterrent against NATO and the US. Establishing a security framework that is led by Eurasian States in many ways eliminates the argument for having a US presence in the region. Whether or not the SCO will have success in doing so is the question.

With the SCO set to expand to include four additional members by July of this year when the SCO meets in Ufa (Russia), Washington will have to simply look on. The addition of Iran, India, and Pakistan, however odd of a threesome that may be, adds to the growing clout of the Russian-Chinese axis (Mongolia is the fourth).

Once again, to quote Brzezinski, “if the middle space rebuffs the West, becomes an assertive singly entity, and either gains control over the South or forms an alliance with the major Eastern actor, then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically.” Eighteen years since Brzezinski wrote that, we see it all playing out as he had warned.

Putin’s isolation from the West has forced him to look East, and considering the powerful economic emergence of China, along with the general rise in strength of many of the other Asian States, his option isn’t a terrible one.

Economic Center of GravitySE Asia Population Concentration

“Russia, China, the other BRICS countries, are looking for a new model…. It’s not driven by some sort of anti-Western logic. There is a crisis of trust. There is a feeling that our countries are on their own. We don’t have a point of reference anymore…We look at Beijing, and we don’t hear them lecturing us about human rights and how to conduct democracy. There is no missionary element on either side. But there is strong economic incentive. The Chinese economy is a factory, and we have the energy to power that factory. That’s a pretty solid basis.” – Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee

“In terms of Chinese advantages, keep in mind that the future of the global economy clearly lies in Asia with its record rise in middle-class incomes. In 2009, the Asia-Pacific region had just 18% of the world’s middle class; by 2030, according to the Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, that figure will rise to an astounding 66%. North America and Europe had 54% of the global middle class in 2009; in 2030, it will only be 21%.” – Pepe Escobar (Source)

China’s economic growth over the past two decades has been absolutely astounding and unprecedented. The stability of China’s credit fueled expansion is certainly up for debate, however, if we are to take the long-view, there is a good chance that China will ultimately survive any major bust which is probably inevitable, though not necessarily imminent as Doug Casey is prone to say. Of course what China will look like politically after such a bust is also up for debate, but the Communist Party of China will do whatever they have to do in order to retain their power, just as Putin will do.

As part of China’s attempt at establishing regional hegemony, China is moving forward with its extremely ambitious infrastructure and economic development project known as the Silk Road Economic Belt (“one belt, one road”). Putin is certainly participating as his alliance with the Chinese Communist party may be his only ticket to survival.

Map Silk Road Economic Belt

The “New Silk Road” will see the Chinese invest billions it not trillions in connecting and unifying the Eurasian continent. The building of high speed rail lines from “Berlin to Shanghai”, along with roads, ports, oil and gas pipelines, and fiber-optic networks, will connect and facilitate trade and communications throughout Eurasia. The successful development of these trade routes, which is a major gamble on behalf of the Chinese, leads to big questions for that of the Germans and the EU as well. Put in a situation where they have to choose between looking East or West, going East where the major economic growth is may be their choice. Cheap energy from the Russians along with strong, growing trade relations with Asia (primarily China) may be too much for the Germans to forgo.

In a sign of support of such Chinese efforts, the Germans, along with the UK, France, Switzerland, and other European countries recently signed on to become founding members of China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). With an initial capitalization of $50 billion (soon to double to $100 billion), this new bank will compete (maybe collaborate?) with that of the US led World Bank and US/Japan led Asian Development Bank (ADB) for influence in the financing and development of this region. The creation of the AIIB demonstrates Beijing’s desire to establish regional hegemony and confront the US led world order.

The establishment of the Beijing based AIIB coincides with the establishment of the BRICS Beijing based New Development Bank (NDB) which launched last year with an initial capitalization of $100 billion. The creation of the NDB is another sign of non-Western countries joining forces in order to compete against the Washington led order.

“We are creating a new axis of global development. The global economic order created several decades ago is now undergoing change and we believe for the better to make it more representative.” – Anand Sharma, India’s Minister of Commerce

Washington is aware of China’s ambitions, hence why the US pivot to Asia is in place. However, Washington’s ability to restrain the economic rise and regional/world leadership role of China will be no easy feat. One example of US policy to retain its sphere of influence in Asia would be its desire to establish the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a Free-Trade Agreement like that of NAFTA or the already mentioned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TPP is definitely not a done deal and China is actively pursuing its own regional free trade agreement in Asia via the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).


The countries actively participating in the TPP, RCEP, or both

“The conclusion of different regional free trade agreements is one of the global trends. It is no coincidence that this practice is widespread in the Asia-Pacific Region, which is becoming the center of global economic and political activity. Today there are about 70 such agreements and a number of projects are underway. Among them is the above-mentioned Trans-Pacific Partnership and a comprehensive regional economic partnership.

Russia seeks to strengthen regional economic integration. Moreover, we also believe that free trade agreements should not fragment the multilateral trading system, but rather complement them, contribute to its consolidation and the growth of interconnectedness. The regional unions should not be turned against each other or otherwise divided. Such agreements should be transparent, fair and address the needs of each economy. Regional integration should be transparent and promote information-sharing between all the negotiations processes.

We pay special attention to this approach in the implementation of our priority integration project – the Eurasian Economic Union. The values and principles of this association’s activities are transparent and carried out in full compliance with the rules and regulations of the World Trade Organization.

It is not yet easy to evaluate the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This initiative is carried out behind closed doors, even businesses and the public of the contracting states have no access to it, let alone other countries. Over the past five years of negotiations, we have repeatedly heard about the success achieved, but such statements have always been refuted later. Last time this happened on the threshold of the APEC summit in Bali in November 2013. It looks like it was a question of continuing negotiations, which have been “frozen” for over a year now. Dates for the resumption of negotiations have not been announced.

Obviously, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is just another U.S. attempt to build an architecture of regional economic cooperation that the USA would benefit from. At the same time, I believe that the absence of two major regional players such as Russia and China in its composition will not promote the establishment of effective trade and economic cooperation.

The multilateral system of economic relations in the APR can only be strong if the interests of all states across the region are taken into account. This approach is reflected in the draft of the Beijing road map for the establishment of an Asia-Pacific free trade area. The draft is to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of APEC leaders.” – Vladimir Putin, 11/6/14, (Source)

It is important to understand that the oligarchs whom lead each power center desire centralization and the building of a world order under the auspices of the United Nations and IMF. What we are witnessing is a competition amongst the elites over who will have the greatest power in the development and creation of such a world order. Therefore, though these power centers have very similar objectives in regard to the establishment of what is essentially world government in the long-run, they are currently in a major competition over who will dictate the rules and structure of such a system. Certainly if necessary, war is an option.

US Containment

“We are well aware that the world has entered an era of changes and global transformations, when we all need a particular degree of caution, the ability to avoid thoughtless steps. In the years after the Cold War, participants in global politics lost these qualities somewhat. Now, we need to remember them. Otherwise, hopes for a peaceful, stable development will be a dangerous illusion, while today’s turmoil will simply serve as a prelude to the collapse of world order.

Yes, of course, I have already said that building a more stable world order is a difficult task. We are talking about long and hard work. We were able to develop rules for interaction after World War II, and we were able to reach an agreement in Helsinki in the 1970s. Our common duty is to resolve this fundamental challenge at this new stage of development.” – Vladimir Putin, 10/24/14, Valdai International Discussions Club (Source)

“I am certain that if there is a will, we can restore the effectiveness of the international and regional institutions system. We do not even need to build anything anew, from the scratch; this is not a “greenfield,” especially since the institutions created after World War II are quite universal and can be given modern substance, adequate to manage the current situation.

This is true of improving the work of the UN, whose central role is irreplaceable, as well as the OSCE, which, over the course of 40 years, has proven to be a necessary mechanism for ensuring security and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic region. I must say that even now, in trying to resolve the crisis in southeast Ukraine, the OSCE is playing a very positive role.” – Vladimir Putin, 10/24/14, Valdai International Discussions Club (Source)

The existing global institutions such as the IMF and UN do not need to be re-invented as Putin states. Rather, what needs to change is the configuration and composition of such institutions to make them more representative of the new economic and geopolitical realities. This is why China, along with many other countries, and the IMF itself, have been after the United States to reform the voting structure of the IMF. The IMF, the hopeful world central bank amongst the globalist oligarchs of the world, has been a US dominated institution since its creation in 1944. The US has complete veto power in what is supposed to be a multilateral international organization. Since 2010, the US Congress has refused to approve its funding quota and the proposed governance reforms of the IMF that would give more power to countries such as China and Russia.

Here is an excerpt from a recent article published 3/17/15 on the website France 24 where US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was quoted as saying:

“Our continued failure to approve the IMF quota and governance reforms is causing other countries, including some of our allies, to question our commitment to the IMF and other multilateral institutions that we worked to create and that advance important US and global economic and security interests.”

Lew noted that the reform delay was pushing emerging-market powers to create their own parallel multilateral financial institutions. The BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — announced their own development bank in 2014, and China recently led the launch of a separate institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

“The IMF reforms will help convince emerging economies to remain anchored in the multilateral system that the United States helped design and continues to lead,” Lew said.

When you consider the fact that the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, was quoted as saying that she wouldn’t be surprised to see the IMF move its headquarters from DC to Beijing, you have to accept the fact that the world order is indeed going through an evolutionary change.

This coincides with the growing use of China’s currency, the yuan (renminbi), in global trade and finance. There’s little doubt that the yuan will be included in the basket of currencies that makes up the SDR (Special Drawing Rights), the currency issued by the IMF that has the potential to replace the US dollar as the world reserve currency. It’s important to understand that the Chinese will do whatever they feel is appropriate in regard to the development, use, and exchange rate of the yuan, however, it seems rather logical that the Chinese would like to make the yuan at the very least a regional currency, one in which allows them to replace the use of the US dollar in their personal trading and financing (which they’re already beginning to do).

RMB World Currency

Bank of China billboard in Bangkok that say’s “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

The pace of change that is taking place is accelerating at a dramatic rate. For anyone trying to pay attention it can become overwhelming to say the least.

While many people try to stay engaged with what is going economically, geopolitically, socially, technologically, etc. it can becomes rather difficult to connect the dots and formulate a vision of where we are being led. Though it is not possible to forecast with complete accuracy, we can certainly look at history and current developments in order to increase our probability of making more realistic assumptions about the future. Having a fair understanding of the various potential paths our domestic and global society will take assists in all aspects of our decision making. Staying on top of the trends and being flexible is an important factor when it comes to the overall well-being of each of us as individuals.

There’s no doubt that the complexity of our reality is compounded by the propaganda and misinformation that spews out of our main stream media. We are bombarded with headline after headline that consume us and in many ways indoctrinate us. We aren’t told the truth because the truth is the enemy in the empire of lies. God forbid the US, or the world for that matter, had an educated and properly informed populace, in particular when it comes to money, banking, and debt.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” – Henry Ford

“The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.” – Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister

In writing this piece, I have made an attempt at explaining “the game” in which the oligarchs of this world are playing. While they will stoke the flames of nationalism in order to protect their interests, the ultimate loser in all of this is the average man and woman. I ask of you to not fall for the deceit and lies which will grow ever more loudly in the years to come. Though the Russians and the Chinese are led by rather immoral and corrupt men, are we not guilty ourselves of allowing rather dishonorable and malicious men and women to “lead” us? I am of the opinion that the next Great War should not be between the oligarchs of the world who rule their states, but instead it should be a united revolution consisting of all men and women who desire to live free in what is most certainly an unfree world. Unrealistic? Perhaps. But to quote Jimmy Cliff, “I’d rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave.

“The supreme law of the State is self-preservation at any cost. All States, ever since they came to exist upon the earth, have been condemned to perpetual struggle – a struggle against their own populations, whom they oppress and ruin. A struggle against all foreign States, every one of which can be strong only if the others are weak. And since the States cannot hold their own in this struggle unless they constantly keep on augmenting their power against their own subjects as well as against other States, it follows that the supreme law of the State is the augmentation of its power to the detriment of internal liberty and external justice.” – Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, The Immorality of the State, 1870

Greatest Speech Ever Made

“Greatest Speech Ever Made”


If there is one thing any of us should do, it should be to educate ourselves. Every day we should look to expand our knowledge and make ourselves a bit more enlightened so that we may not only provide for ourselves and family, but to also contribute to the advancement of our society.

For many of us, who are simply looking to put food on the table and enjoy our family and friends, taking the time to educate ourselves can be limited. However, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do, and considering that time is our most valuable commodity, there is no excuse as to why you should not be taking the time to properly educate yourself.

Watching NBC Nightly News, CNN, Fox, etc. isn’t really educating yourself. You’re certainly keeping abreast of current events, but you’re not getting the real insight nor the real story in most cases that will assist in your ability to get a clearer understanding of the true macro picture.

As an investor and fund manager, watching programming on CNBC or Bloomberg for the most part doesn’t really do me any good when it comes to actually implementing an investment strategy that not only protects my wealth, but grows it. If you’re an individual investor, investment advisor, financial planner, or fund manager yourself, the same probably applies.

This lack of quality content has led to the creation of Real Vision TV. The product of Grant Williams and Raoul Pal, two very-well respected and successful individuals within the financial and investment industry, Real Vision TV takes the viewer into a world that was previously inaccessible to the average investor/person.

By utilizing their extensive rolodex, Raoul and Grant have been conducting absolutely incredible interviews with some of the most intelligent and successful individuals in the economic, investment, and political world. After watching many, many of the pieces that have been released thus far (~3-5/week), I can honestly say that I have walked away the vast majority of the time feeling as though I’ve learned something extremely valuable. This is the incredible value in a Real Vision subscription. After you watch a Real Vision video, 95% of the time you gain a better understanding of not only markets, but how the world around us actually works and how we can use that to our own benefit. Real Vision TV equals real world application, which is something you seldom get from watching CNBC or Bloomberg.

For a limited time, using discount code RIFLOGIC, you can receive $100 off the normal $400/year subscription fee. This is a damn good deal considering what you’re getting in return. I wouldn’t be surprised if the price were to be raised in the months and years ahead.

In writing this piece, I touched upon two Real Vision interviews where both Simon Hunt and Louis Gave gave absolutely incredible insight and perspective in regard to what is going on with Russia and China. What they discussed and shared is essential information when trying to analyze East/West relations and the impact such relations have on markets. For instance, did you know that just days before the Swiss removed their peg from the euro, which led to currency volatility the likes of which are rarely ever seen (amongst major Western countries in particular), officials from The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) were in Zurich visiting with their Swiss National Bank (SNB) counterparts? Interesting timing don’t you think? There’s much more to that story…

Simon Hunt

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Louis Gave

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Kyle Bass, founder and principal of Hayman Capital Management, L.P., who became well-known after he successfully predicted and benefitted from the subprime mortgage crisis in 07’/08′ by purchasing credit default swaps on subprime securities, had a very lively and engaging conversation with Raoul Pal as a part of RVTV’s “The Chain” series. Considering what Kyle wrote back in November of 2012 in regard to the current path we are on, and what I have just discussed with you, would it not be a good idea to consider hearing a bit more from the likes of a Kyle Bass?

“Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.” – Kyle Bass, Managing Partner, Hayman Capital Management, L.P. 11/15/12 “The Central Bankers Potemkin Village

Fortunately, as part of “The Chain” series, investment legend after investment legend gets interviewed as “The Chain” continues to forge its links, allowing you to hear from some of the most brilliant minds in economics and finance.

Real Vision TV has made this excellent interview available to the public in order to give you a small taste of the type of quality content they are producing.

Kyle Bass the Chain

Click to Play FULL VIDEO

As I said, the current subscription price for Real Vision TV is $400/year. Whether or not it stays at $400/year is questionable. For a limited time, using discount code RIFLOGIC, you can receive $100 off the normal $400/year subscription price all the while securing your subscription from any future price increases. Not a bad deal.

George S. Clason stated in his 1926 classic, “The Richest Man in Babylon”, “our prosperity as a nation depends upon the personal financial prosperity of each of us as individuals.” I strongly urge you to subscribe to Real Vision TV in order to assist in the development of your personal prosperity.

Jared Rifenbary

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Real Vision Television is the world’s only Video on Demand channel for finance. Its aim is to counterbalance the dumbed-down approach of the main stream media and offer a platform for high quality, in depth, unbiased, independent and unfiltered economic and financial analysis utilizing the brightest minds in the world. It is the brain child of Raoul Pal, publisher of The Global Macro Investor and Grant Williams of Things That Make You Go Hmmm…. It was launched in September 2014 and now features subscribers in over 100 countries worldwide. New videos are added almost on a daily basis and the library in content now features over 150 interviews, think pieces and presentation from some of the world’s great minds such as Kyle Bass, Albert Edwards, Mike Novogratz, Bill Fleckenstein, John Burbank, Dylan Grice, John Mauldin, Ben Hunt, Rick Rule, etc.


Fly High, Live Free

by Jared Rifenbary on December 8, 2014

Flyin’ High,
Livin’ Free.

Feel Free to leave a tip! Thanks! 🙂


The Economic Integration of NATO

by Jared Rifenbary on September 23, 2014

Economic Integration of NATO Image 1

“We need this deal (TTIP) to help solidify further the transatlantic alliance, to provide an economic equivalent to NATO and to set the rules of world trade before others do it for us.” – Anthony L. Gardner, US Ambassador to the European Union, 7/16/14 (Source)

“[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: The Technetronic Era, 1971

We’re inundated with so much noise on a daily basis that many of us struggle to see the forest for the trees.

Much of the information we’re fed is complete and utter nonsense.  Designed in a way for the talking heads to effectively entertain us and for the headlines to entirely consume us.

Hidden is the truth from those whom do not have a solid foundation in their understanding of what the actual goals and objectives of our “leaders” are.  Without understanding where we are being led, it is practically impossible to debate intelligently, think rationally, and invest productively.  You may think you are, but you’re not.

The world order is evolving, and it is evolving in such a way that many of you may fail at first to actually comprehend.  Your initial reaction may be one of denial and isolation, followed by anger and depression, but once you can come to accept what the reality of our present state is, your life will forever be changed.

Some may believe that ignorance is bliss.  If you’re one of them, God Bless and carry on.

Individuals such as myself on the other hand believe what Jesus said in John 8:32, “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Taking the time out of your busy schedule to educate yourself can be difficult, stressful, and thankless.  However, it is entirely necessary in order to not only improve upon your own sense of self, purpose, and financial well-being, but more importantly to advance society on a future path of prosperity and abundance.

It is important I stress that my message is in no way doom and gloom.

Au contraire.

I believe there is such an enormous amount of opportunity knocking on our door that it has inspired me to actually reach out and write to you.  The more of us who understand the macro trends, the more of us there is working together in order to create a world worth inheriting for our children.  In addition, the more of us who are properly positioned financially, the more of us there will be in order to recapitalize and finance the future real growth of our economy and society.  As George S. Clason states in his 1926 classic, “The Richest Man in Babylon”, “our prosperity as a nation depends upon the personal financial prosperity of each of us as individuals.”  He couldn’t be more right.

Part of my mission is to give you the foundation of knowledge required to help see through the propaganda we are bombarded with on a daily basis.  The other part of my mission is to help you prosper financially from knowing the truth.

As a professional speculator, it is my job to take advantage of market distortions created by governments and central banks.  Luckily for us speculators, the current interventions by such sages in Washington and Brussels are presenting us with phenomenal opportunities.  Opportunities that rarely come often.  The massive returns associated with such investments may take some time to develop, but if you have the wherewithal and patience to “stick it out” during this time of volatility and low prices, chances are you will be rewarded handsomely.

With that being said, let us explore what the economic integration of NATO is all about and how that ties in to the quote from our friend Zbigniew.  The implications for we as Westerners are monumental, and as investors/speculators extraordinary.

All Hail the TTIP

“The TTIP is being considered the gold standard of future agreements, and will be used as a blueprint for future deals.” – Josh Kallmer, former Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Investment, 9/26/13 (Source)

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, otherwise known as TAFTA (Transatlantic Free Trade Area), has a current timetable for completion in late 2015.  Secretary of State John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland have claimed that the TTIP agreement is vital toward creating a “transatlantic renaissance.”  The TTIP represents not only a free trade agreement, but more importantly it represents the next step in the economic, social, monetary, and political unification of North America and the EU.

Some of you may say that this is impossible.  That there is no way the North Atlantic community can converge and integrate into a unified economic and political entity.  The truth of the matter is that it is happening right now.

The technocratic elite have been planning, designing, and constructing this new order throughout much of the 20th century.  You just didn’t notice.

One needs to look no further than that of the EU.  The official origins of the EU began in 1951 upon the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).  This supranational organization was formally established by the signing of the Treaty of Paris between Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

The Founding Fathers of the European Community stated in their European Declaration signed April 18, 1951:

By the signature of this Treaty, the participating Parties give proof of their determination to create the first supranational institution and that thus they are laying the true foundation of an organized Europe. This Europe remains open to all nations. We profoundly hope that other nations will join us in our common endeavor.

The ECSC was the first step of many.  Following the ECSC was the signing of the Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community (customs union) in 1958.  This was followed by the European Community in 1967 which began the enlargement process.  The Schengen Agreement in 1985 essentially eliminated borders for citizens of the member states by allowing passport free travel.   Finally in 1993 the signing of the Maastricht Treaty established the European Union and initiated the birth of the euro and monetary union we are all so familiar with now.  Since that time we’ve seen the signing of the Amsterdam (1997), Nice (2001), and Lisbon (2007) Treaty which have all amended the Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht) in order to expand the size and authority of the EU.

Economic Integration of Nato Image 2

Though the technocrats refrain (for the most part) from being open and transparent with what their true intentions are, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what the objective is: the complete subversion of national sovereignty to that of the EU and ECB.   What Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin failed to do, the EU has accomplished.

 “The time for individual nations having its own tax, employment and social policies is definitely over. We must finally bury the erroneous ideas of nations having sovereignty over foreign and defense policies. National sovereignty will soon prove itself to be a product of the imagination.” – Gerhard Schröder, chancellor of Germany 1998-2005

 Following two horrific wars, the “peaceful” integration of Europe may seem ideal.  Free trade, open borders, the elimination of foreign exchange, peace, what’s wrong with this?

I love free trade, I enjoy being able to travel freely, I appreciate not having to deal with the hassle of currency conversion, and of course I live for peace with my neighbor.  What I don’t stand for is devious propaganda, theft through taxation, and the centralization of power.

For over fifty years the globalist elite have patiently executed their long-range (EU) plan of centralized economic, monetary, and political authority.  All the while the general populace has remained completely unaware of what has been taking place.

 “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

 That is not to say that the socialist utopia in which the eurocrats desire is absolutely guaranteed.  Nor is it guaranteed that the EMU (European Monetary Union) and EU will even stay together.  Centralizing power in Brussels and Frankfurt (home of the ECB) is no easy task.  We have recently witnessed a rise in nationalism across Europe, and this May’s past elections exemplified the nationalist sentiment.  Granted, nationalist MEP’s are still a minority in the European Parliament, but their coalition is growing and their message is resonating with voters.  Nevertheless, at least for now, the German led EU is here to stay.  In fact, it’s expanding.

The United States of Europe is the baby of something quite a bit bigger.  The EU is a form of political regionalization that is by far the most advanced in the world, but it is by no means the only regional project underway.  The Gulf Cooperation Council, Union of South American Nations, North American Union, African Union, Eurasian Economic Union would be examples of regional convergence and integration that are in the works.  All of these Unions would fall under the umbrella of the UN, establishing a better organized and more effective world government.  At least that is how it is portrayed.

As was mentioned earlier, the plan is long-term.  To believe that it will be successful is up for debate.  To avoid it, however, is foolish.  The money, power, and energy behind this construct is massive and their track record proves their determination come hell or high water.

The TTIP represents another major milestone for the architects of regional and global governance.  It is by no means a done deal but it is imperative to understand what it actually represents.  As an investor and speculator, understanding what the passing of the TTIP represents is vital toward making the right moves with our money.

Canada, as of this past summer, has already finalized a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU (Source).  The US is next.  The interesting thing to understand about this trade deal is that it is being written not by our elected officials, but rather by representatives from hundreds of multi-national banks and corporations.  Our elected representatives are playing no role whatsoever in the design of this trade agreement.  Though the agreement must be passed by Congress, they may have no ability to alter the agreement if Obama receives Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) which creates a situation where Congress can only vote either “yes” or “no” on the deal without having the ability to amend the agreement.  I tell you this to demonstrate where the power truly lies.

If the TTIP were to be passed it would signify the first step in the convergence and integration of the North Atlantic community.  Look up the 28 member nations in NATO and you will see who is a part of this regional construct.

The Colder War

Understanding these dynamics assists us when evaluating the crisis in Ukraine as the EU and NATO have pursued closer ties with “little Russia”.  If you recall last November when former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of an agreement with Russia, it sparked what was to become a full on civil war.  Larger than the civil war, however, is the proxy war between the EU/US and NATO vs. Russia and their Eurasian Union.

In many respects this is a battle between Western energy companies against Putin controlled Gazprom and Rosneft.  As globalist Henry Kissinger once stated “who controls the energy can control whole continents”, and right now we are witnessing the battle for control over Europe’s energy markets.  Western corporate interests are engaged in a battle with Putin and his oligarchs over who will control the supply and distribution of gas heading into Europe.  As Kissinger said, controlling the energy supply and distribution will allow one to basically control an entire continent, in this case the continent being Europe.

This is a major battle with huge implications for not only these powerful interests, but also we as citizens and investors.  There is no one better equipped to provide the insight and guidance to navigate through these turbulent times then Marin Katusa of Casey Research.  Marin’s new book “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp” is a must-read for anyone who is serious about understanding the geopolitical and economic consequences of what is going on right now between East and West.  The book is due out November 10 and you can pre-order now through Amazon.

The EU is currently at the will of Putin and it is a situation that many in Europe are uncomfortable with.  While the TTIP agreement would accelerate the export of North American LNG to the EU, the infrastructure needed in order to supplant Russian supply is simply not there.  Through his control of Russia’s massive resources, Putin has brought Russia back on to the world stage and is no doubt challenging the hegemonic position of the US.  We are still in the early stages of what promises to be a rather tumultuous period of time and you would be wise to pay attention.

As Henry Kissinger just recently warned in an August 29 essay published in the Wall Street Journal, “A struggle between regions could be even more debilitating than the struggle between nations has been.”

Like I said, you should be paying attention.

In order to follow such a complex story, it is vital that you get the right information.  The amount of nonfactual information that is thrown at us every day can easily mislead us causing us to make bad decisions personally, professionally, and financially.  That is why I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to get your information from the right sources.  There is no one more qualified or on top of the big picture analysis then, Marin Katusa.  If you are a serious investor willing to take matters into your own hands, Marin is the guy you need to be hearing from.

The best way to put analysis into action is through subscribing to Casey’s Energy Report.  On a monthly basis you’ll receive actionable investment advice and recommendations that come straight from Marin’s research and analysis.  You will not find anywhere else the type of insight and industry connections that Marin has.  His monthly service is bar none the best in the industry.  Given the times we live in, this service is more important than ever.

Turn crisis into opportunity and try Casey’s Energy Report for just $995/year.  If at any time within the first 3 months you aren’t satisfied, feel free to call and receive a full refund no questions asked.  I strongly believe you will find CER to be indispensable and absolutely vital to your financial well-being.  I know I do.

Subscribe now!

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Dear Saratoga County Residents ,

If you’re looking for an entertaining and educational evening that focuses on our central bank then please plan on attending this special one night event.

The documentary, “Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve”, is appropriate for anyone who has an interest in bettering their personal understanding of the role of the Federal Reserve and certainly the implications that their policy decisions have on each of us as individuals, community members, and Americans.

In a world where all major central banks are taking extraordinary measures to ensure their domestic economies keep their heads above water, it is imperative that all of us have at least a basic awareness of what the Fed is doing and perhaps more importantly what the Fed has done in the past and what the results have been.

The risks that we all face are rather historic and not understanding what the potential consequences may be from such unprecedented monetary action is rather risky. The danger lies not only with our personal financial well-being, but also with the overall well-being of our society and country.

The stakes could not be higher.

The US dollar is the bedrock of the current international monetary system and we as Americans should not take that for granted.

The monetary system in many respects defines the way of the world. It is therefore no coincidence that we see geopolitical tension rising while at the same time we see the role of the dollar being questioned.

Since the 2008 crisis the dollar dominated system has increasingly been criticized by countries such as China and Russia. Their call for change has not been all talk as many actions have been taken in order to avoid or change the current order.

The question is, why?

Why are they looking for an alternative to the dollar?

Even though they are extremely dependent upon the US and the integrity of the dollar (system), in particular China, why would they slap the hand that feeds them?

It is a big question with answers that have major implications for the current order, but there is no doubt that these countries along with many others are no longer looking to maintain the status quo.

We are in the early stages, but you can be sure that all of this is accelerating. The implications are huge and it would be wise of you to pay attention.

Besides countries, we are now seeing individuals looking toward digital currencies as an alternative to not only the US dollar, but all government issued fiat money.


Why are ordinary people beginning to look to use/possess alternative forms of money/currency?

This is once again a major question that all of us should at least stop and think about. Is digital currency just a fad or is it something much, much bigger?

Though some digital currencies such as bitcoin may die, others may come to replace it.

For many who are taking part in this movement it is not necessarily about speculating on the “value” of such currency (though many do in this early stage), but rather to advance freedom in regard to each individual having the right to choose its preferred medium of exchange.

A revolutionary idea and movement no doubt.

But will the powers that be allow it to go on?

Autocratic countries such as China and Russia have already banned the use of such currencies. The US and many other western governments have also looked to outlaw or shun digital currency.

The point is if they can’t control it, why would they want it?

Obviously, digital currency in its current structure, is not something they want.

The real question when it comes to digital currency, is will it succeed in the long run?

I’m sure success will vary, but in my opinion success will be dependent upon how far the advance of liberty is “allowed”.

All of what I am talking about has direct connections to the Federal Reserve and its role within our society. This of course then relates to the role of central banking and the relationship it has with our federal government.

Is the current system right? Is it just? Is it fair?

Does the current system breed morality and equality, or does it breed discrimination and partiality?

Do we as Americans deserve something better, or should we all accept the sanctity of central bankers?

Such sages as Yellen and Bernanke, Draghi and Kuroda, all of the same ilk are really the best we can do?


But that is for you to decide.

That is why I am urging you to join us on April 24th, 7:00 PM at the Gannett Auditorium, Skidmore College to view the newly released documentary “Money For Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve”

Even if you have no knowledge of the Federal Reserve, it doesn’t matter. This movie will help you take that first step toward having at least a basic understanding of what is one of the most overlooked and yet most important institutions in the world.

You may not know it, but their decisions directly affect you everyday.

I will be conducting an insightful Q&A session with Director Jim Bruce via Skype following the movie. This will allow us to get a bit more personal with Jim and I’m looking forward to really pushing the boundaries. If anything, it will be a lot of fun.

SkidMarket’s and myself are extremely excited to be able to bring this FREE screening to our local community and once again urge you to please attend and help spread the word!

The time to take an interest and act is now!

If you would like to see what the critics are saying about the movie please click here:

Watch the movie trailer here:

Additional Event Details can be found here:

Please RSVP if you can. Again, there is no cost to attend.

Also, please “like” the Event Page found above and share it with all your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Spread the word and make this a great event!


The Move Away Continues

by Jared Rifenbary on October 15, 2013

The move away from a dollar/federal reserve dominated monetary system continues.

China’s official press agency, Xinhua, recently released an op-ed calling for a de-Americanized world and the need to move away from the dollar to a new primary reserve and trade currency.

The Chinese recognize that the yuan is not the answer.

Therefore, what is the answer?

The battles is on for control of the IMF…will China get a seat at the table?  I suspect they will continue to buy gold and when that day comes for restructuring, they will have the ability to look the west in the eye.

When Jim Rickards speaks, we should listen…


“There is no way out for Japan” – Kyle Bass

April 10, 2013

Kyle Bass has been sounding the alarm on Japan for quite some time now. With the actions taken by the BOJ last week, he reaffirms his position in the 10 minute interview below. In addition, he warns us all in the 6:00 minute mark when he says, “if there is no way out for them, […]

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It’s Five O’clock Somewhere

February 26, 2013

Pour me somethin’ tall an’ strong, Make it a “Hurricane” before I go insane. It’s only half-past twelve but I don’t care. It’s five o’clock somewhere. For any of you who have purchased gold or silver and are concerned about the recent price action, I understand.  Essentially every gold article that you now read is […]

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Germany’s Bundesbank Repatriates Gold While Russia Says World in Currency War

January 22, 2013

The current world monetary structure that has been in place since 1971 is coming to an end. Though a transition/collapse is not imminent, the warning signs are accelerating. As of today, Germany’s central bank announced that it has begun to repatriate a portion of its gold held abroad from current locations in NY and Paris: […]

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Ron Paul’s Farewell Address

November 15, 2012

This man has done more for liberty than all politicians over the last 4 decades combined. Thank  you Ron Paul! Your efforts have sparked a movement within this country that WILL restore our republic.  There will be immense turmoil from now until that happens, and it may take decades, but we WILL win. The truth […]

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