Thursday, November 13, 2014

Putin 'Prepares For Economic War'

Putin 'Prepares For Economic War', Buys Whopping 55 Tonnes Of Gold In Q3

Just as China is buying 'cheap' oil with both hands and feet, so Russia, according to the latest data from The World Gold Council (WGC) has been buying gold in huge size. Dwarfing the rest of the world's buying in Q3, Russia added a stunning 55 tonnes to its reserves, asThe Telegraph reportsPutin is taking advantage of lower gold prices to pack the vaults of Russia's central bank with bullion as it prepares for the possibility of a long, drawn-out economic war with the West.
Russia bought more gold in Q3 then all other countries combined...

Vladimir Putin's government is understood to be hoarding vast quantities of gold, having tripled stocks to around 1,150 tonnes in the last decade. These reserves could provide the Kremlin with vital firepower to try and offset the sharp declines in the rouble.

Russia's currency has come under intense pressure since US and European sanctions and falling oil prices started to hurt the economy. Revenues from the sale of oil and gas account for about 45pc of the Russian government's budget receipts.

In total, central banks around the world bought 93 tonnes of the precious metal in the third quarter, marking it the 15th consecutive quarter of net purchases. In its report, the World Gold Council said this was down to a combination of geopolitical tensions and attempts by countries to diversify their reserves away from the US dollar.

By the end of the year, central banks will have acquired up to 500 tonnes of gold during the latest buying spell, according to Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council.

"Central banks have been consistently adding to their gold holdings since 2009,"Mr Hewitt told the Telegraph.

During the first Palestinian uprising, or intifada, in the late 1980s, Palestinians refused to work in Israeli companies. Many threw stones and firebombs at Israeli troops.
During the second intifada, which erupted in 2000, suicide bombers repeatedly blew up public places in Israel, such as cafes, night clubs and buses.
Israeli Charlotte Slopack-Goller didn't ride the bus for a few years then.
"Now I take the buses without thinking," she says.
But that was before Palestinian attackers began driving cars into Israeli civilians at bus stops, killing several and wounding dozens.
"I must admit that when I was trying to cross the street the other day and standing at a narrow bus stop, I was a little nervous, and I thought maybe I need to stand behind something to protect myself," she says.
She isn't sure a third Palestinian intifada is on the way. But Palestinian Latifa Abdel Latif hopes it is.
"I hope there's intifada because we had enough. We had enough," she says.
Although fatal car and knife attacks have prompted discussion of whether a sustained period of violence lies ahead, Abdel Latif says an intifada means finding even small ways to constantly oppose Israeli policies.
Any sustained Palestinian protest, Abdel Latif says, needs guidance from the top, meaning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, commonly known as Abu Mazen.
"Like Abu Mazen, you know, our boss, he should agree about the intifada," she says. "Because everything now is happening is just individual. An intifada needs leaders."
Israel says that Abbas and leaders in the Islamist group Hamas are fanning the recent rise in fatal confrontations through speeches and social media.

In recent weeks, there have been stone-throwing clashes in Jerusalem and around the West Bank, though they have not yet approached the levels of the past intifadas.
However, independent Palestinian politician Mustafa Barhgouti says this is an intifada — but a new type. It's carried out by individuals, he says, but reflects widespread anger.
"People get confused because they keep comparing the new intifada with the first and second one," he says. "But they shouldn't because each one has its own characteristics. We don't want this to be militarized like the second intifada because this would serve the Israeli army purpose."
Past intifadas have been triggered by specific incidents. Barghouti traces the the current unrest to the collapse in April of peace talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry made repeated trips to the region, and got both sides back to the negotiating table, but was unable to build momentum for a diplomatic breakthrough.
"The clear change in the political atmosphere was the total failure of Kerry's effort," Barghouti says. "I think that was the turning point when it became clear that Palestinians have to rely on themselves and struggle against this injustice."
Ya'akov Peri, a former head of Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, says intifada or not – times are clearly tense.
"Nobody can really say when an intifada, an uprising is starting and when does it end," Peri says. "No doubt that the escalation is high and I think we should all call for calmness."

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