NATO general pushed for war with Russia

Philip Breedlove, who served as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Allied Command Operations tried to escalate Ukrainian conflict in 2014. His aim was to make the US Army intervene but Barack Obama did not consent to that.

We found the details of Breedlove agenda after his Gmail account was hacked. General tried many times to oppose decisions of Obama’s administration and this led to media breaking information about growing animosity between the president and the general.

Following the DCLeaks website, general’s eagerness did not stop him from contacting other important figures to inquire on how to influence the POTUS. We see this in conversations with former Secretary of State Colin Powell in which Breedlove complained about the White House’s inaction.

In other emails we see the NATO general trying to get support from academia and former servicemen.

Another example of his intentions was reported by Der Spiegel. Breedlove staggered German counterparts after informing them about “more than 1 000” armored vehicles supposedly sent by Moscow into Donbas. Data was exaggerated and not confirmed by German intelligence. Before that, Breedlove lied about the amount of Russian military contingent waiting at the Ukrainian border.

Philip Breedlove retired from his function as NATO chief in Europe in May 2016.

Shareholders thankful for banker’s honesty

Eric Ben-Artzi, Deutsche Bank Risk Analyst was sacked after mentioning to his superiors fabricated value of a derivative portfolio. After walking out of his office he turned to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Commission awarded him 16.5 million dollars. While Bez-Artzi was not hiding the fact that money was one of his motives he ultimately did not accept the money pointing that this solution would hurt shareholders and not guilty executives. The whistleblower accepted only part of the award due to legal costs and his ex-wife’s share, the rest should be given back to shareholders.

Former DB employee in his letter highlighted that due to ‘revolving door’ between SEC and DB there will not be any substantial change in Bank's actions not to mention making responsible executives accountable. “Meanwhile, top executives retired with multimillion­-dollar bonuses based on the misrepresentation of the bank’s balance sheet.”

A clear example of close connections between DB and the SEC is a person of Robert Rice. The chief lawyer for DB (2004-2013) moved straight to the SEC offices. Before that, he fired Ben-Artzi.

It has been a decade since we first read about banks ‘too big to fail’. Above example is an official confirmation that when it comes to financial elite we should get used to ‘too big to jail’.

The Bank of Japan takes over dozens of Nikkei 225 companies

The BOJ is the most effective central bank in the world. Money put into ETFs was aimed at stimulating the economy but eventually, the result is more market dependency on central bank interventions. Today, the BOJ is the 5th biggest shareholder in 81 companies of Nikkei 225. Below you can see how Kuroda increased his position in Japanese financial market.

Marked orange, you see 60% of the Japanese ETF market. The BOJ chairman Kuroda in just dozen months tripled the amount he spends only to additionally double down his efforts recently. If this trend continues, Japanese central bank will be the biggest shareholder in 55 companies of Nikkei 225 before the end of 2017.

The BOJ is not the only one active in the equity market. The SNB really likes American companies. Below you can see where the SNB puts their bets helping valuations to reach new heights (data from June 2016):

Source: Zerohedge.com

Both the BOJ and the SNB are great examples how central banks, at the expense of the public, smoothly take over the biggest corporations on the globe. For inexperienced investors, it is potentially dangerous. Seeing prices endlessly climb up you may even believe that it is going to be like this forever. Until you learn a hard lesson.

Billionaires want more cash in their wallets

Most famous billionaires now keep on average 22.2% of their assets in cash. This is the highest level since in 2010 Wealth-X started to compile data.

A big share of cash is a direct result of fears regarding the condition of the global economy. Swiss UBS confirms this in their research from a few weeks ago. It shows that cash has already 20% share of the assets of the richest Americans and many of them consider increasing this part of their portfolio to counter uncertainty before this year’s elections in the US.

2473 billionaires keep around 1.7 trillion USD in paper. A sum equal to the GBP of Brazil.

Wealth-X analysts suggest in their report that many of them pulled their funds from stocks realising how overvalued they are. Authors forecast return of this money back into the equity market when prices of many assets will be at lower levels.

Forex market limited in Belgium

A few days ago we heard about a total ban on forex trading in Belgium. The FSMA (financial supervisory body) limited the sale of particular instruments for particular clients. This does not change the fact that any effort to bypass this law is going to significantly lower profits of brokers.

Since 18th August, it is forbidden to sell leveraged OTC contracts for difference (CFDs). One of the main aims is to limit speculative play worth more than the client’s deposit. The ban limits not only brokers in Belgium but also companies from abroad present in the Belgian market.

New rules mean no more aggressive advertising – direct calling and offering bonuses etc.

In practice, people who want to invest through forex platforms will do so anyways but the size of the market is going to shrink.

 

Independent Trader Team