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From the USSR to the EU Read more >>> Another US shale revolution is over? After gas rig count collapse shale gas production drops Read more >>> Why the Italian government can’t resolve the problems of Mediterranean smuggling boats? Because it doesn’t want to Read more >>> The nationalisation of Ukraine PrivatBank: how two oligarchs bankrupted a nation Read more >>> “Russia did it” – the last stand of neoconservatism Read more >>>

Another US shale revolution is over? After gas rig count collapse shale gas production drops

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Another US shale revolution is over? After gas rig count collapse shale gas production drops
photo shutterstock / telesniuk
American dreams about energy independence may never come true. After a continuing decrease in the shale oil production, also the shale gas output has reached its peak and started to fall. As shale oil and gas make up half of the total United States oil and gas production and the rig count remains historically low, the American energy independence is shrinking and hopes for American LNG supply to Europe are disappearing into thin air. The US continues to be a net importer of energy resources and this is not going to change.

Dreams about the American energy autonomy are far from being abandoned, though. The shale revolution enthusiasm was shared even by top politicians, like Hillary Clinton, who claimed that the US had achieved energy independence, even if it was obviously not true.1)Hillary Clinton said America is energy independent. It is not, CNBC 2016-10-10 Gas autonomy seemed to be more achievable that of oil and 2016 was slated to be the first year when the US would export more gas than import.2)The New U.S. Energy Era Will Be a Gas, USNews 2016-05-16

References   [ + ]

1. Hillary Clinton said America is energy independent. It is not, CNBC 2016-10-10
2. The New U.S. Energy Era Will Be a Gas, USNews 2016-05-16

The nationalisation of Ukraine PrivatBank: how two oligarchs bankrupted a nation

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The nationalisation of Ukraine PrivatBank: how two oligarchs bankrupted a nation
photo shutterstock/maxstockphoto
On the morning of 19 December Ukrainians got up to learn about a momentous economic decision: the biggest Ukrainian bank, PrivatBank, had just been nationalised after its two owners used depositors’ money to build a business empire and distributed the money among Jewish organisations in Europe. Why did it have to happen?

A look into the past. PrivatBank used to be Ukraine’s largest bank with 20% of the banking sector and $53bn assets.1)UPDATE: Government nationalizes PrivatBank, guarantees deposits KyivPost 2016-12-18Its history is quite unusual for the country’s realities because it:

  • was one of the first private banks (formed in 1992);
  • was the first bank to introduce plastic cards and ATMs;
  • was the first Ukrainian financial institution to receive an international rating (Thomson BankWatch International Rating Agency, Fitch IBCA);
  • was the first Ukrainian bank to have opened its International Banking Unit in Cyprus in 1999;
  • introduced electronic banking in 2001;
  • received STP Excellence Award from Deutsche Bank in 2003.

References   [ + ]

1. UPDATE: Government nationalizes PrivatBank, guarantees deposits KyivPost 2016-12-18

“Russia did it” – the last stand of neoconservatism

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“Russia did it” – the last stand of neoconservatism
photo Shutterstock / Joe Ravi
In 1992, at the end of the Cold War, an American political scientist infamously proclaimed “the end of history:” liberal democracy and the capitalist system has won, the rest of the world will eventually embrace western ideas as superior to theirs because only they are able to provide peace and prosperity.
This line of reasoning has since become the West’s dogma in international relations, and so under the pretext of spreading human rights and parliamentary democracy all over the world the West perceives itself to be on a mission. For a while, it worked. Most of Eastern Europe readily embraced Western democracy and capitalism and even Russia seemed to follow.


Did the Bank of Japan prevent the US bond market from imploding?

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US bond
photo Shutterstock/njene

The turmoil in the financial market was far from good news to President-Elect Donald Trump.
The 10-year Treasury yield was on pace for the largest 2-week rise since 2009. The crash in the bond market happened alongside a 10% devaluation of the Japanese yen.

The mainstream media presented the dumping of Treasury bonds as good news. Investors miraculously expected the US economy to boom and inflation to rise now that Donald Trump will be their president. The same media analysts that predicted two weeks ago that the financial world would collapse if Trump were elected are now convinced that Trump’s plan to increase spending and lower taxes will finance itself.


Brussels will force the Dutch to accept their failed Ukraine policy

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Dutch to accept their failed Ukraine policy
photo Shutterstock/ Roman Mikhailiuk

61% of the Dutch voters rejected the Ukraine association treaty in a referendum this year. 31% of the population showed up, which is a far larger number than of those who turned up at Maidan to protest. For the second time the Dutch population cast its vote in a referendum, for the second time the outcome will be nullified in the name of European Democracy.

European leaders have celebrated the Maidan revolution as the attempt of Ukrainian people to join the family of liberal democracies of Western Europe. It couldn’t be further from the truth. In the official version presented in the West, Maidan protests were spontaneously sparked off when the pro-Russian Yanukovich government renounced to ratify an association agreement with the European Union.

Yet in November 2013, before the Maidan movement even started, Oleg Tsarov, member of the Ukrainian parliament, had reported in a parliamentary session on the recruitment of activists organized by the US embassy in Kiev for unknown purposes1)“MUST WATCH: Nov 2013 (pre-Maidan!): Ukraine Deputy has proof of USA staging civil war in Ukraine”, Youtube.

The US embassy in Kiev, via its representative Victoria Nuland, would later become a primary actor in pressuring for a regime change and the formation of a pro-West government in the first months of 2014. For clarity, Victoria Nuland is the third in charge of the US foreign policy, second only President Obama and John Kerry, who had been busy negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.

References   [ + ]

1. “MUST WATCH: Nov 2013 (pre-Maidan!): Ukraine Deputy has proof of USA staging civil war in Ukraine”, Youtube

After the US elections: last call for the establishment

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After the US elections
photo Shutterstock/Krista Kennell

The overwhelming majority of polls gave her a strong lead in the electoral colleges count, but the outcome proved to be the exact opposite. America has asked for a change, just like in 2008 with Obama, and the repetition also means the latter did not deliver.


US elections: Western media stopped reporting and began shaping opinion

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Donald Trump
photo Shutterstock/egorkeon

Donald Trump has won. Against the odds, against the polls, against the massive attacks from the media that have gone to great lengths during the past several months to depict him as a monster, a cannibal, a flaw in the pattern, a Putin-fan, a war-monger, a racist, an abomination, the worst candidate in all of history. Every article, well, every paragraph in an article contained a disparaging word like ‘populist’ or ‘populism’ in reference to Trump.


Caught in the act: NGOs deal in migrant smuggling

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Abandoned boat on the coast
photo Shutterstock / Nightman1965

Ship-tracking software and reports from journalists prove that NGOs, the Italian Coast Guard and smugglers coordinate their actions. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) exposes NGOs operating in Libyan territorial waters. Since the ouster of President Ghadafi, a growing number of Africans are smuggled into Europe. They travel via Libya from where they cross the Mediterranean. Different “humanitarian” organisations or NGOs involved are an indispensable part of the smuggle route to Europe. We noticed that the Italian coast guard, NGOs and locals coordinate their actions. Whatever they call it themselves, these operations cannot be classified as genuine rescue operations.

The Dutch, Maltese and German based NGOs are part of the human smuggling network and one wonders, are these NGOs themselves criminal organisations.

Whatever the motives of these NGOs, their behaviour is illegal, and in countries governed by a constitution, i.e. European states, crime should be prosecuted regardless of the intention of its perpetrators.

We followed the movements of the Golfo Azzurro on 12 October. We used AIS Marine Traffic signals, twitter and the live reports of a Dutch journalist on board of the Golfo Azzurro.


Death road to Europe promoted on the web

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Death road to Europe promoted on the web
photo Shutterstock/songpholt

Jonathan Samuels, Sky News Correspondent, and his team discovered a discarded handbook, printed in Arabic, on the shore of the Isle of Lesbos, providing the migrants with detailed information on the routes, important phone numbers, non-government organizations that aid the migrants and on their rights in target countries1)(also video), Sky Finds ‘Handbook’ For EU-Bound Migrants, Sky News 2015-09-13.. WatchTheMed (watchthemed.net and alarmphone.org) and w2eu (w2eu.info and w2eu.net) are among the organizations listed in the said rough guide.

References   [ + ]

1. (also video), Sky Finds ‘Handbook’ For EU-Bound Migrants, Sky News 2015-09-13.

The Americans from MOAS ferry migrants to Europe

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The Americans from MOAS ferry migrants to Europe
photo Shutterstock / Alexyz3d

MOAS stands for Migrant Offshore Aid Station. It is a Malta-based non-governmental organisation, which set itself the task of patrolling the Mediterranean and rescuing people in high seas, lifting them up from dinghies, rafts and boats onto the Phoenix, the MOAS-owned trawler, a vessel complete with drones for scanning the waters, and ferrying migrants from places several miles off the Libyan shore to Sicily. The organisation is run by Chris Catrambone (35) and his wife Regina.


NGOs Armada operating off the coast of Libya

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NGOs Armada operating off the coast of Libya
photo Shutterstock/Malcolm Chapman

Since 2015 more and more private NGOs are involved in the illegal migrant ferrying from Libya to Italy. They all claim to be on a rescuing mission, but are they? “We can now confirm that at least 3,800 people have died, making 2016 the deadliest ever,” William Spindler, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), declared last week. The previous record, 3,771 lives lost,, was set in 2015. Despite a sharp drop in the number of refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean, from 1.01 million last year to 327,800 so far this year, more and more people drown at sea or die as a result of other causes1)UN: 2016 deadliest year for refugees in Mediterranean, Deutsche Welle..

References   [ + ]

1. UN: 2016 deadliest year for refugees in Mediterranean, Deutsche Welle.

Objective press in the U.S.? NYT and USA Today endorse Clinton

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Objective press in the U.S.?
photo Shutterstock / M. Shcherbyna

The United States of America is deemed a benchmark of democracy. One of the pillars of democracy is free and independent press. And an objective one. Without objective press, the freedom of speech is replaced by propaganda, exactly the same as that one in Russia or other “autocracies”. Can we speak about democracy in the US if two major titles openly support one of the presidential candidates? Is it still democracy, if the press have already chosen who should be the commander-in-chief instead of leaving this decision to the voters?