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Friday, June 20, 2014

Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else

Wheelbarrow of Money
Have you noticed that prices are going up rapidly?  If so, you are certainly not alone.  But Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, the Obama administration and the mainstream media would have us believe that inflation is completely under control and exactly where it should be.  Perhaps if the highly manipulated numbers that they quote us were real, everything would be fine.  But of course the way that the inflation rate is calculated has been changed more than 20 times since the 1970s, and at this point it bears so little relation to reality that it is essentially meaningless.  Anyone that has to regularly pay for food, water, gas, electricity or anything else knows that inflation is too high.  In fact, if inflation was calculated the same way that it was back in 1980, the inflation rate would be close to 10 percent right now.
But you would never know that listening to Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.  In the video posted below, you can listen to her telling the media that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about...
And it is really hard to get too upset with Janet Yellen.
After all, she reminds many people of a sweet little grandmother.
But the reality of the matter is that she is simply not telling us the truth.  Everywhere we look, prices are aggressively moving higher.
Just the other day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the price index for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs has just soared to a new all-time high.
This is something that I have repeatedly warned would happen.  Just check out this article and this article.
And it isn't just meat prices that are going up.  One of the largest coffee producers in the entire world just announced that it is going to be raising coffee prices by 9 percent...
It took the Fed long enough but finally even it succumbed to the reality of surging food prices when, as we reported previously, it hiked cafeteria prices at ground zero: the cafeteria of the Chicago Fed, stating that “prices continue to rise between 3% and 33%.” So with input costs rising across the board not just for the Fed, but certainly for food manufacturers everywhere, it was only a matter of time before the latter also threw in the towel and followed in the Fed’s footsteps. Which is what happened earlier today when J.M. Smucker Co. said it raised the prices on most of its coffee products by an average of 9% to reflect higher green-coffee costs.
Not that coffee isn't expensive enough already.  It absolutely stuns me that some people are willing to pay 3 dollars for a cup of coffee.
I still remember the days when you could get a cup of coffee for 25 cents.
Also, I can't get over how expensive groceries are becoming these days.  Earlier this month I took my wife over to the grocery store to do some shopping.  We are really ramping up our food storage this summer, and so we grabbed as much stuff on sale as we could find.  When we got our cart to the register, I was expecting the bill to be large, but I didn't expect it to be over 300 dollars.
And remember, this was just for a single shopping cart and we had consciously tried to grab things that were significantly reduced from regular price.
I almost felt like asking the cashier which organ I should donate to pay the bill.
Sadly, this is just the beginning.  Food prices are eventually going to go much, much higher than this.
Also, you should get ready to pay substantially more for water as well.
According to CNBC, one recent report warned that "your water bill will likely increase" in the coming months...
U.S. water utilities face a critical economic squeeze,according to a new report—and that will likely mean higher prices at the water tap for consumers.
A survey by water-engineering firm Black & Veatchof 368 water utility companies across the country shows that 66 percent of them are not generating enough revenue to cover their costs.
To make up for the financial shortfall, prices for water are heading upward, said Michael Orth, one of the co-authors of the report and senior vice president at Black & Veatch.
“People will have to pay more for water to make up the falling revenues,” he said. “And that’s likely to be more than the rate of inflation.”
Of even greater concern is what is happening to gas prices.
According to Bloomberg, the price of gasoline hasn't been this high at this time of the year for six years...
Gasoline in the U.S. climbed this week, boosted by a surge in oil, and is expected to reach the highest level for this time of year since 2008.
The pump price averaged $3.686 a gallon yesterday, up 1.2 cents from a week earlier, data posted on the Energy Information Administration’s website late yesterday show. Oil, which accounts for two-thirds of the retail price of gasoline, gained $2.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in the same period and $4.88 in the month ended yesterday.
The jump in crude, driven by concern that the crisis in Iraq will disrupt supplies, may boost pump prices by 10 cents a gallon at a time when they normally drop, according to forecasts including one from the EIA.
And the conflicts in Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere could potentially send gas prices screaming far higher.
In fact, T. Boone Pickens recently told CNBC that if Baghdad falls to ISIS that the price of a barrel of oil could potentially hit $200.
Of course the big oil companies are not exactly complaining about this.  This week energy stocks are hitting record highs, and further escalation of the conflict in Iraq will probably send them even higher.
Meanwhile, a "bipartisan Senate proposal" (that means both Democrats and Republicans) would raise the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon over the next two years.
Our politicians have such good timing, don't they?
And our electricity rates are going up too.  The electricity price index just set a brand new record high and there are no signs of relief on the horizon...
The electricity price index and the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity both hit records for May, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average price for a KWH hit 13.6 cents during the month, up about 3.8 percent from 13.1 cents in May 2013.
The seasonally adjusted electricity price index rose from 201.431 in May 2013 to 208.655 in May 2014—an increase of about 3.6 percent.
If our paychecks were increasing at the same rate as inflation, perhaps most families would be able to weather all of this.
Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.
As I wrote about recently, median household income in the U.S. is nowabout 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000 after adjusting for inflation.
And if realistic inflation numbers were used instead of the government-manipulated ones, it would look a lot worse than that.
Inflation is a hidden tax that all of us pay, and it is systematically eviscerating the middle class.
So what are prices like in your neck of the woods?
Is your family feeling the pain of inflation?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below...
Credit to Economic Collapse

ISIS Overruns Iraq Chemical Weapons 'Mega-Facility'

With all eyes firmly focused on what really matters (the oil refineries), 
The Telegraph reports that ISIS has over-run a Saddam Hussein-era chemical weapons (CW) complex. The al-Muhanna 'mega-facility', about 60 miles south of Baghdad, gives the jihadists access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin. The US state department is 'concerned' but "do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value." However, as a former commander of Britain's chemical weapons regiment warned, "we have seen that ISIS has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria." This is likely great for ISIS 2014 Annual Report; but, of course, the other awkward question is: does this mean Saddam did have WMDs (and ISIS found them) after all?
As The Telegraph reports, the jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday...
Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.

The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme.

During its peak in the late 1980s to early 1990s, Iraq produced bunkers full of chemical munitions.

A CIA report on the facility said that 150 tons of mustard were produced each year at the peak from 1983 and pilot-scale production of Sarin began in 1984.

Its most recent description of al-Muthanna in 2007 paints a disturbing picture of chemicals strewn throughout the area.

“Two wars, sanctions and UN oversight reduced Iraqi’s premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities,” it said.

“Some of the bunkers contained large quantities of unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment and other hazardous industrial chemicals.”

Britain has previously acknowledgeded that the nature of the material contained in the two bunkers would make the destruction process difficult and technically challenging.
Should we be worried?
US officials revealed that the group had occupied the sprawling site which has two bunkers encased in a concrete seal. Much of the sarin is believed to be redundant.
“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the [Isis],” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.
It is doubtful that Isis have the expertise to use a fully functioning chemical munition but there are materials on site that could be used in an improvised explosive device,” he told the Telegraph.

“We have seen that Isis has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria.”
One US official told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that Isis fighters could be contaminated by the chemicals at the site.
“The only people who would likely be harmed by these chemical materials would be the people who tried to use or move them,” the military officer said.

Credit to Zero Hedge 

Ancient Texts (Including Ezekiel, Book Of Enoch, Zohar, etc.) Foresaw Iran As Chief Instigator Of The Final End Times War

This year, the Jewish festival of Purim Katan (Little Purim) will be observed on the 18th of February (the 14th day of Adar I) and the full holiday of Purim is scheduled for March 20 (the 14th day of Adar II). Purim commemorates the victory of Esther and Mordecai over Haman, in the days of the Jewish exile in the Persian Empire.

In a 1991 article on Purim, Gary Stearman reminded us, “If we count the festivals, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, Purim is the tenth festival out of 22 in the Jewish calendar. Alphabetically, Rosh Hashanah is the first feast, represented by the first letter, aleph (t), the letter of “creation.” This feast signifies “the birthday of the world.” Purim corresponds with the Hebrew letter yod (h), which refers the “unseen hand of God.” Perhaps, for this reason, the name of God does not appear in the book of Esther and, therefore, can only be seen hidden in the context of the story.”

Queen Esther exposing Haman’s plot to destroy her people all across the Empire.

The Story Is Set in Persia

For some strange reason, the original story of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews takes place in the court of Ahasuerus, king of the Persian Empire. And, today, a new plot to destroy the Jews is emerging from that same country — Persia/Iran. As we shall see, there are at least three historical references implying that Persia/Iran will be the country that leads the world into the final conflicts of the Tribulation Period.

The Abrahamic Covenant

When God first established a covenant with Abraham, He said that He would“bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee” (Gen. 12:3). That curse targets those nations who become the enemies of God’s Chosen People. Whatever a nation does to hurt Israel, God will do the same to that nation. God seems to promise “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” to any nation that attempts to curse the Jews. It is God’s ultimate plan for “turning the tables on one’s enemies.”

The original biblical story takes place in the palace of King Ahasuerus at Susa in the Persian Empire. At a banquet, the king calls upon Queen Vashti to display her beauty before his guests. She refuses and through a strange turn of events the Jewish maiden, Esther, finds favor in his eyes. Eventually, she becomes his queen.

Her cousin, Mordecai, is also favored at court when he uncovers a plot to kill the king. As a reward, those at court were told to honor him. But “Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite,” found it difficult to pay homage to a Jew. Haman was an Edomite, through Esau’s son, Amalek. Agag was the king of the Amalekites. Contrary to the direct order of God, King Saul allowed him to live after the Israelites had defeated the Amalekites.

As the story goes, Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites, developed a burning hatred for the Jews. He was made grand vizier above all other princes, and plotted to kill all the Jews, starting with Mordecai.

Haman was so anxious to annihilate the Jews that he cast lots for a whole year to determine the best time to execute his plan. The Assyrian word for lots is “puru,”which enters the Hebrew language as Purim. He built a gallows and planned to use it to make an example of Mordecai. But in the end, through a final, subtle twist of events, Haman and his sons were hanged upon that same gallows.

Haman stands as an example of the fate given to those who attempt to destroy the Jews. Down through the years, many have shared Haman’s fate. In our generation, one of the most interesting examples is that of Julius Streicher, one of the chief propagandists of the Nazi regime in World War II.

Streicher was the editor of a Nazi newspaper. As Hitler rose to power, his newspaper consistently spread a hatred for the Jews all over Europe. He was out to destroy the Jews. Like Hitler, he felt that the “final solution” to the world’s problems would be the complete annihilation of the Jewish people.

World War II ended with the defeat of Germany. Julius Streicher was captured, tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to be hung. As he walked to the gallows in preparation for execution, he uttered these final words: “Purim, 1946! Purim, 1946!” Streicher realized that he was repeating the plot of Haman. In his own way, he was belatedly acknowledging the truth of the Bible. God will always bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse the Jews.

The hanging of Haman was not the end of the story. Mordecai the Jew was given a place of honor by the king. His fame spread throughout all the provinces of the kingdom to such a degree that the provincial rulers feared him. And to their dismay, Ahasuerus issued a nationwide decree, stating that on the 13th day of the month Adar, the Jews could legally avenge themselves upon their enemies. Esther 9:5 tells what happened:

“Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.”

Thereafter, the Jews began to commemorate Purim on the two days following their victory — Adar 14 and 15. The entire nation of Persia was not against the Jews, only a certain faction of their society. Thus it is today in Modern Persia. Most of the Iranians do not agree with the ruling faction of hardened enemies against Israel.

Esther Ascends the Persian Throne

Her name was Esther, Persian for “star,” but her Jewish name was Hadassah, meaning “myrtle.” Like Esther, the myrtle is both beautiful and meaningful. It is an evergreen, whose pink blossoms yield blue-black berries that are used in the making of perfume. Its boughs are gathered to make booths for the Feast of Tabernacles. Thus, it speaks of the peace and beauty of the kingdom. It is significant that Esther was divinely placed in her position at the king’s side in his royal court.

Traditional shrine and tomb of Esther and Mordechai in the city of Hamadan, Iran.

Haman’s Hatred

Haman’s hatred for Mordecai drove him to initiate a vengeful conspiracy. He managed to convince Ahasuerus to sign a law that sentenced all Jews to death on a designated day. But Esther appeared before the king and interceded on the Jews’ behalf. In a stunning reversal, Mordechai and the Jews were saved. Haman — and his ten sons — went to the gallows.

Nowhere in the story does the Lord’s name appear. But His influence is everywhere. The Jews are protected and preserved by divine action — the hidden hand of God. This is the very essence of the letter yod [h], in which God’s plan is present, but unseen by men. It is the Hebrew symbol of the metaphysical — the hand of God that lies just behind the scene.

A Prophecy in the book of Ezekiel

Ezekiel was a Levite exiled during the Babylonian Captivity. He is one of the most important Old Testament prophets to give us a view of the world’s final battle — called in Ezekiel, “The Battle of Gog and Magog.” Ezekiel’s adventures (if we can call them that) were spectacular. In chapter 38, he foresaw the Battle of Gog and Magog, which leads to the final confrontation, referred to in John’s Apocalypse as the “Battle of Armageddon.” Ezekiel tells us that Persia will be the Number One confederate with Gog in the future invasion of Israel:

“I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet”(Ezekiel 38:4,5).

Ezekiel continues with an unusual battle strategy gone terribly wrong for Israel’s enemies:

“Every man’s sword shall be against his brother” (Ezekiel 38:21).

Confusion will cloud the minds of the invading army and cause the Persians and their confederates to turn against each other.

A Prophecy in The Book of Enoch

The Book of Enoch appears to be the oldest book ever written. And though it has been corrupted from time to time by would-be authors, it is fairly easy to determine its original autographs. According to the second of seven scrolls that comprise the ancient writing, Enoch was told that Persia would lead the world in its final attempt to destroy the Jews:

“And in those days the angels will assemble, and turn their heads toward the east, towards the people of Parthia and Media [Persia/Iran], in order to excite the kings, and that a spirit of disturbance come over them, and disturb them from off their thrones, that they come forth from their resting places like lions, and like hungry wolves amidst their flocks.

“And they will ascend and step upon the land of their chosen, and the land of his chosen will be before them a threshing-floor and a path.

“But the city of my just will be a hindrance to their horses, and they will take up a battle amongst themselves, and their right will become strong against themselves, and a man will not know his neighbor or his brother, nor the son of his father or his mother, until there shall be sufficient bodies by their death and their punishment over them — it will not be in vain.

“And in those days the mouth of Sheol will be opened, and they will sink into it; and their destruction, Sheol, will devour the sinners from the presence of the chosen” (Enoch 56:5-8).

It is possible that this was written before the death of Adam. And, though Persia did not exist at that time, we are told that Enoch traveled into the future on several occasions. As we can tell from the prophecies of Ezekiel, Enoch corresponds with the biblical view that Persia will have an important part in shaping the world’s final battles. Notice that Enoch and Ezekiel both said that the enemy would turn on itself at the height of the confusion and begin to battle each other. Enoch said, “They will take up a battle amongst themselves, and their right will become strong against themselves, and a man will not know his neighbor or his brother, nor the son of his father or his mother …” while Ezekiel put it this way: “Every man’s sword shall be against his brother.”

Iran’s recent long-range missile tests prove their ability to deliver nuclear bombs.

A Prophecy in the Jewish Commentary Zohar

So far, we have a biblical prophecy and an extra-biblical source identifying Persia as the main player in history’s final confrontation with the Jews. Now, let’s look at the Zohar.

The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, says: “The Zohar first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, and was published by a Jewish writer named Moses de Leon. De Leon ascribed the work to Shimon bar Yochai, a rabbi of the 2nd century during the Roman persecution who, according to Jewish legend, hid in a cave for thirteen years studying the Torah and was inspired by the Prophet Elijah to write theZohar.” In this fascinating book, the children of Ishmael were targeted as the end-time enemy of Israel:

“The children of Ishmael will at the same time rouse all the peoples of the world to come up to war against Jerusalem, as it is written, ‘For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle …’ (Zechariah 14:2), also, ‘The kings of the earth stand up and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed’ (Psalm 2:2); and further, ‘He that sitteth in heaven laugheth, the Lord hath them in derision’ (Psalm 2:4).”

Could he be referring to the wars that lead up to the battle of Armageddon? Of this we need not speculate. The rabbi quotes enough Scripture to convince us that he definitely has Armageddon in mind. Only the resurrection could be in mind as Rabbi Simeon concludes:

“Happy are those who will be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to enter on the Sabbath, for that is the day set apart by the Holy One on which to effect the union of souls and to cull new souls to join those that are still on earth, as it is written, ‘And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written into life in Jerusalem’ (Isaiah 4:3).”

So, there you have it. There are three different sources — all from the Jewish Library of books and commentaries that were once kept in the Temple in Jerusalem, and later, in the caves of Qumran. Persia and the children of Ishmael are regarded by Jewish theologians as the enemy who will attempt to destroy the Chosen People in the end-time.

As in the case of Haman, he represented only a small faction of Persians who hated the Jews. Most of the Persians appreciated God’s Chosen People. Cyrus had allowed them the resources to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple. And so it is today. Most of the Modern Persians do not hate Israel. Nor do they want a madman to lead their government. But in the last election, they were unable to rid themselves of their dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran’s modern madman recently announced that he has enough enriched uranium to build a bomb. Also, according to The Huffington Post, “during a [recent] speech, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned whether the Holocaust was ‘a real event’ and called it a pretext used by Jews to trick the West into backing the creation of Israel. He said the Jewish state was created out of ‘a lie and a mythical claim.’

“Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that Ahmadinejad ‘yet again shames the great tradition of the noble Iranian people’ and has chosen ‘the violent repression of Iranians over a policy of friendship and cooperation that would have promoted their welfare and their honor.’

“Along with his anti-Israel and anti-U.S. rhetoric, Ahmadinejad often portrays himself as the champion of a new world order ending Western domination and providing justice for developing nations.”

In the final analysis, it will be important for us to keep an eye on Iran and their constant ranting against Israel. We have every reason to believe that Iran will spark the war of wars in the Middle East and bring the world down to the place of Divine Judgment. We may be that close to the Second Coming of Christ.

Credit to Prophecy in the news

Iran Supreme Leader: The Shiite Islamic Messiah Is Coming To Free The World

Iran's supreme leader is promising a world free of infidels and nonbelievers with the coming of the Islamic messiah, Mahdi, a 9th-century descendant of the prophet Mohammad whom the Shiites refer to as the 12th Imam.

"The coming of Imam Zaman [Mahdi] is the definite promise by Allah," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech Wednesday on the anniversary of Mahdi's birthday at an exhibition of research and historical documents on the 12th Imam.

Khamenei said one of Allah's promises was that an Islamic revolution would come to Iran. "Who would have thought that in this sensitive region and in this important country, with a regime [run by Shah Pahlavi] and supported by the international powers, a revolution based on religion and Sharia [law] would take place?" Khamenei asked.

The Shiite clerical establishment ruling Iran believes that Iran's 1979 revolution was a precursor to the coming of Mahdi, during which all infidels will be killed and the flag of Islam will be raised in all four corners of the world.

"The caravan of humanity from the day of creation has been moving through the windings of the hard maze [of life] ... to reach an open path, [and] this open path is that of the time of the coming of Imam Mahdi," he said. "The awaiting for the coming is a hopeful and powerful wait, providing the biggest opening for the Islamic society."

The supreme leader's representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi, in a meeting with Guard commanders on Friday, said the coming of Imam Mahdi cannot take place under the current circumstances, and in order for that to happen the Middle East needs to witness major changes. To create those changes, there is a need for "regional preparedness" and that the Islamic revolution in Iran "without a doubt will be connected to the worldwide revolution of Imam Mahdi."

The secret documentary "The Coming Is Upon Us," produced by the regime for the preparedness of its forces, Hezbollah and other Shiite jihadists and revealed in 2011, covers the centuries-old hadiths by Mohammad and his descendants in providing a timeline of events and what needs to happen for the coming of Mahdi.

The warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan is one example of what the hadiths predicted, according to Shiite theology. The fighting in Syria and the current infighting in Iraq and even the likely intrusion of the Islamic Republic's army into Iraq to counter the Sunni rebellion, as per Shiite understanding of the hadiths, point to the imminent coming of Mahdi, but not before Israel is destroyed.

Iran's clerical rulers believe the figure "Seyed Khorasani," who at the end of times facilitates the coming and passes the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi, is the current supreme leader of the regime, Ayatollah Khamenei.

In the documentary, close associates of Khamenei reveal that he personally has acknowledged his role as the facilitator of the coming. Khamenei has also stated openly, "I can tell you with utmost confidence: The promise of Allah for The Coming and the establishment of a new Islamic civilization is on its way."

The Obama administration is currently engaged in intensive negotiations over the regime's illicit nuclear and missile programs. Iran insists on its right to enrichment and the expansion of nuclear research and development, but international analysts believe the goal is to acquire nuclear weapons to use against Israel and the United States.

The supreme leader, in another recent statement covered by The Daily Caller, bluntly said that jihad will continue until America is destroyed.

"This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors' front, with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. ... This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides," he said.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. He is a senior fellow with EMPact America and the author of A Time to Betray, a book about his double-life as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards, published by Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster, April 2010. A Time to Betray was the winner of the 2010 National Best Book Award and the 2011 International Best Book Award.

Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/iran-supreme-leader-the-shiite-islamic-messiah-is-coming-to-free-the-world?f=must_reads#ixzz35BLgpLfy

The Fall of Iraq - What You Aren't Being Told

"De-Dollarization" Continues - China Starts Direct Trade With UK

Following the initial de-dollarization meeting, there has been a slew of anti-dollar moves around the world (including Gazprom's shift of 90% of its clients to non-dollar payments). However, on the heels of the "anti-dollar alliance" discussions yesterdayDW reports that China would start direct trade between the renminbi and the British pound on Thursday. China's Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) confirmed Sterling and yuan would be directly swapped without using the US dollar as an intermediary.

China's Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) said Wednesday the Asian nation would start direct trade between the renminbi and the British pound on Thursday.

Sterling and yuan would be directly swapped without using the US dollar as an intermediary, the trade platform noted.

"The move will promote the bilateral trade and investment between China and the United Kingdom and facilitate the use of renminbi and pound in the cross-border trade settlement," CFETS commented.

China has long had direct currency trade with the US and has recently added Japan's yen, the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, Russia's ruble and the Malaysian ringgit to its options.

Wednesday's announcement came during a visit to the UK by China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang and after the signing of various bilateral business contracts.

Britain for its part has been looking to make London a European hub for overseas yuan trading in competition with Frankfurt and Paris. China's central bank announced Wednesday that a subsidiary of China Construction Bank had been chosen to undertake yuan clearing business in London.
Still - there's always Iraq to trade USDs with...
Credit to Zero Hedge

Iraq Civil War Coming, Ukraine Fighting Gets Worse, IRS Lost Emails Targeting Conservative Groups

CrISIS Crescendo: Iraq on verge of total collapse

Iraq Update: Fighting Continues... Battle For Refinery

Here are all the latest news and updates from the rapidly-changing situation in Iraq, courtesy of Bloomberg.

  • Iraqi govt troops retain control of 310k b/d Baiji refinery, but facility surrounded by territory held by ISIL-led militants
  • Aerial photos yday showed some storage tanks on fire
  • Fierce battles near Baiji and Tal Afar airport: BBC
  • Fighting continues around Tal Afar, halfway between Mosul and Syrian border
  • Clashes reported between ISIL and Kurds south of Kirkuk
  • U.S. to send 300 military advisors to Baghdad; lack sufficient intelligence for imminent air strikes: Gen. Dempsey
  • Saudi Arabia warns against outside intervention in Iraq, blames “exclusionary policies” of Iraqi cabinet: Saudi ambassador writes in Telegraph
  • ISIL hands over captured foreign workers to police

  • Obama declines to endorse Maliki, but stops short of calling for him to step down
  • Challengers emerging to replace Iraq PM: NYT

  • Current output from Iraq’s northern fields cut to 30k b/d; supplying Kirkuk refinery
  • Northern fields were producing ~650-700k b/d before March 2 closure of export pipeline to Turkey

  • Exports from Iraq’s northern fields cut since March 2 when the Iraq-Turkey pipeline was bombed
  • Exports of Kirkuk crude from Turkish port of Ceyhan fell to 24k b/d in March, zero in April: Oil Ministry
  • NOTE: Iraq still exports crude from southern fields via Persian Gulf
  • Kurdish forces have taken control of Kirkuk oil field and city after central govt forces fled
  • Kurds fighting ISIL forces at Bayshir, south of Kirkuk
  • Ashti Hawrami, Kurdish Regional Govt’s natural resources minister, offered to export Kirkuk via Kurdish pipelines, but was rebuffed
  • Kurds to boost exports to 200k-250k b/d in July from 125k b/d now; targeting 400k b/d by end-2014

  • Sprawling complex of storage tanks, processing units
  • Primary source of products for N Iraq; also supplies Baghdad
  • Linked power plant provides electricity to region
  • Represents ~40% of Iraq’s refining capacity; processes      crude delivered by pipeline and rail from Kirkuk, Ajeel (formerly Saddam) and other fields operated by North Oil Co.
  • Lies on Iraq-Ceyhan pipeline; important source of fuel for both govt and ISIL
  • Storage tanks full: Iraq Oil Ministry
  • Capture would provide immediate source of fuel for insurgents’ vehicles and for sale in N Iraq.

  • Production in south unaffected by fighting so far
  • Iraq plans to ship 2.79m b/d from Basrah Oil Terminal in July; most since before 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War
  • BP, Exxon, CNPC and Petronas started to evacuate non- Iraqi staff from nation
  • Shell ’monitoring the situation very carefully’: Andy Brown, head of Shell Upstream International
  • Lukoil has increased security at West Qurna field, where it started production in March
  • Southern oil facilities not beyond ISIL’s reach: Barclays

  • Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is also known as Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)
  • A Sunni jihadist group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Broke away from al-Qaeda in 2013
  • Want to create a Sunni caliphate across Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries
  • Control large parts of northern Syria
  • Well funded through sales of Syrian oil and antiquities
  • Vowed to attack Baghdad and Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf

  • ISIL insurgents have overrun large parts of northern and central Iraq; Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite Muslim-led govt now seeking to regain control
  • 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and subsequent rise to power of Shiite-Muslim majority alienated Sunni Muslims; Sunnis felt marginalized under Maliki; some support ISIL
  • Maliki accuses ISIL of an alliance with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party
  • Shiites constitute majority in southern Iraq
Source: BBG
Credit to Zero Hedge