Puppet Masters


Another blow for Bitcoin: Mt. Gox Exchange closes its doors

© Reuters/Jim Urquhart
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest Bitcoin exchange, abruptly stopped trading on Tuesday and its chief executive said the business was at "a turning point," sparking concerns about the future of the unregulated virtual currency.

Several other digital currency exchanges and prominent early-stage investors in bitcoin responded with forceful statements in an attempt to reassure investors of both bitcoin's viability and their own security protocols.

The website of Mt. Gox suddenly went dark on Tuesday with no explanation, and the company's Tokyo office was empty - the only activity was outside, where a handful of protesters said they had lost money investing in the virtual currency.

Hours later, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles told Reuters in an email: "We should have an official announcement ready soon-ish. We are currently at a turning point for the business. I can't tell much more for now as this also involves other parties." He did not elaborate on the details or give his location.

Bitcoin has gained increasing acceptance as a method of payment and has attracted a number of large venture capital investors. At a current price of about $517, the total bitcoins in circulation are worth approximately $6.4 billion.

Millions of Bitcoins are suddenly gone. For more on this virtual currency, see: SOTT Talk Radio - Bitcoin, Gold and the Cashless Society


Chinese equate Jews with wealth

© Jewish Press
The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy

Were J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller Jewish? No, they were not Jews. But many people in China think that they were. An utterly amazing positive stereotype of Jews permeates China. I felt this great warmth when I visited in 1991 as a professor of Jewish Studies. I was invited to lecture at universities and institutes and was treated like royalty.
Stock Down

Bank runs and dwindling reserves: Ukraine's central bank abandons dollar peg

© Bloomberg
Following yesterday's admission by the new head of Ukraine's central bank of the considerable bank runs in recent days and the rapid dwindling of central bank reserves, Sergiy Kruglik - the director of international affairs for the bank - announced this morning that Ukraine has abandoned the dollar peg and will adopt a flexible exchange rate. The Hyrvnia collapsed through 10.00 on the news and is now trading 10.40 at record lows against the USD.

As The Economist notes, on February 7th the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU, the central bank) finally devalued the official rate of the hryvnya, to HRN8.7:US$1.

The policy was then to set the peg to the dollar roughly in line with trading on the interbank exchange. At the same time, the authorities introduced more foreign-exchange controls.

Russia says it will not interfere with Ukrainian affairs

© RIA Novosti/Maxim Blinov
Sergei Lavrov
Russia's top diplomat said Tuesday that Moscow will not interfere with affairs in Ukraine as the former Soviet nation scrambles to recover from the outcome of a street-based uprising that culminated in the overthrow of the president.

The Kremlin has reacted with barely disguised anger to the ascent to power by political forces that had until last week occupied the ranks of the opposition, but it has been at pains to convey a non-interventionist stance over developments in Ukraine.

"We have confirmed our principled position to not interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs and expect all [foreign powers] to follow a similar logic," said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov said it would be "dangerous and counterproductive" to give Ukraine an ultimatum of "either you're with us or against us."

Political unrest erupted in Ukraine in November when the government of then-President Viktor Yanukovych indefinitely postponed the signing of free trade and association deals with the European Union to instead focus on strengthening ties with Russia.

Poland as the 'Slavic Turkey' of NATO Destabilization

Poland, the eager American servant that it has been, has now officially taken on the role of the 'Slavic Turkey' in relation to Ukraine. Just as Turkey has been a geopolitically convenient conduit for arms, personnel, and material support for the Syrian terrorists, so too has Poland begun to officially fulfill this role for their Ukrainian counterparts.

Radek Sikorski
© unknown
Polish minister of Foreign Affairs, Radek Sikorski, with the three main ukrainian opposition leaders, in Kiev.
Prime Minister Tusk stated on 20 February, 2014 that Poland is already treating the injured insurgents from Kiev, and has actually ordered the military and interior ministry to provide hospitals to help even more [1]. The deputy health minister has confirmed that Warsaw is in contact with the rebels in Kiev "in making plans to take in Ukrainian wounded".This means that Poland has formally extended its covert and diplomatic reach nearly 300 miles into the interior of Ukraine, and that its intelligence services are obviously doing more in Ukraine than just 'helping the wounded' (terrorists). It is even more likely that Polish influence is even stronger in Lviv and Volyn Oblasts, the regions bordering Poland, and coincidentally or not, Lviv has already attempted to declare independence. The same can be said of Turkish influence deep into Syria at the height of the crisis in that country, and one must be reminded of the fact that Turkey also helped the wounded fighters in that country recover on its territory.

Anti-Russian propaganda: Russia evokes World War II in media blitz on Ukraine

© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenk
"Which side were you on in World War Two?" is not a question that often arises on radio talk shows but a Russian caller named Alexander was asked precisely that at least three times on Tuesday when he expressed support for Ukraine's new rulers.

The judgment was quick. Two Russian presenters decided Alexander must have been on the side of the fascists who fought Soviet forces during the war because he refused to condemn the new Ukrainian leadership.

"Do you know how many Russians Bandera killed?" asked the outspoken host of the morning phone-in, Vladimir Solovyov - a reference to Stepan Bandera, leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that was built in western Ukraine and is accused by Russians of siding with the Nazis.

On Russian television, weeks of footage of wounded policemen and burning tyres have given way to sober pictures of politicians and Ukrainians predicting Ukraine will split after opposition forces took control in Kiev and the president fled.

In a sign the Kremlin is shaken by losing a struggle for influence with the West in its neighbour, the language has been set against the us-or-them background of the Soviet victory against Adolf Hitler - a source of national pride.

The Ukraine: Neo-Nazi criminal state looming in the centre of Europe

"There are many who do not know they are fascists
but will find it out when the time comes

(Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Maidan square in Kiev
© Unknown
On February 22, militants and terrorists of the Euromaidan Parliament executed a neo-Nazi coup using armed force, violating all norms of the Constitution, international law, and trampling European values. Washington and Brussels - who told the world that Euromaidan is a nonviolent action of the Ukrainian people - instigated a Nazi coup to serve the geopolitical interests of the West, facilitated de facto by the weak-kneed stance of the Yanukovych government.

As sun sets on Sochi, jealous West takes center stage

Tyahnybok McCain
© Unknown
John McCain with Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party leader Oleh Tyahnibok, Kiev, December 15, 2013
First of all, lets dispense with the mince words. I suppose one could say this was not a fascist coup - as long as one ignores its coup-like violence and overt fascist nature. It should be clear for all to see, those Arab Spring type cheerleaders, liberals, third way aficionados and radicals who, to paraphrase a friend, tend to see any gathering of more than 100 people as a mass movement and an excuse to jump in, following whomever: "socialists, fascists, or long lines for restrooms."

But the Regime Change Roadshow is getting old, and some of us were not fooled. Let's be clear, to use one of the US President's more meaningless and worn out catch phrases: this is not about 'some fascists' or 'fringe elements' or 'unexpected' fascists 'within the ranks' of a 'peaceful protest movement.' Sorry, I'm running out of quotation marks. The plain fact is that fascists are now the power in Ukraine: Fascists maintain checkpoints across Kiev, fascists guard government buildings, fascists are taking control of military arsenals. Kiev City Hall has been decorated with an enormous banner of Svoboda's Nazi hero, Stepan Bandera.
Stock Down

Ukraine is bankrupt, hopes for $35 bln financial aid from EU, US

© RIA Novosti
Ukraine's Finance Ministry and National Bank, along with parliamentary speaker Aleksandr Turchinov, have suggested to the country's international partners - particularly Poland and the United States - that a financial assistance credit of around $35 billion be extended in the next week or two.

"During the last two days we have had consultations and meetings with ambassadors from the EU, USA, other countries, and financial organization over Ukraine getting urgent macro-financial aid," acting Finance Minister Yuriy Kolobov said in a statement issued on Monday.

Comment: For anyone who still hasn't figured out what IMF "assistance" means for a country, check out (and the book):
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Documentary)

Bad Guys

'I dare you take my gun!' AK-47-toting Ukraine far-right leader tells officials

Aleksandr Muzychko
© RT
A US supported and condoned fascist, Aleksandr Muzychko practising democracy with his AK 47.
Regional parliament members in a Ukrainian city held a session at gunpoint when one of the radical nationalist opposition leaders came to them, armed to the teeth, as the law of power seems to be prevailing in the tumultuous post-coup country.

A Kalashnikov appears to be the best argument in a debate for Aleksandr Muzychko, an activist of the nationalist "Pravy Sektor" (Right Sector) movement and one of the Maidan's most prominent and controversial leaders.

On Tuesday he came to the Rovno regional parliament, where he threatened the regional MPs with a machine-gun and a number of other weapons as he demanded a decision on granting apartments to the families of protesters who were killed during last week's violent clashes in central Kiev.

"Who wants to take away my machine-gun? Who wants to take away my gun? Who wants to take away my knives? I dare you!" Muzychko said.

His lobbying methods have apparently been imported from Chechnya, where the man, aka Sashko Bilyi, was fighting alongside separatist forces in the 1990s. He now boasts of having demolished Russian tanks and killed Russian soldiers.

Comment: A chaos that the EU and the US bears a large part of the responsibility for, by deliberately fueling the tensions and funding, endorsing and encouraging extremist groups.