The Battle For Africa: Chinese Investments Vs US Military

Anyone get the picture China is winning. Everything?

Zero Hedge
By Tyler Durden
22 May 2014

We have been vociferously following the 'battle for Africa' - the last untapped Keynesian credit growth economic region of the world - for a few years. One common theme has emerged China and the US are aggressively chasing down 'assets' - especially in the equatorial region. However, as the following two charts indicate, the two nations are engaged in very difference tactics for that 'takeover' - China's investment versus US brute force and military intimidation (and fake vaccination programs).

Africa is huge...

Why is everyone so interested in Africa (aside from the vast resources there of course)...

While those in the power and money echelons of the "developed" world scramble day after day to hold the pieces of the collapsing tower of cards in place (and manipulating public perception that all is well), knowing full well what the final outcome eventually will be, those who still have the capacity to look, and invest, in the future, are looking neither toward the US, nor Asia, and certainly not Europe, for one simple reason: there is no more incremental debt capacity at any level: sovereign, household, financial or corporate. Because without the ability to create debt out of thin air, be it on a secured or unsecured basis, the ability to "create" growth, at least in the current Keynesian paradigm, goes away with it.

Yet there is one place where there is untapped credit creation potential, if not on an unsecured (i.e., future cash flow discounting), then certainly on a secured (hard asset collateral) basis. The place is Africa, and according to some estimates the continent, Africa can create between $5 and $10 trillion in secured debt, using its extensive untapped resources as first-lien collateral.

But the two major combatants for power over Africa - China and the US - appear to have very different approaches...

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Total Agrees to Lukoil Shale Deal, Brushing Off Russia Sanctions

US Sanctions, look at the size of the deal. Screw them. Money talks, BS walks.

The French look after the French, no real surprise.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

By Tara Patel
and Stephen Bierman

23 May 2014

Total SA (FP) agreed to seek shale oil in Western Siberia with OAO Lukoil (LKOD), brushing off U.S. and European sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie signed the deal at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in a demonstration of Total’s commitment to Russia, after officials from companies including Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and ASA Statoil withdrew from the meeting.

Total and Moscow-based Lukoil will set up a venture to seek so-called tight oil in the Bazhenov area of Siberia under their agreement, the French company said in a statement. Siberian shale has “huge potential,” de Margerie said. Investment in the venture will be $120 million to $150 million in the first two years, according to Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov.

Total says its Russian business isn’t affected by sanctions against the country, including on Gennady Timchenko, shareholder of OAO Novatek (NVTK) in which the French oil producer holds a stake. De Margerie said last week it was “business as usual” even as the U.S. and Europe ratcheted up restrictions against Russia following its annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine. CEOs from Eni SpA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc also attended the St. Petersburg forum.

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For the first time, the Holy Land will witness a fearless pope

What, will someone dare ask these murdering, land grabbing Kazakhs, what about humanity for the poor Native Palestinians? Native Americans know about Justice.

Workers at a stadium in Amman, Jordan, prepare for the visit of Pope Francis on 24 May. 
Photograph: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

  • Unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis won't hide his sympathies for the Palestinians on his Middle East visit this weekend

The Guardian
By Paul Vallely
22 May 2014

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, had better brace himself: Pope Francis arrives in the Middle East on Saturday. The pontiff's words, of course, will be of the need to improve relations between Christians, Jews and Muslims. But the visit's semiotics will send out an altogether tougher message.

When the previous two popes went on pilgrimage to the region, they went first to Jordan, then to Israel, and then to the Occupied Territories. Francis has altered the order. He arrives in Jordan tomorrow but is insisting on then crossing into the occupied territories before visiting Israel. Francis, a man known for the potency of his symbolism and gestures, is making a point.

You see that point more clearly if you look at the official itinerary issued by the Vatican. The first thing the pope will do when he enters the Israeli-occupied West Bank is to call on "the president of the state of Palestine". The wording is significant: Francis is announcing that he is visiting an entity that Israel, like the United States, insists does not exist.

Pope Francis arrives at a time when peace talks have broken down and the Palestinian leadership has been taking unilateral steps in the international arena. Most significantly, a pact was signed a month ago between Fatah and Hamas to repair the rift between the rival factions. There is talk of a Palestinian unity government being formed within weeks. Many in the Vatican see the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation as having been carefully timed to come to fruition just as the pope visits.

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