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Monday, March 02, 2015

Global Meltdown: China And IMF? - Douglas E. Castle

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At present, the Chinese Yuan is not one of the key international currencies. It is not incorporated in the IMF's basket of key international currencies, but there is much discussion in the international economic community regarding this possibility. If the Yuan were to become a key international currency, banks and other financial intermediaries and institutions would likely increase their reserves and portfolio holding percentages of the Yuan, driving its exchange value upward. Some additional effects associated with this legitimization and full acceptance of the Yuan would be a reduction in the international exchange value of the U.S. dollar (versus many currencies), a substantial increase in the cost of goods manufactured in China (these goods are currently very competitively-priced in the global marketplace, and give China a tremendous advantage over other countries in terms of the economic viability of exports) which would have the effect of severely disrupting the Chinese balance of trade and balance of payments. The effect of this swing could have catastrophic effects on the entire global economy. More about the IMF and the SDR follows:

The SDR ("Special Drawing Right") is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF ("International Monetary Fund") in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. Its value is currently based upon a "basket" of four key international currencies, and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. With a general SDR allocation that took effect on August 28, 2009 and a special allocation on September 9, 2009, the amount of SDRs increased from SDR 21.4 billion to approximately SDR 204 billion (equivalent to about $309 billion, converted using the rate of September 4, 2014).

The role of the SDR

The SDR was created by the IMF in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. A country participating in this system needed official reserves—government or central bank holdings of gold and widely accepted foreign currencies—that could be used to purchase the domestic currency in foreign exchange markets, as required to maintain its exchange rate. But the international supply of two key reserve assets—gold and the U.S. dollar—proved inadequate for supporting the expansion of world trade and financial development that was taking place. Therefore, the international community decided to create a new international reserve asset under the auspices of the IMF.

However, only a few years later, the Bretton Woods system collapsed and the major currencies shifted to a floating exchange rate regime. In addition, the growth in international capital markets facilitated borrowing by creditworthy governments. Both of these developments lessened the need for SDRs. But more recently, the 2009 SDR allocations totaling SDR 182.6 billion have played a critical role in providing liquidity to the global economic system and supplementing member countries’ official reserves amid the global financial crisis.

The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. Holders of SDRs can obtain these currencies in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, through the arrangement of voluntary exchanges between members; and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. In addition to its role as a supplementary reserve asset, the SDR serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.

Basket of currencies determines the value of the SDR

The value of the SDR was initially defined as equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold—which, at the time, was also equivalent to one U.S. dollar. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1973, however, the SDR was redefined as a basket of currencies. Today the SDR basket consists of the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar. The value of the SDR in terms of the U.S. dollar is determined daily and posted on the IMF’s website. It is calculated as the sum of specific amounts of the four basket currencies valued in U.S. dollars, on the basis of exchange rates quoted at noon each day in the London market.

The basket composition is reviewed every five years by the Executive Board, or earlier if the IMF finds changed circumstances warrant an earlier review, to ensure that it reflects the relative importance of currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems. In the most recent review (in November 2010), the weights of the currencies in the SDR basket were revised based on the value of the exports of goods and services and the amount of reserves denominated in the respective currencies that were held by other members of the IMF. These changes became effective on January 1, 2011.

In October 2011, the IMF Executive Board discussed possible options for broadening the SDR currency basket. Most directors held the view that the current criteria for SDR basket selection remained appropriate. The next review will take place by 2015.

The SDR interest rate

The SDR interest rate provides the basis for calculating the interest charged to members on regular (non-concessional) IMF loans, the interest paid to members on their SDR holdings and charged on their SDR allocation, and the interest paid to members on a portion of their quota subscriptions. The SDR interest rate is determined weekly and is based on a weighted average of representative interest rates on short-term debt instruments in the money markets of the SDR basket currencies.

SDR allocations to IMF members

Under its Articles of Agreement (Article XV, Section 1, and Article XVIII), the IMF may allocate SDRs to member countries in proportion to their IMF quotas. Such an allocation provides each member with a costless, unconditional international reserve asset. The SDR mechanism is self-financing and levies charges on allocations which are then used to pay interest on SDR holdings. If a member does not use any of its allocated SDR holdings, the charges are equal to the interest received. However, if a member's SDR holdings rise above its allocation, it effectively earns interest on the excess. Conversely, if it holds fewer SDRs than allocated, it pays interest on the shortfall. The Articles of Agreement also allow for cancellations of SDRs, but this provision has never been used. The IMF cannot allocate SDRs to itself or to other prescribed holders.

General allocations of SDRs have to be based on a long-term global need to supplement existing reserve assets. Decisions on general allocations are made for successive basic periods of up to five years, although general SDR allocations have been made only three times. The first allocation was for a total amount of SDR 9.3 billion, distributed in 1970-72, and the second allocated SDR 12.1 billion, distributed in 1979-81. These two allocations resulted in cumulative SDR allocations of SDR 21.4 billion. To help mitigate the effects of the financial crisis, a third general SDR allocation of SDR 161.2 billion was made on August 28, 2009.

Separately, the Fourth Amendment to the Articles of Agreement became effective August 10, 2009 and provided for a special one-time allocation of SDR 21.5 billion. The purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to enable all members of the IMF to participate in the SDR system on an equitable basis and rectify the fact that countries that joined the IMF after 1981—more than one fifth of the current IMF membership—never received an SDR allocation until 2009. The 2009 general and special SDR allocations together raised total cumulative SDR allocations to SDR 204 billion.

Buying and selling SDRs

IMF members often need to buy SDRs to discharge obligations to the IMF, or they may wish to sell SDRs in order to adjust the composition of their reserves. The IMF may act as an intermediary between members and prescribed holders to ensure that SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. For more than two decades, the SDR market has functioned through voluntary trading arrangements. Under these arrangements a number of members and one prescribed holder have volunteered to buy or sell SDRs within limits defined by their respective arrangements.

Following the 2009 SDR allocations, the number and size of the voluntary arrangements has been expanded to ensure continued liquidity of the voluntary SDR market. The number of voluntary SDR trading arrangements now stands at 32, including 19 new arrangements since the 2009 SDR allocations.

In the event that there is insufficient capacity under the voluntary trading arrangements, the IMF can activate the designation mechanism. Under this mechanism, members with sufficiently strong external positions are designated by the IMF to buy SDRs with freely usable currencies up to certain amounts from members with weak external positions. This arrangement serves as a backstop to guarantee the liquidity and the reserve asset character of the SDR.

---------------
At present, the IMF is a political and economic powerhouse, operating behind the scenes to "regulate" and stabilize the global economy. The IMF has become infamous for attaching political obligations to its issuance of funds to developing nations and countries in economic crisis. It is, unquestionably, a powerhouse, and in the event that it elects to include the Chinese Yuan in its "basket" of key international currencies, the entire world might suffer another economic meltdown (recalling 2008-2009) as a result. The only beneficiaries in this scenario would be those investors and money managers who 1) bought and held the Yuan in their portfolios and 2) sold off their holdings during the period of the Yuan's "initiation" into the basket of key international currencies.

As always, thank you for reading me.

Douglas E. Castle For The Internationalist Page Blog

Tags, Labels, Keywords, Categories And Search Terms For This Article:
IMF, SDR, International Monetary Fund, Special Drawing Rights, international finance, global economy, China, yuan, key international currencies, the coming world recession, The Internationalist Page Blog, Douglas E. Castle

NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED BY THE READER AS BEING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, TAX, ACCOUNTING, ECONOMIC OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. NO OFFERING OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY IS MADE HEREBY, NOR IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY MADE HEREBY. THIS ARTICLE IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND REPRESENTS THE VIEW OF THE AUTHOR ONLY.

THIS ARTICLE IS COPYRIGHT 2015 BY DOUGLAS E. CASTLE, WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, TRANSMITTAL OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS ARTICLE, EITHER IN WHOLE OR PART, IS UNAUTHORIZED AND MAY BE UNLAWFUL, UNLESS FULL ATTRIBUTION IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL IMAGES AND LINKS IN THE ARTICLE REMAIN INCLUDED AND “LIVE.”


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A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Friday, February 27, 2015

FATCA: International Assets And Accounts

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FATCA: YOUR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND ASSETS

What You Absolutely Need To Know
Related Article Published In: The Global Futurist Blog




The provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became law in March 2010. If you are a U.S.-domiciled individual or entity with assets or accounts outside of the U.S., or if you are a non-U.S. individual or entity with assets or accounts in the U.S., you must be in compliance with FATCA or risk the imposition of civil and potentially criminal penalties. The Internal Revenue Service is charged with enforcing compliance and its (the IRS') reach is international by fiat. While FATCA purports to target individual taxpayers, entities are affected (based upon their ownership by individuals subject to FATCA), and the author believes that the issuance of actual regulatory reporting requirements for non-financial entities will be required in the near future.


Here are the stated objectives of FATCA:
  • FATCA targets tax non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts
  • FATCA focuses on reporting:

  • By U.S. taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets

  • By foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest
  • The objective of FATCA is the reporting of foreign financial assets; withholding is the cost of not reporting. The term “witholding” can be a euphemism for de facto forfeiture or extensive, expensive delays in transacting business or transferring balances.

If you are an individual:


  • U.S. citizens, U.S. individual residents, and a very limited number of nonresident individuals who own certain foreign financial accounts or other offshore assets (specified foreign financial assets) must report those assets
  • Use Form 8938 to report these assets

  • Attach Form 8938 to the annual income tax return (usually Form 1040)
  • Taxpayers with a total value of specified foreign financial assets below a certain threshold do not have to file Form 8938

  • If the total value is at or below $50,000 at the end of the tax year, there is no reporting requirement for the year, unless the total value was more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year

  • The threshold is higher for individuals who live outside the United States

  • Thresholds are different for married and single taxpayers
  • Taxpayers who do not have to file an income tax return for the tax year do not have to file Form 8938, regardless of the value of their specified foreign financial assets.
  • Penalties apply for failure to file accurately
Alert: The reporting requirement for Form 8938 is separate from the reporting requirement for the FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”) (formerly TD F 90-22.1). An individual may have to file both forms and separate penalties may apply for failure to file each form.  See the Comparison of filing requirements for further information.
Third-party reporting: Foreign financial institutions may provide to the IRS third-party information reporting about financial accounts, including the identity and certain financial information associated with the account, which they maintain offshore on behalf of U.S. individual account holders.
Application to domestic entities: The IRS anticipates issuing regulations that will require a domestic entity to file Form 8938 if the entity is formed or used to hold specified foreign financial assets and the total asset value exceeds the appropriate reporting threshold. Until the IRS issues such regulations, only individuals must file Form 8938. For more information about domestic entity filing, see Notice 2013-10.

If you are a financial institution, or if you are simply an entity (either within or outside of the U.S.) which issues payments to individuals or other entities internationally, it might be advisable for you to “play it safe” - conduct a Google search [ https://www.google.com/#q=us+withholding+agents+fatca ]
for some basic background information regarding any reporting or other compliance requirements to which you may be subject (especially if you may be deemed a “U.S. Withholding Agent”) and follow your initial research with a consultation with competent legal and tax counsel in order to be certain that you are in compliance with the law.

Some additional informational resources follow. While these resources may indeed be helpful, they may be outdated (in some cases, as the regulations and interpretations are constantly changing) and cannot be used or construed as a substitute for professional legal and tax advice. The author does not endorse any of the firms providing the information which follows:




As always, thank you for reading me.


Labels, Tags, Categories, Keywords And Search Terms For This Article:
FATCA, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, international business, import/export, international trade, the Internal Revenue Service, offshore and overseas accounts and assets, U.S. Withholding Agents, regulatory compliance, The Global Futurist Blog, The Internationalist Page Blog, Douglas E. Castle


NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED BY THE READER AS BEING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, TAX, ACCOUNTING, ECONOMIC OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. NO OFFERING OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY IS MADE HEREBY, NOR IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY MADE HEREBY. THIS ARTICLE IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND REPRESENTS THE VIEW OF THE AUTHOR ONLY.

THIS ARTICLE IS COPYRIGHT 2015 BY DOUGLAS E. CASTLE, WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, TRANSMITTAL OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS ARTICLE, EITHER IN WHOLE OR PART, IS UNAUTHORIZED AND MAY BE UNLAWFUL, UNLESS FULL ATTRIBUTION IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL IMAGES AND LINKS IN THE ARTICLE REMAIN INCLUDED AND “LIVE.”



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A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

International Business And The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [FCPA] - Douglas E. Castle

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If you are a U.S. - based company and you conduct business overseas, or if you are planning to conduct business internationally in the interest or expanding your company's market reach, you should be certain that you are familiar with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The essence of this law is summarized below:


























This article [which appears courtesy of the Chief Executive Newsletter] addresses the direction that enforcement of FCPA is taking as of the date of this writing. In sum, we're seeing fewer cases being prosecuted, but staggeringly increasing penalties for 1) failure to obey the law, and 2) failure to enforce the law where your company or its employees are concerned. The Department Of Justice (DOJ) not only demands compliance with the law; they are outright demanding that you see to it that all of your employees obey the law as well. Your responsibility and liability are personal. Please read further:

The SEC and DOJ Aim to Stop Mid-Market Firm Corruption
Two members of national law firm Dykema Gossett LLC report that the federal government plans to increase its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations into mid-market companies.

Posted by: Chief Executive February 24, 2015

Watching the handling of Fortune 500 firm cases, Jonathan S. Feld and Kara B. Murphy have posted a few lessons that mid-market firms can learn from these examples on the Association of Corporate Council website. In fact, the authors note that in announcing the settlement with Smith & Wesson, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s FCPA Unit chief, Kara Brockmeyer, warned: “This is a wake-up call for small and medium-size businesses that want to enter into high-risk markets and expand their international sales.”

In light of this increased risk, the first lesson is not to let your guard down. While the number of overall cases has declined, the average fines, Feld and Murphy report, have actually gone up dramatically. Between 2012 and 2014, they say the average penalty increased sevenfold.
Second, ignorance of the law will not get you out of trouble. In fact, it could make things worse, as failure to detect and stop a misconduct will trigger increased penalties. Merely having a compliance program, they say, is not enough. More than ever the authors report, the DOJ looks behind the “paper” compliance program to determine how it is being implemented and monitored by senior management.

Finally, they are going after individuals. If the buck stops at your desk, you could be held liable for criminal wrongdoing. 
###

Here's some insight into the relative positions of specific multinational industry sectors with respect to which ones spend the greatest amount (purportedly) on bribery:


























The take away? Do not, in any way, shape, manner or form, ever even attempt to bribe any official of any foreign government. And going further, don't encourage a foreign entity or its employees or representatives act as your company's proxy in engaging in an attempt to bribe an official at any level of any foreign government.

As always, thank you for reading me.
 
Douglas E. Castle for The Internationalist Page Blog
 
Tags, Labels, Keywords, Categories And Search Terms For This Article:
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA, bribery, international business, global markets, foreign governments, government officials, regulations, The Internationalist Page Blog, Douglas E. Castle

 

NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED BY THE READER AS BEING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, TAX, ACCOUNTING, ECONOMIC OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. NO OFFERING OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY IS MADE HEREBY, NOR IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY MADE HEREBY. THIS ARTICLE IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND REPRESENTS THE VIEW OF THE AUTHOR ONLY.

THIS ARTICLE IS COPYRIGHT 2015 BY DOUGLAS E. CASTLE, WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, TRANSMITTAL OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS ARTICLE, EITHER IN WHOLE OR PART, IS UNAUTHORIZED AND MAY BE UNLAWFUL, UNLESS FULL ATTRIBUTION IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL IMAGES AND LINKS IN THE ARTICLE REMAIN INCLUDED AND “LIVE.”

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A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Three Greatest Global Crises - Douglas E. Castle

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The present-day dynamics of the geo-political economy (and indeed the underpinnings of civilization and basic civility as we have come to know them) are frightfully unstable and are only tenuously held together by diplomatic hyperactivity globally. It is my opinion that these diplomatic efforts will ultimately fail, and that the result will be a world 1) very much at war [in a situation where military might and mobilization will be the ultimate determining factors] and 2) in the throes of another significant global economic recession within the next twelve to twenty four months. The Stratfor international intelligence newsletter had this to say about the interconnection and possible convergence of three primary crises:

Within the past two weeks, a temporary deal to keep Greece in the eurozone was reached in Brussels, a cease-fire roadmap was agreed to in Minsk and Iranian negotiators advanced a potential nuclear deal in Geneva. Squadrons of diplomats have forestalled one geopolitical crisis after another. Yet it would be premature, even reckless, to assume that the fault lines defining these issues are effectively stable. Understanding how these crises are inextricably linked is the first step toward assessing when and where the next flare-up is likely to occur.

Germany and the Eurozone Crisis

Germany has once again become the victim of its own power. As Europe's largest creditor, it has considerable political leverage over debtor nations such as Greece, whose entire livelihood now depends on whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel is willing to sign another bailout check. Lest we forget, Germany is exporting more than half of its GDP, and most of those exports are consumed within Europe. Thus, the institutions Germany relies on to protect its export markets are the very institutions Berlin must battle to protect Germany's national wealth.

Many have characterized the recent Brussels deal as a victory for Berlin over Athens as eurozone finance ministers, including the Portuguese, Spanish and French, stood behind Germany in refusing Greece the right to circumvent its debt obligations. But Merkel is also not about to gamble an unlimited amount of German taxpayer funds on flimsy Greek pledges to cut costs and impose structural reforms on a population that, for now, still views the ruling Syriza party as its savior from austerity. Within four months, Greece and Germany will be at loggerheads again, and Greece will likely still lack the austerity credentials that Berlin needs to convince its own Euroskeptics that it has the institutional heft and credibility to impose Germanic thriftiness on the rest of Europe. The more time Germany buys, the more inflexible the German and Greek negotiating positions become, and the more seriously traders, businessmen and politicians alike will have to take the threat of a so-called Grexit, the first in a chain of events that could shatter the eurozone.

The Role of the Crisis in Ukraine

In order to steer Germany through an escalating eurozone crisis, Merkel needs to calm her eastern front. It is no wonder, then, that she committed herself to multiple sleepless nights and an incessant travel schedule to put another Minsk agreement with Russia on paper. The deal was flawed from the start because it avoided recognizing the ongoing attempts by Russian-backed separatists to smooth out the demarcation line by bringing the pocket of Debaltseve under their zone of control. After several more days of scuffling, the Germans (again leveraging their creditor status — this time, against Ukraine) quietly pushed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to accept the battlefield reality and move along with the cease-fire agreement. But even if Germany on one side and Russia on the other were able to bring about a relative calm in eastern Ukraine, it would do little in the end to de-escalate the standoff between the United States and Russia.

The Connection Between Ukraine and Iran

Contrary to popular opinion in the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not driven by crazed territorial ambitions. He is looking at the map, just as his predecessors have for centuries, and grappling with the task of securing the Russian underbelly from a borderland state coming under the wing of a much more formidable military power in the West. As the United States has reminded Moscow repeatedly over the past several days, the White House retains the option to send lethal aid to Ukraine. With heavier equipment comes trainers, and with trainers come boots on the ground.
From his perspective, Putin can already see the United States stretching beyond NATO bounds to recruit and shore up allies along the Russian periphery. Even as short-term truces are struck in eastern Ukraine, there is nothing precluding a much deeper U.S. probe in the region. That is the assumption that will drive Russian actions in the coming months as Putin reviews his military options, which include establishing a land bridge to Crimea (a move that would still, in effect, leave Russia's border with Ukraine exposed), a more ambitious push westward to anchor at the Dnieper River and probing actions in the Baltic states to test NATO's credibility.

The United States does not have the luxury of precluding any one of these possibilities, so it must prepare accordingly. But focusing on the Eurasian theater entails first tying up loose ends in the Middle East, starting with Iran. And so we come to Geneva, where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met again Feb. 22 to work out the remaining points of a nuclear deal before March 31, the date by which U.S. President Barack Obama is supposed to demonstrate enough progress in negotiations to hold Congress back from imposing additional sanctions on Iran. If the United States is to realistically game out scenarios in which U.S. military forces confront Russia in Europe, it needs to be able to rapidly redeploy forces that have spent the past dozen years putting out fires ignited by sprouting jihadist emirates and preparing for a potential conflict in the Persian Gulf. To lighten its load in the Middle East, the United States will look to regional powers with vested and often competing interests to shoulder more of the burden.

A U.S.-Iranian understanding goes well beyond agreeing on how much uranium Iran is allowed to enrich and stockpile and how much sanctions relief Iran gets for limiting its nuclear program. It will draw the regional contours of an Iranian sphere of influence and allow room for Washington and Tehran to cooperate in areas where their interests align. We can already see this in effect in Iraq and Syria, where the threat of the Islamic State has compelled the United States and Iran to coordinate efforts to contain jihadist ambitions. Though the United States will understandably be more cautious in its public statements while it tries to limit Israeli anxiety, U.S. officials have allegedly made positive remarks about Hezbollah's role in fighting terrorism when speaking privately with their Lebanese interlocutors in recent meetings. This may seem like a minor detail on the surface, but Iran sees a rapprochement with the United States as an opportunity to seek recognition for Hezbollah as a legitimate political actor.

A U.S.-Iranian rapprochement will not be complete by March, June or any other deadline Washington sets for this year. Framework agreements on the nuclear issue and sanctions relief will necessarily be implemented in phases to effectively extend the negotiations into 2016, when Congress could allow the core sanctions act against Iran to expire after several months of testing Iranian compliance and after Iran gets past its parliamentary elections. Arrestors could arise along the way, such as the death of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but they will not deter the White House from setting a course toward normalizing relations with Iran. The United States, regardless of which party is controlling the White House, will rank the threat of a growing Eurasian conflict well ahead of de-escalating the conflict with Iran. Even as a nuclear agreement establishes the foundation for a U.S.-Iranian understanding, Washington will rely on regional powers like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to eat away at the edges of Iran's sphere of influence, encouraging the natural rivalries in the region to mold a relative balance of power over time.

Circling Back

Germany needs a deal with Russia to be able to manage an existential crisis for the eurozone; Russia needs a deal with the United States to limit U.S. encroachment on its sphere of influence; and the United States needs a deal with Iran to refocus its attention on Russia. No conflict is divorced from the other, though each may be of a different scale. Germany and Russia can find ways to settle their differences, as can Iran and the United States. But a prolonged eurozone crisis cannot be avoided, nor can a deep Russian mistrust of U.S. intentions for its periphery.

Both issues bring the United States back to Eurasia. A distracted Germany will compel the United States to go beyond NATO boundaries to encircle Russia. Rest assured, Russia — even under severe economic stress — will find the means to respond.

The Intersection of Three Crises is republished with permission of Stratfor.

---------------

While the U.S. populace is busily listening to news about either the mounting ISIL crisis or about the partisan power play and tug-of-war between Congress and an increasingly isolated presidential administration under Mr. Barack Obama, they are not focused upon what the effects of world events will be on the US economy. These effects will likely be disastrous, as indicated in the first paragraph of this article.

As a side note, the relationship between the US administration and the State of Israel is becoming increasingly strained - This may hurt both nations in the war on terrorism in general, and more specifically, on the effort to stop the advancement of ISIL.

As always, thank you for reading me.

Douglas E. Castle For The Internationalist Page Blog

Labels, Tags, Categories, Keywords And Search Terms For This Article: eurozone, ISIL, Islamic State, international, economy, Barack Obama, Ukraine, Iran, crisis, Douglas E. Castle



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Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Exporting Business Made Simple - Douglas E. Castle

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The export of goods and services overseas has never been as profitable or as possible as it is right now. With a slightly deflated dollar and an ever-increasing overseas demand for products made in the United States due to increasing consumerism amongst the emerging economies, creating an export channel or division to your business is a wise choice in terms of broadening your customer base and diversifying your sources of revenue in a tempestuous domestic economy.

With a computer (I like to utilize Skype), a telephone and a comfortable chair, many companies in the United States can create virtual export divisions at minimal cost -- without ever taking a single plane trip. To learn more about this please feel free to contact me at http://bit.ly/CASTLEDIRECT . You'll receive the help that you'll need. This is the easy way to get started if you're not already in the export business, or if you've just gotten started but need a bit of confidence bolstering and guidance.

If you prefer to engage in the business yourself, remember that as an exporter you face risks that most businesses never have to consider. When most banks hear the term "export," they usually become hesitant to lend, or to issue any type of loan or credit guarantee (remember Letters Of Credit? That's almost nostalgic nowadays). The good news here is that the Export-Import Bank of the United States currently has a program which guarantees up to 95% of exporter financing - externalizing your risks associated with both trade transactions and larger international projects.

If you'd like to learn more about this exporting program, you can receive a download about export and exporting guarantees from EX-IM by clicking on https://www.mediafire.com/?bo01q35e3so0etm .
The export business is only getting better ... and the time to begin (if you haven't started already) is today.

Douglas E. Castle

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THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE - Douglas E Castle

http://theinternationalistpage.blogspot.com

A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marketing Appeal: "Made In America"

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U.S. Exports Month-By-Month, Commencing 2008 -- Douglas E. Castle -- The Internationalist Page


Marketing Appeal: “Made In America”
Once “Made In America” Was Simply An 'Inside' Patriotic Slogan;
But Today The Cachet Of “Made In The USA” Has become Very Magnetic For Attracting Foreign Consumers.
Originally Published In The Internationalist Page Blog


Increasingly, the “Made In U.S.A.” label is moving more foreign consumers (particularly wealthier consumers in emerging nations) to purchase American exports, especially fashion and luxury items. And this appeal is starting to drive foreign sales of other types of American-manufactured goods as well. The underlying motivation is status, and this status is associated with the overseas perception that Americans are a very wealthy people who spend a great deal on everything, without regard to cost. This bodes well for the U.S. Balance Of Trade, and for U.S. small- to medium-sized businesses who are in, or who are moving into, the export business.

The following is excerpted From a U.S. EX-IM Bank press release dated November 4th, 2014:
Washington, D.C. – Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg issued the following statement with respect to September’s export data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) of the U.S. Commerce Department. According to BEA, the United States exported $195.6 billion of goods and services in September 2014.

“These numbers clearly demonstrate that products stamped ‘made in America’ are sought after in markets around the globe,”
said Hochberg. “Ex-Im Bank is proud to support U.S. exporters and their workers as they expand their sales in the global marketplace, and create quality, middle class jobs here at home.”

Exports of goods and services over the last twelve months totaled $2.3 trillion, which is 47.5 percent above 2009 levels, and have been growing at an annualized rate of 8.5 percent over the last five years.”
There has never been a better time to enter the export business (especially for durable goods and services) than at present. While there are excellent government guarantee, financing and informational programs available through the SBA, the Department Of Commerce and the U.S. EX-IM Bank, it is generally worth the relatively minimal expense of retaining a consulting firm or solo consultant who can assist you in navigating these government programs and positioning yourself with international representatives, agents, distributors, logistics services, customs guidance and the like.

Interestingly, while the cost of market entry into global business is very small, the widespread perception among many business owners is that moving into export is an expensive and time-consuming proposition requiring a great deal of travel and large credit facilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is quite any easy matter for virtually any producer of durable goods or non-geographically-centered services to establish a virtual export division. And both the credit facilities and the payment guarantees are easy to obtain if you utilize the services of a professional to get you started, systematized and running.

If more eligible businesses were to open virtual export portals, the private sector of the United States would be generating even more full-time jobs and contracting opportunities than it currently is. This is highly desirable.

Instead of merely looking toward overseas markets to source materials and to outsource labor, many U.S. Small- to medium-sized enterprises would be better served by selling their domestically-produced or generated products or services overseas at the market premium that emerging economic countries' consumers are more than willing to pay for the “Made In America” cachet.

If you or your company would like to get more information regarding the setting up of a virtual export division, please feel at liberty to contact the author by going to http://DouglasECastleConsultancy.com, or by clicking directly on http://bit.ly/CASTLEDIRECT. The time could not be better.



NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED BY THE READER AS BEING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, TAX, ACCOUNTING, ECONOMIC OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. NO OFFERING OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY IS MADE HEREBY, NOR IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY MADE HEREBY. THIS ARTICLE IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND REPRESENTS THE VIEW OF THE AUTHOR ONLY.

THIS ARTICLE IS COPYRIGHT 2014 BY DOUGLAS E. CASTLE, WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, TRANSMITTAL OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS ARTICLE, EITHER IN WHOLE OR PART, IS UNAUTHORIZED AND MAY BE UNLAWFUL, UNLESS FULL ATTRIBUTION IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL IMAGES AND LINKS IN THE ARTICLE REMAIN INCLUDED AND “LIVE.”


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THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE - Douglas E Castle

http://theinternationalistpage.blogspot.com

A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Distribution Of Global Wealth - Trending

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rsz_global_wealth_distribution_-_douglas_e_castle

THE DISTRIBUTION OF GLOBAL WEALTH
As Published By Douglas E. Castle In The Internationalist Page Blog
As Published By Douglas E. Castle In The Global Futurist Blog

0.7% Of The World's Population Controls 41% Of Its Wealth.

Financial inequality is steadily rising alongside global wealth, which reached a grand total of $263 trillion in 2014. According to Crédit Suisse, people with a net worth of over $1 million represent just 0.7 percent of the planet's population, but they control 41 percent of its wealth. 69 percent of the world's population have a net worth of under $10,000 - they account for a mere 3 percent of global wealth. 

Meanwhile, 23 percent fall into the $10,000-$100,000 bracket and they control 14 percent of worldwide wealth. In order to be counted among the wealthiest half of the world's citizens, a person requires a net worth of $3,650. The above chart [courtesy of Statista] shows how the world's wealth is shared amongst its population, by income group.  

More frighteningly, and not shown directly by the above graph, the larger picture is that approximately 1.4% Of The World's Population Controls 81% Of Its Wealth

Most frighteningly is that economists estimate that approximately 2.3% Of The World's Population Controls In Excess Of 90% Of The World's Total Wealth

As the trend toward financial inequality continues to grow at an accelerating rate (since with each major capital markets downturn, the poor lose more wealth and the rich actually gain wealth [through purchasing available “bargains”] which is generally realized as soon as the ensuing economic recovery invariably begins) an ever-nearer class war becomes more and more of a threat.

 Some Implications And Takeaways:  

1) The market for luxury items is constantly increasing and is becoming more economically resilient;

 2) The poorer segment of the global population is sustaining itself on either credit or government aid – many simply live in constantly more widespread poverty;    

3) If you're in the most fortunate 2.3% of the global population, fortify your possessions and dwellings, because a class war, where the peasants storm the castles, is heading your way in the event that this enormous inequality shifts to the point where the poor start to blame the rich for their plight more than they currently blame their respective governments and the politicians which comprise them. 

If our course is not corrected, this could happen within the next five to ten years!   Douglas E. Castle  


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THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE - Douglas E Castle

http://theinternationalistpage.blogspot.com

A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Knowledge Can Make You Rich

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Knowledge Can Make You Rich
But Only If You Are Intelligent Enough To Apply It;
And Even Then, Only If You Are Motivated To Use Your Intelligence.


But you must first understand and acknowledge what knowledge actually is. According to Wikipedia:

Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. Knowledge can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic.[1] In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief", though "well-justified true belief" is more complete as it accounts for the Gettier problems. However, several definitions of knowledge and theories to explain it exist.
Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.[2]
Intelligence (as this term is used in describing intellectual processes and processing, and as it is distinctly differentiated from “knowledge”), while its precise definition is the subject of much spirited debate, has to do with the ability to utilize knowledge to solve a problem or achieve an objective. If your intelligence is not utilized, it may well be the most costly mistake of your life. If it [intelligence] is applied to an increasing body of acquired knowledge, you can truly become as rich or as successful as you please.

Motivation is the drive to use this ability called “intelligence” in order to solve a problem, or in order to achieve an objective.

To put the whole picture together in the form of a rudimentary equation:

KNOWLEDGE + INTELLIGENCE + MOTIVATION = SUCCESS


Take a quick break from following the U.S. Mid-Term Elections (this post is dated November 2nd 2014) and please have a look at these free to subscribe e-newspapers, edited by Douglas E. Castle. We've scraped the web for the best news and commentary from the most reliable and authoritative sources available (wire services, newspapers, magazines, scholarly works, blogs and social media), and compiled it for you to either skim rapidly or to read in detail at your leisure. Be the smartest, best-informed person in any room or in attendance at any meeting [then again, don't act overly cocky or you're liable to incur the wrath of your colleagues, business associates and friends – Remember: nobody likes a smart***]. Average is typical. Intelligent and informed are exceptional. Which would you prefer to be? Do you resent rhetorical questions? Anyway, the underlined words and titles are hyperlinked for your clicking pleasure:

=> A new issue of Braintenance Express is out!
Strengthen your memory and increase your intelligence [cognition], creativity, imagination, vocabulary and computational skills. Train, strain, maintain and strengthen your brain with Braintenance news, games, puzzles and fascinating facts.

=> A new issue of Crowdfunding 360 is out!
Read the most current news, commentary, analysis, trend reports and other interesting and useful information about crowdfunding trends, deals, platforms and people. You'll also pick up useful tools, tips and tricks to make your crowdfunding campaign more successful.

=> A new issue of Douglas E. Castle Business Advisory is out!
Need I say more? While this looks like brazen, shameless self-promotion [and I'm not saying that it isn't], the information in this e-newspaper relates to various crucial aspects of entrepreneurial projects as well as small- to medium-sized businesses. The information varies from day to day, but it covers the fields of finance, management, marketing, accounting, regulation, best practices, technology and trends, in both the B2B and B2C environments. But then I've already said too much...

=> A new issue of The Undercurrent =>|<= is out!
Great news, commentary and trend reports about industrial intelligence, executive protection, data security, workplace safety and a host of other intriguing things happening behind the scenes in business.

=> A new issue of World Disruption And Commentary is out!
This is possibly the country's best compilation of news, commentary and trends [possibly a slight exaggeration] about industry, product and technological disruption and disruptors, covering new births as well as extinctions, both at present [in real-time] and as projected. Disruption and displacement will be the death knell for some products, companies, industries and investments, but will present profitable arbitrage opportunities for those who are in the know and act on these insights.


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THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE - Douglas E Castle

http://theinternationalistpage.blogspot.com

A discussion of international business, events, markets, joint ventures, currencies, outsourcing, offshoring and financing, importing and exporting, as well as global sources of goods, services, labor, capital, trade guarantees, credit insurance and emerging markets.

Key Terms: international, global, business, trends, prediction, foreign exchange, outsourcing, supply chain, offshoring, import and export, emerging markets, the world economy, trade balance, trade finance, foreign direct investment, joint ventures, sovereignty, cultural sensitivity, diversity, emerging markets, INCOTERMS, tariffs, International Business Companies, asset protection trusts

Thursday, October 09, 2014

International Business And Bank Money Transfers - Douglas E. Castle

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International Business Update: Wiring Funds And Banking

If you are either conducting business internationally or are contemplating conducting any type of business which may require international electronic or SWIFT transfers of funds (i.e., funds transfers inbound or outbound via wire) the current terrorist threat levels are already creating additional diligence and reporting on the part of depositary institutions, as certainly as it will now take you longer to go through airport security clearance protocol on any international flight due to the prevalance of consciousness relating to possible terrorist or Ebola virus-related problems throughout the world.

Following are several suggestions to provide your banker, or your recipient's banker – as well as the host of regulators to which they now answerable – with additional comfort regarding the nature of your transactions, business and funds. 

While you may see these steps as “overkill,” rest assured that they are not, and that they will reduce the likelihood of any holds or restrictions on your funds. Again, these are not legally mandated, but are just an extra step of precaution:
  1. Do not, under any circumstances, accept any inbound transfers, or make any outbound transfers by wire (or by check, for that matter) to businesses or other organizations located in any of the prohibited jurisdictions on US Ex-Im Bank's most recent publication of the Country Limitation Schedule (a link to which which follows for the purposes of example) or which happens to be on the Department Of The Secretary Of State's “Watchlist” (a link to which follows for the purposes of example) ;
  2. Pre-advise your bank, via email to your account officer or manager, if you are anticipating any transfer into or out of your account in any amount in excess of $1.0 million US;
  3. Have any transferor execute the following undertaking [or one in a format suggested by your legal counsel] in a signed writing and either fax or email the same to your banker (in the form of a PDF attachment) with your own covering letter to accompany it: “ _________________ is transferring funds in the amount of _____________________ to ________________ [recipient name] via SWIFT [or even via check, if you'd like to take that extra precaution when you are accepting a check drawn on a foreign bank in payment for goods or services]. This transaction is made using clean, cleared funds of non-criminal origin, and is being transferred in compliance with applicable laws; further, these funds are free of all liens, taxes, encumbrances and other claims of any sort, and are being conveyed to be utilized for legal purposes.”
The above steps will help to keep both you and your bankers in the best possible standing. Should you wish to view Ex-Im Bank's latest updated Country Limitation Schedule (CLS), go to http://www.exim.gov/tools/countrylimitationschedule/index.cfm.

Should you wish to find out if the country with which you are considering doing business is “watchlisted” by either the Department Of State or the Department Of Homeland Security, go to either http://www.state.gov/ or http://www.dhs.gov/ respectively. Both websites offer you telephone numbers to contact helpful civil servants to answer any of your questions.

Douglas E. Castle

NOTE: THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED BY THE READER AS BEING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, TAX, ACCOUNTING, ECONOMIC OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. NO OFFERING OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY IS MADE HEREBY, NOR IS A SOLICITATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF SECURITIES OR OTHER INVESTMENT INTERESTS OF ANY TYPE IN ANY ENTITY MADE HEREBY. THIS ARTICLE IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND REPRESENTS THE VIEW OF THE AUTHOR ONLY.

THIS ARTICLE IS COPYRIGHT 2014 BY DOUGLAS E. CASTLE, WITH ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, TRANSMITTAL OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS ARTICLE, EITHER IN WHOLE OR PART, IS UNAUTHORIZED AND MAY BE UNLAWFUL, UNLESS FULL ATTRIBUTION IS GIVEN TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL LINKS IN THE ARTICLE REMAIN INCLUDED AND “LIVE.”

TAGS, LABELS, SEARCH TERMS, CATEGORIES AND KEY WORDS FOR THIS ARTICLE: Douglas E. Castle, International Ventures, Banking, Wire Transfers, EX-IM Bank, Department Of State, Department Of Homeland Security, Representations, Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism, Ebola.

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