On December 5th, work on completion is to be continued

Laying ship for Nord Stream 2 in Laage

The Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Almost exactly a year ago, threats of sanctions by the Americans stopped the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. The European special ships that welded the pipes and lowered them to the seabed withdrew – the operators were too risky of being targeted by the US authorities .

Nothing progressed for months, but now things are in motion: The “Akademik Tscherski”, a Russian laying ship that was sent to the Baltic Sea months ago, but has so far been idle in the port of Mukran on the island of Rügen, is in on Thursday Lake set. This is proven by GPS data that can be viewed on the online platform Vesselfinder. The Nord Stream 2 final has started.

A spokesman for Nord Stream 2 AG confirmed at the weekend that work on the pipeline will resume on Saturday, December 5th. The Baltic Sea Waterways and Shipping Office in Stralsund has already announced construction work south of the Adlergrund area from next Saturday and has asked ship captains to be particularly careful, as the NDR reported. There are the two pipe ends that lead to the Lubmin landing station.

Six percent of the total of 1200 kilometers long and around 9.5 billion euros expensive gas pipeline still has to be laid. Most of the missing sections are in Danish waters and a small part in the German part of the Baltic Sea.

Tension is now growing on both sides of the Atlantic. Completing the pipeline will be a race against time. Because while construction work in the Baltic Sea is to be resumed, Washington is working on new sanctions.

The first consequence: the Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

“We believe that DNV-GL’s risk management activities for equipped ships managing the Nord Stream 2 project are subject to US sanctions,” the company said. That is why DNV-GL will no longer offer any services which “could be incompatible” with the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of the USA.

graphic

This law, known as PEESA for short, was passed by the US Congress with the stated aim of stopping Nord Stream 2. The pipeline, which aims to double the capacity for direct deliveries of Russian gas to Germany, has many opponents in the US.

The Americans fear that Europe will become precariously dependent on Moscow. That is why the resistance against Nord Stream 2 unites the otherwise hopelessly divided political camps in Washington.

In the coming weeks it could be decided whether Nord Stream 2 will become a billion dollar grave. Or whether the Russian gas company Gazprom and its European business partners Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall-Dea will still succeed in completing the project.

Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, did not want to comment on DNV-GL’s withdrawal. “It is up to the governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” the company said.

DNV-GL initially only wants to discontinue those certification services that are related to laying vessels. The certification of the pipeline itself is not affected by the withdrawal decision. The news agency Reuters quotes from an email from DNV-GL that the line is ready to be certified until it is completed. How long it will stay that way is open, however.

Across factions, Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another anti-Nord Stream 2 bill. The planned “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act” (PEESCA) would expand the existing PEESA rules and could bring the pipeline project to a permanent failure.

In June, DNV-GL was unaffected by the sanctions threats from the Americans. The company announced at the time that all contracts, laws and trade regulations were complied with and that a system was in place to ensure compliance with sanctions. At the time, however, industry insiders already had doubts whether DNV-GL would stand firm.

There is an alternative

However, there is still an alternative: If DNV-GL were to drop out completely, at least the Danish approval authorities would accept a replacement, because the Danish energy authority did not require a specific certification company when approving Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 AG is thus free to choose another provider.

There are not many alternatives. In the industry, however, there has been speculation for months that the Russian side may commission a Russian certification organization. Nord Stream 2 AG does not comment on this.

Ursula von der Leyen

The head of the EU commission defends the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline.

(Photo: dpa)

There is broad consensus within the EU that US sanctions threats are unacceptable. Governments of EU countries that reject the pipeline project also take this view.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last made the position of the Europeans clear at the beginning of November. “The Commission firmly opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions against EU companies doing legitimate business. Such measures are unacceptable and violate international law, ”said a letter from the Commission President dated November 3rd, addressed to MEPs from Germany and Austria.

Coalition politicians are critical of the latest developments. “The federal government urgently needs to discuss Nord Stream 2 with the new US administration. Future US President Joe Biden rejects the pipeline, but he is interested in constructive cooperation with Europe. You have to seize this opportunity, “said Timon Gremmels, reporter for the SPD parliamentary group for Nord Stream 2, the Handelsblatt. It is “inconceivable that we end up with a useless stub of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea”.

Greens against further construction

But there is also resistance to the pipeline in Germany. The Greens demand that the federal government withdraw support for the project. Nord Stream 2 has strained both Germany’s relations with other EU countries and with the USA, said the green European politician Franziska Brantner. The future US President Biden is also a “clear opponent” of the pipeline. Brantner criticized the fact that “letting construction continue would not be an economic or legal necessity, but rather a political stupidity of the federal government”.

When Biden takes office on January 20th, he finds himself in a dilemma. He considers Nord Stream 2 to be a strategic mistake, but on the other hand also wants to improve relations with Germany, which suffered badly under the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Should he maintain the sanctions against a close ally like Germany, it will be difficult for the hoped-for renaissance of the transatlantic partnership. Should he relax the sanctions, Nord Stream 2 will likely be up and running soon.

Compromise at Huawei is conceivable

The question, however, is whether Biden and his advisors will even have the leeway to relax sanctions on their own initiative. The previous sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2 severely restrict the government’s freedom of action.

If Congress passes the PEESCA Sanctions Enhancement Act before Biden is sworn in, the US government may not have the opportunity to give in.

“I cannot imagine that the Democrats in Congress have an interest in restricting their own president’s ability to act,” said SPD foreign policy expert Christoph Matschie and, like Gremmels, advocated a diplomatic initiative: “If Biden has taken office, we have to strive for political clarification. ”

For this it is necessary that both sides approach each other. Nord Stream 2 must be able to be completed. In return, however, the federal government should signal to the USA that Germany will refrain from using the Chinese provider Huawei, which the US government considers a security risk, for the 5G expansion. Perhaps that way we could do business with the Americans.

More: The biggest problems of the unfinished pipeline

.

Certifier DNV-GL withdraws

In the meantime a replacement has been found, two Russian ships have been moved to the Baltic Sea and are supposed to complete the work. But now the next setback for the pipeline follows: The Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

“We believe that DNV-GL’s risk management activities for equipped vessels managing the Nord Stream 2 project are subject to US sanctions,” the company said. That is why DNV-GL will no longer offer any services which “could be incompatible” with the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of the USA.

So is Nord Stream 2 becoming a billionaire grave? Or will the Russian gas company Gazprom and its European business partners Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall-Dea still manage to complete the project?

Tension is growing on both sides of the Atlantic. New sanctions are being prepared in Washington. And something is also happening in the Mukran seaport on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen: the Russian laying ship “Akademik Tscherski” has left the port. Possibly in order to relocate the remaining six percent of the 1,200-kilometer route. The finalization of the project becomes a race against time.

The withdrawal of the certification company DNV-GL exacerbates the drama. Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, did not want to comment on the matter. “It is up to the governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” the company said.

The most recent developments in the USA are decisive for DNV-GL’s decision. There has been working on tightening the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 for weeks. DNV-GL initially only wants to discontinue those certification services that are related to the laying vessels. The certification of the pipeline itself is not affected by the withdrawal decision. The news agency Reuters quotes from an email from DNV-GL that the line is ready to be certified until it is completed. How long it will stay that way is open, however.

Across factions, Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another anti-Nord Stream 2 bill. The planned “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act” (PEESCA) would tighten the existing PEESA rules even further and could ultimately bring the pipeline project to failure.

In June, DNV-GL was unaffected by the sanctions threats from the Americans. The company announced at the time that all contracts, laws and trade regulations were complied with and that a system was in place to ensure compliance with sanctions. At the time, however, industry insiders already had doubts whether DNV-GL would stand firm.

Alternatives available

According to experts, it is uncertain whether the Norwegians will leave it at that to withdraw from the certification of the ships, but continue to certify the pipeline themselves. Rumors also remained unconfirmed on Friday that the certification of the Russian lay vessels had already been completed.

However, there are still alternatives: If DNV-GL should drop out completely, at least the Danish approval authorities would accept a replacement, because the Danish energy authority did not request a specific certification company when approving Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 AG is thus free to choose another provider.

There are not many alternatives. In the industry, however, there has been speculation for months that the Russian side may commission a Russian certification organization. Nord Stream 2 AG does not comment on this.

There is broad consensus within the EU that US sanctions threats are unacceptable. Governments of EU countries that reject the pipeline project also take this view.

Ursula von der Leyen

The head of the EU Commission defends the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline.

(Photo: dpa)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last made the position of the Europeans clear at the beginning of November. “The Commission firmly opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions against EU companies doing legitimate business. Such measures are unacceptable and violate international law, ”said a letter from the Commission President dated November 3rd, addressed to MEPs from Germany and Austria.

Coalition politicians are critical of the latest developments. “The federal government urgently needs to discuss Nord Stream 2 with the new US administration. Future US President Joe Biden rejects the pipeline, but he is interested in constructive cooperation with Europe. You have to seize this opportunity, “said Timon Gremmels, reporter for the SPD parliamentary group for Nord Stream 2, the Handelsblatt.

“Extra-territorial sanctions are not possible,” said Gremmels. It is “inconceivable that we end up with a useless stub of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea,” said the SPD politician.

Greens against further construction

However, there are increasing indications that the completion can still succeed despite all resistance. The “Akademik Tscherski”, one of the Russian laying vessels that could complete the pipeline, left the port of Mukran on Rügen on Thursday. This is proven by GPS data that can be viewed on the online platform Vesselfinder. This feeds speculation that the ship will now continue work on completing the pipeline. There was no confirmation of this on Friday.

The Greens demand that the federal government withdraw its support for the project. “Nord Stream 2 has been on the brink for a long time, not just because of the technical implementation, but because of the political consequences,” said the green European politician Franziska Brantner.

Nord Stream 2 has burdened Germany’s relations with other EU countries and with the USA. The future US President Biden is also a “clear opponent” of the pipeline. Brantner criticizes that “letting the construction go on would not be an economic or legal necessity, but rather a political stupidity of the federal government”.

When Biden takes office on January 20th, he finds himself in a dilemma. He considers Nord Stream 2 to be a strategic mistake, but on the other hand also wants to improve relations with Germany, which suffered badly under the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Should he maintain the sanctions against a close ally like Germany, it will be difficult for the hoped-for renaissance of the transatlantic partnership. Should he relax the sanctions, Nord Stream 2 will likely be up and running soon.

Compromise at Huawei is conceivable

The question, however, is whether Biden and his advisors will even have the leeway to decide on sanctions on their own initiative. The previous sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2 severely restrict the government’s freedom of action.

If Congress passes the PEESCA Sanctions Enhancement Act before Biden is sworn in, the US government may not have an opportunity to give in. Negotiations in both chambers of congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are ongoing. An agreement is expected in the next few weeks.

“I cannot imagine that the Democrats in Congress have an interest in restricting their own president’s ability to act,” said SPD foreign policy expert Christoph Matschie and, like Gremmels, advocated a diplomatic initiative: “If Biden has taken over the office, we have to strive for political clarification. ”

For this it is necessary that both sides approach each other. Nord Stream 2 must be able to be completed. In return, however, the federal government should signal to the USA that Germany will refrain from using the Chinese provider Huawei, which the US government considers a security risk, for the 5G expansion. Perhaps that way we could do business with the Americans.

More: The biggest problems of the unfinished pipeline

.

Certifier DNV-GL withdraws

In the meantime a replacement has been found, two Russian ships have been moved to the Baltic Sea and are supposed to complete the work. But now the next setback for the pipeline follows: The Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

“We believe that DNV-GL’s risk management activities for equipped ships managing the Nord Stream 2 project are subject to US sanctions,” the company said. That is why DNV-GL will no longer offer any services which “could be incompatible” with the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of the USA.

So is Nord Stream 2 becoming a billionaire grave? Or will the Russian gas company Gazprom and its European business partners Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall-Dea still manage to complete the project?

Tension is growing on both sides of the Atlantic. New sanctions are being prepared in Washington. And something is also happening in the Mukran seaport on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen: the Russian laying ship “Akademik Tscherski” has left the port. A spokesman for Nord Stream 2 AG confirmed to the dpa news agency at the weekend that construction work should start again in December – after an interruption of almost a year. About six percent of the 1200 km long route still has to be relocated. The finalization of the project becomes a race against time.

graphic

The withdrawal of the certification company DNV-GL exacerbates the drama. Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, did not want to comment on the matter. “It is up to the governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” the company said.

The most recent developments in the USA are decisive for DNV-GL’s decision. Work there has been working on tightening the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 for weeks. DNV-GL initially only wants to discontinue those certification services that are related to the laying vessels. The certification of the pipeline itself is not affected by the withdrawal decision. The news agency Reuters quotes from an email from DNV-GL that the line is ready to be certified until it is completed. How long it will stay that way is open, however.

Across factions, Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another anti-Nord Stream 2 bill. The planned “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act” (PEESCA) would expand the existing PEESA rules and could bring the pipeline project to a permanent failure.

In June, DNV-GL was unaffected by the sanctions threats from the Americans. The company announced at the time that all contracts, laws and trade regulations were complied with and that a system was in place to ensure compliance with sanctions. At the time, however, industry insiders already had doubts whether DNV-GL would stand firm.

There is an alternative

According to experts, it is uncertain whether the Norwegians will leave it at that to withdraw from the certification of the ships, but continue to certify the pipeline themselves. Rumors also remained unconfirmed on Friday that the certification of the Russian lay vessels had already been completed.

However, there is still an alternative: If DNV-GL were to drop out completely, at least the Danish approval authorities would accept a replacement, because the Danish energy authority did not require a specific certification company when approving Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 AG is thus free to choose another provider.

There are not many alternatives. In the industry, however, there has been speculation for months that the Russian side may commission a Russian certification organization. Nord Stream 2 AG does not comment on this.

There is broad consensus within the EU that US sanctions threats are unacceptable. Governments of EU countries that reject the pipeline project also take this view.

Ursula von der Leyen

The head of the EU commission defends the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline.

(Photo: dpa)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last made the position of the Europeans clear at the beginning of November. “The Commission firmly opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions against EU companies doing legitimate business. Such measures are unacceptable and violate international law, ”said a letter from the Commission President dated November 3rd, addressed to MEPs from Germany and Austria.

Coalition politicians are critical of the latest developments. “The federal government urgently needs to discuss Nord Stream 2 with the new US administration. Future US President Joe Biden rejects the pipeline, but he is interested in constructive cooperation with Europe. You have to seize this opportunity, “said Timon Gremmels, reporter for the SPD parliamentary group for Nord Stream 2, the Handelsblatt.

“Extra-territorial sanctions are not possible,” said Gremmels. It is “inconceivable that we end up with a useless stub of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea,” said the SPD politician.

Greens against further construction

However, there are increasing indications that the completion can still succeed despite all resistance. The “Akademik Tscherski”, one of the Russian laying vessels that could complete the pipeline, left the port of Mukran on Rügen on Thursday. This is proven by GPS data that can be viewed on the online platform Vesselfinder.

According to information from the broadcaster NDR, the Baltic Sea Waterways and Shipping Office in Stralsund has announced construction work south of the Adlergrund area from next Saturday and asked ship captains to be particularly careful. The two pipe ends that lead to the Lubmin landfall are located in the area.

But there is also resistance to the pipeline in Germany. The Greens demand that the federal government withdraw support for the project. Nord Stream 2 has strained both Germany’s relations with other EU countries and with the USA, said the green European politician Franziska Brantner. The future US President Biden is also a “clear opponent” of the pipeline. Brantner criticizes that “letting the construction go on would not be an economic or legal necessity, but rather a political stupidity of the federal government”.

When Biden takes office on January 20th, he finds himself in a dilemma. He considers Nord Stream 2 to be a strategic mistake, but on the other hand also wants to improve relations with Germany, which suffered badly under the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Should he maintain the sanctions against a close ally like Germany, it will be difficult for the hoped-for renaissance of the transatlantic partnership. Should he relax the sanctions, Nord Stream 2 will likely be up and running soon.

Compromise at Huawei is conceivable

The question, however, is whether Biden and his advisors will even have the leeway to decide on sanctions on their own initiative. The previous sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2 severely restrict the government’s freedom of action.

If Congress passes the PEESCA Sanctions Enhancement Act before Biden is sworn in, the US government may not have an opportunity to give in. Negotiations in both chambers of congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are ongoing. An agreement is expected in the next few weeks.

“I cannot imagine that the Democrats in Congress have an interest in restricting their own president’s ability to act,” said SPD foreign policy expert Christoph Matschie and, like Gremmels, advocated a diplomatic initiative: “If Biden has taken office, we have to strive for political clarification. ”

For this it is necessary that both sides approach each other. Nord Stream 2 must be able to be completed. In return, however, the federal government should signal to the USA that Germany will refrain from using the Chinese provider Huawei, which the US government considers a security risk, for the 5G expansion. Perhaps that way we could do business with the Americans.

More: The biggest problems of the unfinished pipeline

.

Trump holds out the prospect of withdrawing from the White House – Biden calls for unity

According to Iranian President Hassan Ruhani, resolving the differences with the US after the election of US President-elect Joe Biden could be “easy”. “We can go back to the time before the tensions, and if the new US administration were to show the right political mentality, a solution (of the differences) would also be easy,” said Hassan Ruhani on state television on Wednesday.

But this step is mutual, said Ruhani. Iran could return to its obligations under the Vienna nuclear deal, ease tensions with the US and even act with respect for Washington – if Biden’s government did the same, the president said. The condition is still a return to the nuclear deal of 2015 and the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the incumbent US President Donald Trump.

In the opinion of observers, however, this will not be as easy as Ruhani assumed. The problem is that the moderate Ruhani and the reformers could be voted out on June 18. Then a new president will be elected in Iran. Since the hardliners and archconservatives were able to clearly win the parliamentary election in February 2020, they are also expected to have good chances for the presidency. According to the observers, the question now is whether Biden will negotiate with Ruhani as soon as he takes office on January 20 or whether he will wait for the time after the election in Iran.

.

The precious metal reacts negatively to the corona vaccine

Gold

The gold price is now more than twelve percent away from the all-time high of around $ 2063 per ounce.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt One of the biggest gold optimists in the banking industry has switched to the skeptical camp: In April, Bank of America (Bofa) had set a gold price target of $ 3,000 per troy ounce (around 31.1 grams) by the end of 2022. But in view of the recent losses of the precious metal, Michael Widmer, precious metal expert at Bofa in London, has changed his assessment. “We believe gold’s immediate upside is limited,” he says now.

The recent correction in the gold price has taken the wind out of the sails of many gold bulls. The gold price is now more than twelve percent away from the all-time high of around $ 2063 per ounce. The gold price reacted unusually violently to news about the development of a corona vaccine.

About three weeks ago, when Biontech and Pfizer first reported a breakthrough in vaccine development, the precious metal was down more than five percent in just one day. After the US pharmaceutical company Moderna followed suit, the gold price continued to fall. And when, at the beginning of the week, the third vaccine developer, Astra-Zeneca, presented promising results, gold fell again by more than three percent.

The precious metal is now struggling to reach the $ 1,800 an ounce mark. The environment for gold still seems favorable: global interest rates are still low, the second virus wave could make new economic stimulus programs necessary, and the dollar is also experiencing a weak phase. So why is Gold reacting so strongly to the vaccine news?

US election result ensures security

Bofa strategist Widmer says: “We are observing a large rotation in cyclical raw materials.” Thanks to the progress in vaccine development, the global economic outlook has suddenly improved. This would also have increased long-term interest rates for US government bonds, for example. “That wreaked havoc on the gold market,” said Widmer.

The reputation of gold as a “safe haven” is now becoming a burden, adds Alexander Zumpfe, trader at the precious metals specialist Heraeus. “The equity markets are continuing their upward trend and safe havens like government bonds and gold are less in demand in this environment.”

Oliver Heuschuch, Head of Precious Metals Trading at Geiger Edelmetalle, argues in a similar way: “Gold is also a fear barometer.” After the strong profits this year, many investors are now increasing their appetite for risk again. “Since it is now foreseeable that a vaccine will be available in January at the latest, there is some reassurance here.”

In addition, with the US election, another geopolitical risk is off the table, adds Heuschuch. “The clear election victory of the Democrats in the US takes away uncertainty,” he says, especially since there are now signs that Donald Trump will evacuate the White House.

The change in sentiment among investors means that physically backed gold index funds (ETFs) in particular are recording outflows. They are mainly used by professional investors for short to medium-term engagements in the precious metal market.

At the beginning of November, the gold held by index funds reached a new high of around 3,450 tons. Since then, however, investors have withdrawn funds from these products and the index providers have thrown around 50 tons of gold on the market.

graphic

But the sale of gold index products could only partially explain the correction in the precious metals market, says David Wehner, fund manager at the asset manager Do Investments. “The portfolio of gold ETFs is still close to the record high – and the outflows are still very low in relation to the inflows of the last twelve months.”

Rather, a mixture of technical corrections, profit-taking and a reduction in bets on rising gold prices on the commodity futures markets can be observed on the market. All of these factors would ultimately have weighed on the gold price.

Hope for stimulus packages

“The capital market assumes that the real economy can now return to normal – and that the expansion levels of central bank and fiscal policy can be reduced,” says Wehner. “That puts a strain on the gold price.”

However, most experts believe that the favorable environment for gold should remain intact. Bofa analyst Widmer emphasizes the close connection between the gold price and real interest rates, i.e. the interest rate level taking into account inflation expectations.

Because investors parted with long-term government bonds in the wake of the vaccine news, long-term nominal interest rates rose. But inflation expectations have not changed so far. Therefore, the real interest rate, which is important for the gold price, has also risen. “That practically stopped the bull market in gold,” said Widmer.

graphic

He therefore assumes that the gold price will tend to move sideways in the coming months. In order to give the gold price new impetus, a second round of spending programs is necessary. “The governments have to present new stimulus packages after they have already increased their spending significantly in the past few months,” said Widmer.

Fund manager Wehner has no doubts that this will happen. “The Covid-19 pandemic is still real and is having an enormous impact on the economy in the fourth quarter.” Investors could therefore expect new stimulus packages in both Europe and the USA in the first quarter of 2021 at the latest.

This in turn could be reflected in rising inflation expectations. Both the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have signaled that they will tolerate inflation rates above their target corridor of two percent. If nominal interest rates remain low, as expected by many market participants, and inflation expectations rise, real interest rates will fall.

This is why Heraeus dealer Zumpfe also says: “We think that the weakness of the gold price will only be short-term.” Many German investors are obviously of this view. “In contrast to ETFs, we observe that investors in this country use the current price level to buy gold.”

More: Turkish central bank throws 45 tons of gold on the market

.

Trump pardons former security advisor – Biden calls for unity

According to Iranian President Hassan Ruhani, resolving the differences with the US after the election of US President-elect Joe Biden could be “easy”. “We can go back to the time before the tensions, and if the new US administration were to show the right political mentality, a solution (of the differences) would also be easy,” said Hassan Ruhani on state television on Wednesday.

But this step is mutual, said Ruhani. Iran could return to its obligations under the Vienna nuclear deal, ease tensions with the US and even act with respect for Washington – if Biden’s government did the same, the president said. The condition is still a return to the nuclear deal of 2015 and the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the incumbent US President Donald Trump.

In the opinion of observers, however, this will not be as easy as Ruhani assumed. The problem is that the moderate Ruhani and the reformers could be voted out on June 18. Then a new president will be elected in Iran. Since the hardliners and archconservatives were able to clearly win the parliamentary election in February 2020, they are also expected to have good chances for the presidency. According to the observers, the question now is whether Biden will negotiate with Ruhani as soon as he takes office on January 20 or whether he will wait for the time after the election in Iran.

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“I think Trump is an anomaly”

John Bolton

The former security advisor to the US President believes many in his party are intimidated by Donald Trump.

(Photo: AP)

Denver John Bolton shaped American foreign policy for years – always with a conservative stance. Most recently, he was National Security Advisor under Donald Trump, with whom he fell out and was dismissed by the President.

In an interview with the Handelsblatt, he now settles accounts with his former boss. Trump will leave the White House, but “then still claim that the election was stolen”. Bolton calls on his Republican party colleagues to finally distance themselves from Trump.

He recently advised Europeans to grit their teeth, wait and see, and sit out Trump for the last few days. “No one should now please lose faith in democracy and the rule of law because of our current difficulties in Washington. Our problems are not just due to some flaw in the system. You’re up to Donald Trump, ”Bolton told the editorial network Germany.

“The time until January 20th (handover) seems long at first glance. But thanksgiving is coming soon, then Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, ”said Bolton.

“I am absolutely certain that after the handover on January 20th we will have a completely new situation.”

Read the whole interview here:

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America is turning its back on the Donald Trump era

Janet Yellen

The former Fed chief stands for a bold Keynesian fiscal policy, without which neither America nor the rest of the world can overcome the economic consequences of the pandemic.

(Photo: AFP)

In time for Thanksgiving on Thursday, America has reason to celebrate: Three weeks after his election defeat, Donald Trump is clearing the way for a change of power. The designated US President Joe Biden can now take off and relies on a healthy mixture of experience, pragmatism and a bold new beginning. America’s “checks and balances” democracy has proven itself in its greatest crisis to date, despite all warnings.

For the economy, and not just for America, an agonizing phase of uncertainty is coming to an end. Not only that: Biden is planning a new start in economic policy. With his election of Janet Yellen as the new Treasury Secretary, he made three exclamation marks: During her time at the helm of the US Federal Reserve, the former Federal Reserve Bank patiently pushed through the longest economic recovery in US history against the opposition of many conservative economists with extremely low interest rates .

You could hardly ask for more experience in combating the current Corona economic crisis. Yellen also stands for a bold Keynesian fiscal policy, without which neither America nor the rest of the world can overcome the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The next aid program for the battered US economy is therefore likely to be larger. That and the fact that Yellen would be the first woman to head the US Treasury should also appease the progressive left among the Democrats and give Biden more support in his own party.

Biden pairs his political courage in economic policy with multilateral pragmatism in foreign policy. With Antony Blinken as Foreign Minister and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, the new US President is also relying on many years of experience in the cabinet.

U-turn in American foreign policy

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The Trump team brutally drops one of its lawyers

The president’s entourage distanced himself from Sidney Powell on Sunday, who spoke of a “national conspiracy” to steal the victory from the Republican candidate.

Sidney Powell (back) at a press conference with Rudy Giuliani on November 19 in Washington DC.
Sidney Powell (basically) during a press conference with Rudy Giuliani on November 19 in Washington DC. Drew Angerer / AFP

US President Donald Trump’s campaign team announced on Sunday November 22 that it was no longer working with lawyer Sidney Powell, controversial after claiming the existence of massive fraud in the November 3 election without providing any evidence to the media. “Sidney Powell practices law individually. She is not a member of the Trump legal team ”Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said in a statement. “She is also not a personal lawyer for the president”, added the latter.

Donald Trump, who does not admit to having lost the presidential election, had indicated on November 14 on Twitter that Sidney Powell would be a member of his legal team, as well as Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, a legal advisor for the Trump campaign. The team is working to reverse presidential election results in several US states, including the key states of Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The announcement made by Rudy Giuliani on Sunday comes after a press conference where Donald Trump’s team of lawyers, mainly Rudy Giuliani himself and Sidney Powell, reported a “National conspiracy” which would have aimed to deprive the outgoing US president of victory. The lawyers had not provided concrete evidence of their charges to journalists present, saying they reserved the presentation of this evidence to justice.

Sidney Powell notably affirmed during this press conference, and she has repeated it since, that Donald Trump had in fact largely beaten his opponent, Democrat Joe Biden. The mainstream American media gives Joe Biden 306 voters, 36 more than the 270 needed to be proclaimed president by the electoral college. Sidney Powell also claims that electronic electoral fraud systems linked to Venezuela and Cuba were used to skew the election and steal millions of votes from the Republican candidate.

Since November 3, Donald Trump has continued to affirm that he won the election and that he was the victim of massive fraud which he says will be revealed.

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Why Warren has little chance of becoming Biden’s Treasury Secretary

San Francisco It’s just been two weeks since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the US election. But the battle for positions in the cabinet of the future Democratic President is already raging. Biden has already named his head of cabinet Ron Klain and his inner circle in the White House, and the most important ministers are to follow next.

Sanders even won a number of primaries against Biden, but still gave up and backed Biden in April – long before his candidacy was hopeless. The short primary season and the party’s unity helped Biden shoot Trump down early in the election year.

Now the left are demanding concessions from Biden as thanks: Bernie Sanders said on CNN that he would accept the post of labor minister if Biden offered it to him. Even before the election, Elizabeth Warren let it be known that she would like to become finance minister in a democratic administration: “She wants it,” the news site Politico quoted two confidants of the senator from the liberal east coast state of Massachusetts at the end of October.

As a presidential candidate, Warren called for a three percent wealth tax for billionaires, advocated a green new deal called an environmental mega-investment package, and was one of only 13 Senators to vote against the appointment of Jerome Powell at the top of the Fed.

Warren cannot be denied a high level of expertise. Warren began her political career as a Harvard law professor advocating reform of personal bankruptcy law.

During the financial crisis, she led a committee that monitored the disbursement of aid to major banks and became the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is supposed to enforce consumer protection in the financial sector.

“She is probably more experienced in the management of a large agency than anyone else in the Senate,” said political scientist John Cluverius of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell the “Boston Herald”. Nevertheless, Cluverius hardly gives her a chance because the Senate has to approve every minister.

For the Republicans, who currently hold the majority, the 71-year-old is unacceptable “in any office that has any regulatory authority.” Even as CFPB boss under Obama’s Treasury Secretary Geithner, she was the horror of Wall Street. Warren would then have no chance at the Treasury.

A dissenting vote from their own camp could torpedo the nomination

Unless the majority in the Senate tips over. With wins in two runoff elections for the Georgia state Senate seats, the Democrats could have 50 senators in the upcoming Senate, which will vote on Biden’s candidates. Because the Vice President can break a stalemate, the decisive vote would be Kamala Harris.

Even then, nominating Warren or Sanders would be risky. That Warren and Sanders would have to vote for themselves as the last act of their Senate careers would be the smallest hurdle – even if it would break with tradition to abstain in such a case.

More problematic, however, is that a single dissenting vote from within could torpedo the nomination. Despite the polarization that has been growing for decades, the Democrats still have a handful of more conservative senators who have reservations about their leftist counterparts.

And even a successful appointment of Warren or Sanders would not be the end of the problem, but the beginning of a whole new, bigger one: If a senator gives up his seat, the governor of his state appoints a successor. Both Massachusetts and Sanders’ home state Vermont, although deeply liberal, have Republican governors.

Charlie Baker from Massachusetts and Phil Scott from Vermont are declared opponents of Donald Trump and far to the left of their party line. Scott voted for Joe Biden in the November 3rd election, Baker is even considered a candidate for ministerial under Biden, who wants to build bridges to the opposition with moderate Republicans in the cabinet.

Nevertheless, the pressure on the two Republican governors would be high to give their party a majority in the Senate by appointing them for the critical early days of a Biden government. An appointed interim senator would have to stand for an election in both states within months.

But even that would not be a sure thing for the Democrats: When Senator Ted Kennedy died in August 2009 in the middle of the legislative process for Obama’s health care reform, the Democrats surprisingly lost his seat in the by-election to a Republican and were therefore only able to impose “Obamacare” with fewer cuts. It wasn’t until two years later that a Democrat won back the seat of the legendary youngest Kennedy brother from Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren.

Sanders has better chances

In order for this finance minister to be able to become finance minister, a whole series of eventualities would have to arise and the Democrats would have to take the risk of handing over a wafer-thin Senate majority themselves.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders said he would accept the job of Minister of Labor if offered.

(Photo: AP)

Sanders could have a slightly better chance, because the Ministry of Labor is less central and in the past was often occupied by left-wing figures. Nevertheless: It is almost unimaginable that right-wing Republicans would not start a “confirmation fight” over Sanders, the self-proclaimed “democratic socialist”.

In any case, it is unlikely that Biden will want to risk his reputation as a bridge builder with the election of his ministers. After the shattering of the Trump years, Biden will sound out exactly for which candidates he wants to use his political capital and for whom a fight with the Republicans is worthwhile.

The risks that a Warren or Sanders nomination would mean for the Democrats in the Senate could give Biden a good argument to bypass the left-wing icons in the cabinet occupation and to pacify their party wing with substantive concessions or the nomination of politicians, that would be less controversial with Republicans.

Despite the pressure on the left wing, Biden’s favorites are the German-born central banker Lael Brainard, ex-Fed chief Janet Yellen and Roger Ferguson, an ex-central banker who is currently on the supervisory board of Google parent Alphabet. All three appointments would be historical: Brainard and Yellen would each be the first woman in office, Ferguson the first African-American.

Biden said Thursday that he has already selected his candidate and plans to announce him around Thanksgiving, mid to late next week. It will be someone who can be accepted by “all parts of the Democratic Party”.

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