Gesamtzahl der Seitenaufrufe

Mittwoch, 31. Dezember 2014

As Greek Default Risk Soars To 66%, Morgan Stanley Warns ECB May Be Unable To Launch QE

As Greek Default Risk Soars To 66%, Morgan Stanley Warns ECB May Be Unable To Launch QE

Tyler Durden's picture

While the Santa-rallying markets have been suspiciously sanguine in the aftermath of the failed Greek presidential election on Monday and the ad hoc vote scheduled for late January which could - if left unchecked - lead to an unraveling of the Greek bailout and the expulsion of Greece from the Eurozone, events are now in motion that would end with the unwind of the world's biggest and most artificial currency and political union. In fact, the bond market is already starting to sniff out what the next, and well-known, source of contagion may be, when earlier today the probability of a Greek default jumped and, now suggest a 66% probability of default.

That said, the melodrama involving the mutual assured destruction of Greece and/or the Eurozone is nothing new, even as the debate has been raging for years who actually has the upper hand: Greece, which knows it has unlimited leverage because a Grexit would likely lead to a violent selloff in peripheral bonds, a loss of credibility of the ECB and ultimately, disollution of the Eurozone, or Europe, which is the source of all the Greek funding.
This came to a head earlier today when one of Merkel's closest advisors explicitly told Greece it can no longer blackmail Europe. In  an interview with Rheinische Post newspaper published on Wednesday, Michael Fuchs who is a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, said Greek politicians could not now "blackmail" their partners in the currency bloc. Yes, he usedthat word. From Reuters:
"If Alexis Tsipras of the Greek left party Syriza thinks he can cut back the reform efforts and austerity measures, then the troika will have to cut back the credits for Greece," he said.

"The times where we had to rescue Greece are over. There is no potential for political blackmail anymore. Greece is no longer of systemic importance for the euro."

The remarks are the clearest warning yet to Greek voters from a senior German politician that Athens might lose support if it flouts the terms of its 240 billion euro EU/IMF bailout after early elections next year.
We shall see who has all the leverage in just under a month when Greece votes, and when the leading contender and most likely next Greek prime minister, the anti-bailout Tsipras, calls Europe's bluff.
However, even if Greece does remain in the Eurozone, a secondary threat has emerged to the perfectly complacent and priced-to-perfection-markets, something which we first discussed in "Draghi's QE Plan In Jeopardy After IMF Suspends Aid For Greece Until New Government Is In Place." Last night it was Morgan Stanley's turn to dare suggest that the markets, which have now priced in ECB QE in the first quarter with absolute certainly, may well be wrong:
The Greek political turmoil is likely to complicate matters for the ECB’s preparation of a sovereign QE programme. The prospect of the ECB potentially incurring severe losses is likely to intensify the debate within the Governing Council, where sovereign QE remains controversial. It could also make the start of a buying programme already on January 22 even more ambitious. In addition, the spectre of default could create new limitations on any sovereign QE design.
And should the ECB indeed be forced to postpone, or even cancel QE, and the fate of the world's capital markets rely entirely on the shaky and unstable QE originating from Japan, where the BOJ is monetizing all gross JGB issuance and pushing the Nikkei higher and the Yen lower, in the process crushing the bulk of the Japanese economy, then watch as perfectly-priced markets realize perfection never exists, not even under central-planning. Or rather, especially under central planning.
So what else did Morgan Stanley say, because what it did say will soon be aped by all ther strategists?
Here is the full note.
* * *
Implications for the ECB and Its Preparation for Sovereign QE, by Elga Bartsch
Even though my colleagues, Daniele Antonucci and Paolo Batori, do not expect the ECB and the National Central Banks (NCBs) to be subject to haircuts in the event of a Syriza-led debt restructuring, this is unlikely to be clear-cut for some time to come. As a result, the Greek political turmoil complicates matters for the ECB and its preparation of a sovereign QE programme.
In my view, a sovereign default in the eurozone and the prospect of the ECB potentially incurring severe financial losses is likely to intensify the debate on the Governing Council, where purchases of government bonds remain highly controversial. This could make a detailed announcement and the start of a buying programme already at the January 22 meeting look even more ambitious than it seemedThe spectre of default does not only make the issue of sovereign QE less certain again than the market believes, it also could create new limitations in its implementation.
One of the decisions that the Governing Council will need to take is whether to include the two programme countries (Greece and Cyprus), the only ones that are not investment grade at the moment, in its sovereign QE. In our view, it is unlikely that the ECB will deviate from the conditions imposed in the context of the ABSPP and CBPP3, i.e. the countries need to have under a troika programme (and the programme needs to be broadly on track). This would mean though that for some eurozone countries, sovereign QE would become conditional – just as OMT was.
If governments across the eurozone and the financial constructs they are backing with off-balance sheet guarantees are being haircut and the resulting losses start to show up in national budgets, the political opposition to sovereign QE might increase materially. In fact, elected politicians in creditor countries might have a preference for the ECB taking a hit as well given that the Bank has considerable risk provisioning that could absorb these losses which national budgets don’t have. This debate could also materially influence how a sovereign QE programme by the ECB is structured, notably on whether the risks associated with such a programme should be shared by all NCBs.
Even ahead of the latest developments in Greece, the Bundesbank was already pushing for there not being risk-sharing in a sovereign QE programme. This position is unlikely to only relate to Greece though, I think. It is much more likely to relate to the concerns voiced by the German Constitutional Court regarding the implicit fiscal transfers between countries in the event of purchases of government bonds. In the view of Court, this could amount to establishing a fiscal transfer mechanism that is outside the ECB’s mandate. Once the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has given its view on OMT in early 2015, the German Court can start to work on its own verdict regarding the legality of OMT and SMP purchases under the German Constitution.
Another issue the German Court has taken issue with in the context of OMT is the fact that the ECB has indicated that it regards itself as being pari passu with private investors. Faced the prospect of a sovereign default in the eurozone where it suddenly becomes very relevant where an individual creditors sits in the waterfall of liability management, the pari passu question might need to be revisited again by the Governing Council. Whether current market enthusiasm for sovereign QE would simply ride out a renewed debate on the pari passu question remains to be seen.

Neue Krisenangst Griechen holen Milliarden von den Konten Vor den Neuwahlen in Griechenland verspricht der linke griechische Politiker Alexis Tsipras, dass er einen Schuldenschnitt anstrebt. Die Griechen allerdings haben Angst vor einer neuen Krise – und laufen zu den Geldautomaten.

Neue KrisenangstGriechen holen Milliarden von den Konten

Vor den Neuwahlen in Griechenland verspricht der linke griechische Politiker Alexis Tsipras, dass er einen Schuldenschnitt anstrebt. Die Griechen allerdings haben Angst vor einer neuen Krise – und laufen zu den Geldautomaten.

© PICTURE-ALLIANCEVergrößernAuf unserem Archivfoto hebt ein Mann in Athen Geld ab.
Die Furcht vieler Griechen vor einer neuerlichen Zuspitzung der Wirtschafts- und Schuldenkrise vor den Neuwahlen Ende Januar wächst. Aus Angst vor politischen und wirtschaftlichen Turbulenzen hoben Medienberichten zufolge im Dezember zahlreiche Sparer und Unternehmen insgesamt 2,5 Milliarden Euro von ihren Bankkonten ab. Einige Experten diskutieren wieder offen über einen möglichen Austritt Griechenlands aus der Eurozone. Umfragen deuten auf einen spannenden Wahlkampf und ein knappes Wahlergebnis hin.
Die derzeitige „Mini-Kapitalflucht“ sei ungewöhnlich und lasse sich nur damit erklären, dass die Bürger sich große Sorgen angesichts der vorgezogenen Wahlen am 25. Januar machen, berichtete die konservative Athener Zeitung „Kathimerini“ am Mittwoch. Die Tendenz, Geld abzuheben, hatte demnach bereits im November im Umfang von rund 200 Millionen Euro begonnen. Ein Ansturm auf die Banken sei dies nach Schätzungen von Fachleuten eindeutig nicht. Die Entwicklung zeige aber die Besorgnis der Bürger, hieß es in dem Zeitungsbericht.
Am Montag hatte der Direktor einer Bankfiliale in der Athener Vorstadt Peristeri der Deutschen Presse-Agentur gesagt, man gehe vor allem bei Geldautomaten sehr vorsichtig vor: Damit auf keinen Fall ein „Bank Run“ ausgelöst wird, sorgten die Institute dafür, dass alle Geräte ausreichend mit Geld bestückt sind.

Die Bürgerlichen holen im Umfragen auf

Aktuelle Umfragen in Griechenland zeigen einen Vorsprung der Linkspartei Bündnis der radikalen Linken (Syriza) von Alexis Tsipras. Dieser strebt eine Neuaushandlung des griechischen Konsolidierungsprogramms und einen Schuldenschnitt an.
Die bürgerliche Nea Dimokratia (ND) unter dem amtierenden Regierungschef Antonis Samaras hat allerdings in den vergangenen Tagen nach Angaben von Demoskopen aufgeholt. Der Vorsprung von Syriza sei von etwa sieben Prozentpunkten im November auf drei bis vier Punkte geschrumpft.
Der ehemalige Chefvolkswirt der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB), Jürgen Stark, äußerte mit Blick auf die Neuwahlen in Griechenland Kritik an der Rettungspolitik der EZB. „Griechenland war seit 2010 faktisch mehrfach insolvent“, sagte er der „Süddeutschen Zeitung“. Immer wieder sei mit neuem Geld der Mitgliedstaaten und der EZB die Insolvenz verschleppt worden. Jetzt zeigten sich „die nach wie vor ungelösten Probleme in aller Schärfe“. Aus Protest gegen die Rettungsmaßnahmen der EZB war Stark 2011 zurückgetreten.
Mehr zum Thema
Der Chef des Münchner Ifo-Instituts, Hans-Werner Sinn, hält einen Austritt Griechenlands aus der Eurozone für bedenkenswert. Als Regierungschef würde der Chef der Linken Tsipras sein Land wohl in der Währungsunion halten wollen, aber nicht um jeden Preis, sagte Sinn dem „Tagesspiegel“ (Dienstag). Daher sei ein „Grexit“-Szenario nicht ganz unwahrscheinlich. Es träte dann ein, wenn sich Athen weitere Notkredite besorgen oder sich am Kapitalmarkt nicht mehr finanzieren könnte - Tsipras müsste so zur Drachme zurückkehren.
Tsipras hatte in den vergangenen Tagen seine Wähler auf ökonomische „Terrorszenarien“ aufmerksam gemacht. Diese werde es in den nächsten Wochen immer wieder geben. Die Bürger dürften sich nicht von diesen Schreckensvisionen beeindrucken lassen, betonte der Politiker.

Vaca Muerta deal with Chevron Wednesday, December 31, 2014 Judge: YPF must disclose contract

Vaca Muerta deal with Chevron

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Judge: YPF must disclose contract

Federal Judge María José Sar-miento ordered state-controlled energy firm YPF yesterday to fully disclose details of its contract with US oil major Chevron sought by Radical (UCR) party lawmaker Manuel Garrido amid allegations of secret clauses in the agreement.
The Judge gave YPF 10 judicial working days to provide legislator Garrido with the information he requested, the judiciary’s internal news agency said.
YPF said it would appeal the ruling and that it met all obligations required of a company listed in Buenos Aires and New York.
“Everything done by YPF is within the law,” YPF said in a statement, where it added that a similar ruling had already been struck down at the Appeals’ Court where the case will now be taken, after Senator Rubén Giustiniani made demands equivalent to Garrido’s.
Chevron signed a deal in 2013 to explore the barely tapped Vaca Muerta shale formation — one of the world’ largest shale oil and gas formations —, an accord that marked the largest foreign investment in Argentina’s energy sector since the government nationalized Repsol’s controlling stake in YPF in 2012.
Opposition legislators have said they believe the secret clauses hand concessions to Chevron that undermine national interests.
Argentina passed a new law in October offering sweeteners to explorers to attract the estimated US$200 billion needed to exploit the non-conventional resource.
To date, Chevron and YPF have announced joint investments totaling US$2.8 billion, but that figure could reach as much as US$15 billion under the terms of the accord.
— Herald with Reuters

RUFO clause expires at midnight

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

RUFO clause expires at midnight

Special Master Daniel Pollack (right) walks into Judge Thomas Griesa’s court in New York earlier this year.
Stronger position on Central Bank reserves makes gov’t concessions less likely
When the country rings in a new year tonight, it won’t just be celebrating the dawn of a new year, but also the end for the now-infamous RUFO clause.
At this time last year, most Argentines likely had no idea what RUFO was, but the acronym for Rights Upon Future Offers blasted into the nation’s consciousness in the second half of the year as part of the long-running battle against debt-holders that led US credit rating agencies to declare the country in default on July 31.
In the run-up to the fateful date, the government invoked a simple reason why it could not sit down with the “vulture funds” that had filed suit against the country for full payment of the country’s defaulted debt: RUFO.
The debt restructuring contract contains the clause that essentially prohibits the government from offering a better deal to those who rejected the 2005 and 2010 restructurings of defaulted debt. At the time of the restructurings it was seen as an insurance offer to prod more bondholders to join the deal.
Now though, the RUFO is expiring and a solution to the country’s debt woes seem as far away as ever with analysts expecting that the situation could remain stagnant until the October presidential elections.
“Nothing is going to change on January 1, nor on January 2. Or the 3rd. Or the 4th,” an Economy Ministry source said.
Expiration of the RUFO clause tonight, could technically allow President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to improve the offer to holdouts but she has not made any secret that she does not like the idea.
“They said that after the RUFO clause was no longer an issue on January 1 we would run back to talks. But these vultures are losing their feathers,” the president told thousands of supporters shortly before the Christmas holiday. “And you know what? I reckon they’re going to end up looking more like clowns than vultures.”
The rhetoric is part of the long-standing battle with a group of US hedge funds over unpaid debt. US District Judge Thomas Griesa has sided with the “vulture funds,” saying they are owed US$1.3 billion debt plus interest.
Argentina’s position, however, has been adamant: the hedge funds must accept reduced payment.
The funds, in turn, have vehemently rejected the president’s offer of payment under terms of the bond swaps that followed Argentina’s record default in 2002.
Part of the reason why Fernández de Kirchner’s administration may not be in such a rush to come to an agreement is that since July, government intervention in the economy has reversed a sharp weakening of the black-market peso and shored up foreign reserves.
These two things alone could give Argentina enough financial flexibility to make it through until the October 25 vote.
While an attempted dollar bond top-up did not get as much adherence as the government was expecting this month, it underlined Argentina’s willingness to pay a high price to ease a liquidity crunch rather than settle with the funds.
Some believed Fernandez’s unwillingness to negotiate may be posturing ahead of the RUFO clause’s expiry in a bid to force concessions from the holdout investors led by billionaire Paul Singer’s NML Capital and Aurelius Capital Management.
So expectations for a settlement have shifted to after a new Argentine president is installed in December 2015.
“No deal with holdouts under Fernández. Soonest is the next administration,” said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America strategy at Jefferies. “It would have to be a crisis to motivate (her) and even then I’m not sure she wouldn’t try to find other alternatives to avoid holdout talks.”
Wall Street views the front runners to succeed Fernández de Kirchner — Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli, Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri and Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa — as more market-friendly and the holdout investors may be tempted to hunker down and wait for the new administration.
All three aspirants favour an agreement, saying it will revive investment. But they have been cautious about criticizing the president’s strategy coordinating since many voters agree with her view that the funds are out to cripple the Argentine economy in pursuit of huge profits.
Another factor is the US judge at the centre of the courtroom battle and his appointed mediator.
Griesa appears to have few means to force Argentina to obey his orders even after the RUFO clause expires. He has already ruled Argentine in contempt, to little effect.
But he has authorized mediator Daniel Pollack to grant a seat at the negotiation table to other investors who spurned the 2005 and 2010 bond swaps. This could mute Argentina’s argument that it must settle with all holdouts and not one small group.
If Argentina is seen as dodging negotiations, it faces the risk of exchange bondholders demanding the accelerated payment on the principal and interest due on their investments.
Still, bondholders may hesitate in pulling the trigger. An acceleration could leave the country facing claims of up to US$30 billion, almost all its foreign reserves. This would hugely complicate efforts to put its decade-long debt woes to rest.
“It is not clear who is going to blink first,” said Stuart Culverhouse, head of research at Exotix, a frontier markets broker in London. “It therefore probably becomes the next government’s problem.”
Herald staff with Reuters

Gov't takes US$13bn from Central Bank for debt payments

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gov't takes US$13bn from Central Bank for debt payments

The Economy Ministry has emitted two Treasury titles worth almost 13 billion dollars, which will be suscribed to wholly by the Central Bank, according to an announcement released in the Official Gazzette. 

The two bonds will be used in order to service debt payments with international financial organisations, as well as bolstering the Argentine Debt-cancelling Fund. 

One of the titles, worth US$3.04bn, will pay the Central Bank an interest rate equal to what the entity's reserves yield in the same period up to the annual Libor rate, minus one percentage point. 

The note has an emission date of August 25 2014 and expires on the same date in 2024, with the entire sum payable at that point. 

The second title, worth US$9.85bn  takes the same form, but with an emission date of January 30 of this year. The funds have been earmarked for the servicing of public debts to private creditors, according to the text of the resolution signed by Economy minister Axel Kicillof. 

In the event of funds being left over from debt payments, they would be used to finance capital expenses

Diversify With “Physical Precious Metals Stored Outside The U.S.” – Faber

Diversify With “Physical Precious Metals Stored Outside The U.S.” – Faber

GoldCore's picture

Dr Marc Faber, respected economic historian and author of the respected monthly newsletter, the ‘Gloom, Boom and Doom Report’, has warned that 2015 is set to be very volatile, urged international diversification and owning “physical precious metals stored outside the U.S.”
In another insightful and witty interview with Bloomberg Television’s In the Loop, with Betty Liu, Erik Schatzker and Brendan Greeley, the ever charming and affable Dr. Marc Faber reaffirmed his long-standing preference for investing in emerging eastern economies, his lack of faith in the dollar and advised Americans to own gold.
Faber fails to recommend a single U.S. stock in 2015 and when asked whether recent events in Greece were a buy or sell signal, Faber began by pointing out that persistent intervention by central banks into markets had made making predictions far more complicated.
Some commodities have soared in the last six months, wheat has doubled, while the price of oil and natural gas had collapsed indicating great volatility. Forecasters surveyed by Bloomberg had been consistently bearish on bonds for years, until this year since treasuries outperformed the S&P in 2014.
Hedge funds generally only generated returns of around 1%. In light of these discrepancies and central-bank induced distortions to the market, Faber emphasises the need for real diversification.
When asked whether he had maintained his “discipline” when oil prices crashed he surprised his interviewers by saying that he actually trades very little to avoid commissions and charges and he indicated that he was so broadly diversified that the oil crash had little impact on his portfolio.
He went on to warn regarding U.S. stocks. “Sentiment about stocks in the U.S. is much too bullish, much too optimistic” and suggested that U.S. ten-year treasury notes yielding 2.2% were the best of a bad lot given the abysmal returns being offered on the bonds of other developed economies.
Dr. Faber was then challenged on his forecasts from 2008 where he referred to the dollar as toilet paper and denounced quantitative easing.
“Now if we stuck with that view”, the interviewer asked, “where would we be today with the S&P 500 trading north of 2000 and ten year yields, as you pointed out at 220?”
Faber responded with a laugh “Yes, the toilet paper status is still ahead of us……for all paper currencies – not just the U.S. dollar.”
He then pointed out how he had advised owning Asian stocks in 2014 and in recent years and how the stock markets of emerging economies have substantially outperformed U.S. stocks in 2014. He cites China’s stock exchange up 45%, India up 25%, Thailand up 14%, Indonesia 18%, Philippines 21% and Pakistan up 40%.
He also draws attention to the fact that just being invested in U.S. stocks was not enough to guarantee decent returns:
“As of early December there was about as many stocks on the New York stock exchange that were down 10% as up 10% and as many stocks down 40% as there were up 40% so we have a huge diverging performance.”
When asked directly which U.S. equities he would own, “what specific companies would you own in the U.S.?” – he declined to give a single recommendation. Instead he signalled that Americans should be getting their wealth out of the U.S. and into gold stored abroad.
He sagely and pointedly added:
“I have to say that sentiment about precious metals is incredibly negative and all these “experts” are predicting the gold price to drop to $700. Well, understand, these are experts that never owned a single ounce of gold in their lives!”
“So they missed the five fold increase since 1999!”
“But they all know that the price of gold will go to $800, they write about it with a lot of authority.”
Dr. Faber is a long time proponent of owning physical gold. He has consistently urged people to act as their own central bank in acquiring bullion coins and bars as financial security and he believes that to store gold in Singapore is the safest way to own gold today.
Our recent investment advice webinar with Dr Faber can be seen here
The Bloomberg interview with Dr Faber can be watched here
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,199.25, EUR 986.55 and GBP 769.84 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,186.50, EUR 976.54 and GBP 764.50 per ounce.
Spot gold climbed $15.00 or 1.27% to $1,198.80 per ounce yesterday and silver rose $0.50 or 3.17% to $16.27 per ounce.
Gold fell after overnight gains in Asia today as global equities fell as risk-averse sentiment returned to the market, triggering safe-haven gold buying.
Buying on quarter end and year end weakness has proved a profitable trade in recent years and traders and gold buyers looking to increase returns are positioning themselves for possible price increases again in January.
Get Breaking News and Updates On Gold Here

Der NSA ein Schnippchen schlagen Tor befreit das Internet

Der NSA ein Schnippchen schlagenTor befreit das Internet

Von Roland Peters und Julian Vetten
Allen Überwachungsskandalen zum Trotz surft ein Großteil der Bevölkerung immer noch so sorglos durchs Netz wie eh und je. Viele schreckt vor allem die Technik. Dabei ist anonym surfen mittlerweile ein Kinderspiel.
Jahresberichte sind in der Regel keine Veranstaltungen von sonderlich großer Strahlkraft. Allerdings geht es auch in den wenigsten Jahresberichten um den Kampf gegen das institutionalisierte Böse und für Freiheit, Gerechtigkeit und Bürgerrechte. Noch seltener dürften Sätze wie dieser fallen: "Ich würde niemals CIA-Geld nehmen, ich bin vielmehr davon überzeugt, dass die CIA noch nicht einmal existieren sollte." Das alles sorgt dafür, dass sich an diesem verlorenen Tag zwischen den Jahren 4500 Zuhörer in den großen Saal einer Hamburger Kongresshalle zwängen und sich von Jacob Appelbaum erzählen lassen, wie es Ende 2014 um das Tor-Projekt bestellt ist.
Das Tor-Netzwerk gilt als sicheres Kommunikationsmedium für Dinge im Internet, die unter allen Umständen privat bleiben sollen. Trotzdem ist es ständigen Angriffen ausgesetzt, wie Appelbaum und sein Mitstreiter Roger Dingledine bei der "State of the Onion" verraten haben. Auf dem Chaos Communication Congress 31C3 treten die beiden auf die Bühne und geben eine Art Jahresbericht ab. "Wir werden bedroht, und wir stehen unter ständigem Druck. Nicht nur Gesetzeshüter sind gegen uns, sondern auch viele, denen die Gesetze einfach egal sind", beschwört Appelbaum und bittet dabei um die Hilfe der Tor-Community.

"Massenüberwachung ist echt"

Die Fakten sind: Im Jahr 2014 ist das Netzwerk, dass seine Nutzer vor Überwachung schützen soll, stark gewachsen. Nutzt jemand Tor, wird die Anfrage über so viele Stationen umgeleitet, dass es schwer bis unmöglich wird, die Kommunikation nachzuverfolgen. Tor ist dabei abhängig von den eigenen Servern - die meisten von ihnen sind privat und werden ehrenamtlich betrieben. Ihre Zahl ist seit Januar von unter 5000 auf nun rund 6400 gestiegen. Die verfügbare Bandbreite summiert sich inzwischen auf 12 Gigabyte pro Sekunde - und ist damit doppelt so hoch wie noch vor einem Jahr. Die Bandbreite ist ein entscheidender Faktor: Ist sie zu gering, verringern sich Surfgeschwindigkeit und Downloadraten der Nutzer.
Appelbaum wäre nicht eines der bekanntesten Gesichter der Szene, wenn er neben den Zahlen nicht noch plakative Sätze parat hätte: "Wir brauchen Tor als Beobachtungswerkzeug für Menschenrechte", sagt der Aktivist an einer Stelle. Oder: "Massenüberwachung ist echt, sie geschieht in Echtzeit und ist ein echtes Problem."
Die Antwort des Projekts ist Wachstum. Und das heißt: mehr Server, mehr Bandbreite. Tor ist zudem eine Partnerschaft mit Mozilla eingegangen, der Organisation hinter dem Browser Firefox. Ziel ist, "Privatsphäre zu jeder Person auf diesem Planeten zu bringen", sagt Appelbaum: Anonymität solle sich als Kultur etablieren. Im Wachstumsplan integriert ist deshalb auch die Kommunikation nach außen - die Spezialisten wollen ihre Anliegen der breiten Öffentlichkeit besser nahebringen. Dazu gibt es nun wöchentliche Mitteilungen über Entwicklungen in der Community, zudem soll die Pressearbeit besser koordiniert werden.
Am wichtigsten ist für die Tor-Entwickler dann aber doch ein analoges Tool: die Mundpropaganda. "Wenn jeder, der heute hier sitzt oder sich dieses Video später im Internet ansieht, nach Hause geht und seiner Familie und seinen Freunden erklärt, warum ein anonymes Netz für jeden wichtig ist, dann haben wir viel gewonnen", sagt Appelbaum. Das bis dato stärkste Argument gegen eine Installation des Tor-Browsers, die sperrige Handhabe, ist mittlerweile obsolet: "Wir haben verstanden, dass es nicht unbedingt darum geht, den Menschen die Technologie zu erklären, sondern darum, sie so einfach wie möglich zu gestalten", sagt Appelbaum.
Nachdem Tor mittlerweile also nicht mehr nur für technikaffine Nutzer eine Alternative ist, geht es darum, mehr Menschen für die neue digitale Freiheit zu begeistern. Denn die Sicherheit des Einzelnen steigt mit jedem neuen Mitglied. Oder um es mit Appelbaum zu sagen: "Jeder, der Tor nutzt, hilft Menschen, die in einem gefährlichen Land leben; also den Leuten in Kuba, dem Iran - oder den USA."

Rubel-Krise belastet Finanzsystem Russland muss auch Gazprombank stützen

Der Staatsfonds NWF hat für 560 Millionen Euro Vorzugsaktien der Gazprombank gekauft, teilte das Institut mit.
Der Staatsfonds NWF hat für 560 Millionen Euro Vorzugsaktien der Gazprombank gekauft, teilte das Institut mit.(Foto: picture alliance / dpa)

Rubel-Krise belastet FinanzsystemRussland muss auch Gazprombank stützen

Nach und nach geraten immer mehr russische Banken in Finanznöte - nun greift Moskau der Gazprombank mit einer Geldspritze unter die Arme, dem drittgrößten Geldhaus des Landes. Auslöser ist unter anderem der Verfall des Rubels.
Russland muss immer mehr einheimischen Banken unter die Arme greifen. Der Staatsfonds NWF habe für 560 Millionen Euro Vorzugsaktien der Gazprombank gekauft, teilte das Institut mit. Die Banken leiden unter der schrumpfenden Wirtschaft, zahlreiche Kunden haben wegen der Talfahrt des Rubels ihre Konten geräumt und in Sachwerte oder Devisen investiert. Zudem sind die Geldhäuser wegen der Sanktionen im Zuge des Ukraine-Konflikts von den westlichen Kreditmärkten abgeschnitten.
Erst am Dienstag wurde bekannt, dass der Staat der zweitgrößten russischen Bank VTB eine Kapitalspritze von umgerechnet 1,4 Milliarden Euro gewährt hat. Sowohl die VTB Bank als auch die Gazprombank hatten bereits zuvor schon Staatshilfen erhalten. Beide Banken werden von Russland als systemrelevant angesehen. Bereits vergangene Woche hatte die Notenbank ihreHilfen für die mittelgroße Trust Bank auf bis zu zwei Milliarden Euro aufgestockt.

Wodka soll billiger werden

Die Rubel-Krise belastet nicht nur die Banken, sondern lässt auch die Preise für viele Lebensmittel in Russland rasant steigen – mit einer Ausnahme:Wodka wird billiger. Ab dem 1. Februar 2015 darf ein halber Liter des starken Alkohols nicht mehr als 185 Rubel (etwa 2,60 Euro) kosten, ordneten die Behörden in Moskau an. Bislang lag der Mindestpreis für den halben Liter bei 220 Rubel.
Die Preissenkung sei eine Maßnahme gegen illegales Schnapsbrennen, erklärte der Duma-Abgeordnete Viktor Swagelski der Agentur Tass. Zugleich äußerte er Zweifel, dass der Schritt erfolgreich sein werde.
Wegen der massiven Abwertung des Rubels um bis zu 50 Prozent seit dem Jahresbeginn 2014 sind Lebensmittel in Russland deutlich teurer geworden. Gerade zum Neujahrsfest drückt dies aufs Portemonnaie der Bürger: Die Kosten für den Schmaus zum wichtigsten Familienfest der Russen seien um mehr als 11 Prozent im Vergleich zu 2013 gestiegen, berichteten mehrere Medien. Demnach geben sie für Köstlichkeiten für vier Personen im Durchschnitt rund 4500 Rubel (65 Euro) aus.
Quelle: , kst/rts/dpa