Franklin Templeton and Ukraine

The FT covers its large bond position in Ukraine here.

52 replies on “Franklin Templeton and Ukraine”

see also re Annexation of Ukraine by Systems of Money & Corporate Power

Ukrainian Bonds ring a few bells:

Tim Ash, from Standard Bank, said: “Ukraine has been the ultimate moral hazard play and it’s cavalier to expect taxpayers to cover this.” Mr Ash said it has been obvious since 2011 that Ukraine was heading for the rocks, yet funds continued to snap up its bonds, betting that the country was “too big and geopolitically important to fail” and would always be bailed out in the end by Russia or the West.

Franklin Templeton, the global asset group, held $7.3bn of Ukrainian bonds at the end of 2013. Mark Mobius, the group’s chief, said last month: “Our belief is that Ukraine is in somewhat of a sweet spot… We believe they are going to keep friendly/good relations with Russia.”

Ashoka Mody, a former IMF negotiator, said the country screams out for debt relief, given external debt of 75pc of GDP and a collapse in exports. “It is truly staggering if they don’t push through debt restructuring, and the question is why not. I would go for very deep relief.”

On the geopolitics and the role of ‘fu*k the EU’ Nuland. a MUST READ

Ones hears simplistic talk of ‘landgrab’ …. yet by far the largest ‘Landgrap’ in the Ukraine is miraculously taking place in the interests of the System of Money & Corporate Power; as in the Hibernian situation, there are zero qualms about screwing The Lifeworld.

Following is more than well worth reading and much more informative than the waffle from the so-called ‘western medja’:

Nuland’s Role

That puts Kramer and, by one degree of separation, Big Ag fixer Morgan Williams in the company of PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan who, as coincidence would have it, is married to Victoria “F*ck the EU” Nuland, the current Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Interestingly enough, Ms. Nuland spoke to the U.S.-Ukrainian Foundation last Dec. 13, extolling the virtues of the Euromaidan movement as the embodiment of “the principles and values that are the cornerstones for all free democracies.”

Nuland also told the group that the United States had invested more than $5 billion in support of Ukraine’s “European aspirations,” meaning pulling Ukraine away from Russia. She made her remarks on a dais featuring a backdrop emblazoned with a Chevron logo.

Also, her colleague and phone call buddy U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt helped Chevron cook up their 50-year shale gas deal right in Russia’s kitchen.

Although Chevron sponsored that event, it is not listed as a supporter of the Foundation. But the Foundation does list the Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil and Raytheon as major sponsors. And, to close the circle of influence, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council is also listed as a supporter

Read on: [h/t]

The search for yield is still the name of the game.

LTCM went down the toilet following the Russian default in 1998.
That was when hedgies took risks with their own money with no CB backstop.

Also on fast FT
“Greek unemployment falls. To 26.7%.
Just an hour after Europe’s former outcast returned to the capital markets, selling €3bn in five-year debt, new figures show its unemployment rate edged down in January.”

Some hedge fund bet on Greek bonds and made a fortune back in 2012.
But it didn’t help Greece. It’s just playing on the margins, what finance does these days.

How the West Looks to Carve Up the Ukraine

Posted on April 9, 2014 by Yves Smith

In this Real News Network interview, Michael Hudson gives an update on the West’s resource grab in the Ukraine, as well as how the new Ukrainian leaders are imposing an apartheid state.


Blind Biddy is now safely back in Kharkov – and annoyed at missing the big-do at the Royal Albert Hall! tbc

Tsar Vlad has sent a letter to the leaders of Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Austria and Italy, warning that gas supplies maybe disrupted if Ukraine doesn’t agree to a doubling of the gas price.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democrats and Helmut Kohl of her own Christian Democrats—have expressed sympathy for Russia’s actions.

“There’s been a lack of sensitivity in dealing with our Russian neighbor, especially President Putin,” ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl told the daily Bild in an interview last month.

When Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, one of the more conservative members of Ms. Merkel’s cabinet, recently compared Mr. Putin’s Crimean move to Hitler’s invasion of the Sudetenland, he was attacked by politicians of all stripes who accused him of destabilizing Germany’s relationship with Russia.

Despite an IMF package, Franklin Templeton’s situation lucks risky but it manages $190bn.

Ukraine was looted by Yanukovich and his predecessors.
They may have taken out more than $18bn.
A lot of it went via London.

A map of gas prices

Maybe Tovarishch David can translate the legend in the picture?

@ Michael Hennigan

When the Warsaw Pact broke down, Eastern Europe became free, and Germany reunited, we got a pretty good deal.

And the west gave assurances to not advance substantial troops towards Moscow. There are for example no non-German NATO troops in Eastern Germany, maybe some liason officers.

Since that, the promises to Russia were repeatedly broken. I believe, that was, to a certain degree understandable and understood in Russia with respect to the Baltics, NATO membership, but no forward troop deployments too close to Leningrad.

Since the Georgia 2008 adventure, it is very clear that the US aims at the strategic elimination of Russia as a superpower, by for example trying to develop first strike capabilities with forward deployment of SALT II violating missile batteries and stealth fighters in the Ukraine.

Its like the Cuba missile crisis, just without the public drama, yet.

A former US ambassador to Moscow

From what I see here, as a NATO ally, one of the very few with operable tank divisions, it is the US itching for a strategic confrontation.

I do not want to be drawn into massive bloodshed by some gung-ho war-crazies somewhere else, some repeat of 1914.

I had a conversation with a Ukrainian woman from Kiev a couple of days ago. The government is calling up men as old as fifty to be trained to serve in the reserves, her husband who is abroad was served his call up papers. Her dominant language is Russian but she identifies with the US supported revolution. They fully expect the US and EU to come to the rescue. No understanding whatsoever that the EU will not allow free movement of labour into the EU or that there is up to 50% youth unemployment in the EU. They do know that upward of Euro 40 billion is required to keep the economy from sinking in the next two years, the EU and US will provide that as a gift.
Nothing about Russia is positive, for example Russia has an unemployment rate of 5.6% and a per capita income of Euro 14,700 four times that of the Ukraine all that is written off as being due to oil and gas. Much like the way a lot of Irish people looked at Britain. Putin was the big Sochi hero while the scoundrel was invading Crimea, hypocrisy personified. The heavy industry in eastern Ukraine that is heavily dependent on exports to Russia can be closed down we do not need exports to Russia.
No understanding of Russia’s military capability which is now a match for anything in western Europe and the Ukraine which is militarily stuck in the 1950s’.
This from a business woman, a civil war is inevitable followed by Russian intervention. If the US and EU have any sense they will stay out of it and let Russia clamp down before hundreds of thousands are killed and injured.

The Chamberlain’s are out in force
Ukraine is a large Country far away of which we know little eh Frankeen

@Mickey Hickey
“…..If the US and EU have any sense they will stay out of it and let Russia clamp down before hundreds of thousands are killed and injured.”

Excellent advice that should be taken up by people who often have no concern for the numbers of people killed in countries far away, and little concern for their own people getting killed in such regions.

@DOCM / JG / Bond Watchers
re: Greek bond Rates:

The Greek 5 year bond rate is not that surprising.
A straight forward excel calculation would show that even with a 20% haircut, day one, on a Greek 5 year bond, the return would still beat investing in a 5 year bund.
A similar situation emerged in 2011?, when Irish rates hit the sratosphere. At that stage Irish bonds could have been haircut 25% day one, and still beat bunds over 5-6 years.

The Greek rates do appear however to discount Euro collapse and the geo-political background is doing the Greek bond rates no harm.
PS: In Greece the ‘new’ foreign language being learned is Russian, as that is where many of the tourists now come from.

@ Brian Lucey

Did you serve your fatherland?

Why is Ireland not member of the common defense, NATO?

How many tank divisions could Ireland sent to non-NATO Ukraine?

@ Francis

Hansi Bildleser does not seem to be interested in Ukraine.
Yesterday’s paper just had s#x, crime and Fussball, ie normal service.

Strange ….

Silence from Blind Biddy since she arrived back in Kharkov.

Something must be stirring ….

Hiya frankeen
Nah. We don’t need no tanks. Sure you lot will blun any attack. Thanks!!!

Oh and Frankeen
Ireland is feminine ao its motherland. You have a Fatherland. As we all know…

fyi: CounterPounch Well worth reading for those interested:

Weekend Edition April 11-13, 2014

Will the Government Listen?
Ukraine: Lies and Realities


‘I have no idea where the official numbers come from; those that say that Ukraine is evenly divided between those who support the West, and those who feel their identity is closely linked with Russia. Maybe this might be the case in Western Ukraine, in Lvov, or even in the capital – Kiev. But Western Ukraine has only a few key cities. The majority of people in this country of around forty-four million are concentrated in the south, east and southeast, around the enormous industrial and mining centers of Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, and Krivoi Rog. There is Odessa in the south, and Kharkov ‘the second capital’ in the east. And people in all those parts of the country mainly speak Russian. And they see, what has recently happened in Kiev as an unceremonious coup, orchestrated and supported by the West.

[…] Her friend, Evgenia Chernova, agrees: “In Odessa, Russian-speaking people get arrested, and they are taken all the way to Kiev. The same is happening in Kharkov, in Donetsk, and elsewhere. They call it freedom of speech! All Russian television channels are banned. What you see here is broadcasted from across the border. They treat people like cattle. But our people are not used to this: they will rebel, they will resist! And if they push them to the edge, it will be terrible!”

[…]Standing in front of a police cordon in Kharkov, Alexandr Oleinik, a Ukrainian political analyst, explains:

“The essence of what is now happening is based on the doctrine of the United States, which has one major goal: To wipe out from the globe, first the Soviet Union, and then Russia, regardless of its form; whether socialist or capitalist… As is well known, these goals were already defined in the early 1980’s, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his report to the US Department of State, “Game Plan: A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the U.S.-Soviet Contest”.

Besieged square in front of the court of justice may not be the most comfortable place for political discussions, but Mr. Oleinik has plenty to share:

“After destroying USSR, the US is, until now, making enormous effort to, in accordance with the ‘Brzezinski Doctrine’, to drag Russia, Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries, into exhausting regional conflicts, in order to out root from the consciousness of the people of these nations all thoughts about reunification (be it a customs union, common economic sphere, etc.). Series of ‘color revolutions’ from so-called American doctrine of ‘advancement of democracies’ became a clear proof of the essence of the geopolitical interests of the US. Libya, Tunis, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yugoslavia – all this is from the same shelf.”

p.s. Still no newz from Blind Biddy; I’m gettin concerned.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He has just completed the feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

I did a little screening of the press.

remarkably little about the ukraine in the wapo and usa today.

YAhoo in the US version and the notorious war mongerer NYT have Obama and Jack lew claiming “G7 unified on sanctions against Russia”, what I do not se from anybody else or anywhere else.

The BBC reports a severely weaker version “US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has urged other countries to contribute more to the economic rescue of Ukraine.”

They report as well “Ukraine gunmen seize buildings in Sloviansk” with the english speaker BBC reporter “had to leave the town because we were told foreign journalists could come under threat.”

Following seafoids advice I looked at whose reporter can apparently report from the inside of the liberated police station “So sieht besetzte Polizeistation von innen aus: Bewaffnete auf Matratzen, Sandsäcke an Fenstern”, no bad feelings from the Russians for Germans apparently


the semi official outlet here earlier reported, that the G-20 issued an “ultimatum” to the US to get clear on the IMF reform

Most the times they try there to actually represent more the american view on things,

but if you want read real full constant bile for getting entangled in Ukraine, read the comments there

It appears that not only have have the Systems of Money & Corporate Power annexed Hibernia – but they have also annexed RTE

One can possibly forgive Aine Lawlor and Richard Crowley for ignorance on Ukraine matters – the former interviewed an Irishman in Kiev clearly pro the cheney-bush neo-kon Nuland’s [of fu*k the eu infamy] puppet and then John Bruton and noone else; then on Newz at 1 the former US ambassador to Ukraine peddled blatant propaganda and onone else interviewed ….

But John Bruton – who certainly cannot claim ignorance on geopolitical economic matters gave such a quislingesque gobbelzian one-sided performance that I could not believe my ears ….

@John Bruton

It pains me to do so John, but you have earned the following award for such a performance in support of your nue masters:

Fig Leaf


Published on Thursday, April 10, 2014 by The Guardian

Why US Fracking Companies Are Licking Their Lips Over Ukraine

From climate change to Crimea, the natural gas industry is supreme at exploiting crisis for private gain – what I call the shock doctrine

by Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, now out in paperback. Her earlier books include the international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (which has just been re-published in a special 10th Anniversary Edition); and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). To read all her latest writing visit You can follow her on Twitter: @NaomiAKlein.

@John Bruton

Some educational reading!

Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Consortium News When Is a Putsch a Putsch? (The US False Narrative about Ukraine Continues)
Secretary of State John Kerry accuses Russia of a “contrived crisis” in Ukraine as the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev sends troops to crush resistance in the ethnic-Russian east. But the most “contrived” element of this crisis may be the false narrative in Washington.
by Robert Parry
The mainstream U.S. news media, which hailed the Feb. 22 neo-Nazi-spearheaded coup overthrowing the democratically elected president of Ukraine as an expression of “democracy,” is now decrying public uprisings in eastern Ukraine as a Russian-instigated “putsch.”

It apparently has reached the point where the MSM is so tangled up in its propagandistic narrative that it can’t give American readers anything close to an objective reading of what is actually going on in Ukraine or many other places, for that matter.

[…] what we’re not told by the Times is that Lviv is a neo-Nazi stronghold where 15,000 members of the far-right Svoboda party held a torchlight parade in honor of World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and where Svoboda has been mounting a campaign to have the local airport named in honor of Bandera, whose fascist paramilitary force took part in the exterminations of Jews and Poles.

p.s. still no newz from Blind Biddy in Kharkov …

German Government TV (ZDF) provided some live reporting from Slawjansk, Eastern Ukraine, that some government buildings, the regime in Kiev has claimed to have retaken, are firmly in the hands of the pro russian with plenty of indigenous russian population civilians surrounding it in shouting support.

Analysing the yield curves of Ukraine bonds traded in Germany suggests a 20 % default risk in the near future. My take would be that this jumps tomorrow by 5 – 10 %.

Ozzy seems to be a little concerned about the UK foreign reserves (gosh, I never thought I would cite this outlet : – )

which are below the IMF 3 months imports critical limit with 135 b / 643 b = 10 weeks. What could the Russians do with their 486 b?

‘ “Es wurden Kräfte aus allen Landesteilen herangezogen”, teilte Awakow auf seiner Facebook-Seite mit. ‘

together with Mickey Hickey’s report of 50 year olds drafted in Ukraine, sounds like the last stand of the Volkssturm there. The Russians looked young and well fed on TV

Actually an interesting confirmation from the Los Angeles Times:

“Security Service and elite riot police officers had to stop the attack and regroup after discovering that “the separatists are hiding behind a live shield of peaceful residents,” Avakov told the UNIAN news agency.”

CIA Director John Brennan was in Kiev on Saturday,0,7092902.story

And an interesting comment from Dmitrey L

to put this “It’s professional, it’s coordinated” into perspective for all of you here, who didn’t serve their fatherland, or mother Russia : – )

To end the day with the notorious war mongerer NYT: Thomas “friedman-go-ahead-vladimir-make-my-day”

the blatant belligerence, the frohlocking over human suffering, really remarkable

@ Francis

What is it with the Fatherland questions ?
Is it permissible to sing “Erika” in Duutschland these days ?
RTE used to play it every so often.

Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein und das heißt: Erika

It could have been a lovely spring song if the 20th century had turned out differently….

Finally, text from Blind Biddy in Kharkov:

“Apologies for the silence recently – Paddy Zhukov is OK TBTG, says he ‘went fishin!’; Paddy has a message for Ms Nuland from the Russian speaking communty in southern & eastern Ukraine: “You might fu*k with the EU madam – but you won’t fu*k with us – remember Kursk!”

Surely the EU could throw a few bob the way of Ukraine to make it worth everyone’s while sticking together.

First to the Ukraine bonds,

the only ones trading with any kind of visible volume and a bid/ask spread of 500 bp for most of the day

a nice service, a little German bank, Commerzbank, offers for everybody free.

Look at the volume chart, until 10:25, the 5% losses I predicted, and then one buyer stepped in and mopped up the market to silence for hours.

Just for comparison, how such a graph should look like:

bid / ask spreads of 1 – 2 bp , and there is a one page list of the full german debt which is traded like that


I was never a member of the singing & marching parts, so thanks for the song title, new to me. What part of “Erika” ( would you find objectionable?

I know very well, that using the words “fatherland” and “mother Russia” are irking some folks, but I think it is very useful to sharpen the mind, who is willing to pay what price, by himself, his own countrymen, and beyond.

And for what vital interest?

Getting to the topic, according to
the Ukraine has 1.2 Mio military folks, where are they? Can’t they walk up, peacefully, at least some 200 official Ukraine Army folks in clean uniform and shaved in the vicinity of that police station, handing out leaflets with Miranda rights in the local vernacular, Russian, to the civilians standing around, and in front of the world journalists, including German Government TV, satisfying the curiosity of the respective watchers?

Starting with a lot of good will, the US is my NATO ally, in good and in bad times, I have enjoyed to live there for many years. And Russia, as a non-NATO, could be a potential adversary. But the US have for many years, and on many occasions, tried to turn a strictly defense alliance into an offensive out-of-area, operation.

Western Germany has enjoyed the solidarity of our NATO allies for many decades. We certainly do not forget this. NATO Article 5, an attack on one of us, is an attack on all of us.

However, we had to learn that another NATO ally, Turkey, to whose defense we have stationed German troops there, was caught on tape, that their government/military leaders were plotting false flag operations, to draw the strictly defense alliance NATO into a war of aggression against Syria. These criminals are not in jail, but still in office. Their leader is silencing twitter and youtube reporting of facts.

The problem seems to be economic. Eastern Ukraine is wealthier than Western Ukraine. The Russian speakers are in the East. Putin wants a weakened neighbour so he’s happy to stir things up.
I read “Generation Kill” recently. About Iraq. One perceptive Marine quoted said “the place was f^&*ed up before we invaded and it will be f^&*ed up when we leave”. Better to try to unf^&* Ukraine than think about war.

Unless of course the global economy needs a good war to get a bit of momentum going. I think that was the role of the war on terror.
I presume the difference in living standards between Estonia and Russia mean Putin would never try anything there.


on a subject like this I would like to hear the opinion of Bond.Eoin.Bond, who was so effectively silenced by some contributor here. He knows tremendously more about bond mechanics and markets than me. How many of these trades go on invisibly, in larger blocks?

Maybe some FT folks are reading this blog, one hour after I asked yesterday here “Where is the Ukraine Army in East Ukraine”
they fielded “Kiev’s troops invisible in east Ukraine”,

some more balanced article with some interesting comments.
You can buy camouflage and flack jackets of every army/police on ebay, that they have Russian guns, what does this show, in this region? If they would show up with German or American rifles, that would be interesting news. That these guys are no retired kindergardeners, sure.

Having said that, that doesn’t imply the reverse either, that there is no Russian involvement, just to be clear.

The WSJ claims that the offensive has begun


a first short thank you for the “Generation Kill” hint. I also remember “The_Siege”, where american trained islamists take it out on NYC, “to see Americans put into stadiums, to see people held without habeas corpus”

and wiki/The_Peacemaker_(1997_film)

Chopin Nocturne in F minor Op.55 No.1 “”Peacemaker” – Marcel Iures” on youtube

This a well balanced article on the Obama/Kerry approach to Ukraine.


For the Russians that is certainly not about the money.

Russians have legitimate minority rights and security interests too.

Russia was two times invaded from the West, Napoleon 1810 – 1813 and Hitler, and paid pretty steep prices in life and devastated land to defend herself, and liberate Germany.

Googling my Chopin youtube hint, to see if it can be found properly, actually turned up this blog thread on the first google page. Interesting. Just for me?

Does it make any sense to provide these links here:

or does everybody who reads such german links, read them already as part of his news menue anyways?

text from Blind i Kharkov:

I hear that Big Military has joined with Big Ag and Big Energy to support the “fu*k the EU” Puppet Mistress from the state dept in the plan for the Annexation of Ukraine for the benefit of the Systems of Money & Corporate Power. Big Military is EUphoric at the mo … I’m sure quite a few are certain of making more than a few billions if not trillions regardless of the misery they are prepared to inflict on the Ukrainian/Russian Speaking Lifeworld …

Paddy Zhukov is out an’ about somewhere.

@Mickey Hickey

Excellent link; thanks! It very neatly summarizes what I already experientially know but it expresses the processes wherby Information Wars are conducted, by whom, and in whose interests neatly. For anyone interested in ‘real power political economic play’ in Ukraine and tuned to the propagandized medja, it is compulsive reading. Blind Biddy will love it … Paddy Zhukov doesn’t have the time at the mo …


the first one is an easy, completely unconditional yes:

The Wars against Napoleon are called “Befreiungskriege”, when over 200 000 Russian allies were with us (erm, the Bavarians switched sides in the first night, the saxonians in the 2nd) in the Völkerschlacht bei Leipzig.

The second was somewhat more complicated

The speech of then German president Richard von Weizsäcker 8.5.1985, linked there

“was es heute für uns alle gemeinsam zu sagen gilt: Der 8. Mai war ein Tag der Befreiung”

Sooo, it is not just me here

The most notable liberation monument I have ever seen is the one built in Vienna by the Austrians with an inscription thanking the Red Army for liberating them from German National Socialism. All inscriptions in both German and Russian.
The South American ones of Irish men on big horses paled by comparison.

That offensive is apparently a great success,

now we see the spearhead of the elite anti-terror units of the Ukrainian Army in Kramatorsk and Slawjansk flying the Russian flag and th flag of the People’s republic of Donezk.

What does that tell us about legitimacy of the putschist regime in Kiev?

Via the, The Peoples Republic of Donezk does not recognize the putchist regime in Kiev as relevant for the Ukraine, and all negotiations without themselves as void

That is of course just the result of some evil KGB tricks, the babushka conspiracy, or as some commenter on zerohedge put it:

“Old women can perform brutal psyops of nagging and guilt trips, the Ukrainians probably defected to just shut them the f*+ck up.”

No newz from Blind Biddy in Kharkov today …

Spose it must be all quiet on the Eastern Front …

It is basically a Corporate Power [military; big ag; big energy] led by the neo-kons within the US state dept. Of course the US has form here in dealing with dodgy-men – operation paper-clip after WW2 – and look at the stunning success in Libya at the mo (from whence certain chemicals found their way to nusra/qaida in syria) …..

The EU is embarassingly weak – and Nuland’s attempt to con the russian-speakers in SE has been blown – these people do not need advice from Russia.

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