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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#376

Post by Sterngard Friegen »











You have to wonder what's going though Orly Taitz's head now that her bare-chested muscovite pinup idol has gotten into the bailout business.







If Orly wants to help Putin and Russia she can use her husband's dollars to buy rubles, lots and lots of rubles. ;)









Along with Iraqi Dinars.

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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#377

Post by Foggy »

OMG, I saw the words 'Orly' and 'bare-chested' in the same sentence. I'm havin' the vapors, I swear. :dazed:



This is part of being a globalized economy, of course. If you run your country poorly, money will flow out like flood waters after a dam is breached. There's nothing Putin or anyone else can do to stop it.
For more information, read it again.

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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#378

Post by Volkonski »

Several multinational corporations each have valuations (in dollars) greater than the value of the entire Russian stockmarket. :o Russia's publicly traded companies have lost over half their value (in dollars) this year. From a peak valuation of $1500 billion in 2007 the Russian stock market is now worth only $325 billion.



Google joins an elite list of companies, including Exxon Mobile (sic), Microsoft and Apple





[hlyellow]Google is now more valuable than the entire Russian stock market[/hlyellow]. Russia’s stock market is now worth $325 billion while Google is valued at more than $340 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The news comes as Russia’s currency, the ruble, continues to stumble under pressure from declining oil prices and western sanctions. Russia’s gold reserves have also declined to their lowest point since 2009.

Google joins an elite list of companies, including Exxon Mobile, Microsoft and Apple, worth more than the entire Russian market.



http://time.com/3639596/google-russian-stock-market/
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#379

Post by Volkonski »

Automakers have reduced their Russian work forces due to price uncertainty and reduced demand.







Opel Group Chief Financial Officer Michael Lohscheller, speaking earlier this month at the Goldman Sachs Global Automotive Conference in London, said GM has taken out a lot of inventory and reduced production in Russia. GM cut a shift at its St. Petersburg plant and [hlyellow]laid off more than 500[/hlyellow], Lohscheller said.

“We have taken actually drastic pricing actions, beginning of the year, but also now during the course of the year,” Lohscheller said. “Of course that has an impact on volume, no question.”

[hlyellow]Ford earlier this year cut 950 jobs[/hlyellow] at two factories at its joint venture with OAO Sollers. In June, Ford wrote down the value of its investment in Russia by $329 million, the full amount at which it had valued its investment. Ford formed the venture in October 2011 that it valued at $367 million.





http://www.detroitnews.com/story/busine ... /20595273/



Russian banks in trouble.



MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday that because of the rouble's slide the country's banks have insufficient capital to meet their capital adequacy ratios.

The rouble is down around 45 percent against the dollar so far this year. Russia's government has submitted a draft law to parliament that could grant the banking sector a capital boost of up to 1 trillion roubles ($16.45 billion).



http://finance.yahoo.com/news/russian-b ... 03934.html
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#380

Post by kate520 »

I saw my first PUTIN 2016 bumper sticker yesterday, on the Mustang of a bald, tattooed, multiply-pierced man barging his way into places he didn't fit on the freeway. He almost caused 1accident that I saw; I'm sure he left a trail of brake lights in his wake.

Perfect.
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#381

Post by Volkonski »

Here is a British article that is more than usually pessimistic about the financial situation in Russia and these days that means very very pessimistic.



Wounded bears are dangerous. :-?





The IMF says the effect has been to smother everything else, hollowing out the industrial core. Non-oil exports fell from 21pc to 8pc of GDP.

The economy is a tangle of bottlenecks. Russia ranks 136 for road quality, [hlyellow]126 for the ability of firms to absorb technology[/hlyellow], [hlyellow]124 for availability of the latest technology[/hlyellow], [hlyellow]120 for the burden of government regulation[/hlyellow], and 105 for product sophistication, in the World Economic Forum’s index of competitiveness.

Critics say Russia squandered its chance to build a modern, diversified economy at the end of the Cold War. It now faces a bleak future as an ageing crisis hits and the workforce shrinks by 1m a year. Lubomir Mitov, from the Institute of International Finance, says Russia is weaker than it was in the Soviet era of the 1980s, when it still made things and brimmed with engineers. “They have lost their technology,” he says.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/econ ... reams.html



Falling behind in technology (these days that's pretty much fatal to businesses). Aging and shrinking workforce.



I think the FiFA might just want to start looking for a backup location for the 2018 World Cup.
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#382

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Russia may have lost its technology, but it still has a lot of programmers and hackers (good and bad), perhaps the most sophisticated in the world.

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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#383

Post by Volkonski »

Super-rich Russians are fleeing to the west and taking their money with them.





The number of Russians given "tier 1 visas", which are granted to those who invest at least £2m in the UK, is 69% higher in 2014 than over a comparable period in 2013.

A total of 169 of the visas were granted between January and September, with a steep increase occurring after after the West imposed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of Ukraine, reports the Sunday Times.

During the same period in 2013, 96 were granted, Home Office figures.

Under the scheme, those granted the visa can for permanent residency after three years, if they invest £5m or more, or after two years with a £10m investment.





http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/russias-super- ... uk-1480484



Note- rich people can get fast track green cards in the US for only a $500,000 investment. We need to raise our prices. ;)
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#384

Post by Volkonski »

Russia acting to restrict grain exports. Russia imports much of its food. With the ruble down imported food is more expensive so they are going to keep more locally grown food in the country. Bad news for Russian grain sellers.





But on Monday Russia announced plans to impose a heavy tax on grain exports since rouble volatility and high global prices have caused exports to spike. Russian news agencies reported Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting with officials that the country needed to hang on to its stocks.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/2 ... 65816.html
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#385

Post by Volkonski »

China to the rescue!



http://rt.com/news/216563-china-russia- ... hardships/

Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng proposed on Saturday to expand the use of the yuan in trade with Russia.







Well, not quite. China is taking advantage of Russia's difficulties to advance China's interests. Putin will be paying for whatever help he gets from China for a long time. ;)
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#386

Post by Volkonski »

Putin will not be happy about this. The world has to hope he doesn't do something stupid in response.



Ukraine's parliament has voted to drop the country's non-aligned status and work towards Nato membership.





Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the move "counterproductive" and said it would boost tensions.

The BBC's David Stern in Kiev says it is not clear when Ukraine will apply for Nato membership and many officials see it as a distant prospect.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pledged to seek Nato membership over Russian support for rebels in the east.

Snip---

In a vote in Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday, MPs overwhelmingly backed the move by 303 to eight.





http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30587924
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#387

Post by Roboe »

That definantly won't end well.



Even if NATO never promised not to expand eastwards, it was definantly being hinted at the Soviet officials that it might be an opportunity. Foreign Affairs: A Broken Promise? What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion

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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#388

Post by Suranis »



The ruble has fallen sharply in the past few weeks and there are current stories coming out of Russia about potential bank runs. Last week the ruble became the world’s worst performing currency. This week, however, the Russian currency does appear to be stabilizing-- it's back up by 30%. So have sanctions and falling oil prices sunk Russia?



Not really says Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War,” and chief energy investment strategist at Casey Research. Katusa believes that falling oil prices will eventually give Russia the upper hand and deeply injure the U.S. energy industry. The falling ruble makes Russian oil less expensive and more desirable to other countries—Russia also produces oil quite cheaply while the American shale industry has a larger cost of operation. Russia is more than able to weather the current storm, Katusa says. “They have a $200 billion a year trade surplus. They have over $400 billion in reserve currency. They’ve increased their gold reserve. They have much lower debt to their GDP than America. So yes there’s pain in the economy… [but] it's far from terminal.”



On Tuesday the Ukrainian Parliament voted to drop its “non-aligned” status and begin work towards a NATO membership. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this “unproductive” move would only increase tension between Russia and Ukraine. Katusa believes that this is the beginning of another cold war. “The Ukraine parliament only did this after Obama guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in military support to fight the Russians,” he says. “And what is critical here is we all know that the logarithmic rule in war when you commit hundreds of millions - it means billions of dollars and through these actions Obama has declared the colder war on Russia.”



Katusa believes that this move will result in more atrocities on both sides of the border, but mostly in Ukraine. According to Katusa, sanctions have only made it so that Russia must work more closely with emerging markets like China. “We’ve seen billions of dollars of increase in the currency swaps between China and Russia and it’s going to continue,” he says. Currently about 9% of China’s oil exports come from Russia but Katusa predicts that number will grow significantly in the decades to come.







http://news.yahoo.com/putin-is-winning- ... 28723.html
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#389

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

Katusa is nothing more than a slightly more respectable Porter Stansberry. In fact, he bet Stasnberry over a year ago that oil prices would not drop to $40 a barrel. He then crowed and collected the bet a year later.

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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#390

Post by SueDB »

Russia headed for the bottom over appetite for Old Empires?







By Darya Korsunskaya and Vladimir Abramov

MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Slumping oil prices have put Russia's economy on course for a sharp recession and double-digit inflation next year, government ministers said on Friday, as authorities scaled up a bailout for the first bank to succumb to this month's rouble crisis.

The economy is slowing sharply as Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis deter foreign investment and spur capital flight, and as a slump in oil prices severely reduces Russia's export revenues and pummels the rouble.



The government has taken steps to support key banks and address the deepening currency crisis in the past week, including a sharp and unexpected interest rate hike, but analysts are pessimistic on the outlook for both the economy and the rouble.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists on Friday the economy could shrink by 4 percent in 2015, its first contraction since 2009, if oil prices averaged their ...
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#391

Post by SueDB »

The side effects continue to ripple through Eastern Europe

Russia taking down Belarus with it...







(Reuters) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed the country's prime minister, central bank head and other top ministers, the presidential press service said on Saturday, in the biggest government reshuffle since 2010.

The shake-up follows Belarussian moves to protect its economy, run along Soviet-style command lines by Lukashenko since 1994, due to a currency crisis in Russia, its main trading partner and ally.

Lukashenko's chief of staff Andrey Kobyakov has been appointed new prime minister, the press service said in a statement, without giving reasons for the dismissal of much of the cabinet.

Earlier this year Lukashenko warned he might dismiss the government if it failed to achieve key economic objectives, state news agency Belta rep





There's a lot of animosity between Belarus and the old Baltic States that has been heating up as Belarus is assumed to be a lock step partner with the Russian secret services.
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#392

Post by Volkonski »

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-o ... e22201640/



Good news! Putin has capped the price of vodka. Suffering Russians will be able to drink to forget their financial woes. ;)
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#393

Post by Dolly »

Scaled-Up Banking Rescue to Push Russian Budget Into Deficit

MOSCOW — Russia’s central bank said on Friday that its bailout of Trust Bank – the first major lender to fail as a result of the sharp decline in the ruble – would cost about $2.5 billion, far more than previously anticipated, and the country’s finance minister said emergency measures to rescue the banking system would push the federal budget into deficit.

The central bank had previously announced about $500 million in direct aid to Trust Bank, but on Friday it raised that figure to nearly $2 billion and said it would also provide a six-year loan of about $550 million to an “investor” bank that would step in to take control of Trust Bank.

Other banks are also expected to need bailouts as a result of the recent currency crisis, which was brought about by a double whammy of lower worldwide oil prices and Western economic sanctions aimed at punishing the Kremlin for its policies in Ukraine.

The Russian authorities have been scrambling to contain the damage, including a sharp increase in interest rates and aggressive spending of foreign currency reserves to shore up the ruble, which has stabilized in recent days. On Friday, the ruble was trading in the low to mid 50’s to the dollar, still sharply down for the year but substantially stronger than just a week ago when it was trading at about 60.

Data released by the central bank on Friday showed that the government’s overall stockpile of foreign currency reserves had fallen by nearly $16 billion to $398.9 billion. Overall, the Russian government has approved 1 trillion rubles, or about $20 billion, to rescue the banking system.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, the Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said that the rescue measures would swing the 2014 federal budget into a deficit of about $10 billion or roughly 0.7 percent of the nation’s annual economic output. <SNIP>









http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/ ... icit/?_r=0
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#394

Post by Volkonski »

Now Putin is lowering the price of vodka by 16%. That's leadership! ;)





The state agency that regulates the alcohol market said this month that it will slash vodka prices in February by about 16%.

The price cut marks a reversal for Russian policy makers, who have tried to discourage excessive drinking by hiking alcohol taxes, banning advertising and introducing new, restrictive regulations over the past few years.

But now inflation in Russia is near 10%, the ruble has fallen by more than 40% this year and the economy is shrinking -- and cheaper vodka just might take the edge off.



http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/31/news/ec ... dka-putin/
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A lot at stake for Russia in battle [w/EU] for Ukraine

#395

Post by ZekeB »

Cheap gasoline in Venezuela and cheap booze in Russia. I could be the leader of either country if that's all it took to keep the people supporting me.
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#396

Post by Volkonski »

The ruble dropped to 60 to the dollar yesterday as the Russian government continued to spend reserves to prop up banks and businesses.



On Wednesday, the government said it would support Yamal LNG, the Arctic gas project of Novatek, with Rbs150bn. Separately Gazprombank, the country’s third-largest lender, said the government had bought Rbs39.95bn in preferred shares, using money from a subordinated deposit the bank had returned to the National Wealth Fund.

“The conversion allows the bank to strengthen its capital structure and provides for sufficient scope to expand its operations,” the lender said.

The support follows a Rbs100bn capital injection from the NWF into state-owned VTB, the second-largest bank, this week. VTB said it expected to receive a further Rbs150bn in the first quarter of 2015, while Gazprombank has asked for a further Rbs30bn.

[hlyellow]Russia’s international reserves have fallen to $388.5bn, down from $509.6bn a year ago[/hlyellow], the central bank said on Wednesday, while the state statistics agency Rosstat said inflation for the year had hit 11.4 per cent





http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d68b4b8e ... z3Nb2mRhcT



Meanwhile Russia is flexing its military muscle.



Moscow also held surprise military exercises in Kaliningrad in December, its enclave that borders Lithuania, with 9,000 troops and 55 ships.





http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/eu ... -1.2052094



If Russia could annex the Crimea perhaps Poland should annex Kaliningrad. It has a large ethnically Polish population. ;)
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#397

Post by SueDB »





The ruble dropped to 60 to the dollar yesterday as the Russian government continued to spend reserves to prop up banks and businesses.



On Wednesday, the government said it would support Yamal LNG, the Arctic gas project of Novatek, with Rbs150bn. Separately Gazprombank, the country’s third-largest lender, said the government had bought Rbs39.95bn in preferred shares, using money from a subordinated deposit the bank had returned to the National Wealth Fund.

“The conversion allows the bank to strengthen its capital structure and provides for sufficient scope to expand its operations,” the lender said.

The support follows a Rbs100bn capital injection from the NWF into state-owned VTB, the second-largest bank, this week. VTB said it expected to receive a further Rbs150bn in the first quarter of 2015, while Gazprombank has asked for a further Rbs30bn.

[hlyellow]Russia’s international reserves have fallen to $388.5bn, down from $509.6bn a year ago[/hlyellow], the central bank said on Wednesday, while the state statistics agency Rosstat said inflation for the year had hit 11.4 per cent





http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d68b4b8e ... z3Nb2mRhcT



Meanwhile Russia is flexing its military muscle.



Moscow also held surprise military exercises in Kaliningrad in December, its enclave that borders Lithuania, with 9,000 troops and 55 ships.





http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/eu ... -1.2052094



If Russia could annex the Crimea perhaps Poland should annex Kaliningrad. It has a large ethnically Polish population. ;)





Kaliningrad was the capital of the old East Prussia/Germany.
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#398

Post by Volkonski »

More bad news for Putin-U.S. benchmark crude falls below $50 for first time in 5 1/2 years





West Texas Intermediate oil fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since April 2009 as surging supply signaled that the global glut that drove crude into a bear market will persist.



Futures slid as much as 5.2 percent in New York. Brent futures earlier slid below $55 in London for the first time since May 2009. [hlyellow]Russia’s output rose to a post-Soviet high in December, preliminary Energy Ministry data showed. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, plans to boost crude exports to a record this month,[/hlyellow] the Oil Ministry said.





Ruble Starts New Year With Plunge as Oil Declines to 2009 Low



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-0 ... 9-low.html





Russia’s currency slid 7.2 percent to 60.37 per dollar at 8:06 p.m. in Moscow, in its first day of trading of 2015 after a 46 percent decline last year.Government bonds fell, with the five-year yield climbing 16 basis points to 15.63 percent. The Micex Index (INDEXCF) of stocks rose 2.8 percent to 1,435.66 at the close.

The currency of the world’s largest energy exporter is under pressure as the price of crude retreats. Brent fell to $53.14 per barrel in London today, the lowest level since May 2009, while front-month WTI fell below $50 a barrel. The ruble’s slide has been exacerbated by stalling economic growth, triggered by U.S. and European Union sanctions linked to the Ukraine conflict.



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#399

Post by Volkonski »

Putin's star is tarnished. Article below has a wonderful first sentence. ;)





[hlyellow]As Russia’s economy crumbles, the war in Ukraine drags on and Moscow’s ties with the West get more and more confrontational, it’s worth asking: Does Vladimir Putin have a plan?[/hlyellow]

Snip------

But Putin’s opponents, particularly those within Russia, see him as less of a cunning mastermind and more of an out-of-touch autocrat who has started a fight with the West that Russia can’t win. Several of his ad hoc and apparently counterproductive moves have created the impression that he is out of touch and living “in another world,” to use German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phrasing.

Take the countersanctions, which Russia imposed this summer on imports of food from countries that had put in place restrictions on Russia. This could be seen as part of a larger strategy to decrease Russia’s dependence on imports. But the hasty fashion in which they were announced suggested improvisation on the fly, and they have hurt Russian consumers.

Similarly, a blockbuster deal on gas exports to China, signed by Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the spring, will reduce Russia’s economic dependence on the West. But the opaque nature of the new contracts, signed after a decade of negotiations, suggests to some that Putin agreed to an unfavorable price purely for the sake of making it look as if Russia didn’t need Europe. Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov argued that Putin’s eager embrace of Beijing’s terms risked turning Russia into a “raw materials colony” of China.





http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/201 ... for-russia
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#400

Post by Volkonski »

Pressure on the Russian economy continues to mount.





The cost of insuring Russian bonds against default rose to the highest level in almost six years on speculation a cut in the nation’s credit rating to junk is imminent. The ruble tumbled for a second day.

Five-year credit default swaps jumped 56 basis points to 594 by 6:54 p.m. in Moscow, the most since March 2009 on a closing basis and the fifth-highest sovereign globally. The contracts rose 118 basis points in the past three days. The ruble lost 1.9 percent to 62.0265 a dollar as Brent crude slid toward $50 a barrel for the first time in almost six years.

Russia’s investment-grade status is being tested after the price of oil, its main export earner, more than halved in value since June and sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine threaten the economy with a recession. Standard & Poor’s said last month it will probably lower Russia to non-investment grade within 90 days. Fitch Ratings will announce the results of its credit-rating review on Jan. 9.

“There’s concern with regards to Russia’s ability to maintain its budget commitments and over Russia being downgraded to junk,” Dmitri Petrov, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. in London, said by phone. “Oil is trading substantially below even the worst expectations of the government. Every move from here onwards will be increasingly painful for the currency.”



http://www.businessweek.com/news/2015-0 ... des-on-oil





Light, sweet oil for February delivery fell $1.18, or 2.4%, to $48.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent, the global benchmark, fell $1.37, or 2.6%, to $51.74 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Both contracts are on track to settle at fresh more-than-five-year lows.

Snip-------

“Over a significant part of the last 15 years, we’ve had Saudi Arabia and others playing a swing producer role. They’ve now decided not to,” said Tim Guinness, chief investment officer of Guinness Atkinson Asset Management Inc., which oversees $300 million in energy equity investments. “There is excess supply in the short run, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see the oil price go below $40.”



http://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-prices- ... 1420523070
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