Prominent Hedge Fund Manager Sees Dollar Losing Reserve Currency Status

While the liberal democracies, having allowed Cultural Marxists to infiltrate government at every level and implement socially and economically disruptive policies Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the world’s biggest Hedge Fund believes now is a good time to reflect on China’s progress towards its goal of replacing the USA as the world’s most powerful nation.

China’s growth as the size if its economy closes rapidly on that of the USA, speaks for itself, but Dalio adds:

“To have such rates of improvements in so many areas and for so many people has made it the greatest economic miracle ever.”

 

And from what Dalio has seen, he believes that the very impressive results that the Chinese leadership and the Chinese people produced came about primarily because of the powerful combination of a) China’s opening up and reforming following an extended period of isolation that led to a fast catching up (especially in the coastal regions of China) with the advanced developed world, and b) the power of the Chinese culture and it’s related ways of operating.

Crucially, Dalio points out that, if you haven’t spent time in China, you need to get any stereotypes you might have out of your mind because it’s not how it was. This is not your father’s communism. It is “socialism with Chinese characteristics” that has been significantly and very effectively reformed, which has made it much more vital, creative, and economically free.

Dalio’s ‘romantic’ view of a paternal China is definitely not the mainstream narrative:

“From my experiences and from what I am told by Chinese who should know, I believe Chinese leadership seeks to run the country the way they believe a good family should be run, from the top down, maintaining high standards of behavior, putting the collective interest ahead of any individual interest, with each member knowing their place and having filial respect for those in the hierarchy so the system works in an orderly way. One of China’s leaders who explained this concept to me told that the word “country” consists of two characters, state and family, which influences how they view their role in looking after their state/family.

One might say that the Chinese government is paternal. For example, it regulates what types of video games are watched by children and how many hours a day they play them. As a broad generalization, when the interest of the country (like the family) is at odds with the interest of the individual, the interest of the country (like the interest of the family) should be favored over the interest of the individual. Individuals are parts of a greater machine. As a result of this perspective, the system seeks to develop, promote and reward good character and good citizenship. For example it gives people a social credit score that rates the quality of their citizenship. And each person is expected to view themselves as parts of the greater whole.

This management from the top down includes visualizing what China 5, 10 and 20 years in the future should be like and then making and managing detailed multiyear plans to build out that vision, with the goal being to make China as great as it can be. China is run more like a giant company with many subsidiaries, some within the government’s direct control and some within its indirect control.

But, as the fund manager notes, while Chinese culture has been evolving, it has at its most fundamental level been operating in similar ways for many hundreds or even thousands of years and the results of operating that way are knowable in an approximate way.

I have recently been researching the rise and fall of reserve currencies, which led me to study the rises and declines of the world’s most powerful countries. That led my research team and me to put together the following indices of the relative powers of leading countries since 1500. These indices are a combination of six sub-indices that measure six different types of power:

1) innovation & competitiveness,

2) domestic output,

3) share of world trade,

4) financial-center size and power,

5) military strength, and

6) reserve-currency status.

…and they show when different countries reached their peaks relative to the rest of the world.”

And to support his position he has put together an impressive set of statistics showing how global and regional powers from Portugal in the west and China in the east, in the late medieval era, rose to economic dominance in the west, and how as Portugal declined to be replaced by Spain, then France, then The British Empire and finally the USA all rose to dominate while they had a stable culture and strong values, and all declined when political factors undermined that cultural stability and government started to medle in private affairs.

China on the other hand, dominated in the east from around 1200 to 1900 CE only being challenged by the British and the Japanese in India from the mid nineteenth century. China’s social system had stagnated through isolation, while Jaoan’s had been revitalised by contact forst with Portuguese and Dutch traders and then US government and business interests.

After the communists took over China’s still stagnant society the nation became even more isolated until the idealist Mao Tse Tung was replaced by equally totalitarian but more pragmatic leaders who opened up the country economically and allowed individualism and enterprise to flourish. The reformed communist party opened up the economy but maintained the cultural stability based on family, community and tradition.

And judging by Dalio’s take on American culture, it is clear where he thinks this is going…

“Most fundamentally, the US is a country in which individuals, individualism, and individual property rights are perceived to be of paramount importance it is directed from the bottom up (e.g., through “one man, one vote” democracies that empower people to choose their leaders), being revolutionary is considered a good thing, and conflict is valued more than harmony.

Rather than respecting top down control most American have a strong preference to keep government from interfering with their most individual choices. Character development is a personal or family issue, not a government issue (which leaves it largely neglected in areas with broken families, especially if they’re poor).

Rather than there being a long-term top down vision for the country and a plan to achieve that vision, in the capitalist and democratic system such directions are more bottom up determined based on commercial and popularity considerations.”

Thus Dalio comes to the conclusion that as the USA continues to fragment socially it’s economic decline will also continue, while the Chinese, bound by their strong and stable culture, will continue to forge ahead, with the inevitable result that the US$ will lose its reserve currency status, something which is already happening as we have reported HERE. Of course, the world’s largest hedge fund manager avoids directly slamming America’s ‘dream’ or supporting China’s central planners:

“I’m not saying which system is better. Each culture/system has its pros and cons that I’m not going to get into now.

I believe that the important thing to know are that while there will be trade wars and trade truces they aren’t the most important things. ”

So, in summary, “it’s not the economy, it’s the culture stupid!”

The Demise Of Dollar Hegemony: Russia Breaks Wall Streets’s Oil-Price Monopoly

Significant moves in the global chess game have just rendered the huffing and puffing of warmonger Obama meaningless and will break Wall Street’s monopoly in controlling oil markets. The move is part of Vladimir Putin’s long-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, in effect …

Naked Bankers Go For Gold

… That gold sale in 2013 was a naked short. The seller had no gold to sell. COMEX reported having gold only equal to about half of the short sale in its vaults, and not all of that was available for delivery (quite a lot of it belonged to the german government) In effect the naked shorting of gold could only work because really the right hand was selling to the left hand.

The Demise Of Dollar Hegemony: Russia Breaks Wall Streets’s Oil-Price Monopoly
In a move that went almost completely unreported in mainstream media, Russia has recently opened a market for the trading of physical and ‘paper’ oil (futures) in Moscow in Roubles. This is the most blatant challenge yet to the domination of the US dollar in world trade.

China launches global yuan payment system
China’s Central Bank has started a global payment system which provides cross-border transactions in yuan. The China International Payment System (CIPS) intends to internationalize the yuan and challenge the US dollar’s dominance.

EU and US talk of war with Russia

The European People’s Party (EPP) is the largest political group in the European Parliament, and they are unerringly supportive of America’s efforts to start a war with Russia. “The time of talk and persuasion with Russia is over,” MEP and Vice-President of the EPP told a meeting on Tuesday, 21 April, “Now it’s time for a tough policy, and concentration on defence and security …”

This Is Why The US Just Lost Its Superpower Status According To Larry Summers

As more and more countries flock to join the Chinese led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank after Britain, France Australia, India and other traditional US allies defied Washington to associate themselves with China’s initiative, conservative economic pundit Larry Summers once a contender for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve delivered a sharp rebuke …

The True Debt Disaster America Faces – Only A Fraction Of Government Debt Is Known To The Public

Politicians and the media talk about the $17 trillion debt the US Government owes to creditors. They are lying, the $17 trillion is a fraction of what america owes. The real figure is $200 trillon. And Obama’s loonytoons economics are driving that up at an accelerating rate.

U.S. versus Russia War: Top Russian Politics Scolar Stephen Cohen Tells The Truth

We have been blogging for four years about the US drive for war, provocation of Russia in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere made it obvious. But I’m just a news junkie with a strong sense of curiosity and have wondered why the US seems set on this course. Good to see experts like Stephen Cohen, a prominent expert on, Russia are coming onside.

Does It matter If The Dollar Is Replaced?

“Without delving too deeply into Austrian economic and capital theory, just let me point out that money printing disrupts the structure of production by fraudulently changing the “price discovery process” of capitalism. Capital is allocated to projects that will never be profitably completed. Bubbles get created and collapse and businesses are suddenly damaged en mass, thus, destroying wealth. (Zero Hedge)”

What the BRICS plus Germany are really up to in the Currency Wars?

The move led by Russia and China to dump the Petrodollar has escalated into a currency war, not the kind of war we assciate Obama with but give him time. Some wars as in Ukraine, by proxy are not going so well. Others, like the one against Islamic State aka ISIS aka ISIL in the middle east are going worse. Disintegration of The American Economic Empire is manifesting itself in moves by wannabe global players towards creating a multipolar world …

 

Russia Just Sent out a Message NATO Should Better Listen To

The key paragraph from the latest official Russian naval doctrine is that Putin and his military advisers have sent a clear message that NATO encroachment is unacceptable. To be honest, there is nothing earth shattering in this, The Daily Stirrer and many other alternative media news and analysis sites have been warning for about two years that Obama’s foreign policy was making conflict inevitable.

De – dollarization Moves Ahead – Once Again We Told You So,

What Putin Wants

China Warns U.S. to Stop Its Ukrainian Proxy War Against Russia

The World Rejects USA Attempt To Manipulate Venezuela

India’s Ruling BJP Party Crushed In Regional Poll

Another Conspiracy Theory Becomes Fact: Oil Collapse Is All About Obama’s Proxy War With Russia.

G77 Nations vow to destroy petrodollar and America’s New World Order

American Dollar Dumped

Iran’s Oil and the US Dollar

Billionaire Investor Erik Prince Launches Fund For Electric Car Metals

A couple of weeks before the turn of the year I wrote a comment under an article singing the praises of electric and hybrid cars, the usual ‘clean, green, sustainable, transport of the fuutre spiel. Now I did not get into the usual criticisms, poor range, length of time to recharge, massive upgrades to the electricity distribution system to support ‘fast chargers’ which are still painfully slow compared with pumps that pump liquid. Nor did I point out the technical problems that will beset these vehicles when they start to be used outside towns and away from the coastal strip. In short, they don’t do hills. OK I know some plank is going to say “Ah but regenerative braking systems mean they generate electricity when going down hills,” and OK that is true, but what is generated going down is a tiny fraction of what is used to haul car, driver, passengers and battery pack up.

Instead of all that I settled for pointing out that as well as electricity which is mostly generated by coal, other finite resources are essential to the manufacture of these electric vehicles which some stupid politicians say will totally replace fossil fuelled cars and trucks by 2040, (yes I might be talking about you Monsieur Macron you idiot, or you Mr. Treudeau, you plonker.) There are currently an estimated 1.4 billion cars and light goods vehicles on the roads of our planet, and there is not enough lithium in reserve stocks to make battery packs for a tenth of that number. And then there is cobalt, needed in far smaller quantities but a far less plentiful resource and most of the known reserves are controlled by China. And if they dominate the market in a resource the west needs they ain’t going to be giving the stuff away.

Naturally I was mocked and ridiculed for going against the official narrative that electric will smoothly replace gasoline over the next couple of decades. Fortunately I don’t take any more notice of the voices that bounce around the liberal echo chamber of the internet than I do of politicians who are trying to buy your vote so they can use it in the cause of enriching their paymasters, or of mainstream media, where the propaganda of the establishment is endlessly parroted.

It was of course gratifying to learn that people who matter agree with me. Today the Financial Times welcomed the New Year with a report that Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, the private security giant intends to launch a $500m investment fund to capitalize on the rush to secure investments in the metals required for batteries that power electric cars.

cobalt mining congo
Cobalt mining in Congo, child labour is common and slave labour possible (western companies contract out work to local agents,), workers rights and safety regulations are non existent. (Source: http://www.trwn.org/wp-content/ )

 

Prince, an adviser to president Trump and brother of White House official Betsy DeVos told the FT,  “For all the talk of our virtual world, the innovation, you can’t build those vehicles without minerals that come from generally weird, hard-to-access places.”

He’s correct of course, and the more the world comes to rely on electronic technology, particularly mobile technologies, the more competition there will be for these finite resources. As I wrote back in 2010, for years due to pressure from the greeny – weeny, weirdie – beardie faction, because the mining and refining of these rare earth metals is a filthy and energy intensive process, the developed nations have been handing control of such vital resources to nations with are not exactly friendly to our governments or way of life.

Mining companies in China, Russia, India, Brazil and Australia have been investing billions into these essential metals as the electric vehicle industry expands, which include cobalt, neodymium, gold, tellurium and terbium  as well as copper and lithium.

One of the largest investors has been China, with Chinese companies buying stakes in deposits in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Chile this year. Mr Prince also runs a Hong Kong-listed security and logistics company that is backed by China’s state-owned Citic Group. –Financial Times

Prince’s new fund will operate in exploration and securing rights to as yet unknown deposits before selling them on to larger mining companies, and, Prince told the FT, will be looking to cash in its investments and devote the revenue to new projects within four or five years.  his experience in providing private armies to secure assets in well known trouble spots should prove invaluable.

It is well known that Chinese companies have little interest in speculative  exploration, which leads Prince believe creates a gap in the supply chain he hopes to fill.”

More than 60 percent for the world’s cobalt supply originates from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a nation plagues by tribal and political conflicts which has scared off western investment and has opened the door for Chinese companies including Jinchuan Group and China Molybdenum to pour billions into developing the sites.  Apart from high altitude salt lakes in Chile, the onlt other known area from which lithium is easily extractable is Afghanistan, not the easiest place for foreign interests to operate.

Prince first came to public attention as the founder of Blackwater – the world’s most famous private military contractor which has been targeted with lawsuits alleging civilian deaths in Iraq, including a 2007 incident in Nisour Square, Baghdad, where 17 civilians were killed and 20 injured after Blackwater guards claim their convoy was ambushed. And FBI investigation concluded that at least 14 of the 17 Iraqis were shot without cause.

Since selling Backwater in 2010, Prince has been at the helm of Frontier Services Group, which provides logistics support and security services to companies operating in politically unstable countries. They have provided anti-piracy operations to Somalia and security for oil companies operating in strife – torn South Sudan. Prince himself is a former US Navy SEAL, now resident in Abu Dhabi, his long established business links with China will certainly give him a head start in this new venture. A bauxite (aluminium ore,) mine in Guinea this year secured a contract to supply Chinese state – owned aluminium smelter with ore.

MORE ON RARE EARTH METALS AND ELECTRIC CARS
Rare-earth metals in magnets for electric-car motors
A Scarcity of Rare Metals Is Hindering Green Technologies
Rare Earth Elements: A Beginners Guide

Information on the chemical nature, physical properties and uses of rare earth metals.


Rare Earth Elements And Their Uses

Information on mining, extraction and refining processes.

House battery to store energy will ‘change entire infrastructure of the world’ – or maybe not
Another costly new product hailed as a breakthough in technology, this time a clutching-at-straws exercise from the failing electric car company Tesla, completely fails to live up to the hype under scrutiny. Hailed as a super battery, a mjor advance in battery technology that will change the world to store power for a household, it turns out to be nothing more than a streamined car battery. It will run the average home for about 2 hours.

Flight From FreedomFleeing from freedom seems like a contradiction, after all we usually asdsiciate flight with escaping from captivity. In this first part of Existentialism for Beginners however the author identifies a human instinct that predisposes us to seek illusory safety by conforming and being part of the crowd rather than embarking on the lonely life of the free thinker, the person who truly makes their own decisions and follows their own path.

Electronic Tattoos To Replace Passwords and Pin Numbers?
Science was ever fascism’s whore. A warning about the latest wheeze the science tits have developed for their Fascist bosses, RFID tattoos. The plan is these things will keep tabs on everything you do all the time and you will not be able to access the internet, your mobile phone or your bank and credit card accounts without one.

Drivers Cool About Electric Cars
Have you purchased your new, clean, green, politically correct, all electric car yet? No? I thought not. Neither have I. It is not so much that I hate the enviroment or that I do not want to support the fabulous clean, green, sustainable job creating indistries fabulous, clean, green Dave has promised us will lead …

GM Food Needed To Avert World Food Crisis

The GM Foods Nazis are revving up for a good whine again. Professor Sir John Beddington said there was no scientific qick fix to the ”enormously serious” problem of producing enough fod to feed the world’s rapidly growing population in the future as we face problems such as climate change, population growth and energy shortages. He told BBC Breakfast News: ”If there are genetically modified (GM) organisms that actually …


Iceberg Alley BluesWe must stop using oil say the politicians and scientists as it becomes more imperative that exploration begins in Iceberg Alley off the Canadian Coast, elsewhere in the Arctic and in other sensitive locations. They are just trying to soften us up for carbon taxes of course. Nobody knows better than politicians that the world runs on oil and that alternative non polluting sources are a long way short of being able to supply energy needs ….

Coal Fired Power Stations Win ReprieveIn what looks like a u-turn on green energy policy the coalition government have abandoned plans to support and subsidiese operators of sustainable energy generating plants. While environment activists and green campaigners are calling this a betrayal the case may well be that in the harsh reality of governing claims made by green energy firms look totally unrealistic …

Tesla Driverless Cars World Domination Plan Hit By Another Crash
Electric carmaker Tesla, whose founder Elon Musk recently showed the kind of ignorance of human nature that typifies Silicon Valley billionaires when he smugly predicted the whole world would be letting driverless cars ferry them around by 2030, is preparing an updated “secret masterplan” as the company looks to rebound from concerns over the safety …

BHP Drops Bid For Potash of CanadaMining giant BHP Billiton has abandoned its takeover bid for fertiliser group Potash Corporation after it was blocked by the Canadian government. We should start to appreciate Canadians more perhaps. A few months ago The Daily Stirrer was praising two Canadian sceptics for exposing …

The Growing Problem Of Rising Food PricesWhile the warmists rant about carbon and the Church of Scienceology Cult rave about climate science. there are threee real and immediate problems facing us that nobody is talking about. These are overpopulation, water shortage and food price inflation. This article deals with food prices, links at the bottom lead to our posts on population and water scarcity.

How Our Creature Comforts Are Baking The WorldAs the arguments rage on between the Climate Science Wankers lobby and the sceptis, realists and out and out deniers we observe that still nobody who gets media coverage, nobody who is talking sense about climate chaos, carbon based fuels, deforestation or over population is really being heard. Quite simply there are too many of us and we want too much. Who needs science or politics to understand that?

Next Boss Warns On Cotton Price IncreasesAs the boss of a major UK clothing and fashion retailer warns of the likely impact of rising cotton prices on the cost of clothing John De Roe revisits on of The Daily Stirrer’s recurring themes throughout the economict crisis, overpopulation.

Food Will Cost The EarthA bid by Australian mining giant BHP Billiton to buy Potash Corp of Canada draws attention to food price inflation, rising commodity prices in world markets and an impending global food supply crisis. It is not just potash, essential in food production, but other finite resources like oil that corporate giants are bidding to gain control of that should concern us.

Vertical Farming: The Looniest Idea Yet For Saving The PlanetClimate Science is a strange discipline. Part trainspotting, part trekkie convention going, it combines an almost autistic obession with collcting details, a very autistic obsession with focusing on a single theme and a fantasist’s capacity for self deception and a taste for mutual masturbation. The latest loonytoons idea for saving the planet involves turning skyscraper buildings into farms growing food for urban populations. Apart from increasing the cost of food by 1000% and increasing rather than reducing the carbon footprint of food production the idea is so insane noboy could ever take it seriously. Nobody that is except scientists, politicians, academics and the media.

The Futility Of Wind Farms.In some ways the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition has made quite a good start in government. One area they are set to fail badly however is energy. Driven by politically correct thinking the coalition are set to follow Labour down the road that goes through wind power and eventually leads nowhere. Wind turbines look fine on paper. If they generate at their optimum output for 365 days a year the contribution to energy needs looks like a viable business proposition. The problem is due to the limitations of the technology and the vagaries of the weather wind farms are doing well if they operate at a quarter of their potential output.

Climate Change Crooks And LiarsThough climate change alarmists claim that that “the science is settled” no longer holds water the arguments rage on. If anything they are getting more heated as the climate science lobby, knocked from the moral high grounds show their true colours. But more and more evidence is showing the climate change science was never settyled and the global warming Armageddonists had built their whole case on very flimsy evidence.

A Profound Danger To The Dollar’s Reserve Status?

This blog and our larger sibling The Daly Stirrer have since 2012 been following moves in the international community, led by Russia and China to replace the US dollar as the global reserve currency, a status that has prevailed since 1974 when the USA concluded an agreement with Saudi Arabia, then totally dominant as the world’s largest oil producer, that all oil trades would be carried out in dollars – this was the birth of the petrodollar.

This agreement has since then given the USA a huge advantage over its trading partners, but the balance of power in the world has shifted with the break up of the Soviet Union, the liberalisation of China and the emergence of China as an economic power and of Russia as a major supplier of oil and gas.

You can follow the whole currency wars sage at our omnibus page, Currency Wars, and, while The Daily Stirrer is on a break, check out the latest development in the currency wars at Zero Hedge

Russia Says Time Has Come To Ditch The Dollar

Saturday 25 August

Picture: https://woodgatesview.files.wordpress.com/

As the US State Department unveiled the latest round of sanctions on Russia yesterday,  while the trade war with China that has seen tariffs imposed on a wide range of Chinese goods shows no sign of easing, Moscow signalled its intention to respond to this latest attack on its economy. In particular, the Russian government announced it is accelerating efforts to abandon the American currency in trade transactions, according to Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

The time has come when we need to go from words to actions, and get rid of the dollar as a means of mutual settlements, and look for other alternatives,” he said in an interview with International Affairs magazine, he told RT.

“Thank God, this is happening, and we will speed up this work,” Ryabkov said, explaining the move would come in addition to other “retaliatory measures” as a response to a growing list of US sanctions. It is time mainstream media in the west started reporting accurately what is going on. The official position of the US is that their sanctions are in retaliation for various Russian acts such as meddling in the US election process, but in reality the USA is trying to protect its position as issuers of the reserve currency, while Russia, China and a number of emerging economies resent the way the US uses the reserve currency to dictate matters in global trade.

Previously, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has said that a growing number of countries are interested in replacing the dollar as a medium in global oil trades and other transactions.

“There is a common understanding that we need to move towards the use of national currencies in our settlements. There is a need for this, as well as the wish of the parties,” Novak said.

According to the minister, it concerns both Turkey and Iran, with more countries likely to join the growing dedollarization wave.

Our reporting of this long running news thread tends to confirm his view.

“We are considering an option of payment in national currencies with them. This requires certain adjustments in the financial, economic, and banking sectors,” he said. Last week, we reported that the Kremlin was interested in trading with Ankara using the Russian ruble and the Turkish lira. India has also vowed to pay for Iranian oil in rupees. Some economists argue that modern technology removes the need for a reserve, the speed with which computer systems handle currency trades and conversions eliminated administrative bottlenecks.

Meanwhile, the world’s rapidly growing second-largest economy and Washington’s trade nemesis, China, has been taking steps to challenge the greenback’s dominance with the launch of an oil futures contract backed by Chinese currency, the petro-yuan. This is fully reported elsewhere in this page. China and Iran have already agreed to stop using the dollar in global trade as China has ramped up purchases of Iranian oil in defiance of US sanctions. India, Pakistan, the EU, Australia and Japan are also known to have made petr-yuan contracts.

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This Is Why The US Just Lost Its Superpower Status According To Larry Summers

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“Without delving too deeply into Austrian economic and capital theory, just let me point out that money printing disrupts the structure of production by fraudulently changing the “price discovery process” of capitalism. Capital is allocated to projects that will never be profitably completed. Bubbles get created and collapse and businesses are suddenly damaged en mass, thus, destroying wealth. (Zero Hedge)”

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Dedollarisation contagion: Germany Calls For Global Payment System Independent Of US

In what can only been seen as a vote of “no confidence” in the US dollar as global reserve currency, which effectively gives the US a  monopoly over global trade settlements infrastructure, Germans foreign minister Heiko Maas yesterday called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US that would allow Brussels to be independent in its financial operations from Washington and as a means of rescuing the nuclear deal between Iran and the west.

Maas may have stopped short of openly supporting the Russia / China bid to replace the US dollar, but and independent European settlements system would have to exclude the dollar in trades between European nations and the BRICS bloc.

The German daily Handelsblatt reported that Maas said “Europe should not allow the US to act over our heads and at our expense. For that reason it’s essential that we strengthen European autonomy by establishing payment channels that are independent of the US, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent Swift system,” he wrote, cited by the FT.

Maas who has made clear his opposition to the US use of sanctions to maintain its stranglehold on world trade, said it was vital for Europe to stick with the Iran deal. “Every day the agreement continues to exist is better than the highly explosive crisis that otherwise threatens the Middle East,” he said. The unspoken subtext was clear: Europe is no longer willing to be a vassal state to US monopoly over global payments, and will now aggressively develop its own payments network that is not subservient to Washington’s every whim.


German foreign minister Heiko Maas (Picture: Zero Hedge )

Belgium basedSwift, global payment network owned by a consortium of banks, enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions. Swift is supposedly politically neutral and independent but it has been used to block transactions and enforce US sanctions against various countries, most notably Iran.

In 2012, the Danish newspaper Berlingske wrote that US authorities seized money being transferred from a Danish businessman to a German bank via the system for a batch of US-sanctioned Cuban cigars. The transaction was made in US dollars, which allowed Washington to block it although the USA has no legal or moral right to stop sovereign nations trading with any country they want to.

Thorsten Benner, director of the Global Public Policy Institute, a Berlin-based think-tank supported Maas’s, saying his intervention was the “strongest call yet for EU financial and monetary autonomy vis-à-vis US.”

The German foreign minister’s words emphasise the dilemma facing European politicians as they struggle to maintain trade relations with Iran while coping with the fallout of US sanctions imposed by the US against companies doing business with Tehran.

As the FT adds, the EU is determined protect European businesses from retaliation by Washington for trading with Iran, but has failed to convince EU companies more concerned about maintaining their access to the lucrative US market than in the more modest opportunities presented by Iran.

Last month Washington rebuffed a high-level European plea to exempt crucial industries from sanctions. Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, and Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, formally rejected an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare made by ministers from Germany, France, the UK and the EU.

Swift will also be affected. Unless it wins an exemption from sanctions, which is unlikely, it will be required by the US to cut off certain Iranian banks from its network by early November or face possible countermeasures against both its board members and the financial institutions that employ them.

Maas’s stark warning against US domination of global payments comes with relations between Germany and the US in their worst state for decades. Mr Trump has chastised Berlin over its large surplus in bilateral trade with the USA, its relatively low military spending and its support for Nord Stream 2, a new gas pipeline that will bring Russian gas directly to Germany.

In short: Europe has finally had enough and it plans on hitting Washington where it truly hurts: the money.

As G8,7,6 declines Putin and Xi build alternative global economy


Putin and Xi (Picture: RT)

 

While Germany’ Merkel and France’s Macron lecture the world on politically correct globalism and  President Trump turns his back on Obamaesque arse kissing and lectures former foreign partners of the US on common sense, ahead of a G-7 (or rather, G-6+1 and soon to be 5 + 2 as Italy’s Eurosceptic government sides with Trump,) summit in Quebec, exposing the very real fragmentation of the western liberal consensus continues.

If the US, isolated by the other, quits G7 (as Trump, based on his track record, well might,) that will leave Germany, Japan, UK, France, Italy and Canada. All of these have their own problems which eventually must override the airy – fairy ideas of academics about global approaches to problems. Global approaches may justify lost of expensive jollies for politicians and academics and look great on paper but seldom have any effect on local problems.

Trump’s controversial imposition of import tariffs signals a US crackdown on unfair foreign trade practices, such as dumping cheap, shoddy goods from low labour cost areas in western markets at prices with which domestic manufacturers cannot hope to compete. Meanwhile, almost unreported by mainstream media (link goes to Bloomberg, I picked it up from a financial services news feed that I should not be accessing without a subscription, but hey, ‘fair use’)  an important meeting between China’s leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin is of far greater significance than the posturings of the G6 minnows, as, like bad tempered lap dogs, they yap at Trump.

Putin and Xi held their first meeting this year on Thursday ahead of the June 9 Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting – an eight-member group led by China and Russia – which will be held in the port city of Qingdao. The two governments are in constant touch however. China and Russia are of course leading the move to replace the Petrodollar as the global reserve currency and are playing an increasingly pivotal role in international crises such as Syria and the South China Sea.

China’s Oil Futures Market Gains Momentum

“WTF has China’s new oil futures market to do with us Minds punters?” you might well ask.

It is in fact going to affect us all not just commodities traders, oil speculators and hedge fund managers. The thing is the Chinese (and their BFFs The Russians and Iranians did not just set up this venture because they fancied dabbling in the oil trade.

The launch of the gold backed Petroyouan on the Shanghai financial markets is the culmination of several years manoeuvreing by China and its allies to create a rival trading system to the Petrodollar which has dominated international trade for over forty years. I reported on the news HERE and in several other posts.

Few people are aware of how reliant the US economy has become on the position of the US$ as the global reserve currency. This is because mainstream media never reports on it and TV pundits dare not mention it for fear of losing their lucrative gigs as talking heads on TV. I have talked about it since the very beginning, when Saddam Hussein decided he didn’t need the Petrodollar, modern technology could trade his oil for any currency he fancied. And we all know what happened to him.

Nothing will change overnight, or next month or for several months, but gradually we will see a further shift of economic power from west to east. And that will affect prices, jobs, our standards of living and much more

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