Thursday 18th of April 2024

the dollar religioso....

The US is at war, and the dollar is at risk of imminent collapse. Australia’s lobbying of the United States as a good ally should focus on these issues above all else.

I am aware that many readers will say oh dear, you must not talk like that. But it’s sensible to discuss the distance to the ground before we jump off the cliff. And a lot has already gone over the cliff.

 

BY Dennis Argall

 

In the narrow spectrum of security, focused on war and peace, the largest problems we cannot afford to ignore right now are as follows:

War elements are increasingly out of control, In Europe and elsewhere. Clausewitz was right, war drives out policy and pursues its own ends.

We are effectively in a world war and the barrier to nuclear exchange is perilously thin. I’ve written about this before, thus in 2022. Way back in 2003 in a letter to the Foreign Minister I set out the slippery slope comparable to the beginning of World War I on which we had embarked… a slow slow process but of comparable stupidity and consequence. It’s speeding up.

Here’s another more significant, French, voice this week warning that the third world war has already begun.

There is at present no trust basis for negotiations to avoid widening the war between the US and Russia.

There is a lemming-like rush to war with China on the part of American political leaders and a weird entanglement of Australia in that rush through our rhetoric and deployments, as addressed by Mike Gilligan, drawing on his background in systems analysis in the Australian Department of Defence.

The prime minister of Japan as chair of the G7 is going round the membership of the G7 beating war drums, when he is head of a government which only has a modest drum, no more, and he antagonises major powers as he builds his “wolf-whistle-diplomacy” as we might call it.

These things happen while the main theatre of conflict, Ukraine, is a mire of deception. [ All warfare is based on deception ]

And there is no element, in the body of nation states pitched into war now, that is desirous of peace.

These things happen while, apart from use of nuclear weapons, western powers are talking-talking far beyond their real military capabilities. As great weapons are brought out for show and boom, their owners appear more and more paper tigers.

This goes beyond deception into delusion and irrationality. Western munitions are depleted in just this early phase of war in Ukraine. Talk of sending main battle tanks and other complex systems to Ukraine sends me to check chapters 7 and 8 of the Book of Genesis where Noah took on board a comparably complex and incompatible collection of systems. Alas, no advice on maintenance and repairs can be found. More and more of this great trove of materiel provided to the war is likely to be destroyed or sold off.

US Treasury Secretary Yellen has now warned leaders of the administration and congress that the debt ceiling is about to be reached. The text of her letter is here. This has happened before, but never before in such a fragile situation as now suddenly exists in the House of Representatives under the Rules just adopted.A single member may now move for the position of the Speaker to be vacated. We have seen how a few have disrupted appointment of a speaker and to spend time again in turbulence without a speaker is a real possibility, but a great folly. Is the Congress interested in the government and survival of the United States? We should be alert to the worst of contingencies.

On the debt ceiling the Rules now state:

(2) REQUIRING A VOTE ON RAISING THE DEBT LIMIT.—Amend rule XXVIII to read as follows: ‘‘RULE XXVIII (RESERVED.)’’

 I find no clarification. It would seem that a new Rule XXVIII has yet to be written.

The showdown with the Tea Party in 2011 saw a downgrading of US Treasury paper. That has not been recovered.

The US government debt now exceeds $31 trillion. It is the ceiling imposed on that by the last Congress that is now being reached. The first emergency defence by Treasury is to sell government pension investments. Such measures may stave off crisis to mid-year. Fundamental crisis could see the US government fail to pay its debts. This is inconceivable to anyone sensibly wishing the survival of the US economy and US Dollar in the world. But in the present situation power is in the hands of people who do not understand the basics. US GDP is around $24 trillion. Budget expenditure in the last financial year was $6.2 trillion. Who will fix all this? It’s constantly a task deferred.

The problem for the US is that the shift now to multipolarity is moving a little more quickly and may see America’s problems dealt with, decided upon elsewhere, by others, for the first time in history. A sudden great weakening of the US$ can now be imagined. The consequences would spread far and wide. Power, control could be uncertain and disputed… a time when ‘statesmen’ in the West, to which we belong, have their heads down the barrels of guns.

Let us state as fact, not speculation, that war and financial crisis will be increasingly difficult to manage.

Australia’s lobbying of the United States as a good ally should focus on these broad issues.

 

READ MORE:

https://johnmenadue.com/at-war-the-us-dollar-is-on-the-brink-collapse/

 

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GUS:

HERE WE COULD ENTER INTO THE WORLD OF CONSPIRACY THEORY. THERE ARE SOME HEAVY RUMOURS FLOATING AROUND THE TRAP ABOUT THE DOLLAR. ONE OF THESE RUMOURS COMES FROM THE WEF. BASICALLY, THE WORLD THAT THE WEF (WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM) IS PLANNING FOR YOU AND ME BY 2030 (I WILL BE TOO OLD FOR THIS) IS A CASHLESS SOCIETY IN WHICH GOVERNMENTS ARE REPLACED BY CORPORATIONS THAT DECIDE YOUR LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION, REWARD AND ENJOYMENT (THEIR MISSION IS TO MAKE YOUR OWN NOTHING AND FOR YOU TO BE HAPPY). DEMOCRACY IS OUT OF THE WINDOW. THE NEXT WEIRD THEORY IS TO REDUCE THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR TO ZERO. YES YOU SEE IT NOW: ZERO. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? MOST PEOPLE ARE IN DEBT EXCEPT THE RICH WHO OWNS PROPERTY, ASSETS AND STUFF. YOU OWN NOTHING AND YOU NEED TO BEG TO FEED YOURSELF. NOTE: IF YOU HAVE A HOUSE IN YOUR NAME, THE BANK USUALLY OWNS IT UNTIL YOU'VE PAID IT IN FULL. THUS THE SYSTEM BECOMES FEUDAL ONCE MORE. YOU ARE A HAPPY SLAVE WORKING FOR THE CORPORATIONS AND IN THE CLUTCHES OF THE CORPORATIONS. WHAT IS THE BENEFIT FOR THEM: THE CORPORATIONS DECIDE, YOU OBEY. THEY TRADE BETWEEN THEMSELVES AT THE CHOSEN VALUES.

 

THIS IS WHY SOME COUNTRIES HAVE SEEN THIS LOOMING CON. COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA AND RUSSIA RE WORKING RELENTLESSLY TO BYPASS THE DOLLAR AND REAJUST THE VALUE OF THEIR TRADE AROUND THE GOLD STANDARD. HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS AND CRAZY PLOTS:

 

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On November 15, 2022, several of the world’s biggest banks agreed to a shocking new plan – one that could lead to a complete overthrow of the U.S. dollar as we know it.

Sponsored by the New York Federal Reserve, participants in this plan include banking giants like Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC, and Mastercard, just to name a few.

The pilot program – dubbed “Project Cedar” – would convert regular U.S. dollars into a brand-new type of dollar, which could have massive implications for all American citizens.

But “Project Cedar” is just the second step in a complete overhaul of the U.S. banking system.

The first step was announced on March 9, 2022, when President Biden signed Executive Order 14067.

This Executive Order gave legal provisions for this new U.S. dollar and could give the U.S. government unprecedented control over your money and freedom.

In fact, it could even pave the way for things like:

  • Legal government surveillance of all U.S. citizens
  • Total control over your bank accounts and purchases
  • And the ability to silence all dissenting voices for good

“I’ve been warning about this for months,” says renowned macroeconomist Jim Rickards.

“Now with the launch of ‘Project Cedar’, the wheels are fully in motion – and I don’t believe anything can stop it.”

Mr. Rickards is one of the world’s foremost financial experts and has been a respected advisor to the CIA, the Pentagon, and multiple U.S. presidents.

The way he sees it, this is the start of a sinister new plot against everyday Americans.

“We’re in for a major upheaval of the U.S. dollar,” he says.

“In fact, I predict the third Great Dollar Earthquake has already started…

“The first was Roosevelt confiscating private gold in 1934…

“The second was Nixon abandoning the gold standard in 1971…

“Now,” he says, “This plan could pave the way for ‘retiring’ the U.S. dollar – and replacing it with a disturbing new alternative.”

In his critical new presentation, he reveals the shocking truth about this new threat to the U.S. dollar…

 

READ MORE:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/01/18/project-cedar-inside-the-plot-to-destroy-the-u-s-dollar-2/

 

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BY Henry Kamens

 

I wonder just what per cent of the population even knows about Bretton Woods and its implications for the global system. What goes around comes around, and the US and its economic allies, under the guise of the IMF and World Bank, Bretton Woods Entities that emerged in the wake of World War Two, have long since become everything they claim to despise.

 

These entities were founded so as not to make the same policy and economic mistakes as were made in the aftermath of World War One, those which were the main cause of World War Two. They therefore sought to stabilise what was left of the European Economic Landscape, so that no country would fall so far behind the others that it could be manipulated by extreme populist leaders, or communists.

 

Since then however it has changed its agenda, and adopted one of economic control, political manipulation and subterfuge, with overtly political and not solely strategic goals. The economics which have led so many countries down the garden path of debt and currency collapse have been imposed on everyone so that those who have risen to the top, without democratic accountability, can avoid admitting they might be wrong, and therefore don’t have the qualifications, skills and intelligence politicians have been forced to believe they think they have.

 

The original idea was to achieve the stabilisation of markets, economies and society as a whole. In other words, it ignored the lessons of nineteenth-century liberalism, which ended up creating a class of people “more Liberal than Thou”, who pulled the ladder up behind them by saying that whoever didn’t profit from these broader opportunities must have something wrong them, rather than the system itself not being the answer to everything.

 

This is why “liberalisation” is still a mantra spouted by the crusaders who think they have all the answers. No one means by that that every Tom, Dick and Harry should really have the same opportunities in life, and the same access to the resources necessary to take advantage of them.

 

They mean shifting economic power from those who currently have it to chosen nominees who will support whatever programme the donors have in mind. How liberal this idea really is can be seen in the fact that this same process of shifting capital and power away from existing elites is exactly what got the junk bond king Michael Milken put in jail, when the same practices continue daily as long as they [such crimes] benefit the established players.

 

In Your God We Don’t Trust

 

As a recent title so appropriately reflects, Bretton Woods II ended today, with China and much of the oil producing world beating the Americans at their own game. The dollar-for-oil monopoly was the lynchpin of Bretton Woods II’s stability, so it follows that Bretton Woods as we knew it just ended, and in turn Bretton Woods becomes redundant in terms of World Trade and Commercial Policy.

 

Put simply, the world is dumping the dollar, at least in terms of trading in oil, and this is impacting the US from many sides. The dollar as an instrument of US policy will lose its ability to run roughshod over friends and enemies alike, and will have to change its own fiscal policy to reflect the New World Order which has been imposed upon it out of the blue.

 

Sooner or later this was going to happen. This is what Jimmy Carter was really talking about back in the seventies, when he spent so much of his presidency droning on about energy crisis and how it was key to keeping inflation under control, often to his own disadvantage and demise.

 

Without stabilisation of energy resources and supply, “whoever can order the tune” can also control the economies of wherever countries they want—and a backlash results over time, with those disadvantaged by that process ganging together to turn the tables in what might be called the Liberia Effect: overthrow the corrupt system, and build a one equally corrupt but run by your own people.

 

Much of post-war history involves the sale of oil in dollars, and conflicts generated by that process. However this was made the overt driver of political and economic relations during the Nixon Administration, despite the chaos in foreign exchange markets that followed, and the resulting instability being made worse by the inflationary OPEC oil embargo of 1973-74.

 

In July 1974 the US Treasury Secretary William Simon and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made a top-secret flight to Riyadh to meet King Fahd. They offered a deal: sell Saudi oil exclusively for US dollars and buy US Treasuries with the proceeds, or we kill you, your entire family, and occupy the oil fields with the US military.

 

Strangely, this is the same Saudi Arabia now being lambasted for systematic human rights abuses which are held to be a product of its being Muslim and undemocratic. One doubts that Simon and Kissinger would appreciate being tarred with either brush, but the fact they thought such behaviour was alright for them tells you what you need to know about Bretton Woods mega players being more Liberal than Thou.

 

Now, quickly and without much fanfare, the petrodollar may soon be obsolete. It is ironic and hypocritical to reflect on how Biden “used sharp rhetoric to contrast himself with former President Donald Trump’s unreserved embrace of Saudi Arabia”, but is now going to be the main casualty of policies he previously supported.

 

What comes next is not hard to predict. The British Empire took a long time to catch up with colonial leaders it had branded as rebels, extremists and terrorists being embraced as statesmen on the world stage. The US is congenitally incapable of doing so, caught up in its own rhetoric, as only by promoting the concept of American Exceptionalism, and using it to justify whatever it says, can it even justify the country’s very existence when every other country, in one way another, has made the USA’s founding ideals its own, and done a better job of it.

 

Let’s Just Call it a Global Reset and Leave It At that!

 

We must not forget Biden’s failed trip to the Middle East prior to Midterm Elections, in which he came away embarrassed, empty handed, and humiliated on the world stage. The same is also holding true in other parts of the world, as the pack is scenting blood, even if it is not Biden’s own.

 

Biden’s trip to the region will soon reveal itself to be all for PR, and desperately trying to close ranks against Russia under the guise of diplomacy and the worldwide price of oil. It is what a US President is supposed to do to show they are awake, rather than what they need to do to achieve anything positive.

 

As the collapse of the Soviet bloc showed, the problem doesn’t come when people stop believing in you, but when they start thinking that everything you attack isn’t so bad after all. Then you have no room for manoeuvre, no way to construct a new paradigm. You can only go on clinging to the old certainties, because doing the opposite would be so hypocritical it would destroy you entirely.

 

In real democracies there is a gradual process of assimilating your enemies after they are retired or die off. It is routine to attack opposing parties by saying that they are no longer the decent, reasonable, principled party of old, when they were led by people who the speaker’s fellow travellers regarded as the Devil Incarnate at the time.

 

When you build your own economic and political dominance on saying that everyone else has something wrong with them, it is very difficult to then say that those countries once had the right idea but have now lost it. How can you have allowed that to happen, if the first idea was so good?

 

The US will now have to construct a new political paradigm which underpins a new economic paradigm it can present as a better option. One reason the Orthodox Church began gaining adherents in parts of Africa in the twentieth century was that it was not associated with the colonial powers, even though “foreign” in essence. Those churches which were have had to reset, but can’t claim their assumption of superiority doesn’t exist. The US is about to have the same problem on a much grander scale.

 

Reaping What Others Have Sown 

 

What was predicted when this article was first was sent off for publishing has been confirmed. The position the US now finds itself in was demonstrated when, despite what Biden was saying, he was pictured engaging in embarrassing fist bumping with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who can be best described as a psychopathic killer – and had been by Biden himself in his earlier rhetoric.

 

The US doesn’t care about Saudi Arabia, must less like it, but has to defend its friends to defend itself, no matter how wrong they are. It has to pretend the old system is still worthy while it works out how it can play a part in the new one.

 

There are not many frontiers and unwavering friends left, other than former allies who are actually partners in business and crime. They are distancing themselves, and a New Order is evolving.

 

But it is not the New World Order envisioned by the US and its previous presidents. It is one in which no one automatically accepts that the US is right, and makes correct moral judgments. It is one in which everything the US doesn’t like is re-examined to see what good might be found in it.

 

Syncretism is another facet of a real democracy. Parties take the ideas of other parties and see how they can adapt them to their own way of thinking. Thus you get a case for any idea within any party, on the grounds there is an ideologically acceptable version of the concept somewhere, and the public can be made to believe in it.

 

Until their final day in power, the rulers of Communist Czechoslovakia insisted that they could accept this or that reform, but not the abandonment of socialism. They knew that was the one thing above all the Czech public wanted gone, and that they once could still have had a future by finding a capitalist narrative acceptable to the party, as in Hungary, Bulgaria and China, but that opportunity had gone because the people had investigated these questions before them, simply because the party had told them how bad they were, and the party could no longer control the debate.

 

The US has missed its own opportunity to move away from itself whilst retaining all the benefits of that self – the money, the glamour, the fundamental correctness and desirability of much of what it claims to believe in. Now anyone talking about alternatives will only be listened to if they are not the US, and traded with and trusted on the same basis.

 

Old Values, New Valuables

 

The price is now being paid for Biden’s earlier trip, which was most likely anti-Iran, anti-China, anti-Russian, as he sought allies in time of need, “birds of a feather who will flock together,” and to justify this for US domestic consumption. Now he needs Saudi Arabia and still friendly OPEC more than they need him, and whenever he talks to them, he shows it. This, in light of the European self-inflicted energy crisis, is a rude awakening for him and the Democratic Party.

In his Washington Post op-ed, “Why I am going to Saudi Arabia”, Biden laid out a position hostile to and contemptuous of both Saudi Arabia and Iran and their security concerns. To understand Biden’s modus operandi, and to judge the most appropriate way for Saudi Arabia to handle Biden’s visit and his seemingly pro-Iran policies, one needs something of a crystal ball and a sense of humour.

Biden claims in the article, which was obviously written for him, “I’ll pursue diplomacy intensely — including through face-to-face meetings — to achieve our goals.” This is somewhat ironic considering Biden’s previous track record at diplomacy—one of dismal failure and cozying up to backhanders in Ukraine and China, for starters.

 

The answer to Biden and the policies of his administration is loud and clear. OPEC’s outright refusal to defer oil production cuts until after the American midterm elections was a further sign that Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ no longer take orders from Washington.

 

Saudi Arabia went further by taking the unusual step of officially rejecting the US request for cuts in public, and did not even stabilise oil production but decreased it in face of a tight market, created mostly by US and European sanctions against Russia.

Saudi Arabia did not mince its words when it rejected as “not based on facts” American criticism of an OPEC+ decision back in October to cut its oil production target despite US objections. It explained that Washington’s request to delay the cut by a month would have had negative economic consequences.

Naturally, in light of political considerations, the White House said it presented the Saudis with an analysis that showed the cuts could hurt the world economy, and alleged that the Saudis pressured other OPEC members on a vote. But now the world has decided that what the US says is bad might be good, the analysis was bound to have the opposite effect, as the US still cannot face one fact: that the “world” means everybody else, not the eternal spread of the US opinion and hegemony.

Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

 

 

READ MORE:

https://journal-neo.org/2023/01/18/bretton-woods-entities-have-no-way-out-of-the-woods/

 

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Could Golden Ruble 3.0 Knock Out the U.S. Dollar?

 

By Jon Forrest Little

The United States has had the privilege of dominating the global monetary system since 1944’s Bretton Woods agreement.

It’s often presented to the public like it’s the natural order of things, such as the law of gravity.

Or that it’s a given… like oxygen will always be there to breathe.

This assumption-based narrative leads people to think that the rest of the world is happy with the U.S. being the global reserve currency.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

The U.S. must vigilantly maintain U.S. dollar hegemony. And the playbook looks like this:

  • The U.S. can devalue the Federal Reserve note “dollar” to oblivion while other countries receive it in exchange for their tangible goods and hold it in reserve.
  • The U.S. can confiscate other countries’ assets and currency reserves because of our military advantage. That is what just happened with Russia.
  • The U.S. can also block other countries from using the global financial system (SWIFT) it set up and controls.

Naturally, many countries are look for ways to exit this type of system.

The de-dollarization process is well underway and now involves far more countries than the U.S. expected. Even Saudi Arabia, the key country in the petrodollar, is beginning to trade outside the dollar and accept the Chinese yuan.

Golden Ruble 3.0 – Courtesy of Russian Economist Sergey Glazyev

Russia believes the “gold-pegged ruble” is part of the strategy to topple the U.S. dollar on the World stage. Here is how it came into existence…

Russian economic advisor to Putin, Sergey Glazyev, was one of the first people the U.S. sanctioned during its prior round of sanctions in 2014.

This was quite mysterious because Glazyev isn’t an oligarch or military general. He is an economist and the architect of Russia’s new monetary system, aka the Golden Ruble 3.0.

“The more aggressive the Americans are the sooner they will see the final collapse of the dollar as the only way for the victims of American aggression to stop this aggression is to get rid of the dollar.

“As soon as we and China are through with the dollar, it will be the end of the United States’ military might,” Sergey Glazyev said in 2017.

Gold and Silver: Industry-Best Customer Service at Money Metals (Ad)

Glazyev has more recently stated, “In the face of sanctions, Russia’s task is not to learn to play by the crooked rules of the West but to build transparent and mutually beneficial rules of trade with friendly countries, to create their own pricing systems, exchange trading, and investment.”

 

Glazyev continued, “Gold will be a unique tool in the fight against Western sanctions inclusive of all major international commodities (oil and gas, food and fertilizer, metals and solid minerals).”

After newsanctions in 2022 from the West, including kicking Russia out of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), Moscow began launching its own bullion exchange to trade in physical gold with its allies.

The Challenge of Trade Deals with “Soft” Currencies

Many members of BRICS countries are beginning new trade agreements with one another outside the U.S. dollar system using “soft” currencies like rupees and rubles.

But the use of “soft” currencies can be tenuous. For example, Russia may tell India, “you can buy our oil, and we will accept your rupees.” India may agree to accept Russian rubles.

This system is flimsy because as more countries participate, nations begin collecting a lot of currencies they don’t need and will have to unload in the forex markets.

Also, nations don’t trust each other (counterparty risk), so gold is the perfect medium of exchange and is a measure to limit the abuse by the world reserve currency issuer.

 

Sergey Glazyev and his eastern and southern partners are seizing this unique chance to “jump off” the sinking ship of the dollar-centric debt economy.

Glazyev stated, “The sanctions imposed on Russia have boomeranged the Western economy. In 2023, all these circumstances will objectively affect the change in the stereotypes of investment policy in the World — from risky investments in complex financial instruments to investing in traditional assets, primarily gold.”

Glazyev continued, “Large gold reserves allow a country to pursue a sovereign financial policy and minimize dependence on external creditors. The amount of reserves affects the country’s reputation, credit rating, and investment attractiveness. Moreover, large reserves make it possible to plan the state budget for a long time, stopping many economic and political risks.”

Gold Scoreboard
  • Gold’s estimated market cap is $12.1 trillion (by multiplying the current gold price by the world’s above-ground gold reserves.)
  • BRICS are estimated to hold over 80% of this $12.1 trillion in gold.
  • India (the citizens, not the government) are the largest collective owners of gold, with more than 50,000 tons of gold.
  • China’s government is likely to have over 20,000 tons of gold.
Unanswered Questions
  • Has gold remained in the vaults of Western Central Banks? Has it been encumberedthrough swaps and leasing?
  • Will Fort Knox be credibly audited?

Jon Forrest Little graduated from the University of New Mexico and attended Georgetown University’s Institute for Comparative Political and Economic Systems. Jon began his career in mining industry and now publishes “The PickAxe” which covers topics surrounding precious metals, energy, history, and politics.

Source: Money Metals

 

READ MORE:

https://www.activistpost.com/2023/01/could-golden-ruble-3-0-knock-out-the-u-s-dollar.html

 

 

NOTHING MAY CHANGE THOUGH, BUT ONE HAS TO KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO GET RICHER AND WILL INVENT VARIOUS CURRENCY MANIPULATIONS TO DO SO. THE KIDS OF TODAY HAVE NO CLUE. I HOPE THEY WAKE UP....

 

GUS LEONISKY

CARTOONIST SINCE 1951.

 

MORE TO COME.

 

 

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW....

weforama.....

gold, gold gold!

 

FROM PEPE ESCOBAR

 

Let’s start with three interconnected multipolar-driven facts.

First: One of the key take aways from the World Economic Forum annual shindig in Davos, Switzerland is when Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan, on a panel on “Saudi Arabia’s Transformation,” made it clear that Riyadh “will consider trading in currencies other than the US dollar.”

So is the petroyuan finally at hand? Possibly, but Al-Jadaan wisely opted for careful hedging: “We enjoy a very strategic relationship with China and we enjoy that same strategic relationship with other nations including the US and we want to develop that with Europe and other countries.”

Second: The Central Banks of Iran and Russia are studying the adoption of a “stable coin” for foreign trade settlements, replacing the US dollar, the ruble and the rial. The crypto crowd is already up in arms, mulling the pros and cons of a gold-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC) for trade that will be in fact impervious to the weaponized US dollar.

 

A gold-backed digital currency

The really attractive issue here is that this gold-backed digital currency would be particularly effective in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Astrakhan, in the Caspian Sea.

Astrakhan is the key Russian port participating in the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), with Russia processing cargo travelling across Iran in merchant ships all the way to West Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean and South Asia.

The success of the INSTC – progressively tied to a gold-backed CBDC – will largely hinge on whether scores of Asian, West Asian and African nations refuse to apply US-dictated sanctions on both Russia and Iran.

As it stands, exports are mostly energy and agricultural products; Iranian companies are the third largest importer of Russian grain. Next will be turbines, polymers, medical equipment, and car parts. Only the Russia-Iran section of the INSTC represents a $25 billion business.

And then there’s the crucial energy angle of INSTC – whose main players are the Russia-Iran-India triad.

India’s purchases of Russian crude have increased year-by-year by a whopping factor of 33. India is the world’s third largest importer of oil; in December, it received 1.2 million barrels from Russia, which for several months now is positioned ahead of Iraq and Saudi Arabia as Delhi’s top supplier.

 

‘A fairer payment system’

Third: South Africa holds this year’s rotating BRICS presidency. And this year will mark the start of BRICS+ expansion, with candidates ranging from Algeria, Iran and Argentina to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor has just confirmed that the BRICS do want to find a way to bypass the US dollar and thus create “a fairer payment system not skewed toward wealthier countries.”

For years now, Yaroslav Lissovolik, head of the analytical department of Russian Sberbank’s corporate and investment business has been a proponent of closer BRICS integration and the adoption of a BRICS reserve currency.

Lissovolik reminds us that the first proposal “to create a new reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of BRICS countries was formulated by the Valdai Club back in 2018.”

 

Are you ready for the R5?

The original idea revolved around a currency basket similar to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) model, composed of the national currencies of BRICS members – and then, further on down the road, other currencies of the expanded BRICS+ circle.

Lissovolik explains that choosing BRICS national currencies made sense because “these were among the most liquid currencies across emerging markets. The name for the new reserve currency — R5 or R5+ — was based on the first letters of the BRICS currencies all of which begin with the letter R (real, ruble, rupee, renminbi, rand).”

So BRICS already have a platform for their in-depth deliberations in 2023. As Lissovolik notes, “in the longer run, the R5 BRICS currency could start to perform the role of settlements/payments as well as the store of value/reserves for the central banks of emerging market economies.”

It is virtually certain that the Chinese yuan will be prominent right from the start, taking advantage of its “already advanced reserve status.”

Potential candidates that could become part of the R5+ currency basket include the Singapore dollar and the UAE’s dirham.

Quite diplomatically, Lissovolik maintains that, “the R5 project can thus become one of the most important contributions of emerging markets to building a more secure international financial system.”

The R5, or R5+ project does intersect with what is being designed at the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), led by the Macro-Economics Minister of the Eurasia Economic Commission, Sergey Glazyev.

 

A new gold standard

In Golden Ruble 3.0 , his most recent paper, Glazyev makes a direct reference to two by now notorious reports by Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, formerly of the IMF, US Department of Treasury, and New York Federal Reserve: War and Commodity Encumbrance (December 27) and War and Currency Statecraft(December 29).

Pozsar is a staunch supporter of a Bretton Woods III – an idea that has been getting enormous traction among the Fed-skeptical crowd.

What’s quite intriguing is that the American Pozsar now directly quotes Russia’s Glazyev, and vice-versa, implying a fascinating convergence of their ideas.

Let’s start with Glazyev’s emphasis on the importance of gold. He notes the current accumulation of multibillion-dollar cash balances on the accounts of Russian exporters in “soft” currencies in the banks of Russia’s main foreign economic partners: EAEU nations, China, India, Iran, Turkey, and the UAE.

He then proceeds to explain how gold can be a unique tool to fight western sanctions if prices of oil and gas, food and fertilizers, metals and solid minerals are recalculated:

“Fixing the price of oil in gold at the level of 2 barrels per 1g will give a second increase in the price of gold in dollars, calculated Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar. This would be an adequate response to the ‘price ceilings’ introduced by the west – a kind of ‘floor,’ a solid foundation. And India and China can take the place of global commodity traders instead of Glencore or Trafigura.”

 

So here we see Glazyev and Pozsar converging. Quite a few major players in New York will be amazed.

Glazyev then lays down the road toward Gold Ruble 3.0. The first gold standard was lobbied by the Rothschilds in the 19th century, which “gave them the opportunity to subordinate continental Europe to the British financial system through gold loans.” Golden Ruble 1.0, writes Glazyev, “provided the process of capitalist accumulation.”

Golden Ruble 2.0, after Bretton Woods, “ensured a rapid economic recovery after the war.” But then the “reformer Khrushchev canceled the peg of the ruble to gold, carrying out monetary reform in 1961 with the actual devaluation of the ruble by 2.5 times, forming conditions for the subsequent transformation of the country [Russia] into a “raw material appendage of the Western financial system.”

What Glazyev proposes now is for Russia to boost gold mining to as much as 3 percent of GDP: the basis for fast growth of the entire commodity sector (30 percent of Russian GDP). With the country becoming a world leader in gold production, it gets “a strong ruble, a strong budget and a strong economy.”

 

All Global South eggs in one basket

Meanwhile, at the heart of the EAEU discussions, Glazyev seems to be designing a new currency not only based on gold, but partly based on the oil and natural gas reserves of participating countries.

Pozsar seems to consider this potentially inflationary: it could be if it results in some excesses, considering the new currency would be linked to such a large base.

Off the record, New York banking sources admit the US dollar would be “wiped out, since it is a valueless fiat currency, should Sergey Glazyev link the new currency to gold. The reason is that the Bretton Woods system no longer has a gold base and has no intrinsic value, like the FTX crypto currency. Sergey’s plan also linking the currency to oil and natural gas seems to be a winner.”

So in fact Glazyev may be creating the whole currency structure for what Pozsar called, half in jest, the “G7 of the East”: the current 5 BRICS plus the next 2 which will be the first new members of BRICS+.

Both Glazyev and Pozsar know better than anyone that when Bretton Woods was created the US possessed most of Central Bank gold and controlled half the world’s GDP. This was the basis for the US to take over the whole global financial system.

Now vast swathes of the non-western world are paying close attention to Glazyev and the drive towards a new non-US dollar currency, complete with a new gold standard which would in time totally replace the US dollar.

Pozsar completely understood how Glazyev is pursuing a formula featuring a basket of currencies (as Lissovolik suggested). As much as he understood the groundbreaking drive towards the petroyuan. He describes the industrial ramifications thus:

“Since as we have just said Russia, Iran, and Venezuela account for about 40 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, and each of them are currently selling oil to China for renminbi at a steep discount, we find BASF’s decision to permanently downsize its operations at its main plant in Ludwigshafen and instead shift its chemical operations to China was motivated by the fact that China is securing energy at discounts, not markups like Europe.”

 

The race to replace the dollar

One key takeaway is that energy-intensive major industries are going to be moving to China. Beijing has become a big exporter of Russian liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe, while India has become a big exporter of Russian oil and refined products such as diesel – also to Europe. Both China and India – BRICS members – buy below market price from fellow BRICS member Russia and resell to Europe with a hefty profit. Sanctions? What sanctions?

Meanwhile, the race to constitute the new currency basket for a new monetary unit is on. This long-distance dialogue between Glazyev and Pozsar will become even more fascinating, as Glazyev will be trying to find a solution to what Pozsar has stated: tapping of natural resources for the creation of the new currency could be inflationary if money supply is increased too quickly.

All that is happening as Ukraine – a huge chasm at a critical junction of the New Silk Road blocking off Europe from Russia/China – slowly but surely disappears into a black void. The Empire may have gobbled up Europe for now, but what really matters geoeconomically, is how the absolute majority of the Global South is deciding to commit to the Russia/China-led block.

Economic dominance of BRICS+ may be no more than 7 years away – whatever toxicities may be concocted by that large, dysfunctional nuclear rogue state on the other side of the Atlantic. But first, let’s get that new currency going.

(Republished from The Cradle)

 

 

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a new feudal order.....

 

By Lucy Hamilton

 

We are at a crossroads. The Ultra High Net Worth Individual (UHNWI) class is creating a new international feudal order, assisted by the professional enabler class including politicians in pursuit of their money. One of those enabling mechanisms is the media. In Australia, News Corp serves as the strongest weapon in the creation of their desired world.

Oliver Bullough’s Moneyland spells out the power the UHNWI class has to shape nations to their needs as they passport shop for the most desirable conditions. They rob their nations of the funds required for stability, and corrupt the lands where their money settles. The myth of meritocracy gives scope to syphon off the best of the lower orders and stifle disruptive urges. Lawyers, accountants, politicians, all can become wealthy catering to the needs of the UHNWI set.

For perspective, Donald Trump belongs to the enabler class. His money-laundering property deals provided a service to the kleptocrats determined to protect their astronomic wealth for heredity.

Since the neoliberal propaganda about ultra free markets as the ultimate tool of general well-being took hold in the 80s, USD 7 trillion has been funnelled from the masses to the ultra rich.

The Liberal Party in Australia (like its “conservative” fellows around the west) has been hollowed out by the zombie economics and the culture war games that replaced belief in the government and some degree of justice. The Labor Party continues to try to balance the needs of the paymasters with the broader wellbeing. Neither party is fit for purpose in fighting the climate crisis that the ultra rich have inflicted upon us by deciding to abandon the initial impetus to innovate out of the threat.

News Corp serves to boil frogs. As in that metaphor, their audiences are lulled to ignore the threats of climate, the rise of a violent far right and theocrats until it’s too late. The audience is also made to boil with anger and resentment at groups they are taught to fear as threatening their comfort. There are two current targets: First Nations Australians through the demonisation of the Voice to Parliament, and the “woke” with particular hatred deployed against LGBTQI+ people.

The news orgy of mourning over Cardinal George Pell and Jim Molan are emblematic of this culture war tribalism. Few Catholic clerics would have received the thousands of words of eulogy from the Australian establishment that have decorated Pell in the last week. It is likely that had he not been a target of progressive wrath, he would have followed the usual quiet trajectory of the Catholic departed. David Marr argues that Catholicism has received greater weight in recent years, compared to the decades of déclassé embarrassment, because the radical right sees it as one of the great unifiers and defenders of the superior western tradition.

Jim Molan is depicted as the ultimate patriot warrior of the kind the right worships. The coverage elides the bigotry and culture war nature of his political contribution as a senator, because that is the kind of head kicking the right demands. The allegations of war crimes in three Iraqi cities, and his alleged nickname The Butcher of Fallujah, are naturally omitted. Partly because, levelled at a western soldier, they have not been investigated adequately but because, as with Pell, his victims are not worthy of attention.

The poor, non-whites, non-Christians, women, refugees, LGBTQI+. As victims, they are utterly disposable. As Premier Dan Andrews pointed out, the Church moved predator priests from working class parish to working class parish. The children they preyed upon were not worthy of Pell’s interest. Nor are they worthy of News Corps’.

Molan used Muslim and LGBTQI+ Australians as political tools, but they are justified kills by this right wing reckoning. Iraqi targets are worthy only of a shrug, even if they were, allegedly, civilians. MeToo was a poison for the right because women’s pain is not important compared to men’s. The climate crisis is negligible, by their accounting, because those who suffer most will be the poor.

To distract from the unwinding of the democratic project, the tools of the oligarchs practise divide and conquer. A category of human is sacrificed as disposable to the baying of the enraged base. Jewish people remain a target. Trans people are the first of the LGBTQI+ community to be placed in the firing line.

Australia joined the world in depicting Muslims as a threat, using that excuse to inflict abominable harm on people who came to us seeking safety. Canadian organisations say refugees coming from Australia are the most damaged people they’ve assisted, compared to people fleeing every human hell. A video is circulating social media of a man who was sent from our off-shore prisons to the US. He came to us for help fully functioning. Now he lives homeless on American streets, his brain shattered by our cruelty. Molan was co-author  of this horrific program.

Rupert Murdoch intends that Australia is especially susceptible to this propaganda, with his dominance of our media. His organs control the message delivered to the radicalising right. This base believes their sort has lost the battle for control of our fate because of some progressive academics, and cynical corporations placing Pride flags on their social media accounts. (These tokens of justice are mere pacifiers to egalitarians as our project of a fairer world burns.)

Murdoch’s writers lull us into seeing shattered norms as normal. Adam Creighton depicted the takeover of the US Congressional House by the conspiracy-beholden, christofascist Republican fringe as a better form of democracy. Victorian Liberal MP Matthew Bach churns out optimistic columns on our future; it’s easy to see the world as promising when you belong to the enabler class.

The poor will be killed and displaced in, at least, their millions in the decades to come, echoing and expanding 2022’s Pakistan floods. For the UNWHI class and many of their enablers, these people are utterly disposable. It’s easy for Nick Cater to celebrate the power of fossil fuels in granting air-conditioning to mitigate the pain of lethal wet bulb temperatures. Most won’t have that mechanical luxury as their worlds disintegrate. The disempowered in our own nations will lose their homes and lives; they will be distracted with flames fanned to hate the “woke,” the Queer, the Other.

We must each decide whether we are willing to be lulled and boiled. Will we allow the kleptocrats and enabler classes to target our fellow citizens or people in foreign disasters as disposable? Will we fall into internecine bloodshed as America is, killing the demonised, or will we confront the ultra rich with their crimes?

It will take international cooperation to constrain the UHNWI class. Within our own nations, we must decide if we will continue to allow their enablers to assist the plutocrats in hiding away our common wealth. Accountants, lawyers, politicians, the corporate media: they are targets we can constrain if we commit.

 

 

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