Dispatches from the New Cold War, by Fred Reed

Underestimate the Chinese at your peril. From Fred Reed at unz.com:

Today’s characteristically luminous insights will be disordered and structurally horrifying, the sort of essay that would have sent my high-school English teacher into anaphylactic shock. In exculpation I plead laziness.

Recently I wrote a column on China’s digital yuan, now in late-stage testing. Bare-bones explanation: You download a digital-wallet app with which you can then send payments to anybody in the world who also has the app, no forms, bureaucracy, or bank account needed. OK, that’s cute, you say. Then, with my phenomenally perceptive, pincer-like grasp of the inescapable, I thought, it sounds scalable. If you can do it with thirty bucks (in yuan) for a hat from some store, why not with fifty million dollars (in yuan) for a shipment of oil from Iran? Sure, with more security and so on, but same mechanism.

Interestingly, such payments would be completely independent of, and opaque to, Washington. And independent of…SWIFT, eeeeeeek! Do you suppose China has thought of this?

Well, I thought, this is mere speculative maundering by some guy in Mexico who is admittedly pig ignorant of international finance. And of course China itself was saying that the dijjywan had nothing to do with the dollar, oh no, was solely for domestic use, and for retail sales. Not important. Move on. Nothing to see here.

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