Category Archives: Trade

The Golden Road To Samarkand, by Amir Taheri

There are many unanswered questions about the Eurasian multipolarity that Russia and China are trying to create. From Amir Taheri at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The Russian media, echoing President Vladimir Putin’s speech at the summit, say the SCO is designed to end “the unipolar world “by creating a “multipolar system”.

  • The Chinese media offer a different version. The SCO is meant to offer a new political system for the whole world as an alternative to the Western democratic model.

  • To the Islamic media in Tehran, celebrating the Islamic Republic’s admission to the club after 11 years of supplication, the SCO is an extension of the “Resistance Front” created to contain and defeat the American “Great Satan.”

  • The SCO’s identity as a club of queer fellows has been further emphasized by the admission of a host of new members all of whom have territorial disputes with each other.

  • Some Western commentators have dubbed the SCO “a new power bloc”. That may be jumping the gun a bit. SCO members are more dependent on trade with the European Union, the US, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Australia than with each other.

  • The Samarkand club represents some 40 percent of the world’s population and over 20 percent of the global GDP, not to mention four of the 9 nations with nuclear arsenals. Yet, it seems unlikely to become an anchor of stability in Eurasia; its members are more interested in petty schemes than grand ideas of peace and cooperation.

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Technocommunism Update: EU Ramps Up Great Reset Power Grab To Secure Vital Supply Chains, by 2nd Smartest Guy in the World

Free markets work; government-controlled markets don’t. The more the EU tries to control supply chains, the more they’ll be screwed up. From the 2nd Smartest Guy in the World at 2ndsmartestguyintheworld.substack.com:

As this substack has previously pointed out, PSYOP-19 coupled with PSYOP-UKRAINE-INVASION were always critical for PSYOP-SUPPLY-CHAIN-SHORTAGE and PSYOP-HYPER-INFLATION.

Now the EU, a One World Government experiment in technocommunism, is attempting to grant itself ever more draconian anti-human powers in order to “solve” the very problems that they have created on behalf of their Cult handlers.

Like all government emergency measures from The Patriot Act (the most anti-patriot unconstitutional 5th Branch of Government scams that continues to metastasize to this very day against We the People) to “pandemic” mandates, the EU has announced their Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) scheme that will grant WEF-owned bureaucrats ever more powers to usher in their Great Reset.

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America Says Offer To Trade Biden For The Queen Still Stands

From The Babylon Bee:

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LONDON — Trade representatives in the United Kingdom were surprised to learn that the offer made by the United States to trade President Joe Biden for Queen Elizabeth II still stands, even after the Queen passed away yesterday at the age of 96.

“We just assumed that the offer was only valid as long as Her Majesty was still living,” said Sir David Cathcart, the recently appointed Minister of Human Trades for the British government. “The offer was initially taken into consideration quite seriously due to Mr. Biden being significantly younger than the Queen, but after doing our research, it became evident that his mental capabilities had degraded to a rather absurd level.”

Officials on the U.S. side of the trade proposal expressed hopefulness that the British would still be willing to consider the trade despite the longtime monarch’s death. “It’s got to be an even more tempting trade to make now, right?” asked Dr. Nate Thomas, a high-ranking member of the U.S. People Swapping Bureau. “I mean, come on, he’s still alive, so that has to count for something. I’m not saying you can trust him to make any decisions or provide strong leadership of any kind, but he’s still got a pulse. That’s a good deal, right? Right?! Come on, just take him. Please?”

The U.S. government was reportedly prepared to sweeten the deal by including congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and actor Alec Baldwin in the trade, but this seemed to only scare the British off even more.

At publishing time, word out of Great Britain indicated the answer was still no. “I’m afraid not,” Sir Cathcart said. “Given the choice between a living Joe Biden and a deceased Queen Elizabeth, we will stick with what we have and be better off.”

https://babylonbee.com/news/america-says-offer-to-trade–biden-for-the-queen-still-stands

Asia’s future takes shape in Vladivostok, the Russian Pacific, by Pepe Escobar

Once upon a time the U.S. could have been invited into the ongoing development of Eurasia. That option, unfortunately, is off the table, leaving the U.S. trying to sabotage the Russian and Chinese-led effort. From Pepe Escobar at thecradle.co:

Sixty-eight countries gathered on Russia’s far eastern coast to listen to Moscow’s economic and political vision for the Asia-Pacific

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Putin-on-Vladiviostok.jpg

Photo Credit: The Cradle

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok is one of the indispensable annual milestones for keeping up not only with the complex development process of the Russian Far East but major plays for Eurasia integration.

Mirroring an immensely turbulent 2022, the current theme in Vladivostok is ‘On the Path to a Multipolar World.’ Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, in a short message to business and government participants from 68 nations, set the stage:

“The obsolete unipolar model is being replaced by a new world order based on the fundamental principles of justice and equality, as well as the recognition of the right of each state and people to their own sovereign path of development. Powerful political and economic centers are taking shape right here in the Asia-Pacific region, acting as a driving force in this irreversible process.”

In his speech to the EEF plenary session, Ukraine was barely mentioned. Putin’s response when asked about it: “Is this country part of Asia-Pacific?”

The speech was largely structured as a serious message to the collective west, as well as to what top analyst Sergey Karaganov calls the “global majority.” Among several takeaways, these may be the most relevant:

  • Russia as a sovereign state will defend its interests.
  • Western sanctions ‘fever’ is threatening the world – and economic crises are not going away after the pandemic.
  • The entire system of international relations has changed. There is an attempt to maintain world order by changing the rules.
  • Sanctions on Russia are closing down businesses in Europe. Russia is coping with economic and tech aggression from the west.
  • Inflation is breaking records in developed countries. Russia is looking at around 12 percent.
  • Russia has played its part in grain exports leaving Ukraine, but most shipments went to EU nations and not developing countries.
  • The “welfare of the ‘Golden Billion’ is being ignored.”
  • The west is in no position to dictate energy prices to Russia.
  • Ruble and yuan will be used for gas payments.
  • The role of Asia-Pacific has significantly increased.

In a nutshell: Asia is the new epicenter of technological progress and productivity.

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Supply chains, interest rates and inflation, by Alasdair Macleod

Intact supply chains have been an intrinsic feature of the low inflation global economy for several decades and the U.S. and Europe have been big beneficiaries. Unfortunately, supply chains get broken when amity and trade are replaced by hostility and sanctions. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

The disruption of global supply chains is seen to be a temporary problem yet to be resolved, but there are good reasons to believe it is now permanent.

Following the end of the cold war against China and the foundation of a new peaceful era, American and other manufacturers began to expand their production facilities into China and South-East Asia. It was the beginning of what became a trade system based on global supply chains, increasingly sophisticated logistics, and just-in-time inventory management.

Global supply chains deliver enormous benefits between peaceful nations, but they cease to work when they are at war.

Souring trade relations between America and China, covid, and the disruption to international logistics pits them into an undeclared conflict. The trade environment is now against a background of an increasingly belligerent geopolitical struggle, involving both China and Russia on one side, and America and its allies on another. In the absence of détente, which now seems a distant prospect, the system of global supply chains can operate no longer. They must become re-established within national borders.

The consequences are long-term product supply disruption, higher consumer prices, and soaring energy prices already evidenced in Europe. Coming on top of a new trend of rising interest rates and contracting bank credit, it has the makings of an economic crisis for the West, to which governments are bound to respond by creating an inflationary storm.

This article analyses these new war-time trade conditions in the geopolitical context and examines the likely consequences.

The background to global trade has deteriorated

There is a general assumption that eventually, perhaps next year, supply chain difficulties will be overcome. It is the main plank behind central bank expectations, that after the current hiatus restricting product supply, consumer price inflation will return to the 2% target. The mistake is to conflate two issues: the supply chain problem, for which conditions have changed fundamentally, and the declining purchasing power of fiat currencies. However, the inflation outlook is tied up with the trade outlook.

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Sweden, Austria Start Bailing Out Energy Companies Triggering Europe’s “Minsky Moment”, by Tyler Durden

With far less gas and oil to sell because of Europe’s sanctions against Russia, European energy companies are running into trouble. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Last weekend, Credit Suisse repo guru published what may have been the most insightful snippet of the entire European energy crisis (to date) when he extended the infamous “Minsky Moment” framework to Europe, and specifically Germany, which he said “can’t cover its payments without Russian gas and the government is asking citizens to conserve energy to leave more for industry.” He then elaborated that “Minsky moments are triggered by excessive financial leverage, and in the context of supply chains, leverage means excessive operating leverage: in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia… …that’s 100-times leverage – much more than Lehman’s.” (Zoltan’s entire note is a must read for everyone with a passing interest in what comes next).

But while Germany still pretends it can somehow avoid a devastating crisis this winter besides bailing out Uniper, one of the country’s biggest utilities (after all, admission would make Trump’s 2018 warning accurate and prescient, and everyone knows that according to Western intellectual snobs Trump can’t possibly ever be correct), other European nations are succumbing to what Zoltan dubbed a “supply-chain Minsky moment.”

On Wednesday it was Austria, which announced it would bail out the country’s main energy supplier with a two-billion-euro ($2 billion) loan, the AFP reported. Chancellor Karl Nehammer said the loan to Wien Energie was an “extraordinary rescue measure” to ensure its two million customers – mainly Vienna households – continue to receive electricity. It will run until next April.

Wien Energie asked for a bailout this weekend after suffering financial trouble amid soaring energy prices and speculation the company mismanaged their funds. Nehammer said Wien Energie, which is owned by Vienna, would have to answer questions as to how they got into trouble.

“The goal was to help people quickly… It has now been agreed that all of these questions, which are rightly raised, must be answered promptly by Vienna (and) the energy supplier,” he told reporters.

The company – almost entirely dependent on Russian gas – said earlier this week that it had been hit by the “price explosion” which it has not yet passed on to customers, assuring it remained solvent. As part of its rescue, the company is expected to pass through soaring costs, which means a historic price shock is coming to Austria next… and soon Sweden.

Following in Austria’s footsteps, on Saturday morning Sweden announced it will give emergency liquidity support to electricity producers after the government said it feared Russia’s decision to halt gas deliveries to Europe could place its financial system under severe strain.

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Was Biden Unaware That Human Lemmings Freeze? By Ray McGovern

Real lemmings have thick, warm fur coats. Human lemmings are going to need the same this winter in Europe, because that continent’s illustrious leaders have decided to cut off the most reliable and high-volume supplier of fuel. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:

Did President Joe Biden’s economic advisers not warn him that the lemming leaders of NATO will not be able to protect their people from the winter cold? (Lemmings of the animal world are protected from the Arctic winter by their very thick fur, with no need to hibernate. Lock-step NATO unity on Ukraine is likely to dissipate, as Europeans run out of fur coats.)

Did Biden’s advisers not tell him that the political hacks now running Germany and other European countries will be unable to avoid cutting a deal with Russia on gas for heating – as well as on economic sanctions and curtailing arms to Ukraine? Surely they understood the enormous leverage Russia has in providing gas and other energy. Did they perhaps think Putin would be deterred from using that leverage, fearing finger-waving accusations that Russia is “weaponizing” gas and oil?

In other words, the news today that Russia has stopped supplying gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1 indefinitely should have come as no surprise. And problems seem to multiply.

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Why the United States Has Set Itself Up for Failure in the Semiconductor Race for Military Supremacy, by Cynthia Chung

The U.S. is no longer on the cutting edge of semiconductor research or production. From Cynthia Chung at strategic-culture.org:

Doomsday prophesising of how China’s days are numbered and that it is in the midst of an economic collapse could not be any further from reality.

The reasons for the spread of this sort of gossip is to keep up the belief (and thus investment) in the idea that the United States is secure in its alpha dog global status and that the world is better off siding with said alpha in its escalating and reckless, not to mention unnecessary, economic and geopolitical war against Russia and China. It is to intimidate any country foolish enough to throw too many of its eggs into the Russia-China basket with the thought that they will be left hanging in the wind once China collapses from the international stranglehold on its economy, which is touted as inevitable.

It is to convince the American people, that the further sacrifices they are about to make in their livelihood and standard of living will be worth it, perhaps to even go so far as to proclaim that this will be the necessary “new normal” all for the cause of world security, of course.

The reality of the situation which should be plain for everyone to see at this point, is that the United States’ sanctions and banning of various types of trade with Russia and China, meant to cripple their economies, is doing more damage to the world markets than anything else, including that of Europe and the United States.

These sanctions have brought the world into a very predictable energy and food crisis to which European and American citizens are told they must suffer through in the name of western security. A crisis which is gutting essential infrastructure required to sustain developed countries. A crisis from which there is no quick return to a first world living standard for its citizenry.

It was thought that such manoeuvres would cripple the Russian economy and cause internal unrest demanding for the removal of President Putin. Instead we see the Russian rouble stronger than it has ever been in large part due to the competent leadership of Sergei Glazyev (see his speech on Sanctions and Sovereignty) who is in the process of organising a “new economic order…[which] will involve a creation of a new digital payment currency founded through an international agreement based on principles of transparency, fairness, goodwill, and efficiency” as he explained in an interview with Pepe Escobar for The Cradle.

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The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, by Doug Casey

A lot of people have compared the American and Roman empires, but Doug Casey puts the comparison in a new light. From Casey at internationalman.com:

As some of you know, I’m an aficionado of ancient history. I thought it might be worthwhile to discuss what happened to Rome and based on that, what’s likely to happen to the U.S. Spoiler alert: There are some similarities between the U.S. and Rome.

But before continuing, please seat yourself comfortably. This article will necessarily cover exactly those things you’re never supposed to talk about—religion and politics—and do what you’re never supposed to do, namely, bad-mouth the military.

There are good reasons for looking to Rome rather than any other civilization when trying to see where the U.S. is headed. Everyone knows Rome declined, but few people understand why. And, I think, even fewer realize that the U.S. is now well along the same path for pretty much the same reasons, which I’ll explore shortly.

Rome reached its peak of military power around the year 107, when Trajan completed the conquest of Dacia (the territory of modern Romania). With Dacia, the empire peaked in size, but I’d argue it was already past its peak by almost every other measure.

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West’s Threats to African Countries Over Russian Oil Might Spark New Sanctions Against Moscow, by Martin Jay

The West is isolating itself more than Russia. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:

The West got itself into this mess being wildly out of touch and delusional, with regards to its own so-called hegemony.

The emergence of Russia, China and India as emboldened new powers amid the Ukraine war is becoming more obvious each day. The West has really destroyed its last strand of credibility as the real power in a unipolar world, which, in reality is now multipolar with the East gaining and gaining.

Russia continues to garner more strength and influence seemingly without effort due to the colossal error of NATO and EU sanctions which continue to punish the citizens of those countries so much more than any Russian citizen – the most recent news just in that Spain is banning the use of air conditioning in parts of the country experiencing a heat wave!

And Russia acts more and more like a superpower on the world stage and so we shouldn’t be surprised, for example, that when only a matter of weeks of French troops pulling out of Mali a former colony of France’s, Russia rolls in with aircraft which it donates to the regime. That’s what superpowers do to keep their end of the bargain. Security support.

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