Category Archives: Trade

How’s That Alternative Reality Working Out For You? by Robert Gore

Two plus two equals four. Epstein didn’t kill himself.

At the end of 1984, Slavery is Freedom, two plus two equals five, and Winston Smith loves Big Brother. The Party has destroyed Smith’s mind, he embraces whatever narratives it promulgates. The fictive Party has solved the conundrum that bedevils any individual or organization seeking to exercise power: coercion can exact physical compliance and the desired verbalizations, but how do you compel the subjugated to think and believe as you want them to think and believe?

Our Party, the confederation of powerful people who promulgate the narratives that always point the same direction—more government and power for the powerful, less freedom for the subjugated—has yet to reach the mind control of Orwell’s Party, but not for want of desire or effort. We know the Party’s narratives: globalism, climate change, surveillance, incarceration, political correctness, open borders, free migration, fiat debt, central economic planning, socialized education and medical care, and wars on terrorism, drugs, poverty, any regime that refuses to toe the Party line, hydrocarbons, private firearms, individual rights, privacy, precious metals and cash, and socialized education and medical care. We know the Party’s institutions: governments, central banks and their central banks, intelligence agencies, military forces, police, permanent bureaucracies, multinational corporations, multilateral economic, political, and financial institutions, foundations, universities, nonprofits, and NGOs. We know the Party’s overlapping mouthpieces: the mainstream media, think tanks, government and intelligence agency propaganda organs, crony executives and their companies, Hollywood, and academia. And we know the figureheads who stock governments and their allied institutions, and the Party puppeteers who pull their strings.

The Perfect Gift

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Macron Tells NATO Russia Must Come in from the Cold War, by Tom Luongo

It is no longer in Europe’s interest to maintain an adversarial stance against Russia. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

macron-putin-nato

Last week I went through just some of the highlights as to why Russia is becoming a destination for global capital.

For years it’s been a little lonely out here banging on about how well the Russian state headed by Vladimir Putin has navigated an immense campaign by the West to marginalize and/or isolate Russia from the world economy.

But that is changing rapidly. And 2020 will likely be the year the New Cold War begins to end. And it starts with Europe. In recent weeks there have been a number of moves made on both sides to end the economic isolation of Russia by Europe.

As always, however, it begins politically. French President Emmanuel Macron speaking at a press conference before 70th Anniversary NATO Summit in London no less, made it clear that he no longer wants the EU positioning itself as an adversary of Russia or China.

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America’s trade policy will end up destroying the dollar, by Alasdair Macleod

If US trade policy forces China to sell down its dollar reserves accumulated from its trade surpluses, the US will have to find someone else to finance its budget and trade deficits, or finance them via Federal Reserve debt monetization. That option would destroy the dollar. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

America’s tariffs against China are already showing signs of undermining the global economy and will create a funding crisis for the Federal Government when it leads to foreigners no longer buying US Treasury debt and selling down their existing dollar holdings. A subversive attempt by America to divert global portfolio investment from China by destabilising Hong Kong will force China into a Plan B to fund its infrastructure plans, which could involve actively selling down her dollar reserves and hastening the introduction of a new crypto-based trade settlement currency.

The US budget deficit will then be financed entirely by monetary inflation. Furthermore, the turn of the credit cycle, made more destructive by trade tariffs, is driving the global and US economy into a slump, further accelerating all indebted governments’ dependency on inflationary financing. The end result is America’s trade policies have been instrumental in hastening the end of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, ultimately leading to its destruction.

Introduction

For almost two years President Trump has imposed various tariffs on imported Chinese goods. He advertised his tactics as hardball from a tough president who knows the art of the deal, taking his business acumen and applying it to foreign affairs. He even proudly described himself as a tariff man.

His opening gambit was to impose tariffs on some goods to get leverage over the Chinese, with the threat that if they didn’t cooperate, then further tariffs would be introduced. The Chinese declined to be cowed by threats, introducing tariffs themselves on US imports, particularly agricultural products, to bring pressure to bear in turn on President Trump.

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But US “Energy Independence” is More Complicated, by Wolf Richter

In 2008 US production of crude oil and petroleum products was 6.8 million barrels a day. This September, it was 17.5 million barrels a day. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

The US Becomes Net Exporter of Crude Oil & Petroleum Products for First Time.

US exports of crude oil and petroleum products – this includes gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, and many others – exceeded imports in September by 89,000 barrels a day, the EIA reported today, and so the US became a “net exporter” of crude oil and petroleum products for the first time on a monthly basis in the  EIA’s data going back to 1973:

The US has exported petroleum products – gasoline, diesel, heating oil, naphtha, propane, etc. – for a long time. This is the business some refineries are in. They buy crude oil from wherever they can get it, including other countries, and sell refined product to customers in the US and other countries.

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A China Trade Deal Just Finalizes the Divorce, from Charles Hugh Smith

Commercially, the Chinese and US will be going their separate ways. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Each party will continue to extract whatever benefits they can from the other, but the leaving is already well underway.

Beneath the euphoric hoopla of a trade deal with China is the cold reality that the divorce has already happened and any trade deal just signs the decree. The divorce of China and the U.S. was mutual; each had used up whatever benefits the tense marriage had offered, and each is looking forward to no longer being dependent on the other.

Any trade deal is like closing the barn door months after the horses left.Corporate America’s supply chains are already leaving China for lower cost, friendlier countries, and for its part China has already made its intentions to escape the grip of the U.S. dollar abundantly clear.

Indeed, China has clearly stated its plan to move up the value chain globally and rely more on its domestic consumers to fuel growth rather than exports, which have been weakening for some time (see chart below).

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China, USA and the Geopolitics of Lithium, by F. William Engdahl

The US and China are in a global scramble to line up lithium supplies. From F. William Engdahl at globalresearch.ca:

For several years since the global push to develop mass-scale Electric Vehicles, the element Lithium has come intofocus as a strategic metal. Demand is enormous in China, in the EU and in the USA at present, and securing control over lithium supplies is already developing its own geopolitics not unlike that for the control of oil. 

China Moves to Secure Sources

For China, which has set major targets to become the world’s largest  producer of EVs, developing lithium battery materials is a priority for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. Though China has its own lithium reserves, recovery is limited, and China has gone to secure lithium mining rights abroad.

In Australia Chinese companyTalison Lithium, controlled by Tianqi, mines and owns the world’s largest and highest grade spodumene reserves in Greenbushes, Western Australia near Perth.

Talison Lithium Inc. is the world’s largest primary lithium producer. Their Greenbushes site in Australia produces today some 75% of China’s lithium demands and about forty percent of world demand. This as well as other vital Australian raw materials, has made relations with Australia, traditionally a firm US ally, of strategic importance to Beijing. As well, China has become the largest trade partner for Australia.

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U.S. Relations With China Were Just Destroyed, And Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again, by Michael Snyder

Does the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” doom US-China relations, and if it does, what will be the global economic, financial, and political ramifications? From Michael Snyder at theeconomiccollapseblog.com:

Our relationship with China just went from bad to worse, and most Americans don’t even realize that we just witnessed one of the most critical foreign policy decisions of this century. The U.S. Senate just unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”, and the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger.  Violent protests have been rocking Hong Kong for months, and the Chinese have repeatedly accused the United States of being behind the protests.  Whether that is true or not, the U.S. Senate has openly sided with the protesters by passing this bill, and there is no turning back now.

The protesters in Hong Kong have been waving American flags, singing our national anthem and they have made it exceedingly clear that they want independence from China.  And all of us should certainly be able to understand why they would want that, because China is a deeply tyrannical regime.  But to the Chinese government, this move by the U.S. Senate is essentially an assault on China itself.  They are going to argue that the U.S. is inciting a revolution in Hong Kong, and after what the Senate has just done it will be very difficult to claim that is not true.

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