US relations with China go from bad to worse. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
So much for a trade war truce between China and the US, or a stock market Christmas rally for that matter.
Shortly after the news hit that Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng — also deputy chairwoman and the daughter of Huawei’s founder — was arrested on December 1, or right around the time Trump and Xi were having dinner in Buenos Aires last Saturday, and faces extradition to the U.S. as a result of a DOJ investigation into whether the Chinese telecom giant sold gear to Iran despite sanctions on exports to the region, China immediately lodged a formal protest publishing a statement at its embassy in Canada, and demanding the U.S. and its neighbor “rectify wrongdoings” and free Meng, warning it would “closely follow the development of the issue” and will “take all measures” to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
Full statement below:
Remarks of the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Canada on the issue of a Chinese citizen arrested by the Canadian side
At the request of the US side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law. The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim. The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.
We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
Theresa May’s Brexit deal negotiated with the EU offers all the disadvantages of EU membership and none of the potential advantages of leaving the EU. It’s the worst of all worlds. From David Brown at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- This Brexit “deal” is anything but good for the nation.
- This “deal” will cost the British taxpayer £60 billion; require that the British still comply with EU rules without having any say in what those will be, and worst of all, it permits the British to leave the EU only if the EU agrees. It commits the British effectively to subjugation by the EU in perpetuity, with no recourse should the British change their mind. It is a prison. It is also the first step of the EU toward its dream of global governance: unaccountable, untransparent, unelected by the public, and with no way out.
- There is still a way out of this mess; an easy alternative. The solution is No Deal. Without any further action, the UK’s membership of the EU will lapse on March 29, 2019, and unless that majority can unite around a viable alternative, we will leave. Even better, according to a House of Lords report, there would be no legal obligation for the UK to make any payment as part of a financial settlement.
But, we have nearly left the EU haven’t we? After all, we keep hearing about this deal. We must be nearly there by now, surely?
Just because some of us are immersed in this stuff, many of us are not. Back in the real world where people are trying to find their bus passes, generally keep warm, or asking who will do the school pick-up, Brexit is not everyone’s first and overwhelming thought.
Trump has been neutered. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
I knew there was something wrong with Donald Trump’s presidency the day he bombed the airbase at Al-Shairat in Syria. It was a turning point. I knew it was a mistake the moment he did it and argued as such at the time.
No act by him was more contentious.
It cost me hundreds of followers gained throughout the campaign who wanted to believe Trump was playing 4-D chess. My Periscopes went from being events to afterthoughts.
Those that left needed to believe this because they had invested so much in him.
They had to believe he was playing some deep game with Putin to bring peace to the region.
I was right and truth is painful. The need for him to be Orange Jesus was so strong they created Qanon and the ‘science’ of political horoscope as slowly but surely Trump was stripped of all of his power except that of complaining about how unfair it all is.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Insurrection, Military, Politics, Trade
Tagged Mohammad bin Salman, President Trump, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin
The pomp and circumstance signify little. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The most important, and much-anticipated dinner date between Trump and Xi in years, which concluded amid loud applause and brief celebrations by both sides, ended in a three-month truce to the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers, with the US agreeing to postpone a planned tariff hike on January 1 and to keep the rate on existing tariffs at 10% for another 90 days in return for greater purchases of American goods.
While the arrangement provides breathing space to both leaders as they face slumping stock markets and economic warning signs, and will likely result in a brief jump in the market in the coming days, the two sides failed to make any tangible progress on the fundamental divide and core issues separating the world’s biggest economies.
“You blink first!”… “No, you blink first.”
As Bloomberg recaps this morning, “negotiations have long been stuck over U.S. demands for deep structural reforms such as stopping forced technology transfers, enforcing intellectual property rights and ending state subsidies for strategic industries – all of which China sees as an American strategy to thwart its rise as a global power.” It is on these most thorny of issues that there was no real progress during the Trump-Xi dinner.
Posted in Business, Economy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Politics, Trade
Tagged China, President Trump, Trade negotiations, Xi Jinping
Almost all effective monopolies are created, blessed, and sustained by governments. From Mike Holly at mises.org:
Politicians tend to favor authoritarianism over capitalism and monopoly over competition. They have directly created monopolies (and oligopolies) in all major industrial sectors by imposing policies favoring preferred corporations and preferred special interests.
In 2017, University economists Jan De Loecker and Jan Eeckhout found monopolies behind nearly every economic problem. They have slowed economic growth and caused recessions, financial crises and depressions. These monopolies restrict the supply of goods and services so they can inflate prices and profits while also reducing quality. In addition, monopolies have decreased wages for non-monopolists by decreasing the competition for workers. This has led to wealth disparity, underemployment, unemployment and poverty
Monopolies have also led to many societal problems. Unlike truly competitive firms, institutions that enjoy monopoly power have more freedom to discriminate against outsiders, especially women and minorities. They block innovation, the key to long-term prosperity. Monopolies have led to imperialism and wars .
Posted in Business, Capitalism, Cronyism, Economics, Economy, Education, Governments, History, Medicine, Technology, Trade
Tagged college, Health Care, Monopolies, Prices
Even if China were to give in to every American demand, it would not restore the US to the anomalous prominence it enjoyed for two decades after World War II. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
The G20 summits are nominally about how the world’s biggest national economies can cooperate to boost global growth. This year’s gathering – more than ever – shows, however, that rivalry between the US and China is center stage.
Zeroing in further still, the rivalry is an expression of a washed-up American empire desperately trying to reclaim its former power. There is much sound, fury and pretense from the outgoing hegemon – the US – but the ineluctable reality is an empire whose halcyon days are a bygone era.
Ahead of the summit taking place this weekend in Argentina, the Trump administration has been issuing furious ultimatums to China to “change its behavior”. Washington is threatening an escalating trade war if Beijing does not conform to American demands over economic policies.
President Trump has taken long-simmering US complaints about China to boiling point, castigating Beijing for unfair trade, currency manipulation, and theft of intellectual property rights. China rejects this pejorative American characterization of its economic practices.
Nevertheless, if Beijing does not comply with US diktats then the Trump administration says it will slap increasing tariffs on Chinese exports.
The gravity of the situation was highlighted by the comments this week of China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, who warned that the “lessons of history” show trade wars can lead to catastrophic shooting wars. He urged the Trump administration to be reasonable and to seek a negotiated settlement of disputes.
Posted in Business, Capitalism, Debt, Economy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Politics, Technology, Trade
Tagged American empire, China, G-20