De-dollarization will be a slow, incremental process, unless some sort of crisis hastens it along. From Ronald-Peter Stöferle at mises.org:
The ongoing “World War of Currencies”, as the German journalist Daniel D. Eckert called it, the battle for the future of the world monetary system is not a shallow action film but more like Game of Thrones – a complex series with hundreds of actors and locations, stretching over decades and demanding full concentration from the viewer.
The bottom line is that what has been true for decades still applies. The US dollar continues to enjoy the confidence of markets, governments, and central banks. But faith in the US dollar weakens a little every year. Europe, China, Russia and many small countries set new initiatives every year to make themselves independent. And gold, too, plays a major role in this slow departure from the US dollar. But for the world financial system, none of their currencies offer a viable, fully-fledged alternative to the US dollar yet, which is why any news of the death of the US dollar is definitely exaggerated.
Europe’s Small Uprising
Since the Greek crisis of 2012, the American media have often given the impression that the EU and the euro have already broken up or are about to break up. This is not the case. Twenty years after its creation in 1999, the euro area is larger than ever. Of course, nothing is perfect in the EU. The debt problems of the southern states have hardly improved. The structure of the euro zone itself is also often criticized and described as being in need of renovation.
Much of the world is moving away from dollar-based trade. From GEFIRA at gefira.org:
Some say it was Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, who wanted to dethrone the dollar, and so he paid for it with his own life. Others say it was Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, who wanted to make settlements in a currency other than the US dollar, and he was hanged. Now it is Russia and China, which want to do the same. Just days ago an agreement was signed to this effect.
(i) Russia and China have decided to begin to make mutual settlements increasingly in their respective national currencies, and
(ii) they have decided to bypass the SWIFT system, introducing their own instead.
Moscow has also revealed lately that Russia has stopped using the US dollar and the SWIFT system for settlements in arms trade.
The exchange of goods between Russia and China is significant; Russian weaponry has a lot of clients around the globe. On the other hand both countries, and especially China, have large dollar reserves. And both states are under attack from the West, be it economic sanctions against Moscow, be it American trade war against Beijing.
To administer punishment for such a daring act was a child’s play in the case of Libya and Iraq: the two countries were swiftly dealt with. What can one do with a nuclear superpower on the other hand and Asia’s largest economic tiger on the other?
If Washington has wanted to weaponize Moscow against Beijing or the other way round as it seems it has, then the strategists on the Potomac must swallow a bitter pillow. The hybrid war waged against Russia in Georgia, Ukraine, Moscow, the Baltic States, Poland as well as in Venezuela and Syria rather than weakening the target state have cemented its embrace with the Middle Kingdom. The same effect was brought about by America’s trade war against and other unfriendly acts aimed at Beijing. Rather than subdue the two states, Western politicians pushed them into each other’s arms.
The contest between the US and China will be fought primarily in the technologies of the future. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
“The true reason behind the US-China ‘trade’ war has little to do with actual trade … What is really at the basis of the ongoing civilizational conflict between the US and China … are China’s ambitions to be a leader in next-generation technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), which rest on whether or not it can design and manufacture cutting-edge chips, and is why Xi has pledged at least $150 billion to build up the sector”, Zerohedge writes.
Nothing new here: yet behind that ambition, lies another, further ambition and a little mentioned ‘elephant in the room’: that the ‘trade war’ is also the first stage to a new arms race between the US & China – albeit of a different genre of arms race. This ‘new generation’ arms-race is all about reaching national superiority in technology over the longer-term, via Quantum Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Hypersonic Warplanes, Electronic Vehicles, Robotics, and Cyber-Security.
The blueprint for it, in China, is in the public domain. It is ‘Made in China 2025’ (now downplayed, but far from forgotten). And the Chinese expenditure commitment ($ 150 billion) to take the tech lead – will be met ‘head on’ (as Zerohedge puts it), “by a [counterpart] ‘America First’ strategy: Hence the ‘arms race’ in tech spending … is intimately linked with defence spending. Note: military spending by the US and China is forecast by the IMF to rise substantially in coming decades, but the stunner is: that by 2050, China is set to overtake the US, spending $4tn on its military, while the US is $1 trillion less, or $3tn … This means that sometime around 2038, roughly two decades from now, China will surpass the US in military spending.”
Posted in Currencies, Debt, Economy, Energy, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Politics, Technology, Trade
Tagged China, Credit, De-dollarization, US
Much of the rest of the world doesn’t take a shine to US notions of unipolar dominance…and they’re doing something about it. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.org:
In the current multipolar world in which we live, economic and military factors are decisive in guaranteeing countries their sovereignty. Russia and China seem to be taking this very seriously, committed to the de-dollarization of their economies and the accelerated development of hypersonic weapons.
The transition phase we are going through, passing from a unipolar global order to a multipolar one, calls for careful observation. It is important to analyze the actions taken by two world powers, China and Russia, in defending and consolidating their sovereignty over the long term. Observing decisions taken by these two countries in recent years, we can discern a twofold strategy. One is economic, the other purely military. In both cases we observe strong cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. The merit of this alliance is paradoxically attributed to the attitude of various US administrations, from George Bush Senior through to Obama. The special relationship between Moscow and Beijing has been forged by a shared experience of Washington’s pressure over the last 25 years. Their shared mission now seems to be to contain the US’s declining imperial power and to shepherd the world from a unipolar world order, with Washington at the center of international relations, to a multipolar world order, with at least three global powers playing a major role in international relations.
The Sino-Russian strategy has shown itself over the last two decades to consist of two parts: economic clout on the one hand, and military strength on the other, the latter to ward off reckless American behavior. Both Eurasian powers have their respective strengths and weaknesses in this regard. If Russia’s economy can hardly be compared to China’s, China plays second fiddle to Russia’s conventional and nuclear deterrents, and is quite some way behind Moscow in terms of hypersonic weapons. The cooperation between Moscow and Beijing aims to synergize their respective strengths.
To continue reading: Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons
Posted in Currencies, Economics, Economy, Eurasian Axis, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Military
Tagged China, De-dollarization, Hypersonic weapons, Russia