Thoughts as I Watched the Revolution in Egypt…(Update 1X)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

UPDATE  4/27/11

Well, Egypt  isn’t turning out so great…It’s all so predictable, isn’t it?  Any whiff of hope anywhere gets squelched real fast. 
And we’re now involved with Libya.  Meanwhile, the powers in Syria seem to be emulating the Libyan approach to dealing with protesters.

It’s like watching one disheartening train wreck after another.

Some personal train wrecks have taken me away from this blog…but, a rest still is in order.  It takes a lot of energy to fight the world these days!

One real positive is that our photovoltaic solar system is now up and running and yes, the meter is running backwards!  Have lots of pics and details which I hope to post one of these days!

*****

Nothing profound here to say, only an urge to write about my feelings as I’ve been sitting glued to Al Jazeera for days on end.

Today, I was clapping and cheering for the people of Egypt. A rush of feelings and memories flashed by.  I remembered 2000 as our elections were completely corrupted. (Some satisfaction as George W.  Bush is unable to go to Switzerland…war criminal that he is!)  I was thinking of the lies that led to the Iraq War and thought about the report I heard this morning on NPR about how there are fears that something may coalesce as the heat arrives and the electricity remains on only 2 hours a day. Protests percolating already around Iraq, and I say, go for it!

I’m finding myself coming back over and over again to about how the U.S. is perhaps going to get its ass kicked and deservedly so. They utter hypocrisy of the “democracy talk” as we sit here supporting repressive regimes all over the world.  We are a fraud when it comes to democracy.

My mind dwells on the right wing religious freaks and the Republican Party that has become their home who continue to attempt to screw women out of their rights and their independence as human beings, who basically are out to screw anything that helps people. And I’m supposed to worry about the Muslim Brotherhood while I live in a country that has it’s own brand of the Taliban roaming the halls of Congress??

I think of John Lennon. A site has “Revolution” up but I’m thinking of “Power to the People.” Is that the right title? I don’t know, but I can hear John singing it. Who really killed John Lennon? I’ve seen enough and read enough to figure it wasn’t just another “lone gunman.”

I’m sitting here, having celebrated my 60th birthday a few days ago….reflecting on the marches for women’s rights, the power of the movement, and how every time a fucking Republican comes along…with fake Democrats who assist…how every time we go BACKWARDS! And how backwards we have gone!  I think about the type of  “leadership” we have in this country…there are no real thinkers leading these days.  Between the servants of the bankers,  the increasingly shrill Republicans and passive Democrats…Jeebus, am I supposed to look at the Palins, Gingriches, Romneys and that Jeb Bush lurking in the corner and feel optimistic??  When I see how skillfully a Chris Christie can take a state like New Jersey and divide people into camps and blame all ills on teachers  and the people who do the day to day work to keep the place running?….disgusting!  Lying thuggery personified…and just the tip of the iceberg, I’m afraid. And Obama pontificating on democracy after Mubarak’s demise…what a load of crap.

I think about how we were supposed to get some “community radio” but all I hear is right wing shit talk radio all over the dial. People getting very little true news follow these propagandists for the right as they go about their highly-paid work to divide and conquer and sow the seed of intolerance and hate.

Yeah, I’m watching Egypt and cheering them on….but knowing full well that the arm of the IMF will probably soon reach in and grab them by the throat. Hell, we fund it and guess what? The IMF is talking about the dollar no longer being the reserve currency for the world. I’m just surprise all this is happening so quickly…Between the IMF and the Fed, Americans do not know how the world is getting screwed and how it’s going to come back to bite them.

Fat and unaware Americans will soon wake up to find that they are being ground down to a pulp.  Your dollars will be worthless soon.

We wrote a lot in the past about the impending disaster that was going to befall lthis nation.  There are many wonderful sites out there trying to wake people up. I read them every day…and spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to save my own financial neck.

Start stocking up on food, go to ChrisMartenson.com to start to try to prepare yourself (in right sidebar links).

And to the Egyptian people…stay strong, stay proud. I’m rooting for you…you’re starting fresh while the U.S. is rotting from the inside.  Note to the women there…get loud and don’t let them steamroller you…

Yuan on the Way to Becoming an Alternative Reserve Currency & Obama’s Off to China to INSIST That the Chinese Play Nice

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

OK, here we go again, in all likelihood, with another big blast of hot air from Barack Obama.

Reuters, like the AP, doesn’t appreciate quoting from their articles.  So, for details follow the link from 11/10/2009:

World Bank: yuan to become alternative reserve currency

Let’s summarize.  Former Bush Adminstration biggie Robert Zoellick who has moved on to become President of the World Bank thinks the dollar as a reserve currency is “relatively secure” but the Chinese yuan is going to become an alternative to the greenback. Zoellick muses that it might take 10-15 years and that we shouldn’t be “complacent” about the dollar.

As if anybody these days is complacent???  And, don’t you think that these comments just confirm the actions of Ben Bernanke and the Fed that are allowing the dollar fall?

Ah, but according to the Telegraph (U.K):

Barack Obama pledges to tackle Beijing on yuan

President Obama, who, since taking office in January, has resisted branding the Chinese government as currency manipulators, promised to discuss the thorny issue of the yuan, and whether it is undervalued, as part of a visit to Shanghai and Beijing.

“Currency, along with a host of other issues, will come up, and I’m confident that both the United States and China can arrive at a broad set of policies that encourages trade that benefits both countries, that allows ongoing economic growth,” said Mr Obama.

snip

But Mr Obama will have to tread carefully as the Chinese government owns almost $800bn (£477bn) of US Treasuries, its largest foreign creditor.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, urged the US to “effectively discharge its responsibilities” and “maintain an appropriate size” to its budget deficit.

Yup.

A couple of days ago on CNBC, PIMCO’s Bill Gross made this point (see minute 4:30 on the video titled America Still Number 1?:)

Gross notes that over the last year alone the depreciating dollar means that every single Treasury purchased by China, Japan etc with a 1 to 2 % yield has essentially generated a negative 13 to 14% return. Yes, NEGATIVE 13 to 14% return.

Yeah, I guess Obama will HAVE to tread carefully.  China owns us and is not happy, especially about that negative return…

If you read our previous post Globalization/U.S. Decline Right on Schedule Courtesy Obama Backdown…Summer 2010 Projected Completion of Integration of NAFTA with EU to Counter BRIC/ASEAN Bloc, you’ll see an example of Obama’s big talk and big backdown type of leadership.

And, on this currency issue, Obama supporters are urging The Chosen One to live up to his campaign promise:

Yuan Critics Want Obama to Keep Campaign Promise

At the time, Obama said that he would “”insist that China stop manipulating its currency because it’s not fair to American manufacturers, it’s not fair to you and we are going to change it when I am president of the United States of America.”

I can’t wait to see this unfold over the next few days as the Obama crowd hits Beijing…I’ll be looking for the “insisting” part of the trip…

Russia-China Proposals; “Rebalancing” Global Currency Reserves: Why the U.S. Can’t Take Anything for Granted Re: the Dollar

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Nothing like tuning into Turner Classic Movies to find the 1936 film “Things to Come,” a version of the H.G. Wells’ novel about a post-World War collapse of Western civilization and rebuilding efforts through that year.

Not very cheery…and neither is the following…

We touched on Timothy Geithner’s “slip” about the dollar, but this article for yesterday’s Guardian details how the proposal China has put forth for a new role for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is gaining ground.  And the RIA Novosti news outlet (government run), is reporting that Russia wants a conference that will remove the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

From The Guardian:

Thursday 26 March 2009 14.42 GMT

Global currency flies with push from Russia and slip from Timothy Geithner

The dollar drops back as China’s proposal for an IMF alternative gains ground

Russia plans to hold an international conference to discuss the creation of a global currency to replace the dollar.

According to the RIA news agency, Andrei Denisov, Russia’s first deputy foreign minister, said: “This proposal is aimed at a practical realisation of the idea about a new global accounting unit or a new global currency. It is a question that should be discussed to create a consensus.”

Denisov’s comments came only hours after the US treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, shocked the markets by saying Washington was open to the idea, though he later qualified his remarks.

The debate about a global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund was sparked by a proposal from China this week.

snip

China’s bold proposal has been made before by independent economists, but it has until now met with resistance from the US and other countries with large dollar holdings. Zhou has acknowledged that such a shift could take a long time.

Zhou says it could “take a long time” but if you heard Peter Schiff last night on the Jerry Doyle show, you would have heard him say that China alone can do the job.  They’ve already expressed doubts about U.S. Treasury bonds and we reported a couple of days ago that they are not going to be purchasing any more.

Just yesterday a talking head on FOX’s Shepherd Smith show predicted that the dollar wouldn’t be replaced as the world’s currency at the G-20 meeting, but the agenda of that meeting on April 1-2 sounds an awful lot like what’s coming out of China and Russia.  See our prior posts for details (below).

We also covered the Steve Clemons’/New America Foundation-sponsored Economic Policy Symposium held yesterday in D.C. which featured Laura Tyson and George Soros. Unfortunately, every browser I tried crashed repeatedly as I tried to listen and also when I tied to click through the link below to see the agenda.

I guess we have to be satisfied for now with a summary of sorts by someone I know nothing about, a certain Douglas Rediker,  which was posted yesterday after the forum was over. But I still would love to be able to read/listen to whatever is on the site, without it crashing!

Here’s an excerpt from Rediker’s short post…I suggest reading the whole thing because it has some hard numbers of interest. He takes a different view than Schiff does on what China can do or will do, but the warning is clear (my bolding):

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/03/rebalancing_glo/

Rebalancing Global Currency Reserves

Thursday, Mar 26 2009, 2:05PM

At this morning’s superb economic event at the New America Foundation and in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, there was a lot of discussion about China’s recent proposal to consider a move away from the US dollar and towards the use of a new “super-sovereign reserve currency.” The intention according to China’s central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, would be to ultimately “create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run.”

SNIP

…The short term risk is not that China is about to dump its dollar holdings. Rather, it is the trading floors and fund managers around the world, whose job it is to be ahead of the curve, who may well start to re-weight their holdings on the marginally increased probability that this re-weighting might actually occur in the future. As the numbers above suggest, even a relatively small shift could represent a meaningful shift of capital and resulting impact on the dollar’s value.

There are, of course, multiple forces at work in foreign exchange markets and, among the sure-fire ways to lose money in this world are: 1) to play currency markets and 2) to bet against the US and the US dollar. Nevertheless, the fact that this is now likely to be a discussion topic on the agenda for the London Summit, suggests that the US should not take for granted that the US dollar will retain its current role in the world forever. Currencies are traditionally viewed as a reflection of a country’s economic strength. The US cannot lose sight of the crucial role that the “exorbitant privilege” to print the world’s currency provides and do what it can to ensure that this privilege is not lost. We can’t take anything for granted.

Feeling better now? I’m not…

***

Related Posts:

The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway (UPDATE 1X–Geithner Supports China Proposal??)

The Scanner-Politics: March 25, 2009 (G-20; Glenn Beck’s “The One Thing” Segment on the Dollar [Video]; “The Big Takeover”; Al Gore Releasing New Book on Election Day 11/3/2009; Augie the Dog Sends a Deposit to the U.S. Treasury)

A Reminder: Live Streaming of the First “Bernard L. Schwartz Economic Policy Symposium” Today (3/26) With a Rather Interesting Group & Agenda (To End “Fumbling” on Economic Policy)

The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway (UPDATE 1X–Geithner Supports China Proposal??)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Scroll down for UPDATE

Whos in Charge Here?

Hu Jintao--Who's in Charge Here?--Barack Obama (Photo courtesy Xinhua via CRIEnglish.com)

Late last week I came across this release from Itar-Tass.  In case you can’t place the name, the IT website tells us that this agency is:

The successor to the Soviet TASS news agency, it was re-named in 1992, when Russia proclaimed its sovereignty following the collapse of the USSR. It has retained its status of being the state central information agency.

Needless to say, when Russia’s “state central information agency” talks, I listen. I held the story up and coincidentally, found something that should grab us all.  First, the story from Russia:

Russia proposes creation of global super-reserve currency

16.03.2009, 15.15

MOSCOW, March 16 (Itar-Tass) — Russia suggests the G20 summit in London in April should start establishing a system of managing the process of globalization and consider the possibility of creating a supra-national reserve currency or a “super-reserve currency.” The Russian Federation’s proposals for ways out of the ongoing financial and economic crisis and for a post-crisis order of the world financial system have been published on the Kremlin’s website. The proposals have been dispatched to the leadership of the G20 countries, the CIS and international organizations.

(SNIP)

The Russian side believes the summit should seek and achieve accord on the main parameters of a new world financial system. It suggests calling an international conference that would produce the basic parameters of a world financial architecture and adopt international conventions regarding a new financial world order.

Russia believes that the “obsolete mono-polar structure of the world economy should give way to a system based on cooperation by several major centers.”

In the sphere of control and supervision Russia suggests drafting and adopting an international agreement setting global standards of control and supervision in the financial sector – a Standard Universal Regulatory Framework (SURF).

Russia calls for reforming the international currency and financial system with the aim to strengthen its stability and control. In that connection the Russian side suggests discussing the possibility of expanding the list of currencies to be used as reserve ones, on the basis of the adoption of agreed measures to stimulate the development of major regional financial centers, and also “the creation of a supra-national reserve currency that will be issued by international financial institutions.”

“It looks expedient to reconsider the role of the IMF in that process and also to determine the possibility and need for taking measures that would allow for the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) to become a super-reserve currency recognized by the world community,” the document says.

MORE

The release goes on to discuss for a new mandate and more resources for the IMF.

Well, now add this piece, posted by Logistics Monster yesterday in a post entitled Quick Note About New Global Currency! Pay Attention!

The post quotes an article from the Financial Times‘ Asia-Pacific section (excerpt):

China calls for new reserve currency

By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing

Published: March 23 2009 12:16 | Last updated: March 23 2009 23:24

In an essay posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank’s governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.

I suggest readers get over to Logistics Monster for the full quote from the article, which details the “special drawing rights” that we see mentioned in the Russian Itar-Tass release.

The Russia-China discussions apparently are just megaphones for what’s up at the Official G-20 website (excerpt):

The financial markets and the world economy continue to face serious global challenges and the severity of the crisis and ongoing uncertainties demonstrate the need for urgent action. During the United Kingdoms Chair, the immediate priority will be to gain further agreements for a concerted, co-ordinated international response.

The G-20 will need to send a strong signal that it is prepared to take whatever further actions are necessary to stabilise the financial system and to provide further macroeconomic support. At the same time, the G-20 must commit to maintaining open trade and investment, to avoid a retreat to protectionism, and direct necessary additional support to emerging markets and developing countries.

The G-20 should also lay the foundations to move beyond the crisis to a sustainable recovery. In 2009, it will be important to understand the roots of the international financial crisis and identify the lessons that we can learn to ensure that a crisis of this kind does not happen again. The G-20 should develop proposals that will restore global growth in the medium term, including the unwinding of emergency measures taken in response to the crisis.

Coincidentally, with the proposal to bolster the mandate of the IMF, we see this article from the Chinese news agency,
Xinhuanet/China View:

Central bank official: China “will actively consider” buying IMF bonds

www.chinaview.cn Special Report: Global Financial Crisis

BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) — China’s central bank said Monday it will “actively consider” buying bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Hu Xiaolian, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), made the comment during a briefing about President Hu Jintao’s coming visit to the G20 financial summit in Britain, scheduled for April 1 to 2.

“China supports the IMF’s innovative financing attempts, and a more efficient and timely financing mode can effectively ease the IMF’s cash shortage,” said the PBOC’s Hu.

“If the IMF finances itself by issuing bonds, China will actively consider buying” those bonds, Hu stressed.

Of course, the Chinese have already indicated that they are “worried” about U.S. Treasury bonds and a recent China Daily headline reads:  “Allure of US Treasuries Set to Fade”

“Although China is unlikely to massively cut its existing holdings of US Treasuries, it will try to reduce purchases,” said Yu Yongding, president of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The table is set.

I’m sure the G-20 will toast the dollar with fond reminiscences…

MEANWHILE, ahead of the G-20 meeting, China is now holding its 10th China Development Forum (excerpt):

Chinese premier: World should have faith in China

www.chinaview.cn

Special Report: China Development Forum 2009Special Report: Global Financial Crisis

China has launched plans to expand domestic consumption and promote economic growth. It will try its best to achieve the goal of eight-percent economic growth set for this year, according to Wen.

With timely efforts, the economy in some areas and industries in China is now witnessing better signs, Wen said.

“China can’t achieve self-development without rest of the world,” the Premier said, adding that China hopes to deliver confidence to the world and the world should have faith in the country.

SNIP

High-level officials, entrepreneurs, scholars and leaders from international and non-governmental organizations attended this year’s forum with the theme of China’s Development and Reform in the Global Financial Turmoil.

Remember the days when other countries sought “closer ties” to the U.S.? Well, Obama wants a “closer relationship” with China.

When these two meet at the G-20 session, who will be setting the pace?

And lest we forget Putin: he’s doing some saber-rattling…

Russian PM Putin Threatens to Review Relations with EU

SOCHI, March 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will start reviewing its relations with the European Union should Moscow’s interests be ignored, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

SNIP

Russia had been effectively excluded from talks at an international investment conference in Brussels on the modernization of the Ukrainian gas pipeline network, adding that the conference, convened by the European Commission, was limited to discussions between Ukraine and the EU.

“If Russia’s interests are ignored, we will also have to start reviewing the fundamentals of our relations,” Putin said. “We would very much like for things not to reach this point.”

Interesting times, indeed…frightening times.

***

UPDATE March 26, 2009

EXCERPT:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aAHStUZFitk8&refer=home

Treasuries Fall on Supply Concern as Seven-Year Sale Looms

By Dakin Campbell and Susanne Walker

March 25 (Bloomberg) —

snip

‘Poor Communication’

The Fed joins central banks in the U.K. and Japan in extraordinary purchases of government debt. U.S. policy makers announced the decision last week to buy $300 billion of government debt in the next six months along with a plan to more than double purchases of housing debt to $1.45 trillion, hoping to reduce rates on home loans.

The dollar fell the most in almost a week against the euro on concern Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner supported a Chinese plan to blunt demand among global central banks for the U.S. currency. The dollar weakened as much as 1.2 percent to $1.3651 per euro, the biggest intraday decline since March 19, before trading at $1.3601 at 4:20 p.m. in New York.

Geithner later affirmed the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency.

“The poor communication from the Treasury department has complicated the market for Treasuries,” said Baker Group’s Caughron.

More

***

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

China Optimistic about Hu-Obama London Meeting (CRIEnglish.com report 3/23/09)

Official G-20 website

International Monetary Fund (IMF) website

CIS: Overview (from the Commonwealth of Independent States)

THE CIS –Executive Committee website

CIS Wikipedia article

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