From PetroDollar to PetroYuan – The Coming Proxy Wars

Why would the central bank of Nigeria decide to sell dollars and buy Yuan?

At first glance it might not seem the most interesting or pressing question for you to consider. But I think it is one of those little loose threads that if pulled upon carefully begins to unravel the hints and traces of a much larger story. But please be warned this is speculative.

Two days ago the Nigerian Central Bank announced it was going to increase the share of its foreign currency reserves held in Yuan from 2% at present, to up to 7%. To do this it was going to sell US Dollars. Now a 5% swing in anything financial is big. In our debt drunk times it’s difficult somethimes to remember that 2.15 billion dollars (which is what 5% comes to) is actually a great deal of money, even if it is less than a drop in America’s multi trillion dollar debt ocean. On the other hand even a 5% increase in Yuan would still leave 80% of Nigeria’s $43 billion worth of reserves in dollars.

BUT while it is small in raw financial terms I think it is significant in geopolitical terms.

Nigeria is Africa’s second largest oil and gas exporter. It holds as many dollars as it does because oil is sold in dollars. Nigeria gets paid in dollars which it then needs to recycle. This is the famous petrodollar in action. It is also a major reason the dollar is still the world’s major reserve currency and that in turn is why America can have such a monumental pile of debt and still (for now) be the  risk-off haven that institutional  investors run to when other currencies and markets become too risky and unstable.

What interest me is that prior to this announcement from Nigeria’s central bank, China has, for some years now, been working hard and succesully to buy exploitation rights in Nigeria’s oil fields. In 2009 The Wall Street Journal reported,

 Chinese companies have proposed investing $50 billion to buy 6 billion barrels of oil reserves in Nigeria, the African nation’s presidential adviser on energy said Tuesday.

A year later in 2010 the WSJ reported,

Nigeria and China have signed a tentative deal to build three oil refineries in the West African state at a cost of $23 billion, in a move to boost badly needed gasoline supply in Nigeria and to position China for more access to the country’s coveted high-quality oil reserves.

And just last year China extended a $1.1 billion loan in return for a reported agreement that oil exports to China would increase from around 20 000 barrels a day to 200 000 per day by 2015. This loan was on top of a range of development agreements betwen the two countries for various infrasctructure projects such a telecoms and railways.

Nigeria had, as of 2011, over 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. China is now one of its major trading partners. China wants Nigerian oil and my guess is that if it isn’t doing so already it is going to trade it entirely in Yuan. Such a move would mean Nigeria would need fewer dollars and more Yuan and the PetroYuan would begin to rise at the expense of the Petrodollar.

For some years now China has been making the Yuan a settlement currency. I have written about this a lot over the years. In 2012 I wrote a piece called “A new reserve currency to challenge the dollar – What’s really going on in the Straits of Hormuz.” China has created a series of bilateral settlement agreements with, among others, the EU, South Korea, Iran, India and Russia. All of these agreements by-pass the US dollar. If China now trades its oil in Yuan where will that leave the dollar?  Of course Saudi would never agree to such a thing, would it?

Now Its a long way from Nigeria’s 200 000 barerels a day to overthrowing the dollar as the premiere oil currency. But let’s face it the US has gone to war on more than one occasion recently in part because the country involved had been going to sell its oil in Euros. And the US is Europe’s friend, isn’t it?

The US hawks have always been afflicted with dominophobia – fear of falling dominoes. Somewhere in a room in the Pentagon or Langley, there is a huddle of spooks, military types, oil men and State department advisors all wondering how to prevent this new creeping menace. Because you cannot afford to be complacent you know. It starts in one country and if you don’t do something other’s will follow and before you know it the rich Western Africa oil bonanza is flowing into Yuan, to be followed by all those North African and Middle Eastern Arab Spring countries where the clean-cut boys are already having to ‘advise’ on the need to take a firm line with potentially anti-American Muslim Brotherhood types by  locking them up, shooting them and generally branding them as terrorists.

What would happen, someone will mention almost in a whisper, if Qatar were to triumph over Saudi and then cut a multi-lateral deal to sell its gas in Euros to Europe and in Yuan to China?

But to return from the overheated imaginations of the Virginia Hawks to some sort of reality, Nigeria is increasing its Yuan reserve at the expense of the dollar and is developing far closer ties to China than to the US. Which is why I think you will soon find the US dramatically increasing its involvement, both financial and military, in Angola.

Angola is going to be America’s answer to China’s Nigeria. And I think the signs are already there.

While in Nigeria Chinese companies are expanding, in Angola the big players are the Western Oil majors: Chevron/Texaco(US), Exxonmobil (US), BP (UK), ENI (Italy), Total (FR), Maersk (DK) and Statoil (NOR). There are others but these are the big players. Of these Total is probably the largest presence producing about a third of all Angola’s oil output. And Total has recently increased its presence. Of the others Chevron is one of the largest and is expanding aggressively.

Angola itself is busy selling off new concessions. 10 new blocks containing an estimated 7 billion barrels of oil, which is over half of all Angola’s proven reserves  are to be auctioned this year. Angola has recently edged ahead of Nigeria to be Africa’s largest oil exporter. If I’m correct I expect the Western nations/companies, led by the US and new best war-buddy, France to make sure the Chinese do not get a large share of the spoils.  One to watch.

As part of this new Western push, I expect to see China also restricted in any new oil fields around Sao Tome and Principe.  The big players to date are Chervon, Exxonmobil and Nigeria. The latter suggesting a way in for the Chinese that I think the Westerners will want to push shut.  To which end what I found interesting about recent events in Soa Tome and Principe is the visit there of Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s President for life. I have written about her and her banking empire in The Eurofiscal Corruption Contest – The Portuguese entry.  Isobel is most often refered to as Africa’s or Angola’s most famous business woman or Africa’s richest woman (She’s a billionaire). Rarely does anyone from the press raise the question of how she became so vastly wealthy.

She made a visit to the islands and both she and Angola’s state companies have begun to invest heavily. Angolan companies now have a very commanding position in the island’s economy and Angola, even though its own people live in poverty, found the money to loan Sao Tome and Principe  $180 million which is half of the island’s GDP. Top that Beijing! The Islands are Portuguese speaking, the largest bank is Portuguese, and the islands also house a broadcast station for Voice of America.

I think taken together the signs are that the West, led by America, has in mind to try to contain or perhaps even confront Chinese expansion particularly as it concerns access to oil and gas in West and North Africa, and to rare earth minerals – but that’s another story. I don’t think there can be any doubt that America and Europe are looking at Chinese expansion and its hunger for resources and see a threat. The question is what will they do?  America is accustomed to being the hegemonic power and its hawks have proved over and over that they are are quite prepared for military confrontation. The question for them would be how? Invading countries who have – in reality – very little military or economic might is one thing, but directly confronting another superpower is another.  I think all sides would see direct and open military confrontation to be out of the question. Not just for military reasons but for global economic ones as well. They need to find ways of fighting that do not sink the world economy  - neither its flows of goods and trade , nor its flows of captail and debt. Which is why I wonder about the possibility of seeing an era of new proxy wars being fought out in tit-for-tat destabilization escalating up to protracted guerrilla/civil wars.

In West Africa the  front line seems to run between Angola and Nigeria.  So who would like to play a game of destabilize your neighbour? There is already unrest about Chinese goods flooding Nigeria. How tempting might it be to think about fanning flames of unrest in already unstable Nigeria espeicially in the delta?

In return what would you have to do to re-ignite the lines of mistrust and division which blighted Angola through decades of civil war? Dos Santos and the MPLA may have been the Soviet proxy but he’s a capitalist now. So, how about a nice cold-war style proxy war?  I cannot bring myself to believe that no one at the Pentagon has dusted off the old plans for such conflict and set some analysts to working up some new ones with China scribbled in, in place of Russia.

Something is, I suspect, already afoot. One last pull on that little thread, one last detail that makes me wonder. Just last April (2013) the Israeli billionaire, Dan Gertler sold back to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the  oil companies/exploration blocks he had bought from it, but for 300% more than he paid. Anti-corruption campaigners have been up in arms.

Two facts interest me . One, that the purchase was actually financed by Sanangol, the Angolan state oil company (the company from which $32 billion had gone missing. Missing billions: billionaire dos Santos… No connection obviously). The DRC is to pay Sanangol back from oil revenue. Until that time, of course, Sanangol calls the tune.  Two, that this oil block lies between the DRC and Angola in what was contested territory but has since been decreed a zone of cooperation.

Now this sale by Gertler could just be a bog standard pillage-Africa deal. And I might well be seeing things that just aren’t there, but why now? This sort of big money, that is connected to the top of the DRC government (how do you think Gertler was able to buy the concession at the price he did? And who do you think might be the, so far, hidden second beneficiary of Gertler’s oil company? The government minister who sold the concession to him in the first place,  maybe?) moves when its contacts suggest this is a better time to lock in profit than times to come.

All in all, if I were a religious man, I would be saying a prayer for the children of Nigeria and Angola.

A note on all this speculation and non-financial stuff.  I don’t usually write this much speculation but recently I have become more convinced that we are in a watershed in which everything around us, all the rules we are used to, all the lines on the map, are up for grabs and are changing around us. For me, finance is not separate from politics so we have to understand how they rub against one another.  I hope you will bear with me.

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67 Responses to From PetroDollar to PetroYuan – The Coming Proxy Wars

  1. Woodgnome January 31, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    You make a convincing case, it must be said. A region to watch, I agree.

  2. Just me January 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Golem XIV,

    Well done, you are beginning to understand what is going on!.

    Sadly, I wouldn’t rule out a nuclear conflict in the future, the powers that be must think it could happen!.

    “United States Vice Pres. Joe Biden, has talked about how the previous Vice Pres. built a Bunker. He revealed this at March 2012′s Gridiron dinner. Dick Cheney had built a taxpayer financed nuclear subsurface complex underneath the Vice Pres. mansion at the US Naval Observatory (Wash D.C.) in 2002. This does not come as a shock. Also, Underground Explosions have been heard underneath the mansions of one of President Bush Jnr’s former Cabinet minister’s (a Cabinet minister in America is referred to as a ‘secretary of state’). Obviously he had a nuclear bunker built at taxpayers expense, while the taxpayers themselves are left to fend for themselves! Makes you want to vomit in disgust! These politicians wax themselves rich at the peoples expense!”

    http://www.bunkershield.co.uk/

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/12/14/washington-drives-world-toward-war-paul-craig-roberts/

    Everything that is going on, everything they are doing, everything, is being driven by…The preparation for the running out of global resources. What did you think they would do, wait until everything had run out ?.

  3. steviefinn January 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Globalisation it seems might end up as not such a good get rich scheme for the West after all. According to this chart the benefits have gone to the far Eastern poor & to the West’s very rich, with Western middle classes faring the worst.

    http://static4.businessinsider.com/image/52df8e7369bedd160a099347-687-497/screen%20shot%202014-01-22%20at%204.20.54%20am.png

    Not exactly good for stability especially if you add Japan to the mix. It would be hard to imagine the US taking on China, for many reasons & anyway, where would Walmart & all the other corporations get there stuff from ?

    Proxy wars then – Perhaps they will live to regret the feeding of a little dragon.

  4. The Dork of Cork January 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    I and perhaps most western people don’t understand Communist China or China period.

    What we do know (sort of) is that Kissenger (western banking interests) did a deal in the 1970s ………..a very big deal.
    My understanding of communism is that it is a offshoot and a part of capitalism (capitalism as I understand it is the concentration of monetary power focused at a apex and not a bottom up distributive system) which for example embedded itself in the British isles during Tudor and Cromwellian times and subsequently projected itself into China during the opium war period.

    My central point is while we now know for sure who controls Europe and America given events on the ground , we really don’t know for sure who controls China.
    Its another Russian Doll.
    The safest assumption is that the US is yet another 15/16 th century Spain in the waiting.
    If European banking interests can jump ship and enter Asia in a more direct fashion then they will.
    But the question is ………..can they ?
    That is the fulcrum on which this see saw of power projection moves.

    The generals are mere operators of the machine , they have no core policy role in my opinion.

  5. Mike Hall January 31, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Golem

    I have just commented on your previous piece that I feel this ‘watershed’ moment has recently become stronger. The veil feels like it has jumped a little higher & more people have noticed.

    Really, my friend, if you feel like writing, then please do. You won’t find any of your regular readers complaining, I’m sure, it’s all good, and as you say, it is all connected, as we are, at a certain level, as a species.

    Few, if any events are accidents, even while their true meaning may be tricky to interpret.

    Few weeks ago a former Canadian defence minister came out and confirmed evidence for hundreds of UFO visitations over many decades, by more than a dozen different species.

    Same week, UFO appears visually & on radar over Bremen airport, flights cancelled. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    • Woodgnome February 2, 2014 at 1:11 am #

      Now, on the subject of UFOs, I’d have put myself firmly in the ‘yeah, whatever’ camp until a couple of years ago. Then me and the missus and 5 or 6 of our mates were sat in the beer garden of our local pub one summer afternoon. We weren’t pissed, had barely blown the froth off the first one… Something came across that wasn’t any aircraft I’m familiar with (I was in the RAF for 8 years, so I have a passing familiarity). As far as we could hear, totally silent, shaped vaguely like a cube with a small window on each face. Was in plain view for about 10-12 seconds, then disappeared into the low cloud over the estuary. Weird as fuck!

      So now I’m not so sure.

  6. Syzygy February 1, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    The TPP and TTIP trade deals are often described as involving ‘anyone but China’, which implicitly brings to mind a new cold war scenario.

    I agree that this feels like a ‘watershed’ moment and even more worryingly that the Western elites, led by the US, are increasingly desperate in their attempts to retain control. I’m reminded of the rat-catcher’s maxim not to stand between the rat and the door. It feels as if they will risk much more than solely the poor little children of Nigeria and Angola.

    • Mike Hall February 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Syzergy, yep, I get that…. haha ‘….the rat and the door…’ thanks for that my friend, made me smile :)

      Listening to a ‘Solid Steel’ radio recording by Hexstatic 01-05-2013 if that means anything to any of our august members? :)

      • Mike Hall February 1, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

        Followed by Amon Tobin in ZenCD180…. :)

  7. Just me February 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    May 23rd 2013,

    “Proliferation of Free Trade Agreements and Currency Conflicts”

    http://www.leap2020.net/euro-brics/2014/02/01/proliferation-of-free-trade-agreements-and-currency-conflicts/?lang=en

  8. Mark F February 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    I found your blog a couple of days ago. I like the writing and thought processes used to derive your conclusions. I’ll be a frequent visitor and I plan on featuring your posts on my new blog. http://tri-fuelgen.com
    Thanks

    • Golem XIV February 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

      Hello Mark F,

      Welcome. And thank you.

  9. Attitude_Check February 2, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    China,

    Has been systematically position itself for a world with the $ as the world reserve currency. Trying to look at it from a Chinese perspective, this makes perfect sense. Starting after 2008 the following steps have been taken

    1. Net zero purchase of new US treasury’s, and a steadily shrinking duration of what is owned
    2. Significant increase in CB gold holdings and a official policy to encourage the average citizen to own gold
    3. Development of many bilateral trade agreements with major trading partners to avoid the $

    Recent public statements that the the world should consider a world with the $ as the reserve currency, but instead a basket of currencies along with Gold and possible silver. That this should be a major topic at the next G20 meeting.

  10. Attitude_Check February 2, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    That should have said, positioning itself for a world without the $ as a the reserve currency

  11. Joe Taylor February 3, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Thinking back to the recent (and to me most inspiring) We The People blog:

    Following a tip from Phil (Mcr) I’ve just finished reading Ann Pettifor’s latest e-book (£2.99) Just Money – How Society Can Break The Despotic Power Of Finance.

    The quotes below jumped out as being relevant.

    Given the defeatism of our leaders, it is imperative that the people must lead.

    We must reinvigorate our political and democratic institutions, because they are the vehicles by which society collectively and democratically agrees to legislative and regulatory change.

    We, the people, have to organise politically; and to be clear about the financial and economic transformation we aim for, in order to bring about a more ecologically sustainable world.

    But that great transformation can only happen if we the people equip ourselves with a full and proper understanding of money-creation, bank money and interest rates – and then begin to demand the reform and restoration of a just monetary system, one that makes finance servant to the economy, and removes it from its current role as master of the economy.

    So are ‘We The People’ on this blog going to do something?

  12. Buck Turgidson February 4, 2014 at 4:11 am #

    I think the Nigerian petro dollar petro yuan situation will be a side show to the tribal religious war that will soon engulf Nigeria. Sort of like trying to swat fly’s during a hail storm. The Keystone pipeline and the Canadian tar sands don’t need a proxy war. The Texas oil boys will do well wherever they get their foot in the door and if they need protection from some proxy warriors the sky’s above them will belong to the US. Good luck China.

  13. Robin Smith February 4, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    Are our leaders, professors, experts and celebrities tilting at windmills?

    Is their intellect being used more to obscure reality than to reveal it?

    How much wisdom do they possess?

    http://www.meltfund.com/2014/02/planet-savers-are-tilting-at-windmills.html

    Remember the ‘planet saver’ Don Quixote? He was a true dreamer, with a big heart, who meant well in all his tragic adventures. He was a ‘nice guy’.

    It’s true. His ‘windmills’ were all issues that he thought needed dealing with. But they were all irrelevant in the whole scheme of things. Each of them even if resolved perfectly revealed a much more pressing issue which the Don was unable to see because it demanded far deeper self analysis than he was prepared to give. Denial of his own self and its complicity in the bigger problems being conveniently ignored.

    So none of his adventures ever turned into fruitful profit, for himself or the world he was boldly trying to save. Notwithstanding the world will do very well without us already.

    The same can be said of all the experts and campaigns to save a world that does not require saving. By all the campaigners denying that it is themselves who really require saving… from themselves.

    • steviefinn February 5, 2014 at 1:17 am #

      Robin, you are a cuckoo, planting unwanted & wasted eggs.

      • roger g Lewis February 5, 2014 at 7:46 am #

        I think that Robin and melt fund are right Stevie in that it is not the World that needs saving but it is the human race needs saving from itself and by reduction we all need saving from our selves.

        • allcoppedout February 5, 2014 at 9:18 am #

          I would mention the only ‘person’ who knew what was really going on in Quixote was the horse.

        • steviefinn February 6, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

          Out of respect to yourself Roger I have had another look at Meltfund. I found nothing I would consider worthwhile so we shall have to hopefully agree to disagree.

          As to your point I fully concur, but I would have thought that conclusion was pretty obvious & I cannot for the life of me see how buying distressed properties would help with this.

  14. Alex February 4, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    I think you clearly underestimate the influence of China in Angola.
    I recommend reading an Economist article called “A Sad Sad Sonangol” http://www.scribd.com/doc/177406213/A-Sad-Sad-Sonangol
    Angola is China’s 2nd largest supplier of oil. Sonangol has a 50% stake in all oilfields and ships their share abroad to pay off corrupt credit lines that wer agreed upon by the Govt back in 2004. If anything, Angolan leaders have been clever in managing to play with both sides while not annoying the West to much.
    China’s largest export to Africa? Prisoners to work!
    http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/2010/08/is-china-sending-prisoners-to-work.html

    • allcoppedout February 5, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      According to Zerohedge the Nigeria Central Bank has $20 billion not accounted for. or would that be in remnimbi?

      Capitalism is way older than the West. Even the Sumerians knew the finance and business-agricultural cycles ran out of phase. A classic moment may have been when the Athenian Democracy found its treasury out on the wrong side of a decimal place and conducted genocide at Melos for more efficient grain production and sell the women and children as slaves. One can find plenty of Domesday Books in history. Blood debts and other feudal traces remain in today’s capitalism. China, the USSR and most other communist states were state capitalist, reducing most to serfs. We had a brief illusion-reality we were not in the West.

      I sometimes think the powers that be hoped investment in China would bomb as seriously as in the Great Leap Forward, but post WW2 manufacturing advances in mass production and de-skilling through the embodiment of work in machines made production transfer much easier. Combined with a big reduction in transport costs through improved logistics, cheap crews and so on, remote production had everything going for it. I suspect by the time China was getting technology transfer, it had become very difficult to maintain 50% profit margins on manufactures through the usual dirty deals. Instead our financiers sold us out by not investing in productive capacity here and selling our markets to their own foreign interests.

      There is no need, given IT, for any reserve currency. Variations in, say, oil prices would be arbitraged out of existence in nano-seconds. Most of the world has worked out it has been paying for US militarism for not much reason. I don’t know how the world wars that put the US in this position came about. The history I was taught or the BBC puts out is ripping yarn. The people who fought and died had nothing to gain. Perhaps the same forces have China spotted as the next likely imperialist they can gain from. There are a lot of young men in China without women, always a good source of ‘warriors’.

      What we should hope for is ‘China rises’ – in the sense of revolting internally against the rip-off oligarchs. Hopefully, they have more spine than those of us who have stood by here as what gains we had were reversed. Weren’t Australia, New Zealand and North America full of rather different peoples before we started transporting prisoners? Perhaps the Chinese merely act out a modern version of the old script.

      Hard to know what any of it is about. Britain traditionally let its enemies (Germany and France) exhaust itself against Russians. India and Japan are conveniently sited near China.

      I no longer care, due to return to claim a sales of goods act refund on this trip from whatever celestial beings think this hotel is worth more than a cesspit star, long before the real shooting starts somewhere our main media will have to report. I suspect China sees Africa as lebensraum and a place to export labour while automating at home.

      • desmond February 5, 2014 at 11:48 am #

        so what do we have going for us? real peace makers anybody..

    • Golem XIV February 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

      Alex,

      Been away for a few days. Thank you for the links. VERY interesting articles. Lot of stuff I did not know. Thanks again.

    • Buck Turgidson February 9, 2014 at 6:22 am #

      Spartan walled off compounds do not a prison make. The Africans think that the laborers sent from China should live in better housing. Little do they realize that millions live in poverty in China.

  15. Le Gin February 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Not so off-topic re watersheds and changing rules …. extract from The Slog – full article here— http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/wiping-out-the-whistleblowers-four-jumpers-a-missing-person-spell-panic-in-the-establishment/

    “….The same Hedge Fund fate that doomed Greece may yet befall Denmark. Owl Creek Asset Management, a leading high-performance hedge-fund firm, has begun betting against Denmark’s sovereign bonds “in anticipation of a debt crisis”. In turn, Owl Creek has taken up a massive posiiton in credit default swaps on Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest lender. Nice little pincer movement there, guys.

    While the Danes’ debt to disposable ratio is World No 1 at 320%, methinks there is another factor underlying this sudden interest in a relatively obscure Scandinavian country. You see, it just so happens that the Arctic is believed to contain 22% of the technically recoverable oil and gas resources still left in the world. Also, guess what? Denmark has the most solid claim to the largest part of it…and leads the technology race to get it out at a commercial price. But as Offshore technology Magazine reported two years ago,

    ‘…there are disputes between Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the US regarding rights to use resources and security of transportation through Arctic shipping routes…”

    Didn’t JPM manage to coerce enough of the Danish troghers in to parting with a controlling stake of a state owned energy company last week, against all good advice?

  16. Just me February 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    “U.S. trade deficit widens in December as exports fall”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/us-trade-deficit-widens-in-december-as-exports-fall/article16724393/

    “US manufacturing activity slowed sharply in January on the back of the biggest drop in new orders in years, suggesting the economy had lost steam at the start of 2014.”

    http://www.afr.com/p/world/us_sees_slowdown_in_manufacturing_8GENzLFUmQPOx51SIW9uLO

    “Ecuador Pulls Out of Regional Mutual Defense Treaty”

    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/117375-ecuador-pulls-out-of-regional-mutual-defense-treaty

  17. backwardsevolution February 7, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Golem – extremely interesting article. I think you’ve got a very good handle on what’s going on. Poor Africa – they’re grabbing their oil and their land, and don’t even think of objecting, else you’ll be Gaddafied.

    I don’t know if anyone has posted this, but here is the first interview of Edward Snowden by the German press. Great interview. Snowden is intelligent and very well spoken. Chilling to think what they must have on each and every one of us.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f93_1390833151

    Great job, Golem.

  18. Just me February 7, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    “Dark Gold: Shining Light on a Mysterious Market”

    http://blog.europacmetals.com/2014/02/dark-gold-shining-light-on-a-mysterious-market/

    “New Academic Study Says HFT Exacerbates Volatility And Generates Flash Crashes”

    http://blog.themistrading.com/new-academic-study-says-hft-exacerbates-volatility-and-generates-flash-crashes/

  19. Just me February 7, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    “Germany repatriating its US gold reserves in mini-shipments”

    http://en.europeonline-magazine.eu/germany-repatriating-its-us-gold-reserves-in-mini-shipments_316572.html

    • Hawkeye February 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Meanwhile inter-bank bullion grade gold is gushing out of London, eastward bound.

      “Gold continued to work its way through the supply chain, to be converted from London Good Delivery bar-form, via the refiners, into smaller Asain consumer-friendly denominations…..Data from Eurostat show exports of gold from the UK to Switzerland for the Jan-Aug period grew more than ten fold to 1016 tonnes.”

      See pg 5 of the pdf version of Gold Demand Trends Q3 2013:

      http://www.gold.org/media/press_releases/archive/2013/11/gdt_q3_2013_pr/

      This does raise a lot of unanswered questions:

      - Who did this gold belong to?
      - Why are they selling so much of it (at a relatively low price)?
      - Who is taking delivery of it?
      - Why does Asia want it so badly?

      • Just me February 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

        “Who is taking delivery of it?”

        Hawkeye,

        We should be inquiring as to where its final destination is going to be, we should also be asking that of all the UK gold that Gordon Brown sold off (very cheaply!!!).

  20. Just me February 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    “Why The Next Global Crisis Will Be Unlike Any In The Last 200 Years”

    http://www.cyniconomics.com/2014/02/06/next-crisis/

    “Jim Willie on Bankster Suicides: Bankers Were Taken Out to Prevent FOREX Fraud Whistle-blowing!”

    http://www.silverdoctors.com/jim-willie-on-bankster-suicides-bankers-were-taken-out-to-prevent-forex-fraud-whistle-blowing/

  21. Just me February 8, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    “Market Manipulations Become More Extreme, More Desperate”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/07/market-manipulations-become-extreme-desperate/

  22. Just me February 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    “The result was one of the most rapacious acts of looting of a nation’s resources in modern history — all of it happily facilitated by Argentina’s treasonous president Carlos Menem.”

    http://ragingbullshit.com/2014/02/07/remembering-the-roots-of-argentinas-current-economic-storms/

  23. allcoppedout February 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    We had currency wars and the debate before. Max Weber considered the issues in some detail referring to lytric systems and the role of charismatic leadership in challenging the legal-rational establishment. We have done all sorts to destabilise the currencies of others, from counterfeiting to drug-running. On the face of it, the Chinese are offering loans at about 6% against 18% from Western banks in Africa. It would be good to hear from Africans whether they find this the good deal it looks like.

    I’ve lapsed beyond what we used to think of as rational analysis. Writing around 1977, CH Waddington said, ‘IN any attempts to control the man made future it is of crucial importance that adequate organisations are set up to investigate in the broadest possible contexts the detailed facts about the actual results that various policies and executive actions really produce. So far, such organisations are conspicuous only by their absence’. I’ve seen no sign of any in the 35 years since.

    We almost need a ‘Puritan’ sweep of our corrupt organisations, though Lord spare us the likely outcome of governance by corrupt Puritans! I’m atheist, a scientist and yet can’t help noting we’ve lost the moral plot. Our newsrooms are full of ‘let them eat cake’ gossip controlled by the Ministry of Propaganda. China may already be the new Germany in terms of how it has achieved growth, who has really financed this, the shadows lurking in it and lack of any sensible planning for peace across the board.

    Solutions appear obvious, I sure sign we don’t understand the shape and mechanisms of the system in which we’d try to implement them.

  24. Just me February 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    “The free fall of the Ghana cedi-one side of the die”

    http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=299943

  25. Roger February 10, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW3HPuvv2uw&feature=player_embedded#at=920

    This video has only 5000 views on You tube.

    The Documentary America Freedom to Fascism by Aaron Russo has about 100,000 views on its various copies posted to You tube ( it was made in 2006)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNNeVu8wUak

    In one week last week A video I had posted with a Clip from Only Fools and Horses had 150,000 views simply because one of the actors in the scene passed away, Roger Lloyd Pack ( Trigger) Its an up hill battle to get people to bother to find out what is making life less than it could be.

    Its great to know that Russell Brand will stick his neck out and generates comment on the issues that attract so many of us to discuss them here.

    David ( Golem) more of this please.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE-84S7Xyac

    It has only 2500 views I have tweeted it and pasted it and will put this post on my own blog. As the Main Stream media is not going to get the message out Social Media is our friend. I was looking at the Anonymous DDos tactic the other day which is a networked attack to jam targeted Internet services ( Its illegal and I am not suggesting we should be engaging in DDos type action what we do need is coordinated and concerted plugging of piffy messages getting the message out sadly repetition works and nagging needs to made less annoying by adding entertainment value.
    “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
    That alone should encourage the crew.
    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What I tell you three times is true.”

  26. Golem XIV February 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Sorry I haven’t been around for a few days. I will be writing again soon and have been reading comments.

    A sudden flood of other commitments: Lots of Quaker stuff, a new Facebook page

    https://www.facebook.com/david.malone.greenparty which we set up to help me fight the parliamentary election, and working on a proposal for the BBC.

    All good fun but has kept me away.

  27. Roger February 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    Just posted this on my Facebook Page David and asked all my friends to like your page. I suggest all your regular readers who feel the same as me do like wise. Count on me to do whjat I can to stand Virtual to Virtual shoulder with you, and if you need help on the hustings I would happily come and knock on doors for you when the time comes.

    I do not personally support any political party for my part I would vote for who I felt would sincerely represent the interests of my Family and community regardless of their Branded political affiliation. David Malone is a sincere and brilliant man and I am hoping my freinds will show support for his candidacy in Scarbourough running for the Green Party. I will happily like support and do what ever I can to assist any Candidate in the next election who is vouched for by someone I trust and respect as a supporter of Democracy and local communities, keep Big Business and Big Finance out of politics lets take it back to the grass rootshttps://www.facebook.com/david.malone.greenparty

  28. Just me February 12, 2014 at 12:11 am #

    “JPMorgan Chase in new scandal involving insurance regulator chief”

    http://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/1425646/jpmorgan-chase-new-scandal-involving-insurance-regulator

    “Lawsuit Calls Government’s Sweetheart Deal With JP Morgan ‘Unlawful’”

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/02/10/3273491/lawsuit-morgan-deal/

  29. Just me February 12, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    “Scottish independence: George Osborne to ‘rule out currency union’”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26147783

  30. Just me February 13, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    “Indonesia Sells $4 Billion of Global Bonds for Dollar Supply”

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/indonesia-sells-4-billion-of-global-bonds-for-dollar-supply/

    “China’s Push Into ‘America’s Backyard’”

    http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/chinas-push-into-americas-backyard/

    “BOJ’s Kiuchi: Extra stimulus would have negative impact”

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/breaking-news/asia/bojs-kiuchi-extra-stimulus-would-have-negative-impact-20140212

  31. Just me February 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    “Sinister Events In Ireland”

    http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2014/02/12/sinister-events-in-irelan

  32. Just me February 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    “Did Germany Just Destroy the Euro?”

    http://www.thetrumpet.com/article/11364.19.0.0/economy/euro/did-germany-just-destroy-the-euro

  33. Just me February 20, 2014 at 1:08 am #

    “Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face — Paul Craig Roberts”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/02/18/19371/

  34. Just me March 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    “We need €5bn by Friday or we go bust, Kiev tells EU”

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4016232.ece

  35. Robin Smith April 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    This is good yet rather superficial.

    Strike Land!

    http://www.meltfund.com/2014/04/strike-land.html

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