Tuesday 24th of October 2017

if you don't know why your country is at war, forget "democracy" and "freedom". think petrodollar...

petrodollar

China and Russia have already ditched the US dollar in their vast energy trade. Now China is leveraging Saudi Arabia to also abandon the greenback for oil sales. No wonder, it seems, that US policies are increasingly lashing out.

 

US global power depends on its presumed economic prowess and military force. With its economy in long-term decline, precipitated by the teetering dollar, the US rulers are relying increasingly on militarism to project power. That tendency is pushing the world to war.

 

 

The challenge is to somehow steer the American military monster into a safe berth without eliciting a world war.

The US decline is of historic proportions – on par with the demise of other past empires – and it stems from the looming collapse of the petrodollar system, which has given the US unprecedented privileges over the past decades since the Second World War

It is no coincidence that a surge in global tensions over recent years comes at a time when the American economy is staring into an abyss. The key to the survival of the US economy as we know it is the status of the American dollar as the world's top reserve currency.

 

The so-called petrodollar system, in which the world's most traded commodity oil and gas are conducted primarily through American currency, appears to be coming to an end. That decades-old system is being challenged by the rise of China, Russia, India, Iran and others. If the petrodollar and its global privileges are displaced then the United States is facing an economic apocalypse.

 

 

It should be said that there is nothing illegitimate about challenging this American unipolar dominance. Why should countries be forced to conduct their international trade primarily with the US dollar owing simply to historical circumstances during the 1970s that gave rise to the petrodollar system? That system works, in effect, like a global tax that the US imposes on all other nations because they are compelled to purchase American-printed banknotes.

 

Perhaps no two other countries have done more to forge a multipolar global order than China and Russia. China is the biggest oil importer and Russia is the world's biggest fuel exporter. When they announced last year that oil trade would be henceforth conducted in their own national currencies of yuan and rouble that development marked a nail in the dollar's coffin.

 

 

Now, only a few weeks ago, China and Saudi Arabia – the world's second-biggest oil producer – reportedly launched earnest negotiations for future energy fuel trade to be conducted in yuan. Commentators say Saudi Arabia has little choice in the matter, since China has been progressively reducing the kingdom's market share with other oil exporters, like Russia and Iran. If the Saudis want to maintain exports to the world’s biggest economy, then they will have to do their business in Chinese currency, not the US dollar as they have customarily done.

Randy Martin, an American political analyst, said the long-anticipated decline in the petrodollar is picking up pace.

"The petrodollar is in decline, and consequently the entire financial system that undergirds the western economies," Martin said. "China and Russia have laid the global economic foundation for the new 'Silk Road' and the emergence of a new Eurasian economy that puts the US and its petrodollar on the outside. That leaves the US dollar and its economy in tatters as long as the US insists on trying to maintain its unipolar quest for global economic dominance. To be clear, what China and Russia have successfully done is to unravel the economic foundation of US global hegemony."

However, that historic demise of US power is fraught with danger. That's because the shift from an American-dominated unipolar world to a multipolar one will come at huge economic pain to the US. With a debt mountain of $20 trillion and skyrocketing inflation due to the eventual demise of the dollar, American society faces an implosion from poverty, unemployment and social breakdown.

"Consequently, the world is faced with a global superpower in mortal decline, which is now expressing its existential fears with wanton military aggression across the globe. This will result in a grave threat to humanity as the US grapples for its place in a new multipolar global economy," Martin concluded.

The US political system is fighting for its very survival given the imminent end of its petrodollar hegemony. It is no coincidence that the US ruling elite is resorting to militarism and war as a way to stave off the feared economic turmoil. The frequency of US-led wars across the Middle East region, in particular, is all about maintaining American hegemony through imposing military might.

The proxy war in Syria is a foil for the US to subjugate perceived global rivals, Iran and Russia.

 

Also relevant is that the Persian Gulf gas-rich emirate of Qatar has led the way among the Arab states for doing more trade with China by replacing the dollar with the yuan. Qatar has also maintained relatively friendly relations with Iran with which it shares an enormous offshore gas field.

 

 

In the midst of these tumultuous world relations, the US is seeking to militarize the context as much as possible. By stoking and prolonging conflicts, the US stands to gain from military commerce and also by maintaining its sphere of influence over subordinate nations. Primarily, this is in the form of propping up the petrodollar system in the oil-rich Middle East.

As noted, when the petrodollar system collapses through the emergence of a multipolar world then the US economy and indeed its entire society as we know it is staring into an abyss.

"The US response to its looming demise has been the wholesale underwriting of a military-based economy for Saudi Arabia," analyst Randy Martin observes.

 

That was marked last month by US President Donald Trump making his first-ever overseas trip to Saudi Arabia to announce a record weapons contract worth up to $350 billion – three times what his predecessor Barack Obama sold to Saudi Arabia during his eight-year presidency.

 

 

The corollary of American militarism in the Middle East is a surge in tensions and potential for all-out war in Syria with Russia and Iran.

"US meddling in the Middle East is little more than an existential bid to preserve its hegemony there through military force, as its economic dominance through the petrodollar slips away," added Martin.

The emergence of a multipolar world seems not only inevitable. It is desirable in terms of establishing a more democratic global order. A unipolar world as seen under US hegemony is a formula for tyranny and lawlessness.

The good news is that US hegemony is crumbling. The demise of the petrodollar is the telltale sign of another empire sunsetting. But that transition to a more reasonable and sustainable world order is akin to negotiating a way out of a minefield.

Fortunately, Russia and China may have sufficient military power to deter the desperate, waning American empire from trying to incite catastrophic war. However, death throes are seldom rational events.

 by Finian Cunningham

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706291055090784-america-death-thro...

 

the smell of petroleum turning to jelly...

 

Preparing for the Collapse of the Petrodollar System, Part 1

by Jerry Robinson

Recently, there have been many news headlines containing the words “Iran”, “nuclear capability”, “Syria“, and “Islamic State“. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the drumbeats of a fresh war in the Middle East.

As an economist, I have been trained to view the world through the lens of incentives. (I am a "bottom line" kind of guy.) And just as every action is motivated by an underlying incentive, every decision has a related consequence.

This brief article details the actions, incentives, and related consequences that the United States has created through its attempts to maintain global hegemony through something known as the petrodollar system.

 

This article will begin with a look back at the important events of the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, which firmly established the U.S. Dollar as the global reserve currency. Then we will examine the events that led up to the 1971 Nixon Shock when the United States abandoned the international gold standard. We will then consider what may be the most brilliant economic and geopolitical strategy devised in recent memory, the petrodollar system. Finally, we conclude by examining the latest challenges facing U.S. economic policy around the globe and how the petrodollar system influences our foreign policy efforts in oil-rich nations. The collapse of the petrodollar system, which I believe will occur sometime within this decade, will make the 1971 Nixon Shock look like a dress rehearsal.

If you have never heard of the petrodollar system, it will not surprise me. It is certainly not a topic that makes it's way out of Washington and Wall Street circles too often. The mainstream media rarely, if ever, discusses the inner workings of the petrodollar system and how it has motivated, and even guided, America's foreign policy in the Middle East for the last several decades.

Personal Note: What I am going to explain in this article is something that I believe is vitally important for every American to understand. Since 2006, I have written dozens of articles on the petrodollar system. I have appeared on many major news media outlets talking about the petrodollar system. I even wrote a best-selling book entitled Bankruptcy of our Nation that spent an entire chapter exposing the petrodollar system. I have spoken about this topic all over the world. Suffice it to say, I believe that understanding the petrodollar system is very important to your financial well being. I encourage you to print this article out and read it carefully. When you are finished with it, I encourage you to share it with your friends and neighbors. Share it on Facebook and Twitter. Help us get the word out so that the American public can stir from its slumber and begin preparing for what lies ahead.

read more:

http://ftmdaily.com/preparing-for-the-collapse-of-the-petrodollar-system/

 

 

anti-competitive practice...

Note that the petrodollar is the most anti-competitive practice developed by the USA. Like google being charge for dominance of the market and promoting its own interests in Europe, the USA government should be sue for enforcing the petrodollar everywhere, including South America. All the troubles in the countries of this continents are due to the petrodollar. Chavez knew this, nationalised oil production and possibly paid with his life for it.

Direct dealing from one country to another, like between China and Russia should not involve the USA, but it does. The level of control and jealousy is immense to the point the US is prepared to go to war ANYWHERE to protect the petrodollar.

tillerson -- hired to protect the petrodollar...

 

Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, has written frequently about the political phenomenon he has termed wraithing: the tendency of every adviser, aide, and ally within Donald Trump’s orbit to eventually be stripped of dignity by their allegiance to the president, ultimately left a ghostlike shadow of their former selves. It is a sort of metaphysical corollary of the concept of enabling, which Vanity Fair special correspondent Sarah Ellison documents today. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the once powerful ExxonMobil chief executive who stepped down to join the Trump administration, finds himself somewhere in between the two camps, neither wraith nor enabler, soldiering on mostly silently as he struggles to do his job in the shadow of Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has taken over many of the foreign-policy duties that would ordinarily be Tillerson’s. It was Kushner, not Tillerson, who flew to Israel last week to begin negotiating peace in the Middle East; Kushner, who has served as liaison for Mexico and Canada, and who was recently invited to visit China after coordinating President Xi Jinping’s trip to Mar-a-Lago in April.

At the same time that he has found himself playing second fiddle to America’s princeling, Tillerson is managing a State Department in crisis. The White House budget has called for massive cuts, which would likely reduce staffing by thousands, decimate the diplomatic corps, and downsize the department’s mission. Dozens of top agency positions remain unfilled, the White House has stymied Tillerson’s efforts to hire his own people, and State has been left operating with a skeleton crew. Morale at Foggy Bottom has cratered, and with Tillerson disempowered, career bureaucrats are unsure how to do their jobs.

hose simmering frustrations burst out in the open last Friday, Politico reports, when Tillerson stepped in front of a room full of Trump’s most-senior aides—including his treasured son-in-law and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus—and quickly lost it.

The normally laconic Texan unloaded on Johnny DeStefano, the head of the presidential personnel office, for torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment.

Tillerson also complained that the White House was leaking damaging information about him to the news media, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Above all, he made clear that he did not want DeStefano’s office to “have any role in staffing” and “expressed frustration that anybody would know better” than he about who should work in his department—particularly after the president had promised him autonomy to make his own decisions and hires, according to a senior White House aide familiar with the conversation.

The episode stunned other White House officials gathered in Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’s office, leaving them silent as Tillerson raised his voice. In the room with Tillerson and DeStefano were Priebus, top Trump aide Jared Kushner, and Margaret Peterlin, the secretary of state’s chief of staff.

The rant was a long time coming for Tillerson, whose quiet, sometimes mind-numbingly slow efforts to reorganize the State Department have clashed with the White House’s demands for the quick appointment of politically convenient appointees. Several of Tillerson’s candidates have been blocked by the Trump administration either because they're Democrats, Republican Trump critics, or longtime civil servants. In the early days of the administration, Trump rejected Tillerson’s pick of Elliott Abrams, who had served under two Republican presidents yet published an op-ed critical of Trump, as his deputy. The subsequent lack of appointees has only hurt the relationship between Tillerson and the Trump political team.

read more:

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/rex-tillerson-outburst-jared-kush...

 

Tillerson's role has been to protect the Petrodollar. He knows oil. He knows trading oil. He was employed to make sure, as a "friend of Russia" (he was doing business there), Russia would stay in the Petrodollar zone. We know the rest. Russia has become a scapegoat for all the Presidential elections ills for no reason. But the mud sticks.  Under the sanctions from the US, mostly designed to stop Russia from selling gas to Europe and to help the US (and the Saudis) sell gas to Europe, Russia is making deals with other countries especially China. This is wounding the Petrodollar. The sanctions against Russia are backfiring. The point is to see which is less damaging for the US: Sanction against Russia (which are hurting European countries 2 to one) or losing the monopoly of the Petrodollar. 

In this balancing act, you can include the Qatar equation. Why Qatar has been ostracised has nothing to do with "terrorism" but its willingness to trade oil in other currencies than the Petrodollar. 

The Petrodollar rules but its kingdom is in danger. The Cryptocurrencies are also a big threat to the Petrodollar and Russia is ahead in this game. Forget Russia threatening the sovereignty of other countries. The USA is doing this in Syria, after having done this to Iraq and Libya. NATO is there to enforce the Petrodollar kingdom. Don't you forget it. 

The battle between Tillerson and the other mugs at the White Shithouse is that from Kushner to Tillerson, all have various ways to deal with the protection of this OIL kingdom. And Trump is happy to rule over a divided court. His next move will be telling. The attack on the female journalist is part of the distraction. What would you do if you were Mad Donald? You'd make friend with Putin, no matter what and bring him back to the Petrodollar zone, at the G20. Putin is a smart reasonable man, he would be prepared to make concession as long as the USA makes some concessions.

Meanwhile, Putin, allied with China, has a bigger military dick than the USA and NATO. 

Remember what Greenspan said: the Iraq war was ABOUT OIL.

 

See toon at top...

the one-way news machine...

 

“I feel like we sort of choked.” That’s how one former administration official recently described President Barack Obama’s failure to react to intelligence reports on Kremlin attempts to influence the U.S. election. Plenty of other people — including, with extraordinary cynicism, President Trump — have also asked why more wasn’t done.

But now that the details of that story are finally coming into focus — now that one Trump associate has been linked directly to Russian hackers — it’s important to remember the bigger picture. For the real mystery is not why Obama didn’t stop Russian hacking in 2016 but why didn’t either Obama, or President George W. Bush, or any of their Cabinet members, recognize the peculiar dangers posed by a resurgent, aggressive Russia years earlier — and how did that failure help boost the careers of people such as Trump?

don't read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/how-us-president...

 

Anne Applebaum who wrote the article above is disgenuous in the sense she believes what she writes, though she would have to know that it is complete Empire US hegemonic superiority bullshit. We know that so far not a single fact about Russia's involvement in the US Presidential elections has come to the surface and we know why. There aren't any. As a Jewish writer Applebaum hates Russia beyond hate. She hates Putin because he created Putinism, which to say the least, in Gus' mind, saved Russia from being plundered by the West, when Russia had been sold down the gurgler by Yeltsin, with the help of "American advisors". 

The Crimean takeover by Russia is a sore point to Applebaum. She presents it as if the Ruskies have been lying about the process, which showed that the Crimean people (mostly Russians) did not want anything to do with the glorious (according to Applebaum) and the corrupt (according to Gus) government installed by the USA in Kiev. According to Applebaum, the freedom of being Nazi arseholes should be respected. And if Trump was cynical about Obama "choking" on the "intelligence" reports, is because Trump knew the reports were a lot of bullshit.

We already tackled this subject (and Applebaum) in length at:

 

 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/31677

on YD footsteps...

 

Australia needs to decide whether to cling to the dangerous skirts of a dying empire or grasp the opportunities offered by a new multipolar world, writes James O’Neill.

THE LAST TWO or three years have seen a fundamental shift in the global monetary system, the full implications of which will take some time to emerge. 

There are a number of symptoms of this global shift, but Australian commentators persist in reviewing each of these symptoms without recognising their relationships.

One of the financial pillars of the post-World War II economic structure has been the role of the United States dollar, which, since the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944, has effectively been the world’s sole reserve currency.

The petrodollar

Initially, the dollar’s role was underpinned by U.S. gold holdings, until Richard Nixon removed the convertibility of the dollar to gold in 1971. That should have spelt the end of U.S. financial power but instead, a new unit assumed a central role and that was the creation of the "petrodollar".  In what was then a secret agreement, Nixon’s National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger negotiated with the Saudis an agreement whereby, in exchange for U.S. arms and security commitments, oil would henceforth be traded only in U.S. dollars.

read more:

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-demise-of...

 

Methink that  James O’Neill is walking in the footsteps of YD... (read from top and see date) but this is good. This series of articles here has attracted a lot more readers than others as the Petrodollar IS AT THE CRUX OF ALL OUR TROUBLES, including WARS. This needs to be publicised as much as possible. Then we can think about PEACE and proper trade negotiations.

And thanks to Finian Cunningham for writing the piece at top, in Sputnik... His article should be published in all the Western press, including the Guardian and the SMH, but it won't...

 

rexit?...

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering a "Rexit," CNN reported on Monday.

The former Exxon Mobil CEO has apparently become increasingly troubled by the Trump administration, most recently by President Donald Trump's comments regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In an interview with the New York Times last week the president criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation into Trump's alleged Russia ties. Tillerson reportedly found the remarks "unprofessional," according to CNN.

The reports of Tillerson's possible pending departure come on the heels of a turbulent week in the Trump administration. Last week Tillerson was found to have violated U.S. sanctions when Exxon signed contracts with a Russian oil magnate during his tenure as CEO—a revelation that led to calls for him to resign. The shakeup of the White House's communications department also drew attention when Sean Spicer stepped down as press secretary on Friday and hedge fund owner Anthony Scaramucci was installed in the department's top job.

Tillerson's frustrations have reportedly been growing for months. He has quarreled with the White House on hiring decisions in the State Department and was not consulted before Trump issued major announcements concerning State-related issues, including the travel ban and a warning to the Syrian regime about the use of chemical weapons.

Tillerson and Trump have also publicly disagreed about a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar over Qatar's alleged support of terrorism. While Tillerson traveled to the Middle East to attempt a resolution, Trump tweeted a message calling Qatar a funder of terrorism "at a very high level."

As CNN reports, Tillerson has shown signs in recent weeks that "despite his frustrations, [he] was determined to stay on the job at least through the end of the year. That would allow time to continue efforts to reorganize the State Department and would mean he could claim to have put in a year as America's top diplomat."

But statements to the news outlet from sources close to Tillerson are pointing to the possibility of a "Rexit" taking place much sooner than anticipated.

read more:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/24/rexit-report-indicates-till...

 

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crudely dethroning the petro...

 

Beijing has announced plans to start a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold. The step might lead to the emergence of a new Asia-based crude oil benchmark to compete with Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures.

RT talked to investing guru and financial commentator Jim Rogers to understand how much of a game changer this could be for an industry dominated by the dollar.

“This is just another step in that direction. Many people do not like using US dollars because if the US gets angry at you, they just set enormous pressure on you that can even get you out of business. China, Russia, and other countries understand this, and they are trying to move world trade and world finance away from that,” said the Jim Rogers.

As China is the world’s biggest crude buyer, the new contract may allow exporters to avoid US sanctions by trading oil in yuan. Such countries as Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam, China and many other Asian countries are interested in that, according to the expert.

The futures contract will allow participants to pay with gold or to convert yuan into gold without the necessity to keep money in Chinese assets or turn it into US dollars.

“The world has been moving that way. Iran will accept renminbi (yuan) from China now. The world is moving that way. China and Russia have currently swaps in rubles and renminbis. It is happening. But it is happening slowly. It takes a lot of time,” Rogers said.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/403465-dollar-end-china-crude-rogers/

 

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dropping the dollar...

In response to sanctions from Washington, Venezuela has started reporting its oil prices in Chinese yuan, going against the international trend of listing prices in US dollars.

On Friday, the weekly Oil Ministry bulletin published its prices for September in yuan, rather than the US dollar. The price-per-barrel posted on Friday was 306.26 yuan, or $46.76 on the more commonly-used exchange rate, up from last week’s price of 300.91 yuan, or $46.15.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/403577-dropping-dollar-venezuela-oil-yuan/

ditching the dollar #2

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to approve legislation making the ruble the main currency of exchange at all Russian seaports by next year, according to the Kremlin website.

To protect the interests of stevedoring companies with foreign currency obligations, the government was instructed to set a transition period before switching to ruble settlements.

According to the head of Russian antitrust watchdog FAS Igor Artemyev, many services in Russian seaports are still priced in US dollars, even though such ports are state-owned.

The proposal to switch port tariffs to rubles was first proposed by the president a year and a half ago. The idea was not embraced by large transport companies, which would like to keep revenues in dollars and other foreign currencies because of fluctuations in the ruble.

Artemyev said the decision will force foreigners to buy Russian currency, which is good for the ruble.

In 2016, his agency filed several lawsuits against the largest Russian port group NMTP. According to FAS, the group of companies set tariffs for transshipment in dollars and raised tariffs from January 2015 "without objective grounds."

The watchdog ruled that NMTP abused its dominant position in the market and imposed a 9.74 billion rubles fine, or about $165 million at the current exchange rate. The decision was overturned by a court in Moscow in July this year.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/business/403804-russian-sea-ports-ruble-settlements/

 

the silk road...


From Thierry Meyssan


The forces who imagined and planned the annihilation of the « Greater Middle East » considered this region as a laboratory in which they would test their new strategy. While in 2001 they were comprised of the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Israël, they have since lost political power in Washington, and pursue their economic-military project by using private multinational companies.

On one hand, they conceived their strategy around the work of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski and his assistant Thomas Barnett at the Pentagon, and on the other, that of Bernard Lewis and his assistant Samuel Huntington at the National Security Council [1].

Their objective is to update their domination with contemporary technical and economic evolutions and extend them to the countries which were once members of the Soviet bloc. In the past, Washington controlled the world economy via the world energy market. To maintain that position, it imposed the dollar as the default currency for any oil contract, and threatened any recalcitrants with war. However, this system could not be maintained once gas from Russia, Iran, Qatar – and soon Syria – partially replaced oil.

Reconnecting with the criminal origin of a large percentage of US colonists, these forces imagined they could dominate the rich countries by extortion. In order to gain access to the sources of fossil energy, but also prime materials in general, the stable States (including the ex-Soviet States) would be obliged to solicit the « protection » of the US army and also that of the United Kingdom and Israël.

All that was necessary was to split the world into two parts, to globalise the solvent economies and destroy any capacity for resistance in the rest of the world.

This vision of the world is radically different from the prevalent vision of the British Empire and Zionism. This change of paradigm could only be implemented by a massive mobilisation consecutive to a psychological shock – a « new Pearl Harbor ». That was 9/11.

Although this project seemed insane and cruel, we can observe today, 16 years later, that it is effectively under way, and also that it has met with some unexpected obstacles.

The economic globalisation of the solvent countries was almost total when one of these countries, namely Russia, offered military opposition to the destruction of the Syrian capacity for resistance, and then the forced integration of Ukraine into the global economy. Washington and London therefore ordered their allies to impose economic sanctions against Moscow. By doing so, they interrupted the process of globalisation of the solvent countries.

By launching its « Silk Roads» project, China has invested considerably in the countries which were slated for destruction. The forces which promote the « new map of the world » reacted by creating a terrorist State which cut the ancient Silk Road in Iraq and in Syria, and by transforming the Ukrainian conflict into a war, effectively cutting the original traces of the second Silk Road.

These forces are currently working to spread chaos to a second region, South-East Asia. At least, it is to that area that the jihadists seem to be migrating, according to the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Committee. By doing so, these forces are closing down the 2012-2016 episode in the Middle East – apart from the possibility of a war around the Kurds – and are preparing the devastation of South-East Asia. This would be the second stage of the « clash of civilisations ». After the Muslims against the « Judeo-Christians » (sic) [2], we now have the Muslims against the Buddhists.

read source:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article198294.html

 

 

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