Trashy Talk

August 26th, 2017 will, for boxing fans, be a memorable day. That will be the day on which Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather fights Conor ‘Notorious’ McGregor, not for any title, nor for fame (they are each already quite famous,) but perhaps for ego, and for a paycheck which could increase the standard of living for all the citizens in a small developing nation.

The press conferences (read: promotional events) leading up to the upcoming fight have, so far, been ‘over the top’. Boasting, disrespectful comments, name-calling, swearing, insults, death threats… it really has played out, as so many other similar events do, like a childish playground pissing contest, as it were. In everyday life, an insult leading to a physical confrontation is grounds for litigation, so why do it? It is as if they needed a reason to fight, besides the huge payday.

The public is being led to believe, in the interest of showmanship, that these two combatants are really angry with each other and hate each other deeply. The fans are not stupid; they have probably witnessed many other such contests after which the two boxers congratulate each other, speak graciously, and give each other the credit to which they are both rightly due. Whether or not there is genuine animosity between the two ‘men’ (which I doubt,)  There must be another reason given for them to engage in the brutality which is sure to ensue. That reason, you guessed it, is ‘the cheddar’.

Boxing has become an enormous moneymaker, not just for the fighters, but for the promoters, the venue owners, the Pay-Per-View affiliates, the merchandisers, and on and on… but wouldn’t the revenue generated be the same whether or not the fighters insulted each other? Wouldn’t everyone involved stand to gain the same amount if events such as these did not degenerate into dramatic soap operas and shouting matches? This point is debatable, but doubtful. Conflict breeds interest.

It can be argued that this sort of behaviour serves to prime, not only the fans, but the participants themselves. Is there an advantage in tricking yourself into believing that you really do hate your opponent, and that your anger towards him will give you an edge? Ironically, most martial artists would disagree. What is required in combat is a steely nerve and focus, both of which become blurred when under the influence of emotion and/or personal gain. There is a job to be done, and emotions introduce other influences which tend to distract from it. If you are thinking about your hurt feelings, then you are not concentrated on the task at hand. It is said that, in feudal Japan, for example, the best way to avoid a fight with a samurai was to anger him, for rage represents a loss of control just when control is what is most crucially needed.

This sort of behaviour certainly does not set a good example for the youth watching, and does nothing to promote good sportsmanship, despite the fact that they will invariably ‘hug it out’ afterwards. It is actually quite hypocritical, so why do it in the first place?

What it does is set the tone for all the attention an event of this magnitude needs in order to generate the profits desired by all involved. It’s all about the hype. Hype equals attention, and attention generates revenue. It’s as simple as that.

Vasy Lomachenko reacts to Conor McGregor… (Lomachenko won the WBO featherweight title in his third professional fight.)

(02:31)

But what does this say about our society, that we must be whipped into a frenzy before we can enjoy a technical contest between two superbly well-trained athletes? Is it not enough that they are competing for a nine-figure payout? Why does anger have to enter into it at all? The Olympics do not need it, and reflect an opposite position, and those games are unquestionably the largest and most popular sporting event on the planet. If Olympic athletes behaved in this way, they would surely be sanctioned, and might even be banned.

What is it about us and our need to suspend our own disbelief in these cases? Is it an outlet, a proxy for our own frustrations? Is it a way for us to expel our pent-up rage through others? Is this, and events like it, what keeps us from exhibiting our anger towards those who do us wrong in our everyday lives? Is there an innate need for violence in the human psyche? If so, it may be a necessary evil, and a good thing.

Any way one looks at it, it’s bound to be a helluva fight.

 

Facades

When walking past a house after dark, it’s always the big windows that are lit. Is this diversion or hubris? Governments display these same traits.

What’s unseen… what’s underground? What’s behind the facade, the empty room, the well-lit space?

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More to come.

Benji’s Plight

In 1971, the French sent a gunboat to New York harbour to get their gold back because the USA was over-extending itself as per the Bretton-Woods agreement. It was President Nixon who was not playing by the rules. In this example, it was the Vietnam war which was being funded but without enough gold to back the expenditures. The US was inflating its own currency. Since the Franc was pegged to the dollar and the dollar was pegged to the gold that America held, there wasn’t enough gold to maintain the value of the French currency. This is why the French acted. This was essentially the beginning of what we now know as central bank money, or modern fiat money.

Why mention all this? Well it seems to me that the Chinese are de-evolving in monetary terms, going back to a Bretton-Woods type system in order that they can play the role that the US played but with their allies, instead. For that to happen, they need to back their currency with gold, and so they will need as much as they can get. Russia has also spoken about a gold-backed ruble.

Gaddafi was in the process of creating a gold-backed pan-African currency, but Libya did not have the clout to withstand the American onslaught, and we all know what happened after that. China does.

If we exclude QEII, the largest land-owners in the world are Russia, China, the King of Saud, the King of Thailand, the King of Morocco, and the King of Oman. All of these countries have large Muslim populations; even Russia is about 15% Muslim. All of them have been involved with some form of gold-backed currency, or are currently talking about implementing one. China is going to do it for them, and unite Asia in the process.

This is why Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev said, at the UN, that the IMF must go and that the world reserve currency should no longer be dollars. He also said that the UN should be based in Asia. Kazakhstan is hugely rich in natural resources (oil, gold, uranium…) He gave this speech on the same day as Obama and Putin spoke, but nobody was listening.

This, in my opinion, is what we are seeing in China now. They are slowly trying to shed dollars without causing too much commotion. If they do it too quickly, they would lose a great deal of value in the process. Eventually, though, the dollar will be dumped. China did just get into the IMF’s basket, for credibility and support if nothing else, but this may be short-lived and not for the reasons most would think.

With Turkey looking east, they could collectively control all the oil and gas flowing into Europe (Turkish Stream pipeline,) and most of the water flowing into the middle-east. The east would have Europe by the short-and-curlies.

This is also why they want to ‘easternize’ Europe with a large influx of migrants. Terror is a serious issue for all these actors, not just an excuse for expansion like it is for America. Russia has an outpost called Ingushetia to guard against Chechen fighters. Even China has terror at its back door.

Energy-poor Europe really has no choice in the matter and America is powerless to stop it. This is what made Ukraine such a target. Russia is diverting all pipelines into Europe through Turkey instead of Ukraine, making the entire exercise there moot. This is what makes the middle-east, the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea, North Korea, and Lithuania so important to the west. This is why the west (and NATO) is trying to encircle Russia and break up Eurasia, but what’s the expression again…? A day late and a dollar short (pun definitely intended.)

One could draw a line from Beijing to Moscow and cross only one country, Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan may be where the new Prime Meridian passes, where the new UN headquarters might be located, and is where the world’s monopoly of low-enriched uranium (LEU) is kept. Buffett knows it, too. Kazakhstan is land-locked and so is very easy to defend.

It’s over.

China is starting to unwind, all of Eurasia will be dumping the dollar very soon (?this summer/fall?) the petro-dollar’s days are numbered (Saud has been in negotiations with Russia for years now over this very issue) and if America doesn’t wake up to this incontrovertible fact, war will be the only option. If the USA and NATO and the EU start making preparations now, perhaps there could be a way to draw this out nicely enough not to have to crash the western economy. They could also all be working behind the scenes together, east and west, knowing that the inevitable is coming. Hey, ya’ never know.

As it happens, last year, American private equity fund KKR bought Mexico’s Pemex Oil. They have secured rights to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, and now they are moving even further south. Venezuela seems to be the next target now that the Americans know they have lost the middle-east, and will soon have to leave.

“Seventy percent of Petropiar is owned by the state-run Petróleos de Venezuela, and 30% by its overseas partner, Chevron. The government has now offered to sell a portion of its shares to the Russian Rosneft, along with a stake in the rights to extract oil from the premium-grade Orinoco Oil Belt. This, of course, is no less than a stab in the back for Chevron. (Rosneft faces sanctions from the US, which, of course, Chevron does not.)

Venezuela has also expropriated shares belonging to ConocoPhillips, for which it has not yet paid, at the same time as they’re negotiating with a Japanese investment bank to obtain further funding.”

These deals, in the American perspective, are worth protecting and fighting over especially if Russia’s Rosneft gets control of some of the oil in the Americas.

“The involvement of the U.S. military in an upcoming multilateral military drill in South America has raised concerns over potential ulterior motives on the part of the U.S.

 

The drill, dubbed “Operation: America United,” will involve the installation of a temporary military base on the triple border shared by the drill’s other participating nations: Peru, Brazil and Colombia.

Clearly, the Americans know that their time under the petro-dollar scheme is winding down, and they are desperately seeking alternative sources of oil. Now that Erdogan has refused the EU membership and is looking east, even the Germans are moving their troops from Incirlik to Jordan. They too must sense that something is changing within NATO and in the middle-east.

All this talk of populism vs. globalism (I was caught up in it, too) is like so many squirrels scurrying to hide their nutz. This is also why we needed the king of all squirrels, Donald Trump, to completely dominate our lives. After two years of him dominating the main-stream media scene, much of the groundwork has been done quietly, and in the shadows.

Of Bulls And Bears (and why they’re both screwed)

As a follow-up to two recent articles (here and here) on Turkey, Eurasia, and the coming crash of the US$, please consider the following.

As Russia’s Sergey Glazyev said, “As soon as we and China dump the dollar, it will be the end of the US’ military might…” Keep that in mind as you read the following.

China’s current credit crisis causes concern for the world’s economies, but not for China. China can amass all the debt it wants in order to finance its economic revolution and the New Silk Road. There is no limit because the money it is using is free money. This is why they support shadow banking, why they lend enormous amounts to institutions, corporations, entrepreneurs, and citizens; it’s not their money they are lending. They are using their manufacturing sector to pull as much cash as possible out of the west and using that to finance their future. Their own foreign debt is financed by Americans paying interest on obligations. Even their US holdings were financed with American money. Trillions of dollar-store knick-knacks can buy a lot of T-bills. Merry Christmas.

Once they have squeezed all the blood they can out of the dollar, they have no need for the US anymore. This is when they will start calling in their US debt, gradually at first, but accelerating until the dollar is out of breath and collapses, well short of the finish line. This will kill the US dollar, and remove its ‘reserve’ status.

America owes China about $1 trillion, give or take, and owes Japan about $1.1 trillion. Japan is very close to China, both physically and culturally (in many respects – much closer than it is to America in any case.) This will become important in the near-future.

Eric Clapton – Nobody Knows You (3:19)

 

The United States allowed China to become one of its biggest bankers because the American people enjoy low consumer prices. Selling debt to China funds federal government programs that allow the U.S. economy to grow. It also keeps U.S. interest rates low. But China’s ownership of the U.S. debt is shifting the economic balance of power in its favor. …Owning U.S. Treasury notes helps China’s economy grow by keeping its currency weaker than the dollar. It keeps Chinese exports cheaper than U.S. products. …China would not call in its debt all at once. If it did so, the demand for the dollar would plummet like a rock.”

America, as it turns out, is at China’s mercy. China and Russia have become very close, best buds, if you will. The New Silk Road is a plan to bring the Chinese economy to Europe’s doorstep. Beijing and Moscow are connected by a rail line which passes through Kazakhstan. Russia now controls most of the energy going into Europe through pipelines that run (or are being built) through Turkey. Turkey has a virtual stranglehold on the EU because it will have all the pipelines supplying European energy running through its territory as well as having control of the Euphrates river which delivers water to the middle-east. Because of Russian military strength, Turkey listens to Russia. Saud will soon see (or already does) that it makes a lot more sense to sell their oil to China and Europe, and now that Russia can protect them in the middle-east, they have no need for America anymore, nor Israel, for that matter. The petro-dollar will die the same death, America will leave the middle-east once and for all, and Israel will stop settling Arab land, one way or another. They will never have felt so alone. ISIS will be eradicated in short order, to boot.

Once the dollar is crippled, the stock markets will obviously take a nose-dive, but here’s where the insidious part of the plan goes into action – all western investors will be wiped out in one fell swoop. Sure lots of slick investors have a bearish hedging strategy against a Chinese credit crunch, but just think about it. If you are bullish and bet long stocks or dollars or whatever, you will lose it all; but even if you are bearish, what will you be paid with, dollars? Sure you will win all your bets, but your dollar rewards will then be worthless, too… and I haven’t even mentioned derivatives.

There will be nowhere left to turn. Only stackers will be able to eat, and only those heavily invested in crypto-currencies will manage to keep up their standards of living… in another country, of course.

In this new reverse alchemy, defenestration would become a popular pastime and paper gold would turn into lead, one bullet at a time.


Europe will suffer greatly as their currencies collapse, and Saudi and Russian energy will be very expensive (Saud has to make up all that money they’ve lost trying to kill US shale,) but they could still pull through. They might even sell a lot of luxury cars to the new billionaires in the east. Canada could also survive, as it could simply trade one global hegemon for another and sell its resources to China, instead. A very weak dollar would be good for exports, after all.

America, on the other hand, would finally be punished for all its bull-y-ing as city after city would very swiftly be turned into so many Detroits.

America would be rid of its arrogant bull’, and bears would once again roam free, smirking.


 

*UPDATE*

If anything ever goes wrong with the Chinese economy, they always have the option of selling their American holdings (T-bills) despite the fact that this would weaken USD.

Is North Korea The Excuse China Needs To Launch Monetary Armageddon?

The BIS, since its reporting is lagged, can provide cover for secret Chinese plans to crush the USD.

“This collapse in foreign exposure to China is confirmed by Bank of International Settlements (“BIS”), although this data is only to q3 2016.”

This may be hiding the underlying move by the Yuan.

“The forced deleveraging of China’s WMP-driven excess was not helped overnight by disappointing trade data as both import and export growth slumped.”

“The question now is not if China’s economy will slow, but rather how fast,” Mr Frieda added.

If ever there was a good time to sell some US assets, now might be it.

YELLENOMICS 101

They say that getting to the summit is only half the journey; you hafta’ make it back down again, too. It’s getting to be a pretty big drop.

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How long do you think it’s gonna’ rain? Forever?

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And what do you think will happen when it stops?

Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1900 - August 17, 2007.
 

Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1900 - 1940.

The greatest economic mind in America (supposedly) thinks she can keep the ball rolling indefinitely. Some, including Al Bartlett (1:13:53), would disagree.

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