For those of you who don't know her, Pluto is a writer I met through our interaction at the place so nice they banned me twice (sure I'd love to tell you about it, but it's not relevant to this piece).
She's a ForEx trader and we don't necessarily see eye to eye on economics since she still seems to think there is some connection between money and actual goods and services (particularly in terms of investor confidence) while I'm with the MMT types that find it totally fictional except for its use as a medium of exchange (which could be replaced in a pinch) and to pay taxes (in lieu of feudal servitude), and think confidence is a scam entirely unjustified by reality.
She is whip smart and has much more practical experience than I do, so it's probably better to listen to her.
And while I would argue that gold is simply another commodity that is useful industrially for its ductility, conductivity, and inertness, and that has a certain aesthetic appeal, it is psychologically true that many people attribute special economic value to it however unjustified by facts that attitude is.
Thus I think her bottom line conclusion, that China is preparing itself to take over as the world's reserve currency is probably true. China's reluctance to do so, according to MMT, stems from the fact that the reserve currency is condemmed by account balancing to run pretty serious trade deficits, otherwise nobody else has any money.
Money is a lubricant for transactions. It has no magical, mystical inherent value (of which it is a poor store and this is a good thing because it forces productive investment rather than unproductive hoarding). But feel free to disagree, never let it be said that at TMC's and my sites (The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma) we don't entertain ideas we don't completely endorse.- ek
Reprinted with permission from The Stars Hollow Gazette
All week I've been seeing references to this headline:
"China could announce that it holds 30,000 tons of gold to back the Yuan/Renminbi."
As a Forex trader, the story took me by surprise, even though China has been stockpiling for years, and is the world's largest gold producer. Also, it's not like China to pull this trigger so fast. However, in the South China Sea last week, the US started militarily terrorizing China with war ships and fighter jets — and China warned (in so many polite words) that the US planted the seeds of its own doom.
So, maybe that's what this is all about.
Well, fast-tracking the TPP would make it easier to offshore our jobs and would put downward pressure, enormous downward pressure, on Americans' wages, because it would throw American workers into competition with workers in Vietnam who are paid less than 60 cents an hour and have no labor rights to organize, to better their situation. Plus, the TPP would empower another 25,000 foreign corporations to use the investor state tribunals, the corporate tribunals, to attack our laws. And then there would be another 25,000 U.S. corporations in the other TPP countries who could use investor state to attack their environmental and health and labor and safety laws. And if all that weren't enough, Big Pharma would get new monopoly patent rights that would jack up medicine prices, cutting off affordable access. And there's rollback of financial regulations put in place after the global financial crisis. And there's a ban on "Buy Local," "buy domestic" policies. And it would undermine the policy space that we have to deal with the climate crisis—energy policies are covered. Basically, almost any progressive policy or goal would be undermined, rolled back. Plus, we would see more offshoring of jobs and more downward pressure on wages. So the big battle is over fast track, the process. And right now, thanks to a lot of pushback by activists across the country, actually, they don't have a majority to pass it. But there's an enormous push to change that, and that's basically where we all come in.
James Petras recently published “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: 2014-2015”. What follows are my distillations of his positive and negative lists of events of 2014 and his 2015 speculations.
Positive Developments in 2014 Read more about James Petras on the Good, Bad & Ugly of 2014
Tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands demonstrate in Hong Kong for universal human suffrage, where corporations already have the right to vote.
I hope they keep up the pressure. They need this to happen.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/02/pro-democracy-hong-kong-protest... Read more about Tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands demonstrate in Hong Kong for universal human suffrage, where corporations already have the right to vote.
In “Obama’s West Point speech: A prescription for unending war” Bill Van Auken exposes the folly of the corporate media in framing Obama’s recent speech as “an embrace of a more multilateral and less militaristic American foreign policy.” Read more about Obama’s Hitlerian Comments @ West Point
This is the epitaph that James Petras writes in “dishonor” of Obama and his administration in his article: “The Obama Regime’s Military Metaphysics Rejects Diplomatic Opportunities”:
They fought the Wars
Read more about Obama as Global Anti-Community Organizer
They turned friends
friends of our enemies.
They stood alone,
i n splendid isolation,
US drones are destroying many “collateral damage” civilians in Yemen and thus inspiring more and more Yemenis to bitterly and momentously side with Al-Qaeda against the US. Declares Glenn Greenwald, the droning is not only amoral but strategically STUPID. Read more about Predatory US Veils ‘Disaster Capitalism’ w/ ‘War on Terror'
(This is the first of two posts regarding an extremely dangerous free trade treaty, known as the Transpacific Partnership, that is being negotiated in total secret – and a new treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that China and some ASEAN nations are promoting)
Obama is now promising jobs to American workers. But there is a COLOSSAL catch. Savaged wages and benefits.
Exactly what the one percenters have been lusting after and now enjoy coming to fruition from a DEMOCRATIC President, of all creatures, who has managed to hoodwink the American citizenry into not seriously noticing. You put the rhetorical emphasis on JOBS .... yadda yadda yadda ... then who seeks more reality-troubling negative details as to how this will come about. Who seriously applies individual critical thinking in this hysterical climate of political gamesmanship and mass corporate disinformation?
Apparently our Democratic president thinks he can keep up the big lie beyond his election in November. Sadly, I wouldn't make book against that. Read more about Obama’s Job Creation? Lower US Wages Below Mexico/China!
President Obama's page on Google's social network site has been inundated with messages in Chinese after restrictions in China were removed.
Every current topic on Mr Obama's Google+ page attracted hundreds of Chinese comments.
Some contributors made jokes; others said they were occupying the site in the style of western Occupy campaigns.
On 24 and 25 February, to the consternation of American readers, every current topic on President Obama's 2012 election campaign page attracted hundreds of comments, apparently from China.
A few appealed for the liberty of the civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who is under house arrest.
According to Michael Klare, Obama has now launched a “military-first” policy in Asia. Or what any sane person would call it, a LOSE/LOSE policy. During his Nov. 19, 2011 visit to Australia, in Canberra Obama declared:
"After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region."
Klare paints the realpolitik, large, geo-political picture: Read more about Obama 'Quixote' with 'Sancho' Australia Tilts at China!
Obama is playing a long (but not necessarily slow) game of global proxy profiteering-chess-for-oligarchs with China. The next opposing pawn to fall will be Iran.
This is what Peter Symonds has to say in wsws:
US preparations for a war against Iran are not directed at stopping the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program, but at furthering Washington’s hegemony over the strategic, energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. The US has not abandoned the aim that drove the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq: to exercise control over the oil and gas supplies of its European and Asian rivals.
Over the last couple of weeks there's been an exchange between Charles Krauthammer writing in one of the austerity mongers' favorite newspapers and Jack Lew, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), writing at the OMB blog. This exchange illustrates a kerfuffle, that ignores the real issue surrounding entitlements and fiscal responsibility.
Krauthammer kicked off his criticism of the Administration's recent statements that Social Security is “off the table” for spending cuts at present with this: Read more about Moral Choices of the Fictional Kind: Krauthammer and Lew on Social Security