Clouds of crisis return to Europe

Europe’s brief respite from political and financial turmoil has come to an abrupt halt in the wake of a nerve-rattling Italian election, Britain’s loss of its cherished triple-A credit rating and troubling developments on other fronts.

On Monday, the euro fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in six weeks, but strengthened slightly against the British pound, which was shaken by the credit downgrade announced late Friday by Moody’s Investors Service. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost more ground in a single session that at any time since November. Italian bonds plunged and German bonds and U.S. Treasuries rallied, as nervous investors once again looked for safer harbours.

Two unlikely political hotheads – loudmouth comedian Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi, the aging schmoozer who never says die – turned the Italian election on its head, virtually guaranteeing that the country faces a period of political chaos. Continue reading

But Aren’t We Joined at the Hip with China?

Another very common objection raised to the Economic Warfare reality is based on the misperception that China is so connected to our economy that “they” would never harm us. [Of course, these are the same people who said that America would never lose our Triple-A Credit Rating.] The idea that “the Chinese” would never harm us is ridiculous on its face, given the proven reality that there are Chinese who continually hack our systems, manipulate and undermine our markets. There is ample evidence of that. The whole concept is rather naive, assuming that all Chinese are the same. Certainly the average businessperson in China might not want harm to our economy. But, how about the PLA (People’s Liberation Army)? We addressed this in our posts titled “Which Chinese?” and “Which Chinese Part 2.”

“Here in the U.S. you may hear many people worry that the Chinese government might stop buying American T-Bills. I think those fears are vastly overblown. The economic situation between China and the U.S. is the financial version of mutually assured destruction…”

Basically, this theory is based on the idea that the Chinese hold so much in dollar debt that they couldn’t afford to see the dollar go down. Here’s the problem. The military doesn’t care. They have a much longer view of things than the next quarter’s export sales. The smug response of those who believe China needs us so much that they must always stay friends is just another example of American arrogance. Now, there is further evidence of what we have been saying all along. We have no idea about what China really holds in dollar debt. They have so many ways to obscure their holdings that we can’t ever be certain. This from the March 2, 2012 Wall Street Journal cover story (Beijing Diversifies Away From U.S. Dollar):

Full article: But Aren’t We Joined at the Hip with China? (Kevin Freeman / Global Economic Warfare)