This week, South Africa is hosting the 10th annual gathering of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). When the first BRIC summit was held in 2009 (South Africa was added in 2010), the world was in the throes of a financial crisis of the developed world’s making, and the increasingly dynamic BRIC bloc represented the future. By coming together, these countries had the potential to provide a geopolitical counterweight to the West.
But Western commentators have long underestimated that potential, forcing BRICS to demand greater representation in global-governance institutions. In 2011 and 2012, BRICS challenged the process of selecting leaders at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. But, lacking a united front behind them, a European (Christine Lagarde) and an American (Jim Yong Kim) continued to preside over those organizations. And though BRICS did get these institutions to reform their voting structures to give developing countries greater weight, the US and Europe still wield disproportionate power. Continue reading
The more Washington lashes out in anger at those who will not bow to the unipolar world order, the more the rest of the world fights back. As the launch of its Yuan/Gold-settled oil futures looms, China is escalating its de-dollarization scheme further by seeking a bilateral rial-yuan agreement with Iran.
Regardless of how it all plays out, the U.S. Dollar hegemony is under threat. There is indeed a replacement system ready to go, with America out of the picture. There is an alternative to the Dollar. There is an alternative to SWIFT. There is an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank. America, for all its greatness, is not untouchable.
If nothing else, the Chinese have a sense of history and destiny. They have had a glorious past, stretching back millennia, and once controlled most of the Asian heartland in the days of Genghis and Kublai Khan. But even then, China was essentially inward-looking, protecting her own cultural values. Trade with Europeans in the centuries following Marco Polo’s visit was mostly at the behest of European travelers, not the Chinese. She exported her art and culture to visitors, and did not import European values.
This was a mistake, implicitly recognized by China’s current leadership. This time, China has embraced Western thinking and technology to further her own progress. The development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in recent years is the platform for China in partnership with Russia to embrace the Asian continent through peaceful trade, improving the lives of all the citizens of the many nations who are and will become members. The SCO promises a revolution in the wealth and living standards of over 40% of the world’s population, and associated benefits for its supplier-nations on the other continents. Continue reading
GREEK politicians are being told to go after the country’s already squeezed pensioners as it faces yet more austerity measures.
Germany and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have failed to make an agreement over the conditions of a new bail out package.
Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.
The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.
The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading
This year, a 300-mile railway will begin slicing through Kenya, cutting travel time between the capital, Nairobi, and one of East Africa’s largest ports, Mombasa, from 12 to four hours and breeding hopes of an economic and tourism revival in the region.
The country’s most significant transportation project since its independence in 1963 is being built courtesy of China. China Road and Bridge, a state-owned enterprise, leads construction of the $13.8 billion project, which is financed nearly 100% by the Export-Import Bank of China.
The railroad is one of a host of infrastructure projects China spearheads around the world in an ambitious quest to reinforce its emergence as the world’s next economic superpower while President Trump turns his back on globalization. Continue reading
THEY CALLED IT Project X. It was an unusually audacious, highly sensitive assignment: to build a massive skyscraper, capable of withstanding an atomic blast, in the middle of New York City. It would have no windows, 29 floors with three basement levels, and enough food to last 1,500 people two weeks in the event of a catastrophe.
But the building’s primary purpose would not be to protect humans from toxic radiation amid nuclear war. Rather, the fortified skyscraper would safeguard powerful computers, cables, and switchboards. It would house one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the United States — the world’s largest center for processing long-distance phone calls, operated by the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T.
The building was designed by the architectural firm John Carl Warnecke & Associates, whose grand vision was to create a communication nerve center like a “20th century fortress, with spears and arrows replaced by protons and neutrons laying quiet siege to an army of machines within.” Continue reading
The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is “on track” to meet its big first-year targets, including lending US$1.2 billion by the end of 2016, bank president Jin Liqun said on Friday.
After bringing many US allies on board and a high-profile launch in January, the multilateral lender moved onto the business of raising funds, gaining expertise, and recruiting experienced executives.
The bank, part of Beijing’s push to expand its regional clout, has lent US$829 million to six projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Continue reading
Please see the source for the audio interview.
Nomi Prins, who meets with people from the Federal Reserve, IMF, World Bank, foreign central banks and high-raking government officials across the globe, just warned when the system crashes time time, it will crash harder.
Nomi Prins: “The financial system is fragile. It (the crackup) has been contained for 8 going on what will be 9 years of cheap money, bond subsidization, banking subsidization, and of a codependency that is very fragile. I don’t know when that gives. I’ve tried to guess this throughout the years, but the point is that it only increases in its tension and its (ultimate) downfall with every day that it’s been subsidized artificially… Continue reading
BEIJING: Canada will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB, Canadian and bank officials said on Wednesday, making it the latest ally of the United States to join the new international development bank.
The multilateral institution, seen as a rival to the Western-dominated World Bank and Asian Development Bank, was initially opposed by the United States but attracted many U.S. allies including Britain, Germany, Australia and South Korea as founding members. Continue reading
The US national security industry is planning for the impact of an unprecedented global food crisis lasting as long as a decade, according to reports by a government contractor.
The studies published by CNA Corporation in December 2015, unreported until now, describe a detailed simulation of a protracted global food crisis from 2020 to 2030.
The simulation, titled ‘Food Chain Reaction’, was a desktop gaming exercise involving the participation of 65 officials from the US, Europe, Africa, India, Brazil, and key multilateral and intergovernmental institutions. Continue reading
Recent headlines confirm that the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Communication) has suffered multiple cyber attacks. SWIFT is a privately run Belgium-based provider of financial messaging, considered essential to move money around the world. The system is so important that to be denied access to it is essentially to be cut off financially from the rest of the world. That is what happened to Iran in 2012 in conjunction with sanctions and the pain was severe. Many believe that regaining access to SWIFT was the Iranians top priority in negotiations.
It is important to understand that SWIFT is not, at least not directly, controlled by the United States. Rather, it is governed by a multi-nation board. Still, it is viewed to be part of the United States-led global financial community. American sanctions carry tremendous weight. Continue reading
EDB Chairman Dmitry Pankin said that Eurasian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have been in discussions over financing a joint project linking China with Europe via a motorway across Russia.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have been in discussions over financing a joint project linking China with Europe via a motorway across Russia, EDB Chairman Dmitry Pankin said on Wednesday. Continue reading
Lessons from 2015, for today:
The world is entering a new economic era—one that won’t be defined by America.
This past March marked a radical turning point for the global economy, particularly the United States’ economic dominance.
China proposed the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (aiib)—a new, Chinese-run international bank specifically designed to challenge U.S. global economic leadership. America tried to convince other nations not to agree to join. But it failed—even with its closest allies.
For the U.S., it was an unmitigated disaster.
China’s new Asian International Investment Bank could upset the balance of power in Asia.
On January 16, China inaugurated its new international investment bank. In a lavish, ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renowned Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the assembled dignitaries that they were part of “a historical moment.”
Yet most people totally missed the significance.
While Xi was inaugurating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (aiib)—a project that former United States Treasury Secretary Larry Summers earlier called a “wake-up call” for America and the most important economic event since America led the world off the gold standard in 1971—the world was focused on collapsing stock indexes.
And for good reason.