Chinese Yuan; A new world reserve currency? , China making its moves.

From the currency war front, we are watching the major assault on the dollar.  We have anticipated this move for several months now and it appears the major push by China has now been launched.  The first signals was China NOT buying all of the US T-Bills at the last few auctions. Then they shifted their paper buying to the Euro bills.   Now according to Graham Sharkey, only a mere twelve days into the New Year (2011) and China has already set the wheels in motion to use their most powerful weapon, the Yuan, in order to combat inflation. This may well be the first decision of many that will result in the Yuan being phased in as the new world reserve currency.

A stronger exchange rate will be the tool that China will use in order to tame their inflationary problems at present. The biggest increases being felt as a result of inflation at this time are; the Chinese housing market, which was most dramatically affected in the southern industrial hub of Guangzhou, where home prices soared by 38 percent in the past year.  Another sector heavily affected was Chinese groceries, with the cost of some foods increasing by 50 percent.

In an attempt to address the loose lending policies being adopted by Chinese banks, China’s government have ordered their banks to increase the amount of money that each bank holds in reserves with a reduction in the availability of lending.  The strengthening Yuan will essentially result in two ways; 1, their imports will become substantially cheaper. 2, their exports will be more expensive.

This is a move that the US have not wanted the Chinese to take as most of the consumer goods that are stocking up US stores are Chinese-made products and the longer the Chinese allowed their currency to be held at a relatively low-level (compared to its purchasing power potential) the longer the shopaholics’ in America could continue to buy their products at a price that they could afford (or a level that they could get credit for).  So, with the world outside China continually devaluing their currencies and China increasing theirs who is going to pick up the export market? And how do they intend to do this?

Before hand, the countries that were importing goods from China were benefiting from a manipulated Yuan price which gave the illusion of cheap imports. But now, that is not an option. The only way that I can see that will enable countries to bridge the export gap will be, further devaluation of their paper currency, which as any respecting economist knows is only an extremely short-term solution (if it can even be called that) and will only result in long-term high inflation for that economy.

This currency policy decision by the Chinese government will help to add to the increasing confidence in the Yuan as a world reserve currency contender to replace the failure that is, the US Dollar.  Aside from the measures taken to combat inflation in China, there have been many other recent events that all point to the strengthening of the Yuan and the growing popularity of the currency.

In the last two weeks, the World Bank issued their very first Yuan bonds; they will release the amount of 500 million Yuan, which is around $70 million in US Dollars. The bank has said that, these actions are an act of confidence in the Renminbi and will give investors around the globe the opportunity to diversify and help the exposure of the Yuan in global markets. The bonds were offered from January 14th, 2010 and will mature after two years in 2013.

In July of last year (2010) China began allowing cross-border exchange with the renminbi, however, there were caps on exactly how much currency was allowed to be exchanged. That was the closest China had come to allowing the renminbi to be a top currency on a global scale, until now.

Now marks the beginning of the renminbi being allowed to be traded in the U.S, China have identified that the global economy has become too reliant on the Dollar and wants to provide an opportunity to move away from that.  China have already implemented strategies that will allow for sustained appreciation for the Yuan against the US Dollar, a prediction in the rate of appreciation was projected at 6% in 2011 by Robert Minikin, who is a currency strategist at Standard Chartered based in Hong Kong.

The reason that there hasn’t been a replacement of the US Dollar as the world reserve currency as of yet is the fact that there was no currency that was ready to take on that mantle, however, given the performance of the Yuan in the last two years, it has shown its power and reliance as a solid currency, not only that, but China have also helped their cause by not relying on a paper, fiat currency but actually using the strengthening Yuan in which to buy up gold and other major assets, something that every single country in the so-called ‘advanced’ world has not done.  All of these factors are now helping to shape the Yuan into tomorrow’s new world reserve currency and once this transformation occurs, it really will spell the end for the down but not yet out, Dollar.

What to watch now is the so-called “summit meeting between President Obama and Hu Jintao of China this week.  In preparation for that meeting, President Hu Jintao said Sunday the international currency system was “a product of the past,” but it would be a long time before the yuan is accepted as an international currency.

Hu’s comments, which came ahead of a state visit to Washington on Wednesday, reflected the continuing tensions over the dollar’s role as the major reserve currency in the aftermath of the US financial crisis in 2008.

“The current international currency system is the product of the past,” Hu said in written answers to questions posed by The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.  Highlighting the dollar’s importance to global trade, Hu implicitly criticized the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to pump 600 billion dollars into the US economy, a move criticized as weakening the dollar at the expense of other countries’ exports.

“The monetary policy of the United States has a major impact on global liquidity and capital flows and therefore, the liquidity of the US dollar should be kept at a reasonable and stable level,” Hu said.

China’s own currency, the yuan or renminbi (RMB), is also expected to be a bone of contention in Hu’s talks with Obama, with the United States complaining that it is artificially overvalued to boost Chinese exports.  Asked about the view that appreciation of the yuan would curb inflation in China, Hu suggested that was too simplistic a formula.  “Changes in exchange rate are a result of multiple factors, including the balance of international payment and market supply and demand,” he said.  “In this sense, inflation can hardly be the main factor in determining the exchange rate policy,” he said.

At the same time, Hu signalled no imminent move away from the dollar as a reserve currency, saying it would be a long time before the yuan, or renminbi (RMB), is widely accepted as an international currency.  “China has made important contribution to the world economy in terms of total economic output and trade, and the RMB has played a role in the world economic development,” he said.  “But making the RMB an international currency will be a fairly long process.”

Nevertheless, Hu noted that China has launched pilot programs using the yuan, or renminbi, in settlements of international trade and investment transactions.  “They fit in well with market demand as evidenced by the rapidly expanding scale of these transactions,” he said.

As we have chronicled in this blog, these moves are demonstrating how short the fuse really is on the Dollar remaining the world’s transactional currency.  With the European Central Bank(ECB) denying the crisis of the Euro and the US simply printing more money to cover the mess in the financial markets in the US, it is just a matter of time before China drops the hammer and we will be living in a very new economic paradigm.  Watching the currency transaction markets, it seems it is a lot closer than anyone is admitting publically.

The Insanity on the Currency Warfront

As I have chronicled the global financial meltdown, I have been amazed at the number of economists, traders, and politicians that seem to be in complete denial of the facts of the current crisis and at each step either they have reacted in exactly the opposite manner required to respond to the crisis, or they have failed to act at all for self-centered political reasons.  Some examples include banks sitting on huge cash reserves instead of stimulating the economy, the US CONgress adding $1.3 trillion in new debt with tax cuts, central banks everywhere printing money willy-nilly without regard to the consequences. But most of all, we, as citizens and the main participants in the economy merrily skipping down the road without a care in the world.  That is until you are homeless and hungry, then the feelings are anger and despair.

Then the other day, I had a conversation with an old friend who was a forensic psychologist for one of the US Government alphabet agencies.  He is retired now, but his job was a “profiler”.  He would investigate crimes and other “stuff” to help the agents understand the make-up of the criminal or spy and maybe predict “next” moves.  When I lamented about those around me who I love and respect being in complete denial as to the grave nature of the current economic situation, he explained that this is a very natural response to extreme crisis and distress.  It is called Normalcy Bias.

In short, when humans are faced with natural disasters or a man-made crisis that overwhelms them, they simply slip into complete denial.  Logic and intelligence functions stop.  He pointed out some startling examples.  Consider this.  In Germany in 1937 there were nearly 550,000 Jews.  Long established the Jewish German community was rift with businessmen, intelligentsia, professional people who were just beginning to enjoy a good life again after recovering from World War One.

As Hitler rose to power with his hate mongering and obsession with the Jewish community, it became very apparent that the Jewish community was facing more and more injustices.  Property seizures, business taxed at 100%, lose of civil rights, street beatings by the Brown Shirts, still they did not understand the danger they were in and believed being rational and calm would weather them through the storm.  Only about 100,000 Jews fled in time.  We know the tragic end to that story.

However, things are heating up on the currency warfront.  This week saw many assaults on the US Dollar.  Let me stop here and talk some basics.  Currently the US policy and the FED policy simply has been to print more money.  The US enjoys a unique position when it comes to currency because the US dollar is the world’s transactional currency.  For example, if Germany wishes to buy oil, it must first convert Euros to Dollars to purchase the oil.

However, keeping the dollar as the global transactional currency only lasts as long in the faith of the value of the dollar remains in the rest of the world.  The US actions of the last week, both at the FED and CONgress have gone a long way to weaken that faith.  What is happening is both countries and companies are choosing to use other methods to transact business.

So we are beginning to see news items like this. In spite of its infancy, interest in the offshore renminbi market is growing quickly. Caterpillar, the US-based maker of earth-moving equipment, launched a Rmb1bn ($150m) bond issue last month, making it the second multinational to tap the market, following an August issue by McDonald’s, the fast-food chain.

What makes these bond issues important is that the offshore renminbi market is much more than just a new avenue for debt financing – it is one of the core components in a plan to internationalize the Chinese currency. The process will be a slow one, with more baby steps than giant leaps, and it is by no means assured that the renminbi – also known as the yuan – will forge a decisive international role. But it is one that could have a huge long-term impact on trade, the global financial system and even international politics.

If the plan works, the renminbi could become the main currency for doing business in Asia, the world’s most economically dynamic region, and in the long run it could become a significant part of the reserves of the world’s central banks. Indeed, some Chinese officials have already called for the renminbi to be included in the International Monetary Fund’s basket The timing is also full of portents. The renminbi is starting to go global just as the future of the euro and the dollar is looking increasingly uncertain. Eventually the shift could have an impact on the ability of the US to borrow overseas in its own currency. In China, some have taken to calling their currency the hongbi, or “redback”, to rival America’s greenback – a moniker that gives a flavour of the geopolitical undercurrents.

“We may be on the verge of a financial revolution of truly epic proportions,” says Qu Hongbin, China economist at HSBC, one of the banks pushing the renminbi to its corporate clients. “The world economy is, slowly but surely, moving from greenbacks to redbacks.”of main currencies.

So even though the Fed has flooded the credit markets with cash, spreads haven’t budged because banks don’t know who is still solvent and who is not. This uncertainty, says Ms. Schwartz, is “the basic problem in the credit market. Lending freezes up when lenders are uncertain that would-be borrowers have the resources to repay them. So to assume that the whole problem is inadequate liquidity bypasses the real issue.”

Today, the banks have a problem on the asset side of their ledgers — “all these exotic securities that the market does not know how to value.” “Why are they ‘toxic’?” Ms. Schwartz asks. “They’re toxic because you cannot sell them, you don’t know what they’re worth, your balance sheet is not credible and the whole market freezes up. We don’t know whom to lend to because we don’t know who is sound. So if you could get rid of them, that would be an improvement.”

And economics professor and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich wrote in 2008:

The underlying problem isn’t a liquidity problem. As I’ve noted elsewhere, the problem is that lenders and investors don’t trust they’ll get their money back because no one trusts that the numbers that purport to value securities are anything but wishful thinking. The trouble, in a nutshell, is that the financial entrepreneurship of recent years — the derivatives, credit default swaps, collateralized debt instruments, and so on — has undermined all notion of true value.

What everyone here is cryptically referring to is the credit derivatives and credit swap facilities which no one knows the value of when conducting a transaction.  Indeed only nine major banks control this $1 quadrillion market.  No I didn’t make a mistake, I said $1 quadrillion! We were just getting our heads around what a trillion really meant.  Here is the fundamental problem with this situation. $1 quadrillion represents about 20 times the Global GDP!  This is pure insanity.  There is no other way to describe what is going on right now.

Economists focus on the whole notion of incentives. People have an incentive sometimes to behave badly, because they can make more money if they can cheat. If our economic system is going to work then we have to make sure that what they gain when they cheat is offset by a system of penalties.

Wall Street insider and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin writes:

“They will pick on minor misdemeanors by individual market participants,” said David Einhorn, the hedge fund manager who was among the Cassandras before the financial crisis. To Mr. Einhorn, the government is “not willing to take on significant misbehavior by sizable” firms. “But since there have been almost no big prosecutions, there’s very little evidence that it has stopped bad actors from behaving badly.”

Indeed, polls show that people no longer trust our economic “leaders”. See this and this. A psychologist wrote an essay published by the Wharton School of Business arguing that restoring trust is the key to recovery, and that trust cannot be restored until wrongdoers are held accountable.

Government regulators know this – or at least pay lip service to it – as well. For example, as the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division told Congress:

Recovery from the fallout of the financial crisis requires important efforts on various fronts, and vigorous enforcement is an essential component, as aggressive and even-handed enforcement will meet the public’s fair expectation that those whose violations of the law caused severe loss and hardship will be held accountable. And vigorous law enforcement efforts will help vindicate the principles that are fundamental to the fair and proper functioning of our markets: that no one should have an unjust advantage in our markets; that investors have a right to disclosure that complies with the federal securities laws; and that there is a level playing field for all investors.

If people don’t trust their government to enforce the law, government will become more and more impotent in addressing our economic problems. If government leaders take action, the market will not necessarily respond as expected. When government leaders make optimistic statements about the economy, people will no longer believe them.

Then also on the warfront, China and Russia announced they will trade in their own currencies.  In addition, the IMF recently released a report suggesting that given the weakness of the Euro and the Dollar, we should be moving toward a global central bank and a single global currency, which they are calling the Bancor. Several banks no longer are accepting deposits in dollars.

What does this really mean and why should you care about it.  I have one word for you, hyperinflation.  The world is currently pushing back on US policies and are demanding that either the US deal effectively with the deficit or devalue the dollar.  When the pressure gets strong enough, and I believe that could be as soon as the next three months, the US will acquiesce and devalue the dollar by as much as 40%.

This will happen suddenly and overnight!  You will wake up to $8 gas, $5 bread, a 4000 point dip in the Dow and events will rapidly cascade from there to riots in the streets of the US just as we have riots now in Ireland, Greece, Italy, France, and Britain.  The war is reaching fever pitch.  Pay close attention now because bunker time may not be far off.

Further Posts from the Currency Warfront

The assault on the EU and the Euro is in full force now.  It was nearly a year ago that I predicted that some of the final fronts in the Great Economic War was the assault on pension funds and the profound effects the fallout from those raids would have on the general population.  Nearly every major G20 member nation is now in full on raids of their pension funds as we speak.  We can expect several million causalities, mostly the elderly and most vulnerable citizens, or as the PTBs say “culling of the herd has begun”.

Source: Zero Hedge
“If the recent Hungarian “appropriation” of pension funds, and today’s laughable Irish bailout courtesy of domestic pension funds sourcing 20% of the “new” money was not enough to convince the world just how bankrupt the entire European experiment has become, enter France. Financial News explains how France has “seized” €36 billion worth of pension assets: “Asset managers will have the chance to get billions of euros in mandates in the next few months for the €36bn Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the French reserve pension fund, after the French parliament last week passed a law to use its assets to pay off the debts of France’s welfare system. The assets have been transferred into the state’s social debt sinking fund Cades. The FRR will continue to control the assets, but as a third-party manager on behalf of Cades.” FN condemns the action as follows: “The move reflects a willingness by governments to use long-term assets to fill short-term deficits, including Ireland’s announcement last week that it would use the country’s €24bn National Pensions  Reserve Fund “to support the exchequer’s funding programme” and Hungary’s bid to claw $15bn of private pension funds back to the state system.” In other words, with the ECB still unwilling to go into full fiat printing overdrive mode, insolvent governments, France most certainly included, are resorting to whatever piggybanks they can find. Hopefully this is not a harbinger of what Tim Geithner plans to do with the trillions in various 401(k) funds on this side of the Atlantic.More from FN on how first France, and soon every other socalized pension regime, will continue to plunder a nation’s life saving to fund short-term deficits.

And elsewhere, in the UK, things in the pension arena are also starting to heat up as the country is preparing to launch an “auto enrolment” feature for workers, whereby up to 11 million will be eligible for automatic enrolment.  Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber hailed it as an “historic advance”: a minimum pension to go with the UK’s minimum wage. Pensions Minister Steve Webb confirmed last month that all employers would have to enroll staff into a company scheme. As a result, up to 11 million people will be eligible for automatic enrolment in a workplace scheme, with up to eight million of them saving for the first time. However, there is little evidence that employers are ready for it.

And judging by the Hungarian, Irish and French case studies, all monies auto deposited will soon find a new mandate: one of bidding up sovereign European bonds (More from Financial News).  Staff can opt out to avoid mandatory contributions that will eventually account for half of the minimum of 8% of salary, with employers contributing 3% of salary, and 1% coming from tax relief.

It is impossible to predict how many people might opt out, but Colin Tipping, head of institutional wholesale at asset manager BlackRock, points to an 80% take-up at US companies that have introduced auto-enrolment compared with less than half of that before the mechanism was introduced. The latest annual review of New Zealand’s national KiwiSaver scheme has an opt-out rate of 18%.

The European experience is less encouraging. Italy tried to boost private pensions saving in 2007 with reforms to the Trattamento di Fine Rapporto, a fund traditionally paid to workers on leaving an employer.  However, its policy of “silent consent”, which had the money transferred into a pension unless workers objected, saw only about a quarter participate. Tito Boeri, director of the country’s social policy reform group Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti, said: “It was a great opportunity to develop private pension schemes here, but to a large extent it failed.”

Our only question: how soon before the US administration takes this hint of what every proper socialist country does with funds apportioned to it by a gullible public and ends up investing trillions in the worst possible asset classes (while in Europe this obviously means sovereign bonds, in the US by and far the proceeds will be used to make further purchases of such equities as Apple, Amazon and Netflix, in whose continued successful ponziness lies the fate of a vast majority of US-based hedge funds, whose LPs may at some point, in the distant future, actually pay domestic income tax.”

And in the US there are respected individuals who are now beginning to sound the alarm, but no one is listening.  The recent upward movement of the dollar is taunted by conventional wisdom as proof against such alarmists.  However consider this article.

By Paul Craig Roberts – BLN Contributing Writer

“On Thanksgiving eve the English language China Daily and People’s Daily Online reported that Russia and China have concluded an agreement to abandon the use of the US dollar in their bilateral trade and to use their own currencies in its place. The Russians and Chinese said that they had taken this step in order to insulate their economies from the risks that have undermined their confidence in the US dollar as world reserve currency.

This is big news, especially for the news dead Thanksgiving holiday period. But I did not see it reported on Bloomberg, CNN, New York Times or anywhere in the US print or TV media. The ostrich’s head remains in the sand.  Previously, China concluded the same agreement with Brazil.

As China has a large and growing supply of dollars from trade surpluses with which to conduct trade, China is signaling that she prefers Russian rubles and Brazilian reals to more US dollars.  The American financial press finds solace in the episodes when sovereign debt scares in the EU send the dollar up against the euro and UK pound. But these currency movements are just measures of financial players shorting troubled EU-denominated debt. They are not a measure of dollar strength.

The dollar’s role as world reserve currency is one of the main instruments of American financial hegemony. We haven’t been told how much damage Wall Street fraud has inflicted on EU financial institutions, but the EU countries no longer need the US dollar for trade between themselves as they share a common currency. Once the OPEC countries cease to hold the dollars that they are paid for oil, dollar hegemony will have faded away.

Another instrument of American financial hegemony is the IMF. Whenever a country cannot make good on its debts and pay back the American banks, in steps the IMF with an austerity package that squeezes the country’s population with higher taxes and cuts in education, medical and income support programs until the bankers get their money back.

This is now happening to Ireland and is likely to spread to Portugal, Spain, and perhaps even to France. After the American-caused financial crisis, the IMF’s role as a tool of US imperialism is less and less acceptable. The point could come when governments can no longer sell out their people for the sake of the American banks.

There are other signs that some countries are tiring of America’s irresponsible use of power. Turkey’s civilian governments have long been under the thumb of the American-influenced Turkish military. However, recently the civilian government moved against two top generals and an admiral suspected of involvement in planning a coup. The civilian government further asserted itself when the prime minister announced on Thanksgiving Day that Turkey is prepared to react to any Israeli offensive against Lebanon. Here is an American NATO ally freeing itself from American suzerainty exercised through the Turkish military. Who knows, Germany could be next.

Meanwhile in America, the sheeple remain content with, or blind to, their role as sheep to be slaughtered to feed the rich. The Obama Administration has managed to come up with a Deficit Commission whose members want to pay for the multi-trillion dollar wars that are enriching the military/security complex and the multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the financial system by reducing annual cost-of-living increases for Social Security, raising the retirement age to 69, ending the mortgage interest deduction, ending the tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance, imposing a 6.5% federal sales tax, while cutting the top tax rate for the rich. Even the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates are aimed at helping the banksters.

The low interest rates deprive retirees and those living on their savings of interest income. The low interest rates have also deprived corporate pensions of funding. To fill the gap, corporations are issuing billions of dollars in corporate bonds in order to fund their pensions. Corporate debt is increasing, but not plant and equipment that would produce earnings to service the debt. As the economy worsens, servicing the additional debt will be a problem.

In addition, America’s elderly are finding that fewer and fewer doctors will accept them as patients as a 23% cut looms in the already low Medicare payments to doctors. The American government only has resources for wars of aggression, police state intrusions, and bailouts of rich banksters. The American citizen has become a mere subject to be bled for the ruling oligarchies.

The police state attitude of the TSA toward airline travelers is a clear indication that Americans are no longer citizens with rights but subjects without rights. Perhaps the day will come when oppressed Americans will take to the streets like the French, the Greeks, the Irish, and the British.”

What is so interesting about the above OpEd is to know who Paul Craig Roberts is and what he is known for in the world.  Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is the father of Reaganomics and the former head of policy at the Department of Treasury. He is a columnist and was previously an editor for the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, “How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds,” details why America is disintegrating.

The next Wikileaks is supposedly centered on a large New York Bank.  When these documents are released, I am afraid the real backlash will start in earnest.  If Congress fails to extend unemployment benefits in the US and does so while extending the Bush tax cuts, I think we see in America what has already started in Europe.  What is so sad about this scenario is that “mob” reaction is predicted and contingencies are developed to “deal” with “those” kinds of situations.  What people should be realizing is that politicians and banksters can be prosecuted and replaced.  This should be the rebellious effort.  Make the administrative side of government work.  I can dream can’t I?

Be Prepared For a Crash Landing!

As some of you are aware there is something large looming in the predictive linguistics concerning the first few weeks in November.  For those of you who don’t understand what I am talking about, let me give you a brief explanation.  Predictive linguistics can predict near future events with some accuracy based on analyzing different language sets appearing on the internet and the variation in frequency of these appearing “in the cloud”.

The effects of the predicted events in November have impacts never seen before in the project.  To put it in prospective to September 11th, it is about 5-6 times larger in predicted global impact.  Well that is enough to sit up and take notice.

The mid-term elections in the US will conclude, more or less, today.  This is significant because of what the Fed has been planning to initiate later this week.  The Federal Reserve is likely to start a fresh round of unorthodox stimulus tomorrow by announcing a plan to purchase at least $500 billion of long-term securities, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Policy makers meeting today and tomorrow will restart a program of securities purchases to spur growth, reduce unemployment and increase inflation, said 53 of 56 economists surveyed last week. Twenty-nine estimated the Fed will pledge to buy $500 billion or more, while another seven predicted $50 billion to $100 billion in monthly purchases without a specified total. The remainder said the Fed would buy up to $500 billion or didn’t quantify their forecast.

The varied responses reflect differences among Fed officials over the total amount of purchases needed to bolster the recovery. Policy makers, pursuing unprecedented stimulus, have cut the benchmark rate almost to zero and bought $1.7 trillion in securities without generating growth fast enough to bring down unemployment from near a 26-year high.

The Fed has put intense effort into judging what it should signal and how. The FOMC has at least three broad options. First, it could be neutral, pledging to adjust the size of QE2 depending on the data. Second, it could signal a clear bias towards continuing to buy assets unless the economic data have improved. Third, it could pledge to keep buying assets until it is on track to achieve its inflation objective.

However, opponents of the QE2 have very critical opinions that these actions will take the global economy over the cliff. This outflow from the dollar is not the kind of capital that takes the form of tangible investment in plant and equipment, buildings, research and development. It is not a creation of assets as much as the creation of debt, and its multiplication by mirroring, credit insurance, default swaps and an array of computerized forward trades. The global financial system has decoupled from trade and investment, taking on a life of its own.

In fact, financial conquest is seeking today what military conquest did in times past: control of land and basic infrastructure, industry and mining, banking systems and even government finances to extract the economic surplus as interest and tollbooth-type economic rent charges. U.S. officials euphemize this policy as “quantitative easing.” The Federal Reserve is flooding the banking system with so much liquidity that Treasury bills now yield less than 1%, and banks can draw freely on Fed credit. Japanese banks have seen yen borrowing rates fall to 0.25%.

This policy is based on the wrong-headed idea that if the Fed provides liquidity, banks will take the opportunity to lend out credit at a markup, “earning their way out of debt” – inflating the economy in the process. And when the Fed talks about “the economy,” it means asset markets – above all for real estate, as some 80% of bank loans in the United States are mortgage loans.

The currency impacts can be significant and immediate.  By forcing up targeted currencies against the dollar, this U.S. outflow into foreign exchange speculation and asset buy-outs is financial aggression. And to add insult to injury, Mr. Geithner is accusing China of “competitive non-appreciation.” This is a euphemistic term of invective for economies seeking to maintain currency stability. It makes about as much sense as to say “aggressive self-defense.” China’s interest, of course, is to avoid taking a loss on its dollar holdings and export contracts denominated in dollars (as valued in its own domestic renminbi).

Countries on the receiving end of this U.S. financial conquest (“restoring stability” is how U.S. officials characterize it) understandably are seeking to protect themselves. Ultimately, the only serious way to do this is to erect a wall of capital controls to block foreign speculators from deranging currency and financial markets. Changing the international financial system is by no means easy. How much of alternative do countries have, Martin Wolf recently asked. “To put it crudely,” he wrote:

“The US wants to inflate the rest of the world, while the latter is trying to deflate the US. The US must win, since it has infinite ammunition: there is no limit to the dollars the Federal Reserve can create. What needs to be discussed is the terms of the world’s surrender: the needed changes in nominal exchange rates and domestic policies around the world.”

An eerie calm has descended upon world financial markets as they await perhaps the two most important financial events of the year this week.  On Tuesday, investors will be eagerly awaiting the results of one of the most anticipated midterm elections in U.S. history.  On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to end months of speculation by formally announcing the details of a new round of quantitative easing.  If either the election or the meeting of the Federal Reserve open market committee delivers a highly unexpected result, it could have a dramatic impact on world financial markets.  In fact, many are looking at this week as a potential turning point for the U.S. economy.  The decisions that are made or not made this week could set us down a road from which the U.S. economy may never recover.

This is probably the most significant move of the current economic crisis and the results of the FED’s action will literally affect every family in the world and that is not an exaggeration.  To put this in real simple terms, the US has declared war on the world’s currency.  Now the question is how will the world react to this move.  What effect could the FED’s actions have on the fragile EU economy?  How will China, especially, respond.  China being the biggest holder of US securities, the FED printing $500 Billion in “new money” grossly devalues China’s investment.  Does China take that sitting down?  I don’t think so.

So, let’s go over the procedures for a crash landing.  In the event of…….