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Putin Prepared To Avoid Dollar In Chinese Commodity Transactions

Tyler Durden's picture


A week ago the world was split into two camps: those who said Robert Fisk was an idiot and that anyone who believes him is a tinfoil hat wearing paranoid sociopath, and those who said Robert Fisk was brilliant and that anyone who does not believe him is an unimaginative, unintelligent, conservative boor. Yet nobody tried to confirm or deny his data. Today, Russia's Prime Minister and de facto viceroy Vladimir Putin finally made it clear that the presumably insane Fisk was not making stuff up.

RIA Novosti reports:

BEIJING, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is ready to consider
using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar
in bilateral oil and gas dealings, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said
on Wednesday.

The premier, currently on a visit to Beijing, said a final decision
on the issue can only be made after a thorough expert analysis.

"Yesterday, energy companies, in particular Gazprom, raised the
question of using the national currency. We are ready to examine the
possibility of selling energy resources for rubles, but our Chinese
partners need rubles for that. We are also ready to sell for yuans,"
Putin said.

He stressed that "there should be a balance here."

On Tuesday, Russia and China agreed terms for Russian gas deliveries
at a level of up to 70 billion cubic meters a year. China also imports
oil from Russia.

The Russian prime minister said the issue would be addressed among
others at a meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) finance
ministers, who are to convene before the end of the year in Kazakhstan.

So while others debate the validity of the messenger, as traditional Western mindset is so much much more willing to do, instead of considering the actual message content (and how to rectify if it is a bad one, instead of simply ignoring it), the dollar is soon going to find itself all alone, playing in a corner with itself, as Bernanke and Obama push the S&P to 1 gazillion, while at the same time America becomes removed from any future reserve currency intermediation and becomes a peripheral, if not outright third world, country, rife with social conflict once the middle class finally wakes up to its rape and pillage, far after it has become too late.


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Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:13 | 101539 George Washington
George Washington's picture

Big news, indeed. Here's a related story.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 14:46 | 102120 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Reads like Leo Wanta.
Never mind insiders long dollar, peso and pound,
while short Aussie, Euro, Kiwi, Loonie, and Ruble.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:27 | 101558 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I've always wanted to be a gazillionaire!

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:28 | 101559 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I've always wanted to be a gazillionaire!

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:33 | 101565 Great Depressio...
Great Depression Trader's picture

You said it Tyler. It will be too late for the middle class as they wont realize they have been raped and pillaged until they end up broke. The problem is that the US is armed to the teeth with the worlds largest and most advanced military.

It is key to understand that from the death of a republic, an empire is born. We are not a full fledged empire yet because if we were then we would start mass murdering Iraqis and tell them to their face that their oil is now ours. Of course, we are still killing Iraqis but we could kill millions within a few days if we used more toys in the arsenal. US still has some semblance of self control and is still aware that the world is watching its behavior in Iraq/Afghanistan. Thus, the US is probably a hybrid of republic/empire, or a repumpire.

However, the day will come when the events that you describe above will unfold. The dollar will get trashed, prices will spike, people will be anger and social unrest will ensue. This is when the empire will be born. The US will be a deeply wounded nation, and, as it has shown that it doesnt take responsibility for its actions, the blame game will begin. Do you really think our policy makers, rulers, financiers will be able to say "we did this to ourselves, we messed up?" No, instead the blame will lie with "foreign currency manipulators". They will blame China, Russia, Brazil, and other nations for "financial terrorism". As most people here are so dumb and ignorant, they will probably go along with it. Americans will easily accept security over liberty. Thus, security will prevail.


Pax Americana will soon be over. The empire itself wont last too long as most of them die out quickly. So just be forewarned. The real troubles will begin when the last vestiges of the American republic is dead. In the new America, this website will probably be banned. In the new America, the entire world could possibly be plunged into a era of darkness for several centuries. Lets hope i am wrong. I pray i am wrong. The facts, however, the cold hard truth, points in this direction.



Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:45 | 101575 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Extreme what are you saying invest in defense stocks?? Buy amo?? or simply run across the nearest border?

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:02 | 101593 Great Depressio...
Great Depression Trader's picture

The reason for the comment was to respond to tylers assertion that the US will be a third world country. We may be a 3rd world nation, but a very dangerous and militarily powerful one. No one ever asks the question: what happens after the dollar devaluation is complete? The most commonly stated scenario is "one world government". Im not sold on that theory as too many people are nationalistic and prideful of their own soveriegnty. Thus, the empire america scenario isnt too extreme if u look at the facts.

With regards to investing, i have no idea. Precious metals for sure. Oil, as wars will likely be in our future. Living in the US, it depends on where you live. I dont know how bad the major cities will be but i definitely dont want to be living in LA in the next decade. Rural areas with good rainfall are a must. Personally, i plan on moving to the western coast of greece. Small population, good people, rich farmland with +30 inches of rain a year. Rivers, lakes, islands, fish, sheep. This is where i plan on hiding out if things get "dark".

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:12 | 101608 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Isn't Greece always the first rest stop every time the Red Menace begins to march?

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:47 | 101647 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

I appreciate your thoughts and want to offer a different way to see things because perhaps there is another perspective. As the swing of global financial power shifts to the East, it does not mean that the essence of our humanity has to be adjudicated to censorship, protectionism, government control, and all of the other fears we can muster.

Perhaps, it will be the end of complacent behavior and herd mentality that are the true bondage of apathy that has kept us where we are since the 60's, the last vestige of true rebellion. Maybe we are on the threshhold of a paradigm shift to what is truly important in life as our currency is debased due to a cesspool of debt. Take all the crap we have away--providing we do not turn into a third world country with starvation as a major concern--and maybe we will have a different foundation--similar to what we had coming out of the 30's that actually appreciated what we had as opposed to what we wanted. Fuck all that. It's nonsense, anyway. Get your widescreen now while you can!

We have been taught to believe in consumption as a religion. Buy more, you need it, it makes you a better person to own this and that for your personal identity. Maybe it's time this country got back to the roots of what makes it great. I truly believe the Constitution isn't going anywhere. We're a fierce bunch. Civil wars? Possible with a severe depression. Hungry, angry people--a very real possibility, but there is another possibility and that is people will reach out to eachother--all the middle class which I am one that will lend a hand or help those in need. I have been adjusting for years. Get what you need, not what you want. It seems to be happening all over since last year when people started saving. On the other side of the world they want what we have--materialism is contagious. But that doesn't make it right or even sane.

We do hold up the world in terms of consumer spending--they all need us and if we can spend no more there will be a worldwide implosion/depression. China is a bubble. India's richest retailer sells items for pennies. But as I posted on another thread there is a cycle of nations put out by Sir Alex Fraser Tyler. It's all just food for thought but I am going under medical treatment for a serious disease and downright refuse to live in fear anymore. Something good can come out of the ugliest of situations. Let it be said, I am not a religious person and raised with nothing but a Buddhist foundation. But I pray for my son that his life is full of joy, not money. I also pray my 10 year old daughter gets through the swine flu. She was released from the hospital 3 days ago and it looks like she will make it, frail as she is, still sleeping 16 hours a day. Life, priorities, sanity. Don't let fear eat you alive.

I will repeat it here for you to ponder:

The Cycle of Nations:

--Sir Alex Fraser Tyler


"From bondage to spiritual faith.

From spiritual faith to great courage.

From courage to liberty.

From liberty to abundance.

From abundance to selfishness.

From selfishness to complacency.

From complacency to apathy.

From apathy to dependency.

From dependency back again into bondage."

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:11 | 101669 Argos
Argos's picture

There is an Inuit tribe that migrates each and every year.  And on this migration, they must cross a swift, cold river.  If you are too old, or sick, you do not make it across the river.  America has now met the river.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:36 | 101685 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

The eskimos let the elderly go out to freeze to death. It is their way.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 00:23 | 101718 calgaryschmooze
calgaryschmooze's picture

Really, it's the Canadian way...


Those who aren't sensitive this Friday night might consider punching Talking To Americans into Youtube and (hopefully) having a laugh.

Please excuse me while I pull on my seal skin pants and boots before I start my night's work.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:24 | 101674 Marvin T Martian
Marvin T Martian's picture

"Get your widescreen now while you can!"


actually i've bought two in the past few months. as well as a few urban survival vehicles. they're givin' 'em away! a boat, or 'escape pod' as we call it, is next. now, when things go 'dark' i'll be comfortably settled watching snowy re-runs of 'i love lucy' from the comfort of my bunker (which btw is conveniently located in an area of abundant fresh water and lively game, friendly, resourceful and witty locals wise enough to call me 'kurtz', etc).


...and it's all thanks to the prescient info gleaned here on ZH. everything not already paid for with the ample rewards of having been long gold for 6+ years will soon be settled with spread options 'cause i'll be damned if i know which way this show is headed- all i know is that it'll be volatile.


strange but (somewhat) true...

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:33 | 101683 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Kudos to you. Good job at protecting what you will need. Remember, when they show up at your door, don't shoot 'em. There will be times when those of us that have prepared will have to give back. It's the right thing to do. And you can get free labor for your generosity. 

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:55 | 101699 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

it's prudent to have one's bunker in a locale where the rule of law is 'flexible', but nevertheless it's wise to pay labor a fair rate and cultivate goodwill in the meantime.

never take advantage and do no harm.

unlike most of the gun-nuts in the US, i've seen up-close the effects of bullets on frail human flesh, so i plan on never inflicting that myself. if they need it that badly, they can have it.

one of the few things i am sure of is that wealth isn't how much you have, it's how much you give.

lastly, a homeless man in the bowery told me years ago "ask not what your conscience can do for you, but what you can do for your conscience!". new york was different then, the world was different then. the corporations have won, at least this round. anyway, i gave the man a buck.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 08:10 | 101908 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I also met a homeless man who assumed that I felt guity about being well-off (he was wrong). He was angry that no one would "give him" a job. Instead of burdening him with my evil money, I gave him advice instead; teach a man to fish...
Also, I bet that the last thought an anti-gun wacko has when meeting a murderer is, "I wish I had a gun!".

Dr Richard C. Reno, M.D.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 00:14 | 101711 Great Depressio...
Great Depression Trader's picture

From abundance to selfishness.

From selfishness to complacency.

From complacency to apathy.

From apathy to dependency.

From dependency back again into bondage.

Great reply. Thanks for taking the time to respond and put in your 2 cents. So you know I am not afraid, just preparing myself for what could possibly be a real unpleasant future in the USA. Thankfully i have strong roots in western greece (family, friends, houses, 100's of acres of land) in the event things become unbearable here. We are getting close as it is.

From abundance to selfishness: we are already at this point and beyond. People made money ripping others off during the boom, now loan "mod" fraud is rampant on the way down. How despicable that people would rip others off when they are at the worst, right before they lose there abode. Fuck these scum.

From selfishness to complacency.

From complacency to apathy: these two phases are happening together and we are already there. Wars in afghanistan and Iraq continue no protests in sight. In fact, the G20 in Pittsburgh had 4000 military police for only 1000 protestors. Police state in full glory. 1 in 100 are in jail or prison in the US. Our people eat high fructose corn syrup while it is banned worldwide. Our cows and chickens are so pumped full of hormones that God only knows the effects on the human body. It costs over $25,000 to have your appendix removed. $40,000 for thyroid removal. 50 million uninsured in such a God awful and perverse medical system. Banks lie and get bailed out with printed money. People lose their homes while bankers pay themselves millions. Empty and trashy TV shows reign while knowledge is shunned. Britney makes the front page while Ron Paul is barely known. Education costs have skyrocketed and yet people continue to accept $35,000 a year tuition.  We who read ZH are few and the "fringe" of mainstream society.

From apathy to dependency: millions of americans are dependent on the government dole. This number will surely grow. Heres a shocking number that adds more credence to my argument that US will be a empire soon: the US armed forces had their BEST recruitment year EVER. 108% of target. Remember in 2005 when the military was having trouble recruiting people to fight overseas? Remember the $20000 signup bonus? Now the military cant even accomodate the flood of applicants. So not only are people now apathetic to the fact that they will likely kill people, but they are also depending on the gov for their very livelihood (food, pay, shelter) in the army barracks. Also, consider the pharmacuetical industry as millions of americans are on all different types of medication: ADDEROL, XANAX, PROZAC being the worst. We have the highest ratio of pill poppers in the world. People are resorting to drugs because they cant handle life anymore. Life, which the system has made unbearable.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 00:44 | 101727 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Great analysis from my post and greatly appreciated. But this is a 300 year cycle. Think back to our founding fathers and that is the beginning. Our courage was in the 1800's. We did not get selfish until the 1950's. Complacency set in. We are in the latter stages of the empire and in terms of bondage--the bondage of debt, taxpayer bailouts, government assistance, and welfare. Thanks for thinking about it and expounding. The more we all think about this, the better we are prepared.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 00:36 | 101728 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

don't forget OXYCONTIN, courtesy of our friendly neighborhood opium traffickers the Taliban.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 00:50 | 101744 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

+1, While it may seem to have little to do with a 300 year cycle--Celebrex, Prozac, Opiates, Addirol (sp?), Rittalin--all part of a complacent and apathetic society that works too hard to deal with their own children is rampant.  Bondage from the freedom to deal with life is a serious problem.  Perhaps your post truly does fit in. :)

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 01:01 | 101765 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

perhaps all of these cycles are circling faster and faster and faster until they collapse in on themselves?

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 08:41 | 101917 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

But the person who appears to be the actual author of this passage is none of the men named above. They were not born from the mouth or pen of a political leader or historian or famous author. Rather, they would seem to be the words of Henning Webb Prentis, Jr., President of the Armstrong Cork Company.

In a speech entitled "Industrial Management in a Republic," delivered in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria at New York during the 250th meeting of the National Conference Board on March 18, 1943, Prentis had this to say about

Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security. The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

Mon, 10/19/2009 - 18:20 | 103831 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

No, it pre-dates 1943. Here is the quote in more context:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage." -- frequently ascribed to Alexander Tyler (or Tytler) (Scottish history professor at The University of Edinbourough in 1787 (The Fall of the Athenian Republic).

This is why the Framers loathed "democracy" and strongly believed a republic was the best. What has happened over the past 100 years, we have weakened republic / states' rights at every turn toward "democracy" which they likened to a derivative of mob rule.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:24 | 101953 deadhead
deadhead's picture

Howard...that is beautifully written.  Bravo!

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 19:02 | 102283 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

it feels like the American dream went supernova a long time ago and all of us we've just been bathing in its death light.

only thing we can hope for is the birth of a new star, a new Dream.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 01:35 | 101806 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Let us hope they don't decide to back the dollar with highly enriched uranium and plutonium.IE: a third world country with Nuclear weapons.LOTS and LOTS of them.

 I am afraid empires always run amok as they disintegrate....and the fallout (pun intended) from the US doing so would be very grave indeed.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 07:04 | 101883 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

The most commonly stated scenario is "one world government".

Not sold on that story ? One posit here . If J6P now believes "the lie" coming out of Washington and the Fed . Why wouldn't the worlds J6P's believe we need a "world government " to solve all the issues that have evolved from this finance /debt crisis . IMHO its all setting up perfectly for same . One currency ( no more global devaluations) One leader over one nation , or is it "Many Nations One Voice "? Just sayin .

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 11:16 | 101980 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

pondmaster, if you have ever lived in NYC, you may realize that many nations will never speak in one voice.  please don't think i'm advocating 1 world government (personally i choose to believe that 'smaller is better'), but if it does indeed come to that, it may not be as ruthlessly efficient as one may think.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 04:57 | 102544 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Nationalism has nothing to do with it.  The danger of one world government is that it eventually stops caring about anybody but itself and gives everyone nothing but pain. The only thing keeping people from being too big of a pain is other people there setting limits on it. If we have a one world government based on fictional fractional reserve principles it will be an ass kissing contest and people will give and give to get very little while the one world government takes and takes and takes and gives very little.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:00 | 101657 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The Great American Military is the German Tiger Tank of WWII, thirsty, over engineered, high price to unit, in limited numbers and land locked.

Skippy...hell peek-a-boos with old communist block weapons are handing our ass to us...get real friend.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:05 | 101660 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

"It will be too late for the middle class as they wont realize they have been raped and pillaged until they end up broke."  (Probably true, but don't assume that realization will be a slow process once it dawns.)

"It is key to understand that from the death of a republic, an empire is born."  Ok, this is not Rome, not a hard currency system, not the frontiers, none of it.  There are a lot of good fine people in this country who have very fne weaponry, and the government cannot overthrow the people in mass.  This is scenario is not the Weimar Republic melting down over concessions at Versaille. (With a virtually unarmed German population.) I's actually a lot closer to the French Revolution & American Revolution if you are looking for rhymes.  (Tennis Court of US states, The Intolerable Taxes, nay Common Zero?...) Of course that the French Revoluion did in fact wallow in madness until a general took ove.  You as a Historian aren't seeing  revolution and or anarchic devolution and or interrngum and or limited warfare in the nuclear age. 

Whatever comes of that morass will be what the US is, and empire is only one of the possibilities.  You are making assumptions, and that is dangerous to being right.

Pax Americana will soon be over.  As a student of History, I would ask you, What Pax Americana? 

Our economy, and our nation, and our species are experimenting with exponential math and hockey stick graphs.  We live in unprecedented times.  Either we will realize that there is enough energy for the wealth and happiness for each and everyone of us, that we live on an a virtual perpetual motion machine, and are part of a living system that is in all measurable human scales infinitely powered.  Or.... Boom.  Do over for the species.... maybe. 

The question of our day is evolve or perish.  I believe our generation will witness whether or not we become planet Easter Island. 

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:52 | 101696 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

"The question of our day is evolve or perish."

agreed indeed.  while the epicenter may be in this land, it is obvious that what is occurring is a global phenomenon.  we in this country just happen to be the lucky bastards with the world's reserve currency (for now).

some food for thought on a friday night (wrapped in tinfoil) -- the mayan calendar & money:

p.s. howard -- you may want to get some collodial silver for your daughter -- not only excellent for preserving your wealth, but also your health.  wish you & your family great courage & unexpected joy.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 01:15 | 101789 walküre
walküre's picture

"The problem is that the US is armed to the teeth with the worlds largest and most advanced military."

Why is that a problem?

USA has the biggest balls. Don't mess with the US. I for one sleep better at nights knowing that the US is the biggest bully in the schoolyard. Without the US massive military supremacy, the world would long have gone the way of the dodo bird.

Hail America. Forget "Pax Americana". About time the US calls in a few favors from nations that have enjoyed many years of freedom and stability. The parasite nations out there need to cough up for years of sucking the US teet.

For the record, I'm German national and will be forever grateful that Americans liberated Europe and brought freedom to the politically insane and disturbed Krauts.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:22 | 101948 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

In recent times, how has "America" saved the world from going the way of the dodo bird?

This is American mythology. I've lived here for years, went abroad, and came back and saw it for what it is. My wife works in a hospital and one of the nurses "accosted" her for an hour talking about how we are the light on the map of the world, and how others don't appreciate the freedom we bring them. The lady had tears in her eyes.

There are literally millions of datapoints that suggest that economic imperialism (trade basically) of a nuanced form is the reason for this massive military presence our the world. Nobody is going around spreading democracy bibles - if they are what are those bibles? And definitely not restoring economic freedom - more like resource extraction.

Still waiting for a response on this...

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:56 | 101969 Lexington Duffet
Lexington Duffet's picture

Kennedy's Rise and Fall of the Great Powers discusses in detail what it means to be a "great power" and how the "great powers" come to fail.  In sum, to be "great" is a relative advantage based on economic wealth, a status which is usually (always) lost as others copy your ideas; relying on military force to sustain the "great" status does not work and in fact hastens the societal  downfall.  IMO, the US gov has too many problems here to be F'ing around so much in the rest of the world.  we need to cut back.  

Thanks for the thanks, though. My granddad's were both small parts of the WWII effort.  

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 12:58 | 102056 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Great Depressio...,


The US Republic was dissolved in 1933 when FDR declared bankruptcy.


Read carefully, and note who was the receivers were.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 13:46 | 102079 JacksWastedLife
JacksWastedLife's picture

War is a peace, debt is a recover, you know..

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:43 | 101573 Fritz
Fritz's picture

I spoke with Lloyd - he says its OK - The squid is on it. 


Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:46 | 101576 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

Funny, but not really!

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:33 | 101633 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture


Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:43 | 101574 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Robert Fisk is an amazing journalist/social critic.No idea that he was covering Putin. John Malkovich, who openly expressed his desire to see Fisk dead, can go to hell. Bastard.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:49 | 101580 digalert
digalert's picture

I remain baffled, I wouldn't go so far as to call Turbo Timmy and Ben Balloon idiot's but WTF? They're the money guys, but as far a foreign policy, they should know that China and Russia are not our friends. These two would love nothing more than to knock the US off it's pedestal.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 21:57 | 101588 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

We interrupt this program to bring you the following message:

Citizens Business Bank, Ontario, California, Assumes All of the Deposits of San Joaquin Bank, Bakersfield, California

Cost to the DIF: $103 million

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:09 | 101605 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

BB and Tiny Tim might be running a bluff based on the assumption that Russia and China distrust each other enough that each will want to keep the US around for protection. US occupation of Iraq and/or Afghanistan is one thing. Russia or China is quite another, so they have no real reason to fear a US invasion. OTH, Russia and China share a very long border, so an invasion threat is much more realistic.

If the Chinese wanted to eliminate the US, all they have to do is start selling treasury debt. Sure, they might lose a trillion dollars. That is less than we have spent in Iraq.

The Russians are another matter. I suspect they see little advantage to a continued strong US economy or military. Obvious to anyone, with the possible exception of BB and Tiny Tim, a strong military requires a strong economy as opposed to a strong financial system.

Indeed, if the citizens of the US remain placid for a couple more years, the chances are very high of a complete meltdown within 10 years. Our government is elected by means of a more or less democratic process. So, we will have only ourselves to blame.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:01 | 101590 RockyR
RockyR's picture

oh, the russians are just scared shitless of ensuing anarchy within their borders.  their economy is truly screwed.  let them scramble for a rope to hang themselves by...


/talking tough... much snark, little truth

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:04 | 101597 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

where do you get your news?

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 01:18 | 101793 walküre
walküre's picture

Anything in Russia is for sale.

The entire nation has gone to flee market status.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 02:04 | 101824 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

You mean just like the US?

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:26 | 101955 deadhead
deadhead's picture

+1 GG.

i always love how you sneak in with these items.  sometimes a phrase of several words beats a novel.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 14:02 | 102095 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture!

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 13:03 | 102058 JacksWastedLife
JacksWastedLife's picture

The entire nation has gone drunk.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:01 | 101591 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I'm pretty sure Orwell talks about an east vs. west continuous war. I always thought he was simplifying for the sake of argument but I can see it coming down to just that within 50 years at most.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:03 | 101594 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I'm pretty sure Orwell mentions a continuous battle of east vs. west. I always thought he was over simplifying for the sake of argument, but its definitely possible.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:04 | 101598 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Been reading Fisk for many many years. I have rarely found cause to doubt his comments. He is one of the most plugged in folks in the Middle East. Ignore him at your peril.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:11 | 101606 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Could this be why oil is rising in dollars? Will Ben have to raise rates soon?

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 06:57 | 101881 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Why price energy in dollars: price dollars in energy....

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:25 | 101624 demsco
demsco's picture

Your forgetting the RMB is pegged to the USD so settling transactions in the RMB is the same as settling in the USD. That is unless China un-pegs its currency.Sure, settling in the Rubble is fine and serves the purpose, but the rubble is not exactly in great shape either. I am not saying it is not possible or the USD is fine, but a USD pegged currency is te same thing as the USD.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:46 | 101646 rr_
rr_'s picture

No.  Russia will accumulate renminbi as part of its reserves going forward.  So it will accumulate fewer USD.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 01:23 | 101796 walküre
walküre's picture

I've been to China recently. Some parts expand, other parts deteriorate with no end in sight.

Before I'd put any real significance into the currency of rice patties and bicycle afficionados, I will hold US Dollars, Euros and gold.

China resembles what Germany would have looked and felt like just before Weimar happened. The Chinese can pretend all day and night long that they have cash to buy the world. Reality is their economy is shrinking and they can't employ the people anymore than any other country.


Sat, 10/17/2009 - 04:32 | 101862 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Good for you, I see you are rich enough to travel and spend money in other lands. I admire your patriotism and faith in america and also in the euro; As a european, I have faith in neither but its good to know you will be there on the other side of the trade when I sell my last of both.

This regularly deteriorates into one where readers paint end of the world scenario on one hand, and strangely fanatical extremism mirroring fascism on the other.

Surely many of readers here are among the millions who show up whenever american politicians ask for patriotism and sacrifice when they plan a super boost to the weapons-making friends and the money merchants by announcing the next front (presumably Iran) on terror. You are the very same people who voted for the cheating politicians who unfailingly end up screwing the american people over and over again. Until we realize that it is we who put the politicians like Obama and Bush in office, and take responsibility for the situation we are in, instead of whining on this blog about corruption, america is doomed to a life of indebtedness and its future generation will curse this generation for putting them in a life of serfdom.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 14:48 | 102121 Spiro
Spiro's picture

walküre stated above that he/she is a German national.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 07:28 | 101889 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I've just returned from China also. All I can say is its one massive ShitHole. Over the top construction of condo mega cities is going to ensure the mother of all bank collapses. What a pathetic country. China is not a country its one ferkin big city.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 11:26 | 102643 JacksWastedLife
JacksWastedLife's picture

I don't think that it is so easy to understand a country with at least 5000 years of history, tradition and culture, especially in terms of its internal affairs and economy.

It is like to say that India is a country of yogis who are just sitting on the nails all the day. (Just for example, because I'm this country right now.)

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 02:25 | 101829 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

No it's not. You have to look at it from the point of supply and demand.

The only reason why China is currently buying US treasuries is to keep the currencies in check. With so many USD flowing out of US into China, the only way to keep the USD high relative to the yuan is to repatriate that money back to the US by buying treasuries.

When China buys oil from Russia it implicitly causes a demand in USD, causes the price of the USD to rise. In order to rebalance the flow of USD, it forces Russia to repatriate those USD back into the US by buying US Treasuries, keeping interest rates low for the US.

If you cut out USD, there buying and selling pressures are only between the ruble and RMB. Russia only needs to repatriate those RMB back to China, probably by buying Chinese Government bonds.

This will cause US interest rates to rise, and their currency to drop, but by then they don't care because they can make the case for removing the global reserve currency status of the US, and instead replace it with theirs. This would then lend them the benefit of not being at the behest of currency fluctuations in commodities, a luxury only the US has received in decades.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 22:31 | 101627 w
w's picture



A comment by Alan
Greenspan in his testimony to the House Banking Committee in July 1998 confirmed
both intervention and its aim of restraining strength in the gold price:
"…central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price

That's a smoking gun.


P.S. I think there is something wrong with the RSS feeds

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:05 | 101659 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Can't wait to see that plan worked out. Since the Renminbi is pegged to the dollar, when the dollar declines the Renminbi will by the same amount. The Russians will love that. If the Chinese let the Renminbi float, they get killed on their exports (40% of GDP)and won't need to import much oil from Russia.

I'm not a dollar bull by any means, but there is money printing going on across the globe. Everyone wants to export their way out of malaise, but their biggest customer is now broke.

Fri, 10/16/2009 - 23:25 | 101675 Michael
Michael's picture

Bilateral trade agreements will fix everything.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 01:56 | 101819 JR
JR's picture

A little economic chaos is far superior to the corrupt economic tyranny the people have endured under the bankers’ Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury.  The central bankers got the US into this economic mess, and I shrink to think what will be left of our futures and our children’s economic futures if left IN THEIR HANDS. 

It would be a mistake to attempt to “fix” America’s economically by simply shining up the central bank’s “supervision” while it continues inflation and misallocation of the money supply.  I pray to God that I see this leviathan from Jekyll Island slain and laid to rest forever. 

The danger of this creature in every preceding era of history, well understood by all lawfully constituted authority, is its creation and destruction of money carried on in secret for private gain and the acquisition of power. 

All forms of our government have fallen under the control of this political Power Group, dominated by the Money Creators and Manipulators.  The people’s national political power has been usurped without its knowledge or consent.

This rapacious creature has stolen my savings, my 401k is not back to its 2000 value level, and a top 10 percent salary isn’t enough for many first-time home buyers to afford a decent home in high-cost areas from New York City to San Jose.    

Americans are experiencing the classic conflict between backers of a market-driven economy based on supply and demand, and supporters of a planned economy in the hands of money-lenders controlling the issue and destruction of money—a weapon which can be and has been used to perpetuate poverty amidst abundance, rendering individual powerless to protect themselves. The Federal Reserve note is no longer a trusted or stable measure of exchange-value for the American people.

The question is:  Do you want to protect the Fed to protect its system, or do you want to see it fail from its own incompetence and permit the immediate resumption by the community of its Constitutional prerogative over the issue of money including its credit substitutes.

I support the latter, and agree with Thomas Jefferson that it is far superior to trust the common man with self-government, with a little chaos, than to resort to economic tyranny under a central power.  Unchecked – and unaudited – power always leads to subjugation under a crook—not an honest man. 

Cases in Point:  Hank Paulson., Timothy Geithner, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:29 | 101957 deadhead
deadhead's picture

Magnificent JR...thank you for taking the time to write these thoughts.


Sat, 10/17/2009 - 02:03 | 101823 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

People calling Robert Fisk an idiot are themselves idiots. I would advise them to entrust themselves to the benevolent Government's care, put all their money in the highly "efficient" US stock market and go back to sleep.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 02:14 | 101826 jedwards
jedwards's picture

The USD is down 29% against the EUR since Apr 1999, the first time we crossed Dow 10000.  The USD is down 33% against the CAD in that same time.  Meanwhile EUR is only down 2% against the CAD from that same time.

Good thing we buy most of our shit from China, who has their currency pegged against the USD otherwise we might be fucked because of inflation of goods, since we don't produce anything anymore.  But wait, the Treasury wants China to revalue their currency.  If they do that, and the US loses control of its currency because everyone starts dumping USD, it really could spell hyperinflation a la Peter Schiff and Jim Rogers and Marc Faber.

The government is trying to fool us by pumping up the stock market to increase our feelings of wealth, but no one has any money, and all the regular joes who lost 20%+ don't want to touch the money and spend it.  We've gotten burned so bad, all we want to do is save our money which is the Paradox of Thrift.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 06:59 | 101882 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

"Paradox of Thrift" is one of THE most idiotic concepts I have ever heard.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 09:15 | 101923 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

"We've gotten burned so bad, all we want to do is save our money which is the Paradox of Thrift."

the paradox is only a paradox because we equate "money" with wealth.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:46 | 101966 JR
JR's picture

And that we equate "money" with Fed notes.

“I’ve been burned so badly by Fed notes, all I want to do is save them.”

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 05:58 | 101874 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

you can't hedge USD weakness by running into another currency (except maybe RMB). The Euro block has far higher debt to GDP than the US. You thought "why not move into the Australian dollar". I saw a report this month that their national debt to GDP is 160% (the US version is 94%) and Australian household debt is 100% of GDP (the US version is 125%. Canadian debt to GDP is 53%.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see the point of jumping from one weak currency into another. Why jump from the frying pan into the fire?

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 13:37 | 102076 JacksWastedLife
JacksWastedLife's picture

The solution described in any textbook - diversify and invest. Some in gold, some in emerging markets, some in foreign currency. And be awake and ready to react on market changes. And it is a labor, not just fun.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 13:52 | 102085 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Good luck to the Chinese and Russians with those Rubbles and Yuan... I'd rather be paid in pubic hair. The USD is the reserve currency for a reason, just give the Russians another year to default on their debt and massively devalue their currency.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 18:14 | 102263 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hooray for your wisdom!

Trade has to be balanced for currency to work.

Otherwise it has to handicapped. For example, it is possible for anyone to defeat Tiger Woods in golf, provided the handicap is high enough, but the very act of winning, in the short-run, will necessarily lower the handicap and Tiger would crush all comers.

If China buys the considerable demand it has for energy from Russia, what equal demand does Russia require from China?

It may look great in the short-term, but the "disparity" (ie lack of parity or lack of balance) will crush the weaker party.

If the balance is not equal, or nearly equal, the disparity over time will ruin Russia.

Just look at the relationship between Mexico and the US.

If you want to play golf, play golf. If you want to play golf for money, be prepared to have to pay Tiger for the privilege as there is no way to create parity between your lack of talent and his.

Unfortunately, the nature of economics does not allow anyone to just play for fun, it all comes at a cost and if China, or any other country, had more natural resources than America it would have risen to the top many centuries ago. People will always need corn and America can make so much of it we can turn it into gasoline even though it takes more corn to make it than it's worth. Brazil can grow sugar cane, but you can't live off that in a pinch and the "The Invisible Hand" always knows the bottom line, even if no one else can.

Manufacturing is nice, but it creates a class of expectations that must be met by an ability to feed the population. If the need for manufacturing ever slows beyond the point that enables a Country to feed it's people, woe unto them. That a Country loses it's ability to manufacture but can still produce food in multiples of excess to it's needs, it will lose some wealth, but it will never go hungry and that bottom line reality is what makes the world go round.

He with the food holds all the cards regardless of who holds the gold, the money or anything else other than the military might to take that food away.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 06:23 | 102553 Emmanuel Goldstein
Emmanuel Goldstein's picture

See this post to see how far off the mark you are about the US's food stuffs "hegemony":

Don't believe everything you hear ADM tell you on their commercials, the US is not really the breadbasket of the world it just likes to pretend it is.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 13:31 | 102711 JR
JR's picture

You say that "if China, or any other country, had more natural resources than America it would have risen to the top many centuries ago"

Resources—oil, corn, or iron ore—are inanimate objects.  It is man who invented steam; it is man who makes steel and circuit boards.  And it is man who makes politics and government.  It is man’s government, whether it is under a Saudi king, the Soviet politburo, the Chinese communists, or the Constitution of James Madison, that moves the inventions, the production and the resources.

For 6000 years, man struggled as a beast of burden to exist under despotic government.  It is time we realized that civilization’s progress rests on the foundation of a single principle: freedom! China dies as soon as its American corporations are withdrawn or taken over by a communist government. A tremendous volume of goods produced in China is produced by American corporations located there: those corporations are protected by American patents and American innovation which were developed under a free-enterprise system.

Everyone knows how we got here after they look around and see all the stuff: “America, you got the ball rolling, it’s time to let the Communists handle it.”  No matter that all past communist systems have failed, of course, it’s time to let them try again.

It’s like a little urban kid who thinks milk comes from the grocery store.

In 1997, a study of the inventors honored in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, revealed that 91% of the world’s greatest inventors worked in America and only 9% in other countries.

As ZH Anonymous #54823 said: The whole world worships China for its rapid economic growth, while we forget that their industrial revolution is very different in character than that of North America and Western Europe. I mean the industrial revolution in the West was fueled by an endless stream of innovations starting with the steam engine. Chinese growth is fueled by cheap money, cheap labor and the drive of multinationals to enter a huge market. China has opened up to benefit from the innovations made in the West, but it isn´t contributing anything beyond cheap labor and the promise that companies can grow there for a long time to come. Capitalism without individual freedom is not capitalism, it is feudalism.”

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 11:39 | 102646 JacksWastedLife
JacksWastedLife's picture

They could default only if oil prices will fall lower than $30 and stay there for a long time, which is hardly possible.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 13:55 | 102086 Emmanuel Goldstein
Emmanuel Goldstein's picture

I agree with Howard on this. I don't see it as an apocalyptic moment unless the US goes ballistic and decides to make it one.

Most likely it creates a lot of chaos for countries that primarily use US Dollars as their currency as they find their ability to buy supplies from outside their borders sharply curtailed for a short period of readjustment. The US will probably experience a sharp shock as the realization of what is happening sinks in (you can bet they will deny it is even occurring until it has progressed to a point that it is undeniable), then after a brief period of self serving pity they will get to rebuilding what they had just so they can keep getting the basics, basics that will now be too expensive to ship in due to the decline of the currencies value.

The rest of the worlds individual economies will be damaged in proportion to their residual Dollar holding and trade ties with the US as the US shuts down it's importing for all but the essentials. China will not be hurt as bad as many Americans believe, while the US is a large portion of their market they also trade with the rest of the world and will be cushioned by the fact that while Europe's, West Asia's and Russia's currencies and will have lost value from the afore mentioned effects they will all need to go to China for cheap goods to make up for the loss of their own currency values. This may well make up for the loss of US trading.

In the meantime it will not take very long for the US military machine to start coming apart at the seams, it takes a lot of money and oil to keep that monster running and these will be in short supply for them by this point. Unless the US decides to go out with a bang I figure it will just be a painful but orderly shift from US economic hegemony to multi block economic coalitions based on currency baskets with East Asia coming out on top because of it's currently unchallenged manufacturing power.

If on the other hand the US has a supreme freak out and those idiot Dominionists in the USAF decide that God is talking to them and Jesus has returned then all bets are off and the survivors will have to relearn how to barter again.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 17:40 | 102241 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

+1. Jesus emailed me last week that he/she will be AWOL for the next five years, so we can write the Big Bang option off.

Sun, 10/18/2009 - 20:29 | 102965 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

that is unless the Large Hadron Collidor decides it wants to start working again...

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 15:01 | 102127 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

If the dollar collapses, then all major currencies will collapse. Foreign nations will not permit the US laborer to become competitive on a comparative wage basis to India or China. Would Europe permit American manufacturers to flood their markets with cheap goods?

The leadership of most countries want their currencies to be less valuable - and since the US is leading the way...

Ben is the pied piper and all the schoolkids are so happy that they have been given permission to forget the lessons of their parents...

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 15:09 | 102136 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

silly rationale - USA is outproduced in everything and it would take years to provide anything near China to the market.. also commodities would become overpriced into oblivion. Most likely Skilled american workers will go overseas to be engineers and whatnot and a select area of USA will thrive will the rest collapses into afghanistan tribes

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 15:26 | 102146 Emmanuel Goldstein
Emmanuel Goldstein's picture

I agree, the US has no manufacturing to speak of with which to flood anyone let alone it's own soon to be isolated market with cheap goods.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 15:07 | 102132 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

A dollar collapse would hurt major dollar holders yes, but it would be equal throughout as everybody's dollras would decline in unison. I think the global economy would bounce back very quickly actually as oil burning and resource use would shift to the East where the productive economies are, ratcheting up economic growth far more rapidly than currently. USA and west europe on the other hand will be in dire straights. OECD economies are past the brink and need to completely restructure in order to survive. Unfortunately I dont think USA will fare very well, especially in the west and midwestern cities. I tihnk the southeast will become USA's foremost economic power and might just be a new country.. jesusland or something

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 16:02 | 102181 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It is ironic that Nixon opened up diplomatic relations with China in order to provide a foil to Russia. A mere three decades later the U.S. had handed its manufacturing capacity to China in return for short-term corporate profits for American MNCs and has provided China with over two trillion dollars in CAPITAL to buy natural resources outright and circumvent the UK-US financial system of fraud. The end result is that China is increasing ties to Russia anyway, and the U.S. is left with a gutted economy of empty malls, unemployed men with guns, with only the ability to "manufacture" debt.

To those who say, yeah, but the American military is dangerous... try running a military without oil. Perhaps an Abrams tank with solar panels?

To those who say, if the dollar collapses, all the other currencies will collapse... do you see that reflected in the currency markets, or are you saying what you wish to happen? How do you explain the Euro, the Yen, or the Canadian dollar gaining vs. the U.S. dollar?

If there ever was a "Pax Americana", it ended with the National Security Act of 1947. The pseudo-empire is rapidly crumbling right now, not in the distant future. You can't have all your systems running in the red with hockey-stick graphs and think no other country will notice.

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 18:00 | 102252 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

What role does food play in these scenarios? What countries are net food importers?
I live along a major rail line in the midwest that starts at the largest coal reserves in the world, goes thru the best producing farmland in the world and ends near one of the largest supplies of fresh water in the world
Let everyone else eat their oil

Sat, 10/17/2009 - 19:14 | 102287 Emmanuel Goldstein
Emmanuel Goldstein's picture

The US is not the top exporter, the only thing it does send out in significantly larger quantity than anyone else are cereal grains. The loss of US exports would not be that devastating as it would only mean a loss of about 8% of the total world wide food exports of all types:

Main site - This is the International Trade Center, United Nations database.

Top exporters of beef

Product group: 012 - MEAT NES,FRESH/CHLD/FROZ 

Country..........US $$

Top exporters of vegetables

Product group: 054 - VEGETABLES,FRSH/CHLD/FRZ


Top Exporters of Fish

Product group: 037 - FISH/SHELLFISH,PREP/PRES


Top Exporters of Cereal Grains

Product group: 045 - CEREAL GRAINS NES 


Sat, 10/17/2009 - 19:39 | 102319 JR
JR's picture

The role of the dollar in foreign exchange needs to be addressed with the realization of what the Federal Reserve has done to the currency while serving the interests of two or three private corporations. Putin is dealing on national interests for Russia: the Fed cartel is dealing on interests for the Fed and not interests for America.

Money is supposed to be used as a medium of exchange.  The dollar has now become a medium for investment, to be monopolized, manipulated and abused.  As such it has lost its raison d’etre.  And because it can be created out of thin air by self-dealing titans of usury as a form of personal wealth and national debt, i.e., counterfeited, it is not even worthy as an “investment.”

No matter that the lender, the Fed cabal of bankers, surrenders nothing at all while the people surrender the value of their barter and become indebted for life as a nation under a debt physically impossible ever to repay. No matter that the present monetary system disregards ethical law and is destroying the very foundation of this great civilization and its liberty…


The American people will never relinquish The American Dream and its bounty of plenty and happiness for Communism and servitude under the rule of a whip by slave masters.  The Communist Dream is a mirage built on an America Dream off-shored by traitors from within our borders. Anyone who believes that the Chinese Communists, for example, still do not hold the reins for totalitarian control, is not paying attention.

America--that sleeping giant--has awakened.  Her people with their unique heritage of freedom will not acquiesce to the rule of money, to the dominance of financiers over their industry and businesses and families and necessities of life.  The American people will never join the ranks of the Servile State, albeit “tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered.”

This City on the Hill—this glorious triumph--shall not be relinquished!

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