Crude oil prices are tumbling as the USDollar pushes on to new highs driven by the continued stretch of renewed weakness in the Euro. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, however, "it’s not all about Greece. Not even close."
The Shanghai Composite is on the verge of 5,000 and has more than doubled in the past year but this may just be the beginning. The reason: if the Chinese stock bubble bursts, that will be the beginning of the end of the greatest con game in history.
We have all read the latest crop of media articles challenging gold’s investment relevance. The typical approach to bearish gold analysis is to attribute hypothetical fears to gold investors, and then point out these concerns have failed to materialize. Sprott believes the investment thesis for gold is a bit more complex than simplistic motivations commonly cited in financial press. We would suggest gold’s relatively methodical advance since the turn of the millennium has had less to do with investor fears of hyperinflation or U.S. dollar collapse than it has with persistent desire to allocate a small portion of global wealth away from traditional financial assets and the fiat currencies in which they are priced.
As tipped over a month ago, China witnessed a fourth straight quarter of capital outflows in Q1, exacerbating Beijing's currency conundrum and making it more likely that, should policy rate cuts continue to prove ineffective, Chinese QE is inevitable.
After months of speculation and confusion, on Friday we finally got if not direct, then certainly indirect, evidence from this month's TIC data that "Belgium" was merely a front for China.
Central bank liquidity lines like those the Fed used to bailout the world seven years ago have become a fixture of the post crisis financial system. Since 2009, China has essentially blanketed the globe with yuan liquidity lines, inking swap agreements with nearly three dozen countries with the primary goal of increasing the degree to which the renminbi is used in international trade.
Even as the establishment of new supranational lenders suggests the US-dominated multilateral institutions that have characterized the post-war world are proving unable to meet the needs of modernity, both Congress and the President have stymied IMF reform measures, sending a message to China and others that US hegemony will not die without a fight.
Just days after Japanese PM Shinzo Abe leaves Washington (having stepped up his nation's military assertiveness), The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Secretary of Defense has asked staff for military options in the South China Sea (as we have detailed China's land reclamation efforts): U.S. MAY USE MILITARY TO CONFRONT CHINA IN SPRATLY ISLANDS DISPUTE: WSJ Having ironically commented on China's "bullying," it appears Nobel-Peace-Prize winner President Obama is preparing for an even bigger objective, amid China's rising threat to USD dominance (with Yuan liberalization and AIIB success).
For the first time in more than ten years, the IMF believes the yuan is close to fairly valued. This comes as the fund considers the yuan for SDR inclusion later this year and as China attempts to promote the currency to a more prominent role in the global economy. Meanwhile, Bill Gates says that although he "loves the dollar" he'd "put his bet on yuan."
It would appear the era of the dollar's global domination as a reserve currency is coming to an end, and the stage is now being set for gold to be officially accepted as the ultimate reserve money once again, this time by the next generation of advanced nations.
While the reality is that nobody has a clue what China's actual gold holdings are, the good news is that the answer is coming. As noted above, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has asked the head of the International Monetary Fund to include China's yuan currency in its special drawing rights (SDR) basket. If indeed China is serious about CNY inclusion in the SDR, it will finally have to reveal its cards, which would mean it finally will provide an update, with a 6 year delay, of just what its latest gold holdings are. As such, don't be surprised to wake up one morning to headlines blasting that Chinese gold holdings have gone up by 2x, 3x, 5x or (more x) since 2009, a long-overdue update which will catalyze the next major leg higher in the precious metal.
We've long argued that the implications of the shift away from a global economic order that has prevailed since the end of WWII are far reaching and may include the demise of what has largely been a unilateral political and economic system characterized by the dominance of US foreign policy and Western notions of politics and capitalism. Now, it appears as though de-dollarization and the end of US hegemony may have gone viral because, as The NY Times reports, a US “retreat” from the world order it has largely shaped was the unspoken topic de jour at this year’s spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington.
"The last time China suffered such pace of capital outflows was during 2012 when $165bn of capital left during the last three quarters of that year. And before then it was during the Lehman crisis," JPM notes, in yet another sign that Beijing is stuck between a rock and a hard place as it battles to maintain the dollar peg in the face of slumping economic growth.
“We absolutely think it is for military aircraft...the main question is, what else would land there? Unless they are planning to turn these into resorts..."
To maintain its hegemony, the U.S. must by all means prevent the emergence of rival powers and impede possible current as well as future threats that could emanate from oil states. The ideal condition for enforcing its own goals at a low cost would be the fragmentation of antagonistic power centers through ethnic and religious strife, civil wars, chaos and deep-seated mistrust in the Middle East – always following the well-known premise of ‘divide and rule.’ In fact, we are currently experiencing tremendous changes towards such a chaotic state of affairs.