All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars
US Hegemony, Dollar Dominance Are Officially Dead As China Scores Overwhelming Victory In Bank BattleSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/25/2015 17:00 -0400
The China-led development bank essentially marks an epochal shift away from traditionally US-dominated multinational institutions like the IMF and the ADB. Meanwhile, it also represents an implicit attempt by the Chinese to usher in a kind of sino-Monroe Doctrine. The more isolated the US becomes as it relates to the new venture, the more transparent its motives seem. This was never about “standards” (the original excuse for Washington’s opposition to the bank), but rather about stifling Chinese ambition. "America seems to be confirming China’s darkest fears: it has adopted a policy of containment that is wrong in principle and has failed in practice," notes The Economist.
- ECB Tells Greek Banks Not to Boost Exposure to Athens Government’s Debt (WSJ)
- Search teams probe wreckage of jet in French Alps (Reuters)
- Flight Recorders Offer Best Hope of Explaining Jet’s Fatal Drop (BBG)
- Yemen Houthi militia sweeps toward Aden in threat to president (Reuters)
- In Nigeria, Oil Price’s Slide Deters Theft (WSJ)
- Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border (Reuters)
- Quant Who Shook the Financial World Tries More Humble Approach (BBG)
- Executive Pensions Are Swelling at Top Companies (WSJ)
Did De-Dollarization Just Reach Escape Velocity? China's New Silk Road & Putin's Eurasian Trade NetworkSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/24/2015 23:00 -0400
The New Silk Road, actually roads - boosted by a special, multi-billion-dollar Silk Road Fund and the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which, not by accident, has attracted the attention of European investors - symbolizes China’s pivot to an old heartland: Eurasia. Beijing has been quick to dismiss any notions of hegemony. It maintains this is no Marshall Plan. China, on the other hand, is focused on integrating “emerging economies” into a vast, pan-Eurasian trade/commerce network. And that, crucially, would have to include Russia, which is a vital part of the New Silk Road through an upcoming, Russia-China financed $280 billion high-speed rail upgrade of the Trans-Siberian railway. This is where the New Silk Road project and President Putin’s initial idea of a huge trade emporium from Lisbon to Vladivostok actually merge.
"The Obama administration, facing defiance by allies that have signed up to support a new Chinese-led infrastructure fund, is proposing the bank work in a partnership with Washington-backed development institutions such as the World Bank." And with that, one giant shift towards de-dollarization is now in the books.
China and Russia have taken the lead in establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, seen as a rival organization to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which are dominated by the United States with Europe and Japan. These banks do business at the behest of the old Bretton Woods order. The AIIB will dance to China and Russia's tune instead.
Washington picked a completely unnecessary fight with China over the ostensibly non-contentious topic of infrastructure development because the US can’t stand the fact that traditionally US-dominated multinational institutions are on the verge of being supplanted by sinocentric ambition — and lost.
Bankers who took up their business in the Square Mile of London’s banking heart could smell the Eurodollars in the air. As Anthony Sampson wrote, “Young British bankers and their foreign counterparts began to earn higher salaries than other bankers. Skyscrapers shot up by the old classic architecture near St. Paul’s Cathedral. Far Eastern and Arabic banks appeared, as did Mercedes and Cadillacs to cart bankers around the thin London streets.” The Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries needed dollars for trade but wanted to avoid adverse US policy by not keeping or borrowing money in the United States. So they stuck funds in the London offices of British and American banks, causing the City of London to grow as a banking center and recoup some prewar financial glory.
CCC-rated Ukraine is preparing to issue more debt, debt with a Aa+/AAA rating because it will come with the explicit guarantee of the United States of America. In other words, after raiding Greek pensions with the IMF's blessing, the Kiev puppet government is now going after the "full faith and credit" of the US... backed by its taxpayers. In yet other words, the latest Ukraine "bailout" is courtesy of you, dear US taxpaying reader.
And then there were none. Like dominoes, US allies have fallen in line on the heels of the UK's decision to join the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment bank and now, the stanuchest supporter of Washington's position on the venture looks set to defect as well.
"Ignoring direct pleas from the Obama administration, Europe’s biggest economies have declared their desire to become founding members of a new Chinese-led Asian investment bank that the United States views as a rival to the World Bank and other institutions set up at the height of American power after World War II," The Times notes, in yet another indication of declining US influence.
Many analysts regard this as further evidence that the Fed is caught in a bind. What is yet to be appreciated by most analysts is that it is unlikely that the massively over-leveraged and debt-saturated financial system can weather increases in interest rates.
It appears the sea of de-dollarization has reached the shores of Europe. With Australia and UK having already moved in the direction of joining the China-led AIIB, The FT reports that France, Germany, and Italy have now all agreed to join the development bank as 'pivot to Asia' appears to be Plan B for Europe. As Greg Sheridan previously noted, "the saga of the China Bank is almost a textbook case of the failure of Obama’s foreign policy," but as The FT concludes, the European decisions represent a significant setback for the Obama administration, which has argued that western countries could have more influence over the workings of the new bank if they stayed together on the outside. As Forbes notes, this leaves Obama with 3 uncomfortable options...
- Israelis vote as 'King Bibi's' reign hangs in the balance (Reuters), Factbox: Main candidates in Israel's election (Reuters)
- Iran Can Add Million Barrels a Day of Oil If Sanctions Halt (BBG)
- Kremlin rules out handing back Crimea to Ukraine (Reuters)
- Saudi Arabia Needs More Oil to Feed Local Refinery Expansion (BBG)
- How Lafarge’s CEO Went From Holcim Merger Architect to Obstacle (BBG)
- When Yellen Gets Less Predictable She’s Getting Back to Normal (BBG)
- Iran nuclear talks intensify as sides face tough issues (Reuters)
- Debunking $1.4 Trillion Europe Debt Myth in Post-Heta Age (BBG)