Niall Ferguson On China's Gold And The "Tremendous Flux In International Order"

Tyler Durden's picture

"This is a time of tremendous flux in the international order" is how Harvard's Niall Ferguson describes the world in which we live as he opines expertly on the change in China, Europe's pending 'lost decade', and the Middle East's post-Arab Spring disestablishment of the 1970s 'order' with GoldMoney's Alasdair Macleod. From China's need to begin privatizing SOEs and globalizing the RMB (with an interesting focus on the introduction of reliable property rights to 'enable' the middle class) to concerns about its large dollar holdings (and the top-down and bottom-up diversification into gold that continues); Ferguson notes that the ongoing attempt to diversify its wealth and revenues (stock and flow) is relatively limited by the ability to secure hard assets but adds that as the world's 'trade' center of gravity shifts east at a very fast pace so gold will flow from "the West to the rest" as Western power declines and the Asia bloc rises. A fascinating macro-economic and geo-political discussion that concludes with a shift through Russia's energy quagmire, Japan's debt problems, and the faulty design of the European Union.


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CunnyFunt's picture

Right, especially with his affected Gordon Brown accent. Glesga Kiss would be in order.

booboo's picture

all the while getting the kiddies all prepped to fight the orient again with Hollywood productions. Now the norks are invading our land in movies, bwahahahaha America..fuck yea

AUD's picture
A Champion from Central Casting

The author, as the flyleaf of his book reminds us, is not just some academic hack. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard. He's also a best-selling author whose titles include Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus and The War of the World. He "...writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. He has written and presented four highly successful television documentary series for Channel 4: Empire, American Colossus, The War of the World and, most recently, The Ascent of Money."

In short, he is precisely the man to whom you would turn if you needed a credible voice to calm the mass mind and defend the basis of your power, if an unfolding crisis had conclusively revealed the fraud beneath it all, and was showing signs of getting out of hand. And The Ascent of Money is precisely what you'd get, if your man delivered the goods.........

With the foundation of his theory now laid, Professor Ferguson delivers the money shot, as it were:

What the conquistador's failed to understand is that money is a matter of belief, even faith: belief in the person paying us; belief in the person issuing the money he uses or the institution that honours his cheques or transfers. Money is not metal. It is trust inscribed. And it does not seem to matter much where it is inscribed: on silver, on clay, on paper, on a liquid crystal display. [p. 30]
So there you have it, the Harvard Theory of Money: Money is credit, from the Latin credere, to believe. How elegant the phrasing: 'trust inscribed'. How catastrophic the consequences. For everyone, that is, but the lucky few running the scam.

From 'The Ascent of Hooey', by Robert K. Landis

Yen Cross's picture

 Post Master General/AUD          Sweetness!

Obadiah's picture

Excellent "slice n dice"  thx AUD


"Trust inscribed" Fuck you banker get the fuck out of our united States of America.

Future Jim's picture

Ferguson did not deceive directly, rather, he left out some critical facts.


  1. People would trust a money backed by gold even more.
  2. Money is a Product.
Dr. Engali's picture

This guy sounds like an idiot trying to lecture China about the need for the rule of law that the leadership is not above when we are clearly tossing it aside. His support for toppling the Iranian regime tells me all I need to know about him. He's a shill for the war machine, and a NWO pig. I won't waste any more time listening to him.

blindman's picture

oh, "another arrogant asshole prick wanting desperately
to prolifically dictate and vicariously pontificate his world view to the servants
he would so richly prefer not to pay for their services and products. oh, fuck him and his kind where they breath, thank you very much" .
here i paraphrase what she said upon listening to this
dialogue. i offered a drink and some softer lighting
and a blanket where she may find some comfort and
slumber: eternity commenced and the night became day
once again.
she added "neither of these fucktards can feed themselves
yet they perceive themselves as masters of the servants
of the masters of the universe, are they thinking this
is high comedy and they are the humorists?"
i said nothing and fell into deeper sleep than usual.

Yen Cross's picture

 Who am I Blind MAN?  Yen?   Don"t Bull Shit me

blindman's picture

i say, in direct response to your direct
question, you are the universe, all of it.
made of it, it, in it, of it, no different.
you are me, you are i, you are it, all of it everything.
don't let the fragmentation of perspective fool
you. imagination produces that perspective but
also provides the groundwork for producing all
other perspectives, all of it, so be kind and know
it is all eternal in the illusion of past and future.
you only do to you what you have stored in you for
either that or / and i have no idea what your inquiry
might be? people talk about bullshit and they talk
about god and etc...
it is all based on the sound of the universe and
words, neurological reminisce and circuits, experience
coded in complexity and it is about integrating the
physical matter and the energetic vibrational energy
producing consciousness, then evolving that consciousness
to the place where truth plays majestic symphonic
and rhapsodic chambers of music. unfolding in
dreaming, life is a child's dream or as has been
said " a fire fly in the winter's night ".
that is what i am, so, you must be that too?
do not under estimate the beauty and power of
bullshit i say, it is the essential truth of the
matter, ecology and science !

Yen Cross's picture

Blind Man, I read your post. You should go deer hunting with me , in the Sierras.

blindman's picture

sounds good but i don't eat meat. i live
by the water and eat fish, we should go

old naughty's picture


well said.

I'd like to join you by the water, someday soon.

blindman's picture

are you familiar with the south shore
of long island, gilgo, jones beach,
tobay, long beach? those places?
surf fishing with lures? that's the plan !
of course things are different now , road
and state/town park damage, etc... but...
and then there is impending ww III,
total financial collapse, chaotic social
disorder and displacement to fill the days,
not to mention the ensuing mental illness
which has become evident due to unusual
stress and infrastructure damage.
but .. the fish don't care.
if it is possible i say off to the beach
is the sound choice. i was there the day before
to look around and met up with the metal detector
crowd looking for gold and stuff, treasure hunters !

Atomizer's picture

Color me shocked. Did you think I’ve been bullshitting you since the inception of my Atomizer account? What fucking fools you are. Pick yourselves off the floor & get sobered up. You have a lot of work ahead of you.


This is not a request, but an order. Get your asses in gear!! We have too much talent to go to waste, let the fight club prevail..


swabeyjw's picture

Ferguson, does not rank USA legal systems well. He points out rule of law is declining due to dollar driven corruption.

Silvertrader's picture

Goldstandard or not. I love trading gold using CFD's. It makes me a lot of money every month.

AnAnonymous's picture

From China's need to begin privatizing SOEs and globalizing the RMB (with an interesting focus on the introduction of reliable property rights to 'enable' the middle class)

More fabled past, as 'americans' love it. See how 'american' intellectuals whose training engulfed so many resources and whose work keep engulfing so much are unable to produce a line of thought without relying on fabled past.

Indeed, 'americanism' is spreading in China and a push by 'american' middle class is increasing by day.

But an 'american' middle class is not enabled by reliable property rights. As shown by established 'americans', an 'american' middle class is enabled by unreliable property rights as the 'american' government needs to find some generous willing sponsors for them to transfer their wealth and it be redistributed to enable the 'american' middle class. This is how it works in 'americanism'.

So time for the 'americans' in China to find those indians so they can take from them and redistribute to the 'american' middle class.

While indeed 'americanism' is all about 'american' freedom, truth and justice, a little bird is telling me that candidates to play the part of indians so to power the 'american' dream in China, are not rushing to the doors, to apply for the job.

Reads like, in spite of all the nobility of the 'american' project, candidates are not that eager of sacrifying themselves.

'American' populations around the world are in a different stages.

Going to be hard for the Chinese to find those Indians because more established 'americans' have saturated the environment. Indians are the scarce commodity of these days.

Most potential target: the shaking 'american' middle class in more established 'american' nations. Who else?
Place your suggestions because the demand by 'americans' in china will grow stronger and stronger.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

George 'AnAnonymous' Dishwashington said:

So time for the 'americans' in China to find those indians so they can take from them and redistribute to the 'american' middle class.

Chinese citizenism middle class (which is the emperor class, the voting class in Chinese citizenism society) starting now to blobbing up the bigtime. Chinese citizenism middle class multi-year plan of indian extinguishment begins with placement of feathered headdress on top of Tibetan heads in the Tibet.

a little bird is telling me that candidates to play the part of indians so to power the 'american' dream in China, are not rushing to the doors, to apply for the job.

Confusious say, "man who listens to little bird is guided by birdbrain."

Tibetan candidates playing the part of indians so to power the Chinese citizenism middle class up-blobbing dream are not rushing to the doors, to apply for the job. Reason being that Chinese citizenism middle class, the emperor class, has provided incentive for Tibetans to bypass job application and play the part of indians 'voluntarily':

Reads like, in spite of lack of nobility of the Chinese citizenism middle class AnAnonymous project, whole communauty of Tibetan candidates are eager of sacrifying themselves.

That is what Chinese citizenism middle class voted for and, being the emperor class, the voting class, that is their entitlement.

AnAnonymous's picture

'Americans' hiding behind Tibetans.

The number of things 'americans' want to justify with that story echoes their nature: fractional lending.

Out of one act, 'americans' will justify hundreds...

Of course, when you look at this property and apply it to all the 'americans' waiting on the sidelines, you understand the potential.

It will take much more than the Tibetans to install an 'american' middle class in China.

And all the 'americans' in China will act 'american' wayish, that is looking for symetry else.

And just by taking the US as a source, it will skyrocket fast.

Keeping in mind, that one act should give rationalization for dozens other acts.

Enjoy the future as brought to you by the 'american' world.

Tompooz's picture

Ferguson is still repeating the fable that the Chinese government is "encouraging" its citizens to buy gold. He should know better.

 Please search for any original source for this myth. If you do find an official pronouncement like that, please post it here on ZH. I have never found it.

(that CCTV footage that is always cited is just a news item on another silver/gold seller opening shop--a western commentator called it "official encouragement" and the whole fable spread from there)

AnAnonymous's picture

He should know better.

Why? 'Americans' love fables.

spanish inquisition's picture

So I am getting..... That China cannot proceed as a copycat US, because it is ruled behind the scenes by a small group of people that do not have its best interests at heart. He is talking about China needing to create a true rule of law! In conclusion, the world is shifting East and the US$/Euro money owners are not in control. Niall is completely invested that the "right" people should be in charge.

So here is a made up scenario. The US$/ Euro money printers need to increase the destabilization process so a political situation occurs that China is controlled by the same group that controls the US$/Euro money. Obviously a big war would help, the Chinese think that if they do nothing the West will collapse ala East Germany. By nothing I mean, actually trading in a capitalistic manner and respecting other countries right to self determination. If the war does not happen and China accumulates enough gold the US may need to peg to the yuan.

How many years before the US pegs to the Yuan?

epwpixieq-1's picture

Mr. Ferguson is one of these people who sees underlying relations and is trying to explain them. Regrettably with little understanding of fundamental practical knowledge and the fundamental forces in Nature, the human history, as well as the ideas abtout wealth, are very much distorted.

Just for one, in Nature, wealth is nothing more but HOW MUCH ENERGY a living organism is being able to transform, and possibly retain for future use, from the FLOW of Energy around it.

Money, and all accumulated things, (in human terms ) are always function if the future benefits one an get from them, and their rate of accumulations is the derivative of this same function.

Ergo, there is no point of accumulating something, if one can not get benefits (in human terms) or force/work ( in Nature's terms/laws ) out of it.

Wealth in the industrial world, at least, for the last 200-300 years, has always been, explicitly derived as, a function of the Energy one is able to transform form the environment ( note I ma saying TRANSFORM and not create/extract and other absolutely wrongly used verbs ). So considering that the Energy is UNLIMITED the wealth, technically defined as energy transformation is only a function of the TECHNOLOGY being able to TRANSFORM (utilize/retain) this Energy, is also UNLIMITED.

As this is not standard, BS type, thinking about wealth, in order one to be able to start to understand these concepts one just has to think: How much "wealth", one would need in order to cool the Earth 5 degrees Celsius or to warm it up 5 degrees Celsius. Or even in more drastic "example": Now much "wealth" one would need to rotate the Earth 1 year round the Sun.

The answer of such, in some case hypothetical question, is ONLY possible in the REAL wealth of the Natural world - ENERGY. For at the end, the more ENERGY an organism ( society, given culture ) TRANSFORMS from the flow of Energy in the Natural world, the more wealth it has in the fundamental (Natural) form, everything else is derivative of this TRANSFORM function.

And for one thing, these are definitely not a Social science questions.