An Interview With Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Tyler Durden's picture

In this first of a series of London interviews that Lars Schall conducted for Matterhorn Asset Management this summer, Lars met up with the Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard to discuss geopolitical tensions in the world, China's challenges, threats to the global economy and the expectations for gold.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, is the international business editor of the British newspaper The Telegraph. He was the Telegraph’s Washington bureau chief in the 1990s. While he hardly needs an introduction to regular Zero Hedge readers, whose recent statement encapsulating the global economy, from July 25, is as follows: "In the 30 years or so that I have been writing about world affairs and the international economy, I have never seen a more dangerous confluence of circumstances, or more remarkable complacency."

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alexcojones's picture

Just finished his book about Bill Clinton.

The Secret Life of Bill Clinton. Highly recommended.

One Amazon reviewer wrote:


Herbert L Calhoun "paulocal" (

"This is a chronicle of how the Clintons and their twelve years in the governor's mansion of Arkansas and two terms in the office of the Presidency have left our democratic institutions in shambles. From a perch at the pinnacle of the Dixie Mafia, Hot Springs Arkansas, they have taken the nation on a descent down into "anti-democratic" hell, from which the Republic may never recover. This book is a virtual catalogue of how they did it: an unimaginable tale of corruption and abuses of power that, in comparison, will make the Monica Lewinsky scandal seem like a Sunday school picnic.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard a reporter for London's Sunday Telegraph uses his considerable investigative skills and his diplomatic immunity from the Clinton terror tactics to weave a series of tales that will literally make the reader's hair stand on end. Everything here has the ring of truth. But even if it did not, and a tenth of it is correct, then we are already living deep inside a "well-regulated" police state.

One word of caution to the reader: A great deal of this is circumstantial and hearsay evidence, however, as will become obvious to any astute reader: in a "soft police state," after witnesses have been intimidated, cajoled and murdered; documents have been tampered with, lost or shredded; drug money has been laundered and reinvested; subpoenas have been ignored or squashed; secrecy and plausible deniability have been invoked to shield everything from the public; we have a sycophantic incurious press, and public officials have been muted, silenced, bribed or coached into lying -- all up and down the line -- there isn't much else left but hearsay and circumstantial evidence. Plus, there is so much of this kind of evidence that its preponderance and very cross-confirmation alone takes on a life of its own, that is to say, it lends to these stories a kind of credibility and credence of its own.

In each of the scandals included -- from the Okalahoma City bombing cover up, to the reasons for Vince Foster's and Jerry Parks murders, to Dan Lasater, Don Tyson, and the Stephen's brothers cocaine empire -- run by the Clintons out of the Arkansas Development Finance Administration (ADFA) -- to complicity in a contract to murder Colonel Terry Reed -- this is in every respect a blue print for how to turn our democracy into the world's largest "soft police state."

  "In short, this book is nothing if not the anatomy of a "soft police state" in the making, with the State of Arkansas taking the lead in the descent into irretrievable corruption. How does it happen? The subtext of this book gives us a step-by-step manual for how its done: When unchecked power, secrecy, a complacent public, weak kneed and corrupt political authorities and ruling elites, a press that will not face the reality before it, and large illicit sums of drug money, collide; and then collude: morality and civility are the first to go out the window. And then our democracy is in grave if not mortal danger.

"What makes [the Iran Contra affair] so fascinating today is evidence that the CIA's base of operation was actively involved. The idea that an outwardly liberal and progressive Democrat like Bill Clinton was secretly assisting Oliver North's crusade against the Revolucion Sandinista is so shocking that the American press has dismissed it out of hand. But it is precisely because Mena turns the world upside down that it matters so much. If true, it validates the inchoate suspicion felt by many Americans that things are not what they seem. It suggests that the political rhetoric of the two parties in Washington is mere window dressing, while the real decisions are made in secret collusion without democratic accountability. To examine Mena is to examine the institutional condition of the United States. As for the president, it exposes him as a remarkable counterfeit, willing to betray his liberal principles for self-advancement."

This is truly scary stuff. Five stars

Oldwood's picture

"betray his liberal principles"

Since when have liberal principles been anything more than a tool to manipulate people into dependency on a corrupt state?

SafelyGraze's picture

ambrose sez

11:00 it (the us economy) was hit by a shock (2008). it's recovered very fast, partly because of this energy boom.  (fracking?)

12:00 at some point, perhaps soon, oil and gas supplies from russia to china are conducted in yuan. I don't think the currency in which it takes place makes that much difference. .. I don't think this is a life and death matter for america.

13:00 the chinese are buying a lot of gold because they are worried about what's going to happen.

13:50 (gold) is a benchmark of value. I don't share the view that there's some huge manipulation of the gold market going on. the chinese have been encouraging their citizens to acquire gold. that's something I don't fully understand.

14:30 we're going into a phase of fed tightening. that's pretty clear. and we're going into a cycle of rate rises. and gold's not going to like that.

15:15 the bancor or the sdr or a basket would be the direction we might one day go in

16:20 the german gold was moved to london and new york during the cold war in order to get it away from the front. [lars corrects him, then] didn't they shift a lot of it during the cold war to get it away from .. [lars corrects him a second time]

16:40 it (the german gold) could be in frankfurt or in london or new york .. it makes no difference whatsoever

17:00 what's interesting about it (gold repatriation) is what it shows about public opinion.

17:40 the US over-reacted to the Islamic threat in an incoherent way, invading iraq and so forth

22:10 [regarding public sentiment against debt-based fiat money] we're getting into very complex monetary theory, and I'm not an expert on this. but maybe fiat money could be created by governments instead of private banks. this is very complex. 

23:30 shout out to larry sumners!

26:30 unemployment is down, earlier than the fed predicted. so it's going to be difficult to hire people. 

to recap

not sure about sovereign gold holdings. or personal gold holdings. it's a tradition. for tail risk. public sentiment. don't really pay much attention. there's no collusion/collaboration/fixing of its price. I believe the fed when they signal tapering and rate hikes. neun-elf was about islam. I'm no expert on monetary theory. I believe BLS data.


Troy Ounce's picture


Thanks, saves a lot of time


1.EU is Fucked


3. Gold: huh?
























Wild Theories's picture

nice summary


sez a lot about Ambrose doesn't it.

Oldrepublic's picture

You can read his final column for the Telegraph when he was bureau

chief in Washington, DC (1997)

entitled: Goodbye, good riddance

whoflungdung's picture

This is a great line (pun intended):


his (Clinton's) brother, Roger, was a convicted drug dealer who was once taped during under-cover surveillance saying "got to get some for my brother, he's got a nose like a vacuum cleaner"

junction's picture

For more on Mena, Arkansas, where the New World Order criminals funneled tons of cocaine into the USA on Barry Seal's DC-3s, go to:

doctor10's picture

Old Ambrose doesn't put anything out there without somebody's permission somewhere.  He's been a triple alphabet tool his whole life. (as are most journalist/reporter "stars")

What he put out about the Clinton's was what somebody, somewhere judged was preferable to the truth.

What he NEVER reveals is "whom" Bill and Hilarrhea's employers are.

find that out and the messes in the world would really  start to make sense.


He's just stirring up the "Red-Blue Olympics" for the fall elections

Youri Carma's picture

Former Hillary Associate Claims to Have Been Her Personal Hit Man… Admits to Killing for Money
Jeff Rense & Larry Nichols - The Truth About Hillary & 2016 Pt 1  Pt 2

The Pete Santilli Show LIVE!!!! Episode #517

knukles's picture

I wonder if he and everybody else are being swamped with bunches and bunches, gobs and gobs of e-mails like the old Nigerian fax scams.
Seems about as good an environment for get rich quick schemes as any other in the days of free and easy money.

Oldwood's picture

Its called "progress".

The complete reliance on delusion as the primary operational principle.

What could go wrong?

Prairie Dog's picture

I love the smell of doom-saying in the morning

Oldwood's picture

The end is near brother. We all know it, just not when.


Kreditanstalt's picture

The end is near brother.  We all know it, just not when.


Oldwood's picture

Haven't you heard?

We already did that and it didn't work. They are talking of actually getting out the helicopters soon and dropping cash in our front yard.

That's just got to work!

I'm going to run out and buy that $175000 chevy volt I always wanted.

ramacers's picture

read a lot of this guy's stuff during the 90's. remarkably presient. hope he says what he really feels.

Millivanilli's picture

Ambrose is a  western Tokyo Rose.  

August's picture

Ambrose is worth reading IMHO, but he seems to be basically of the opinion that the West's policy-makers aren't throwing the right switches and pulling the right strings, and never that said policy-makers are either 1) evil or 2) completely in over their heads (i.e. incompetent, ignorant and/or short-sighted). Voice of the Anglo Establishment, something of an anti-Farage.

Kreditanstalt's picture

He says that the central banks have painted themselves into a corner and have no choices left.

Then he says that we are "in a rising interest rate trend".

How is this possible?  If central banks have no freedom of movement how can they "raise interest rates"?  Do they dare?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

When faith in the Fed is lost interest rates will rise despite the Fed's best efforts.

Kreditanstalt's picture

Yes...but the conundrum is that Evans-Pritchard is so sure the Fed itself will choose to raise rates.

HOW is this possible?  (Rates will raise themselves, as you say.)

Mike in GA's picture

I found his certainty in the face of all the difficulties we're all aware of to be off-putting.  As he mentioned raising rates to counter wage-push inflation I thought, he's still stuck in the same playbook that CBers have always used.  That struck me as disconnected, too.

The conundrum of the Fed raising rates and sacrificing growth or the markets doing it for them is the question to which we all await the answer.

Oldwood's picture

Maybe they are out of "survivable" options and interest rate increases are the nail in their coffin? I wouldn't bet on much as they probably own the coffin manufacturer.

Mike in GA's picture

Interesting you mention this.  Consonant with the article on ZH today about the CFR recommending as a policy option the ladling of cash directly to consumers is Pritchard's mention of same.

Makes it easy to agree with your assessment that they are out of options and their hail mary play is the flood the markets with cash.  Sure makes me think the end game is finally coming into view.

Kreditanstalt's picture

Handing cash directly to individual consumers would be a tacit admission that their preferred and believed Keynesian bank-centred approach of encouraging organic money supply growth and spending, etc., through increased borrowing (the "pump-priming" genuine "recovery") has failed.

They won't do that.  The one thing central planners hate most of all is to look WRONG...

Mike in GA's picture

I agree completely that it will be an admission of failure.  That's what I found so astounding about the CFR article today - I can't believe these connected people in the know can agree that a hail mary play is what's needed now to 'save' the economy.

In and of itself this is admission that:

1 - the economy, despite the add'l Trillions in Keynesian pump - priming debt, is still faltering and nowhere near takeoff speed.

2 - policy options are limited, they've tried them all without success, and the liquidity trap is about to consume them/us

3 - CBers failed, keynesianism failed, political 'leaders' failed, so let's try it again

4 - Hail Mary is our only chance!  If this doesn't work, Keynesianism (as practiced) offers no additional policy options. 

Krugman has always clamored for more QE, now the CFR, (I didn't know they did economic policy advising, I thought they were just foreign policy) and now Pritchard mentions that a consumer-based QE, (the Hail Mary) becomes the last 'credible' policy left.

Things are getting more and more interesting.

Oldwood's picture

Recall that was Bush's move when this first started. How much did they supposedly send out to everyone, $6-800?

I think you may be miscalculating their ability to divert attention, change the message, rebrand the terms to fit their needs. They can do this by simply calling it something else. Citizen dividend. doesn't matter because the press will back them. All of the economic brains in the world can come out and call them a fraud and it will bounce off like water on a duck's back. They got this. Look around. Everything and I mean everything they are doing is totally transparent yet no one in the main stream press has called them on much of anything. they have state department people on tape admitting they were pushing this Ukraine disaster. Did anything happen, did the media call them out on this? Hell NO. They can and will do anything, regardless of how extreme, and probably more extreme than not because they see themselves as untouchables. After all this crap gong down in Ferguson, we see them come out with another government report claiming we right wing extremists are a threat after the Bundy ranch affair, I mean after all of the violence and destruction laid on them. No problem with the ghettos though. they all good! Transparency has a whole new meaning now. Its not about truth as much as a test. Do something outrageous and see who speaks up. That's your enemy, your threat right there. They will start handing out money like they did in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will have no idea where it went, who got what. We will just know that few of us saw anything, except a massive new addition on the national debt.

Mike in GA's picture

I heard him say our Fed has to increase rates soon to fend off approaching wage push inflation as unemployment has reached 6.1%.

He thinks the US economy can handle it but the question becomes can the rest of the world's economies tolerate a rising rate environment?

Kreditanstalt's picture

What "wage push inflation"??  All I see is McJobs.   The US debtor can't even handle higher rates, let alone the rest of the dollar-using world!  

Evans-Pritchard has long been ridiculously bullish on the US and their dollar.

Mike in GA's picture

I agree and I do not understand his assessment of our economy's ability to withstand rising rates or our unemployment is that low, much less inflationary.  I also think he is too bullish on America although, like Kyle Bass says, as the world's cleanest dirty shirt, we will get an inordinate amount of world hot money flows as the end game emerges. (paraphrased - apologies to KB)

I was responding to your question about the inability of world CBs to raise rates and maintain whatever tepid growth there is to be found. That's not what Pritchard said.

Kreditanstalt's picture

Sometimes, number-crunching, policy-wonking central planning-believers like Ambrose - in love with "empirical facts" but individually blind to what's going on around them - become so obsessively focused on the government's manipulated statistical parsings that they end up making observations only about that ever-shrinking portion of the population who work for "big companies", have "good" jobs with "good" salaries and company pensions...

They kind of forget that the majority is quite different.

hedgiex's picture

YES. When economies worsen to points of mass soical unrests for the big economies, their CBs will huddle to kick their bigger cans down their roads. (Smaller debtor nations and their people do not matter).

Eg: China has massive internal debt that cannot afford an interest rate rise and you accommodate them with their quid pro quo in parking their US$ even at ZIRP in Try. US is meantime still the cleanest diry shirt aorund for parking liquid funds.

This guy is still spinning from the paradigm that the waning economic empire  still have the past options of doing what it wants for its own economy to the exclusion of its creditors. 

TomGa's picture

"American politics is perception management."  At least the Germans get it.  But does Ambrose truly believe that U-3 is realistically 6.1% or that GDP growth is 3%? Really???

edotabin's picture

Perception is everything. The only variable is the sophistication level of the audience.

Here at zh we try our best to pierce that veil and therfore live in a constant state somewhere between reality and the next magic trick. Some jump to premature conclusions as living in this purgatory is a bit unsettling. Problem is, getting it wrong can be more than unsettling. 

Funny how the German guy talks about perception management though.  Has he not been following the EU happenings? A constant stream of lies requires constant perception management. 


natty light's picture

Also when he talked about the US "energy boom;" yeah. 

Perception management is a euphemism for lying to your face.

TomGa's picture

UPDATE:  CBO revises annual GDP growth rate to 1.5%

cn13's picture

Ok Mr. Hyphenated Last Name.

Did your wife beat you into submission or did you choose it on your own?

But really, you are a Keynesian clown so I really don't want to hear or read the dribble that you spew.


Oldwood's picture

Has anyone noticed that everything works once. Its just that because it works once it is assumed it will work again regardless of how many subsequent times it has already failed. The reality is that it likely did not even work the one time as it may have been completely coincidental, but nonetheless, its all the proof needed. These people will keep hammering at this for an eternity, because they have nothing else.

PeakOil's picture

Good interview. Ambroses's answers were revealing. And it is always nice to see a well known statist apologist squirm - if only a little.

ramacers's picture

i dunno. he's a tough color to paint.

PeakOil's picture

BIS this IMF that. Meh, more clusterfuck. Why suppose the Central Bankers and their ilk will rule the World as they have for the next 50 years? Who in their right minds would let them?

Mike in GA's picture

Why do you call him a "statist apologist"?

If anything, in my opinion, he is one of the most independent journalists working today.

malek's picture

You're mixing that up with how he wrote up to 2-3 years ago.

Then he turned to become another clown trying to find new reasons why we need to PRINT MOAR.

The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Printing our way out of debt is not so bad. It is the suppresion of precious metal prices on the other side that stinks.

lanchende's picture

Not clear the US benefits from it's 'exorbitant privilege' as the world's reserve currency?

I guess you can say anything with a British accent and sound smart. LOL

Mike in GA's picture

I thought he must be referring to the offsetting costs-of-empire that drain the coffers - and the future earnings of - our country.

andrewp111's picture

The EU will be forced into complete political integration when the forces of the IS Caliphate conquer the Middle East and move toward the gates of Vienna.