China Pulls The Rug From Under Europe, Halts French Bank Transactions, Makes Good On Trade War Ultimatum

Tyler Durden's picture

A flurry of headlines out of China suggest global macro-economic volatility may be ready to take it to the next level. We discussed last week how China's oh-so-generous offer of help to Europe was merely a veiled threat playing US against Europe in a game of who-gets-the-funding. Well, tonight, it seems, they are making good on some of those threats. Aggravated by EU's lack of market economy recognition, they pull trading lines with French banks, express concern at the EUR's safety (preferring US Treasuries), and indicate a clear preference for bonds over stocks - all the while warning of growing trade tensions - consider the sabre-rattled.

Initial comments from Commerce Minister Shen via Bloomberg:





was quickly followed by the 'threat/promise':



and then Reuters reports:

A big market-making state bank in China's onshore foreign exchange market has stopped foreign exchange forwards and swaps trading with several European banks due to the unfolding debt crisis in Europe, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday.


The European banks include French lenders Societe Generale , Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas.


"Apart from spot trading, all swaps and forwards trading (with the European banks) have been stopped," one source who is familiar with the matter told Reuters.

 And the piece-de-resistance of the night was, again from Reuters:

China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, will keep buying U.S. Treasuries, the official People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece reported on Tuesday, citing government researchers.


In an article about the reasons for China's increased purchase of U.S. Treasuries, the newspaper cited Yan Xiaona, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying that the dollar "is relatively safer than the euro" because of the unfolding sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

Furthermore, as if he had just read our earlier debt vs equity post: 

Wang Chaocai, a Ministry of Finance researcher, was quoted as saying that "what else we can buy if not U.S. Treasuries? It's more risky to buy into equities."

Lastly, for feces and giggles, China Daily just had to throw in the military element with the tongue in cheeky "Backlash expected if US seals arms deal"...

It seems that China did not get the answer they wanted from the Europeans and just as we said last week, swung back in favor of the US - TSYs as opposed to stocks. China 3 - Europe 0 - US 1 is the approximate score in this first round perhaps.


UPDATE: The 'game' continues into the night as China's Xinhua News cites absolutely noone when it claims Fitch's bearish stance on China's banking industry has prompted suspicions of a 'conspiracy'. And remember Fitch is French-owned.

With Europe perceiving Fitch as “purposely targeting” the region, the ratings company needs to find a new candidate to add to the “blacklist” to show its fairness, the report said, citing Wu Jingmei, head of Renmin University of China’s credit rating research center.

and then goes on to comment (via Bloomberg)



and a seemingly well-time rebuttal from Ambassador Locke:





We have lost score now but this rhetoric seems to be gaining pace...

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dlmaniac's picture

Pressure is on ECB to join the Operation Global QE to Infinity.

Ahmeexnal's picture



Seems China has demolished the Maginot Line!

markmotive's picture

Looks like China has the balls to follow through on their threats.

Unfortunately, China is f-cked if Europe disintegrates. Europe is China's biggest export market.




nope-1004's picture

If Netflix gave you the best returns last year, but the future looked like hell, would you stay resolute?  Or bail?

Seems to me all the world banks have been notified of the EU going down and bit by bit we get fed info on the various lines drawn in the sand.


Fish Gone Bad's picture

China is such a second rate country.  Up until the Opium Wars I & II, China was all that, now? Now China makes its military equipment with the same care they make everything else.  Total crap.  As far as money goes, everyone knows that if and when the ponzi breaks, China will get fucked hard.  So China, bring it on.  Loser.

Botox4U2's picture

Now China makes its military equipment with the same care they make everything else.  Total crap.

Does this mean their missles are going to miss Wall Street and Washington and hit your house instead?  Be afraid my friend.  ;-))))

TruthInSunshine's picture

Many have been warning others that we're in the foothills of a depression, that this trend will accelerate no matter what governments and/or The Bernank-Trichet-BOE-BOJ-IMF-G20-EU-PBOC does/doesn't do, and that the macroeconomic & technological changes that have taken place and become entrenched over the last 40 years (roughly since the time the U.S. went off the gold standard - officially - coincidentally), and which have allowed the FIRE economy, and particularly the investment banking/derivatives-CDS-CDO/CMBS-RMBS/the Wall Street-401(k)-PhantomWealth Doomsday Machine the most powerful controller of political puppets/stooges, and that gave rise to the fake, purely fiatski-credit based crack hit expansion of the last 40 years possible, is about to come crashing down.

Am I saying this is going to happen soon, rather than years from now? Yes.

It's happening right now. We're witnessing it.

The causes?

1)  Job losses. The Bernank & his European & Asian counterparts can't print jobs, nor can the political morons in the U.S., EU, or Asian Nations, assuming they wanted to (I doubt The Bernank cares about this issue, in reality, but I digress).

2)  The CONfidence in institutions and political/business leaders (i.e. actors; e.g. Buffet, Bernanke, Nojobama, Boner) has been lost; Fractional Reserve Banking Ponzi Schemes, where money equals debt and debt equals money, fiat is printed out of thin air, and where the entire illusion of economic growth depends on the exponential growth in the issuance and absorbtion of more and more debt, depend on CONfidence.

3)  Bernank's Virtuous Circle of supporting the Criminal Enterprise that are TBTF banks & his masters on Wall Street via fleecing of taxpayers is leading to surging inflation of a nature and duration that significantly crimps consumption, which exacerbates the jobs crisis (see 1 above).

4) Government deficit spending & accumulated debts, with annual deficits in most nations now greater than total debts of just 15 or 20 years ago, and the interest paid on the debt annually, alone, greater than the total debts of some countries as of just 30 or 35 years ago.

5) Government absorbing risk taking losses by alleged (alleged is the key word) TBTF entities, courtesy of a limitless, taxpayer backed bailout program.

6) Moral/Social Order is breaking down. When average people wake up to the fact that they're being so royally screwed over, they join in the screwing over (e.g. stop paying their mortgages on their underwater homes, game the system in many other ways).


We're all going to find out just how much spending by consumers and small businesses (and medium and large ones while we're at it) is "discretionary" vs "non-discretionary," and how much time lapses before the long knives are pulled out by the masses in response to government largess and Central Bankster Criminality.

We're in real GDP contraction (throw the ridiculous official government claims re GDP right into the toilet and flush accordingly) in every developed nation right now, and also in many emerging ones. To the extent that even de minimus positive GDP growth is being reported, it is compliments of surging inflation, which gets that nominal price of goods/services purchased up even though real consumption has fallen.

This is the beginning of an epic journey. This is the literal start of the quiet revolution that Gonzalo Lira wrote so eloquently about 18 months ago, where the average, honest, always-played-by-the-rules, productive people start to say "we're not playing their game anymore - we won't and can't do it," and the system breaks down. It will only take 5% of the productive class to opt out, silently, for the system to have convulsions. When 15% do, or 25%, let alone more, it melts down faster than a snowball at Fukushima Daiichi.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Mauibrad's picture

Don't leave this out:  

US. to announce 'major trade enforcement action' against China on Tuesday - Reuters 

John Bigboote's picture

Opt out and undermine, bitchez!

lewy14's picture

And right now, at this hour... Asia was up. Europe is up. Currencies stable. The board is green. Party on.

Mentaliusanything's picture


now be a little careful here. They are about to give you a huge lesson in perfect time accuracy. Even the Swiss admit that it is over and just buy the movements and add 1,000%.

I know they can put a Rocket up your Anus. China makes some of the most precise instruments (electronic and mechanical) in the whole World. You just see and hear what your told to see and Hear.  "America Fuck yeah"- ring a Bell

Remember "made in Japan in the 60's" Total crap, toys, "last a day crap" 

And as I posted the one below me said what I was really wanting to say ...., You can't Fucken afford the high end of what they can make. Believe me It will smack you head around. Be informed not bigotted

Twin  tourbillon's-No one makes them better or more accurate. I fact who in the Hell can make a profitable mechanical watch any more with the beautiful movements the Chinese turn out. 1,339,724,852 minds who hope for a better future sure say "watch this space" 

All I ask is you expand your mind above your navel - doing so will make your whole World distort

trav7777's picture

Yes, yes, China is superior in every's just that it's invisible and we can never see it

laomei's picture

China actually makes some seriously high quality stuff when it needs to. The only reason you don't see any of it is mainly due to it being higer than the demanded price point set by us importers.  military equipment here is all top notch stuff.

Spirit Of Truth's picture



WASHINGTON | Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:15am IST 

US to announce new China trade enforcement action


(Reuters) - U.S. trade officials will announce a major trade enforcement action against China on Tuesday, according to a U.S. Trade Representative's office advisory obtained from a business group.


The advisory, which was distributed to media on a not-for-publication basis, said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk "will hold a press conference to announce a major trade enforcement action against China."

The release did not provide any additional details.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Peter Cooney)


chump666's picture

China is panicking because it's slowing down hard with inflation.  Global tensions just went up 10 notches.  How to trade this?  Fed pumps the market, good for two days, then short equities on USD being bid.

We get a protectionism, repatriation trade... kinda feels like that is brewing. 

chump666's picture

...alright just went up another 5 notches. 

Rating agencies are going to hammer China now. Fed meltup, two sessions max.  Then all hell breaks loose.  EZ/China/US etc.  Major sell on stocks end week.

gold will be bid though.


Simon Endean's picture

Yeah, but an hour later, you want to get shot again.

CH1's picture

LOL... that was a cute.

BandGap's picture

You have no idea how wrong you are.  China's "top notch" stuff is available in very small quantities and oftentimes this is what is showcased to the world.  Their military hardware, for the most part, is junk.

Simple materials, like 304 or 316 steel, has so many "varieties" in China as to be laughable.  When the baseline, high volume, materials of construction varies widely in the quality the end product capabilities will do so, as well.


Popo's picture

You're looking at China's military all wrong.   Yes,  US/NATO militaries put theirs to shame.  No argument there.

But if you want to compare militaries, you need to compare China's to everyone else's in Central Asia and Southeast Asia.   Tibet sure wasn't impressed with Western military resistance to Chinese expansion.

Chinese military expansion is coming, one way or another.  (And I mean geographic expansion).  And the West will have little to do with it.  

Western militaries have the clear homefield advantage.  But that advantage is much, much less clear (both historically, and in current analysis) in a war located in near proximity to China.  

Take the following scenarios:  China takes Laos and Thailand -- makes rapid treaties with Singapore to ensure regional financial stability (with the same veiled threats that Germans made to Swiss banks -- play ball, or join your neighbors in occupation).  

US response?  What are they going to do, nuke China?  Fight a land-war in SE Asia?  LOL.  Give me a break.  China would own, very very quickly.   And China would gain Andaman / Indian Ocean ports -- something they need to increase regional hegemony and put the screws on India.

There are dozens of other plausible scenarios for Chinese expansion.   Particularly in Central Asia where China has the ability to mobilize far more easily than the US.  (And where oil provides infinite temptation).

The West has the option of 3 modes of warfare in the 21st century:   Nation building in militarily weak states,  proxy warfare ... and direct full-throttle confrontation (Armageddon).    

If you think rapid, Blitzkrieg-like Chinese regional expansion is something the West has the capacity to confront, you are flat wrong.   There are at least a dozen scenarios where we would get our asses kicked.

Consider also Chinese demographics:  They have MILLIONS of men without wives (and who will never find wives because there are simply not enough women).  A nation cannot exist with destabilizing factors like millions of angry single men -- at the bottom of the social totem.  Right now they are staving off social unrest through unsustainable ponzi economics (which put ours to shame).  When the house of cards falls -- and it will -- social unrest in China is going to take off.  People talk about social unrest in the West -- but the two are not comparable.  In China's case social unrest is going to involve tens of millions of people (not a tens of thousands) -- people who have *nothing* to lose.   Think the Chinese won't want a major war?  They'll *need* one.  

War is absolutely coming.

myne's picture

One point.

North Korea will likely be first.

They might like Kim, but it's the best way to start this process.

1) No one likes NK

2) They will sell it as a 'liberation' movement.

3) They're far more likely to win the support of the NK people.

Popo's picture

NK would make an excellent trial run / "Austria" move...  Except for the nukes.   Although clearly,  an aligned (merged) Chinese / Nork military would certainly set the stage for something big...

As far as "trial runs" Laos could be first.  It's "rape of Belgium" material:  Militarily insignificant -- but sets the ball rolling.  And no one would give a shit.  Laos is already deeply within the Chinese sphere of influence.  


laomei's picture

Lookin' at it pretty backwards here... China's not the nazis.  the us is a lot closer to that comparison if you want to make it.

Popo's picture

I disagree -- but not at all because I'm defending US FP. We're a military empire, indeed. But our expansion is purely oil focused to maintain the petrodollar. China's expansionism will be far more akin to Germany's rapid regional land grab.

Secondly, China's position as an industrial powerhouse standing on shaky sociopolitical footing, and playing imperial "catch up" makes them very analogous to Germany at that time.

America, as the fading empire with strong naval power, tremendous reach -- and imperial overstretch -- is far more analogous to the Brits of the era IMHO.

Of course, neither match is perfect.

Bobbyrib's picture

How can no one mention Taiwan? I think the first move will be to take Taiwan from under our noses. Personally, I wouldn't care too much. There is no guarantee that the Taiwanese won't turn into the younger generations of South Korean ingrates (enjoy our security and shit on us every chance they get).

Almost Solvent's picture

Would not India be involved?

Or would they simply become like Italy was to Germany?

V10's picture

They want Taiwan back under the thumb, I don't think anyone has any delusions about that.

Two things off the top of my mind as to why Taiwan wouldn't be the first to be swallowed is that...

1) It's a much more likely to trigger an overt response of some kind from the West because of security commitments and investment of interests; it's a strategically important port of call, and also not some economic backwater.  Better to do trial runs on comparatively insignificant territory.

2) China wants it intact and prosperous, much like Hong Kong.  The best plan would be to convince the Taiwanese to rejoin the mainland 'voluntarily' (with some generous assurances of autonomy), and have them secede from Western defense treaties.  With several other conquests ringing them in and several recent examples of Western capitulation, Taiwan sees Chinese hegemony as the unavoidable future in the Asia-Pacific.  They hold their nose and accept reunification on the best terms they can bargain for, as opposed to being outright conquered.  Meanwhile, the West gets some (weak) face-saving cover that they haven't abandoned their allies, since they 'chose' to join the new Chinese empire.

laomei's picture

except what you are doing here is comparing a theoretical chinese future with a very real us past/present/and presumable future.  kind of a retarded argument. 

BandGap's picture

There is nothing in NK worth having.  It would be an effort with little to gain.  I'm thinking they expand towards Laos/Cambodia.  They already are mixing it up with Viet Nam. NK would also invoke some SK response.

tarsubil's picture

NK is a box full of starving roaches. I don't think China wants to break it open.

j0nx's picture

HAHA that made me spit oatmeal on my monitor. Perfect analogy!

Crash N. Burn's picture

  As the lifeblood of any modern military is oil (and China imports), it would make life really interesting for any chinese oil supplier who thought of turniing off the tap and was close geographically (but not politically). Kazakhstan, Indonesia, and Malaysia may have a future choice (or not).

j0nx's picture

Nice, but nothing I haven't said 1000 times in conversations like this myself. Anyone who follows history and human nature knows exactly what's coming.

Baptiste Say's picture

Lay off the 'Call of Duty' video games you fuckign idiot.


China actually BUYS it's resources when it wishes to acquire more, unlike your depraved shithold of a nation it doesn't invade every single country from ones as wealthy as Iraq to ones as tiny, dimunitive and poor as Haiti every couple years whenever it feels the empire is slipping or the drug smuggling routes at threatened.


China has invaded only 2 countries in the last 100 years, Tibet and briefly Vietnam. USA has invaded or interefered in <url="">at least 50</url>. Not only is Chinese foreign policy peaceful and non intervenionist but:

1. It has nothing to gain by invading other countries, sending it's youth to die, burning it's money (see USA's experience in the Iraq war for more).

2. It needn't invade other countries anyway to gain power, you fuckhead Americans and Europeans are doing enough to self destruct as it is.


Bobbyrib's picture

China is engaging in economic imperialism throughout the world (South America and Africa). While it may not be physically invading countries, it is making deals for resources to bailout countries even more politically corrupt than the US.

AnAnonymous's picture

China is engaging in economic imperialism throughout the world (South America and Africa).


Yep, and they are lagging behind the US and Europe in the same endeavour.

US world order. Nobody can match the US and its trusted lieutenants in these games. Or it would not be a US world order.

Are you kidding's picture

Well hot damn!  We need a war too Popo.  And we need it more than you do.  We need to erase all that debt we own you.'re going to lose.  Nobody wants China running the world...they WILL stab you in the back.  We may be assholes but we're easier to live with than just about anyone else capable of pulling off world leadership.  Do you hear all the complaints about America?  They know they wouldn't even have that if China was in charge.  It's all talk.

Ahmeexnal's picture

No. China waited patiently.  China knows the eurozone was about to betray them.

Europeean market is now expendable. 

Flight to CHF will start again.

Shangai stock exchange is already soaring with the news.



DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I agree, except re the CHF.  They will likely be buying more gold and resources.  They have not invested their surpluses well.  They are probably wising up REAL FAST.

Good insight re Eurozone ready to betray China, and that Europe is expendable in China's eyes.  So, green for all that.

Ahmeexnal's picture


China knows their oil deals with Mr. Q are toast and Sarko and Cameron are laughing at them.  China will now snap Sarko's and Cameron's neck like a twig.

China might not buy much CHF, but forex traders and people who still have faith in fiat money will buy CHF and USD with both hands.  SNB will have no option but to let the euro sink alone.

Time seems ripe to open long stay hotels across the eurozone and demand payment in silver!

DeadFred's picture

Sometime I hope someone gives a good scenario on how the CHF peg plays out. Most agree it can't succeed but I haven't been able grok the end game. If enough treders pile into the franc it will have to unpeg, but the traders then have a position in a diluted currency, how much will it be worth after they print umpteen trillion francs to keep it pegged.

outsidertrader's picture

Here's how it will play out. The SNB will succeed in capping the CHF against the euro because 1. Even at the capped level the Swiss franc is grossly overvalued. 2. The SNB has infinite firepower. They can print as many CHF as they want. 3. Switzerland is suffering from deflation when measured on the European harmonised data, so is in an ideal situation to print money and reflate. and 4. There are so many would be FX traders who don't get it. This is a once in a generation event and the SNB do not take such action lightly. The last time they took similar action in 1978 vs the Dmark, the policy worked. The CHF hung around the cap for a while and then steadily weakened. Critics of that episode point out that Swiss inflation rose over the following few years to above 7%. What the critics don't point out is that in the same cycle, US inflation peaked at 14.8% and UK inflation reached 21.9%. I have traded interest rates and FX professionally for over 30 years (not that that is necessarily a recommendation! :)) and I believe that the SNB will succeed.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Hey, the Euro goes down, the wife and I: ANDIAMO IN ITALIA next year!  Be nice to go once in a lifetime without being so expensive...

I'll keep an eye out re your prediction of China snapping Sarko's and Cameron's necks, LOL...

I still think the Swiss will inflate rather than watch their exporters die because of a weak Euro.  I'll stick to gold.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Seems like the UK is about to snap by it's own:


Tens of thousands of benefits claimants will be referred to food banks by the Government, which is worried that many Britons face a stark choice: starvation or feeding themselves by begging or stealing.

From tomorrow, jobcentres in England and Wales will refer the needy to charity-run food banks that will give them a food parcel. It is the first time in living memory that hungry people will have been passed on to charities in this way.


The same will soon happen with food stamp recipients in the US.