To all who still think that in the war of attrition between the USD and the EUR (because contrary to what some have "discovered" only recently, currency wars have been going on for a long, long time and will continue to do so, before morphing into trade and real wars), in which both currencies are doomed, and where the winner takes it all, if only for a few minutes, we bring to your attention the following most recent update out of the Pacific Rim (where incidentally the Shanghai Composite has resumed its relentless track lower with the obvious intention of closing 2011 at its 52 week low) in which we find i) that the dollar's hegemonic control over the world is ending, and ii) that the mercantilist relationship so long sustained between China and the US, may be shifting and reversing, and in its next metamorphosis will see Japan buying the bonds of... China (although probably not for long - see next post). As Bloomberg reports, "Japan and China will promote direct trading of yen and yuan without using dollars and will encourage the development of a market for the exchange, to cut costs for companies, the Japanese government said. Japan will also apply to buy Chinese bonds next year, the Japanese government said in a statement after a meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing yesterday." And before someone blows it off as merely more foreign relations posturing, "“Given the huge size of the trade volume between the Asia’s two biggest economies, this agreement is much more significant than any other pacts China has signed with other nations,” said Ren Xianfang, a Beijing-based economist with IHS Global Insight Ltd." As for China's reverse mercantilist move, one which will stun anyone who believes that Yuan is still undervalued, "Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Dec. 20 buying of Chinese bonds would be beneficial for Japan because it would help reveal more information about financial markets in China, the world’s largest holder of foreign currency reserves." Speaking of, has Albert Edwards gloated yet that given enough time, he always ends up being proven right, in this case about the CNY's upcoming devaluation?
Some more on the direct FX bypass, something which should piss of USD traders quite a bit, from Bloomberg:
Encouraging direct yen-yuan trades will aim to reduce currency risks and trading costs, Japan’s government said. Currently, about 60 percent of trade transactions between the two nations are settled in dollars, according to Japan’s Finance Ministry. China is Japan’s biggest trading partner.
Then-finance minister Noda said in September 2010 that Japan should be able to invest in China’s market given that China buys Japanese debt. Japan holds $1.3 trillion of foreign- currency reserves, the world’s second largest.
Austria has already been granted the eligibility to buy Chinese bonds, according to the Japanese government official. Central banks from Thailand to Nigeria plan to start buying yuan assets as slowing global growth has capped interest rates in the U.S. and Europe.
Investing in Chinese debt has become easier for central banks as issuance of yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong more than tripled to 112 billion yuan ($18 billion) this year and institutions were granted quotas to invest onshore.
So while the US and Europe bicker over just who it is that will first end up bailing out one then the other, those who are supposedly doing the bailing, have decided to gradually move away from the interminable financial sink hole that is the developed world. All that needs to happen next is for Russia and India to join this compact, and Jim O'Neill will be proven 'right', although with a 100% inverse outcome to the one desired by the Goldmanite, as globalization proceeds merrily on its way... just without the US and Europe.