Tag Archives: dollar

I’ll just leave this here…

I’ve been too busy to sit down and hammer out any of the long posts I’ve planned recently, but just to show that I’m not dead I’ll share a rather amusing article with you readers, courtesy of an old friend of mine.

Take a look at it and you’ll see that it seems Sputnik News plans to spar with the fake Sputnik Twitter account and even Russia in Your Face! for the title of most hilarious Russian parody news site ever.

Now I don’t think it makes sense to go through this line by line and debunk it. It is so out of touch with reality it might as well be a flat-Earth argument. It’s worth commenting on a couple of key details, however.

First we’ve got another anonymous writer. This seems to be getting more popular with RT and Sputnik lately. This time it’s “The Tactical Investor,”who I’m guessing is probably Zero Hedge or someone who reads his work. Oddly enough the name seems to link to a legitimate investment advice site of some sort, but if they did indeed prepare this article I wouldn’t take any of their financial advice. Hell I wouldn’t buy a ham sandwich from this son of a bitch.

The article is of course about the “worthless dollar,” yet it’s definitely not worthless to point out that Russia holds substantial dollar reserves and also increased its share of American debt in 2015. For example in December of that year, the Russian government owned $92 billion in US Treasury Securities. This is something you don’t do when you think a nation is crushed by its sovereign debt and its currency is on the verge of worthlessness.

Of course the crux is the article of the long-held fap fantasy of the Kremlin and its ideologues, which is the abandonment of the dollar for trade in favor of local currencies. Check it out:

“One of the reasons the US has engaged Russia is that it has made it a mission to wean itself from the dollar. Putin openly stated that Russia should sell its oil and gas in ruble. This does not sit well with the US for many other nations could follow in Russia’ footsteps as it is a dominant and powerful player in the energy sector.”

If Russia has had a mission to wean itself from the dollar, it has failed spectacularly just as it failed in its mission of modernization, fighting corruption, and nanotechnology. For one thing, Russia is still selling oil and gas in dollars. At the moment there’s actually some benefit for them to do this. Kremlin politicians and pundits never shut up about switching to local currencies in trade, and yet every time they sign a big energy deal to great fanfare (which then immediately runs into obstacles and stalls), the buyers want to pay in dollars. It was that way with Turkey, it was the same with China. Early last year Putin visited Egypt and there was talk in the Russian media of Egypt switching to trade in local currencies. Guess what- the Egyptians denied it.

Next, a note about their little theory regarding Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and selling oil in euros. First of all, the theory about the former is disputed. In any case, the claim is so widespread it begs the question- if the danger of Saddam selling oil in euros was so great because it would cause other oil producers to follow suit, why didn’t those oil producers perceive this and start doing exactly that? Why didn’t Russia take the lead against the dollar at the time? Oh right- oil prices shot up and Putin benefited from the Iraq invasion, as did Gazprom (which has operations in Iraqi Kurdistan). They give no evidence for Gaddafi planning to switch over to the euro. The pretext to intervening in Libya was an uprising inspired by Arab Spring, which did not start in Libya. Was Tunisia planning to sell oil in euros? Was Egypt’s Mubarak, a long time ally of the US, planning to sell oil in euros? Hmmm… Looks like this hypothesis might be flawed.

And for a few more laughs, look at some of their “analysis.”

1) The US is desperate and they are doing their best to portray power, but instead it is coming off as weakness. But a desperate animal is bound to do even more desperate thing;

Hey can someone remind me of the definition of psychological projection? Anyone? Anyone at all? Replace “US” with Russia and that sentence suddenly makes perfect sense.
2) Now that China and Russia have joined forces, they have become a lethal combination. China has the money and the economy and Russia has the guns and firepower.

Just one little problem there, slick- Russia and China haven’t joined forces. China has signed exploitative trade deals with Russia. It’s also suffering itself under an economic and approaching demographic crisis. This makes it all the more laughable that the author says they have the money and the economy. First, why doesn’t Russia have it? Second, China’s military is considerably bigger. Lastly, what do they expect to happen? Russia’s going to go to war and China’s going to pay for it…just for the pretext of “standing up to the US?” These people live in Fantasy Land, plain and simple.

In the mean time if you have a surplus of worthless US dollars, I’d be happy to take them off your hands. The email address for the Paypal account is in the FAQ.

 

 

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Nothing lasts forever

One funny thing about American Team Russia fanatics and Zerohedge types is that they get really angry when you start to point out how horribly their predictions have failed throughout history. On the rare occasions they have been right, it’s either because they’re prediction happened to sync up with those of other, less-delusional individuals, or it was a busted clock scenario, e.g. people predicting doom and gloom forever were “vindicated” by the crisis of 2008. Aside from those precious few examples, they are hilariously wrong almost every time. Every year the collapse of the dollar is just around the corner. Every year we’re just a few months away from seeing the BRICS alliance conquer the EU and the US. Russia will lead them to victory! You’ll see! You’ll all see!

Of course that’s not what happens. At no time in the past twenty-five years has Russia managed to seriously rival the US, Western Europe, or other leading industrial countries in terms of living standards or economic success. They say the dollar will collapse and yet now that poor dollar buys around 60 rubles.  Russia’s supposed to become this economic powerhouse and yet most former Soviet republics now do most of their trading with either the European Union or China in the case of the Central Asian states.  What I’m saying is that you can pile up all the negative trends and indicators for the American or EU economy to your heart’s content, but in nearly every single case, Russia is worse off, sometimes much more so.  This isn’t “anti-Russian,” it’s just simple concrete fact. Many of these geopolitical “analysts” even admit this from time to time, but they always assure us that Putin’s got some ace up his sleeve that will turn the tables any day now.

I’ve noticed that when you point out Russia’s deficiencies in comparison to the hated “West”, you’re suddenly accused of believing that the US and EU are eternal, without blame or blemish, and that the dollar will forever be the world’s reserve currency. This is simply absurd. There is a difference from pointing out that someone’s doom and gloom predictions aren’t born out by material reality and claiming that this current situation is permanent.  No, the United States will probably not last forever, and it certainly won’t be on top of the world forever either. In fact there’s a strong argument that it’s not on top today, because the world isn’t as polar as it used to be. That being the case, however, the bottom line is that the US is doing much better than Russia, and Russia’s “allies” like China benefit very much from their relationship with the US. Their leadership doesn’t suffer from delusions about some “historical mission” or nostalgia for the Cold War. China has turned its relationship with the US into concrete results. Putin’s Russia allowed a small coterie of oligarchs to rob their country blind and leave it utterly dependent on natural resources, much like Zaire.

The point to take away here is that what Russia is doing simply isn’t working, and Russia cannot live vicariously through BRICS countries which are successful like India and China. As I’ve said before, the very term BRICS is obsolete. Russia’s economy is shrinking, not rapidly growing, and capital has nearly deserted it. Rapid growth and massive foreign investment were part of the criteria for the BRICS. Russia’s not meeting either of those means that it’s really BICS. If we look at the US and Russia and decide which one is more likely to collapse in the next decade or so, all indicators point to Russia. I’m terribly sorry, but that’s not a matter for “debate.”

One should also remember that while the US will probably further decline in power one day, there’s no reason to make assumptions about Balkan-style civil war or a Mad Max-style apocalypse. In Russia and corrupt countries like Ukraine, change is apocalyptic because those in power are incredibly corrupt, there’s no concept of public good, no rule of law, and few if any mechanisms for people to influence political change in a non-violent manner. Disagree? Guess what- we actually have a case of an industrial country experiencing a major economic collapse. The results are interesting. Even a collapse of the Russian regime, which is inevitable sooner or later, will most likely not lead to post-apocalyptic chaos, even though much of the country already looks post-apocalyptic. As chaotic as the 90’s were, the country held together and many people got through it successfully. There are still many countries where the experiences Russia had in the 90’s are daily norms.

Predicting America’s collapse has become an entertaining fantasy for some people. For Americans, it’s a great way to avoid actually going out and doing something to change the status quo. For those who espouse more radical views, it’s a great way to explain why they aren’t willing to engage in any real activities to further their goals. “People are too fat and happy right now,” they say. “Wait until there’s chaos in the streets and the government can’t protect them, then we’ll come out and make a revolution!”  Sure you will. Sure you will.   The guy who spends all his time on internet forums posting economic theory he learned on other internet forums is going to take to the hills and become the libertarian version of Mao Zedong just as soon as the power grid is down, the police forces disband, and the streets are filled with angry mobs searching for food and anything of value.  I totally believe that.

Before total social, economic, and political meltdown.

Before total social, economic, and political meltdown.

After total social, economic, political meltdown.

After total social, economic, political meltdown.

Get ready for the PETRO-RUBLE!

I’m sorry I just cannot leave this alone. As I am currently covering the downfall of the Russian ruble, this video from about seven months ago has become especially hilarious.  Watch Max Kaiser tell us how the dollar is about to collapse following the switch-over to other currencies for energy trading. Yes, it’s probably dollar-collapse prediction number 14,346,982,456,291, only this time it’s comes with the laughably-idiotic-in-hindsight proposition that the ruble will take the dollar’s place.  Sorry, Max.

Just for a little context, note that according to the energy deal he’s talking about, China is actually paying for natural gas in dollars. Supposedly Russia recently floated the idea of China paying in rubles again, but once again China has refused. As is typically the case, Russia’s media simply doesn’t understand that the rest of the world just isn’t interested in Russia’s “special path” or its “historical mission” to constantly “oppose” the Anglo-American-Atlanticist Zionist conspiracy. China’s relationship with the United States is extremely profitable for China, hence their reluctance to engage in any real fuck America activities.

Look, Max, we all make bad predictions at times. I was skeptical about the involvement of Russian forces in the Donbass at first, if only because the amount of evidence in the early stage was somewhat slim. As I got more information I admitted and corrected my mistake. You goldbugs on the other hand have been predicting the dollarpocalypse for literally decades and yet where is it? Maybe you should dial it back a bit.

That advice also goes for:

-People who insist that the US is on the verge of declaring martial law. “I’m telling you people! Just one more false flag terrorist attack and they’ll be dragging you out of your homes and throwing into the FEMA camps!”

-People who predict WWIII over diplomatic tit-for-tats.

-People predicting a revolution in Russia as a result of the falling ruble. Yes, it will eventually happen, but most Russians are still in blame America mode right now.

-The Western news media every time there’s a new “epidemic,” e.g. ebola, swine flu, bird flu, SARS, etc.