Tag Archives: China

Bits and Pieces – 20170207, Tuesday


Trump: Commentary on the dissention within the ranks of the Deep State: Trump’s Enemies Within. And then there are the enemies without: Is Soros The Source Of Funds Behind The “Muslim Ban” Lawsuits? A small historic event: DeVos Confirmed As Education Secretary After Pence Casts First Ever VP Tiebreaking Vote.

WWIII: A good observation comes from Steve Bannon quoted in: Steve Bannon: ‘We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt’. He pegs Islam and China as the two geopolitical antagonists because they are expansionist in ambition.

“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,”

Here’s an insightful review of events in Eastern Europe from the 20th century to date. The dangers of WWIII emerging from the breakup of the EU are real: Eastern Europe & World War III.

Climate: In 2015, a paper came out of NOAA that allegedly debunked the “hiatus” observation in global temperature increse. Here are two references that show that the paper was deeply flawed scientifically and politically motivated to support the Obama administrations support for the Paris agreement: ClimateGate 2 – NOAA Whistleblower Claims World Leaders Fooled By Fake Global Warming Data and Climate scientists versus climate data.

Bits and Pieces: More MSM bias if you’re interested: Why Is the New York Times Lying about Trump? And then this piece from a Fox News interviewer: “But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.” (read Trump Defends “Killer” Putin On National TV: “We’ve Got A Lot Of Killers – You Think Our Country’s So Innocent?”). Well let’s start with Bush and Obama with their foreign wars and particularly their drone policies.

The collapse of Catholicism in Quebec parallels the collapse of the traditional social structure in Canada: Quebec: The Crisis Of The West.

Here’s a historical summary of US currency manipulation: Trump Tower Accord to Replace Plaza Accord?. Note the observation that when the euro destructs, the dollar will soar. Normally gold moves inversely w.r.t. the dollar. In this case it move with the dollar as a safe haven for euro funds.

I save links to articles on robotics and automation (I’m well over 100 and this is passive collecting). To give you an idea where things are at and where they are headed fast, read Amazon Plans Robotic Supermarket Staffed by 3; Chinese Factory Eliminate 90% of Humans, Defects Drop 80%. The world has too many people. The amount of human labour that we have is excessive by far and becoming increasingly more so. This is the argument for stopping all immigration and not accepting more refugees. They are a already a net liability. The article also tells you who Loblaws’ biggest competitor will be in the near future (5-10 years) – Amazon. I don’t see any serious competitor for Amazon – a well-named company.

Facts on US immigration for the anti-Trump crowd: As The Political Spin Continues, Here Are Some Key Facts About Refugees And The U.S.

Bits and Pieces – 20170202, Thursday

Commentary: I am looking for key themes that will have a major impact on our lives. I’m adding one this morning: central banks. Central banks have been controlling our economy since their conception only now they are losing control as all their tools are broken and they are in the process of blowing up the (economic) world.

I have discussed how we are linear thinkers, so to go non-linear, central bank policy and action has to be considered with interest rates, the bond market, currencies, the international flow of funds and trade. They are all part of the same elephant. How I’m going to structure my coverage I’m not sure but here’s a good short article to start with: The Coming Crisis in Central Banking.

To give an idea of the interconnection, read Mike Shedlock’s Is Germany a Currency Manipulator? China? Arguably Yes, Under Bill Obama Signed: Full Blown Currency War on Deck. He outlines a basis for how a currency war and trade war might start with Germany and China.

Bits and Pieces – 20170124, Tuesday

Commentary: If Trump achieves half or maybe a quarter of what he wants to he will go down as a “great” American president. I suspect a significant piece of what he would want is impossible, not because of political obstacles but because some things will not be possible.

A lot of jobs that went offshore don’t exist anymore and can’t come back. Companies on-shoring will build new plants populated with robots and highly automated assembly lines. They would have done so anyway for economic reasons and this trend had started before Trump.

His trade policies may backfire. Raising tax barriers and tariff walls will start trade wars – may already have done so – so the imports will be cut but so will the exports. How this will affect the balance of trade is a question. In fact the trade deficits were the only way the US dollar could become the world reserve currency. Trump cannot control the currency – at least not for long. Any attempt to declare China a currency manipulator will lead to the depreciation of the yuan and strengthen the dollar, affecting exports and negating the effect of tariffs on imports.

He has a deeply divided country and he can’t fix this because the divide is to a large part caused by people who hate him and this he can’t change. Read: Trump: America for the Americans! He has inherited trillion dollar deficits and a 20 trillion dollar debt that goes as high as 200 trillion with unfunded liabilities included. The only fix for this is to press the reset button and the reset will be global.

This is going to be a wild ride.

The Minimum-Wage Fight, Chinese Factories, and the Rise of Robot

Below is a free email from Mauldin economics that we reproduce because we couldn’t find a link to it.

September 15, 2015

I was raised on a small vegetable farm near Tacoma, Washington. My father hired lots of high school kids to work the fields in the summer.

In February of 1968, when the minimum wage was increased from $1.40 an hour to $1.60 an hour, I overheard some of my father’s employees excitedly talking about the 20-cent raise they were about to receive.

Harper Blew It – Again

We have been tracking the final days of the Asian Infrastructure  Investment Bank (AIIB) drive for prospective founding members (PFM) (read Harper’s Days Are Numbered). At the close of the application process today, March 31, the approved members and the applicants for membership stand at 53 countries as shown below:

China’s Fragile Evolution

By Rodger Baker and John Minnich

Last week, China’s anti-corruption campaign took a significant turn, though a largely overlooked one. The Supreme People’s Court released a statement accusing former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, the highest-ranked official thus far implicated in China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, of having “trampled the law, damaged unity within the Communist Party, and conducted non-organizational political activities.” In Chinese bureaucratic speak, this was only a few steps shy of confirming earlier rumors that Zhou and his former political ally and one-time rising political star from Chongqing, Bo Xilai, had plotted a coup to pre-empt or repeal the political ascension of Chinese President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Thus, the court’s statement marks a radical departure from the hitherto depoliticized official language of the anti-corruption campaign.

The Similarities Between Germany and China

By George Friedman

I returned last weekend from a monthlong trip to both East Asia and Europe. I discovered three things: First, the Europeans were obsessed with Germany and concerned about Russia. Second, the Asians were obsessed with China and concerned about Japan. Third, visiting seven countries from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 29 days brings you to a unique state of consciousness, in which the only color is gray and knowing the number of your hotel room in your current city, as opposed to the one two cities ago, is an achievement.

The world is not getting smaller. There is no direct flight from the United States to Singapore, and it took me 27 hours of elapsed travel to get there. There is a direct flight from Munich to Seoul, but since I started in Paris, that trip also took about 17 hours. Given how long Magellan took to circumnavigate the world, and the fact that he was killed in the Philippines, I have no basis for complaint. But the fact is that the speed of global travel has plateaued, as has the global economic system. There is a general sense of danger in Europe and Asia. There is no common understanding on what that danger is.

The End of Consensus Politics in China

By John Minnich

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is the broadest and deepest effort to purge, reorganize and rectify the Communist Party leadership since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping two years later. It has already probed more than 182,000 officials across numerous regions and at all levels of government. It has ensnared low-level cadres, mid-level functionaries and chiefs of major state-owned enterprises and ministries. It has deposed top military officials and even a former member of the hitherto immune Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest governing body. More than a year after its formal commencement and more than two years since its unofficial start with the downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, the campaign shows no sign of relenting.

It is becoming clear that this campaign is unlike anything seen under Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Both carried out anti-corruption drives during their first year in office and periodically throughout their tenures as a means to strengthen their position within the Party and bureaucracy and to remind the public, however impotently, that Beijing still cared about its well being. But that was housekeeping. This appears to be different: longer, stronger, more comprehensive and more effective.

With this in mind, we ask: What is the fundamental purpose of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign? An attempt to answer this question will not tell us China’s political future, but it will tell us something about Xi’s strategy — not only for consolidating his personal influence within the Party, government and military apparatuses, but also and more important, for managing the immense social, economic, political and international pressures that are likely to come to a head in China during his tenure. Getting to the heart of the anti-corruption campaign — and therefore understanding its inner logic and direction — provides insights on the organization and deployment of political power in China and how those things are changing as the Party attempts to remake itself into an entity capable of ushering China safely through the transformation and crises to come.
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Geopolitical Flashpoints

There are three regions of geopolitical instability in the world, the Middle East, the European / Russian theater and the China / Pacific-Southeast Asia theater. All are metastable but have the potential to erupt into war that may not remain localized since the US maintains interests including defense treaties in all of them. This post will maintain an active list of links to articles and events that we feel illuminate the current stress in these regions.

Our position is that geopolitical is a natural, complex adaptive system (CAS) that exhibits the behavior of such. Look at such systems as plate tectonics and forests whose energy/stress releasing events – earthquakes and forest fires have been shown to obey the power laws of CASs. In the case of geopolitics, war is the energy/stress releasing event. The other property of a CAS is while we can measure the energy buildup, we can never predict when an energy reducing event will occur, especially the “big one”. In geopolitics, that will be WW III.

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