While China, keen to ward off US sanctions as long as possible, is lagging, its RIC partners Iran and Russia are doing the legwork to break the west’s global financial grip.
By Pepe Escobar posted with permission of the author and cross-posted with The Cradle
The first Eurasia Economic Forum, held last week in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, should be regarded as a milestone in setting the parameters for the geoeconomic integration of the Eurasian heartland.
Sergei Glazyev, Russia’s Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), is coordinating the drive to design an alternative monetary-financial system – a de facto post-Bretton Woods III – in cooperation with China.
According to Glazyev, the forum “discussed the model of a new global settlement currency pegged to baskets of national currencies and commodities. The introduction of this currency instrument in Eurasia will entail the collapse of the dollar system and the final undermining of the US military and political power. It is necessary to start negotiations on signing an appropriate international treaty within the framework of the SCO.”
Glazyev described the initiative to upend the western global financial system in more detail during an exclusive interview with The Cradle in April.
It’s particularly relevant to understand how Glazyev interconnects the EAEU’s drive with the increasing geopolitical and geoeconomic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which unites at the same table key Eurasian powers: China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Iran.
That connects directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, supporting the extension of a temporary free trade agreement between the EAEU and Iran, which is the newest (and only West Asian) full member of the SCO. Putin said this should go ahead despite the “confrontation by the collective West.”
The EAEU, inaugurated in 2015 with five full members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia – represents a market of 184 million people and a collective GDP of over $5 trillion. The next step with Iran will be to implement a full free trade agreement, possibly before the end of the year, according to Iranian deputy trade minister Alireza Peymanpak. Egypt, Indonesia and the UAE are also candidates to strike deals with the EAEU.
Iran, which has for over four decades now been forced to find creative solutions to bypass serial, imperial sanction packages, may have a conceptual lesson or two to teach Russia. Barter arrangements are gaining ground: Tehran is offering spare parts and gas turbines to Moscow’s power plants in exchange for much needed zinc, aluminum, lead and steel for its metal and mining industries, according to Iranian trade and industries minister Reza Fatemi Amin.
And more barter on a wide range of commodities is ahead, as discussed during a recent visit to Tehran by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
The other ‘RIC’
Slowly but surely, the new RIC (Russia-Iran-China) – as opposed to the old RIC in BRICS (Russia-India-China) – is attempting to integrate their financial systems. Iran is a matter of national security strategy for China, as an energy provider and essential partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in West Asia.
Russia-China, though, is a much more complex matter. Extremely fearful of provoking US sanctions, Chinese banks are refraining – at least for the moment – to increase their deals with Russian banks, which brings us to the case of UnionPay:
The Chinese bank card provider – increasingly popular, especially across Asia – declined from partnering with Sberbank even before Russia’s largest bank was excluded by the EU and the US from the global bank messaging platform SWIFT. UnionPay also canceled plans with other Russian banks to issue UnionPay cards linked with the Russian Mir payment system, profiting from the exit of Visa and Mastercard from the Russian market.
This is still a careful balancing act for China. Earlier this year at the Boao Forum in Asia, President Xi Jinping was adamant in opposing the “wanton use of unilateral sanctions.” And over 80 percent of Chinese companies already established in Russia appeared to continue their business as usual.
Yet in practical terms, there are serious problems. The Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have restricted financing for Russian commodities. Even the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), absolutely essential for sustainable development projects, linked or not with BRI, decided to freeze all lending to Russia and Belarus in early March to “safeguard” its “financial integrity.”
On the financial front, cautious Chinese banks, with enormous western exposure, are always balancing the fact that nearly 80 percent of global cross-border transactions are still in dollars and euros, and only two percent in yuan. So the Russian market is not exactly a priority.
In parallel, the Russia-Iran front is quite lively. They are turbo-charging mutual settlements in their national currencies to “the highest possible level,” as highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak: “We discussed together with central banks the spread and operation of the financial messaging system, as well as the connection of Mir and [Iranian] Shetab payment cards.”
As it stands, the Mir card is still not accepted in Iran, but that’s about to change – just as in Turkey, which this summer will start accepting Mir card payments from legions of Russian tourists. What this means in practice is that Russia and Iran will be connecting their banks to the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), the Russian equivalent to SWIFT. The Chinese will obviously be examining how seamlessly the transition works.
Now compare all of the above with the prospect that soon there won’t be any SWIFT at all, as Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach let slip in Davos.
Miebach was participating in a panel on Central Bank Digital Currencies, discussing cross-border payments, when he suggested that SWIFT might soon be a thing of the past. No question about it: Moscow is eyeing crypto and digital currencies already, and Beijing is dead set on setting up the digital yuan to work around SWIFT and its linked CHIPS (Clearing House Interbank Payment System).
The Sanctioned Ones, now moving fast
The Russia-Iran front has been fast evolving since January this year, when Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, on a visit to Moscow, handed a draft agreement to Putin on strategic cooperation for the next 20 years, building on “the very good experience of cooperation between Iran and Russia in Syria in combating terrorism,” and expanding to “economy, politics, culture, science, technology, defense, and military spheres, as well as security and space issues.”
Raisi also explicitly thanked Putin “for facilitating Tehran’s entry into the SCO.”
Iranian Oil Minister Javad Ouji went straight to the point in his meeting with Novak in Tehran last week: “Our countries are under strict sanctions, and we have the potential to neutralize them through the development of bilateral relations…We have created joint committees on banking, energy, transport, agriculture issues, as well as the issue of creation of nuclear power plants.”
And that brings us once again to the seemingly eternal soap opera of the Vienna-based Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) talks, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov now signaling the final draft “is at a high degree of readiness for adoption. There are some political problems, which are not related to the finalization of the text.”
Cutting through the proverbial fog of US swamp spin, Ryabkov stressed how “in terms of our interests, including in the context of peaceful nuclear cooperation with Iran, the text is quite satisfactory…there is nothing to ‘fine-tune’.” So when the Americans say that the deal is “out of reach,” Raybkov added, it means that they “broadcast the results of their internal discussions.”
The bottom line is that on the JCPOA, Tehran and Moscow are in sync: “We are what they call on edge, and it could happen very quickly if the political decision is made.”
Expanding on their synchronicity, Tehran even proposed to host negotiations between Moscow and Kiev over the Ukraine conflict – following the Turkish example. By now though, after Ankara’s failure, it is clear that Washington decision makers want no negotiation, but an endless war to the last Ukrainian.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian remains in sync with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov. At Davos, he said the Ukraine drama was caused by “the US and NATO’s provocative actions…they “provoked the Kremlin into this.” That’s essentially what Beijing has been discreetly implying.
All of the above shows some of the trials and tribulations of Eurasia integration, and the long and winding road to an EAEU-SCO new monetary system. But first things first: there’s got to be some action on the Mir-UnionPay front. When that news breaks, the die will be cast.
This makes it pretty much game over for any zionist plans for Iran. Russia will not like it, if zionists attack it.
Once the empire’s devouring expansion has been consistently stopped against some very solid walls in Russia, Iran or China, the financial vampires had to turned back on bloodsucking their crown jewel intensive exploitation colonies, militarily and culturraly for the last 77 years, aka Germany and Japan. These countries will be reduced to virtual slavery very soon.
The Chinese better start divesting themselves from major US holdings, currency, US debt, land, and everything else. Because sooner or later, the US will steal all that from China, as it did from Russia. China’s waffling is gonna cost them. Better to lose less now than more later.
Yes! Phuck Mr Global and his 30 Ashke-Nazis.
How do you get over the fact that if China and the US split the shelves of Walmart and Home Depot will be empty, and the US will have to relearn the lost art of making its own Christmas tree ornaments?
As long as you don’t threaten the sheeple with taking away their opportunity to get the latest and greatest phones all will be well in the US.
Exactly , they don’t get over it .it’s a concerted effort by al to usher in the CBDC’s for all . Very clever
I wish there were a way I could get in on the investments on the “other side”, similar to what Gonzalo Lira said about buying the Ruble. And yes, China better start figuring out divesting everything from the US and that also includes the entire west like Canada. I’m sure they’re aware of it. Good luck. Time to hunker down here on the homestead and watch what happens over the next few years especially with Moneypox coming around the corner.
To whom can China sell $2 trillion? They accepted the money to get the technologies. The West no longer has any technologies that China needs, so they’ll eat the loss and print their own money from now on just like Russia did.
Exactly. I’m sure that the Chinese government would like to extract every bit of money from US Treasury bonds that it can, but it’s essentially an investment in infrastructure and technology, even if the ‘value’ of the bonds evaporates. I’ve seen several ‘western’ media – Bloomberg for one – report that China is already avoiding the bond auctions. The Fed will be ‘buying’ even more of the Treasury paper than they are now. Of course, it’s not even paper; it’s just some officials’ wish list in digital form.
Because there are just as many assets in China owned by various US and EU corporations that any theft will be reciprocated in kind. China may in fact come out ahead if the US and the vassals decided to dip their hands into the Chinese cookie jar, plus there’s always Taiwan.
Taiwan produces 92% of the world’s advanced semiconductors. Imagine if the collective west was completely cut off from these semiconductors. It’s not like you can just build another facility overnight. It takes years and billions of dollars just to build the factory let alone start producing the actual chips. China doesn’t even need to invade since an air and naval blockade would work wonders, especially when you have a robust A2/AD system in place.
… likely China is waiting for Russia’s liberation of Ukraine to be completed before gradually delinking from US dollar. It’s safe to say that Russia is going to liberate Novorossia from NATO’s grip over Ukraine very soon, which would create a new set of rules all over the world. As an Iranian, look forward to see Russian, Belarusian, Central Asian, Novorossian establish trade and commerce from Baltic – Black – Caspian Seas to the southern shores of Iran all the way to India and Pakistan.
…and of course Armenia.
Fear not! There is unlimited US industrial and intellectual property in China. Physical verse’s Monopoly money is a no-brainer. It’s gotta hurt to shoot yourself in the foot over greed. “Sad,” as The Donald once said.
The birthing process is both painful and difficult, but the joy of a new born child to the family has no equal.
Think about aluminium, produced in 25T ingots, has intrinsic value of the energy spent in producing each ingot,
Nearly impossible to steal due to its bulk, does not devalue over decades of time. Can be produced and stored and can be deliverable at set locations. Not many countries are self sufficient in oil and aluminium.
It’s all coming together very fast. A new financial system that will include local currency’s and integrate them into a world centralized digital currency backed by gold and other stable minerals/ metals.
Very timely information from Pepe. The strategic coordination of Russia and Iran will be the basis of a broad asymmetrical program that will undermine US hegemony. Both economies are young and poised to blossom into growth leaders in crucial sectors of industrial development.
With China tiptoeing under stress and pressure by the hegemon’s sanctions and Asia-Pacific containment moves, Russia and Iran, like Russia and India offers markets, trade, cooperation, and security integration.
The reconstruction of Syria and the stabilization of Lebanon offers many opportunities for joint efforts, as well as a plethora of cross-border integrations in science, technology, military, agriculture, energy and cultural projects.
Glad to see you commenting again.
Japan is cratering: industrial output year-over-year dropped by 4.8 percent (estimate was 3.6 percent). That’s quicker than the Eurozone. Why that’s important? There are many Japanese-Chinese high-tech joint ventures, especially around Shanghai. Japan may realize that blindly following the Western path is more fatal than doing good (paraphrasing Kissinger: ‘Being American’s enemy is dangerous, but being its friend is fatal.’)
And the EU already signaled more sanctions on China coming soon, well, because of “human rights” (the well-known Uyghur allegations).
With all this happening what Pepe and you outlined, China sure is buckling up for a severe downgrading of economic relations with the West — which was bound to happen anyways by failure of Western finances. Add to this the endless provocations around Taiwan.
I imagine the following scenario: Poland openly sends troops to Ukraine, claiming Lvov oblast and a little more; Hungary already declared a state of war last week and may fight with Poland over southwestern Ukrainian borderlands. Russia and Belarus may open another front between Kaliningrad and northwestern Belarus, grabbing some bits of northeastern Poland (“Suwalki gap”) to rebuild the land bridge lost with the dissolution of the USSR. By that point, with new sanctions against China already in place, China may decide to integrate Taiwan by force — an important diversion of media focus away from Ukraine/Poland/Russia. And no Western yapping, sanctioning and military posturing will stop neither Russia nor China short of going nuclear.
The most important Taiwanese assets, cutting-edge semiconductor fabrication, will be in the hands of BRICS, and it might well happen by the end of the year, along with Brandon facing an epic defeat in the midterms powered by skyrocketing inflation and a busting 2008 housing market reloaded…
We’ve seen & read that Japan is having a host of problems.
We appreciated your information on “Japanese/Chinese high-tech ventures.” We were unaware of those circumstances. Goes to show how integrated the US Financial System is.
What we don’t understand is *why* China still holds massive amounts of Treasury Bills in their banks.
Perhaps, the Chinese and later the Japanese should seriously start heeding the all-true observation:
Kissinger: “Being American’s enemy is dangerous, but being its friend is fatal.”
Maybe China will start buying physical gold ingots with its US Treasury holdings, making sure that the gold is delivered to Beijing before payment is made.
China held $1.32 Trillion in US Treasury Securities a decade ago, today it holds $1.06 Trillion, a decrease of $260 Billion. Hardly seems game changing, equivalent to perhaps, the $300 billion frozen Russian foreign reserves. Still I’m no financial analyst, but who is? Moody’s/Standard & Poor’s (I call them poor standards ) were rating US subprime mortgages AAA + when they were JUNK.
Compare the percentage of China’s GDP that is tied up in Treasuries a decade ago compared to now. Their GDP has more than doubled in nominal dollars and the treasury bills dropped by 30%. So it went from 15% of GDP to less than 6%. A lot of money, but far from an existential threat.
Japan is actually the biggest holder of US Treasuries. In April they held around $250B more than China.
Noting ‘Nervous German’s mention of the drop in Y-on-Y Industrial Production in Japan, and it being larger/quicker than Europe, I found this rather ironic;
‘Japan imposed sanctions on Russia but plans to maintain the joint Russian-Japanese LNG Sakhalin-2 project, which is “an asset that our predecessors worked hard to acquire.” The Japanese “do not intend to leave, even if we are told.” (RIA) If only Germany were this far-sighted.’
I really can’t muster your enthusiasm to see China invade Taiwan with accompanied loss of life so that they can steal the microelectronics industry there. I believe if China is patient Taiwan will eventually agree to some kind of deal, as the Ukrainians should have. I really fail to see how lust for blood and war mongering in support of Side B is in any way morally superior to what Side A is doing. Is it exactly the same thing, might is right?
China’s already making rapid progress making their own chips.
They also have better access to some of the key components. Neon, for example. Around half the world’s supply of Neon comes out of Russia and Ukraine, as a by- or co-product of steel making.
Ukraine’s biggest supplier produced their Neon in Mariupol.
China won’t invade Taiwan. Taiwan chick will come back to Mama hen, bringing the little chipchicks with her.
Japan was already left out of the loop with the Corona hoax which ruined their Olympics. That’s about what they get in terms of respect. In fact, the amount of US debt they hold may be inversely proportionate to the respect they are paid.
As for Russia opening a corridor through Northeastern Poland, hmm, don’t think so at all. I rather think they’re going to take the main road – through Lithuania, through Vilnius. And that’s where our Bundeswehr have got their ass on the line. But I don’t worry about the nuclear phantasy, hence I’m not nervous.
You are much too optimistic regarding Iran, Larchmonter445.
For one, the price of almost all basic necessities in Iran has tripled and quadrupled in the last couple of weeks. And before that, prices had already tripled since the Autumn.
Meanwhile, the Iranian media continuously publishes articles with titles such as “the price of food in Germany up 10%” and “gas prices in the US at record high”. And yet nowhere is there mention of the fact that “price of everything in Iran is at a record high”.
Last year, the Iranian establishment was short on cash, so they pulled a little heist, on their own people. This is what they did, they started a massive and unprecedented media campaign encouraging every Iranian citizen to invest their savings in the stock market. Some key selling points of the campaign:
1. Do not invest your savings in USD, as this hurts the Iranian economy. (1 USD was equal to around 100-120,000 Iranian Rials at the time.)
2. Do not keep your money in the bank where it continues to devaluate with inflation.
3. If you bring your savings to the stock market, it will mean that you are helping the Iranian economy, you are investing in “domestic production”, which was the slogan of the year as per Ayatollah Khamenei.
4. If everyone invests their savings in the stock market, it will ensure that the Iranian economy and domestic production will grow, thereby making everything better for everyone.
5. You will be guaranteed a reward for helping your country, in terms of profits on your investment that will dwarf anything you could have obtained from buying USD or gold.
The campaign was very convincing, as Ayatollah Khamenei himself endorsed it many times and encouraged people to “take part in this chance to help develop your country.” Millions of Iranians registered for stock market IDs, 12 million if I am not mistaken. The more patriotic they were, the more savings they brought for the noble endeavour of helping their country.
As the establishment surely knew, this much new money entering the stock market created a bubble. The largest bubble in the Iranian stock market history. The index jumped from under 1 million to over 2 million in a matter of months. People’s portfolios started reflecting enormous profits. Everyone was happy. More money flowed in. People were praying for Khamenei’s health for being such a kind and benevolent ruler, so generously teaching people how to increase their wealth while at the same time benefitting their nation as a whole.
When the index jumped 2 million, the establishment pulled out their money. They started selling everything, to a naive population that thought the upward trend was bound to continue, because the media kept insisting that it would continue. The media told everyone on a daily basis to keep their money in their stocks and not be tricked by foreign-backed liars who were spreading doubt and uncertainty.
The establishment sold trillions of shares of unbelievably overpriced rubbish, to a trusting Iranian populace. They made more money than God.
Then the bubble burst. The Iranian people lost more than any US sanctions had ever taken from them. “Death to Khamenei” replaced “death to USA” on the people’s lips.
Khamenei kept insisting through his mouthpiece Raisi “keep your money in the stocks, all will be well.”
The smart ones got out with 50-80% losses on their investments. Those who trusted Raisi and stayed…they are still waiting to come out from under 80-90% losses.
Meanwhile, the USD is now over 300,000 Rials, meaning that anyone who did not listen to the Iranian government and put their savings in dollars, tripled their money. The price of land has tripled and quadrupled since then. The price of gold coins has doubled. The price of the cheapest car on the Iranian market, the Iranian made Kia Pride, has gone up to over 2 billion Rials, up from 700 million. Up until a few months ago, Raisi was still assuring people that it is only a matter of time before their investment in the stocks pays off.
For the average person who listened to Raisi and Khamenei and kept their money in the stock market, it will be years before they get back their original investment, and by then the price of land and housing and cars and basic necessities will have increased a hundredfold.
This is what the Iranian establishment did to their own people. And has domestic production increased? Has the economy improved? No, it hasn’t. The situation in Iran is worse today than even at the peak of the Iran-Iraq war.
This is an ambitious screed!
Are you hasbara, an ecstatic 6th column or one of those bitter “smart ones [who] got out with 50-80% losses on their investments?” You make such sweeping unsubstantiated allegations!
All countries are suffering from unprecedented inflation and cost of living due to largely external western shenanigans such as (1) sanctions for Iran (2) trillions of fiat money printing since 2019, (3) cut supply chains, (4) deliberate attacks on fertilizer, oil & gas, farms and food baskets worldwide.
Additionally Iran has its internal traitors and sclerotic economy like every country.
Where is the proof Khamanei or the new president Raisi are involved whatsoever in this stock market hustle? Or if they were peripherally involved, were dissembling at all? All sane national leaders are currently feverishly emphasizing internal markets, resiliency, and self-sufficiency in the setting of deglobalization and cut supply chains. There is thus a natural period of difficulty due to readjustment of industries and import substitution.
” “Death to Khamenei” replaced “death to USA” on the people’s lips.” is a current talking point among Zionist and GCC media!
“They made more money than God” is a distinctly Jewish way of speaking, which few in west asia would say!
Who is your “establishment?!”
In a deeply multi faction and opaque Iran, that is a sweeping generalization. The ousted Reformists have their powerbase and were widely expected to cause shenanigans to worsen life for common people in order to have the suitable environment to return to power in the future. Such traitors exist in every country. In fact your words reek of their perspective, whether you realize it or are merely another remote-controlled drone. Some Iranian commentators have spoken of these internal factions, esp bet IRGC and Reformist Liberals. There is no monolithic establishment.
The reality is the economic-financial-monetary war on Iran, like on Russia or China, will be unrelenting and guaranteed to escalate. In addition to media psyops and lies, it is all the Imperial losers have to arrest their loss of Hegemony, short of WMD. Sucking on the teat of “oh vey,” is not only counterproductive, it will make you irrelevant and without any larger perspective. Let’s keep cool. The Western criminals have their established M.O. They cycle back and forth in attacking Russia-China-Iran in turn, roughly every six months. What you are seeing is the preparatory softening up period of Iran, before the overt threats resume in about six months, once they tire of China.
“Are you hasbara, an ecstatic 6th column or one of those bitter “smart ones [who] got out with 50-80% losses on their investments?” You make such sweeping unsubstantiated allegations!”
Hello AHH, old mate.
I am neither hasbara, nor sixth column, and sadly I was not one of the ‘smart ones’.
I used to be a diehard proponent of Iran. In fact, you and I had a number of exchanges here when I went by the Anonymous handle.
“The ousted Reformists have their powerbase and were widely expected to cause shenanigans to worsen life for common people in order to have the suitable environment to return to power in the future.”
I remember when you didn’t believe that the Reformists in Iran were at all distinct or separate from the Establishment party, aka the Islamic Republic party. I believe I was the one who changed your mind.
Everything I have said above is the truth. The Iranian ruling elite, under maximum pressure from the West, were forced to steal from their own people to continue funding their regional goals.
Go back and read all the thousands of paragraphs that I wrote in support of those regional goals and ambitions. I truly believed in them. I believed in their righteousness. But when the leaders of Iran stole from their own people in order to keep their regional power from collapsing, I changed my mind.
“All countries are suffering from unprecedented inflation and cost of living due to largely external..”
Let me tell you a little story. There is a young couple in our extended family in Tehran. They got married 2-3 years ago. The bride is a doctor’s receptionist, and her husband works at a shop in the bazaar. For the first year of their marriage, they lived with the boy’s mom, in a tiny apartment. They didn’t have enough money for a rent deposit/down payment. For a year they saved up, and the doctor who the bride works for also helped them out and they were able to come up with 1 billion Rials as a deposit. The maximum they could afford to pay monthly was 20-30 million Rials. They searched and searched and searched for a whole year and couldn’t find anywhere decent in their price range in any good neighborhood in Tehran. (By good I mean a neighborhood where junkies aren’t injecting heroin into their veins on your doorstop all day.)
Eventually, tired of living with the mom, they settled for a 35 square meter apartment in a hellish neighborhood for 1 billion down plus 30 million per month. They both work full time, and are at their maximum earning capacity as far as two average young people in Tehran are concerned.
They work all day for the privilege of living in their shithole apartment. They can’t afford to buy a car. They can’t afford to go on a vacation. And at the end of the month, they have no savings. As I said before, the cheapest piece of crap car you can get in Iran goes for 2 billion Rials. And if you wish to buy that 35 square meter apartment in hell avenue on the south side of Tehran, it will set you back 100 million Rials per meter.
Naturally, he has gotten depressed recently. He has started drinking. He gets drunk and yells abuse at her in the evenings, because he hates his dead end life. She is secretly on birth control, because she doesn’t want to bring a child into their nightmare of a life.
A recent official report by the Iranian government estimated that at current prices, the average Iranian family would have to save up for 120 years to have enough money to buy a home. That was last year before the price of everything quadrupled twice over.
So, the average young couple in Tehran; that is what their life looks like. They can barely afford to eat anymore. And rent more or less doubles in Iran every year as a rule, but wages increase by 10-20%, if at all.
Now, all of this is fine. Life is hell for Iranians. It has always been hell. It is their lot in life to endure these conditions, because of their karma or whatever. Do you know what pushes me over the edge?
Ayatollah Khamenei and President Raisi have started a media campaign encouraging Iranian couples to have more children. They want every couple to have at least 2-3 kids. Alright, so Iran has no water to sustain its current population. No problem. It does not produce enough food to feed its current population. No worries. The level of overcrowding has become absurd. Forget about it. There are no opportunities for young people. Who needs opportunities? But all these things aside, imagine the young couple above bringing a kid or two into their life now.
What kind of life can a child have growing up in a 35 square meter apartment, with parents that barely make enough money to pay rent and buy food?
But Khamenei wants them to have 2-3 kids. What does one say to that? He wants more soldiers for his armies, more workers for his factories. And he doesn’t care that he can’t even provide a decent standard of living for the 90 million people he already has.
I sincerely wish for things to get better in Iran. But I cannot pretend not to see the trajectory and path that things are following there right now. I see a ruling elite that has become so desperate to hold on to their power, they are trampling the weak and the oppressed which they once swore to defend and fight for.
If you are looking to Iran for hope, you are going to be disappointed I am afraid.
Ahh yes, welcome Mr. Stanford, I remember well.
You have seriously changed your tune!!
Are you healthy?
Why give up hope?! Maybe you need a young wife to rejuvenate your mind and expectations, lol?
And what is our alternative?
I will remain a hopeless optimist!
What you say, if an objective trajectory of events on the ground, is somewhat disheartening. We will see. I am not Iranian but a dispassionate outsider, who can sometimes bring a missing perspective; it is also an old corporate and academic tool to bring an uninvolved outside thinker, even from unrelated disciplines. Perhaps parts of the Iranian establishment is prepared to take a step back to see events through. Remember our old back-and-forths on “strategic ambiguity?” And I do not remember ever arguing Iran had a single establishment; that is too simplistic for a complicated Power.
“𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘳𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘱𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘐 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥.” This is the key issue I have with your POV. We aren’t insiders and should not assume they are stealing for the sake of stealing. And it is irrational to give up and loot one’s own merely for cheap profit at this critical juncture, when global Hegemony is in free-fall. And Persians are not known for being fools! The current team of Raisi is apparently respected among Zone B players; this does not indicate they are crooks. And how much of the current trajectory is theirs, and not initiated by the last departing team?
“𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘺’𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘮, 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘺 𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵.. 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘐𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘶𝘱 𝘧𝘰𝘳 120 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘶𝘺 𝘢 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦.”
This wretched environment is being suffered by all millennials worldwide. Many if not most in USA itself cannot afford their own apartments or marriage and live in groups or in their parents’ basement. They satisfy their needs via hook-up culture. This is even true for full time workers being paid unliveable wages compensating with 2+ jobs. Every country is in deep pain now. It is a time to bite fingers and endure. It is far from exclusive to Iran.
“𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘒𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘪 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 2-3 𝘬𝘪𝘥𝘴.” There is wisdom behind this. Do you want to go extinct as projected for the Japanese and most developed post-modern societies? I believe the replacement rate requires 2.1 children? Putin and China and many others have similarly made these pleas to their people. Where there is a will, there’s a way. All the noted obstacles can be overcome as they are material. However, without children, there is no future. And you appear to heavily skew the material and visible. Where is your Faith? Do not Iranians have a Lord? Why this suffocating pessimism regarding a future opaque to us. Imagine the possibilities once the Hegemon is slain and all the national energies focus on domestic and trade relations? Persians thrived for 5,000 years for a reason. How am I more Persian than a Persian?!!!
Now what is your perspective on Azerbaijan? How is that front now? We miss your updates.
In any war there are casualties, specially in a propaganda war, as harsh as the ones vs Iran Russia and China. Iran have had many casualties and Moosa is one. Hes a walking dead person.
Hes describing an newly wed couple both HAVING jobs, living in a 35 m2 flat in a “nice place” in Tehran, as a “hell hole”. :) I mean what is you paradise if that is a hell hole? Let me take a guess, Hollywood right? ;)
Furthermore, the Iranian couple “can not save up money”, but still the guy is an alcoholic in a Islamic country where alcohol is illegal, he got money for that right? ;) Btw i liked the fact that Moosa distinguish between junkies and hes friend, the drunk wife beater, cause obviously asking the neighbors, im not sure they will find living next to these zombies would call it a “nice place”, did you see what i did there? (The stupidity is simply comical)
So we are told it is because of Iran and the “establishment” that the dude beats hes wife and is depressed. :) Cause hey the establishment is so pessimistic about the future that they ask people to get more kids!! Right? Or is it the western propaganda mills on free satellite tv that tell Iranians not to get kids cause oohh the state of country is so bad!? Dear moosa maybe you can enlight us, who is saying what? lol? You can maybe answer AHH questions too, what kind of life do you wish to have, and how do you propose you get it? What is your ideal?
The sad part is there a lot of these casualties/zombies/drone call them what you want. They need a lifetime of counter brainwashing to live up again. And honestly no one has time to help these poor people up from the gutter they so love.
One has to question these people if they want to live like the Egyptians in Cairo? Where litter waste management is a task handed to the christian minority downtown city to live in? Is it not funny that as a newly wed couple in Egypt would live in a 20m2 flat made of litter, and still the guy would not beat hes wife or get to be an alcoholic?
fun fact before the so called “establishment” came to, these two countries, Iran and Egypt, where economically comparable, having almost equal living standards, now one country stayed as a slave the other sought independence. Funny how any sane person would come to one conclusion, but Mossa would describe Iran as a hell hole. :) Just go on youtube and see what people traveling there feel and say about the countries, dont take my word for it.
Or lets talk about India, they still dont have working toilets so they can take a dump in, after all these years of adopting western values, there you go. Or Afghanistan after 20 years of western values it got them to the moon. Zombies in Iran where saying at the start of NATO invading Afghanistan, that now Afghanistan would become a paradise, well here we are today.
The facts are simple, Iranians do not work hard any longer. Most of them find it beneath them to have real hard and dirty work. Most hard construction work is done by immigrant Afghans. (And im ashamed to my bone to write that line, but reality is what it is).
AHH mentioned Japan, maybe Moosa has not seen how they got so many social problems with loneliness and empty values, that they have one of the worlds highest suicide rates. How they live in shoe boxes 5m2 homes and on youtube and Instagram call it “cozy” homes. Cant you even google or youtube Moosa?!!
The fact that Moosa types the price hikes in Iran but do not mention that the government, as of last week, removed subsides from many key household products as a first time since the revolution, and now is distributing the subsidies it used to give the sellers, now transfers the money to peoples bank accounts, shows that Moosa has an agenda. Of course prices go up!
In the end, the future belongs to Iran Russia and China, one has to have shut down if one cant see it.
“”No, it hasn’t. The situation in Iran is worse today than even at the peak of the Iran-Iraq war”
In your dreams…
Another needless death, courtesy of the US:
America has much to answer for. Maybe too much. You can only blame the pols and billionaires for so long.
Don’t look at us… we didn’t elect this a**hole administration.
Same sorry it’s never you war criminals cheerleader citizenry fault lol typical. Good thing god has thrown that line out the window with your predecessors
‘Same as it ever was’ ,Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads (you’ll never get an American to accept any responsibility.
‘Have a nice day’ – Stereophonics (one of only 5 bands of the last 2 decades I’ve paid/would pay to see).
I don’t have a link but I heard Zelensky is under House Arrest (confined to one room). Azov have provided a bed, a table with half a kilo of coke on it, 3 cases of single malt whisky and a loaded revolver with loudspeakers constantly playing 24/7 ‘Save Me’ -Queen. I wonder how long he’ll last . . . .without his piano. Most cruel!
China will be snapping up a lot of vacated retail space in Russia with their luxury brands. Remember all those hout couture European Fashion House designs are made in China & Vietnam (at half or a third of the cost ). Also like the oil just one thimble of another product thrown into a Russian Urals Blend make it non-Russian, well changing one link in designer jewellery makes it non-European.
Pepe Escoba the Guru….
China is playing the game for China only.
But they may outsmart themselves because if the U.S is successful in putting a lid on Russia then all guns will focus on China.
China has huge debt hidden in the shadow banking system…they would be better to dump their holdings in U.S debt before the U.S inflates that debt away. Use U.S holdings to retire some of that hidden debt.
Anyhow its China’s move or have they been subservient for too long?
Will that lid you mention hold off a Zircon or a Sarmat. What is it a super-duper iron dome lid that deflects hypersonic missiles, mach 9?
You conveniently forgot to mention Americas $30 Trillion Public Debt or its $300 +Trillion in unfunded/underfunded liabilities.
The US can never and/or never had any intention of paying off this Debt. Can’t even raise interest rates 1%. A real basket case.
You forget that war is a materials game, it all comes down to whose industrial capacity can outstrip the other…hence the Americans pouring in $53 billion…and that will be the money they stole of Russia…so the U.S has plenty they can spend before they touch their own money.
As for soldiers, the Americans have all Ukrainian males aged between 16 and 60 to use plus the moron foreign volunteer.
And the U.S is slowly uping the milirary hardware quality -like a slow boiling frog- without reaction.
Its up to Russia or Russian allies to up the ante by sending a message to Washington in American deaths that they have vulnerabilities.
Iraq has many Amerucan troops and many enemies.
The lid will go on if Russia continues to allow America no consequences for their actions
China creates it’s own ‘money’ out of thin air, it can only owe it to itself or perhaps some failing enterprise owes it through intermediaries to the CCB. The US debt is owed by the government to the Fed who owes it to the private banks which own the Fed and those private banks owe it to their bondholders who are the same people who own majority interests in all corporations and through them all the politicians. So whilst it’s a simple matter for the Chinese ‘party’ to cancel debt, in the US it’s difficult.
The Chinese have, for years, been looking and finding opportunities to spend their useless US holdings on developments in countries which are drowning in US debt, this way they turn the useless debt into new opportunities.
“On the financial front, cautious Chinese banks, with enormous western exposure, are always balancing the fact that nearly 80 percent of global cross-border transactions are still in dollars and euros, and only two percent in yuan. So the Russian market is not exactly a priority.” Pepe Escobar stated.
Not being financial experts, the one thing we know about China and its “enormous western exposure” is that the Chinese are still holds billions of US Treasury Bills.
Why China hasn’t tried to remove itself away from “that exposure” we do not know. We need someone well versed in this specific issue. Any takers here?
We wish this specific question would be ask Dr. Michael Hudson. We are sure, he would know why.
Thank you, Saker and Mr. Escobar for providing such valuable information.
China accumulates U.S. debt because it has no alternative to convert its balance of trade surplus with the U.S. They would have to cut back imports to the U.S. which would crash their own economy. For now, they have little choice until there is a replacement trade flow set up with non-western economic systems. They will gradually wean themselves free of the western banks. Its in their best interest to do so and they have signaled the same. It will take years, and a corresponding build up of a Eurasian business model.
The cutting back of exports to the USA will not crash China. In fact nothing USA can do to China will crash them. It is the other way around. China has been slowly getting rid of us treasuries and has already turned to consumer growth.
That is internal consumers, which is what America has for decades, but with a huge difference. China manufactures everything. Manufacturing is long gone in America, whose main export is selling expensive weapons.
There is no hidden Chinese debt. That was put out by some of your thousands of pundits who daily put out feel-good assumptions to keep you from seeing your own problems. Remember when their largest real estate was in trouble, and the government gave them time to first re-emburse the Chinese people who bought homes?
You pundits talked of china collapsing. You don’t talk about that now. Hidden debt- keep hoping.
In 2008 the housing market collapsed and thousands lost their homes. Who was bailed out?. The banks.
China continues to make billions in trade with the west and will continue until you steal their money. That will herald your complete collapse which was always coming.
The Chinese banks are cautious, but when instructed by the government, they will change at the time when the government sees fit.
This year trade between china and Russia increased by over 1000%. Yes, I deal in facts, not assumptions based on bias and predujices.
China’s US forex reserves are very large – $3.2T. Some of that are T-Bills.
Their investment enemy is US inflation. But both the China Yuan and Russian Ruble are gold backed, and protected from that inflation. Theft too.
Trying to erase another country’s foreign debt by foreclosing on their old bank accounts, won’t make the gold disappear from it’s rightful owner without legit trade. That’s a fact.
Imposing sanctions this way could be an economical form of ‘roullette.’ Not for Russia or China.
But for anyone living outside their ‘orbit.’
You mean Russian roulette? :)
China also hold trillions of US/UK/West manufacturing infrastructure in China and if the US/West steals China’s US Treasury holdings China will nationalize the West’s investments in China.
Both side have huge cudgels.
China faces two problems in disposing of its U.S.dollar deposits.
First, selling dollars would lower the dollar’s exchange rate — and increase that of the currencies receiving the dollars (or the price of gold, if China bought it).
Geopolitically, China has opened its market more to the U.S. financial hoping that it can mitigate the Biden administration’s hatred of China. the assumption is that Wall Street must have some effect on the Democrats and Blob. But it seems that the administration has a nearly racial hatred of China, and is not consulting the Fed, the Treasury or Wall Street on its new Cold War policy.
Despite these concerns, I expect China to depolarize in a quiet fashion designed to minimize U.S. anger — as if somehow the US CAN be non-angry not so bullying.
The time for walking on eggshells is over.
The US is now washing its dirty linen in public, dirty is not a strong enough adjective, maybe blood soaked.
Take the Asian merchants/commerce/retail out of America and hopeless becomes basket case.
Why would China in this day and age be concerned about American Oligarchic racism? Is it racism as were it motivated by economic interest America would be forced to behave exactly as they are doing now threaten China existentially. Relentlessly, comprehensively wiithout pause cease or let if they hope to survive as ‘the globalist elite’ and impose on the globe…’Re-Set’ the globe to the liking of the western oligarchic needs.
Such behaviour by current Chinese Bankers reminds of a 19 cenury century Chinese comprador much complict in the fall of China to the west, whose nick I cant or the life of me recall, nor do I have the time to research it. But the Chinese ought to be wasting no time or opportunity setting up their own interest as impregnable relative to the west, so that weather western attack is motived by racism or general economic interest is immaterial. It means the same thing.
It means the same thing all round as Chinese destruction of the power of the US$ by taking care of its own national interest means the liberation of the world from US domination in conjunction with every other nation that looks after itself nationally by looking after its own national interest. Who cares what they are motivated by as long as they can do no harm and must order their own behavior and relations with other nations same way… by self interest moderated by what is possible and positive and mutually/generally beneficial
I would be very careful dealing with the Chinese bankers. They ought to be fully aware their finaicial behavior is under full scrutiny for all negative, comprador potential.
« the Biden administration’s hatred of China »
Why focus on that particular administration? Isn’t it just a front & facade put up to mask the fact that US foreign policy is always the same in its evil objectives?
Bashar al-Assad said that in Syria, nothing is expected of a change of president in the US because the president is just like the CEO of a corporation which is steered by the administrative council or board of directors or whatever it might be called in English, and which consists of the interests of the oil and weapons and finance and other big player interests. The president has neither the right nor the power to change or challenge the decisions of the board or council. He is just there to personify and implement and sell these decisions.
Thanks Pepe as always for infusing our brains with much needed oxygen in a timely manner. It is suffocating to watch the neocons wreak havoc
Glazyev for President of the NEW, NATIONALIZED, Central Bank of Russia!
Elvira Nabiullina for Governor of the Kremlin Dumpsters.
Just a matter of time. The will has been formed.
…If the US and China…it won’t be the first time those two bayonet each other for some hill and embracing die happily ever after.
Sorry, which economy is being talk about? Libidinal Economy, or the good old Political Economy? Place your bets!
Poverty, violence, racism, fascism, war, refuges, famine, deception and destruction, loss of life, all supposed to be resting in the the good old political economy. Really? No way out of this vicious circle? Wait for the necromancers to pull a trick out their sleeves? Did the great reset defused too?
And the Casino Economy? are we past that one? everyone loves that one, either virtual or on scratchers! Let it spin…and in the adrenaline rush at the odds someone may ask, Is Paris Burning yet?
Glaezyev is loading his gun with paper blanks instead of solid gold bullets it will take to destroy the US Dollar. I’m afraid it is going to be a dud.
In this area I think the Russians are a lot more realistic/tuned into reality than the Chinese. China still thinks it can somehow exert control within the US elite via finances but it’s about to find out the hard way that finances are not sacrosanct to the true US elite , they are just a tool of the empire. The Elon Musks of the world and their hopes for Chinese factories are just pawns to the real US elite(who control the US intelligence, military, educational, medical, etc. industries),
The US wants China as a vassal colony much like France, Germany, UK, etc, in the minds of the Western elite there is no room for China as a sovereign state. The Western elite tried to co-op China via financial means over many decades but it didn’t work now the Western elite will look to target China militarily via proxies(Australia, Japan, SK, etc.). China has a nuclear armed proxy in NK which actually gives them an edge over Russia as Russia does not have a nuclear armed proxy.
The Western elite is getting close to forcing the Chinese to reveal the cards it is holding via Taiwan. It’s hard to say how the Chinese will respond, in my opinion they are not as battle hardened as the Russians. The Russian culture is just more confrontational if it needs to be I get the sense, while the Chinese seek compromise on the world stage. The Russians had clearly been gaining field operational experience as well as leadership experience militarily in Syria all this time and it is clearly starting to show. The Chinese simply don’t have that and I can’t think of any major Chinese battlefield action recently other than the Korean War which seemed to involved mass charges/overwhelm the enemy via numbers which wouldn’t really work in modern war scenarios.
They better get ready as their hand is about to get called soon.
I worry about that with the Chinese too. Unlike the Russians there military hasn’t been “bloodied” in combat in decades. They need to get experience in combat. At least China should have military observers attached to Russian units in Syria and Ukraine to see and transmit learning to Chinese staff and soldiers.Having a well equipped 2 million man military is good. But without some experience there is no way to know how that military can function in combat.And I’d say that about the North Korean military as well. Sending observers to the Russians would help a lot for both of them.
Well, it is the western way of looking at other countries and nations. (I suppose, most people have never been to China.) Just because, no one had really seen/known any Chinese invasion/attack since the WW2, it doesn’t mean the Chinese can’t fight, and fight to win. It is not a trench war we are looking at. If China starts a war, look at the near earth space. If an invasion of Taiwan begins, some satellites might start falling out of near space, before that. Anyway, I think the Chinese army is one of the most disciplined armies in the world, and the Chinese has got very good strategists — well, China had become a world economic power not without excellent strategists.
Anyway, the US of A is just a large island between two oceans, far away from the Global South, without much or any friends in the rest of the world. The only concept is the USD, but money is not a friend as such.
In the end, there are many Chinese and maybe not battle-tested but resistant. Does the Chinese military chief have contact with Iran? Have talked/met each other several times?
So the Chinese farmers are really tough as I got to know them. They would make a lot of things possible. The clowns around Tik Tok, Tencent and all the other idiots blinded by the West are the problem. There are endless manipulations possible and these are criminals like Krawalny who sell mothers for money.
I would trust China, they have their experience with war, occupation, suffering and a history like no other country. Chinese people are proud and also opaque. In the end, 1 billion people are not only an economic power, they are also a power to resist, especially in their own country.
At the moment I see the dependencies to the West as critical, this capitalist vein that has haunted some there.
In the end, it will be exciting to see how China reacts under real pressure. Then it will become clear whether Chinese politics, like Russia, has done its job.
Russia has some high officials who make remarks that are stunning, and unnecessary (“loose cannons”). Glazyev in this quote says two things, the first one amateurish and the second one is his job: “The introduction of this currency instrument in Eurasia will entail the collapse of the dollar system and the final undermining of the US military and political power. It is necessary to start negotiations on signing an appropriate international treaty within the framework of the SCO.” Naturally, one statement in the quote does not need the other and vice versa. Elsewhere, Medvedev said that Biden had decided not to send long-range artillery because he knew Russia would respond by attacking U.S. installations. Biden then decided that he is sending “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” (NYT column). Unless Putin told him to say that (or to speak as if he were Putin), it was wrong of Medvedev to put Russia in a bind. He sounded tougher than Putin, but at what price? Was that good international politics? I don’t think so. Only Putin and Lavrov have the experience and the talent to speak so. Patrushev, Glazyev, Medvedev are not ready for the limelight they are claiming for themselves with wild statements. Sooner of later Putin will notice it, I guess. You have several persons who are not president and who make declarations that a president makes, which Putin is not making, but who knows how to when he does make them. Peskov is great most of the time, but he said before the war that if a war happened the “map of Europe” could be changed like with WWII, and it’s not clear if he was speaking as a spokesman or like Medvedev, Patrushev, or Glazyev. Do you know? Too many “loose cannons” create confusion.
The membership of the SCO is given in the fifth paragraph; the membership of the EAEU is given in the seventh paragraph…I struggled earlier with that; it’s interesting that Teheran is offering to Moscow gas turbines in exchange for minerals and that barter arrangements are gaining ground!
“Extremely fearful of provoking US sanctions, Chinese banks are refraining – at least for the moment – to increase their deals with Russian banks…”
Another reason for Glazyev to cool his rhetoric…
“The Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have restricted financing for Russian commodities. Even the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) […] decided to freeze all lending to Russia and Belarus in early March to “safeguard” its “financial integrity.””
I think Paul Craig Roberts recommended that Russia print whatever money it needs. I agree with that anyway. What is the Chinese cash backed by? It’s paper money, right? In the same way Russia does not want to indebt itself with the World Bank, it should not indebt itself with China. If it’s paper money, Russia can print its own. Why should the Russian paper money cause inflation and not the Chinese paper money? Just because one is Russian and the other one Chinese? It should not borrow from the Chinese.
“Moscow is eyeing crypto and digital currencies already.” Earlier, “the model of a new global settlement currency pegged to baskets of national currencies and commodities.” Would the global settlement currency be the crypto-digital currency?
“…it is clear that Washington decision makers want no negotiation, but an endless war to the last Ukrainian.”
“Last Ukrainian” is a figure of speech. Literally, it’s not what was wanted, but it was fair as a figure of speech. Right now, it’s not true even as a figure of speech. There’s a big flux right now. The uncertainties grew. They don’t want to fight it to the “last Ukrainian.” Biden makes clear in his ridiculous NYT column today – ‘ridiculous’ because no U.S. president has ever before made such an announcement – that the objective is to achieve a stalemate and a negotiation to end the war. He needs to visit this website. It’s amazing that he believes in that stalemate. Putin makes an address to his nation or televises a whole cabinet meeting where a decision is made. Biden joins the columnists at the NYT but is the president. (“I’m from China”, people say in Spanish when things get too embarrassing.)
Well, nevertheless, Iran is an evil criminal regime.
Don’t take the enemy of my enemy as a friend…
An Iran that hangs 16-year-old girls (keyword Atefeh) and or executes homosexuals…… no, he can never be my friend.
Of course, you also have to get along with Iran somehow, more badly, right….. that’s how it is, but it remains a very lousy regime.
“An Iran that hangs 16-year-old girls (keyword Atefeh) and or executes homosexuals…… no, he can never be my friend.”
I understand that it used to be like that. It’s not like that anymore. I remember Brazilian president Lula interceding once for an Iranian condemned to death. The death sentence was executed. You know, Lula may have been successful beyond that one case, for sure to some extent at least. They stopped doing that. They care about their international image. If a nice Brazilian fellow thinks you’re a savage, maybe that’s what you are. They changed. If it still happens, it’s very seldom now. The largest community of Jews in the Middle East lives in Iran today (after Israel). Let it not be forgotten. Are they happy in Iran? Aha. Are they being executed or tortured in Iran? It would be reported widely if so. Do they have representation in the Iranian parliament? Yes. Are they rich in Iran? Yes. Synagogues? Sure.
Pierce Morgan asked Ahmadinehad if he would allow his daughter to marry a Jewish man. He basically answered why not and recounted some of the above. Some of them emigrated to LA. I don’t know very much about it, but I heard that a lot of the Iranian restaurants there were opened by them (maybe one or few of them). I wish I could eat there once a while (I average once every two years). They have this “Pistachios Iranian Ice Cream” that tastes like a detergent the first bite you take, and then it gets tastier and finally it’s the best ice cream you ever had.
Agree with both Walter Roth and tranquilocomp points. Iran since the 1979 Revolution has been at loggerheads with the West in what is known as the British, French, American Zionist … cultural invasion directed against Islamic nations. As a traditional family based society, in a sense they’re very much correct, since in the west matters revolve around individual rights and personal gains…etc. but in Islam mostly around family unit. The Iranians since eons and particularly in the past 40 years have been busy improvising own local standards to set up laws as defense mechanism countering the Western cultural invasion narrative. However, once Iran joins the new Eurasian and SCO systems, for sure they would need to make necessary adjustments. At the same time most ordinary Iranians don’t bother too much about rules and regulations in the strict sense. It’s very easy to notice that by observing how people follow the rules when driving their cars, i.e. nonexistent. Again that would need changing for sure. Fortunately, the countries of Eurasia, Central Asia and Armenia have good grasps of the Iranian culture and certainly don’t pose any of that Western style cultural invasion threats which nowadays has been transformed into the higher rank lgbtq format.
One can bet the Chinese have war-gamed this to infinity and have a plan of which Russia is the sharp end of the stick. The Chinese will not act rashly or be baited. Time is on their side and Russia’s SMO was done in full coordination with them.
Just like Russia is supposedly using only 10% of its military capacity on the SMO, it is clear China and Russia are using just a fraction of their ability to break the dollar hegemony. While the energy payment in rubles has caught Empire flat footed and left the EU befuddled and bemused, one gets the feeling the real show hasn’t started yet.
The West in its hubris thinks Ukraine is winning and that AUKUS can somehow take on China.
As always, Escobar nails the issues clearly and concisely. In the end, it is the victory in he financial and trade war over the US and its (for now) European vassals, that is going to be much more important than victory in the shooting war with the Ukraine(which is anyway a given). It is increasingly likely that the consequence of losing the sanctions and financial war with Russia, will lead to the break up of the European Union – or at least its gradual disintegration into something far more like the original Common Market. It is abdundantly clear now that the US is using the crisis to further its own economic interests with the Europeans paying extortionate rates for American LNG and being obliged to tool up with American weapons on a scale never before seen. Combined with the strains on the creaking Welfare States and sciety in general brought on by virtually unrestrcted immigration of hordes of unskilled unintegratable fighting age young men from the Third World, ruination beckons. This will ultimately drag the US down too – and perhaps precipitate its own break-up. We are on the cusp of geopolitical shifts, not seen since the unravelling of the European empires in the mid 20th century, perhaps not since the fall of the Roman Empire?
It’s sad about China. They are against the sanctions and are afraid in the end. They should finally realize that they are going to be another victim. Complete withdrawal from the West, withdraw monetary values and build independence. In the end, my neighbor is number one and not imperialists, racists and dictators like the US / EU regimes. In Europe, the tone is now becoming more insulting towards China every day.
Dear Mr Escobar,
Can I ask you to write something about PAKISTAN?
Empire of lies bribed the opposition…. Imran held demos of 1 million people in several cities.
Refused in capital.
Do we fear for Imran’s life?
Pakistann was/is crucial for Belt and Road initiative.
Please inform us,
Keep the good work going, best greetings
In a game of chest, China would be the queen, Russia a tower and Iran a knight. The queen needs protecting as it provides prosperity from its safe home, the tower can move fast and decisively from one end of the board to the other and the knight can jump here and there confounding the opposing camp.
I like to see a stronger role for the Eurasian Union and an enlarged BRICS. The SCO and the R&B give China too much influence. If we want to avoid one thing, it’s another system where one member dominates all others. We need a system where all players have a role and no one can lord it over the others. China’s manufacturing and technology machine will be a dominant factor anyways. As a realist, one has to admit that human nature is human nature.
Maybe Europe comes to its senses in a couple of years and realizes that the iron curtain the US is erecting in Ukraine is keeping Europe out in the cold. Well, I won’t hold my breath. The US’s last iron curtain lasted quite a bit longer.
I love your analogy, Humwawa – especially because of its flexibility! And I have a suggestion for the king piece – world peace!
I have no doubt that all these questions are for many months, on the Xi Jimping table. China knows that is a matter of time until US and theirs lapdogs from Europe to point a target on China in order to weak it. I believe that Chinas’s authorities are aware and proceeding to avoid more damages to the country as well as region.
“There is a careful balancing act” for all the protagonists, all are walking a tightrope and all risk falling. To avoid the cataclysmic war they all want to avoid, they must look honestly at history.
Very good analysis. The Evil US Empire of Lies and its vassals want to criminally prolong the war and kill to the last Ukranian. Its a shame. The US Empire of Lies is a sham democracy santioning countries with evil cruel intentions. a very very cruel sham with many examples – Destruction of Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Congo, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, etc where US and its vassals have killed millions of innocent people mostly women and children. The US is the only nation on earth to murder people using chemical, biological and Nuclear weapons; and starvation through sanctions! It is a sick nation with a blood thirsty war mongering criminal government. Shame to any nation or countries participating in US criminality against the best interest of their peoples. These nations should also be put on trial.
IIRC it was M. Hudson that clued me into the Japanese financial collapse in the early ‘90s that it was orchestrated by the USA, they were getting too big for their britches and daring to spend/invest their surplus rather than allowing the USA to recycle it. Japanese global expansion was a big deal back then (symbolized by buying Rockefeller Ct.) but they have been a global bench warmer ever since. Japan getting economically smacked down twice in 30 years really highlights Kissinger’s statement about USA’s enemies and friends.
Remind you of anything? Daring to put your surplus to work to earn financial and political capital before it gets recycled back to the USA is what China, the BRICS, and BRI are all about and the mortal sin against USA hegemony.
I always figured China’s huge holding of USA bonds was among other things a hedge against any orchestrated run on their currency. I’m not great on macro but seems that if you have too little dollar reserves you risk a run on your currency destroying your economy if ever the USA decides to knock you down a notch, even if you hold a decent reserve you’ll get crippled, but if you have 1-1.5 trillion dollars of holdings it’s downright impossible for any market force even with the full complicity of the USA govt. and Fed to force a run on your currency, all those t-bills dumped on the market at once would do more harm to the USA than China. It’ll be interesting to see the USA vs China celebrity death match if China really winds down it’s holdings – at what point will the USA make it’s move?
Remember China’s buying of USA bonds is what allowed the USA to de-industrialize while maintaining high consumption and huge asset appreciation of last 30 ys. That “wealth factor” and USA consumption is what allowed China’s development to an advanced industrial power. The petro-dollar and vast bond holdings by export countries is the foundation of the USA’s debt economy. Bizarro-world peverted economic logic actually made this fantastic for the USA as the flip side of every debt is an asset that can be leveraged many times as collateral to blow epic bubbles, as long as you are the issuer of the debt and corrupt enough to allow a rigged valuation system, regulatory capture, and a compromised central bank, all of which the USA has and them some.
I agree with the poster that said China could afford to loose that trillion seeing it as the price it paid to become a prosperous advanced country. Sort of like borrowing money to become a doctor, even if afterwards you loose your life savings at the roulette table in Vegas, you’re still a doctor. USA at this point is like a bankrupt gangster, not much left except wits and guns, desperate and dangerous. Think Tony Montana.
On the topic of China’s enormous foreign currency reserves, it is important to remember that these serve primarily as a mechanism for issuance of Yuans into the Chinese economy.
They also serve to fund purchases of commodities and industrial & consumer goods from outside. Most of the latter are food products. Many/most countries from which China buys are countries that need “hard currencies” in order to issue their domestic currencies into their own economies. If you’re a member of the IMF, that’s how the IMF $y$tem works. IMF members who are not issuers of one of the IMF’s “hard currencies” can issue their own currencies into their own economies only insofar as their holdings of said “hard currencies” can back the issuance. Even now, Russia is so restricted and has long been criticized for staying within its IMF obligations.
That, BTW, is why poor countries stay poor. They’re forced to sell primary commodities to get the hard currencies needed to allow issuance of their own, but the revenues are only rarely high enough to go into sufficient surplus to front-load development. As they’re hostage to commodity markets controlled by the West, they find themselves on a treadmill going nowhere. The hard currency they get from their commodities suffices for little more issuance than can keep the local economy sputtering along. If somebody wants to build, say, a factory he has to the bring money from outside because the local economy simply doesn’t have it to spare except at exorbitant rates. Of course, their commodity reserves eventually deplete and they fall into austerity and/or political strife. Exceptions to this are countries with a wide variety of commodities in high demand such as Russia.
If the IMF $y$tem blows up (a fundamental part of the Great Reset), those “hard currencies” will suddenly soften and the IMF Agreements will swiftly become null & void. At that point, the value represented by all Central Bank reserves may indeed vaporize, but Russia’s recent moves lay the ground work for an entirely new system. Very different from what Davos Man has in mind. Namely, a monetary system underpinned by assets. Real wealth/ The beauty of that is that resource rich but economically poor countries would be able to issue their own currencies against commodity reserves, and so front-load development without having to sell the asset first. If you squint hard enough you’ll see them all keeping their fingers crossed that Russia’s got what it takes to stand its ground through the coming storms.
The net result is that China (et al) don’t suddenly become poorer if their reserves go poof!. In China’s case, in addition to the circulating Yuans, it’s got a whole country with the broadest and deepest industrial and civil infrastructure in the world, underpinning some $60B (in PPP terms) in daily economic activity by its 1.4B busy, productive citizens. That juggernaut is up and running, and it won’t simply die because the PBoC’s reserves blew up. Most of that $60B/day will continue merrily, and any shortfall will rapidly be recovered as the economy finds new channels of value flow.
IOW, everybody’s reserves will soon be rubbish, but if things play out the way Russia/China and their fellow travellers appear to be working on we can expect a speed bump, but it won’t be a train wreck. Real wealth, natural and human resources, will remain intact.
Simply put, the upside-down wealth pyramid that’s prevailed over the last 4 or 5 decades is reverting to status quo ante. The word’s Producers are retaking the field. They will prosper. Parasites and Consumers will be forced to become productive or become economic backwaters, with little say in how the world is run.
That’s why Davos Man’s knickers are in a twist, and growing tighter by the day. The uber-parasite has worked himself into zugzwang on the Grand Chessboard and is looking increasingly desperately for a way out short of overturning the board.
floating E-Yuan is the only alternative of weight that can counter dollar domination.. the rest is just fancy barter.
I just wish they’d get on with it!
The rest of the world is waiting patiently in the wings to stop the march of the Western Beast