Asian Nations Start Currency Reforms to End their Use of Dollars
On December 25, 2011 it was reported that the world’s second and third largest economies will open currency swap lines in a move to side-step the U.S dollar and conduct trade in their own currencies. In a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jianbao they officially announced their governments’ intentions to conduct bilateral trade in yuan-yen without using U.S. dollars. The Japanese government said direct yen-yuan settlement should reduce currency risks and trading costs. Japan also announced it will start buying Renminbi bonds to hold as a reserve currency.
China and Japan, long time adversaries who disagree on most issues with regards to foreign policy can agree on one thing…to stop using dollars. Japan also topped off a busy week by signing a currency swap agreement with India with the same stated goal of moving bilateral trade between the two countries out of the USD.
Fascinating the above news item was announced on December 25th – a perverse Christmas gift one might cynically say ! But rather than a radical break , this just represents a trend that includes Russia and China trading with Iran in currencies other than the dollar. And just yesterday , india announced it would buy oil from Iran in rupeees – so much for following the West’s oil embargo demands !
The move away from the dollar mirrors a similar trend we have seen – the fleeing of investors from stocks as the game has begun to viewed as rigged beyond rational participation. Stock volumes ex HFT trading have been dropping over the past 18 months or so ( following the infamous flash crash in May of 2010 ) , retail investors have withdrawn funds from domestic mutual funds over the same timeframe and with the advent of the MF Global debacle for investors – revulsion has moved to the CME as well after all , once bitten , twice shy – losing 1.2 billion in customer accounts has a funny way of making the corruption clear .
So is it really a surprise to note that during the timeframe where retail investors have fled the broken hovels called markets , that a grand uptick in color revolutions have bloomed . ” MENA ” came into the lexicon last year and as the New Year as begun , Syria and Iran adventures stand in the on deck circle – just waiting for their turn at bat. Does the media even discuss the ongoing chaos of Militia rule in Libya anymore , how often do you read anything about the NTC , Is Saif ( Gaddafi captured son ) still alive and who holds him captive again ? When push comes to shove , what will Russia and China do regarding any mass destruction campaign directed toward Iran – how long before we see / read or hear about some type of incident is the Strait of Hormuz? To the last point , recall Iran warned when the USS John C..Stennis left the Gulf at the end of December , the advice from Iran’s Army chief Salehi was ” I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf.We are not in the habit of warning more than one time. ” While a date has not yet been announced , US officials expect the next transit of a carrier to be routine – and they are probably correct. But what if Iran chooses to start a War at the time and place of its own choosing ? Any predictions as to where such an other event might take us would depend the reaction of numerous nations , whose agendas aren’t aligned with the West.
As Iran gears up for its latest Great Prophet exercise in Febuary , let’s see if the next Carrier transit occurs during that same timeframe – and then we shall see what happens next !