The news that China and Russia have signed a $400 billion deal through which Gazprom will supply China National Petroleum Corp with 30 years of natural gas is the clearest illustration yet that Russia will be looking east, not west, for international funding.
Last week, in Will China Save Russia With Investment?, I reported a series of new Russia-China deals were about to be launched by the two countries’ sovereign wealth funds, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and China Investment Corporation. Those deals have since been announced: they involve Vcanland, a developer of tourism infrastructure and senior living communities; the first ever railway bridge over the Amur River on the Russia-China border; and logistics services investment.In dollar terms, they may have involved as much as $1 billion of investment, but while the number itself is insignificant compared to the outflows Russia is experiencing, the trend is very important – and is underlined by the new gas deal.
Russia’s central bank says that $63.7 billion of money left Russia in capital outflows in the first quarter of this year; the IMF is forecasting $100 billion of outflows for the full year. Others think those numbers conservative. Russian access to the international capital markets has dried up, and with vast infrastructure needs – just think of the FIFA World Cup, coming up in 2018 – that is a problem. So what to do? It can’t get those sorts of portfolio flows anywhere else, but it can bolster its foreign direct investment, or other forms of international trade. And China, which does not share the west’s sense of outrage about Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine, is the perfect candidate.
~Education is the key~rockingjude
“Although low inflation is generally good, inflation that is too low can pose risks to the economy – especially when the economy is struggling.” - Ben Bernanke
“The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake.” – Alan Greenspan
There you have it – the wisdom of two Ivy League educated economists who are primarily liable for the death of the American middle class. They now receive $250,000 per speaking engagement from the crooked financial parties their monetary policies benefited; write books to try and whitewash their legacies of failure, fraud, and hubris; and bask in the glow of the corporate mainstream media propaganda storyline of them saving the world from financial Armageddon. Never have two men done so much damage to so many people, so quickly, and are not in a prison cell or swinging from a lamppost. Their crimes make Madoff look like a two bit marijuana dealer.
The self-proclaimed Great Depression “expert” Ben Bernanke peddles pabulum about inflation being too low and posing dire risk to the economy, but is blasé that swelling the Federal Reserve balance sheet debt from $900 billion in 2008 to $4.4 trillion today with his digital printing press poses any systematic risk to the country and its citizens. Either his years in academia have blinded him to the reality of his actions upon the lives of real people living in the real world, or his real constituents have not been the American people, but the Wall Street bankers that pulled his puppet strings over the last eight years.
A must read about the possibility of Cyber – war and China please read: Threat Vector by Tom Clancy~rockingjude
By Patrick Martin
Global Research, May 20, 2014
A federal grand jury has indicted five officers of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army on computer hacking, economic espionage and other charges, officials of the US Department of Justice announced at a press conference Monday morning.
The indictment is unprecedented under international law, as it aims to criminalize actions allegedly carried out not by individual hackers, or “rogue” elements, but by serving officers in the armed forces of a major country. It is calculated to provoke a confrontation between the US and Chinese governments.
“These represent the first ever charges against known state actors for infiltrating US commercial targets by cyber means,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at the press briefing, emphasizing that the Obama administration was undertaking a major escalation in its anti-China policy. “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response.”
The five men, named as Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, are said to be officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, based in Shanghai. Each faces 31 counts of computer and economic crimes. While none is in US custody, the charges would carry lengthy prison sentences.
The alleged targets of the hacking include Westinghouse Electric Co., United States Steel, Alcoa Inc., Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, and the United Steel Workers union, which represents some workers at those companies.
Westinghouse is the major US builder of nuclear power plants, and built four such facilities in China in 2010-2011. The other companies entered into production agreements with Chinese companies during that time, or were engaged in trade litigation, as was the USW. The Chinese officers supposedly used cyber-warfare techniques to gain access to internal e-mails and other confidential materials at all six organizations.
By Desmond Lachman Monday, May 19, 2014
The U.S. dollar will remain the world’s reserve currency because no other major currency offers such liquidity, depth of financial markets, and store of value.
Some years ago, I attended a small luncheon on the outlook for the U.S. dollar. Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, was the guest of honor. In response to a chorus of Cassandras who argued that the U.S. economy’s all too apparent weaknesses wouldlead to an inevitable dollar collapse, Volcker made a simple observation: For the dollar to depreciate, he said, it would necessarily have to depreciate against another currency. And in Volcker’s view, at that time, the U.S. economy was fundamentally no weaker than that of any competing countries.
Volcker’s logic would seem equally pertinent today in responding to the many critics who believe that the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented quantitative easing policy will lead to the dollar’s imminent demise as a reserve currency. If the dollar is to lose its reserve status, as epitomized by the fact that more than 60 percent of the world’s foreign exchange and more than 85 percent of world trade is still denominated in U.S. dollars, some other currency would need to replace it. A close examination of the world’s other major currencies reveals that a currency is yet to emerge that offers the liquidity, depth of financial markets, andstore of value that the U.S. dollar does.
To be sure, when viewed in isolation, there are many reasons not to be complacent about the U.S. dollar’s long-run future. After all, the U.S. economy is only now emerging from its worst economic and financial crisis since the 1930s. At the same time, itsdysfunctional political system is yet to come to grips with the country’s long-term budget issues, while the Federal Reserve has more than quadrupled the size of its balance sheet to its present level of around $4 trillion in an effort to get the U.S. economy moving again.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has promised his country’s assistance in providing robust infrastructure transformation for Nigeria and other African states.
To signal how seriously China, the world’s second-largest economy, takes its growing ties with Africa, Keqiang announced new funding commitments of $12 billion to Africa and Nigeria, the biggest economy on the continent.
“We will add $10 billion to our already committed credit lines to reach a total of $30 billion and put an extra $2 billion into the China-Africa Development Fund to reach $5 billion,” said Keqiang in a powerful speech at the first plenary session of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Africa yesterday.
“We will provide 18,000 scholarships to Africa and train 30,000 professionals of various types. The Chinese government means what it says, our co-operation with Africa will be based on mutual benefit,” Keqiang said.
Keqiang is visiting Nigeria with a 100-man delegation for the WEF Africa.
The Chinese and African economies are complementary to each other, according to Keqiang, with Africa needing investments, and China having surplus.
To realise inclusive growth, which is the theme of the WEF, infrastructure, especially transportation, must be at the fore front, and China would assist Africa in building high-speed rail networks, Keqiang said.
Africa currently has 23 percent of the world’s landmass, but only 7 percent of global rail lines.
China would also provide assistance for building and expanding Africa’s express and motorways, as well as build out a regional aviation network for the continent.
“China proposes a China-Africa regional aviation plan through an aviation joint venture with African partners,” Keqiang said. China will also support the movement of labour-intensive Chinese industries and enterprises to Africa to help with job creation.