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China’s Communist Chairman Xi Jinping delivered a prepared speech to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference on Saturday and stayed far away from mentioning the challenge of a U.S. -vs- China trade reset.
Those who follow China’s historic patterns will note careful and intentional inferences within Chairman Xi’s remarks as shared by SCMP media:
[…] While the Belt and Road Initiative has faced an increasing international pushback amid fears it is saddling poorer countries with unsustainable debts, Xi’s speech steered clear of this and other sensitive topics.
Instead he praised the initiative for helping to improve international ties, adding: “Our circle of friends is expanding.”
“Circle of friends” defined as those political suckers (selfish and corrupt political parasites willing to sell out their countries’ best interest) who accept the smiling panda face and completely ignore the cunning dragon behind the mask maneuvering to enslave the locals.
[…] Xi only made terse references to the country’s economy development, which is facing its biggest challenges in a decade as growth slows and concerns grow that the country will not be able to achieve its growth target of 6.5 per cent for this year.
Xi did not highlight any particular economic achievements over the past year and said only that next year the party would continue to promote stable economic development.
[…] Looking ahead to the coming year, Xi reminded delegates of his three key policy priorities – fighting pollution, corruption and poverty – and said the year offered challenges and opportunities to build a “well-off society in an all-round way”.
2019 will mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and Xi told his audience they should make the strengthening of ideological and political guidance a priority. “Winning people’s hearts is the biggest political battle,” he said. “Consensus is the power for forging ahead.” (more)
Yes, it’s always a precarious balancing act when Xi must find a way to keep the pesky pitchforks at bay, and simultaneously build the largest domestic surveillance program in the history of totalitarianism.
I have no doubt the Trump administration has strategic plans to leverage trade access to the U.S. market as part of a way they can destabilize Chairman Xi if needed.
Also, Xi knows this subtle and Trumpian angle is a much larger risk than readily appears at the surface.
Xi knows Trump knows; and Trump knows, Xi knows that Trump knows.
And so we dance…
President Trump is the first U.S. President to understand how the red dragon hides behind the panda mask. The entire planet is focused on the dynamic of Chairman Xi and President Trump. Billions waged on tweets, coded messages, hints of smiles. Epic stuff.
In the multinational finance world this financial face-off is bigger than the all military world wars combined. This is legendary stuff here. Bigger than any legacy initiative ever fathomed by all Presidents in decades. Every nuance and inference is carefully reviewed by Wall Street’s ‘Big Club’ looking for any leverage to influence the outcome.
The funniest thing is Donald Trump doesn’t care about all that. He has the desired ‘America First’ outcome gamed out for decades: We finally win, China acquiesces.
The Wall Street global financial crowd is on pins-and-needles hoping desperately the confrontation between China and the U.S. doesn’t escalate.
Meanwhile, blue-collar Main Street USA is hoping ‘bull-in-a-china-shop-Trump‘ punches Xi in the nose; as retaliation for decades of designed exploitation and globalist erosion of our manufacturing and industrial base. Diplomatically of course.
In 2019 the bamboo forest is in real risk of shrinking…
It may not be popular to keep pointing out, but this is the stuff President Trump really cares about. The Deep State, DC Swamp, Mueller, Comey, Michael Cohen, congressional hearings…. confrontations, resistance efforts…. and all that ‘spygate’ and surveillance stuff is way over there…. Something that is necessarily attended to, but in the larger scheme of things, far less important.
President Trump has fifty years of business skills in various predatory and adversarial financial deals. Leverage, or the ability to force an opponent to take an action that benefits your position, is the most valuable weapon in deals; business or politics the same is true.
Leverage and influence is extremely valuable and it’s not just against Democrats and the Never Trump alliance (ie. Sea Island group). President Trump is in a fight against multiple enemies from all sides, across all aisles and political alignments.
The declassification leverage is a weapon; an atomic hammer that strikes everyone in a 360° blast radius. President Trump is not going to waste it to remove a few political gnats.
And it is not limited to domestic adversaries. This leverage has a geopolitical value.
Think about geopolitical trade deals with Five-Eyes allies. Think about how President Trump may need an ally to take a position adverse to their preferred interests. The potential for declassification of intelligence documents showing complicit corruption within the U.K. and Australia could destroy politicians external to the U.S.
Think about an ally being asked to take a position on China (trade), Iran (sanctions), Russia (energy), etc. Movement on any of these geopolitical issues, and many more, can be tilted -in part- based on the threat of sunlight or declassification. Leverage is a tool.
Getting particular democrats to support the USMCA; what’s that worth?
Getting a southern border wall and sensible immigration law; what’s that worth?
What does President Trump value? What is important to him?
What part of the transactional relationship can be enhanced by leverage? Pro-tip: it’s not personal; it is not leverage to benefit Trump personally; he doesn’t care about that shallow stuff… his view of the horizon is much longer, much further; much more consequential.
It annoys the heck out of many people, me included, that Donald Trump is willing to absorb so much inbound fire, unnecessarily; which, by extension, means that his supporters are forced to absorb so much inbound and unnecessary fire; but he is.
What is President Trump’s primary objective? Save the U.S.A. through economics.
Economic security is national security.
I think much of our angst is because we look too short-term; and the media does a great job of convincing us President Trump is selfish. Perhaps they are correct. Perhaps I’m wrong; but I see this leverage issue as something Trump views as important – obviously; or he wouldn’t approach it that way.
Would President Trump trade a $500 billion per year positive benefit to the U.S. economy in exchange for never outlining the fraud against him?
Would President Trump accept new jobs for a million Americans in exchange for never outlining the 2016 fraud against him?
And he wouldn’t care if it meant he could never win in 2020.
He ain’t a politician.
Piss you off?
This massively consequential economic reset on a global scale is the primary reason Donald Trump finally decided to run for office. Everything else is less than:
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham holds a press conference following lunch with President Donald Trump. Beyond the border security shutdown issues, notably Senator Graham shares:
…” We had a great lunch. We talked about Syria; and he told me some things I didn’t know that make me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria”.. [@03:35]
This is a little on the economic wonky side of things; but well worth watching if you are a trade follower. The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) attempts to construct a pro-TPP narrative by discussing possible 2019 benefits to Canada. However, if you listen closely, each time the question of Canadian consumer benefit it raised you’ll note there aren’t any.
Corporate globalism, via international trade agreements, is a scam. By design it is intended to exfiltrate the wealth of a targeted (host) nation, and allow corporations full control over the domestic pricing of commodity goods. There are parts of that interview when the lobbyist/punditry accidentally admits the scheme.
Structurally TPP is an Asia-centric export agreement that establishes benefit for Asian access to non-Asian TPP countries. In exchange, for access to the Canadian market Asian TPP member nations allow closely regulated access from the Canadian commodity market.
Canada has opened their economy to receiving low cost Asian goods; writ large. However, the only benefit for Canada is limited access to TPP nations for the Canadian agricultural industry allowing more export.
Specifically in the AG sector, when food production is exported, the traditional supply/demand ‘free market’ is destroyed. Multinational corporations create a ‘controlled market‘; and there is ZERO benefit to a Canadian food shopper when farm harvests are shipped overseas. Exactly the opposite is true.
Domestic food prices factually increase as local product is shipped into foreign markets leaving limited (controlled) inventory in the domestic supply chain. Ex. export massive amounts of beef (processed or other), and, if local demand is consistent, local beef prices increase. This is exactly the way corporate AG multinationals achieve maximum profit.
In the U.S. this multinational “controlled market system” is a major part of the reason why American food prices jumped so much in the past fifteen years. The process of charging a U.S. or Canadian consumer a higher price for a product than would naturally occur without the corporate control is called the “exfiltration” of wealth.
Additionally, as noted in the CBC interview, Canada’s value to Asia is more of a gateway to the U.S. market than the actual Canadian market itself. TPP nations, and the Canadian government, were hoping to exploit the backdoor NAFTA loophole forever. The restructured USMCA has blocked that possibility.
China is cunning…. they will eventually join the TPP and crush the internal participants by leveraging market access with massive dumping of manufactured goods. However, Beijing will wait until all other nations have fully chained themselves together…. When there is no longer an exit, Beijing will make their move. Thankfully, the U.S. is not part of it.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Politics
Re-Posted Dec 31, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
I went to go watch VICE – the story about how Dick Cheney took over the government with the aid of his wife – Lynne Cheney. Vice is a film that seeks to bring complicated information about the inner corruption in Washington and transform it into a digestible and entertaining format. There is no question that Christian Bale delivered a very impressive performance of how Dick Cheney really is – a secretive and distant man whose eyes were always filled with naked contempt. Amy Adams gave a fantastic performance as well and captured the real character of the former Second Lady Lynne Cheney who was very much like her husband – ambitious, and equally just as ruthless.
While the film captures the reality of what took place, it completely misses the real story behind the scenes as to even how Cheney came to be Vice President. The film shows that he was out of politics and had effectively retired for some time. It pretends that George Bush called him to be his Vice President and they negotiate that Cheney will have most of the power and Bush was too stupid to understand what he was agreeing to.
As always, for whatever reason, I seem to be always in the middle of just about every major event for the past 30+ years. I have stated before that I was asked to fly around the country and meet with Republicans who wanted to run for President. Prior to 1999, they were told I was there to advise them on the world economy and how it functioned. I have been to White House dinners and testified before Congress. I have taken calls from Washington in times of crisis. So meeting with people who wanted to run for President was nothing unusual for me. The real issue was not that I was giving them advice, but I was to assess whether they were capable of comprehending how the world functioned economically as well as politically. I was regarded as the unbiased adviser around the world. Europeans loved me because I was not one of them. They knew I would advise according to the cycles and markets. I cannot even bring staff with me to meetings in Brussels today for the problem because they are European and will have skin in the game. The same was true when I was asked to fly to Beijing during the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis.
The real story how Cheney got that power is significantly different from how the movie portrayed that aspect. It did a fantastic job in covering what he did once in power, with the exception of the meeting when 911 took place. The film portrays everyone in that room and its sources were correct in saying they were all confused but Cheney was more concerned about talking to his lawyer in that meeting. What I do know is that the first World Trade Center bombers were in MCC prison in Manhattan and they were given markers by the recreation officer Mr. Kumb. They drew on the walls of their cell the twin towers with planes flying into them one year BEFORE the incident. In creating Home Land Security, Congress merely stated that various agencies had information but did not share it with one another. Cheney had personal offices in all the agencies and I believe he knew well what took place on 911.
The movie correctly portrays Donald Rumsfeld as his co-conspirator. Just the day before 911 on September 10th, the Inspector General reported that $2.3 trillion was missing from the Defense Department accounting. Rumsfeld stated before Congress an investigation was necessary. The next day, the plane that struck the Pentagon hit the precise room where all those records were stored.
The World Trade Center 7 collapsed like a pancake when no plane ever touched it. That building has all the evidence of many things we will never know about. I have 20 years worth of recordings that would have been enough to put all the major New York trading banks in prison. Tapes that admitted paying bribes to Russian officials and all sorts of market manipulations. All of those tapes from my case vanished that same day. I personally believe that Cheney knew what was in the works. The mere fact that the terrorists drew the WTC on the wall of their cell 1 year before and the MCC took pictures and made a big deal out of it tells me that information had been passed on.
Now to the issue of Cheney becoming Vice President. I was asked to go to Texas to meet with George Bush, Jr during the early summer of 1999. I was told that “this is different. He’s really stupid.” Up to that point, the entire process I was involved in was to assess the qualification of those who wanted to run for President. Suddenly I was told this was different. When I asked why would you make someone stupid President, the response was “he has the name.”
I was then asked if I would accept the position of Chief Economic Adviser in the White House. I was told BECAUSE Bush was stupid, which they pay well in the movie, that they needed to surround him with smart people. I declined because to take such a position meant I would have to shut down my operation. I said thanks, but no thanks.
The kingmakers who I would go visit potential candidates for selected the people to put around Bush. Cheney had been Chief of Staff so he knew the game. He was inserted into the White House DELIBERATELY to be the default, President. The movie makes it sound that Bush Junior had to convince him to be his VP. That is absolutely NOT the way this selection process worked. They would NEVER have allowed the very person they said was “stupid” to select the people to run the country. They were selected to be the babysitters. I know this because I was one of the people asked and declined
Armstrong Economics Blog/Politics
Re-Posted Dec 31, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Merkel has come out and said that “Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty.” This is what you have been saying that the agenda is to federalize Europe. Would you care to elaborate on her latest statement?
Thank you from Berlin
ANSWER: Merkel has stepped down as leader of the CDU. She knows that she is on the way out. She hopes to cling to her position of power until she is dragged out by the hair. This statement is indeed the behind the curtain view. But she qualified that statement insofar as yielding sovereignty to Brussels over especially migration. This is a shot across the bow at the rising nationalism. You must look at the entire statement she made in order to expose the thinking process.
Merkel condemned any notion that Germany should join a fast-growing number of nations pulling out of the migration agreement. Even Australia pulled out of the UN migration agreement. She said that “there were [politicians] who believed that they could decide when these agreements are no longer valid because they are representing The People”. What is interesting is how she is splitting a democratic form of government which represents the people and one of an anti-democratic position because politicians know better than the people. She continued to remark that “the people are individuals who are living in a country, they are not a group who define themselves as the [German] people.” She holds the position that migration is inevitable, necessary and desirable. She refuses to admit that allowing in the refugees was a mistake.
Her reasoning states that nationalism “is not patriotism, because patriotism is when you include others in German interests and accept win-win situations.” The fact that is an anti-democratic position behind the curtain is evidenced by the fact that the FrenchPresident Emmanuel Macron, also recently stated that “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism [because] nationalism is treason”.
Macron travelled to Berlin and addressed the Bundestag that France and Germany have “obligation not to let the world slip into chaos and to guide it on the road to peace.” He added that “Europe must be stronger… and win more sovereignty” in order to suppress in truth the riots seeking to remove him in France. Both Macron and Markel are pitching that all EU member states should now surrender national sovereignty to Brussels over “foreign affairs, migration, and development” in addition to “an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources.” Macron has sought and obtained an exemption to run a higher deficit than the EU rules allow because of the tax protests in France.
What is going on here is a tag-team. Merkel and Macron are advocating the surrender of sovereignty because they then can blame Brussels and not shoulder the responsibility for the economic disaster Europe is heading into for 2020/2021. We have two politicians whose days are numbered advocating the federalization of Europe that they previous swore would never happen.
Armstrong Economics Blog/Ancient History
Re-Posted Dec 31, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
Well, we are about to celebrate the feast of Janus for who January is named after and his festival took place on January 9, the Agonium. Some try to argue January was named after Juno. But when the calendar was changed, it is more likely that January is named after Janus and June is named after Juno. Janus is usually depicted as having two faces since he looks to the future and to the past. Janus was the god of all beginnings. He was invoked as the first of any gods in regular liturgies among the Romans and he dates back to even the founding of Rome. The beginning of the day, month, and year, both calendrical and agricultural, were sacred to him.
Therefore, when we say goodbye to 2018 and look to the future of 2019, remember one thing. This is a very, very, very old tradition.