It Started in London……

by Kevin D. Freeman on February 25, 2013

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Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comOne of the interesting realities from our research is the significant role that London has played in nearly every aspect of the financial terrorism we have identified. [To learn more, please check out Secret Weapon.] We see elements of Phases One, Two, and Three tied to London. Some of the ties were explained in previous posts, including the unique role of Barclays, as well as the fact that much of the short selling seemed to go through London:

Barclays Scandal Deepens with new Qatar Revelations

[This post has links to multiple Barclays stories, each of which is worth a quick review.]

Not a Partisan Issue

[The relevant quote is taken from a Barry Ritholz Blog: The bear raids on the banks and brokers were NOT a case of piling on by US based hedge funds. And from what he was seeing and hearing about in terms of order flow, the vast majority of the financial short selling the past week or so were being done overseas. It appears that the lion’s share of shorting was coming out of overseas bourses such as London and Dubai.It may not be a coincidence that the financial short selling ban is both here and in London.]

Very recently, we have begun to see a number of London-related stories that bear watching. Here are a few:

Is the UK the New ‘Problem Child’ of Europe?

UK Suffers Blow, Pound Seen Under New Pressure

Britain to drop out of world’s top ten economies – Telegraph

Britain’s credit rating downgraded from AAA to Aa1 – Telegraph

Lehman Seeks to Question ‘London Whale’ in J.P. Morgan Dispute

Now, it should be obvious that London is “Ground Zero” at this point for any financial attacks. We see it is a place of interest for the Chinese, Islamic Jihadists, and even George Soros. We covered the calls for “Welfare Jihad” in a previous post. Essentially, it appears as if a Muslim Cleric was suggesting using the British Welfare System to fund Jihad.

More disturbingly, however, it appears that there are elements in London that no longer view the British-American relationship as all that special anymore. We got a hint of this with the leaked emails from Standard Chartered’s violation of Iranian sanctions:

Standard Chartered Takes Sides with $250 billion against America?

Regulators, quoting a New York bank branch officer, said the group director replied: “You f—ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.”

This is particularly disturbing because London is so integral to the world’s financial system and the British have so long been our allies. Now, it appears that monetary issues, particularly in light of British economic turmoil, are trumping all other considerations. When Phase Three occurs with the intention of destroying the dollar, we may not even be able to see the Brits as neutral, let alone allies. The Chinese are making serious inroads into the British system that could replace the dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency. Note these excerpts from an article in The Telegraph last week:

Bank of England closes in on China currency deal – Telegraph

By Denise Roland, and agencies  2:03PM GMT 22 Feb 2013

Britain’s central bank has been eyeing such a deal for some time, saying last month it was ready “in principle” to adopt a currency swap line with its Chinese counterpart as the yuan starts to emerge as a world reserve currency.

It said the arrangement would be used to finance trade and direct investment between the two countries and to support domestic financial stability if needed.

“In the unlikely event that a generalised shortage of offshore renminbi liquidity emerges, the Bank of England will have the capability to provide renminbi liquidity to eligible institutions in the UK,” said Sir Mervyn, using an alternative name for the Chinese currency.

Britain, anxious to bolster London’s status as Europe’s biggest financial centre, launched an offshore yuan currency and bond market to great fanfare last year.

It should be noted that U.S. officials are encouraging this arrangement, with the hope that it will strengthen the yuan against the dollar and improve our exports. Of course, this approach assumes that the dollar will always be a highly sought after reserve currency. What it fails to realize is that we might “win” a currency war of devaluation only to discover that we have destroyed the dollar in the process.

For now, it is the British Pound that is in the crosshairs of global currency traders, including George Soros. [This may be a repeat performance for Soros, known for “breaking the Bank of England” in 1992.] Soon, however, after the Pound gets clobbered, the dollar could well be next.

Please re-read our Blog Posts that outline the Unrestricted Warfare strategy (written in 1999) powerful enough to destroy America:

This is a War to Destroy America; Here’s What You Can Do

“However, by using the combination method, a completely different scenario and game can occur: if the attacking side secretly (or quietly) musters large amounts of capital without the enemy nation being aware of this at all and launches a sneak attack against its financial markets, then after causing a financial crisis, buries a computer virus and hacker detachment in the opponent’s computer system in advance, while at the same time carrying out a network attack against the enemy so that the civilian electricity network, traffic dispatching network, financial transaction network, telephone communications network, and mass media network are completely paralyzed, this will cause the enemy nation to fall into social panic, street riots, and a political crisis.”

Unrestricted Warfare

“‘Financial warfare (in which a country is subjected without a drop of blood being spilled)’ means entering and subverting banking and stock markets and manipulating the value of a targeted currency.”

Now consider the “updated” version from December 2010 (English Translation provided by ChinaScope):

How China Deals with the U.S. Strategy to Contain China Print E-mail
Written by TL, LD, AF, AT
[Editor’s Note: On December 10, 2010, the website of Qiushi Journal, the official publication of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, published an article examining six strategies that the U.S. has developed to contain China: a trade war, an exchange rate war, a public opinion war, an anti-China campaign, military exercises and simulated warfare, and the development of an anti-China alliance. The author also analyzed seven counter-strategies for China to adopt. The entire article is translated below.

Days after
published this translation, Qiushi website took down the original Chinese and then restored the article with an additional sentence added at the end: “The above article  only represents the personal views of the author and does not represent the position or views of Qiushi Journal or this site.” Chinascope has kept a Google cached copy of the original article. To read that copy, please click here.] [1]

China’s Counter Strategies

When faced with an aggressive U.S., how should China respond? The article “Cast Away Illusions; Prepare for Struggle” that Mao Zedong published on August 14, 1949, is still applicable to today’s situation: Our wishes to persuade the imperialists and those who are against China to be kindhearted and repent are fruitless and will never come to pass. The only way is to organize forces to fight against them . . .

1. Economic Warfare. Of course, to fight the U.S., we have to come up with key “weapons.” What is the most powerful weapon China has today? It is our economic power, especially our foreign exchange reserves. The key is to use it well. If we use it well, it is a weapon; otherwise it may become a burden. Counting on the fact that the U.S. dollar is the international currency, the U.S. government has increased the number of dollars in circulation, leading to its devaluation. The countries with high reserves in dollars will suffer, but the U.S. itself loses nothing. However, for this to be true there is a premise. Someone must purchase those excess dollars they printed. If no one purchases them, then they will only be circulated domestically, inside the U.S., and cause inflation. In order for the countries with foreign exchange reserves in the U.S. dollar to restrain the U.S. from over-issuing U.S. currency, they must act together and not buy U.S. dollars. There are two ways to achieve this. The first is for all these countries to reach a consensus and act together as one. The second is if one country takes the lead, does not buy U.S. dollars, and other countries then follow. Which alternative should China choose? The first tactic requires countries with foreign exchange reserves to reach a consensus. China, Japan, the U.K., India, and Saudi Arabia are all countries with high foreign exchange reserves. Japan is constrained by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and will not break away from the U.S., so the probability of Japan cooperating is very low. Great Britain has always followed the U.S., so the probability that it will cooperate with China is also pretty low. There have been recent changes in Britain’s political structure. Prime Minister Cameron has adopted a new strategy toward China that increases the possibilities for cooperation, making it a more likely player than Japan. Also, the U.K.’s foreign exchange reserves, which are market adjusted instead of sovereign funds, are to a large extent subject to market impact. India has stayed closely allied with the U.S. in recent years, and Obama promised to support India for a permanent membership in the UNSC. Thus, the probability for India to cooperate with China is also not great. India’s purchasing power of foreign exchange reserves is very limited anyway, so it cannot influence the overall situation much. Saudi Arabia does not have much political interest in the U.S.; its purchase of foreign exchange reserves is purely commercial. So they are more likely just to follow the market. Based on this analysis, it is very unlikely that China and these countries would ever reach a consensus. Therefore, we are left with the second option, which is to take the lead in affecting the market for U.S. dollars. This approach is market-driven, so others will not be able to easily blame China. It is a good solution, and also we will not owe anyone anything for the favor of becoming our partner. The key issue is that China must have people who understand the market well and are good at using the market at the right time to impact the exchange rate of the U.S. currency. Of course, the most important condition is still that China must have enough courage to challenge the U.S. currency. China can act in one of two ways. One is to sell U.S. dollar reserves, and the second is not to buy any U.S. dollars for a certain period of time. The first option may cause the U.S. dollar to devalue, so China must consider whether it can take a loss resulting from the depreciation of the U.S. dollar. However, the U.S.’s over-printing currency will also cause the dollar to depreciate and will cause the foreign exchange reserve to shrink even more in value. Thus, in comparison, we will probably end up losing less. For the second option, if we do not buy the U.S. debt, what should we buy instead to increase our foreign exchange reserves? Options are the Euro, the British sterling, Japanese yen, Indian rupee, Russian ruble, and Brazilian currency. At the same time, buying the debt of these countries will help promote good relations and economic and trade cooperation between China and these countries. It will enhance China’s economic influence in these countries. Therefore, this is a highly cost-effective tactic, and, more importantly, China is the biggest buyer of U.S. debt. China’s actions will have a demonstrable effect on the market. If China stops buying, other countries will pay close attention and are very likely to follow. Once the printed excess dollars cannot be sold, the depreciation of the dollar will accelerate and the impact on Americans wealth will be enormous. The U.S. will not be able to withstand this pressure and will curtail the printing of U.S. currency. The dollar will then appreciate. Most importantly, through this, China’s foreign exchange reserves will no longer be “the meat of the Tang-dynasty monk” [3] for the U.S. Instead, they will become a major economic force to constrain the U.S. The key to success is that China needs to have enough courage and determination to take the U.S. pressure. This is exactly what we need. It just shows how much the U.S. needs China. The more pressure we can take, the more successful this strategy. It will indicate that this “weapon” is highly effective and the U.S. will start to fear us.

2. Financial War. The fact that the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency makes the U.S. a financial superpower. Currently, China’s increased share in the International Monetary Fund and its increased voting rights are a very big step forward. The problem is not that the value of this share is expressed in U.S. dollars, but that it would be best if the share could be expressed in RMB. Therefore, for China to challenge the position of the U.S. dollar, it needs to take a path of internationalization and directly confront the U.S. dollar. The path of internationalization can be done in four ways. First, use Hong Kong as a springboard to increase the payment of the amount and the issuance of RMB bonds; there has been much progress, but not enough; we should believe in the popularity of the RMB in the international community. Second, using the huge foreign exchange reserve as a guarantee, we can issue RMB bonds globally, allowing other countries to use RMB as their foreign exchange reserve; we can consider setting up a central foreign exchange bank, specializing in the deposit and lending of foreign exchange reserves and related financial services. The huge foreign exchange reserves serve the same role as gold, to ensure that offshore RMB can be exchanged for foreign currency at any time. Third, create an international version of the Chinese securities market to attract foreign companies. Participants can buy the securities with RMB or foreign currencies. Overseas companies that are listed can raise funds in yuan or other currencies. Then the listed companies or a foreign exchange policy can determine the specific proportion of RMB or other currencies. Fourth, establish an international currency trade center, allowing world currencies to trade, forming an international financial market and a foreign exchange market. Specific trading rules and the national currency trade volume can be adjusted according to market demand. China’s 30 years of history of reform and opening up show that the Chinese government and its people’s understanding and application of the market mechanism and free trade will be on par with the U.S. and other Western countries. China’s ability to grasp the laws of the market and the ability to control economic trends are not inferior to those of Western countries. The market mechanism can propel the internationalization of the RMB, rather than relying on government negotiations. We fully trust the Chinese government’s capacity to handle the market and the regulations. If these four suggested actions can be implemented smoothly using the market mechanism, the RMB will become the world’s reserve currency, putting pressure on the U.S. dollar and undermining U.S. financial strength.

Now consider this quote later in the same article:

“…China’s counter strategy of befriending distant enemies can have three components: First, disintegrate the traditional U.S. allies, particularly the European Union. Second, strengthen strategic cooperation with the U.S.’s neighboring countries. Even if we do not form an anti-American alliance, at least we can let the U.S. feel the pressure. Third, step up cooperation with Africa and other regions that the U.S. does not pay attention to. Let’s first analyze how to implement the first strategy. The disintegration of the Soviet Union and a weakened Russia removed it from being the European Union’s biggest threat and strategic rival. The thought of war is far removed from the EU, and peace is the norm. There is no reason for the U.S. to exist in Europe. Almost certainly, Europe does not need the U.S. in the military arena. So is there any economic need for the U.S.? The economies of the U.S. and the EU are quite homogeneous; they are more mutually competitive rather than interdependent. The global financial crisis has saddled Europe with huge losses and the U.S. with almost none. This has made Europe recognize that the U.S. has a reduced value.  Many European countries have come to realize that Europe does not need the U.S. The estrangement between Europe and the U.S. is an opportunity for China. The complimentary economic relationship between China and the EU is greater than the mutual economic dependence between the EU and the U.S. Therefore, China should make Europe the focus of its strategy of “befriending distant enemies.” Recently, China has increased exchanges with France, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Germany, and the UK, thereby significantly strengthening the cooperation between China and the EU. This is the right strategic direction. We must have the courage to implement the second strategy. The enemy’s enemy is our friend; even if it is not our friend, it can be used to contain the U.S. In the Americas, countries surrounding the U.S. are not monolithic. China can further expand its cooperation with Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries that are not taking orders from the U.S. In addition, China should strengthen its cooperation with Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and other countries in the Americas, both in their economies and in trade. These countries’ economies do not vigorously compete with the Chinese economy, and there are broad areas of cooperation, particularly in agriculture. China should weaken its agricultural trade with the U.S. but enhance it with other American countries. China should make good use of the huge agricultural market, an important strategic diplomatic tool, to contain the diplomatic strategy of the U.S. On this strategy, China hasn’t done good planning and implementation. It should seize the current opportunity, that the U.S. is overlooking the Americas, to weaken the U.S.’s strategic backyard. Third, we should vigorously cultivate Africa. At present, the diplomatic relationship between China and African countries is built upon a good base and prospects are promising. The African countries are not only helping China in competition in the international diplomatic situation, but, in recent years, we have also been strengthening economic and trade cooperation with them. However, there haven’t been many military exchanges, so China’s strategic and economic interests in Africa are not effectively protected. Piracy is rampant in Somalia and the international community is crying out, but doing very little that is effective in the fight against piracy. Therefore, China can make use of this situation to expand its military presence in Africa…”

In light of this, China’s efforts in Europe and particularly London should come as no surprise.

The Bottom Line is that we are in a Global Economic War. The Chinese know this. And, London is a key battleground.

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