Monday 4 April 2022

Collateral damage to sanctions by US, UK (The Sunday Guardian)

 Joseph Robinette Biden secured the US Presidency by the public display of Trumpian incoherence during the mercifully truncated daily press conferences that the 45th President had on the Covid-19 situation within the US. In reality, the Trump administration had done a fairly effective job on tackling the virus that was born of Sino-US collaborative experiments in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). President Trump sought to avoid leaping into the WHO-suggested pitfall of paralysing economic activity by imposing sanctions that killed jobs in 2020 rather than the transmission of the man-made virus. Unfortunately for Trump, those lower down the food chain continued with the very crew headed by Dr Anthony Fauci that had provided funding to the WIV. Had Trump won the election that year, Fauci and his acolytes would have been dismissed. Biden put them on steroids, and this burst of energy was replicated by the man-made virus, which increased its spread and deadliness in 2021 despite President Biden saying and believing that he had the best minds in the world to slay the pandemic, at least in the US. Biden vowed to be better than Trump, and he is showing to the world that he is even more expert than Trump in blowing his own image and goodwill into bits by his approach to issues. Ironically, given the way in which the Biden-Johnson sponsored sanctions regime on Russia is leading to the demise of the US dollar as the global reserve currency, if he fails to get passed his admittedly visionary social legislation through the US Congress, he may be the last US President to have the luxury of printing money in an almost limitless manner to fund various needs. Such overuse of the manufacturing of the dollar was made possible only because private individuals as well as governments regarded the US dollar as a safe currency reserve. The Biden-Johnson sanctions, including on ethnic Russians who are not even citizens of the Russian Federation but are “close” to Putin (whatever that might mean), have shown the world that due process has been extinguished in the US and the UK at least.

Assets have been stolen—sorry, confiscated—in the past, including the gold and currency reserves of Libya once that country went into a regime-free state courtesy NATO bombardment in 2011, but not with the visibility that has been demonstrated in the matter of making the whole of Russia pay for “Putin’s war”. Russia being a significant player in the world of commodity markets, not just they but the rest of the world are paying an escalating price for the Biden-Johnson sanctions regime on Russia, measures publicly designed to melt down the Russian economy and beggar its population. Joe and Jill Biden are devout churchgoers, and it is clear that the US President at least is among those who love listening to the sermons that are a part of church services. So entranced is Biden that he appears to have staffed his administration with lay preachers, one of whom (whose other job was in the National Security secretariat) was in Delhi a few days ago. No doubt with finger wagging and a disapproving glance, this “high official” warned the 1.4 billion people of the world’s most populous democracy that “there would be consequences” were India to refuse to follow the US line on Ukraine with the same fealty as Quad members Australia and Japan showed. Biden and Johnson have gone ahead with measures against Russia that would result in the collateral damage caused by the end of the US-controlled petrodollar regime and the UK-centred gold selling and pricing global system. President Putin’s response, of forcing NATO member-states that are buyers of Russian gas and oil to either pay in gold-denominated roubles or do without supplies, shows that reports by the CIA, CGHQ and others of his mental deterioration are somewhat premature. Once implemented, this new measure would make the London Bullion Market Association unable to fix the international price of gold any longer. The Biden-Johnson sanctions have also punctured a hole in the London Metals Exchange. Experts have suggested that this is the time for India to set up an Indian bullion markets association to capture the leadership of trade in this precious metal, the price of which will now be set not by the British pound but by the Russian rouble, 5,000 of which have been made exchangeable for a gram of gold. Simultaneously, the US dollar has joined the British pound, the euro and the Swiss franc as risky assets for those outside the NATO network to hold. What has been done to Russian billionaires today can be as speedily done to their counterparts in China, or in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia, where refusing to obey the diktat of the key members of NATO may result in the expropriation even of those who have given up the citizenship of the offending country. Were Joe and Boris the “sincere friends” of the PRC that they have been (falsely) rumoured of being, they could not have done a more thorough job of hurting the future of the US and the UK than the duo have managed since 24 February 2022. 

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