Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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Two weeks ago we wrote a post that should have made it all too clear that while the US and Europe continue to pretend that all is well, and they are, somehow, solvent, Asia has been smelling the coffee. To wit: "For anyone wondering how the abandonment of the dollar reserve status would look like we have a Hollow Men reference: not with a bang, but a whimper... Or in this case a whole series of bilateral agreements that quietly seeks to remove the US currency as an intermediate. Such as these: "World's Second (China) And Third Largest (Japan) Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade", "China, Russia Drop Dollar In Bilateral Trade", "China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System", "India and Japan sign new $15bn currency swap agreement", and now this: "Iran, Russia Replace Dollar With Rial, Ruble in Trade, Fars Says."" Today we add the latest country to join the Asian dollar exclusion zone: "India and Iran have agreed to settle some of their $12 billion annual oil trade in rupees, a government source said on Friday, resorting to the restricted currency after more than a year of payment problems in the face of fresh, tougher U.S. sanctions." To summarize: Japan, China, Russia, India and Iran: the countries which together account for the bulk of the world's productivity and combined are among the biggest explorers and producers of energy. And now they all have partial bilateral arrangements, and all of which will very likely expand their bilateral arrangements to multilateral, courtesy of Obama's foreign relations stance which by pushing the countries into a corner has forced them to find alternative, USD-exclusive, arrangements. But yes, aside from all of the above, the dollar still is the reserve currency... if only in which to make calculations of how many imaginary money one pays in exchange for imaginary 'developed world' collateral.
The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits.
Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.
A U.S. household's median income is $49,445, the Census reports.
The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.
Japan and China are expected to start direct trading of their currencies as early as June as part of efforts to boost bilateral trade and investment, reports said on Saturday.
With the planned step, exchange rates between the yen and the yuan will be determined by their transactions, departing from the current 'cross rate' system that involves the dollar in setting yen-yuan rates, Kyodo News said.
Japan and China will start direct currency trading this week, Tokyo said Tuesday, the first time Beijing has let a major unit other than the dollar swap with the yuan.
The move, which will scrap the greenback as an intermediary unit, comes as China introduces measures as part of a long-term goal of internationalizing its currency to rival the dollar.
The two-way trade will also be allowed to move in a wider range than the narrow band at which the dollar and yuan change hands, Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei business daily reported.
China will set a daily rate based on dealer quotes with trade allowed to move within a 3% band above or below that rate, the reports said, compared with a 1% band fixed to yuan-dollar trading.
The Chinese central bank earlier Tuesday introduced a rate of 7.9480 yuan for every 100 yen, Dow Jones said.
However, there will be no fixed rates in Tokyo trade with the currencies trading freely, according to the same media reports which provided no further details.
Disappointing U.S. economic data, new strains in financial markets and deepening worries about Europe's fiscal crisis have prompted a shift at the Federal Reserve, putting back on the table the possibility of action to spur the recovery.
Not (necessarily) a conspiracy theory:The small percentage of Americans who are aware and informed are puzzled why the banksters have escaped with their financial crimes without prosecution. The answer might be that the banks “too big to fail” are adjuncts of Washington and the Federal Reserve in maintaining the stability of the dollar and Treasury bond markets in the face of an untenable Fed policy.
Let us first look at how the big banks can keep the interest rates on Treasuries low, below the rate of inflation, despite the constant increase in US debt as a percent of GDP–thus preserving the Treasury’s ability to service the debt.
The imperiled banks too big to fail have a huge stake in low interest rates and the success of the Fed’s policy. The big banks are positioned to make the Fed’s policy a success. JPMorganChase and other giant-sized banks can drive down Treasury interest rates and, thereby, drive up the prices of bonds, producing a rally, by selling Interest Rate Swaps (IRSwaps).
This apparent collusion suggests to some observers that the reason the Wall Street banksters have not been prosecuted for their crimes is that they are an essential part of the Federal Reserve’s policy to preserve the US dollar as world currency. Possibly the collusion between the Federal Reserve and the banks is organized, but it doesn’t have to be. The banks are beneficiaries of the Fed’s zero interest rate policy. It is in the banks’ interest to support it. Organized collusion is not required.
mattduke wrote:Fed is moving towards limitless open ended bond buying.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-0 ... nanke.html
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