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    World Economic News and Discussion

    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Sat Dec 16, 2023 4:59 pm

    Coal in demand more than ever – IEA, 12.16.2023.

    Output and sales are forecast to reach record highs by the end of 2023.

    Worldwide demand for coal is set to reach a historic high this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its ‘Coal 2023’ report on Friday.

    The body sees global demand for the fuel rising 1.4% by the end of 2023, surpassing 8.5 billion tons for the first time on record, largely due to soaring coal consumption in emerging and developing economies. For instance, in India and China, it is expected to grow by 8% and 5%, respectively, largely driven by a growing demand for electricity amid insufficient hydropower production.

    Production of the fossil fuel is also set to reach a historic high this year, with China, India, and Indonesia – the three largest coal producers that account for 70% of the world’s supply – expected to jointly bring output to more than 2.5 billion tons. Global coal trade is also expected to mark a new record-high, driven by strong growth in Asia.

    Starting next year, however, coal use is expected to drop, especially in advanced economies, amid the expansion of renewable energy capacity. The growing use of renewables is expected to be especially notable in China, which at the moment accounts for more than half of global coal demand, according to the agency. By 2026, the IEA sees global coal demand falling by 2.3% compared with 2023 levels.

    Overall, the agency predicts that the upcoming shift in coal use will be more significant and long-lasting this time around than in previous periods.

    “We have seen declines in global coal demand a few times, but they were brief and caused by extraordinary events such as the collapse of the Soviet Union or the Covid-19 crisis. This time appears different, as the decline is more structural, driven by the formidable and sustained expansion of clean energy technologies,” Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security, said. The analyst noted that while significant efforts are still needed to meet international climate targets, “a turning point for coal is clearly on the horizon.”

    https://www.rt.com/business/589140-global-coal-demand-record/

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    andalusia


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    Post  andalusia Tue Jan 02, 2024 7:05 am

    This is an interesting article by the Jacobin about Africa and migration crisis.


    https://jacobin.com/2023/12/eu-niger-algeria-migration-borders-debt-energy

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Wed Jan 03, 2024 5:05 am

    It was creating chaos in Libya that made the whole situation worse..., all the damage the west has done throughout Africa and the Middle East is going to create an enormous volume of people looking for a better future who will want to migrate and part of what was holding them back was regimes like Gaddafi and others including Turkey, but when the EU screwed them or backstabbed them, or in the case of Libya broke their country, the flood gates were let open... and I can only be amused Europe was stupid enough to do this and expect no backlash for them.... after all they were only following American orders most of the time.

    Well now things are changing and white Europeans in Europe and in the US are going to find things will be getting rather more pushback than they used to get...

    The result is probably going to be a much more fair world but not so easy for the west as it used to be.

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    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Mon Jan 29, 2024 11:09 am

    Why do the French besiege Paris?, by Valeria Verbinina for VZGLYAD. 01.29.2024.

    It is not some foreign conquerors who intend to starve Paris, but French farmers. “We will blockade the city until Parisians experience first-hand what food shortages are like,” their representatives say. The blockade of Paris by agricultural tractors begins on Monday. Why did the French peasantry stage a real riot?

    A sharp escalation of the confrontation between the French authorities and agricultural workers began a few weeks ago. One of the reasons is that since last year, new laws, regulations and recommendations on the distribution of subsidies for those involved in agriculture have come into force.

    Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful France is, it remains largely a country of bureaucrats. As soon as they came into force, the new regulations began to acquire orders, additions and accumulate inevitable contradictions. To resolve them, new orders were invented, which first had to be agreed upon - and so on endlessly.

    As Le Monde writes very vaguely , “agricultural workers are dissatisfied with the abundance of norms and regulations arising from them... many also complain about the complex procedure for accessing assistance from the authorities.” And while bureaucrats are issuing more and more pieces of paper, sweating from administrative zeal, farmers are left without money and without a clear understanding of when this disgrace will end.

    Another reason for dissatisfaction is that the government, under pressure from the “greens,” is actively imposing measures on producers that are good in theory, but difficult to implement in practice. From a significant reduction in the use of pesticides and antibiotics to a mandatory requirement that, starting in 2024, some land should be left fallow, that is, unplanted for at least a year.

    As Damien Brunel, head of the FGC trade union, noted , “It’s in vain that some people think that such land will turn into flowering fields... you still have to tinker with it, clear it of weeds and cultivate it.” That is, not only do people actually lose part of the land on which they could grow something, but they will also have to spend time and money, receiving absolutely nothing in return.

    Agricultural producers also have other complaints - that the government does not sufficiently protect their products, in particular wines and cheeses, on international markets.

    The fact that the authorities are consistently reducing subsidies for diesel fuel, which is extremely important for the functioning of the industry. And finally, the lack of response to the epidemic of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). Since autumn it has affected some cattle in France. Some animals died, farmers had to treat others at their own expense, the export market closed - and at the same time, problems with selling products within the country worsened.

    As a matter of fact, it was precisely because of the epizootic - more precisely, because the authorities stubbornly did not want to notice its consequences - that the confrontation began, eventually taking on such a serious scale. Only when reports from literally everywhere in the province began to come in about spontaneous protests by farmers, including blocking roads with tractors, as well as burning tires and bales of hay near administrative buildings, the government decided to compromise.

    On January 18, it promised that the state would reimburse 80% of payments for veterinary services and 80% of the cost of dead animals, and packages of documents for damages could be submitted “in early February.” But it wasted time - and besides, a concession on one point at this stage no longer meant much, because the other problems remained.

    And more and more often another problem began to arise - the most important one, with which no one knows what to do. The point is that agricultural workers, in principle, earn too little.

    The unrest shaking French society to some extent reflects the antagonism between the capital and the provinces. The farmers' protests mainly affected provincial cities - Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Nantes and others, and one of the slogans of the spontaneous movement was “Do we have to die so that you are fed?” already makes this division between “we” and “you”. In this scheme, “we” are the workers who work tirelessly, who are also obliged to provide a thousand pieces of paper to the top and endlessly rewrite them if even one squiggle is put wrong, and “you” – who only consume without having any obligations.

    At the same time, farmers cannot hide the fact that competitors abroad are not asleep. At least in Spain, where labor in the industry is two times cheaper (on average 7 euros per hour, not 15), and the fact that in some EU countries the requirements for agriculture are not as stringent and categorical as in France.

    Now it looks like after the provinces, the French capital will have to bear the brunt of the ongoing confrontation.

    Irritation in society has already reached the point that trade unionist Maxime Buizard proposed “blocking Paris and its little crown.” By the latter we mean a belt of suburbs that surround the capital in a dense ring. “The idea is that not a single truck will be able to enter the capital next week (that is, from January 29). If necessary, we will blockade the city until the Parisians experience first-hand what food shortages are like. But then they will understand that they need agriculture in order to live,” he said.

    At first it seemed that this proposal was too bold to be attempted. However, at a meeting of agricultural unions on Saturday evening, an action plan was developed and a communiqué was published, which stated that “beginning at 2 pm on January 29, agricultural workers ... are undertaking an indefinite siege of the nation’s capital.”

    The word “siege” used in the text (yes, that’s it) involuntarily recalls the times described either by Dumas or by Druon. It is, of course, interesting to read about them, but the question is what is it like to live in them, even if this is the 21st century and a “siege” is called the blocking of roads by tractors that lead to the capital. “We will close the strategic road arteries that lead to Paris,” promised the head of the JA union, Clément Torpier. – We are aware that traffic will be difficult... How long this will last depends on the government. If it is necessary to keep (the siege) for several days, it will last for several days.”

    On Sunday, newly-minted Prime Minister Gabriel Attal hurriedly went on a visit to one of the farms in the province, where, in the style of Macron, he made many words and promised to encourage all that is good against all that is bad, but in a practical sense nothing concrete. Meanwhile, on the main news channel BFMtv, farmer Severin Sargent, who supports the blockade of Paris, has already promised Parisians a “black week.” “Tractors will advance towards the capital along all the main highways, either quickly and continuously, or in stages... Parisians need to understand that a black week awaits them,” he announced.

    The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, did not reflect on the extent to which these words were a bold bluff, the purpose of which was to extract further concessions, but gathered his subordinates and ordered all measures to be taken to maintain order and prevent a complete blockade of the capital region. In turn, farmers promise to go all the way. However, in any case, time will tell what exactly the next week will be like and what it will bring.

    https://vz.ru/world/2024/1/29/1250737.html

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    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Mon Jan 29, 2024 10:31 pm

    European farmers don't need tactical handouts, by Gevorg Mirzayan for RTRUSSIAN. 01.29.2024.

    According to the plan of European officials, the sanctions (and generally hybrid) war of the European Union against Russia was supposed to cause large-scale protests in Russian cities. And it really did cause problems - just not in Russia, but in Europe. Polish, German, French and other farmers not only block roads and organize pickets, but also resort to much less civilized forms of struggle. For example, in France they pour manure on buildings.

    And it’s difficult to accuse them of hooliganism, because all European farmers, in essence, are protecting their future.

    The fact is that the agricultural sector in Europe is very specific. Firstly, it is very heavily subsidized so that farmers do not go bankrupt and, in conditions of high production costs, can sell it at prices acceptable to the population. Secondly, it is strictly quotas by country - so that there is no crisis of overproduction in the EU and there is no fall in prices. Thirdly, agricultural products from foreign countries trying to enter European markets are subject to protective duties.

    Accordingly, farmers are very wary of any projects on duty-free import of any agricultural products into the EU. And the European Union not only allowed such imports from Ukraine, but also intends to conclude a free trade agreement with Mercosur (the community of South American countries). And all this is happening against the backdrop of rising prices for fuel for tractors and fertilizers (for which thanks to European sanctions against Russia), reductions in subsidies for farmers (for which thanks to the economic crisis caused, among other things, by sanctions against Russia) and the obsession of the liberal European elites with “ecological” agriculture, which also leads to higher costs of production, and therefore to a decrease in its competitiveness.

    So people take to the streets, resorting to the most extravagant measures in order to be heard. And it would seem that they achieved their goal. European leaders are one by one declaring their readiness to make concessions to the protesters. “We decided to put agriculture above all else. I want to unlock, liberate, simplify life and let our farmers breathe freely,” said French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. In addition, he announced a program to stimulate protectionism. “We must tell all French people to always prefer to buy French, whoever can, of course. And we must also tell everyone responsible for public procurement to join this effort,” the prime minister added. Finally, he promised to satisfy their other demands - in particular, to freeze the rise in fuel prices for special equipment.

    The Polish authorities also promise to help, and, of course, they acknowledge the damage associated with the Ukrainian factor. “The trade liberalization introduced in 2022, allowing Ukraine to import its goods without customs duties, is very beneficial for the Ukrainian economy, but should not harm Polish farmers,” admits Polish Minister of Agriculture Czeslaw Sekierski. “I think that all or almost all of us in Poland would like to effectively support Ukraine in its clash with Russia. But this cannot be done at the expense of large interest groups such as farmers or transport operators,” says Donald Tusk.
    The problem, however, is that farmers are not happy with these concessions. They don't leave the streets. And they can be understood: tactical concessions and empty recognitions from Paris, Berlin, Warsaw and other capitals do not solve the problem. This requires strategic decisions, and at the level of the leadership of all EU member countries.

    First, the European Union must define what it is. A supranational integration project created to ensure security and improve the living standards of member countries, or a geopolitical hammer of the United States? A hammer, for the effective operation of which the national economy can be sacrificed and external states must be allowed into the closed markets of the European community to support their pants at the expense of European citizens. “Task No. 1 is to stop the import of agricultural products from Ukraine,” says former Polish Minister of Agriculture Janusz Kowalski.

    Secondly, the leadership of the European Union must understand what underlies integration - ideology or economics?

    Neoliberal values, which are the product of snickering elites and leading to both economic and social degradation, or are they still economic tasks that the leadership of the European Commission must carry out in accordance with European conservative, capitalist values?

    The European Commission itself will not be able to correct the mistakes. Both the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and her European commissioners are bearers of ultra-liberal ideas, promoters of Washington’s interests in the European Union. This means that by default they are not able to take care of the welfare of European citizens. At a minimum, because they place the welfare of these citizens lower than the interests of the same Ukrainian leadership.

    If the leaders of the EU member countries do not urgently restore order now, then the matter will not be limited to protests by farmers. A sharp process of disintegration within the European Union will begin, as citizens realize: the leadership in Brussels, not elected or supported by them, does not protect their interests. And the national leaders who support the Brussels leadership are not defending either. This means that new leaders need to be elected from among the right and far-right politicians speaking under the slogan of nationalism and the withdrawal of their countries from the European Union that has become alien to them.

    https://russian.rt.com/opinion/1264906-mirzayan-evropa-fermer-bunt

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    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Mon Jan 29, 2024 11:49 pm

    Have Mercosur farmers confront Macron, as well as an Argentinian farmer march over Buenos Aires.

    Global South farmers unite against that EU agriculture policy just coughed up by Manu.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:29 am

    So western sanctions are working... people are gathering in the streets in protest... against the west...

    Excellent.

    But it is still Putins fault...

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    Post  ALAMO Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:29 am

    GarryB wrote:So western sanctions are working... people are gathering in the streets in protest... against the west...
    Excellent.
    But it is still Putins fault...

    Of course it is Very Happy
    But seriously, let me give you some internal hints.
    What the farmers across EU are protesting against, are tools being applied to them to forcefully reduce production.
    Along an entire EU.
    It is getting done by different means, for example, cutting the subsidies in Germany and France.
    But in Poland, a newly established structure forces the farmers to keep 20% of their farming land as wasteland.

    It is being done to clear the room for US-based - mainly - global food producers.
    And it is not a secret or a conspiracy anymore, Victor Orban told that openly.
    The whole saga of "Ukrainian grain" is about a grain that is not "Ukrainian" but belongs to US based concerns.
    By brother in law was protesting against last week, and joined the Germans two weeks ago.
    A while ago, they were throwing Ukro grain on train tracks, so I have a first hand reports.
    What is being imported, does not meet any standards, by any means. It was not a grain, but biohazard material, being a mash of decomposing bio materials that should have been treated using biohazard suits.
    They gave even figured out some crazy name for it : "technical grain" Laughing formally not suited for food production. So they can sell that later to the audience that please don't worry, you won't eat that!

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    Post  kvs Tue Jan 30, 2024 2:49 pm

    Normies laughed at "tin foil hat conspiracy theories" about one world government. But the facts on the ground prove that there is exactly
    such an agenda. The ambition of the NATzO elite (US based with some branches in the EU) is to have total monolithic control. Power
    has the propensity to concentrate. To become absolute. It is already corrupt. Checks and balances are BS for the normie proles to
    get distracted.

    Getting rid of farmers is getting rid of elements that are independent. The EU is going to have only corporate farms owned by US megacorps
    in the near future. They will be producing garbage "food" that will keep the normie chattle low grade sick and pacified. The EU puppet
    administrators will be using any pretext to get rid of farms. The current most popular one is global warming.

    At the end of the day, the problems of civilization rest on the pathetic ignorance of the proles. They can be used as a resource by a tiny
    minority since they can be hoodwinked 24/7. Their priority is conforming and not independent thought. Using that grey matter muscle is
    the hardest thing for these people.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Wed Jan 31, 2024 2:44 am

    Just because you are paranoid does not mean you are wrong... but there needs to be a reason for them doing all this and the obvious two are monopoly and greed.

    The downfall of the west.

    I always thought the best argument to prove there is no agenda for one world government was that the US wouldn't take orders from anyone and Russia and China wont take orders from the US.

    BRICS is a policy of the opposite of a one world government, but pro a set of laws and rules that apply to everyone the same way... which we may never achieve of course.



    Last edited by GarryB on Sat May 18, 2024 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Wed Jan 31, 2024 6:43 pm

    Frenchie "Operation Turtle" over the Mercosur/EU deal.

    France's firm rejection of EU-Mercosur deal sparks rift with Germany and opens controversy in the bloc, 01.31.2024.

    According to the head of the German Automotive Industry Association, the EU always "makes overly complex agreements [...] and fails to achieve anything in any of the economic areas". Berlin proposed an alternative for signing the pact, which was also rejected by Paris.

    Since the beginning of this week, Emmanuel Macron has verbalised that the ratification of the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur has no chance of being finalized since "it is impossible to sign it".

    Not only did the president tell the European Commission this, but also members of his government. On Wednesday (31), the minister of Economy and Finance of France, Bruno Le Maire, said that the trade agreement with Mercosur should not be signed, according to Folha de São Paulo.

    However, there are those who are irritated by this positioning. According to Jamil Chad's column in Brazilian outlet UOL, for Germany, rejecting the agreement does not make sense, especially given the export interest of the car sector.

    "The German government remains firmly committed to concluding negotiations with Mercosur countries as soon as possible," a spokesman for the German Economy Ministry said in response to the French veto.


    Berlin pointed out that a few weeks ago, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Argentine president Javier Milei. Both "agreed that negotiations should be concluded quickly."

    The European Commission also rejected on Tuesday the French view that Brussels had ended negotiations with Mercosur, saying it still intended to conclude the Free Trade Agreement with the South American bloc, which has been negotiated for 25 years.

    Brazil also reacted to the decline in Paris. The secretary of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade and services, Tatiana Prazeres, said yesterday (30) that the negotiations take place within the blocs, and not between countries: "Mercosur negotiates with the [European] Commission, not with member states," she said.

    "Negotiations for an agreement with Mercosur have been dragging on for more than 20 years [...] We make overly complex agreements and end up harming ourselves because we have not been able to achieve anything in any of the economic areas [...] every agreement that is not concluded strengthens others and weakens us. Sometimes it is possible to see that people get stuck on a single issue. In [negotiations with] Mexico it is energy policy, in Mercosur it is Agricultural Policy, and all other sectors suffer from it [...] therefore, we must also consider whether these trade agreements should be divided into parts so that they can take effect," said Hildegard Muller, head of the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA).

    Yandex Translate from Portuguese

    https://sputniknewsbr.com.br/20240131/firme-recusa-da-franca-para-acordo-ue-mercosul-gera-racha-com-alemanha-e-abre-polemica-no-bloco-32815905.html
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    Post  nomadski Fri May 17, 2024 11:05 pm

    https://en.mehrnews.com/news/215267/Iran-Russia-working-on-single-BRICS-currency-envoy

    I hope they adopt my idea of using the calorie as the unit of currency . Or the calories available in foodstuffs . All products then have an  equivalent calorific value .

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    https://allthatsinteresting.com/old-currency/4


    Better than trading in animal skins ! Or making a few bucks !

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    Post  GarryB Sat May 18, 2024 10:03 am

    I hope they adopt my idea of using the calorie as the unit of currency . Or the calories available in foodstuffs . All products then have an equivalent calorific value .

    Not practical at all and actually an issue.

    A New Zealand milk company joined with a Chinese company to make milk powder and milk products for the Chinese market.

    The Chinese company made some business decisions that were more about profit than their customers or the brand they were selling so in effect they made baby formula from New Zealand sourced powdered milk, but to make a bigger profit they watered it down and to hide the fact that they had watered it down they added a plastic called Malamine so it would pass the tests for calouries and protein etc etc. Malamine is not dangerous to humans in small doses, but it is all babies consume and many got sick and some died... just so they could make a bit more money... Bastards.

    Also selling based on calories would make the worst most unhealthy food the most valuable... full of fat and sugar... pumping up the calories... imagine a batch of celery sprinkled with pig fat and sugar to make it more valuable.
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    Post  JohninMK Sat May 18, 2024 12:06 pm

    I have posted the whole text as this is really, really significant. Doubly so given Glasyev's comments (highlighted). It is now clear that this will be the device Russia/China will use to end the US$'s reign as the World Reserve Currency.

    Get ready for what may well be the geoeconomic bombshell of 2024: the coming of a decentralized monetary ecosystem.

    Welcome to The Unit – a concept that has already been discussed by the financial services and investments working group set up by the BRICS+ Business Council and has a serious shot at becoming official BRICS+ policy as early as in 2025.

    According to Alexey Subbotin, founder of Arkhangelsk Capital Management and one of the Unit’s conceptualizers, this is a new problem-solving system that addresses the key geoeconomic issue of these troubled times: a global crisis of trust.

    He knows all about it first-hand: a seasoned financial professional with experience in investment banking, asset management and corporate matters, Subbotin leads the Unit project under the auspices of IRIAS, an international intergovernmental organization set up in 1976 in accordance with the UN statute.
    The Global Majority has had enough of the centrally controlled monetary framework put in place 80 years ago in Bretton Woods and its endemic flaws: chronic deficits fueling irresponsible military spending; speculative bubbles; politically motivated sanctions and secondary sanctions; abuse of settlement and payment infrastructure; protectionism; and the lack of fair arbitration.
    In contrast, the Unit proposes a reliable, quick and economically efficient solution for cross-border payments. The - transactional - Unit is a game-changer as a new form of international currency that can be issued in a de-centralized way, and then recognized and regulated at national level.

    The Unit offers a unique solution for bottlenecks in global financial infrastructure: it is eligible for traditional banking operations as well as for the newest forms of digital banking. The Unit can also help to upend unfair pricing in commodity trading, by means of setting up a new – fair and efficient – Eurasian Mercantile Exchange where trading and settlement can be done in a new currency bridging trade flows and capital, thus paving the way to the development of new financial products for foreign direct investment (FDI).

    The strength of the Unit, conceptually, is to remove direct dependency on the currency of other nations, and to offer especially to the Global Majority a new form of apolitical money - with huge potential for anchoring fair trade and investments. It is indeed a new concept in terms of an international currency - anchored in gold (40%) and BRICS+ currencies (60%). It is neither crypto nor stablecoin – as it’s shown here.

    The Beauty of Going Fractal

    The Global Majority will instantly grasp the primary purpose of the Unit: to harmonize trade and financial flows by keeping them outside of political pressure or “rules” that can be twisted at will. The inevitable consequence translates as financial sovereignty. What matters in the whole process are independent monetary policies focused on economic growth.
    That’s the key appeal for the Global Majority: a full ecosystem offering independent, complementary monetary infrastructure. And that surely can be extended to willing Unit partners in the collective West.

    Now to the practical level: as Subbotin explains, the Unit ecosystem may be easily scalable because it comes from a fractal architecture supported by simple rules. New Unit nodes can be set up by either sovereign or private agents, following a detailed rule-book in custody of the UN-chartered IRIAS.

    The Unit organizers employ a distributed ledger: a technology that ensures transparency, precluding capital controls or any exchange rate manipulation. This means that connection is available to all open DEX and digital platforms operated by both commercial and Central Banks around the world. The endgame is that everyone, essentially, may use the Unit for accounting, bookkeeping, pricing, settling, paying, saving and investing.

    No wonder the institutional possibilities are quite enticing – as the Unit can be used for accounting and settlement for BRICS+; payment and pricing for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU); or as a reserve currency for Sub-Saharan Africa.

    And now comes the clincher: the Unit has already received backing by the BRICS Business Council and is on the agenda at the crucial ministerial meeting in Russia next month, which will work out the road map for the summit next October in Kazan. That means the Unit has all it takes to be on the table as a serious subject discussed by BRICS+ and eventually be adopted as early as in 2025.

    Will Musk and the NDB Be on Board?

    As it stands, the priority for the Unit conceptualizers – whom I followed for over a year during several, detailed meetings in Moscow - is to inform the general public about the new system.
    The Unit team is not interested at all in getting straight into political hot waters or to be cornered by ideologically-laden arguments. Direct references to inspiring but sometimes controversial concepts or authors like Zoltan Pozsar may bury the Unit concept into pigeon holes, thus limiting its potential impact.

    What may lie ahead could be extraordinarily exciting, as the Unit appeal could extend all the way from Elon Musk to the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB), hopefully engaging an array of crucial actors. After a positive evaluation by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov – who remains on the post in the new Russian government - it’s not far-fetched to imagine Putin and Xi discussing it face to face this week in Beijing.

    As it stands, the major takeaway is that the Unit should be seen as a feasible, technical solution for the theoretically Unsolvable: a globally-recognized payment/trade system, immune to political pressure. It’s the only game in town – there are no others. Meanwhile, the Unit conceptualizers are open for constructive criticism and all manners of collaboration. Yet sooner or later the battle ranks will be lined up – and then it will be a matter of seriously upping the game.

    “Academically Sound, Technologically Innovative”

    Vasily Zhabykin, co-author of the Unit white paper and founder of CFA.Center, Unit’s technological partner at Skolkovo Innovation Hub in Moscow, crucially stresses: the Unit “represents apolitical money and can be the connector between the Global South and the West.” He’s keen to point out that “the Unit can keep all the wheels turning unlike most of the other concepts that feature ‘dollar killers’, etc. We do not want to harm anybody. Our goal is to improve efficiency of currently broken capital and money flows. The Unit is rather the ‘cure for centralized cancer’’’.
    Subbotin and the Unit team “are keen to meet new partners who share our approach and are ready to bring additional value to our project.” If that’s the case, they should “send us 3 bullet points on how can they help and improve the Unit.”

    A bold follow-up step should be, for instance, a virtual conference on the Unit, featuring leading Russian economist Sergey Glazyev, Yannis Varoufakis, Jeffrey Sachs and Michael Hudson, among others.

    By email, Glazyev, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) , summed up the Unit’s potential:

    “I have been following the development of Unit for more than a year and can confirm that Unit offers a very timely, feasible solution. It is academically sound, technologically innovative and at the same time complementary to the existing banking infrastructure. Launching it under the auspices of an UN institution gives Unit legitimacy, which the current Bretton Woods framework is clearly lacking.
    Recent actions by the US administration and loud silence from IMF clearly indicate the need for change.

    A decentralized approach to emission of potential global trade currency, whose intrinsic value is anchored in physical gold and BRICS+ currencies, makes Unit the most promising of several approaches being considered. It balances political priorities of all participants, while helping each sovereign economy develop along its optimal path. The New Development Bank (NDB) and BRICS+ shall embrace the concept of Unit and help it to become the pinnacle of the new emerging global financial infrastructure, free from malign political interferences while focused instead on fair trade and sustainable economic growth.”

    A clear, practical example of possible Unit problem-solving concerns Russia-Iran trade relations. These are two top BRICS members. Russian trade with Iran is unprofitable due to sanctions – and both cannot make payments in US dollars or euros. Russian companies suffer significant losses after switching to payments in national currencies. With each transfer, Russian businesses on average lose as much as 25% due to the discrepancy between the market rate in Iran and the state rate.

    And here’s the key takeaway: BRICS+ as well as the Global Majority can only be strengthened by developing closer geoeconomics ties. The removal of Western speculative capital shall free up local commodity trading, and enable the pooling of investable capital for sustainable development. To unlock such a vast potential, the Unit may well be the key.

    https://sputnikglobe.com/20240513/de-dollarization-bombshell-the-coming-of-brics-decentralized-monetary-ecosystem-1118409748.html
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/escobar-de-dollarization-bombshell-coming-brics-decentralized-monetary-ecosystem

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    Post  flamming_python Sat May 18, 2024 3:30 pm

    In other words this Unit is a common BRICS currency.. but one that is only used for international trade between BRICS members (and in time between BRICS and non-BRICS countries I'm sure). National currencies will still be exclusively used in each of these countries for internal economic activity.

    So Iranian companies can purchase whatever products from Russian companies and pay for them in Unit, after converting their rials to Unit first. And then those Russian companies can use their accumulated Units to buy whatever they want from suppliers in China, India, Brazil and so on. If they don't have enough Unit then they can convert roubles into Unit. In time every private or government entity that engages in international trade with counterparts from other BRICS nations, will have their own bank accounts of Units on hand for convenience. Instead of having USD or Euro accounts or setting up exchanges between national currencies every time complete with the conversion fees.

    Unit issuing and conversion will be handled I presume by the BRICS bank or can be done locally by the national banks of each BRICS country. If they wish to stimulate international trade then they can minimize the currency exchange fees for buying/selling Units. It's in the interests of BRICS in fact to keep these costs at a minimum.
    And the national currencies that Units are bought with can go right into the BRICS bank to be used to back the Unit, along with gold reserves.

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    Post  Kiko Sun Jun 16, 2024 9:40 pm

    US hegemony is officially over, by Sergey Savchuk for RiaNovosti. 06.16.2024.

    Today we will talk about an event that promises to become a turning point in modern history. The media broke out with a knockout sensation - Saudi Arabia will not renew the bilateral agreement with the United States, within the framework of which all trade in Arab oil was required to be carried out in dollars.

    To understand the mechanics of the upcoming tectonic shifts in the global economy, you will have to at least briefly refresh your historical memory.

    In 1944, World War II was still raging in Europe , and the United States and Great Britain were rushing to record victory in it—naturally, in their favor. A year earlier, American financiers began to develop a global financial scheme that would make the United States a planetary hegemon and overseer, which, in fact, is what happened in the end. In 1944, representatives of the allied countries gathered in the town of Bretton Woods in New Hampshire. The American delegation was represented by economist Harry White, his colleague John Keynes was present from Britain, and the Union sent Deputy People's Commissar of Foreign Trade Mikhail Stepanov . US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau presided.

    The Americans immediately took the bull by the horns.

    Emphasizing that at the moment the United States had the largest reserves of physical gold, the most powerful economy, industry and simply did not fight on its territory, Washington demanded that the participants agree to accept the dollar as the only world reserve currency. This meant that from now on any goods on the world market must be denominated in dollars, and the “buck” itself was tied to the reserves and value of gold in the treasury vaults. The British were happy with this scheme, since the agreement immediately stipulated the special status of the pound and certain preferential trade regimes. The Soviet Union received nothing but obligations to invest in American securities and shoulder the task of maintaining American financial (and therefore geopolitical) hegemony. Fully aware of the precariousness of the Soviet economy at that moment, Stalin nevertheless decisively rejected the proposal.

    As a result of the meeting, the Americans and the British still formed the well-known International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Bretton Woods became the piston that accelerated the US economy, since now virtually the whole world was working to maintain its currency, and Washington could print money literally in tons without fear of hyperinflation.

    This continued until 1971, when the dollar exhausted its capabilities in the sense that the reserves simply ran out of physical gold. But the United States had already acquired a taste for world power and was not going to break a convenient and extremely profitable system for the sake of such a “trifle.” Therefore, President Nixon abolished the gold standard, and the world entered the period of the so-called Jamaican Monetary System, in which the dollar was no longer pegged to the yellow metal, but was supported by the resources of developing countries.

    Many historians agree that it was the deepening spiral of the Cold War that caused the transformation of the world economy, when the USSR had to be beaten from all sides, including being strangled financially. And the opportunity presented itself.

    In 1974, when the financial crisis was sweeping the world, the United States made an offer to Saudi Arabia that was difficult to refuse. Fantastic reserves of oil were recently found on the Arabian Peninsula, which began its triumphant march as the queen of energy, rapidly killing coal. The US economy at that time was stalling and, to maintain momentum, required an injection of new blood, which was oil. The United States invited the Saudis to sign an agreement, under which the Americans pledged to supply weapons, introduce new technologies, and help with industrialization, medicine and education. In return, they demanded sheer nonsense: the Saudis had to coordinate oil production volumes with Washington, sell it to American companies as a priority, and invest the profits in American treasuries. Saudi Arabia at that moment was going through difficult times in relations with its neighbors, there was a question about its possible physical disappearance, and therefore the sheikhs agreed. The bilateral agreement was automatically renewed every five years, but now, apparently, the other side has had its fill of the status of “America’s reserve gas tank.”

    Today, Saudi Arabia is a rich and highly developed state, and its success is based on colossal hydrocarbon reserves, and the local leadership is not at all mistaken about this. Over the past ten years, the whole world has seen with its own eyes that America is no longer so strong and its opinion can be ignored, which is clearly confirmed by the huge, cold Russia with not the largest population. At the same time, the Russians manage to develop the economy in the conditions of an unimaginable number of constantly supplemented sanctions and restrictions, which are introduced primarily against the oil and gas sector. Moscow’s main geostrategic ally is Beijing , which has already won the first round of the trade war with the United States, and is approaching the second in a much more advantageous position than in 2017. Saudi Arabia is one step away from establishing normal relations with Iran , under whose patronage many armed groups the size of a good army are fighting in the region. The Russian-Chinese tandem has long been offering Riyadh to stop supporting the purchasing power of the dollar with its hard-earned barrels, which will also sharply reduce external military threats to the kingdom. In addition, the PRC , for which the United States is a key trading partner, has been actively getting rid of American treasuries in recent years, reducing its investments from 1.3 trillion to 800 billion. At the same time, the volume of sales of Arabian hydrocarbons is growing at an accelerated pace, and payment schemes in yuan, yen and cryptocurrency have been tested.

    The latter was largely the cause of current events.

    Several years ago, Saudi Arabia became part of the global CBDC (Multi-Central Bank Digital Currency) payment system, which allows trading operations in any convenient cryptocurrency without regard to anyone. The project was implemented on the basis of the Reserve Bank of South Africa , which was joined by the central banks of Israel , Namibia , France , Bahrain , Egypt , Jordan , the Central Bank of the European Union, the IMF, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York , the Reserve Bank of Australia and the World Bank.

    Along the way, since 2021, the mBridge project has been successfully operating, patronized by the Central Bank of the UAE , the Bank of Thailand, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the People's Bank of China. That is, by the time the fifty-year-old agreement expired, it became much more difficult for Saudi Arabia to find reasons to renew it than to go free for the first time.

    It is necessary to mention such a factor of American policy as the promotion of the green agenda. It is being imposed as an ultimatum both within the States and in those countries that had the imprudence to sign up as friends of Washington. Moreover, its most aggressive apologists are Democrats, while Republicans are much more loyal to traditional energy based on three pillars: coal, gas and oil. For the Saudis, further friendship with Washington, in addition to the humiliating status of a “gas tank,” means the inevitable strangulation in the future of their key industry, on which the state itself and its wealth are based. Therefore, we can say that just as Nixon destroyed the gold standard system in his time, so Biden, in pursuit of a fashionable agenda, cut off the roots of the petrodollar, losing his key supplier and financial support.

    We live in interesting times, to be sure.

    https://ria.ru/20240616/ssha-1953117372.html

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    Post  Kiko Sun Jun 23, 2024 9:39 pm

    Gold reserves are climbing globally: the dollar is being hit with everything, from all sides., by Javier Benítez for Spanish Sputnik. 06.23.2024.

    Gold reserves on the rise. This is what is recorded in central banks of developed and emerging countries due to geopolitical and financial tensions. This is according to a new survey by the World Gold Council (WGC). The agency predicts that this increase will come at the expense of the US dollar.
    Gold also crushes the dollar.

    The document, published on July 18, shows that 29% of central banks would increase their gold reserves this year, which represents the highest rate since 2019. Meanwhile, 13% expect to do so by next year, compared to 8% in 2023. Meanwhile, 69% of respondents believe that their gold reserves will increase in the next five years, while in 2023 that index represented 38%.

    According to the WGC report, in 2023 these institutions acquired 1,037 tons of gold in their reserves, the second largest amount in history, and the final figure for 2024 would also fluctuate around these values.

    Meanwhile, the dollar is traveling the opposite way. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2023 the level of US currency reserves was the lowest since the indicator was tracked (1995), at 58.41%.

    In this sense, the majority of respondents to the World Gold Council report believe that the trend of falling dollar reserves will continue over the next five years. In this regard, in 2022 42% believed so, in 2023 55%, and in the current 2024, the figure increased to 62%. In this scenario, and given that gold is gaining more relevance than ever, the dollar's share in global foreign exchange reserves will continue to fall, the WGC report concludes.

    International analyst Nicola Hadwa warns that over the past decades, the dollar has been a safe-haven currency.

    "Whenever there was instability, investors and people in general took refuge in the dollar," he explained.

    The expert emphasizes that there is now a huge instability on the planet that is not accidental or circumstantial, it is planned. "The United States, to the extent that it created instability in the world, people took refuge in the dollar, and the dollar rose in price. So, the US had an extra income only creating instability elsewhere. Now, the dollar and gold are the asset-refuge par excellence worldwide, but gold is replacing (the dollar) and is increasing as a refuge globally," concludes Hadwa.

    Yandex Translate from Spanish.

    https://latamnews.lat/20240623/reservas-de-oro-trepan-a-nivel-global-al-dolar-le-estan-dando-con-todo-por-todos-lados-1155664082.html


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