WHAT THE FUCK?! Vocodery things in the 50s! So beautiful. Did these guys do Aqua Marina too?
International mega-G Psy schools the Harvard kiddlings. Beautiful.
From Zero Hedge:
“The message of this initiative is for China to consider whether or not China would open up its banking system and allow the strongest currency in the world, which is the Chinese yuan, to be the rightful and anointed convertible currency of the world.” – Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Olarn Chaipravat in an interview with Bloomberg
“An international monetary system dominated by a single sovereign sovereign currency has intensified the concentration of risk and the spread of the crisis.” — People’s Bank of China (2009)
It should go without saying that China and Russia have designs to end the U.S. Dollar hegemony free ride. This is fundamental to understand and will be a game changer. The impacts on the standard of living of these players will be profound and especially negative for the U.S. How and in what manner this plays out is the question. I strongly believe that the answer lies in two parts: letting the U.S. put a noose around its own neck and then at the appropriate time, kicking the chair out from under it.
The first part of the operation is now advanced and is described below. The second part involves China and Russia preparing its relative currencies to be accepted in lieu of dollars. It means making the yuan and ruble at least equal to, if not superior to, American dollars in world trade. As you can imagine, the U.S. — a country with a debt-to-GDP ratio approaching 110% — can ill afford this sort of challenge to its status as a reserve currency.
China has already advanced the Yuan as a principal exchange currency by incorporating a series of deal with other countries. Such arrangements are hardly mentioned by U.S. financial media, but they are going on constantly. So far, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has signed nearly 2 trillion yuan worth of currency-swap deals with 20 countries and regions, including Hong Kong. Here’s a breakdown of happenings:
I suggest that the kicking the chair out from USD hegemony involves at least partially backing the Yuan, and Ruble for that matter, with gold. China’s reserve assets were 30.2% of the world total at the end of last year. How much of this is already in gold?
China is secretive about the number, I think it’s because it had some catching up to do and it’s incorporating Sun Tzu-style principles, namely deception. The last time China revealed its gold reserve levels was in 2009 at 1,054 tonnes, which caught the market by surprise.
Another reference point is that China’s foreign exchange reserve increased from $2.2 trillion in 2009 to $3.4 trillion today. During that period, U.S. dollar reserves held by China fell from 69% to 54%. If only 10% of that $1.2 trillion increase went to gold, then let’s see … At an average price of $1,200, that would be nearly 3,000 tonnes, bringing China’s total gold holdings up to 4000 tonnes. Conventional wisdom would point to between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes. The U.S. supposedly has 8,133 tonnes in its reserves. Russia has doubled its gold reserve in four years.
China’s mines produce an average of 350 tonnes per year. During the last four years, it has produced 1,400 tonnes. Certainly, its domestic production went toward its reserve. Production estimates for 2013 are 440 tonnes. It should be noted, however, that from 2002 to 2009 China had produced approximately 1800 metric tonnes of gold, which strongly suggests that its figure of 1,054 tonnes for 2009 is understated and deceptive, maybe by a factor of two to three times.
Between 2011 and 2012, imports into China via Hong Kong surged to a total of 950 tonnes. Some, but possibly the majority of this ended up in gold reserves. Furthermore, no one talks about “illegal” gold imports smuggled into China, which may add to the total.
This year, the gold grab has reached entirely new levels, no doubt just one of the “unintended consequences” of the gold short attack in the paper “market.” In the first five months of this year, China imported more than what it did for all of 2011, or 525 tonnes.
Another incredible number is the volume of ounces transferred out of the London bullion market (LBMA) in May. That month alone it increased to 28.2 million ounces. To put that in perspective: 28.2 million troy ounces translates into 877 metric tonnes of gold. The amount of physical gold delivered year to date on the Shanghai Gold Exchange is 1,198 tonnes. Again, it’s much more than one would expect of the appetite of institutions, banks and individuals. The “Chinese granny” investor story is overplayed and may be a bit of a decoy. Much of this are PBoC and their proxies.
In 2009, a Chinese state council adviser known simply as “Ji” said that a team of experts from Shanghai and Beijing had set up a task force to consider expanding China’s gold reserves. Ji was quoted as saying, “We suggested that China’s gold reserves should reach 6,000 tons in the next three to five years and perhaps 10,000 tons in eight to 10 years.”
The numbers I’ve cited are consistent with China easily reaching the Ji gold holding of 6,000 tonnes this year. The kind of withdrawal numbers being reported out of the LBMA, Comex and GLD (418 tonnes YTD) suggest that the PBOC through it’s proxy, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), is involved in a physical gold raid of such magnitude that the 6,000-tonne target has been left in the dust. The great gold sale has facilitated a push heading closer to 10,000 tonnes.
More importantly, as long as gold prices remain suppressed, China will continue to be a large-scale buyer. Perversely, if gold prices remain low, it will serve to accelerate the timeline for China to take down USD reserve currency hegemony. The U.S. can ill afford a China gold reserve buildup of 1,000 tonnes or more a year, let alone raid 2,000 tonnes and at cheap prices.
Meanwhile, China reportedly is progressing well on its ambitious plan to recast large gold bars into smaller, 1-kilogram bars on a massive scale. The big gold recast project points to the Chinese preparing for a new system of trade settlement. In the process, they are constructing a foundation for a new gold-supported monetary system that will give them advantages to their trade payments.
Finally, higher gold prices are necessary if the U.S. wants to curb China demand and prevent an emperor-wears-no-clothes scenario on the home front. You see, once yuan becomes a currency fully backed by gold, the next logical step will be not just domestic but international pressure on the U.S. and others, like Germany, to lift the iron curtain and reveal whether the gold they claim backs their currency really exists. Then get ready for all hell to break loose.
A wonderful, illuminating, and of course ultimately heartbreaking radio documentary on the godfather of stand-up, without whom no Pryor, no Carlin, no Hicks, no Chapelle, no Stanhope.
A radio documentary made back in 1997. Produced by Steve Shepherd & presented by Charles Shaar Murray. I spent two weeks in San Francisco and New York interviewing Lenny’s friends, lawyers and collaborators, then edited 25 hours of tape (and it was tape) down to around an hour of material and refined it with Charles (who delivered a great script as always). It was well received at the time but had a limited audience with just two airings on Radio 3. Enjoy. Steve Shepherd
By Greg Palast for Truthout
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Dear Mr. Martin,
I have a 16-year old son. I cannot imagine losing him because some beast decided to play Lone Ranger.
And so, with cautious humility, I make this suggestion, this plea.
Sue the beast. You must.
I understand you are reluctant to launch another painful trial of uncertain outcome and cost, monetary and emotional. And I know a money judgment won’t bring your son home.
But imagine this: George Zimmerman gets a half-million-dollar book deal and $25,000 a pop to appear at gun shows – plus a fee to put his name on a 9mm semi-automatic. The ‘Zimmerman Protector.’
There’s only one way to put this monster out of business: Justice can only come out of the barrel of a lawsuit.
Only in a lawsuit can you force Zimmerman to the witness stand. That’s crucial. In the criminal case, Zimmerman’s daddy, a magistrate no less, could say it was poor George yelling for help on that desperate phone call.
In a civil action, your son’s lawyer can say to Zimmerman, “Come on, George, let’s hear you scream for help. George, let’s hear you scream that this skinny kid is going to kill you. Come on, George, show us how Trayvon somehow grabbed your big fat head while he was taking the gun from your hand.”
A federal indictment won’t do that: Zimmerman can’t be called as a witness in a criminal case. A federal trial won’t disgrace Zimmerman nor stop him from getting rich off your son’s corpse.
A civil trial has none of that “reasonable doubt” crap that can get Zimmerman off the hook with some fantasy story about Trayvon as the dangerous aggressor. Zimmerman’s consigliere said it was Trayvon’s own fault he was murdered. The “decision [to get shot] was in Trayvon Martin’s hands more than my client’s.” Do you want that to be the last word about your son?
Maybe you don’t want the money. OK, then: Set up a foundation and make Zimmerman turn over all that blood money, those book deals and gun show fees, to the Trayvon Foundation. Make him work every day of his lousy life for Trayvon.
There’s another advantage to civil action. To be blunt, you won’t have to rely on painfully befuddled prosecutors like the ones we witnessed in that courtroom. In a lawsuit, you can choose the best legal gunslingers in the country.
I’m not guessing about that. I asked fearsome Florida trial lawyer Mike Papantonio if he and his partner, civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy Jr., would take on the case if called. Papantonio said his firm is standing by, ready to help your legal team if asked. And I have no doubt there are other great plaintiff lawyers who would leap to your cause.
Americans love to complain that there are “too many lawyers.” I agree that if some corporate defense lawyers drown in their hot tubs, only their mothers should cry. But it is our unique system of tort law that gives Americans the true Hammer of Justice. Plaintiff lawsuits, even more than government agencies or the FBI, are what keep drug companies from poisoning us and keep dangerous toys from maiming our kids. And, using section 1983 of the federal civil rights statute, it’s the power of the plaintiffs’ bar that stops racist jerks from denying jobs, mortgages and freedoms to people of color.
And there’s one final reason to bring a civil action. Let the word go forth to any Zimmerman wannabe dreaming that wealth and admiration requires only their hunting down another dark-skinned kid in a hoodie: Maybe sick Florida law will keep you out of prison, but you will have your sorry ass dragged onto a witness stand, where you will be ripped up, ruined and busted for the rest of your life.
So I’m asking you, as one dad to another, stand your ground and sue this killer – for Trayvon and for all our kids.