The PBOC and Bundesbank Sign Pact to Turn Frankfurt into Yuan Hub….Meanwhile Obama Heads to Saudi Arabia

I haven’t paid too much attention as of late to agreements between China and other nations intended to expand the use of the yuan (renminbi) internationally, because the near-term implications always seem to be exaggerated by many market commentators. That said, this deal between the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and Germany’s Bundesbank seems quite significant given the importance of Germany within the global economy generally and the E.U. specifically.

From Bloomberg via BusinessWeek:

Germany’s Bundesbank and the ™People’s Bank of China agreed to cooperate in the clearing and settling of payments in renminbi, paving the way for Frankfurt to corner a share of the offshore market.

The central banks signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin today, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in an e-mailed statement.

Germany’s financial capital prevailed over Paris and Luxembourg in a euro-area race to win trade in renminbi, which overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in October, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The U.K. Treasury said on March 26 that the Bank of England would sign an initial agreement with the PBOC on March 31 to clear and settle yuan transactions in London.

“Frankfurt is one of Europe’s foremost financial centers and home to two central banks, making it a particularly suitable location,” said Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank’s executive board. “Renminbi clearing will strengthen the close economic and financial ties between Germany and the People’s Republic of China.”

China was Germany’s third-biggest foreign trade partner last year, with 140 billion euros in turnover passing between the two countries, according to the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden. China ranks fifth among importers of German goods and is the second-biggest exporter to Germany.

German companies including Siemens AG, the country’s biggest engineering company, and Volkswagen AG are embracing the renminbi internally as a third currency for cross-border trade settlements.

“The potential is vast,” said Stefan Harfich, the Siemens Financial Services manager, who steered the introduction of the yuan at the Munich-based company in October. “The introduction of the renminbi as an official company currency will therefore have a big impact on Siemens’s business in the coming years.”

Daimler AG, the Mercedes manufacturer that sold 235,644 autos in China last year, issued 500 million yuan of one-year notes in Asia’s largest economy on March 14, in the first so-called panda bond by an overseas non-financial company.

With all that in mind, let’s not forget that Obama is currently in Saudi Arabia trying to restore ties with the Medieival Kingdom, i.e., he is trying to figure out a way to arm al-Qaeda in Syria without the American public finding out about it.

From the Wall Street Journal:

RIYADH—Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday marks a bid to warm relations that the Saudis hope will result in commitments by the U.S. president to boost the supply of sophisticated weapons to Syrian insurgents.

Continue reading

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

3D-Printing Meets the 2nd Amendment

“This isn’t 1994. The Internet happened since the last assault weapons ban. This is a fledgling tech, but look what we’re able to do. We printed that magazine out.”

- Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed

This article about the 3D-printing of gun magazines absolutely blew my mind and confirms what I had already suspected.  There is no way gun confiscation or even restrictions will ever work in the United States.  As I have been saying from the beginning, we need to confront the root causes of violence in the country (gun or otherwise) not resort to ridiculous knee-jerk reactions that won’t do any good anyway.  I expressed my thoughts on the gun debate in the following articles:  How to Spot a Hypocrite in the Gun Debate and Other Reflections on Newtown and It’s Time to Ban Suicide.

From Forbes:

Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip.

That homemade chunk of curved plastic holds special significance: Between 1994 and 2004, so-called “high capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 bullets were banned from sale. And a new gun control bill proposed by California Senator Diane Feinstein would ban those larger ammo clips again. President Obama has also voiced support for the magazine restrictions.

But Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson says he hopes the group’s recent work demonstrates the futility of that proposed ban in the age of cheap 3D printing.

Continue reading

It’s Time to Ban Suicide

The results are in and it’s high time we did something about it.  According to the American Journal of Public Health, suicide surpassed car crashes as the number one cause of death by injury for Americans as of 2009.  This is unacceptable.  I demand the President hold an immediate press conference, touch the corner of his eye three or four times and insist he will do “whatever it takes” to solve this problem.  Enough is enough people.  I suggest increasingly harsh punishment for those that participate in suicide, even up to the death penalty.

The point of the above was obviously to be absurd.  To offer a ridiculous solution to a tragic and increasingly serious epidemic in this country.  The point is to hammer into people that what I wrote above is not that distinct from some of the anti-gun arguments going around in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.  Suicide is the perfect example to use, because there is no punishment that can serve as a deterrent, there is simply no easy “feel good” solution that Congress can sign into law, smile for the cameras and move on.  If we want to deal with the suicide epidemic, we must deal with the root causes.  While I am no expert on the matter, I would suggest that three of the most probable causes are: 1) Mental illness 2) The economic depression 3) A population over-medicated on prescription drugs, particularly SSRIs.  What I find interesting, is that the above three issues are probably also likely significant root causes of these mass shootings.

Continue reading

Obama Wins 8 of the Nation’s 10 Wealthiest Counties…Impressive Stats for a “Socialist”

I just love these statistics posted by CNBC yesterday:

In an election that often focused on debates about class warfare, President Barack Obama was favored over multimillionaire businessman Mitt Romney in eight of the nation’s 10 wealthiest counties.

For a guy that supposedly wants to redistribute wealth, the wealthiest people sure do seem to like him.  The sad truth of the matter is that Obama is doing one simple thing.  He is paying off the poor via food stamps and disability checks so that they stay in line while the oligarchs steal everything in sight.  The middle class is squeezed in the process and is rapidly disappearing.  So in a way he is a wealth distributor, just not in the way the pundits would have you believe.  He is funneling the wealth or the middle class and non-oligarch rich to the super rich oligarchs.  The poor just get paid off to shut-up as usual.  I am once again reminded of Keynes’ famous quote:

Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

So there we have it.  Obama the socialist? No. Obama the crony capitalist coddler?  Most definitely.

Read the CNBC article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

Meet Gary Johnson: The Libertarian for President Polling at 7% in Colorado

I haven’t endorsed anyone for President yet, but the guy that catches my eye more than any other at the moment is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  While people will say a vote for Gary Johnson is a “wasted vote” or a “vote for Obama,” neither of these claims are accurate.  First of all, a “wasted vote” is to play the system’s rigged game and vote for the “lesser of two evils” between two awful candidates that fundamentally disagree with me on every single issue of importance.  To the second point, there is a lot of evidence that suggests Johnson pulls from both parties, and in fact mostly from Independent voters (who probably wouldn’t vote anyway), with him pulling more away from Obama in my home state of Colorado where he is polling at 7% as of late!

I don’t like labels and I prefer not to attach myself to any.  While I agree more with the Libertarian platform than the other options, no political philosophy is perfect.  The point is that the Democrats and Republicans are two big party elite shams that pit the populace purposely against one another on emotional social issues so as to never debate what really matters.  Gary Johnson is virulently opposed to Gestapo type legislation like the NDAA, which Obama is fighting aggressively in court to keep, he is against the Federal Reserve system, in favor or real capitalism where there are no massive bank bailouts or institutionalized socialism for the rich and austerity for the middle class.  He is the only commonsense guy running for President that sees the nation’s future in a similar vein to so many of my generation and younger if we would just wake up.

Gary Johnson has recently polled around 5% nationally.  While this is impressive for a guy with zero media coverage, he needs 15% to get in the debates.  If nothing else, it would be amazing to see him up there with the other two puppets.  If we spread his message perhaps he can get there.

Below is a interview my friend Dan Ameduri recorded with Mr. Johnson at the Freedom Fest in Vegas.  His candor is refreshing and without a doubt you will know where this man stands on the issues.  Please take the time.  Our nation’s future is at stake.

In Liberty,
Mike

Congress Can’t Pass a Bill? No Problem! Obama Can Just Sign an Executive Order

Our favorite Senator, Jay Rockefeller, the man who lamented the creation of the internet, is actively urging President Obama to sign an Executive Order to achieve the same results as the Cybersecurity Act that Congress failed to pass.  It is beyond disgusting that a sitting Senator would encourage The President to bypass the legislative branch (of which he is a member) and evade the checks and balances that exist between the three branches of government that was such a key provision of The Constitution.  The founding fathers intimately understood the dangers of a King and they wanted to make sure The President couldn’t act like one.  For a sitting member of Congress to encourage this is nothing short of despicable.  He is an embarrassment to the institution itself.

This is just further evidence of our political decay into a nation of men, rather than a nation of laws.

From The Hill:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) urged President Obama on Monday to issue an executive order that would establish a program in which companies operating critical infrastructure would take steps to bolster the security of their computer systems from a cyberattack.

John Brennan, the White House’s chief counterterrorism adviser, said last week that the Obama administration is considering imposing cybersecurity rules via executive order after the Cybersecurity Act failed to gain enough Republican support to move forward.

Just another day in the United States of Banana Republic.

Full article here.

More Americans Have Gone on Disability than Gotten Jobs in the Obama “Recovery”

In case you haven’t seen this statistic yet, nothing exemplifies the horrific three years of Obama’s fake “recovery” more than the fact that since June 2009, 2.6 million jobs have been created in America (mostly temp positions or cashiers at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart), while 3.1 million have signed up for disability benefits.  Hey, if we judge an economy based on growth in ponzi schemes and poverty, Obama is without a doubt the best President in U.S. history.

Key Quotes from the Investor’s Business Daily article:
The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama’s recovery. While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits.

In other words, the number of new disability enrollees has climbed 19% faster than the number of jobs created during the sluggish recovery.

And the disability ranks will continue to swell. In just the last month, almost 275,000 put in applications for disability benefits. Experts say that more people try to get on disability when jobs are scarce, and changes to eligibility rules enacted back in 1984 have made it far easier to qualify.

Read the full article here.