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Immediate Aftermath : The more data we collect and analyze, the clearer the picture becomes.
This is the updated first part of the list that has recorded the notable events as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. [2nd Part] ― The LINKS to events and sources are placed throughout the timeline. ------------------------ The More Data We Collect and Analyze, the Clearer the Picture Becomes. Someone threw a stone in a pond a long way away. And we're only just feeling the ripples. — Fukuhara from Giri/Haji, Netflix series ------------------------ On Jan 30, Italian PM announced that Italy had blocked all flights to and from China. While Italy has banned people from air-travelling to China, however according to IATA data, there's no measurement implemented for air-travellers from China into Italy till the Mar 07. Especially for Chinese people who have EU passports. On Jan 31, the US announced the category-I travel restrictions, barring all foreigners who have been in China for the past 14 days, with measures including the refusal of visas and mandatory quarantine. • "Because the US focused on China and didn't expect the infected people's entry from Europe and the Middle East, the Maginot Line was breached from behind. And so little of credible data at the beginning made the US government to miscalculate its strategic response to the virus." — Dr. Zhang Lun, currently a visiting scholar at Harvard (economics & sociology), during the interview with ICPC on Mar 29. Also on Jan 31, the WHO changed its tune and declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Decisions on a PHEIC always involve politics .... West African countries discouraged a declaration in 2014 after they were hit by the largest Ebola virus outbreak on record, mainly because of concern about the economic impact.
------------------------ On Feb 02, regarding the US category-I travel restrictions, Kamala Harris, the former Democratic presidential candidate, declared on Twitter:
Since 2017, Trump’s travel bans have never been rooted in national security—they’re about discriminating against people of color. They are, without a doubt, rooted in anti-immigrant, white supremacist ideologies. This travel ban is no different.
On Feb 03, criticizing Trump for his travel restrictions continues. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (华春莹), a Peking University professors James Liang (梁建章), New York Times, the Nation, OBSERVER, the Boston Globe, Yahoo, and Daily Kos were saying, it's a "panicky" decision and "racist" or it's "cruel and callous," he's stoking fear for political gains, and the president is "inappropriately overreacting." And professors Liang even said the US ban "will hurt goodwill and cooperation [with China] in the future."          Also on Feb 03, Mr. Tedros of the WHO said there's no need for travel ban measure that "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade" trying to halt the spread of the virus.
China's delegate took the floor ... and denounced measures by "some countries" that have denied entry to people holding passports issued in Hubei province - at the centre of the outbreak - and to deny visas and cancel flights.
Also on Feb 03, China is expected to gradually implement a larger stimulus packages (in total) than a USD $572 billion from 2008. — We'd never find out but my guess is that the fund will probably go to Shanghai clique. On Feb 04, The FDA has given emergency authorization to a new test kit by the CDC that promises to help public health labs meet a potential surge in cases.
The speed ... pushing through a new diagnostic test shows just how seriously they’re taking the potentially pandemic threat of 2019-nCoV. It’s also a sign that the world is starting to learn how to deal with an onslaught of new pathogens.
Also on Feb 04, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS, Chief Chen Wei belongs to) have jointly applied to patent the use of Remdesivir. Scientists from both institutes said in a paper published in Nature’s Cell Research that they found both Remdesivir and Chloroquine to be an effective way to inhibit the coronavirus. On Feb 06, Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based research & analysis unit, noted that with State Council of PRC praising his performance of containing the pandemic situation, the council expanded Li Keqiang's political control over Politburo Standing Committee of CCP. (Li Keqiang = Communist Youth League = Shanghai clique) Also, on Feb 06, as the US evacuation planes leave China, the wave of the US evacuees have arrived who are met by the CDC personnel at the quarantine sites for screening, and those who were suspected of infection will be placed under quarantine for 14 days. Also, on Feb 06, a CDC-developed lab test kit to detect the new coronavirus began shipping to qualified US laboratories and international ones. — However, on Feb 12, the CDC said some of the testing kits have flaws and do not work properly. The CDC finally ended up shipping the working test kits for mass testings on Feb 27. This was three weeks later than originally planned. On Feb 07, China National Petroleum has recently declared Force Majeure on gas imports. They are trying to create a breathing room for their foreign exchange reserves shortage. China's foreign exchange reserves fell to mere USD $3.1 trillion in Oct. 2019. On the same day, Bloomberg reported that PetroChina has directed employees in 20 countries to buy N95 face masks and send them home in China. The goal is to get 2 million masks shipped back. You can also find YouTube videos that show Overseas Chinese are scouring the masks at the Home Depot to ship them to China (the video in Korean). Also Chris Smith is pissed. On Feb 09, Trump renews his national emergency on its southern border, and Elizabeth Goitein from the Brennan Center for Justice, published an opinion article on New York Times titled "Trump Has Abused This Power. And He Will Again if He’s Not Stopped." On Feb 10, Dr. Tedros said that an advance three-person team of the WHO arrived in Beijing for a joint mission to discuss with Chinese officials the agenda and questions. Then, the joint mission of about 10 international experts will soon follow, he said. — Those WHO experts ended up visiting Chinese epicentre for the first time on Feb 24. On Feb 12, the US targets Russian oil company for helping Venezuela skirt sanctions. The US admin seemingly tried to secure leverage against Russia after noticing something suspicious was up. On the same day, Trump told Reuters "I hope this outbreak or this event (for the US) may be over in something like April." — Dr. Zhong Nanshan (钟南山), China's top tier SARS-hero doctor, also said "the peak of the virus (for China) should come in mid to late February, followed by a plateau or decrease," adding that his forecast was based on on mathematical modelling and data from recent events and government action. On Feb 13, Tom Frieden who is a former US CDC chief and currently the head of public health nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives, said:
As countries are trying to develop their own control strategies, they are looking for evidence of whether the situation in China is getting worse or better. [But] We still don't have very basic information. [since the WHO just entered China] We hope that information will be coming out.
On the same day, the CDC reports that the 15th case in the US was confirmed. The patient was a part of group who were under a federal quarantine order at the JBSA-Lackland base because of a recent trip to Hubei Province, China. By Feb 13, China hasn't accepted the US CDC's offer to send top experts, and they haven't released the "disaggregated" data (specific figures broken out from the overall numbers) even though repeatedly been asked. On Feb 14, CCP's United Front posted an article on its official website, saying (Eng. text by Google Translation):
Fast! There is no time difference to raise urgently needed materials! Some Overseas Chinese have used their professions in the field of medicine in order to purchase relevant materials Hubei province in short of supply (to send them to China). .... Some Overseas Chinese took advantage of the connection resources, opened green transportation channels through our embassies and consulates abroad, and their related enterprises, and quickly sent large quantities of medical supplies (to China), making this love relay link and cooperation seamless.
On Feb 18, Reuters reports that 3M is on the list of firms eligible for China loans to ease coronavirus crisis.
There is no indication from the list that loans offered will necessarily be sought, or that such firms are in any financial need. The Bank of Shanghai told Reuters it will lend 5.5 billion yuan ($786 million) to 57 firms on its list.
On Feb 21, Xi Jinping writes a thank-you letter to Bill Gates for his foundation’s support to China regarding COVID-19 outbreak. On Feb 24, China was rumoured on Twitter to delay the phase one trade deal implementation indefinitely which includes the increase of China's purchasing American products & services by at least $200 billion over the next two years. Also on Feb 24, S&P 500 Index started to drop. Opened with 3225.9 and closed 3128.2. By the Mar 23, it dropped to 2208.9. Also on Feb 24, China's National Health Commission says the WHO experts have visited Wuhan city for the first time, the locked-down central Chinese city at the epicentre, inspecting two hospitals and a makeshift one at a sports centre. On Feb 26, IF the picture that has been circulated on Twitter were real, then chief Chen Wei and her team have developed the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine within time frame of a month. On the same day, the CDC's latest figures displays 59 people in the US who have tested positive for COVID-19. Also on Feb 26, the Washington Post published an article that says:
.... the WHO said it has repeatedly asked Chinese officials for "disaggregated" data — meaning specific figures broken out from the overall numbers — that could shed light on hospital transmission and help assess the level of risk front-line workers face. "We received disaggregated information at intervals, though not details about health care workers," said Tarik Jasarevic of the WHO. — The comment, in an email on Feb 22 to the Post, was one of the first instances that the WHO had directly addressed shortcomings in China's reporting or handling of the coronavirus crisis.
On Feb 27, after missteps, the CDC says its test kit is ready and the US started to expand testing. On Feb 28, China transferred more than 80,000 Uighurs to factories used by global brands such as Apple, Nike, & Volkswagen & among others. Also on Feb 28, the WHO published the official report of the WHO-China joint mission on coronavirus disease 2019. (PDF) On Feb 29, quoting Caixin media's investigation published on the same day, Lianhe Zaobao, the largest Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper, published an article reporting the following:
Dr. Li Wenliang said in the interview with Caixin media; [in Dec 2019] another doctor (later turned out to be Dr. Ai Fen) examined and tried to treat a patient who exhibited SARS-like symptoms which akin to influenza resistant to conventional treatment methods. And "the family members who took care of her (the patient) that night also had a fever, and her other daughter also had a fever. This is obviously from person to person" Dr. Li said in the interview."
------------------------ On Mar 01, China's State Council super tighten up their already draconian internet law. On the same day,Princelings published an propaganda called "A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating COVID-19 in 2020" which compiles numerous state media accounts on the heroic leadership of Xi Jinping, the vital role of the Communist Party, and the superiority of the Chinese system in fighting the virus. Starting on Mar 03, the US Fed has taken two significant measures to provide monetary stimulus. It's going to be no use as if a group of people with serious means are manipulating the markets to make sure MM will have liquidity concerns when they need it most. On Mar 04, Xinhua News, China's official state-run press agency posted an article "Be bold: the world should thank China" which states that
If China retaliates against the US at this time, it will also announce strategic control over medical products, and ban exports of said products to the US. ... If China declares today that its drugs are for domestic use only, the US will fall into the hell of new coronavirus epidemic.
On Mar 05, Shanghai Index has recovered the coronavirus loss almost completely. On Mar 07, Saudi's Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman. — Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is known to have very tight investment-interest relationship with Bill Gates, Bill Browder, Blackstone, & BlackRock: One common factor that connects these people is China. On Mar 08, the Russia–Saudi oil price war has begun. The ostensible reason was simple: China, the biggest importer of oil from Saudi and Russia, was turning back tankers while claiming that the outbreak forced its economy to a standstill. On Mar 10, the Washington Post published the article saying that the trade group for manufacturers of personal protective equipment urged in 2009 "immediate action" to restock the national stockpile including N95 masks, but it hasn't been replenished since. On Mar 11, the gentleman at the WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a "Global Pandemic." He called on governments to change the course of the outbreak by taking "urgent and aggressive action." This was a full twelve days after the organization published the official report regarding the situation in China. On Mar 13, the US admin declared a National Emergency and announced the plan to release $50 billion in federal resources amid COVID-19. Also on Mar 13, China's Ministry of Commerce states that China is now the best region for global investment hedging. On Mar 15, Business Insider reports that Trump tried to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine and offered cash so it would be exclusive to the US. The problem is the official CureVac (the German company) twitter account, on Mar 16, 2020, tweeted the following:
To make it clear again on coronavirus: CureVac has not received from the US government or related entities an offer before, during and since the Task Force meeting in the White House on March 2. CureVac rejects all allegations from press.
On Mar 16, the fan club of European globalists has published a piece titled, "China and Coronavirus: From Home-Made Disaster to Global Mega-Opportunity." The piece says:
The Chinese method is the only method that has proved successful [in fighting the virus], is a message spread online in China by influencers, including many essentially promoting propaganda. ... it is certainly a message that seems to be resonating with opinion leaders around the world.
On the same day, unlike China that had one epicentre, Wuhan city, the US now overtakes China with most cases reporting multiple epicentres simultaneously. Also on Mar 16, the US stocks ended sharply lower with the Dow posting its worst point drop in history. But some showed a faint hint of uncertain hope. On Mar 17, according to an article on Chinese version of Quora, Zhihu, chief Chen Wei and her team with CanSino Biologics officially initiated a Phase-1 clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine at the Wuhan lab, Hubei China, which Bloomberg News confirmed. — Click HERE, then set its time period as 1 year, and see when the graph has started to move up. Also on Mar 17, China's state media, China Global TV Network (CGTN), has produced YouTube videos for Middle Eastern audiences to spread the opinion that the US has engineered COVID-19 events. Also on Mar 17, Al Jazeera reported that the US President has been criticized for repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese Virus" as critics saying Trump is "fueling bigotry." • China's Xinhua News tweeted "Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence." • Tucker Carlson asked: "Why would America's media take China's side amid coronavirus pandemic?" • Also, Mr. Bill Gates: "We should not call this the Chinese virus." On Mar 19, for the first time, China reports zero local infections. Also on Mar 19, Al Jazeera published an analysis report, titled "Coronavirus erodes Trump's re-election prospects." On Mar 22, Bloomberg reports that China's mobile carriers lost 21 million users during this pandemic event. It's said to be the first net decline since starting to report monthly data in 2000. On Mar 26, EURACTV reports that China cashes in off coronavirus, selling Spain $466 million in supplies. However, Spain returns 9,000 "quick result" test kits to China, because they were deemed substandard. — Especially the sensibility of the test was around 30 percent, when it should be higher than 80 percent. ------------------------ On Apr 03, Germany and other governments are bolstering corporate defenses to address worries that coronavirus-weakened companies could be easy prey for bargain hunting by China's state owned businesses. On Apr 05, New York Times says "Trump Again Promotes Use of Unproven Anti-Malaria Drug (hydroxychloroquine)." On Apr 06, a Democratic State Rep. Karen Whitsett from Detroit credits hydroxychloroquine and President Trump for "saving her in her battle with the coronavirus." On Apr 07, the US CDC removed the following part from its website.
Although optimal dosing and duration of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 are unknown, some U.S. clinicians have reported anecdotally different hydroxychloroquine dosing such as: 400mg BID on day one, then daily for 5 days; 400 mg BID on day one, then 200mg BID for 4 days; 600 mg BID on day one, then 400mg daily on days 2-5.
------------------------ ☞ If there were ever a time for people not to be partisan and tribal, the time has come: We need to be ever vigilant and attentive to all kinds of disinformation & misinformation to see it better as well as to be sharp in our lives. — We really do need to come together. ☞ At first, I was going to draw up a conspiracy theory-oriented list focused on Team-Z, especially Mr. Gates. However, although it's nothing new tbh, recently many chats and discussions seem overflowing with disinformation & misinformation which is, in my opinion, particularly painful at a time like this. Hence, this post became a vanilla list that's just recorded the notable events. — We all are subject to misinformation, miscalculation, and misjudgment. But the clearer the picture becomes the better we can identify Funkspiel. ------------------------ ☞ Immediate Aftermath pt.2.a ------------------------ ☞ Feasible Timeline of the Operation ------------------------ ☞ Go Back to the Short Story. ----
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From Wikipedia: "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a partly autobiographical book written by John Perkins) published in 2004. It provides Perkins' account of his career with engineering consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston. According to Perkins, his job at Main was to convince leaders of underdeveloped countries to accept substantial development loans for large construction and engineering projects that would primarily help the richest families and local elites, rather than the poor, while making sure that these projects were contracted to U.S. companies. Later these loans would give the U.S. political influence and access to natural resources for U.S. companies. He characterizes his role as being an 'economic hit man.'" https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Economic-Hit-John-Perkins/dp/0452287081 This is an excellent introduction to the basics of how the current system is a contrived scam to control countries and their resources. This scam is so good, it allowed the U.S. to accumulate great power and wealth. The Chinese are emulating this pattern as well. I will try to write more on this in the future to tie more things together, but this is a good primer on how economic interactions between countries are just another form of warfare which exist in prelude to actual, kinetic war. It ties together with the Petrodollarscheme and Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. Buy Perkin's book and read it if you haven't.
Just 2 more Conspiracy Theories that turned out to be True
(i couldn't post in the previous one , word limit )
1.Big Brother or the Shadow Government
It is also called the “Deep State” by Peter Dale Scott, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. A shadow government is a "government-in-waiting" that remains in waiting with the intention of taking control of a government in response to some event. It turned out this was true on 9/11, when it was told to us by our mainstream media. For years, this was ridiculed as a silly, crazy conspiracy theory and, like the others listed here, turned out to be 100% true. It is also called the Continuity of Government. The Continuity of Government (COG) is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event. Since the end of the cold war, the policies and procedures for the COG have been altered according to realistic threats of that time. These include but are not limited to a possible coup or overthrow by right wing terrorist groups, a terrorist attack in general, an assassination, and so on. Believe it or not the COG has been in effect since 2001.After 9/11, it went into action. Now here is the kicker, many of the figures in Iran Contra, the Watergate Scandal, the alleged conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, and many others listed here are indeed members of the COG. This is its own conspiracy as well.
The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World is a book written by Air Force Col. L Fletcher Prouty, published in 1973. From 1955 to 1963 Prouty was the "Focal Point Officer" for contacts between the CIA and the Pentagon on matters relating to military support for "black operations" but he was not assigned to the CIA and was not bound by any oath of secrecy. (From the first page of the 1974 Printing) It was one of the first tell-all books about the inner workings of the CIA and was an important influence on the Oliver Stone movie JFK. But the main thrust of the book is how the CIA started as a think tank to analyze intelligence gathered from military sources but has grown to the monster it has become. The CIA had no authority to run their own agents or to carry out covert operations but they quickly did both and much more. This book tells about things they actually did and a lot about how the operate. In Prouty's own words, from the 1997 edition of The Secret Team: This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called "Communism." It will be interesting to see what "enemy" develops in the years ahead. It appears that "UFO's and Aliens" are being primed to fulfill that role for the future. To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations. "He is not the first to allege that UFOs and Aliens are going to be used as a threat against the world to globalize the planet under One government."
The Report from Iron Mountain
The Report from Iron Mountain is a book, published in 1967 (during the Johnson Administration) by Dial Press, that states that it is the report of a government panel. According to the report, a 15-member panel, called the Special Study Group, was set up in 1963 to examine what problems would occur if the U.S. entered a state of lasting peace. They met at an underground nuclear bunker called Iron Mountain (as well as other, worldwide locations) and worked over the next two years. Iron Mountain is where the government has stored the flight 93 evidence from 9/11.A member of the panel, one "John Doe", a professor at a college in the Midwest, decided to release the report to the public. The heavily footnoted report concluded that peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace, "could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it." War was a part of the economy. Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy. The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War also served a vital function of diverting collective aggression. They recommended that bodies be created to emulate the economic functions of war. They also recommended "blood games" and that the government create alternative foes that would scare the people with reports of alien life-forms and out of control pollution. Another proposal was the reinstitution of slavery. U.S. News and World Report claimed in its November 20, 1967 issue to have confirmation of the reality of the report from an unnamed government official, who added that when President Johnson read the report, he 'hit the roof' and ordered it to be suppressed for all time. Additionally, sources were said to have revealed that orders were sent to U.S. embassies, instructing them to emphasize that the book had no relation to U.S. Government policy. Project Blue Beam is also a common conspiracy theory that alleges that a faked alien landing would be used as a means of scaring the public into whatever global system is suggested. Some researchers suggest the Report from Iron Mountain might be fabricated, others swear it is real. Bill Moyers, the American journalist and public commentator, has served as White House Press Secretary in the United States President Lyndon B. Johnson Administration from 1965 to 1967. He worked as a news commentator on television for ten years. Moyers has had an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the U.S. media. Since 1990, Moyers has been President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. He is considered by many to be a very credible outlet for the truth. He released a documentary titled, The Secret Government, which exposed the inner workings of a secret government much more vast that most people would ever imagine. Though originally broadcast in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government. Here is that documentary: vid For another powerful, highly revealing documentary on the manipulations of the secret government produced by BBC, click here. The intrepid BBC team clearly shows how the War on Terror is largely a fabrication. For those interested in very detailed information on the composition of the shadow or secret government from a less well-known source, take a look at the summary available here.
2. The Federal Reserve Bank
The fundamental promise of a central bank like the Federal Reserve is economic stability. The theory is that manipulating the value of the currency allows financial booms to go higher, and crashes to be more mild. If growth becomes speculative and unsustainable, the central bank can make the price of money go up and force some deleveraging of risky investments - again, promising to make the crashes more mild. The period leading up to the American revolution was characterized by increasingly authoritarian legislation from England. Acts passed in 1764 had a particularly harsh effect on the previously robust colonial economy. The Sugar Act was in effect a tax cut on easily smuggled molasses, and a new tax on commodities that England more directly controlled trade over. The navy would be used in increased capacity to enforce trade laws and collect duties. Perhaps even more significant than the militarization and expansion of taxes was the Currency Act passed later in the year 1764.
"The colonies suffered a constant shortage of currency with which to conduct trade. There were no gold or silver mines and currency could only be obtained through trade as regulated by Great Britain. Many of the colonies felt no alternative to printing their own paper money in the form of Bills of Credit."
The result was a true free market of currency - each bank competed, exchange rates fluctuated wildly, and merchants were hesitant to accept these notes as payment. Of course, they didn't have 24-hour digital Forex markets, but I'll hold off opinions on the viability of unregulated currency for another time. England's response was to seize control of the colonial money supply - forbidding banks, cities, and colony governments from printing their own. This law, passed so soon after the Sugar Act, started to really bring revolutionary tension inside the colonies to a higher level. American bankers had learned early on that debasing a currency through inflation is a helpful way to pay off perpetual trade deficits - but Britain proved that the buyer of the currency would only take the deal for so long... Following the (first) American Revolution, the "First Bank of the United States" was chartered to pay off collective war debts, and effectively distribute the cost of the revolution proportionately throughout all of the states. Although the bank had vocal and harsh skeptics, it only controlled about 20% of the nation's money supply. Compared to today's central bank, it was nothing. Thomas Jefferson argued vocally against the institution of the bank, mostly citing constitutional concerns and the limitations of government found in the 10th amendment. There was one additional quote that hints at the deeper structural flaw of a central bank in a supposedly free capitalist economy.
"The existing banks will, without a doubt, enter into arrangements for lending their agency, and the more favorable, as there will be a competition among them for it; whereas the bill delivers us up bound to the national bank, who are free to refuse all arrangement, but on their own terms, and the public not free, on such refusal, to employ any other bank" –Thomas Jefferson.Basically, the existing banks will fight over gaining favor with the central bank - rather than improving their performance relative to a free market.
The profit margins associated with collusion would obviously outweigh the potential profits gained from legitimate business. The Second Bank of the United States was passed five years after the first bank's charter expired. An early enemy of central banking, President James Madison, was looking for a way to stabilize the currency in 1816. This bank was also quite temporary - it would only stay in operation until 1833 when President Andrew Jackson would end federal deposits at the institution. The charter expired in 1836 and the private corporation was bankrupt and liquidated by 1841.While the South had been the major opponent of central banking systems, the end of the Civil War allowed for (and also made necessary) the system of national banks that would dominate the next fifty years. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) says that this post-war period of a unified national currency and system of national banks "worked well."  Taxes on state banks were imposed to encourage people to use the national banks - but liquidity problems persisted as the money supply did not match the economic cycles. Overall, the American economy continued to grow faster than Europe, but the period did not bring economic stability by any stretch of the imagination. Several panics and runs on the bank - and it became a fact of life under this system of competing nationalized banks. In 1873, 1893, 1901, and 1907 significant panics caused a series of bank failures. The new system wasn't stable at all, in fact, many suspected it was wrought with fraud and manipulation. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is not shy about attributing the causes of the Panic of 1907 to financial manipulation from the existing banking establishment.
"If Knickerbocker Trust would falter, then Congress and the public would lose faith in all trust companies and banks would stand to gain, the bankers reasoned."
In timing with natural economic cycles, major banks including J.P. Morgan and Chase launched an all-out assault on Heinze's Knickerbocker Trust. Financial institutions on the inside started silently selling off assets in the competitor, and headlines about a few bad loans started making top spots in the newspapers. The run on Knickerbocker turned into a general panic - and the Federal Government would come to the rescue of its privately owned "National Banks.
"During the Panic of 1907, "Depositors 'run' on the Knickerbocker Bank. J.P. Morgan and James Stillman of First National City Bank (Citibank) act as a "central bank," providing liquidity ... [to stop the bank run] President Theodore Roosevelt provides Morgan with $25 million in government funds ... to control the panic. Morgan, acting as a one-man central bank, decides which firms will fail and which firms will survive."
How did JP Morgan get so powerful that the government would provide them with funding to increase their power? They had key influence with positions inside the Administrations. They had senators, congressmen, lobbyists, media moguls all working for them. In 1886, a group of millionaires purchased Jekyll Island and converted it into a winter retreat and hunting ground, the USA's most exclusive club. By 1900, the club's roster represented 1/6th of the world's wealth. Names like Astor, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Pulitzer and Gould filled the club's register. Non- members, regardless of stature, were not allowed. Dignitaries like Winston Churchill and President McKinley were refused admission. In 1908, the year after a national money panic purportedly created by J. P. Morgan, Congress established, in 1908, a National Monetary Authority. In 1910 another, more secretive, group was formed consisting of the chiefs of major corporations and banks in this country. The group left secretly by rail from Hoboken, New Jersey, and traveled anonymously to the hunting lodge on Jekyll Island. In fact, the Clubhouse/hotel on the island has two conference rooms named for the "Federal Reserve." The meeting was so secret that none referred to the other by his last name. Why the need for secrecy? Frank Vanderlip wrote later in the Saturday Evening Post,
"...it would have been fatal to Senator Aldrich's plan to have it known that he was calling on anybody from Wall Street to help him in preparing his bill...I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System."
At Jekyll Island, the true draftsman for the Federal Reserve was Paul Warburg. The plan was simple. The new central bank could not be called a central bank because America did not want one, so it had to be given a deceptive name. Ostensibly, the bank was to be controlled by Congress, but a majority of its members were to be selected by the private banks that would own its stock. To keep the public from thinking that the Federal Reserve would be controlled from New York, a system of twelve regional banks was designed. Given the concentration of money and credit in New York, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York controlled the system, making the regional concept initially nothing but a ruse. The board and chairman were to be selected by the President, but in the words of Colonel Edward House, the board would serve such a term as to "put them out of the power of the President." The power over the creation of money was to be taken from the people and placed in the hands of private bankers who could expand or contract credit as they felt best suited their needs. Why the opposition to a central bank? Americans at the time knew of the destruction to the economy the European central banks had caused to their respective countries and to countries who became their debtors. They saw the large- scale government deficit spending and debt creation that occurred in Europe. But European financial moguls didn't rest until the New World was within their orbit. In 1902, Paul Warburg, a friend and associate of the Rothschilds and an expert on European central banking, came to this country as a partner in Kuhn, Loeb and Company. He married the daughter of Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the firm. The head of Kuhn, Loeb was Jacob Schiff, whose gift of $20 million in gold to the struggling Russian communists in 1917 no doubt saved their revolution. The Fed controls the banking system in the USA, not the Congress nor the people indirectly (as the Constitution dictates). The U.S. central bank strategy is a product of European banking interests. Government interventionists got their wish in 1913 with the Federal Reserve (and income tax amendment). Just in time, too, because the nation needed a new source of unlimited cash to finance both sides of WW1 and eventually our own entry to the war. After the war, with both sides owing us debt through the federal reserve backed banks, the center of finance moved from London to New York. But did the Federal Reserve reign in the money trusts and interlocking directorates? Not by a long shot. If anything, the Federal Reserve granted new powers to the National Banks by permitting overseas branches and new types of banking services. The greatest gift to the bankers, was a virtually unlimited supply of loans when they experience liquidity problems. From the early 1920s to 1929, the monetary supply expanded at a rapid pace and the nation experienced wild economic growth. Curiously, however, the number of banks started to decline for the first time in American history. Toward the end of the period, speculation and loose money had propelled asset and equity prices to unreal levels. The stock market crashed, and as the banks struggled with liquidity problems, the Federal Reserve actually cut the money supply. Without a doubt, this is the greatest financial panic and economic collapse in American history - and it never could have happened on this scale without the Fed's intervention. The number of banks crashed and a few of the old robber barons' banks managed to swoop in and grab up thousands of competitors for pennies on the dollar. See:
Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.
This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant. However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.
When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
New Cold War with drastically reduced economic ties
China resolve their tensions, integrate and run the world together
Transactional US-China relationship of the sort during the 1980s
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy
Other countries like Japan and South Korea to dependent on China. Too integrated.
Raise objections to Belt and Road. But no alternative
My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed. International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter. The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US. The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.
OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION
Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000). The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914. Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels. Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm. The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism. As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.
BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA
According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
Provisions to protect IP
Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer.
China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into U.S. commercial computer networks to gain unauthorized access to commercially valuable business information.
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations. I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO. WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT. The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule. In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak. Here is the commitment paragraph for China "The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. " This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics. NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.
REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH
I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access. Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress. THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes. Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English. Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic, IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies.
China deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations.
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box. So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure: In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.
Hello everyone, Hope you have had a good week. It has been a while (read: ages!) since we had a discussion as a community. In the past when the members were still below 5,000 this kind of post were always pleasant, includes healthy debates + quality banter, great inputs for the direction of the sub and so on... I hope we can keep this culture alive. Move forward about 2 years in (a little less than a year ago) we only had 10,000 subscribers and the climate was still calm and warm. Now we have over 25,000 subscribers with 1million+ pageviews in the past month alone (1,088,590 to be exact). From where I am sitting. The mods are exhausted. The days where we get to sit around and just read the sub's contents casually whilst watching tv and warn rude members is slipping away!. Seems that mods have to put the beers away now and deal with it. There are now:
some posts sourced from some media which I sometimes wonder if it is just a personal rant expressed through a news article or just to gain karma
the great divide between members about the topic of property (for and against). There are even members who deliberately spam the sub with property posts out of frustration then blame the mod for what is seemingly randomised removal of these posts.
the demand that mods are continuously active, replying to each private messages for the individual's unhappiness about what's going on and to address it.
And so on... As a result, Members are temporarily and some permanently banned, posts removed without warning, guidance seeked from moderators can be replied without a firm policy and enforcement. It's those nasty stuff. With the exception of an advice being given to a person and the requirement to have relevance to Australian finance and economy, there has been never been any other iron-clad rule implemented in the sub. AusFinance has always been supported by its members' quality participation rather than iron-clad policy. And I'd like to keep it that way. Though the recent boom in our pageviews and participants does decreases your influence as a single member to have an impact to the larger community by quality posts and the voting system. These issues were expected as the sub grows, though I don't think anyone would forecast the boom we have had in the past couple of months. And I think we are at the start of going in the direction where I can no longer visit it with enjoyment. So let's not wait until it's too late! The below is what I have in mind (not a collective thought of all moderators) on where we might go:
Property is only a single topic out of all possible discussions to be had in the sub. There are micro and macro economy, portfolio management, derivatives, currency exchange, regulatory environment, loans, personal finance, and many more!!! u/jackimatic initiated the property mega-thread to have some relief on the number of property posts which has exploded recently. This is not sustainable as we single-out a topic to be permanently stickied in this sub. I've always wanted the sub to have balanced content. Thus, regardless of the fact that Australians are so obsessed with this asset class -- I don't see it happening in this place. One option is to refer poster to AusProperty and lock the post. This does not mean we ban all posts about property; but to limit property discussion within a broader context, for example: buy vs rent, interest rate impact, portfolio management and economy as a whole. What's out the door?: speculation about property prices, property construction, micro movement in property (i.e. auction results and "look! NSW property price went down by 0.5% last week!) and the likes gets the boot. There will be no fast and hard rule about it and there will be some human judgement involved. Basically, if you get your posts locked and referred to AusProperty then don't complain.
Some posts about personal finance around here also reflects the person's specific circumstances. Let me reiterate that we cannot provide advice, and when you make such posts -- it is difficult not to do so. What is supported here are the likes of budgeting techniques, academic studies (i.e. we can discuss those of what people study in Financial Planning), or scrutinisation of certain approach as discussed through certain books (most popular being mentioned around here are the barefoot investor. But you know, there are other dozens of quality books with approaches that are proven just the same!). There is fiaustralia to discuss early retirement (if that is your thing). They're a good sub which specialises in this type, a good addition to AusFinance.
links to media
As said above, there are some posts sourced from the media which I sometimes wonder if it is just a personal rant expressed through a news article or just to gain karma. Thus, all linked articles must be accompanied by OP's insight into the article and how it is relevant and possibly utilised. Failing to do so grants the mod full discretion to remove the post. Another solution to this, is to only allow text posts within the sub. Though personally, I like the varieties of pictures at the front page :P
limiting number of subscribers
The bigger the sub = the higher the requirement for rules and its enforcement = the drier it can get. I much rather see a small sub with quality posts and discussion rather than a big sub with rants and politics all around. AusFinance will be open to all discussion, though when the need arises a new specialised sub will be promoted. If this is to be enforced, there are still questions over what the maximum subscriber will be and to keep certain personalities within. In the past, I pulled a number out of my ass and got 25,000. Never I expected that in one year alone we are already over that number at this time.
I've never had the time to get into all the detail of what it can do. I'd still prefer judicious approach by using human judgement, though some classification on posts won't hurt. If possible, I am thinking to have categories as a requirement for every post. just like askscience Minimum 1 category, maximum 3 categories (as some subjects may overlap). If possible, for all categories there will be a wikipage. Then, for all posts to be automatically submitted/posted into the wiki. Categories will be: property, lifestyle, debt/mortgage, news/media, general discussion, AMA, shitpost, career, derivates, tools, books discussions, tax, negative gearing, investing, forex/currency, insurance. This way, we'll have higher visibilty of what the topics are + Wiki will also be constantly updated. If there are any expert out there, let me know if the above is possible :P
Any other stuff you want to raise. Do so within a week!
And don't forget the quality shitpost, those that makes you chuckle! Though, not too many of those please!
Let the discussion begin. Questions, solutions and inputs only please. Rants will be removed. Post will be stickied only for ONE WEEK (okay, maybe two if it has some lengthy quality discussion). New moderator may be required to help in managing the sub.
Ah, but maybe you want to look around a bit and see how China’s total debt is compared with other economies, like this? （你可能想看看其他经济体与中国的债务情况相比是怎么样的，如下图）
（G10债务分布图） If you put China’s data on this chart, it will be somewhere around Canada and New Zealand. Guess Which Country Has Debt Of Nearly 1000% Of GDP... Shocking, isn’t it? 如果你将中国的数据插入上图进行比较的话，中国的数据大约会在加拿大和新西兰之间。猜猜看哪个国家债务大约是自己GDP的10倍....（英国）非常震惊吧 UK has almost 1000% Debt-to-GDP ratio, compared with China’s < 300% Debt-to-GDP ratio, mostly because of that over-sized financial debt - at the end of the day, the government must stand behind it. On top of that, the UK has no resource to sell, hardly any industry left, going through a divorce with EU, and almost never ever meets her fiscal targets. And yet, UK, with its near 1000% debt-to-GDP ratio, is still viewed as the gold standard among safe havens. PRESENTING: The Rosetta Stone Of The Entire Sovereign Debt Crisis Why? Because UK issues debt in her own currency. And who prints the pound? The UK government. 英国的债务/GDP占比将近1000%而中国只是小于300%，其原因是其过于庞大的金融债务——政府最终将不得不为之站台。在此之上，英国没用可出售的资源，没有任何本国工业，正在脱离欧盟，而且英国基本上从来没有达成其财务目标。即使如此，英国仍然被某些传媒视为安全经济体的黄金标准。其原因就是英债都以英镑的方式结算。那么是谁印英镑的呢？英国政府。 Then you take a look at Japan, wow that’s 600%+ debt-to-GDP ratio! But - Japan’s debt is not only mostly internal, in Japanese Yen, but also with 0% or even negative interest. You can roll this kind of debt over practically forever. That’s why people have been yelling about Japanese debt for the last 20 years, and nothing happens. 然后你看看日本，将近600%的债务/GDP占比！但是，日本的债务几乎都是内部的，以日元的形式出售的债务，而且日本是0利率甚至是负利率。实际上这种债务你可以无限积累下去(经济常识：如果是负利率，政府只要保持债务不变，多出来的部分会自行消失)。这就是为啥人们对日债担心了20年但屁事没有发生。 Then you take a look at those economies that have blown up on debt: Argentina: Government/Sovereign debt in USD, with jurisdiction in New York!Greece: Government/Sovereign debt in Euro, with jurisdiction in Brussels!Iceland: External financial debt → nationalized into Government/Sovereign debt in USD and Euro alone was 700%+ GDP in 2008, with jurisdiction in New York and Brussels. 然后你看看那些因债务问题毁掉的经济体： 阿根廷：政府/主权债务以美元形式结算，其裁判权在纽约!希腊：政府/主权债务以欧元方式结算，其裁判权在布鲁塞尔！冰岛：外部金融债务→债务国有化后2008年政府/主权债务以美元和欧元的形式达到GDP的700%，其裁判权在纽约和布鲁塞尔 Then you look at China, with her debt almost entirely internal, in Chinese RMB to Chinese citizens, government debt at 55%, lower than the US, Japan, and EU average, in her own currency. China’s external debt is about 9% of GDP, globally ranked 184th (less than North Korea, similar to Kosovo) - anyway you look at it, it’s hardly the kind of material to make a banking crisis. China is borrowing a little bit from her own piggy bank. Argentina/Greece/Iceland were borrowing a lot from the Mafia. 然后你看看中国，中国的债务基本都是内部以人民币结算的。中国政府债务只占总债务的55%，比美国，日本和欧盟都要低，再次强调，其债务以人民币结算。中国外部债务只占GDP的9%，全球排行184位（比朝鲜低，比科索沃高）。无论怎么看，你都不会看到中国有任何银行危机的迹象。中国只是向其国内贪心的银行借钱。阿根廷/希腊/冰岛可是像美国欧盟这些黑手党借钱。 PS: The most significant increase in China’s debt is in the financial sector, driven by rising real estate price (which means higher value of housing loans). Right now, the Chinese government is basically using it as a tool to do macro-economic engineering. The goal is to cap urban growth in top tier cities (Beijing, Shanghai, etc.) and push the economic growth to second- and third- tier cities (Hangzhou, the city that just hosted G20, is an example.http://www.g20.org/English/Hangzhou/About/index.html Now you can look back and see why the Chinese government decided to host G20 in a city nobody has ever heard of). This is clearly stated by the Chinese government like 100 times since last year in the official news channels. The reason? Top tier Chinese cities like Shanghai (25 million) already have more city residents than the whole nation of Australia! The metropolitan area of Shanghai (44 million) has more people than the entire population of Canada! In one city! Beijing’s population grew by 8 million within the last decade! The place is simply full.List of cities in China by population and built-up area PS: 中国最显著的债务增长是在其金融领域内不断升高的房价造成的（不断增高的房贷造成债务问题）。现在中国政府正在利用房价作为宏观经济调控的工具。其目的是限制一线城市的城市化进程和加速二三线城市的发展（刚刚举办了G20的杭州就是个例子，现在你就能知道为啥中国政府将G20放在一个没人听说过的城市举行了）。这些政策中国政府已经在官媒上宣布了无数次。原因就是一线城市，例如上海（2500万人口），其居民数量比阿根廷全国人口还要多！上海都市圈（4400万人口）的人口数量比加拿大全国还要多！北京人口数量在过去的10年内增长了800万！这些城市的人口数量已经饱和了。 In addition to real estate prices, the Chinese government is also doing stuff like restricting residents permits, disallowing second or third homes, even restricting jobs to local residents, everything to say “this place is full. We have these other nice choices, with lower housing prices. Go there.” Young people complaining about housing prices in tier-one cities? But that’s the whole point. The debt you have to take on to live in tier-one cities SHOULD SCARE YOU OFF. The Chinese government is trying to stop the influx of people pouring into tier-one cities, and get these smart and energetic youths to go build two, three, four, five. … more Shanghai’s in other parts of China. 1.4 billion people can’t all fit into tier-one cities. 除了以房地产为手段，中国政府也加强控制了居住证的发放，禁止第二/三套房买入甚至对本地居民的工作种类进行限制，这些都是为了表达一个意思：这些地方都人满为患了。二三线城市有更低的房价和更好的生活条件，快点去那里吧！年轻人都在抱怨一线城市的高房价？但这就是中国政府想要的。你在一线城市生存需要的代价会把你吓退。中国政府正在尝试控制一线城市的人口流入而让有技术和充满活力的年轻人去建设二三四五线城市——让更多的上海出现在国家的其他地方。14亿人口是没可能全部都聚集在一线城市的。 5.9k Views · View Upvotes Upvote91Downvote Comments4+ Share
There is too much debt, and a lot of it is likely to turn into bad debt, but that does not equal a banking crisis. 是因为中国贷款太多了，而这些贷款大多数会变成不良贷款，但这些都不等银行危机 Banking crisis may be a nice term to bandy around and get clicks and headlines, but does not really explain what is going on. 银行危机或许是一个十分吸引眼球的头条，但是根本就不能解释实际的情况 There was a lot of debt financing, especially after the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis in the US. In order to keep the economy on a steady keel, the Chinese government, through its banks, pumped money to Chinese state-owned enterprises, in order to keep high employment and maintain an image of “growth”. A lot of this money then found its way into the underground banking system through “wealth management products” and other means. A lot of this has turned into bad debt. 中国政府有过很多次债务融资，特别是08年美国次贷危机之后。为了稳住经济增长，中国政府通过银行将大量人民币注入到国企内以维持就业率和高增长的形象。但这些钱最终大都以理财产品和其他形式流进了地下钱庄。这些大部分都变成了不良贷款。 Another problem area, which frequently overlaps with the “wealth management products” is the local government financing vehicle used to fund local property development, which I have discussed here: Paul Denlinger's answer to Why does China have so many ghost towns? 另一个有问题的领域，和“理财产品”有莫大关联的，就是地方政府为当地基础建设所采用的金融工具（我在这个地方有详细的分析：https://www.quora.com/Why-does-China-have-so-many-ghost-towns/answePaul-Denlinger?srid=tR&share=22b99cfc） What is likely to happen in China is that growth will slow down in some areas, while there will be certain newer parts of the economy which will continue to grow. If the Chinese government is able to support the newer parts of the economy and help them to grow, while cutting back on loans to the weaker parts of the economy, it may be able to handle this transition better. 最可能发生的情况就是中国的经济增长将会放缓，但是肯定会用新的增站点。如果中国政府能支持新的增长点而且能减低夕阳工业的不良贷款率，那么或许能更好地度过过渡期。 This is exactly what the Chinese government is trying to do and you can read about it here:Here is how China is going to quietly save its economy 这些正是中国政府正在尝试去做的，你可以读读这个文章了解一下：http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2022491/china-deploys-policy-banks-stealth-mission-stimulate-growth So, if you are expecting there to be a dramatic run on the banks, and the Chinese people to take to the streets and overthrow the Chinese Communist Party, and become a full-blown democracy like Taiwan, Japan or South Korea, you are very likely to be disappointed. 所以，如果你是期待一次强烈的bank run（自行百度啥是bank run），然后中国人民上街推翻TG，中国大陆变成与台湾，日本韩国一样的政体，那么你要失望了。 4.3k Views · View Upvotes Upvote62Downvote Comments2+ Share
Is China facing a Banking crisis? 中国是在面临一个银行危机吗？ Yes. 对 Is it facing a full blown Banking crisis? 中国正在面临一个全面性的银行危机吗？ No. 错 Combined debt of China is almost 300% of its GDP. But the the categorized in 4 parts as it is shown in the image with the question too. 中国的总债务大概是GDP的300%。但是分在了如图所示的4个领域内。 The corporate debt has the lion's portion of the total debt. The household debt and non corporate debt are nothing to worry about because it is less many other developed countries and has some room to grow. 公司债务在总债务中占了大头。个人债务和非公司债务根本没啥可担心的因为这些比大多数发达国家还要低所以还有增长的空间。 Government Debt is not too big when compared to standards set by many global institutions like IMF, World Bank, etc. 政府债务以多数国际组织，例如世行和IMF，设定得标准来看其实不高。 The only major concern which is of a serious magnitude is the corporate debt. This is also reiterated by many economists. 最主要的关注点就是公司债务了。许多经济学家都重申了这点无数次了。 Now the problem with China is that data that comes out of major Chinese institutions is murky so their are many different types of estimates by many different institutions but the common theme in it is corporate debt and its size. 中国最大的问题就是中国国内组织公布的数据来源不清晰所以不同的国际组织对中国经济的实际情况估算会不一样。但所有组织最关心的都是中国的公司债务与其规模。 Corporate debt consists of debt owned by state owned corporations and private corporations. Private corporations in China are generally crowded out by the state owned corporations because of connections and political agenda. 公司债务又分成了国企和私企的债务。中国私企大多数收到国企排挤，这是有政体造成的。 Many state owned corporations have invested into unproductive projects as a result of excess boost given by government after 2008 to prop up the economy. This has resulted in a huge amount of NPAs. So, in all the major problem is state owned corporations piling up huge amount of debt. To solve this problem, the government tried to convert the debt into shares which the bank owns and can recover money through profit dividends but this was one of the causes for last year's stock market crash. 在08年过度的经济刺激政策下，很多国企在许多无效益项目上投了许多钱。这造成了大量的无效能资产。所以，最大的问题是国企堆积了大量债务。为了解决这个问题，政府正在尝试将国企的债务转化为股份，那么银行就能将债务转化为红利而最终将债务收回了。但这造成了上年的股灾..... Hence, it is a big crisis but not the one government cannot handle with so much trade surplus and forex reserves. But actions are definitely needed to stop it from growing into a bigger problem. 所以，这是一个危机但仍然是政府能控制的，毕竟中国政府有大量贸易顺差和外汇储备。但是仍然需要实际行动来防止事态的扩展。 906 Views · View Upvotes Upvote18Downvote Comments1+ Share
The Bank of Japan is the latest to adopt negative interest rates. The Swiss and the ECB have already done so. Negative interest rates on bonds means investors pay to own government (and corporate) bonds, instead of getting paid interest. Clearly deflation is more of a risk to investors than inflation. Thus we can fund a basic income with created money, or with deficit spending. T-bills are the gold of the modern world financial system; they are used as collateral in trades. Repo trades have experienced negative interest rates before because traders need to show they have T-bills as collateral before someone will loan them much more money than they pay for the privilege of borrowing the T-bill for a day. T-bills are too scarce, because of misguided, misinformed balanced-budget hysteria. Conclusion: the fears about government deficits and money creation are silly. We should fund a basic income through 1) money creation 2) deficit spending. Taxation is better than nothing, but we must seriously examine the first two options as better. Edit: From a USA Today article:
The Bank of Japan on Friday introduced a negative interest rate policy, a move aimed at boosting a stumbling economic recovery and warding off deflation. Markets jumped on the intervention.
Remember that Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio is approaching 250%. Reagan proved deficits don't matter; Japan learned the lesson. They should fund a basic income with their central bank. Edit 2: Note also, Japan's money supply has been steadily increasing, from about 10.5 trillion in Yen, in 2009, to 12.5 trillion in 2015. Edit 3: sorry that's 1.05 quadrillion Yen in 2009 increasing to 1.23 quadrillion Yen in 2015. An increase of $1.5 trillion. $1.5 trillion / 127 million Japanese = $11k/person over that 6-year period. But that money supply measure doesn't count most of shadow banking, I warrant. Increase the money supply more for a basic income. Have all the world's central banks open swap lines freely so that they can mitigate any currency exchange risk. The private sector already uses forex instruments and swaps to eliminate forex risk. Inflation has remained steadily low since the mid-1980s.
As a non US citizen in the US, what are my investment options?
I got my first salary last year and I've been thinking about investing it, as banks literally pay no interest for a checking account. I've an annual income of about 90k pre-tax, with 25k in savings (post-tax) with 6k in a 401 (k) , which is basically the company's default. I'm contributing to the 401 (k) at the % match my company can provide. Well, that and I've about 5k invested in various stocks So I have a couple of questions here. I pay around 2.3k a month for rent and utilities. It's ridiculously expensive, but CT as a state is ridiculously expensive. I don't own a car presently, but am planning to purchase one in a few months. I read the wiki, but am unsure if investing in a retirement based IRA is the right option for me, as 1) I'll be a non-citizen on a work visa 2) There might be compelling circumstances down the line which might make me leave the US for good. Real estate is definitely not an option for me, as I don't know where I'll end up for the next few years. One option that I have is to invest in Forex based investment vehicles back home - they've a pretty sweet return (about 7-9%) without a retirement target date lock-in, while being lower risk, as the USD is pretty valuable for the financial institutions there. When looking at my options, I've come to the conclusion that any form that requires active management is off the table - I'm not confident enough in myself and it's not my domain either. So ideally I'd like to invest in an index fund of some sort. I've an existing relationship with Merrill Lynch, as I had interned there once and stuff. But I've seen a lot of posts advocating Vanguard and Charles schwab. What would be a good option for me? Secondly, my employer has an Employee Stock option plan, to buy stock at a discounted price. When looking at my company history, the stock has been fairly low risk, low reward, but seems to be a good bet as well. A few of my friends were talking about a fixed income account(?). Where do you think I can invest my money? I've no outstanding debts. I've paid back my student loans (they weren't from a US financial institution, so they won't affect my history either way). Thank you for the help, Reddit.
How Fed Funds Rate Works (and Why Forex Traders Should Care)
The aim of this post is to show how the current federal funds rate operation differs from its pre-crisis model and how it is important to Forex traders.
When things were simple (before 2008), the Federal Reserve set its target federal funds rate (FFR) as a single number and made sure that the effective federal funds rate (EFFR) is at the target level by performing open market operations (OMO). Those OMO normally included repurchase agreements (repo or RP) to temporarily increase the reserves supply in the federal funds market (FFM) (and thus reduce the demand and the EFFR) and reverse repurchase agreements (RRP) to temporarily decrease the supply of reserves and drive the EFFR up. It worked very well because the total size of bank reserves was rather small ($15 billion) in pre-crisis times.
Nowadays, when the Fed is holding $2.27 trillion in reserve balances (as of March 27, 2017), the old scheme would not fare so well. There is no scarcity of reserve balances at all. To create it, the Fed would need to sell a big share of its securities to shrink the total reserves to manageable size. But that would create some problems — it would drive down the prices of those securities and would launch a series of unpredictable market feedback loops. Instead, what the Fed is doing since 2008 is setting a target FFR as a range between two interest rates. For example, it is 0.75%-1.00% as of today while the EFFR, measured as volume-weighted median, was at 0.91% during the last 3 days.
The Fed makes sure that the FFM respects the target bounds by setting the interest on excess reserves (IOER) to the top boundary rate. When 95% of the reserve balances are the excess balances (balances exceeding the required level), the IOER rate paid by the Fed to the banks for holding these reserves serves as the ceiling for the rate corridor. It may sound counter-intuitive, because IOER would have been a floor level if only the FFM was composed only of the banks. However, it is not the case. The government-sponsored enterprises (GSE), such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Home Loan Banks, comprise the bulk of the FFM. GSEs do not earn IOER on reserve balances kept at the Fed. This creates an arbitrage opportunity for banks to borrow from GSEs and allocate the funds with the Fed to earn IOER. Consequently, the interest rate of GSE's loans to banks should be below IOER.
And how about the floor of the rate range (the 0.75% part of today's target range)? It is enforced by the Fed through the OMO called overnight repurchase agreement (ON RRP). With it, the Fed can drain some reserves from the system by borrowing cash from market participants, giving them securities as a collateral. Since not only banks can earn interest on their funds with ON RRP (GSEs can also do it), this sets the de facto lower boundary for the EFFR. Who would lend at a lower rate if they can choose to get at least this rate from the risk-less loan to the Fed? One important feature of the current system is that the EFFR does not cling to the upper side of the rate range (IOER) but hovers below it, falling down to near the ON RRP rate during the final day of the month. The reason for the former is that the banks pay higher FDIC insurance fees when they borrow more. And the reason for the latter is that the banks need to follow the Basel requirements, which limit their leverage, but are calculated based on the end-of-month balance sheet.
As a result, we can see the EFFR fluctuating between ON RRP and IOER — well within the boundaries of the Fed's target FFR. The short-term interest rates (represented by the 3-month Treasury bills) roughly follow the EFFR, which means that the interest rates get propagated beyond the FFM. Note the EFFR spiking down on each last day of the month: EFFR inside target FFR range with 3-month Treasury Bill rate for comparison
Relation to Forex
So why should Forex traders care about this? Because effective federal funds rate and the Fed's ability to uphold it are even more important for the US dollar than the target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee at its meetings. It is the higher EFFR that would stimulate banks buying more USD to park it either with the Fed or with the GSEs. It is the lower EFFR that would let banks to use the USD as a carry trade short side. Now you see that any significant news concerning GSE regulations, Basel III requirements, or FDIC insurance fee policies could have tremendous influence on the USD rate based on how such news could affect the EFFR. As a currency trader, you have to be up-to-date with the expectations of the FFM participants regarding those three components. I recommend the following resources to stay up-to-date with those topics:
Between a rock and a hard place: Both action and inaction on federal funds rates would crash the economy
After a couple of months of surprisingly good US economy data, both initial jobless claims and new home sales were disappointing. This plays into a pessimistic theory that the US economy is incredibly fragile due to overleveraging. These new data points suggest that the recently raised interest rate of 0.5% is already stifling the economy, and that it would need to be lowered as soon as possible to re-enable growth. If that theory is true, raising the federal funds rate by 2% (as announced by the US Fed) would crash the economy very quickly. Of course, not raising the federal funds rate would also lead to a financial meltdown. Extremely low interest rates means that bubbles, like the existing housing, tech and student loan bubbles, can not only appear, but also grow very large without popping. But the larger these bubbles are, the bigger the shock to the economy once they actually do burst. And especially the housing bubble will soon reach 2008 levels again if nothing is done to prevent that. So the Fed is in a hurry to raise rates, so this bubble can pop before it can do too much damage. And there's a cool follow-up theory that the new US president is designated to be the scapegoat for the inevitable crash of the economy. If Trump knew this, this would explain the bold "I'm creating endless jobs in America" media theater that's going on today. If he succeeds in being perceived as the main job protector, he can point fingers back to the Fed and say "I did what I could to save the economy. But look at them, they raised the rates even though they knew it was risky!"
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