“Building a de-Americanised world”: this statement would have raised a smile a few years ago. At most it would have passed for provocation by Hugo Chavez. But when we are seeing the United States’ bankruptcy in real-time and it’s an official Chinese press agency that says so (1), the impact isn’t the same. In reality, it’s describing out loud a process which is already well underway: simply, it’s now allowed to speak about it in public. At least US government deadlock has the merit of loosening tongues (2). Let there be no mistake, this analysis hasn’t appeared in the Chinese media by chance, and it reflects Beijing’s hardening tone.
In fact, if the whole world is holding its breath before this pathetic game of the US elite; it’s not out of compassion, it’s to avoid being swept away in the fall of the world’s first power. Everyone is trying to free itself from American influence and let go of a United States permanently discredited by recent events over Syria, tapering, shutdown and now the debt ceiling. The legendary US power is now no more than a nuisance and the world has understood that it’s time to de-Americanise.
This perspective and speaking the unspeakable (3) is finally freeing-up a whole range of solutions which, until now, were simply signs, even still repressed by some. These solutions are speeding-up the construction of the world afterwards and opening on a multipolar world organised around major regional blocs. After a review of American setbacks, in this GEAB issue our team will analyse the forces which are shaping this changing world. In the “Telescope” section we also take a look at the actual state of US society which, behind the mirror of the stock market and finance, explains the collapse of the American way of life and take part in this look with hindsight at the US model. Finally, we update our annual country-risk assessment to complete the global picture and, of course, give our traditional recommendations and the GlobalEurometre.
Layout of the full article:
1. “No we can’t”
2. A succession of crises
3. Shutdown: the laughing stock of the world, but a forced laugh
4. De-Americanisation at all levels
5. The petrodollar is dead, long live the petroyuan
6. China shows Euroland the way
7. Russia, South America: following de-westernisation
This public announcement contains sections 1, 2 and 3
“No we can’t”
It’s striking to see the extent to which the current US situation confirms the old adage that trouble never comes alone. In a six-week period, first of all humiliation by Russia over Syria, then its central bank which admits it’s impossible to reduce quantitative easing (4); the inability to pass a budget which means federal government shutdown, a shutdown lasting well beyond what is reasonable (5). Negotiations on the debt ceiling at a standstill two days from the deadline; the United States ordered by the G20 to ratify the IMF reform which it has been blocking for the last three years, and by the World Bank and the IMF to put its finances in order (6). And now the Chinese shot across the bows.
A succession of crises
Likewise, a strategic recovery certainly took place when the Fed backtracked on reducing its quantitative easing. Why did it let everyone believe right up to the last minute that it would reduce QE3 without doing so in the end? It’s the first time that it has taken investors by surprise, all 100% convinced of a tapering given in the forward guidance, a well-established principle. Is there no connection between the gross insider trading proved to have taken place at the time of the Fed’s announcement (10), which had to be worth billions of dollars to the perpetrators? All this supports our theory of desperate US financial institutions which must be bailed out discreetly by such operations, at the risk of undermining the Fed’s credibility. Again, short-term solutions which make the situation worse but which push back the fatal deadline a little further. We are no longer the only ones to ring the alarm bell on these American banks: the Bank of England is expecting major banks to fail which, according to it, have lost the status of “too big to fail” (11). We therefore repeat our warning on this subject.
Like a boxer, all these blows that the country has taken has made it groggy and it only lacks the last one to floor it. If it doesn’t come from a US payment default in October, it will be another deadline which has been pushed back which, this time, won’t yield.
Shutdown: the laughing stock of the world, but a forced laugh
This isn’t the opinion of countries with large holdings of US Treasury bonds , which feel held hostage by the United States (14). They are stunned by the US’ indefensible casualness and by the irresponsible attitude of who, until recently, was “the boss”. If the country defaults on its debt the shockwaves will certainly be terrible. However, this wouldn’t be the end of the world because a possible default could simply take the form of delayed payment for the few days; moreover different parts of the world would be unequally affected according to the extent of their de-coupling from the US economy. No, the country that will suffer most from this solution (and any other for that matter) will really be the United States itself. For the record it holds two thirds of its own public debt.