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China, Russia, and the End of the Petrodollar

by John Rubino on October 9, 2012 · 69 comments

Say you’re an up-and-coming superpower wannabe with dreams of dominating your neighbors and intimidating everyone else. Your ambition is understandable; rising nations always join the “great game”, both for their own enrichment and in defense against other big players. But if you’re Russia or China, there’s something in your way: The old superpower, the US, […]

Last year the US ran a $272 billion trade deficit with China, which means we sent the Chinese that many extra dollars in return for the clothes, toys and iPhones they sent us. This lopsided relationship has been in place for a long time, allowing (or requiring) China to accumulate about $1.7 trillion dollars of […]

Here’s another take on the inflation/deflation debate from Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow and Financial Times columnist Sebastian Mallaby: Forget Jesus and ask the hedge funds The US stimulus debate features two warring camps. The Obama administration insists that a failure to stimulate will open the door to a double-dip recession. Its foes retort […]

The best way to understand how far the U.S. has drifted from its original design is to listen to Ron Paul. He sounds like Thomas Jefferson would if he were around, which makes him a flake and a radical to most of today’s Republicans and Democrats. But he strikes a chord with a surprisingly wide […]

Classic Videos: Ben Bernanke’s Predictions

by John Rubino on March 2, 2010 · 32 comments

Of all the surreal choices the U.S. has made in the last few years, the strangest might be our decision to put the people who ruined the old system in charge of fixing it. Ben Bernanke, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Tim Geithner et al built the monetary policy and regulatory structure that let […]

China and Germany: The Perils of Vendor Financing

by John Rubino on February 26, 2010 · 15 comments

In response to Why Would Anyone Buy a Spanish Bond?, reader RAID 3000 pointed out that the U.S. has far more serious problems than Europe (no argument there!) and included a link to LEAP2020, a European site doing great work on this subject. One of its articles contained the following chart: This got me to […]

Why Would Anyone Buy a Spanish Bond?

by John Rubino on February 25, 2010 · 12 comments

With Greece hogging the headlines, it’s important to understand that what it represents is more important than what it is. With maybe 2% of Europe’s GDP, Greece is a small economy and by itself can’t cause any real problems. But it does set a precedent for the bigger implosions that will follow. So the real […]

Major policy changes usually start out as trial balloons, ideas placed with sympathetic media outlets that float around and draw reactions from the affected parties. This gives policymakers a risk-free look at what would happen if they claim credit for a given idea. So the article that appears in today’s Wall Street Journal under the […]

Classic Videos: Hyperinflation Nation Part 1/3

by John Rubino on February 21, 2010 · 9 comments

With guys like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and Marc Faber suddenly getting a lot of airtime, the number of compelling videos available on YouTube is soaring. I’ve been sifting through them to build a “classic videos” file with the idea of posting one or so each week. Here’s the first in the series, Hyperinflation Nation, […]

Redoing the Kitchen While the House Burns Down

by John Rubino on February 15, 2010 · 14 comments

Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank is by far the most interesting part of that paper’s dull gray Op Ed page. Back in January he suggested that the world’s governments smack down those wing-nut gold bugs by selling all the gold in their central bank vaults — a plan that most gold bugs found hilarious, […]

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