Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
DOES THE US DO OIL EXPLORATION?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Yes. Here is a list of oil exploration and production companies, including many US ones.
List of oil exploration and production companies - Wikipedia
The US companies probably do much more oil exploration than companies in other countries because in the US, most oil (and gas) comes from shale, and this means fracking, which means the wells don’t last very long and new ones must be found and drilled constantly. This in turn means the companies are not able to compete well with oil from non-shale plays of the kind found in the Middle East, Russia, Venezuela and elsewhere. In turn this means US oil is not making much profit and the investors in this oil are dropping out like flies.
This means that the future of US energy is very uncertain, with many companies going bankrupt all the time, as reported below:
As Oil Prices Drop And Money Dries Up, Is The U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust?
U.S. Shale Patch Sees Huge Jump In Bankruptcies | OilPrice.com
Which shows that being the no. 1 oil exporter, while it may be prestigious, does little for the bottom line – ie, the economy.
A sensible strategy would have been to wait several years until energy becomes scarce around the world, or in other words, until the price goes up. Then shale oil would be able to compete with the rest of the world. As it is, US oil is being depleted rapidly for little to no profit and when sometime in the future, the US needs its own oil for energy security, the supply will have dwindled to a trickle. At that point, the US will be in a precarious position, dependent on Middle Eastern countries that have been screwed over by it for years, and on countries like Venezuela, which it has starved with sanctions, or on Iran, which it threatened to destroy.
How’s that for a strategy?
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: WHAT PUNISHMENTS SHOULD THE US IMPOSE ON NATIONS THAT ASSIST IRAN, SUCH AS RUSSIA OR CHINA?
The US has killed millions of innocent civilians with aerial bombs and missiles, and is currently occupying Iraq and Syria against the will of the people of those countries. It has also illegally killed several high-ranking military officials in Iraq and has admitted that it intends to steal Syrian oil. It is therefore in fact a war criminal and has no authority whatsoever to declare other countries as terrorists or criminals. Once the US loses enough of its authority in the eyes of the world, offended countries may, and probably will, impose sanctions and embargoes on it and sue it in international courts to recover the enormous amounts of money lost by its irresponsible actions.
The bullies in Washington who concoct the outrageous claims against Iran, China and Russia don’t seem to understand that these countries have enormous power over the US. Iran, for its part, could easily stop vital shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, causing oil prices to spiral upward. As for China, if it chose to ditch its holdings in Treasuries, it could wreak havoc in US finances, causing a sharp drop in the value of the dollar. Further, if Russia chose to do so, it could start increasing the amounts of oil it extracts and sells on the world market. If this happened, the US shale oil business would go bankrupt in very short order, and the US would lose one of its main sources of income (although it must be said that the shale oil and gas business in the US has been losing money anyway since the outset).
If Putin were minded to do so, he could remind US officials of this possibility. Of course Putin realizes that the US is on the verge of financial collapse, particularly with the recent repo market crisis (which few Westerners know about). I think this knowledge, plus the formidable Russian arsenal, is the reason for Putin’s sang-froid regarding the US. He knows it is just a matter of time before the game is over.
Below is our translation of an article in the Chinese-language site Souhu with a foreword and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
The report, assuming it is true, shows how the US is tying itself up in knots by first killing Soleimani, thoroughly alienating Iran’s friends/trading partners, then telling these people they may not trade with Iran. So now China, for one, is hatching plots to keep trading with Iran but without receiving payment in money, ie, by swapping arms for oil – a very hard transaction to trace because SWIFT is not involved. This is a new battlefield and a brand new fighting style confronting the US, which seems to be in over its head — facing as it does not just Iran but its two powerful allies Russia and China.
Apparently, the Western public is being kept in the dark about the Chinese-Iranian plan to swap oil for arms. For instance, on January 6, three days after the murder of Qassem Soleimani, Forbes wrote that following the imposition of Trump’s sanctions on Iran in August 2018, “China has since turned to the Saudi’s, no longer able to trust Iran as a reliable source due to geopolitics.” Thus, according to US media, seems like all is going swimmingly for the US bullies.
On 13 Jan 2020, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said to spglobal.com:
“I sat down with the Chinese officials. They flew in a delegation to meet with us and the State Department to talk about this [buying Iranian oil]. They've cut off all of the state companies from buying oil, and we're working closely with them to make sure that they cease all additional oil activities," Mnuchin said.”
In other words, Mnuchin supposedly succeeded in persuading China to help the US starve its Iranian friends after murdering its good friend Qassem Soleimani. Apparently US officials have no idea of the crucial role Iran plays in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Meanwhile, the Chinese-language media were telling a different story, as reported below.
It is clear from his tone that Mnuchin, like the rest of the zombified US Establishment, actually expects China to sympathize with them, feeling their pain at having Iran continue sharing the planet with Israel, which it believes implicitly is in mortal danger of being annihilated by Iran (which has zero nukes to Israel's 300). Perhaps they even think that China ought to understand that the Bible gave Palestine to Israel, despite the passages pointing out that Israel was dispersed throughout the world for disobedience. After all, they reason, American Christians’ concern for Israel’s security makes Israel a godly nation, regardless of what the Bible says. And that makes Iran an evil nation that is doomed to fail in these end days. And yet, the reality suggests a different story, of failed US manipulation to bring Iran, and its two superpower friends Russia and China, to heel. Particularly in view of the recent three-way Russia-China-Iran naval manoeuvres in the Persian Gulf, against which the US was powerless, except to murder a key Iranian military leader who can easily be replaced. The dog barks and the caravan moves on.
This US naiveté is matched by the evidence that the US apparently never thought about the possibility of an oil-arms swap that would enable China to skirt sanctions and clandestinely acquire large volumes of oil from Iran undetected.
Or is the US simply conning the public with these stories?
A search for “iran china oil for arms swap” did not bring up any articles on Sohu in English, indicating that Chinese sites have one version of the news for the Chinese and another for the rest of the world.
In fact the same search failed even to bring up any articles at all indicating an Iran-China oil-for-arms swap. In fact, most of the results were articles (like this one from the South China Morning Post) indicating that China had been gradually reducing its Iranian oil imports. You’d think some Western media source somewhere – other than New Silk Strategies, that is – would have thought to search in Chinese for information on an oil-arms swap.
Iran intends to swap 100 million barrels of oil for Chinese weapons, White House: exhaust all means to stop it
It is reported that a few days ago, an emissary of Iranian President Khamenei arrived in Beijing. After talking with Chinese representatives, the matter of oil cooperation between the two sides has been basically settled. Iran will provide 100 million barrels of oil to China. Iran does not want China to pay the cost. It only needs China to swap weapons to offset the cost of the oil. The US military stated that Iran would definitely take this opportunity to purchase a large amount of advanced weapons from China. [I could not find confirmation that the US knew about this Iran-China deal]
In fact, China-Iran cooperation has been very close in recent years. For example, China helped Iran build a factory to assemble C-704 missiles. This is a cruise missile with a 400 kg heavy warhead and a range of about 40 kilometers, which is enough for Iran to be their air defence weapon. In addition, Iran also fitted the missile to the F-4 Phantom Fighter. According to US media, this time, Iran is likely to introduce Eagle strike (YJ) series missiles from China. [The YJ missiles are anti-ship]
[The above paragraph suggests that Iran could have imported many more missiles than are known to exist in its arsenal. A very good reason for both the US and Israel to stop antagonizing Iran!]
In addition, China will also introduce a complete set of fire control systems. Considering the recent performance of the Russian S-400, that system is in fact somewhat unsatisfactory. The F-4 Phantom previously purchased from the United States is still in service today and is obviously too old. Iran needs to upgrade these fighters and replace radar and fire control systems. All hope lies in China. In addition, after using domestically produced C-802 and other missiles, Iran had had nothing but praise for them.
After this cooperation, 30% of Iran’s weapons will come from China. Because of long-term sanctions by the United States, many countries are afraid to cooperate with Iran, and even less willing to sell weapons to it. Fortunately, with China, Iran got the best of both worlds, not only selling oil but also acquiring a large number of advanced weapons. But China also gained a solid ally in the Middle East. In response, the White House has ordered the United States to use all measures to prevent Iran from using 100 million barrels of oil to exchange weapons with China. [I could not confirm this last sentence. Again, it does not appear that the US has any knowledge of this oil-for-arms swap]
Below is our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with commentary by Vince Dhimos.
It is hard to imagine that a country teetering on the edge economically could even think of bullying other, very powerful countries with sanctions or even assassination of high officials. A while back, Russia ditched almost all its Treasuries (as mentioned below) to avoid the potential bite of sanctions. It knew that the US was capable, in a fit of rage, of prohibiting it from selling its Treasuries and then just keeping the cash. Stealing – sort of like “we’re keeping the oil.”
And, as also mentioned below, China has ditched significant amounts of Treasuries, and so have European central banks and mutual funds. Clearly – I mean clearly if you’re not a US government official – the world is losing its faith in US Treasuries and it would be a good time to drop the bullying role. But apparently US officials have forgotten how to be even a little humble. That is one reason the title of the article below says “it’s going to hurt.”
Here it comes. Good and hard.
"It’s going to hurt": the US did not manage the liquidity crisis
Jan 1, 2020
MOSCOW, Jan 10 - RIA Novosti, Maxim Rubchenko. In the US, the liquidity crisis has sharply worsened, with which the country's financial authorities have been struggling for four months. From September to December, the Fed poured 366 billion dollars into the economy, but that did not help: in the last week alone, another 99 billion had to be added.
There’s no more money
At a weekly loan auction (repo) held on Wednesday, bank applications significantly exceeded the limit of $35 billion. As a result, the Federal Reserve provided loans for 41 billion, and taking into account other auctions, the total volume of cash injections into the American economy for the week reached 99 billion.
This signals a new round of the liquidity crisis, which the authorities have been trying to cope with since September 16, when bank applications for short-term Fed loans suddenly almost doubled - from 27 billion to 53.2 billion. This led to an increase in lending rates from 2.29% to 4.75%.
The next day, banks filed loan applications for more than $80 billion - and the rate exceeded ten percent.
Another key indicator, the federal funds rate (at which banks provide short-term loans with excess reserves to other banks), for the first time exceeded the target range of 2.3-2.35% set by the Federal Reserve. Dollars in the interbank market had not been this expensive either in the midst of the 2008 crisis or when the "dot com bubble "burst in 2002.
To save the financial market from paralysis, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went to buy securities - government bonds, bonds of federal agencies and mortgage obligations – from banks. In just two days (September 18 and 19), $128 billion was poured into the market.
But that was not enough, and the Fed announced the repurchase of short-term treasury bonds (for up to a year) in the amount of $60 billion per month. The market calmed down for a while.
However, on December 16, bank applications for loans again exceeded the limit, and the regulator again began to pump up the economy with money. In total, from September to December 20, the Fed, through repo auctions and the repurchase of short-term government bonds, pumped 366 billion dollars of additional liquidity into the national financial system – a record since the 2008 crisis.
Experts were sure: now the situation is normalizing. Nothing of the sort. Moreover, in the new year, cash injections increased: from 255.95 billion in the last week of December to 258.9 billion in the first week of January.
United by debt alone
According to analysts at the Swiss Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the main reason for the lack of liquidity in the United States is a sharp decline in the issuance of loans by major US banks.
"In recent months, the assets of primary lenders have concentrated on treasury bonds, which has limited their ability to provide financing in the short term on repo markets," the BIS report said. In fact, the largest US banks today are saving the national economy from default.
The fact is that against the background of a record public debt ($23.17 trillion as of January 23, 2020) and the Trump administration’s unpredictable trade policy, many investors are jettisoning US government bonds.
China, which until recently had the largest portfolio of US debt securities, sold them more than two hundred billion dollars’ worth last year, the Bank of Russia sold almost one hundred billion since the end of 2018. Other central banks, as well as private European and Asian investment funds, are actively reducing their Treasuries portfolios.
The US Treasury was faced with a drop in demand for securities, which are the only way to cover the budget deficit. Since the Fed is not entitled to direct issuance, the “quantitative easing” scheme tested in the crisis of 2008 was again launched to save the situation: the largest national banks acquire government bonds, and the Fed then redeems them for freshly printed dollars, while ensuring decent profit for partners.
As a result, large banks had no incentive to lend to small and medium-sized companies – which lost short-term loans. Now the Fed has to exceed repo auction limits, since the law does not prohibit printing money for this purpose.
Optimists and pessimists
Many American experts believe that the Fed, having launched a new phase of "quantitative easing" in parallel with additional injections of liquidity through repo auctions, has found a reliable remedy for the new financial crisis.
The Bank of America (BofA) report notes that while in October only seven percent of investors expected accelerated global growth in the New Year, then in December it was already 29%. At the same time, fears of a recession fell by 33 percentage points, and the vast majority of respondents (68%) today are confident that the global economy will avoid a recession in 2020.
BofA analysts emphasize that, believing in future growth, global investment funds are reducing investments in reliable instruments with guaranteed returns and increasing investment in stocks. No wonder the S&P stock index overstepped the boundaries of the technical corridor in which it has been since the end of 2018.
However, some experts warn that a bubble is forming in the market. “And the more the Fed pours in money, the more difficult it is to return to normal monetary policy without causing a stock market crash," said Scott Skyrm, chief analyst at the Curvature Securities repo investment market.
And it will be necessary to return to normal politics. Otherwise, the dollar will collapse and inflation will accelerate.
“Whether Fed Chairman Powell will be able to contain inflation and continue this policy until the November elections is the question,” Scott Skyrm points out. “If not, he will have to answer to a very angry president.”
A question arose at Quora that Vince Dhimos has decided first to answer at New Silk Strategies.
Q: ARE US DEMOCRATS AGAINST THE TRADE WAR WITH CHINA?
The trouble with the US political system has always been that the two parties and the candidates within the same party must struggle hard during each election campaign to distinguish themselves from each other. Because they are not fundamentally different in vital aspects of economics, military affairs and foreign policy. They're for an eternal war and an eternal ballooning debt. This is why while some Democrat candidates carp at Trump for his trade war, none of them are offering any specific proposals on how to end it and their ideas are all over the map, as reflected in this Reuters article.
And the trouble with the trade war is that it was something that most ranking Democrats and Republicans have actually desired to some degree or other in recent decades. Because it was a pipedream gone sour. They had hoped the free trade relationship between the US and China would drive a wedge between Russia and China, and just the opposite happened, and they had hoped China would become America’s workshop without costing Americans a dime. In fact, it degraded the US manufacturing base.
It all goes back to the 80s when Congress was debating whether or not to grant Most Favoured Nation status to China. At that time, it was the Democrats who resisted the most. In general terms, most politicians agree they were right. The US has created a monster.
Nixon had floated the idea of free trade with China amidst his project of opening up to China and establishing better relations with the country.
Nixon’s economic policies suggested he wanted an America that could get rich, or stay rich, without doing any of the traditional things that make or keep countries rich. It was also Nixon who initiated talks with Saudi Arabia to persuade that country and its Gulf State partners to use only US dollars in its oil trade and to keep all its reserves in US Treasuries, thereby creating a new currency concept, the petrodollar. He knew that the more a currency is used in world trade settlements, the stronger it gets, and the idea was to have the dollar become the hegemon among currencies, giving the US unlimited economic and political clout. The offer was that if Saudi went along with this, the US would use its military to protect its oil fields and the ruling family, who passed as royalty but in reality were nothing but uncouth glorified dictators. In 1974 Nixon and King Faisal in fact did sign such an agreement, which was kept under wraps and became a taboo topic among economists. Indeed, Nixon was the president who had just taken the US off the gold standard, and not only is there something inherently sleazy about having a currency held afloat with absolutely no real backing but it was clear to keen analysts that this arrangement could lead the US – through blackmail or excessive zeal to please the Saudis – to wage wars purely to please these dictators. So no one wanted to talk or write about the deal and the vast majority of Americans were therefore unaware of it, enabling the US to contrive conflicts with countries like Iraq and Syria that were disliked by the Saudis but posed no actual threat to the US people without having the sheeple suspect skullduggery. And of course, the pressure was twofold, since the countries on the Saudi blacklist were equally hated by Israel, creating a perfect storm for the hapless Shiites in the Middle East.
The idea of getting something for nothing, which underlay the petrodollar deal, was the child of the same brains that cooked up the China trade scheme, which, if properly managed, would allow China to become a colony for the US that would do its dirty labour and allow America to focus on finance instead of the economy. It was therefore akin to the Fed’s currently fashionable idea of just simply printing up dollars out of thin air, and the political class’s idea of using petrodollar hegemony as a bludgeon to beat into line any country daring to oppose US policies, even to the extent of renouncing their own economic interests, as Trump is currently trying to do with Germany.
Americans on both sides of the aisle and in both the grassroots and among the Establishment elite, in thrall to the Exceptional Nation narrative, have never been able to admit that the scheme of making China into a giant sweat shop; of allowing a brutal dictatorship to forge US foreign and military policy, thereby effectively turning the US military into a mercenary force; of simply printing money instead of addressing the real sector of the economy, and of bullying Europe into buying overpriced US LNG instead of the cheap Russian gas delivered by pipeline – in short, all these schemes, are blatantly sleazy and deeply immoral and no respectable nation would ever dream of treating other nations so shabbily. US and Israeli propaganda maintains that the Muslims are to blame for all the conflicts in the Middle East – ignoring the massive Western role therein – while the US political class blames China and Russia for its own economic shortfalls. Yet it is a “Christian” nation that is stealing the sustenance of the rest of the world and threatening their security with its degenerate policies, which lack even an ounce of love and tample the golden rule.
The unconsidered China trade scheme has not worked out to the US’s advantage, and those who promoted free trade with China in the 80s would now like to walk back their mistake.
But unfortunately, China has grown far too strong for any economic measures to work out well in America’s favour.
Bluntly put, it is too late.
Trying to undo the mistake of letting China get fabulously rich by attempting at this late hour to make it poor again is akin to murdering one’s grown child as a birth control method. The child is fully grown and is stronger than anyone could have imagined. And it comes in a package with Russia.
This baby can’t be put back in the womb and then extirpated. It’s grown up. We need to deal with it, and to do that, we also need to grow up. That will be the hard part.
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Q: HOW CAN MONETARY POLICY INSTRUMENTS AND FISCAL POLICY INSTRUMENTS BE USED TO INCREASE COUNTRY PRODUCTION?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
The economic experience of the US ever since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 is solid proof that finance cannot solve economic problems in the long run. Finance attempting to intervene in economic crises has only succeeded in exacerbating the problem, as clearly evidenced by the ballooning US sovereign debt and the fact that the Treasury is no longer finding sufficient buyers of Treasury bonds (due to the low interest rates) — obliging the government to print more money. Billions are now being printed daily to solve the repo (sometimes called “overnight lending”) market crisis, but money printing (quantitative easing) was originally intended only as a temporary stop-gap measure. Now it is a permanent part of US finance and has been since the 2009 crisis.
The Fed has in fact tried to use money printing as a financial policy instrument to revive a wilting economy. The aforementioned repo market is a little-known means of securing quick (often just overnight) loans for cash-strapped companies. Last fall, the supply side of this market fell short of the demand for loans, due mostly to the low interest rates creating a cash shortage in the banks. To “solve” this problem, the Fed – which had caused the problem in the first place – was obliged to resort to quantitative easing (although it refrained from using that now-toxic term so as not to frighten the public). Now it is printing billions of dollars a day to prevent the repo market from collapsing. As I have said many times before, financial instruments do not provide permanent relief to economic problems. This is why the Fed is not an appropriate agency for this solution.
Further, there is now no escaping this debt trap. This is because, if the Fed raises rates to attract bond buyers, it will not be able to afford to pay the service on its debt. But by keeping the rates artificially low, it is stuck in the rut of simply buying its own debt, and the only way to do that is to keep printing more dollars. But this poses the inevitable risk of hyperinflation as in the famous example of the Weimar Republic, where workers had to carry home their cash from the banks in wheelbarrows.
No economy has ever survived such a debt crisis.
The Fed has been busy kicking the debt can down the road for decades, but the wall is now in sight. And then?
RUSSIA VETOES WESTERN CONTROL OF AID TO SYRIA
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Before I post the Quora Q and A, I need to comment on the absolutely slimy coverage of the UN Syrian aid vote. Every Western site I visited on this issue claimed, absolutely falsely, that Russia had voted against aid to Syria. That was a vicious lie! Russia and its friends in the UN proposed introducing aid from 2 points at the border with Turkey. But the West wanted to control the crossing points into the country that it had tried to destroy, and demanded two additional entry points from territories controlled by the West. This is one more important reason you should not get your "news" from sources controlled by the US Establishment. And that includes most European sources as well. This is best explained by this article: https://swprs.org/the-propaganda-multiplier/.
Q: WHY DOES RUSSIA FAIL TO GET UN APPROVAL FOR SYRIA CROSS-BORDER AID DELIVERIES FROM TURKEY?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
For anyone who understands the geopolitical landscape, this is an easy question. Western countries are pushing for 4 different crossing points and without approval by the Syrian government. Russia and its partners want only 2, both passing through Turkey, which is partially aligned with Russia and has been cooperative with Russia for the most part.
The 2 crossing points proposed by the West, that do not pass through Turkey, are controlled by the West, which obstinately continues to impose sanctions that prevent the war ravaged Syrian people from acquiring food staples, energy and medicine. Further, it was the West that wholeheartedly supported the Arab Spring that brought hordes of jihadists to Syria from over 80 countries (as detailed here). Does anyone think the West really wants the Syrians to receive aid? Even as the US steals their oil – as the US president brazenly admits? The same scenario emerged in Venezuela, another country whose people were being starved and deprived of medicine by the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies but then suddenly, in a supposed burst of altruism, the US decided to send aid, and without consulting the legitimately elected government, started illegally crossing the border with trucks full of this “aid.” Imagine a reverse scenario in which the US were embargoed and Americans could not receive food and medicine because a powerful tyrant decided they should pay a heavy price for electing Trump, and then this same tyrant is suddenly overcome by a supposed paroxysm of compassion and tries to send “aid” across the Canadian border. Would the starving Americans, victims of the embargo, be absolutely delighted to receive this aid from their arch-enemy? No. They would say “for crying out loud, why don’t they just lift the embargo and let us buy food and medicine instead of pretending to be humanitarians all of a sudden?” They’d surely suspect the attempted “aid” deliveries were a planned spy mission or perhaps a delivery of guns to America’s internal enemies.
It all boils down to the fact that, with its open and public support for the Arab Spring, the West created and nurtured ISIS, Al-Qaeda and their spin-offs and rebrandings, as I showed at Quora:
Vince Dhimos's answer to Are there any sources for American involvement in the Middle East since 9/11? It’s for a paper.
Now since the West is responsible for all the havoc, in its zeal to please Israel and Saudi Arabia, who wanted to remove Assad from power, and since this same West created unbearable conditions for the Syrian people in their country by introducing, financing and arming these jihadists, and since the latter all but destroyed Syria until 2015, when the Russians finally went in and started restoring order, why in heaven’s name would the Russians allow the West to control entry points into Syria from areas controlled by the West? Of course they wouldn’t and they vetoed the UN proposal to allow this. If the West – and the UN that it controls in this issue – were to allow the Russians, the Syrians and their friends to control the aid delivery, there would now be aid flowing into Syria. Yet Pompeo hypocritically asserts that Russia and its friends in the UN have “blood on their hands” for vetoing the UN resolution to allow the West to control the aid.
The West not only backed the bad guys in Syria, it not only slapped inhuman sanctions on Syria, but it also imposes sanctions on any country that helps rebuild this war torn country.
Why in heaven’s name would Russia and Syria allow these Western criminals (stealing someone’s oil is a crime, folks) to control the aid convoys entering the country?
Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora. BTW, have you noticed how most of these questions contain false assertions? That is your msm hard at work.
Q: HOW DOES THE US MAINTAIN THE STRONGEST ECONOMIC GROWTH AMONG DEVELOPED NATIONS EVEN THOUGH IT INVESTS A MUCH SMALLER SHARE OF GDP IN INFRASTRUCTURE?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Westerners generally make the same assumptions, including the false one you made in this question.
You are confusing growth of the economy with jobs growth and stock market bubble. The stock market growth is a reflection of a dangerous bubble that is expected to pop one of these days, plunging the US into a recession. Stock prices are not used in calculating economic growth or GDP. As for the jobs growth, it does not match the low shipping statistics, indicating that these new jobs may not last long. Also remember that shale oil and gas are the bulk of the new jobs, but shale has been going bust. As Oil Prices Drop And Money Dries Up, Is The U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust?
This means investors are dropping out of the shale game and these jobs too are threatened.
The US does not have strong growth. It hovers around 1–2% of GDP, but that is only because the government tweaks the statistics. If they are adjusted for real inflation, there has been zero growth since about 2009.
China, however, which we are indoctrinated to believe is a loser, has had growth of around 7% for many years, though is now down to 6.1% thanks to the trade war. Thus it has slowed just a tad recently in the wake of harsh measures, but China does not intend to let the trade war slow it down too much. Trade with the US is not what shores up the Chinese economy. It amounts to less than 1% of China’s GDP.
BTW, the losses in GDP in the US and China due to the trade war are about the same. No one ever “wins” a trade war.
Below is our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with commentary and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
The US has managed to plug a financial "hole" with 86 billion a day. So far
Even the permanently optimistic American financial press is gradually concluding that the US budget deficit is starting to create difficulties that the Federal Reserve can hardly handle. The financial system of our overseas partners can be compared to an unstable reactor, and their central bank is trying to make sure that the explosion does not happen, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep this “reactor” under control. The flagship of the American business press The Wall Street Journal reports: "The Federal Reserve’s control over rates is tested for strength by the growing United States government budget deficit. Debt issuance by the US Treasury is expected to contribute to the instability of the money market."
In this case, it is worth making a translation from the cautious language of specialized journalists into spoken Russian. The American habit of living beyond our means has become so widespread that even the use of the printing press to close financial holes is no longer enough to protect the financial system from toxic effects. By and large, a significant part of the welfare of the fading world hegemon [the US] after 2008 is based on a constant increase in public debt and budget deficits, combined with maintaining very low interest rates for the economy as a whole. In this sense, the US economy can be compared to a bicycle, which has one pedal at low rates and another at increasing budget deficits, which are financed by the growth of public debt. If interest rates on loans suddenly rise or if the budget deficit cannot grow further, then the economy first slows down and then begins to fall. [Let’s hold it right there for now. So you ask: just why has the debt bubble, irresponsibly created by the Fed to please its billionaire pals, forced the government to overspend? Here is a brief explanation from an Awara analysis of 2018: “[spending] must not only be high enough to maintain the bubble at the previous level but also high enough to generate a semblance of growth.”
Now the market is afraid that the budget deficit has reached a level that will disrupt this pattern. The practice of 2018 clearly showed that the American financial markets (and the economy as a whole) with the increase in dollar rates (that is, the cost of lending in the economy) are starting to fall apart right before our eyes.
The Wall Street Journal clearly indicates that it is the deficit of money in the American treasury that is to blame for the problems, and emphasizes that the solutions found are temporary: "The budget deficit, which is projected to grow over the years, will lead to a deterioration in the basic elements of the US financial system, which makes it difficult for Federal Reserve to manage interest rates, which (in their turn - Author’s note) affect how much consumers and businesses pay for loans. In September, the Fed was forced to intervene in money markets to suppress a short but alarming jump in short-term interest rates The central bank says it is ready to deal with any financial problems that may arise before the end of the year in the so-called repurchase agreement market, or repo market, worth $ 2.2 trillion, but a long-term solution has not yet been developed."
Although the so-called repo market is not very well known to the general public, it is in fact indispensable for the functioning of the modern financial system. Banks depend on it for short-term lending, with government bonds used as collateral. In turn, as American journalists rightly point out, the smooth operation of this segment of the financial market, hidden from the general public, "ensures a reliable supply of credit funds to the economy." The irony of fate is that American senators and congressmen, when they proposed a package of “hellish sanctions” against Russia, probably expected to ease the “repo market” in our country - at least, finance minister Stephen Mnuchin described exactly in his letter to Congress such consequences of the introduction of "hellish sanctions." No one has imposed sanctions on the States, but the situation in this key segment of the financial market looks very bad - it is not for nothing that the Federal Reserve has to plug up holes to the tune of $86 billion a day. To describe the situation in the simplest and crudest terms, there is a catastrophic shortage on the market of people wishing to borrow money secured by American government bonds (which, at least in theory) are a risk-free asset and by rights should be snapped up by potential lenders.
The need for cheap lending may so far be covered by the Federal Reserve, which actually acts as a "lender of last resort," but this is a temporary solution. The Wall Street Journal quotes the opinion of Mark McQueen, a bond portfolio manager at Sage Advisory, as saying: "The Fed cannot defend a trillion dollar deficit (budget – author’s note) Year after year. This is beyond their capabilities." [To better understand the repo market, here is some help: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-repo-market-explained/AB15EF0E-9407-41C7-921B-98F6B9789DC2.html ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SE2W5b8dp8 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Hl253H4xw]
The desperate and clearly unplanned actions of the American authorities are starting to resemble the emergency measures that were taken in the crisis of 2008, only this time the actual word “crisis” is not uttered by any official to avoid making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. It cannot be ruled out that unforeseen stress, which began in the financial market in September and is not ending despite all the efforts of the American monetary authorities, is a sign of systemic problems in the economy and one of the symptoms of an impending recession.
CNN reports that at least one major international bank expects a recession in the US economy next year:
"The Fed believes that it has everything under control," wrote Philip Marey, senior strategist at Rabobank for the US market, in a note to clients. But the same forecasting model that led Rabobank to correctly determine the end of the recent Fed interest rate hike cycle now signals that the central bank will need to “lower rates to zero by the end of 2020,” Marey said.” The three rate cuts (this year – author’s note) will not be enough to prevent the economy from falling into a recession,” he wrote.
At the same time, the Bloomberg agency, referring, for example, to the testimony of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to Congress, notes that if the US economy slows down, all these measures will not be enough: in that casel the Fed will not be able to reduce interest rates sufficiently to significantly mitigate (not to mention prevent) a serious economic downturn. <...> Theoretically, this gap (between the capabilities of the Federal Reserve and the needs of the economy – author’s note) can be filled by fiscal stimulus, that is, by the government either reducing taxes or increasing spending. In practice, this will be almost impossible.”
In 2016, Donald Trump said that the US economy is a big ugly financial bubble. Now he cannot allow this bubble to burst before the 2020 elections, and probably all kinds of short-term Fed decisions will be enough to achieve this goal. But after the election, at any moment, a situation may well arise in which real miracles are required from the President and the Treasury Department for the bubble to continue to exist.
Perhaps it is the recognition of these risks that makes Trump rush so frantically in the economic war with China and in forcing the European Union to finance the American military-industrial complex and NATO - he knows that he does not have much time left to save American hegemony.
SIGNS THAT THE US DEBT-FUELED ECONOMY MIGHT ACTUALLY COLLAPSE
From April 2018
“An enormous bubble has been created – and it will go on inflating as the new debt must not only be high enough to maintain the bubble at the previous level but also high enough to generate a semblance of growth.”
What's the importance of the US dollar in the world economy? Why?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
The US dollar has played a key role in all wars waged by the US in the last 50 years, which were waged in large part to please the Saudis, thanks to the petrodollar agreement signed in 1974 between R. Nixon and King Faisal. Nothing is made of this portentous event in the Western media because if people were aware of it, Westerners would stop supporting US wars and Europeans would exit NATO.
Bloomberg was the only outlet that dared to publish and discuss a copy of the original deal, but there were obviously Saudi influences on the US government that were not mentioned in the agreement.
To answer your question succinctly, the US dollar was the main cause of the horrendous wars in the Middle East over the last 5 decades.
I discussed this in detail at Quora: