Our translation from ria.ru follows.
Ivan Danilov, author of the blog Crimson Alter
Few people know of it, but among financial professionals there is an analogue of the well-known story of the bon mot by Sergei Lavrov "who are you to lecture me?," which, according to legend, was addressed to British colleague David Miliband. In 2012, when the US Ministry of Finance was going to smash the British Standard Chartered Bank with a multi-billion dollar fine for deals with Iran, bypassing US sanctions, the irritated London banker wrote his American counterpart an email with the text "You [foul language] Americans! Who are you to tell us, the whole world, that we cannot do business with Iran?" Six years ago, this outburst seemed to be a sign of the whole world’s impotence vs the omnipotence of the American financial system and those sanctions that the US leadership can use as an incredibly effective foreign policy tool.
But now what is happening is happening: the rest of the world has shifted from irritation and outrage to active opposition. In this context, the contrast between the way many Russian political analysts and economic commentators see the situation and the way the respectable Western media look at this situation looks quite odd. Many people in Russia still think that the status of the dollar is something like a physical constant that cannot be changed, and the thesis "he who prints the dollar owns the world, and so it will always" seems to them as self-evident as the postulate "the sun rises in the east." At the same time, experts and journalists of Western financial media are sounding alarm, panic, and sometimes just fallinto into hysterics, urging the US leadership to stop before it's too late, and not accelerate the already universally obvious process of de-dollarization in the world economy and trade.
The respectable London-based Financial Times, the mouthpiece of the City [of London – NSS], published a report entitled "Beware America: Dollar Dominance is not Forever," and adds: "The logic of using the dollar for pricing of almost all contracts for oil and other commodities is weakening."
The London edition points out that "during the Trump era, the US began to be perceived as an increasingly unreliable partner in trade, military and other arrangements, which has damaged international confidence in the United States and created the fear that Trump could use the dollar as a weapon to control other countries. Because of this, China, Russia and others are creating their own payment systems and channels that bypass the United States. "
The Economist, owned by several very influential oligarchic families, including the well-known house of Rothschild, also writes about the negative consequences of US sanctions and Trump's disregard for diplomatic agreements: "The dollar is unlikely to dominate forever. America has an ever smaller share of world production, the transition (from one reserve currency, to the Editorial Note) to a combination of reserve currencies remains possible. The way this transition is organized will depend on the including ## how America is perceived by its allies and opponents. <...> The dollar dominates in part because foreigners trust the American system, partly because the interests of our friends coincide with the interests of America .If the alliances pass on the transactional scheme, the efforts of other countries to reduce dollar dependence will become more intense and then necessarily have an impact on military and intelligence relations with the United States. "
[It may go deeper than this. The Rothschilds have announced that they are “moving away from” the dollar. The Rothschilds’ writing critically of the dollar may be motivated not only by their antipathy toward Trump but by a desire to induce other investors to drop the dollar and thereby enhance the value of their non-dollar holdings. If this is so, then the Chinese, Russians, Iranians and others with a stake in weakening the dollar have a powerful ally—NSS]
It is worth noting that The Economist sees at the root: the dollar is that element of the American-centric world system that makes the American allies (and even the opponents) "bound by one chain linked by one goal." If this linkage disappears, the demise of NATO and other international structures that provide US influence on international politics is only a matter of time.
It is significant that European efforts to circumvent anti-Iranian sanctions are perceived by London journalists with the utmost seriousness, since they are looking at the situation not from the point of view of the coming months, but from the perspective of the long-term prospects of American hegemony. It is also worth noting that it seems almost self-evident that the dollar has no chance to retain its dominant position in the future, and the question is just how specifically will the transition from the dollar's dominance system to the "multipolar currency world" take place.
By the way, the transition process is much faster than it may seem at first glance. For example, the most important news of recent days, not noticed by the mainstream media, is that the London Metal Exchange (LME) plans to launch futures for metals with calculations in yuan. Now the yuan can be not only a "petroyuan," but also a currency used for payments for aluminium, zinc, copper and other metals.
The London Stock Exchange is the main world market for the pricing of these metals and one of the most influential sites in the gold market.
The American business news agency Bloomberg also points to the negative consequences of Trump's sanctions policy with regard to Iran and Russia. In the article entitled "The Power of US Sanctions may be approaching its limits," Bloomberg columnist Ben Holland writes that "the response to a decision on Iranian sanctions shows that the world economy will not be forced indefinitely" and stresses that the US ability to apply sanctions now depends on the readiness of the European Union and China to obey them and that this readiness is waning.
"непропорционально большой ущерб от санкций против России — 44 миллиарда долларов или 40 процентов от общего ущерба — понесла не Россия, а Германия" в то время как на долю США пришлось лишь 0,6 процента от общих убытков.
Moreover, an American journalist reports that German economists have unexpectedly discovered that "disproportionately severe damage from sanctions against Russia - $ 44 billion or 40 percent of total damage – was incurred not by Russia but by Germany" while the US only incurred 0.6 percent of total losses. As one can easy to guess, this discovery will influence the further attitude of Germany towards American foreign policy.
[NSS note: EC Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said just a few days ago that Europe cannot go on taunting Russia and needs to move closer to it. Bundestag representatives have also recently expressed unprecedented interest in normalizing relations with Russia. Germany has just been shocked into this new Realpolitik by the spectre of Trump’s very high tariffs on German autos and by the realization that the country – so far the second biggest exporter in the world – relies heavily on the cheap pipeline gas from Russia that the US has tried with all its might to cut off with indirect sanctions on investors in Nord Stream II. It is hard to believe that Trump imagines he can compromise Europe so rudely with impunity.]
Bloomberg identified the two main "hot spots" of the world sanction war: the SWIFT system and Nord Stream II. The US is demanding that SWIFT, in fact a European organization, cut off Iran from its system of international payments, and there is a risk that otherwise SWIFT itself will be subject to US restrictions. The question of the construction of the Nord Stream II, like the situation around SWIFT, are the EU’s sore spots, and the way the EU responds to American pressure will determine the speed of the world's dedollarization. However, Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, who commented on the situation for the US agency, is not particularly optimistic: "One day the US with its statements will simply knock the dollar out of its international role," he said. We can’t help but agree with the professor, but Brussels, Beijing and Moscow should work to ensure that this day comes as soon as possible.
[NSS had already shown here, based on its own research, that Russia is prepared to make cross-border payments in non-dollar currencies.]