Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Will Canada's Public Bank Save Us?

I’ve talked about how the Petro dollar has been ruling the world of commerce since the 1944 Agreement of Bretton Woods which made the US more or less the world’s reserve currency.  At the time the US currency was backed by gold.  But in 1971 the US dumped gold and chose to use a fiat dollar with nothing to back it except the strength of its workers and the US military.  This meant that when nations wanted to trade with the US they must first buy US dollars. The buying nations were also encouraged to use US dollars to buy US bonds.  The US was strong, most of the other nations had been devastated by the Second World War. These nations desperately needed energy to rebuild. The US had the energy and know- how.  Thus the entire trading word fell under the tight grip of the American dollar that came to be known as the Petro dollar.

All of the wars in the Middle East and Africa, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria were all fought (and are still being fought) over their resistance to the Petro dollar and the US takeover of their oil fields.    People have died in the millions in the struggle to get off the Petro dollar and reclaim their country’s independence.  Ancient towns and cities have been leveled, entire countries such as Libya and Afghanistan are on their knees.   The citizens of these countries are left to try to find new shelters in mostly unfriendly lands where many have little in common with the values of modern European society.  The newcomers will have bread, but not roses. At least any time soon.  All this unimaginable suffering and there is more in the offering if the war hawks in the US have their way.  Currently in Syria there is a last ditch struggle going on by the US to stay in Syria.  For what?  To try to protect the Petro dollar.

But Syria wants to determine its own fate, joining with Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.  They are all in the process of ditching the Petro dollar, or planning to, and using their own currencies.  This is the death knell for the Petro dollar being the world’s currency.  It will be only one of many currencies.  The US will fight to the death to prevent this.  Which is why they won’t leave Syria when they have no right to occupy a sovereign country that does not want them there.  But regardless of what happens in Syria the death of the Petro dollar is imminent.  What will that mean for the US?  So long awash in Petro dollars there will be a devaluation of US currency which will bring inflation.   And Canada?

There is one chance for Canada to escape devaluation and inflation.  Even though we Canadians may be financially glued bone to bone with the US, unlike most other nations (including the US) we have our own public bank.  Our public bank is not tied to any private banking systems including the Federal Reserve systems.  Why is Ottawa not using our public bank now that it would allow the Canadian government to borrow with little or no interest for public expenditures?  Next time.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Caveat emptor - Buyer Beware


We brought Trudeau. In return he bought us a pipeline. Well, Trudeau didn’t buy the Trans Mountain pipe line.  We did.

First, I want to say how proud I am of the First Nations people involved in the struggle against the Trans Mountain pipe line.  They were spectacular. They stood for all of us (or at least the majority of us).   And yes, so did the others on the blockade lines, especially the older women.  Been there, done that, so know how miserable it can be.  The federal verdict was a surprising and most wonderful federal ruling.   But there is, as always, a down side.  It seems that the Canadian people are now the proud owners of a $4.5 billion pipeline that probably will never be built.

Reasons?  The judge’s rulings have to do primarily with two things that weren’t done properly by Kinder Morgan.  There was the lack of a review on marine shipping (impact on sea life) and failure of duty to consult Indigenous people.  Are these two conditions likely to change if another company wants to buy in? I doubt it.  The whales and dolphins won’t disappear from the federal judicial view, and I think that Indigenous people, having spoken, won’t be struck silent by a “flipper”, as Trudeau called a potential buyer of the pipeline. I think we are going to be stuck with $ 4.5 billion debt that cannot retrace its steps and will have to be incorporated into the national budget.

Trudeau is actually in a very bad position.  If he doesn’t manage to flip the pipeline, it will remain his failed legacy forever.  And if, miracle upon miracles, he does manage to sell it, the protesters of all stripes, both First Nations and their supporters, will be waiting. 

As the old saying goes: Caveat emptor - buyer beware.