Russia & China Declare All Out War on US Petrodollar — Prepare for Exclusive Trade in Gold

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The formation of a BRICS gold marketplace, which could bypass the U.S. Petrodollar in bilateral trade, continues to take shape as Russia’s largest bank, state-owned Sberbank, announced this week that its Swiss subsidiary had begun trading in gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Russian officials have repeatedly signaled that they plan to conduct transactions with China using gold as a means of marginalizing the power of the dollar in bilateral trade between the geopolitically powerful nations. This latest movement is quite simply the manifestation of a larger geopolitical game afoot between great powers.

According to a report published by Reuters:

Sberbank was granted international membership of the Shanghai exchange in September last year and in July completed a pilot transaction with 200 kg of gold kilobars sold to local financial institutions, the bank said.

Sberbank plans to expand its presence on the Chinese precious metals market and anticipates total delivery of 5-6 tonnes of gold to China in the remaining months of 2017.

Gold bars will be delivered directly to the official importers in China as well as through the exchange, Sberbank said.

Russia’s second-largest bank VTB is also a member of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

To be clear, there is a revolutionary transformation of the entire global monetary system currently underway, being driven by an almost perfect storm. The implications of this transformation are extremely profound for U.S. policy in the Middle East, which for nearly the past half century has been underpinned by its strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia.

THE RISE & FALL OF THE PETRODOLLAR

The dollar was established as the global reserve currency in 1944 with the Bretton Woods agreement, commonly referred to as the gold standard. The U.S. leveraged itself into this power position by holding the largest reserve of gold in the world. The dollar was pegged at $35 an ounce — and freely exchangeable into gold.

By the 1960s, a surplus of U.S. dollars caused by foreign aid, military spending, and foreign investment threatened this system, as the U.S. did not have enough gold to cover the volume of dollars in worldwide circulation at the rate of $35 per ounce; as a result, the dollar was overvalued.

America temporarily embraced a new paradigm in 1971, as the dollar became a pure fiat currency (decoupled from any physical store of value), until the petrodollar agreement was concluded by President Nixon in 1973.

The quid pro quo was that Saudi Arabia would denominate all oil trades in U.S. dollars, and in return, the U.S. would agree to sell Saudi Arabia military hardware and guarantee the defense of the Kingdom.

A report by the Centre for Research on Globalalization clarifies the implications of these most recent moves by the Russians and the Chinese in an ongoing drive to replace the US petrodollar as the global reserve currency:

Fast forward to March 2017; the Russian Central Bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing as an early step in phasing in a gold-backed standard of trade. This would be done by finalizing the issuance of the first federal loan bonds denominated in Chinese yuan and to allow gold imports from Russia.

The Chinese government wishes to internationalize the yuan, and conduct trade in yuan as it has been doing, and is beginning to increase trade with Russia. They’ve been taking these steps with bilateral trading, native trading systems and so on. However, when Russia and China agreed on their bilateral US$400 billion pipeline deal, China wished to, and did, pay for the pipeline with yuan treasury bonds, and then later for Russian oil in yuan.

This evasion of, and unprecedented breakaway from, the reign of the US dollar monetary system is taking many forms, but one of the most threatening is the Russians trading Chinese yuan for gold. The Russians are already taking Chinese yuan, made from the sales of their oil to China, back to the Shanghai Gold Exchange to then buy gold with yuan-denominated gold futures contracts – basically a barter system or trade.

The Chinese are hoping that by starting to assimilate the yuan futures contract for oil, facilitating the payment of oil in yuan, the hedging of which will be done in Shanghai, it will allow the yuan to be perceived as a primary currency for trading oil. The world’s top importer (China) and exporter (Russia) are taking steps to convert payments into gold. This is known. So, who would be the greatest asset to lure into trading oil for yuan? The Saudis, of course.

All the Chinese need is for the Saudis to sell China oil in exchange for yuan. If the House of Saud decides to pursue that exchange, the Gulf petro-monarchies will follow suit, and then Nigeria, and so on. This will fundamentally threaten the petrodollar.

According to a report by the Russian government media, significant progress has been made in promoting bilateral trade in yuan, between the two nations, as the first step towards an even more aambitiousplan—using gold to make transactions:

One measure under consideration is the joint organization of trade in gold. In recent years, China and Russia have been the world’s most active buyers of the precious metal.

On a visit to China last year, deputy head of the Russian Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov said that the two countries want to facilitate more transactions in gold between the two countries.

In April, Sberbank expressed interest in financing the direct import of gold to India—also a BRICS member. Make no mistake that a BRICS gold marketplace could be used to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade, and undermine the hegemonic control enjoyed by the US petrodollar as the global reserve currency.

“In 2014 Russia and China signed two mammoth 30-year contracts for Russian gas to China. The contracts specified that the exchange would be done in Renminbi [yuan] and Russian rubles, not in dollars. That was the beginning of an accelerating process of de-dollarization that is underway today,” according to strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl.

Russia and China are now creating a new paradigm for the world economy and paving the way for a global de-dollarization.

“A Russian-Chinese alternative to the dollar in the form of a gold-backed ruble and gold-backed Renminbi or yuan, could start a snowball exit from the US dollar, and with it, a severe decline in America’s ability to use the reserve dollar role to finance her wars with other peoples’ money,” Engdahl concludes.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/russia-china-petrodollar-gold/

Mexico’s deadly gasoline thieves go full ‘Mad Max’ as competing cartels declare war on each other and the army

    

Fuel theft in Mexico used to consist of a few villagers drilling holes in Pemex pipelines and carrying away just enough gasoline to fill their vehicles and maybe a couple extra gallons to sell on the side of the freeway. But as The Columbian notes, illegally tapping into pipelines and stealing gas from Mexico’s state-owned oil company has morphed into a very well organized criminal enterprise, run by well-armed regional cartels and supported by distribution on a commercial scale to factories and petrol stations.

Heavy arms and violence seen in Tuesday’s confrontation in Puebla state reflect its growth into a billion-dollar business that supplies not just the people selling gas on the sides of highways — called “huachicoleros” — but factories and gasoline station chains.

It has become an industrial-scale operation, involving a string of villages and hamlets along pipeline routes, not just in Puebla, but in Guanajuato, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and other Mexican states. The government says more than 6,000 illegal pipeline taps were found in 2016 and officials have been detecting an average of about 20 taps a day this year.

“Of all the fuel that is stolen, only 10 percent is sold to the public” by roadside vendors, said Jesus Morales, the top police official in Puebla state. “The other 90 percent goes to big business groups, to gas stations, factories.”

    

Meanwhile, the collection and distribution of stolen fuel has become every bit as barbaric as the drug trade with local villagers being given quotas by organized cartels and then suffering brutal consequences when those quotas aren’t met.

As the stakes have risen, fuel theft has become a blood industry.

In early July, nine people were killed, including five men whose bodies were burned, in a dispute between fuel thieves in the town of Huehuetlan in Puebla state. Morales said the killings involved a gang of distributors trying to collect from local vendors who were unable to meet their sales quotas because of police raids.

“They committed this barbarous act as a gesture of anger,” said Morales, who claimed that vendors have recently raised the price of stolen fuel to near that of legitimate gasoline — it used to be half as much — because their supplies are being cut off.

As the police officers waited near the cornfield in Puebla, they saw a huge column of smoke rise into the sky after a clandestine warehouse of stolen fuel went up in flames about two miles down the road.

Authorities couldn’t go into the area to fight the blaze because they risked a confrontation with villagers.

“They don’t even let the fire department enter,” Assistant Public Safety Secretary Jose Tlachi said. “They usually try to put the fires out themselves.”

Pemex workers and local villagers paint a surreal scene of the carnage left in the wake of this relatively nascent criminal enterprise which includes 1,000’s of abandoned “Max Max-style” vehicles and gasoline literally flooding entire fields after pipeline taps are drilled and then simply abandoned once tanks have been filled.

A former soldier carrying an AR-15 and extra clips who was patrolling the pipeline for Pemex said the police officers had earlier been attacked by three armored trucks, explaining their reluctance to confront the thieves a second time.

“You can tell they are armored by the weight of the vehicles. They are better-armed than we are,” he said.

The battle against the fuel thieves has left a strange “huachicolero” landscape east of Mexico City. Fields are littered with leaking illegal taps, abandoned fuel tanks and Mad Max-style vehicles whose interiors have been ripped out to hold thousand-liter tanks. Fires from stolen fuel are common.

The vehicles the gangs use are usually stolen and abandoned after a few trips. Over 1,700 of such vehicles have been seized in the last two months.

Meanwhile, just like with the drug cartels, local police forces are finding themselves outgunned by the thieves who have the benefit of better weapons and armored vehicles.

The police officers gripped their assault rifles tightly as they stared at the men filling plastic tanks and loading them onto a dozen pickup trucks in a cornfield in central Mexico. Even though a crime was being committed in front of them, the officers said it was too dangerous to move in.

They had to wait until the army arrived to advance because the suspects were better-armed than they were and an earlier attempt to arrest them had been repelled by gunfire, officials said.

“In the morning there were 40 trucks loading,” said Francisco, a security employee with the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, who asked that his last name not be used for safety reasons. “We saw them loading, we went in, and they started shooting at us. The criminals had an armored car.”

Of course, gas thieving skyrocketed in Mexico earlier this year after President Pena Nieto decided to remove federal subsidies and hike prices a little over 20%, a move intended to offset budget deficits. In hindsight, the price hike has cost the state-owned oil company, Pemex, at least $1 billion worth of stolen fuel and launched a brand new cartel war…probably not the expected outcome.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/356416-Mexicos-deadly-gasoline-thieves-go-full-Mad-Max-as-competing-cartels-declare-war-on-each-other-and-the-army

For America to survive, we must declare independence from Big Pharma’s failed medical monopoly

Image: For America to survive, we must declare independence from Big Pharma’s failed medical monopoly

(Natural News) Although suddenly everyone is aware of the looming financial collapse of the State of Illinois, almost no one is aware of why it’s actually happening. And the lying mainstream media — purveyors of fake news— won’t dare tell you the real truth: Illinois is being bankrupted by Big Pharma and the failed “sick care” medical establishment.

With a current payables backlog of $15 billion it owes to contractors that include “sick care” providers, Illinois also owes $251 billion in future pension benefits that include health care coverage. That’s a quarter of a trillion dollars for a state that is so far beyond broke that even mainstream news organizations are calling its financial situation “catastrophic.”

On top of that, a recent court ruling demands the state now pay $586 million per monthto catch up on all the unpaid Medicaid bills it owes doctors, hospitals, cancer clinics and drug companies. State comptroller Susana Mendoza says, “Friday’s ruling would cause her to likely have to cut payments to the state’s pension funds, state payroll or payments to local governments,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “As if the governor and legislators needed any more reason to compromise and settle on a comprehensive budget plan immediately, Friday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court takes the state’s finances from horrific to catastrophic,” said Mendoza.

Like all the other states, Illinois has flushed billions down the toilet to enrich Big Pharma’s failed “sick care” treatments

The real reason Illinois is going broke is because the health care system in America is technically a legal drug cartel … a profiteering monopoly that transfers economic wealth from the citizens to the pockets of drug companies.

A literal conspiracy across the FDA and state medical boards criminalizes natural medicine while pushing high-priced prescription drugs that cure nothing and only guarantee repeat business for the pharma drug cartels. The result is a massive, nationwide “wealth extraction” operation run by the drug companies, and Illinois is just the first of many states that will financially crumble under the burden of monopoly-priced medicine that fails to prevent disease in the first place.

Even as we’re watching Illinois implode under the financial burden of a failed health care system, almost no one is talking about the real source of the problem: The drug cartels and their monopoly over medicine. In the same way that Colombia was transformed into a “narco state” in the 1980s by the lucrative cocaine trade cocaine, today’s United States of America has collapsed into a “pharma state” where drug company interests dominate the politics.

To save America, we must declare independence from Big Pharma’s drug cartels

America spends almost one out of every four dollars of its GDP on “sick care” services. This is largely money that’s spent on a broken health care system dominated by Big Pharma’s toxic drugs that simply don’t work to prevent sickness and disease. This disastrous drug cartel serves only to transfer wealth from the population to the pockets of drug company shareholders and CEOs, and if America is to financially survive, it must reject this failed system of unaffordable, toxic medicine.

The FDA’s federally-enforced drug monopoly must end, and we as a nation must legalize natural medicine for everyone, including protecting doctors and health practitioners who wish to prescribe natural medicine to their patients (but will currently lose their medical licenses if they attempt such things).

The primary enforcer of the toxic pharmaceutical cartels that are bankrupting America — the FDA — must be gutted from top to bottom. The agency serves as nothing but a drug-pushing protection racket enforcer, targeting natural medicine manufacturers for destruction while colluding with drug companies to keep dangerous, costly prescription medications widely available even when they are killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Thanks to the FDA, for example, prescription opioid deaths have now surpassed all gun-related deaths in America. The result is the acceleration toward bankruptcy at every level of our economy: Cities, states and even nations are facing imminent financial collapse because they’ve spent fortunes on monopoly-priced medications that have accomplished nothing other than enriching the Big Pharma drug cartel.

When a single state in America must now pay over half a billion dollars per month just to barely keep up with what it owes the medical system, you know something has gone terribly wrong and the system is unsustainable.

Big Pharma is a dangerous parasite on the U.S. economy and it will bankrupt everything if we don’t stop it. All the Republican talk about health care reform and “free market” solutions is just smoke and mirrors unless you address the pharma drug cartels and the FDA-enforced monopoly that criminalizes natural medicine, a safe, affordable and highly effective alternative to toxic prescription medications.

In fact, I’ll make a bold prediction here: Any state or nation that does not free itself from the economic death grip of the pharma drug cartels will eventually face financial collapse. Paying more and more money to a monopoly-protected corporate monstrosity that sells toxic chemicals to sick people is not merely unsustainable, it is stupid beyond belief. Yet this remains the default plan of both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, nearly all of whom are prostitutes for the pharmaceutical industry.

Listen to my podcast videos to learn more details about why the Big Pharma drug cartels are so dangerous to America:

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DaveHodges-TheCommonSenseShow/~3/YQf26Akah_U/

Jury deadlock prompts judge to declare mistrial in Bill Cosby sexual assault case

(INTELLIHUB) After over 50-plus-hours of deliberation spanning nearly a week jurors didn’t manage to break a deadlock over whether or not the Cosby Show star drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand at his residence back in 2004 which prompted Judge Steven O’Neill to declare a mistrial on Saturday.

The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on the matter because at one time Constand and Cosby were lovers who shared “romantic interludes.”

The 79-year-old former star is charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault and faces up to 10-years in prison is convicted.

Via Intellihub

Featured Image: Kate Haskel
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Shepard Ambellas is an opinion journalist, analyst, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Intellihub News & Politics (Intellihub.com). Shepard is also known for producing Shade: The Motion Picture (2013) and appearing on Travel Channel’s America Declassified (2013). Shepard is a regular contributor to Infowars. Read more from Shep’s World. Follow Shep on Facebook and Twitter.

Source Article from https://www.intellihub.com/jury-deadlock-judge-mistrial-bill-cosby-case/