The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm

… the Calm before the Coming Global Storm – Published on ZNet (first on Sputnik News), by Pepe Escobar, May 4, 2016.

Major turbulence seems to be the name of the game in 2016. Yet the current turbulence may be interpreted as the calm before the next, devastating geopolitical/financial storm. Let’s review the current state of play via the dilemmas afflicting the House of Saud, the EU and BRICS members Russia, Brazil and China.  

Oil and the House of Saud:

Not many people are familiar with the Baltic Dry Index. Yet the Index is key to track commodity demand. Two months ago, it was trading to all-time lows. Since then, it has increased over 130%. Precious metals prices have all moved higher in virtually all currencies. Why is this important? Because it tells us that faith in fiat  currencies – the US dollar especially – is sharply declining.

The Baltic Index rise portends a rise in oil demand in Asia – especially China. Falling supply and rising demand for oil will likely drive up the price of the barrel of oil in the second half of 2016 … //

… Russia, Brazil and Hybrid War: … //
… I’m a mess without my China fix: … //

… Beijing is advancing on all fronts; spreading influence/commercial deals all across Eurasia, which the New Silk Roads will shape into a mass emporium; modernizing its military; buying strategic foreign assets; building up global trust in the yuan as a stable reserve currency; allowing Chinese elites to diversify their enormous wealth by buying foreign assets, from vineyards in Bordeaux to the odd football giant, such as AC Milan.

No wonder the astonishing spread of Chinese economic power has left assorted Exceptionalists – from neocons to neoliberalcons – totally deranged. Washington has absolutely nothing to offer to nations across Asia, Africa and Latin America – to the whole Global South for that matter. They have all seen how Beijing is not in the market demanding Mob-style compound interest on sovereign debt; “support” for neo-imperial moves by NATO or the UN; one more extra-territorial hub for the US Empire of Bases; or total domination of their central banks.

On the other hand, they have seen what Washington does offer; endless war; the progressive smashing of the nation state; democracy blasted to smithereens; and technocratic governance by the 0.00001%.

Yet all this is just the calm before the storm. The Empire is already striking back. There’s serious blood on the tracks ahead.

(full text).

(Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong).

Related Links:

Other Links:

Pakistan needs peace in Afghanistan, not US drone strikes – Imran Khan, 4.54 min, on RT, May 4, 2016;

China’s Xi Jinping denies House of Cards power struggle but attacks ‘conspirators’, on The Guardian, byTom Phillips, May 4, 2016;

Loi travail – le capitalisme veut faire payer sa crise aux travailleurs, dans (déjà dans, par Jérôme Duval, le 29 avril 2016: … dans toute l’Europe, les mêmes réformes sont à l’œuvre, montre Jérôme Duval du CADTM, qui suggère d’internationaliser les luttes

german cabaret:

… and this:

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