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These Countries Are Quickly and Quietly Dumping the Dollar

There are no signs that anyone in the American government is either prepared to defend against the dollar collapse or to prevent it.

The Duran

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Authored by Robert Wheeler via Daisy Luther’s Organic Prepper blog:


Over the past few months, there has been a steady uptick in the number of countries dumping significant portions of their dollar holdings. This is causing many people to worry whether or not the US economy is in for a massive shock sooner, later, or somewhere in between.

While American corporate media outlets either ignore the developments entirely or claim that there is nothing to worry about, the reality is that the dumping of the dollar is a process that is clearly underway. More than that, it appears it is a process that is at least partially coordinated by a number of countries that have been targets of American sanctions and financial bullying in the “post 9/11 world.”

Thus, while corporate media outlets ignore the vanishing dollar dominance and reassure their hapless audience that everything is fine, alt media outlets are predicting a second Weimar Republic, this time in North America.

But what is really going on with the recent dollar dumping? Who is actually dumping the dollar and what kind of effects could we really expect to see in America if the dollar is truly abandoned?

Who Is Dumping The Dollar?

Since the dollar currently enjoys its status as the world’s reserve currency, it is constantly being bought and sold by nations across the entire planet. This arrangement is essentially what is keeping the dollar strong even after the United States embraced neo-liberal Free Trade policies that saw the greatest economic system the world has ever known turned into a shell of its former self. This arrangement allows the United States to sell its “debt” to the rest of the world, which other countries are willing to buy because of the stability of the American governmental system and the fact that America is still an economic powerhouse.

But as the US stretches its military and financial forces thin in the course of expanding its empire across the world, the collapse of that empire looms and, with it, increasingly jittery feet from countries desiring to make prudent financial decisions. For countries tired of being victims of the empire, those who desire a “multipolar” world, and those seeking to expand their own empires, however, the smell of blood is wafting through the air.

China, the emerging and competing empire, has already started the process of dumping the American dollar in a careful and coordinated fashion. This is particularly concerning since China holds so much of America’s debt and so many US dollars. If China dumped all of its holdings at once, America would likely enter a new financial crisis. Fortunately for Americans, however, such an immediate move would also throw China into a crisis which is most likely the main thing holding China back.

But make no mistake. China is moving forward with the plan of relieving itself of the dollar. After all, the country recently inked a deal to trade oil in yuan instead of the dollar.

“Mainland it is laying the ground for the Belt and Road Initiative, and China is even sweetening the pot by offering swap facilities to local countries to promote the use of the yuan,”  Stephen Innes, Head of FX Trading for OANDA in Asia Pacific told RT.

Indeed, it appears that developing country-to-country trading mechanisms are emerging as well which will eventually subvert the US dollar as the world reserve currency. Interestingly enough, the development of such a system is a result of aggressive Americans sanctions and financial bullying over the past few decades.

The United States maintains sanctions on all of its target nations such as Iran, Syria, North Korea, Russia, and others. But the US also threatens its “allies” with sanctions if they dare act rationally on the world stage or refuse to follow American dictates. As a result, America is sanctioning itself into isolation and creating a world where it has taken its ball and gone home so many times that the rest of the kids realize it’s possible and even easier to just play the game without the American bully on the field.

India is also slowly moving away from the dollar. Recently, it announced that it would be paying for the Russian S-400 system (important in its own right) and settling the payment in rubles, not dollars.

But it’s not just the development of country-to-country financial/trading mechanisms. Other countries have been slowly dumping the dollar outright. In fact, China has done that also. Take a look at a recent report from RT detailing how China just dumped the largest amount of Treasuries in 8 months. The article states,

In September, China’s share of US Treasuries holdings had the highest decline since January as ongoing trade tensions with Washington forced the world’s biggest economy to take measures to stabilize its national currency.

Still the biggest foreign holder of the US foreign debt, China slashed it’s share by nearly $14 billion, with the country’s holdings falling to $1.15 trillion from nearly $1.17 trillion in August, according to the latest data from the Treasury Department. The fall marks the fourth straight month of declines. China is followed by Japan, whose share of US Treasuries fell to $1.03 trillion, the lowest since October 2011.

Washington has accelerated the Treasury issuance to avoid potential growth in the federal deficit due to the massive tax cut pushed by President Donald Trump, as well the federal spending deal approved by the government in February.

Chinese purchases of US state debt have been decreasing over recent months. The latest drop comes on top of the escalating trade conflict between Beijing and Washington over trade imbalance, market access, and alleged stealing of US technology secrets by Chinese corporations. So far, the US has imposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of US goods and stopped buying American crude.

China has been steadily dumping US dollar holdings over the past several months and Japan has followed suitAs RT reported last month,

China and Japan – the two main holders of the US Treasury securities – have trimmed their ownership of notes and bonds in August, according to the latest figures from the US Treasury Department, released on Tuesday.

China’s holdings of US sovereign debt dropped to $1.165 trillion in August, from $1.171 trillion in July, marking the third consecutive month of declines as the world’s second-largest economy bolsters its national currency amid trade tensions with the US. China remains the biggest foreign holder of US Treasuries, followed by long-time US ally Japan.

Tokyo cut its holdings of US securities to $1.029 trillion in August, the lowest since October 2011. In July, Japan’s holdings were at $1.035 trillion. According to the latest figures from the country’s Ministry of Finance, Japanese investors opted to buy British debt in August, selling US and German bonds. Japan reportedly liquidated a net $5.6 billion worth of debt.

Liquidating US Treasuries, one of the world’s most actively-traded financial assets, has recently become a trend among major holders. Russia dumped 84 percent of its holdings this year, with its remaining holdings as of June totaling just $14.9 billion. With relations between Moscow and Washington at their lowest point in decades, the Central Bank of Russia explained the decision was based on financial, economic and geopolitical risks.

Turkey is also backing away from the dollar, having dropped out of the “top-30 list of holders of American debt.” This probably has more to do with Turkey finally coming to the realization that the US was engaging in “hamburger diplomacy” and has no real allegiance to Turkey accept as a vassal state. The failed military coup in the country and the US arming of Kurdish forces in Syria have done nothing but push Turkey toward Russia.

India remains in the top 30 holder list but it has cut its holdings for five straight months.

As would be expected, Russia has been consistently moving forward not only to dump the dollar in a responsible manner but also to make its financial system more distinctly Russian and less dependent upon the whims of the Anglo financier arrangement. Again, RT writes,

One of Russia’s largest banks, VTB is seeking to decrease the share of US dollar transactions at home as locals are choosing the Russian ruble over the greenback.

“There is one interesting thing I wanted to highlight. Since the beginning of this year, people seem to be less interested in making dollar deposits or taking out dollar loans, compared to ruble-denominated deposits and loans. We believe this to be an important step towards the de-dollarization of the Russian finance sector,” said VTB head Andrey Kostin at a Kremlin meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

According to Kostin, VTB experts have drafted a package of proposals designed to further promote the ruble in international settlements. “I think that we need to create our own financial tools. This would serve as an additional safeguard for the Russian financial sector against external shocks, and would give a new impetus to its development,” Kostin added. The financial tools Kostin mentioned are floating Eurobonds, shares and other derivatives that are now used only in the West.

Russia has been seeking the ways of decreasing the dependence on the US currency after Washington and its allies imposed sanctions against Moscow in 2014. In May, President Putin said Russia can no longer trust the US dollar-dominated financial system since America is imposing unilateral sanctions and violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Putin added that the dollar monopoly is unsafe and dangerous for the global economy.

It is important to remember that Russia has also dumped $47bn worth of Treasury bonds, dumping nearly half of its holdings at once.

What Happens If The Dollar Loses Its Status?

So why is this concerning? What would happen if the dollar loses its status as the world’s reserve currency?

The truth is, no one fully knows exactly what such a situation would look like and it would depend on a number of factors such as how quickly the dollar is abandoned by the world, the action taken by the US government in response, and the economic situation of the country once the dollar is unseated.

Despite mainstream claims, we’ve never really been in this specific situation before. Other countries have seen their currency used as the de facto world reserve but, when their time was up, there were also many other factors at play and the world financial system was less intertwined than it is today.

Still, although we may not know the specifics, we do have a general idea of what would happen.

First, Americans are going to lose the convenience of being able to use their currency just about anywhere in the world, both on a business and individual level. That’s not such a big deal on the individual level though it may cause a few hiccups for mid-sized businesses.

Second, interest rates will most assuredly go up. This is going to make it harder for businesses and individuals to pay back any loans they may have received to start or maintain their businesses, buy a home or car, and it will stifle economic growth and it is going to make more people hesitate to request those loans knowing that interest rates will be so high.

Third, and perhaps the most dangerous, is the potential for widespread inflation and devaluing of the currency. Loss of world reserve status will undoubtedly lower the value of the dollar. The question, however, is whether that devaluation would occur slowly over a period of years or even decades or whether it would take place within months, weeks, or days. Obviously, the former would be preferable if the dollar does have to be unseated because it would at least allow time for Americans to brace themselves and to prepare and innovate for the coming devaluation that would gradually get worse. In some cases, American exports might even be helpful for some American exports (though not helpful in terms of wages – competing via lower living standards is a race to abject poverty). But at least a slow burn would allow for Americans “in the know” to stock up on food, attempt to pay off their debts, arm themselves, and make prudent financial decisions in anticipation.

A quick and sudden loss of reserve currency status, however, would bring about an immense crisis that virtually no one is prepared for. As Webster Griffin Tarpley wrote in his article “The Second Wave Of The Depression – Hyperinflation Likely,” published in 2009,

The next wave is likely to involve a worldwide dollar panic. Using ballpark figures, we can say that there are about $4 to $5 trillion sloshing around the world in the form of hot money, US Treasury securities, Euro dollars, and various forms of zeno-dollars. Japan has about a trillion, China almost $2 trillion, and so forth. It is naturally very unwise for a developing country like China to hold so many dollars rather than using them to purchase needed infrastructure and capital goods, and the Chinese leaders are now very uncomfortable with their own foolish decision, which was of course taken under heavy US pressure. But the point is that this $4.5 trillion overhang is by its very nature exceedingly unstable. Every country that holds large sums of dollars or US treasury bonds is nervously eyeing every other such country to see if they show signs of bolting for the exit. Up to now, so far as we know, no large holder of dollars has attempted to reduce its exposure to the battered greenback by dumping these dollars on the international market. If anyone did so, would cause a true universal financial panic which would create chaos and mayhem not just in the United States and Great Britain, but in the vast areas of the rest of the world as well. This is concretely how hyperinflation could now very well arise: if one or more US creditor nations attempts to abruptly lighten up on dollars, the value of the US currency could undergo a catastrophic collapse, and that would spell runaway hyperinflation on the US domestic front.

The numbers are a decade old but the concept is still there.

That being said, given that the United States has used its status as a method of financing itself into maintained prosperity, the loss of that status would remove that privilege. Instead, the United States would be forced to either knuckle under to the dictates of the financiers that will have the country on its knees or do what it should have done all along – nationalize the Federal Reserve and begin issuing credit stimulus and imposing across-the-board tariffs on imports.

Conclusion

It would be nice to hope for the best and prepare for the worst but, as things appear today, we might want to start preparing much more than hoping. The US economic system, partially as a result of becoming an empire with all its requisite destabilizations and wars, mostly a result of Free Trade, and partially a result of private central banking among a host of other factors, has been sacrificed on the altar of globalism. Aggressive behavior on the financial, political, and military fronts has thus created a world seething with anger and hatred at the United States, who is now willing and able to begin weakening the dollar dominance in hopes for the creation of a new “multipolar” world out of the ashes of the old “American” one.

There are no signs that anyone in the American government is either prepared to defend against the dollar collapse or to prevent it. In fact, all signs point to the possibility that such a collapse is desired by the Anglo-financier community.

In other words, the best time to prepare is today.

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Shaun RameweVince DhimosRick OliverTom Welsh Recent comment authors
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Tom Welsh
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Tom Welsh

I didn’t see anything particularly new or interesting until I read the long quotation from Webster Griffin Tarpley. Writing in 2009, he said (of US Treasuries) “Japan has about a trillion, China almost $2 trillion, and so forth”.

That caused me to look quickly up to the top of the article. Yes, as I had thought, today Japan still has about $1 trillion – but China has almost halved its exposure to just over $1 trillion.

Now you see it – now you don’t.

Rick Oliver
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Rick Oliver

Oh roll on Father Time !! To witness the demise of the Greedy Few will be the delight of my existence !!!

Vince Dhimos
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I felt a certain nostalgia in reading this. The idea of the US propping up its dollar by selling it to other countries is an oversimplification. It is no longer true to the same extent as it was a few years ago. The MAIN buyer of US Treasuries is not any country or even all holder countries but the US social security payers, whose money has been misused for years as a prop to the USD. The US public is the biggest holder of Treasuries by far, accouting for 50%. https://www.thebalance.com/who-owns-the-u-s-national-debt-3306124

Shaun Ramewe
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Shaun Ramewe

Good for them – really.

Latest

FBI recommended Michael Flynn not have lawyer present during interview, did not warn of false statement consequences

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18.

Washington Examiner

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Via The Washington Examiner…


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who arranged the bureau’s interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 — the interview that ultimately led to Flynn’s guilty plea on one count of making false statements — suggested Flynn not have a lawyer present at the session, according to newly-filed court documents. In addition, FBI officials, along with the two agents who interviewed Flynn, decided specifically not to warn him that there would be penalties for making false statements because the agents wanted to ensure that Flynn was “relaxed” during the session.

The new information, drawn from McCabe’s account of events plus the FBI agents’ writeup of the interview — the so-called 302 report — is contained in a sentencing memo filed Tuesday by Flynn’s defense team.

Citing McCabe’s account, the sentencing memo says that shortly after noon on Jan. 24 — the fourth day of the new Trump administration — McCabe called Flynn on a secure phone in Flynn’s West Wing office. The two men discussed business briefly and then McCabe said that he “felt that we needed to have two of our agents sit down” with Flynn to discuss Flynn’s talks with Russian officials during the presidential transition.

McCabe, by his own account, urged Flynn to talk to the agents alone, without a lawyer present. “I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Flynn] and the agents only,” McCabe wrote. “I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants.”

Within two hours, the agents were in Flynn’s office. According to the 302 report quoted in the Flynn sentencing document, the agents said Flynn was “relaxed and jocular” and offered the agents “a little tour” of his part of the White House.

“The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview,” the Flynn memo says. According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

The agents had, of course, seen transcripts of Flynn’s wiretapped conversations with Russian then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak. “Before the interview, FBI officials had also decided that if ‘Flynn said he did not remember something they knew he said, they would use the exact words Flynn used … to try to refresh his recollection. If Flynn still would not confirm what he said … they would not confront him or talk him through it,'” the Flynn memo says, citing the FBI 302.

“One of the agents reported that Gen. Flynn was ‘unguarded’ during the interview and ‘clearly saw the FBI agents as allies,'” the Flynn memo says, again citing the 302.

Later in the memo, Flynn’s lawyers argue that the FBI treated Flynn differently from two other Trump-Russia figures who have pleaded guilty to and been sentenced for making false statements. One of them, Alexander Van der Zwaan, “was represented by counsel during the interview; he was interviewed at a time when there was a publicly disclosed, full-bore investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election; and he was given a warning that it is a federal crime to lie during the interview,” according to the memo. The other, George Papadopoulos, “was specifically notified of the seriousness of the investigation…was warned that lying to investigators was a ‘federal offense’…had time to reflect on his answers…and met with the FBI the following month for a further set of interviews, accompanied by his counsel, and did not correct his false statements.”

The message of the sentencing memo is clear: Flynn, his lawyers suggest, was surprised, rushed, not warned of the context or seriousness of the questioning, and discouraged from having a lawyer present.

That is all the sentencing document contains about the interview itself. In a footnote, Flynn’s lawyers noted that the government did not object to the quotations from the FBI 302 report.

In one striking detail, footnotes in the Flynn memo say the 302 report cited was dated Aug. 22, 2017 — nearly seven months after the Flynn interview. It is not clear why the report would be written so long after the interview itself.

The brief excerpts from the 302 used in the Flynn defense memo will likely spur more requests from Congress to see the original FBI documents. Both House and Senate investigating committees have demanded that the Justice Department allow them to see the Flynn 302, but have so far been refused.

In the memo, Flynn’s lawyers say that he made a “serious error in judgment” in the interview. Citing Flynn’s distinguished 30-plus year record of service in the U.S. Army, they ask the judge to go along with special counsel Robert Mueller’s recommendation that Flynn be spared any time in prison.

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Macron offers crumbs to protestors in bid to save his globalist agenda (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 36.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at French President Macron’s pathetic display of leadership as he offers protestors little in the way of concessions while at the same time promising to crack down hard on any and all citizens who resort to violence.

Meanwhile France’s economy is set for a deep recession as French output and production grinds to a halt.

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Via Zerohedge


As if Brussels didn’t have its hands full already with Italy and the UK, the European Union will soon be forced to rationalize why one of its favorite core members is allowed to pursue populist measures to blow out its budget deficit to ease domestic unrest while another is threatened with fines potentially amounting to billions of euros.

When blaming Russia failed to quell the widespread anger elicited by his policies, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to appease the increasingly violent “yellow vests” protesters who have sacked his capital city by offering massive tax cuts that could blow the French budget out beyond the 3% budget threshold outlined in the bloc’s fiscal rules.

Given the concessions recently offered by Italy’s populists, Macron’s couldn’t have picked a worse time to challenge the bloc’s fiscal conventions. As Bloomberg pointed out, these rules will almost certainly set the Continent’s second largest economy on a collision course with Brussels. To be clear, Macron’s offered cuts come with a price tag of about €11 billion according to Les Echos, and will leave the country with a budget gap of 3.5% of GDP in 2019, with one government official said the deficit may be higher than 3.6%.

By comparison, Italy’s initial projections put its deficit target at 2.4%, a number which Europe has repeatedly refused to consider.

Macron’s promises of fiscal stimulus – which come on top of his government’s decision to delay the planned gas-tax hikes that helped inspire the protests – were part of a broader ‘mea culpa’ offered by Macron in a speech Monday night, where he also planned to hike France’s minimum wage.

Of course, when Brussels inevitably objects, perhaps Macron could just show them this video of French police tossing a wheelchair-bound protester to the ground.

Already, the Italians are complaining.  Speaking on Tuesday, Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said Italy hasn’t breached the EU deficit limit. “I repeat that from the Italian government there is a reasonable approach, if there is one also from the EU a solution will be found.”

“France has several times breached the 3% deficit. Italy hasn’t done it. They are different situations. There are many indicators to assess.”

Still, as one Guardian columnist pointed out in an op-ed published Tuesday morning, the fact that the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) organizers managed to pressure Macron to cave and grant concessions after just 4 weeks of protests will only embolden them to push for even more radical demands: The collapse of the government of the supremely unpopular Macron.

Then again, with Brussels now facing certain accusations of hypocrisy, the fact that Macron was pressured into the exact same populist measures for which Italy has been slammed, the French fiasco raises the odds that Rome can pass any deficit measure it wants with the EU now forced to quietly look away even as it jawbones all the way from the bank (i.e., the German taxpayers).

“Macron’s spending will encourage Salvini and Di Maio,” said Giovanni Orsina, head of the School of Government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University. “Macron was supposed to be the spearhead of pro-European forces, if he himself is forced to challenge EU rules, Salvini and Di Maio will jump on that to push their contention that those rules are wrong.”

While we look forward to how Brussels will square this circle, markets are less excited.

Exhausted from lurching from one extreme to another following conflicting headlines, traders are already asking if “France is the new Italy.” The reason: the French OAT curve has bear steepened this morning with 10Y yields rising as much as ~6bp, with the Bund/OAT spread reaching the widest since May 2017 and the French presidential election. Though well below the peaks of last year, further widening would push the gap into levels reserved for heightened political risk.

As Bloomberg macro analyst Michael Read notes this morning, it’s hard to see a specific near-term trigger blowing out the Bund/OAT spread but the trend looks likely to slowly drift higher.

While Macron has to fight on both domestic and European fronts, he’ll need to keep peace at home to stay on top. Remember that we saw the 10Y spread widen to ~80bps around the May ’17 elections as concerns of a move toward the political fringe played out in the markets, and the French President’s popularity ratings already look far from rosy.

And just like that France may have solved the Italian crisis.

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Watch: Democrat Chuck Schumer shows his East Coast elitism on live TV

Amazing moment in which the President exhibits “transparency in government” and shows the world who the Democrat leaders really are.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency was because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – against Democrat policy decisions and “stupid government” in general.

One of the reasons President Donald Trump is reviled is because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – in the American political scene.

In other words, there are two reactions to the same characteristic. On Tuesday, the President did something that probably cheered and delighted a great many Americans who witnessed this.

The Democrats have been unanimous in taking any chance to roast the President, or to call for his impeachment, or to incite violence against him. But Tuesday was President Trump’s turn. He invited the two Democrat leaders, presumptive incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and then, he turned the cameras on:

As Tucker Carlson notes, the body language from Schumer was fury. The old (something)-eating grin covered up humiliation, embarrassment and probably no small amount of fear, as this whole incident was filmed and broadcast openly and transparently to the American public. Nancy Pelosi was similarly agitated, and she expressed it later after this humiliation on camera, saying, “It’s like a manhood thing for him… As if manhood could ever be associated with him.”

She didn’t stop there. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Queen Bee took the rhetoric a step below even her sense of dignity:

Pelosi stressed she made clear to Trump there isn’t enough support in Congress for a wall and speculated the President is refusing to back down because he’s scared to run away with his tail between his legs.

“I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” Pelosi said of the Oval Office meet, which was also attended by Vice President Pence and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

This represented the first salvo in a major spin-job for the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat. The rhetoric spun by Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was desperate as they tried to deflect their humiliation and place it back on the President:

With reporters still present, Trump boasted during the Oval meeting he would be “proud” to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t earmark cash for his wall before a Dec. 21 spending deadline.

Pelosi told Democrats that Trump’s boisterousness will be beneficial for them.

“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said. “That was an accomplishment.”

The press tried to characterize this as a “Trump Tantrum”, saying things like this lede:

While “discussing” a budgetary agreement for the government, President Donald Trump crossed his arms and declared: “we will shut down the government if there is no wall.”

While the Democrats and the mainstream media in the US are sure to largely buy these interpretations of the event, the fact that this matter was televised live shows that the matter was entirely different, and this will be discomfiting to all but those Democrats and Trump-dislikers that will not look at reality.

There appears to be a twofold accomplishment for the President in this confrontation:

  1. The President revealed to his support base the real nature of the conversation with the Democrat leadership, because anyone watching this broadcast (and later, video clip) saw it unedited with their own eyes. They witnessed the pettiness of both Democrats and they witnessed a President completely comfortable and confident about the situation.
  2. President Trump probably made many of his supporters cheer with the commitment to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall funding. This cheering is for both the strength shown about getting the wall finished and the promise to shut the government down, and further, Mr. Trump’s assertion that he would be “proud” to shut the government down, taking complete ownership willingly, reflects a sentiment that many of his supporters share.

The usual pattern is for the media, Democrats and even some Republicans to create a “scare” narrative about government shutdowns, about how doing this is a sure-fire path to chaos and suffering for the United States.

But the educated understanding of how shutdowns work reveals something completely different. Vital services never close. However, National Parks can close partly or completely, and some non-essential government agencies are shuttered. While this is an inconvenience for the employees furloughed during the shutdown, they eventually are re-compensated for the time lost, and are likely to receive help during the shutdown period if they need it. The impact on the nation is minimal, aside from the fact that the government stops spending money at the same frenetic pace as usual.

President Trump’s expression of willingness to do this action and his singling out of the Dem leadership gives the Democrats a real problem. Now the entire country sees their nature. As President Trump is a populist, this visceral display of Democrat opposition and pettiness will make at least some impact on the population, even that group of people who are not Trump fans.

The media reaction and that of the Democrats here show, amazingly, that after three years-plus of Donald Trump being a thorn in their side, they still do not understand how he works, and they also cannot match it against their expected “norms” of establishment behavior.

This may be a brilliant masterstroke, and it also may be followed up by more. The President relishes head-to-head conflict. The reactions of these congress members showed who they really are.

Let the games begin.

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