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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 09:47 AM
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31. Here's a scary thought -

London Homesick Blues

It gets curiouser.

China, the other big planetary player, actually the third rail of world economics, is turning the screws down on its economy in an effort to cool inflation and protect its massive US dollar currency reserves preparatory to dumping them. Europe wants trade concessions from China, too, which the Chinese will be all too willing to grant should the EU rescind its arms embargo. The new Bank of China advertises every half-hour on both Bloomberg Europe and CNBC Europe. They are open for business. China's throttling-back will be tough on commodities for the next few months but it is temporary. They have stuffed 200 years of Industrial Revolution into a single generation's lifespan and there's no looking back. By 2050 China, urbanizing along a trend experienced by Japan, Europe and the U.S. during their industrial revolutions, will shift their population from the country to the cities, necessitating the construction of the equivalent of a Los Angeles every two years or less.

China, Japan, South Africa, and most European countries cannot afford to see the dollar fall any further, but they also cannot afford to keep propping the USD up, either. There is simply not enough wealth on this planet to keep pace with the United Snakes Federal Reserve Bank's printing presses. And at a fixed 6% interest per year - the rate at which the Fed loans us our dollar bills - why would the Fed wish to stop printing? It is, in the words of Janet Reno and Jim Jones, for the sake of the children, no?

Please hang with us whilst we digress. What whacked us to our senses was a visit in Russia this past week to the world's biggest surviving rail-gun. It is a marvelous device, supported by some 13 pairs of railroad wheel trucks, each capable of hauling 100 tons. The rail gun is proudly displayed near Gorky Park. The Russians own it, but the Germans built it in the early 1940s with the intent of lobbing lead at Moscow from it. Things went south for the Germans in 1944, and the Russians grabbed the rail gun from them somewhere outside St. Petersburg. Short of an aircraft carrier it is the most impressive piece of military machinery we have ever seen.

Memories die hard. It does not occur to us Americans, in our comfortable homes in Florida or Idaho, how hard a half-century of war was on these people. What I see here is an awakening and a rising, from the bar-room floor, of the participants in this half-century-long bar-brawl, the bloodiest in history (the peace of the Treaty of Versailles was, if you look at it rationally, just a time-out in the penalty box whilst everybody regrouped to go another round) and after 50 year' recovery smelling blood in the waters.

The Europeans and the Asians are wiping the crud from their eyes and they are coming-to. For 50 years they have been down, but not out. Their fighting amongst themselves - Europe upon itself and Japan and China at each others' throats - is over.

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