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Russia and China are Killing US Dollar

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According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, countries which are under the sanctions should start doing business in their national currencies, as he suggested on Tuesday. Other than Russia, countries which can opt for such a move are also Iran and Turkey, and this means that the days of the US dollar as the international reserve currency could come to an end.

The person who will be the happiest about it is President Donald Trump. Why Trump?

Yale economist Robert Triffin explained in the 1950s that when a currency is the international reserve currency, it runs a current account deficit. In case of a replacement, it is more likely to have trade surpluses, which is what happened when the US dollar replaced the British pound in the 1920s and which is what POTUS aims for.

Currently, all over the world, nations use the dollar as the currency to trade with each other. When purchases oil from Iran, they use the US dollar to complete the transaction. Basically, more US$ flow out of the country than it flows in and that creates a big current account deficit.

With the dollar as the international reserve currency, we have a thing called “monetary seignorage.” In other words, it is what the US government earns with all of those dollars circulating around the world, outside of the US. It is a minimum cost to print money whereas countries which use $ such as China and Russia pay the full value of it in goods and services.

But not everyone wants to see the dollar as the world’s currency. As China claims, the international role of the US dollar was one of the things that caused the financial crisis ten years ago. There was a chance back then for another currency to replace it, but none did.

Let’s jump to the present. Last week, Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran and he said that any company which is doing deals with the Iranians in dollars would also be hit by sanctions. Also under sanctions are several Russian companies.

Lavrov visited Turkey and he told at the press conference that “unilateral enforcement measures are illegitimate in international affairs,” which is a clear reference to the sanctions imposed by the USA. “One way to counter these illegitimate barriers and restrictions is we can use national currencies on our bilateral trade,” he concluded.

image source: america.aljazeera.com

According to Lavrov, Russia has already switched to local currencies when they strike trade deals with countries such as China and Iran. He also believes that a large number of other countries will start doing the same. “I strongly believe that abuse of the role the U.S. dollar plays as an international currency will eventually result in its role being undermined,” Lavrov said. “A growing number of countries — even those not affected by US sanctions — will more and more stay away from the dollar and will rely on more reliable partners using their (own) currency.”

To some extent, Lavrov is right. But will the Chinese be content when they receive the payment in Turkish lira, knowing that the currency will be worth much less by the time the ship reaches its destination? What the US dollar has that no other currency can guaranty: It is safe, dependable and easy to exchange.

We mentioned that this change in role for the US$ is making Trump happy. While he may be thrilled with lower trade deficits because the dollar loses its role of being the international reserve currency, this is not going to happen soon. We will still have to wait for a major change when it comes to the international currency and at the moment none can replace the US dollar.

Donald Trump Signs McCain Defense Measure

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Donald Trump thanked members of the Congress who helped pass the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act with the signing ceremony taking place at Fort Drum, New York on Monday. However, Trump failed to thank the senator for whom the bill is named.

“We would not be here for today’s signing ceremony without the dedicated efforts without the dedicated members of Congress who worked so hard to pass the National Defense Authorization Act,” Trump said. He name-checked the members of the Congress such as Republican Elise Stefanik, who held a brief speech as a district representative whereas Trump also mentioned Martha McSally, Dan Donovan, Don Bacon and Joe Wilson.

Although Trump himself never served in the military, he had the courage to attack McCain and his service. The US President pointed out that McCain, who fought in Vietnam, wasn’t a war hero, because he was captured and became the prisoner of war.

“He is not a war hero,” Trump told pollster Frank Luntz, who was hosting a July 2015 question-and-answer session at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. Luntz said: “He is a war hero” and then Trump cut him off:

“He is a war hero because he was captured? I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He is a war hero because he was captured. OK, you can have — I believe perhaps he is a war hero.”

Later on, Trump has acknowledged McCain as a war hero, but he never apologized in his interviews. Meanwhile, McCain has been one of the most outspoken Republican critics. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare brain cancer over a year ago is still the victim of Trump’s attacks and insults. The US President has referenced the Arizona senator over the past few months for his health care vote, but without directly naming him.

Trump couldn’t sustain from criticizing, and just hours after the signing ceremony, Trump continued with the attacks at a campaign event for Rep. Claudia Tenney in Utica, New York. “One of our wonderful senators said ‘thumbs down’ at two o’clock in the morning,” he said.

McCain’s daughter, conservative commentator Meghan McCain said that Trump comments were “gross and pathetic.”

image source: people.com

The irony is that John McCain, who is the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman led the efforts to pass the defense spending bill in the Senate. “I am particularly humbled that my colleagues chose to designate legislation of such importance in my name. Serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee has been an incredibly meaningful experience since my first days on Capitol Hill,” McCain said in a press release when the bill was passed earlier this month.

The formal name of the bill is “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019,” and it is listed on the White House daily guidance with this name, but Trump took the liberty to call it “National Defense Authorization Act” at Fort Drum.

On Monday, Trump called the measure “the most significant investment in our military in our war fighters in modern history,” saying he was “very proud to be a big, big part of it.”

Trump also touted the $716 billion in the forthcoming 2019 fiscal year military funding, and he talked about the economic success of his administration as well the United States as leaders in space. Even though Trump has obviously disrespected McCain multiple times and failing to acknowledge his name at Fort Drum, at the end of the day, it is most important that the bill is passed. Mc Cain must be proud of what he managed to do!

Donald Trump Supports Harley-Davidson Boycott

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According to the US President Donald Trump, it is “great” that many Harley-Davidson owners decided to boycott the company in this row of tariffs that escalates. Trump said that “most other firms… including Harley competitors” agreed to imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

As for Harley-Davidson, they announced that some of the production would be moved out of the United States, in order to avoid the tariffs set by the EU. As a response POTUS threatened the company with higher taxes. Instead of commenting, Harley-Davidson pointed to an interview CNBC did with Matthew Levatich last month.

He said that the company’s preference “in all cases is to supply the world from the United States.” However, he also noted that the firm invested in international manufacturing over the past two decades because “trade and tariff situations in certain markets” made it “prohibitive” without this investment.

“We’re only doing that because these are important growth markets for the company that, without those investments, we wouldn’t have access to those customers, at any kind of reasonable price,” he said.

image source: visordown.com

The warning came last month from Harley-Davidson that the profit margins of the company this year were most likely to halve due to trade tariffs. The added costs this year will be approximately $50 million because of the taxes imposed by the European Union. In June, the famous motorcycle maker said that they would have to move some of the production from the US to the assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India, and Thailand. It is not specified which factory would start producing more.

Meanwhile, Trump declared that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are essential to protect the US steel and aluminum industries. This has forced countries such as Canada, Mexico, India, as well as EU to react. The US has also threatened to hit billions of Chinese imports with import taxes, while the country also considers tariffs on foreign cars and vehicle parts.

US Ready To Sanction Russia Because Of Poisoning!

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The relations between The United States of America and Russia are always up and down. As soon as they get better, things take a big turn for the worse not that long after. Well, that is exactly what is going to happen again after this move that The States are about to make.

The red, white and blue are planning on imposing new sanctions on Russia since they had found out that Moscow is the one that is behind the poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter. The poisoning happened in March this year, on the British soil.

It means that the Russians straight up broke the law since they used a lethal substance against the spy and his daughter, at least according to the State Department.

Back in March, Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yuila were found unconscious on the bench in Salisbury, a small British town. Novichok was the name of the substance that was used in order to make them sick. It’s a nerve agent that was developed during the Soviet-era. Luckily, they survived.

Of course, the Brits are going to welcome these sanctions by the United States of America. Even though Russia hasn’t made an official comment about this move that the US is making, the fact of the matter is that they have already denied any involvement in the poisoning of their former spy and his daughter.

image source: foxnews.com

Kremlin also stated that they had no involvement in the poisoning near Salisbury just a couple of months ago when a couple from The Great Britan was sickened – with one person surviving and one dying.

It has been said that the couple also picked up the bottle that had Novichok in it, the same lethal stuff that put Skripal’s in big trouble.

Trump did state that “nobody has been tougher on Russia” than The States, but this is a move that they have to make, not a choice of theirs.

White House Refuses to Explain Trump’s Ridiculous Wildfire Tweets?

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More often than not, Trump tweets. And more often than not, these tweets make no sense. He has been ranting about how California environmental laws have worsened wildfires that are raging in the state, but White House either doesn’t want or doesn’t know how to explain his nonsensical rage on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Trump’s administration refused to offer any clarity about what is going on with the president’s series of tweets. He suggests that environmental laws and water regulations in California are making it difficult for the state authorities to extinguish the fires. According to wildfire experts and local officials, these claims aren’t true.

Even some of the White House officials are baffled by how POTUS managed to connect the problem California has with water and the division of limited supplies with the control of fires. Moreover, the officials are not familiar with whether Trump has met with California lawmakers and discussed this issue.

What did Donald Trump say?

One of the tweets was: “California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized.”

Then, he said that the water is “being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

After reiterating these claims on Monday, Trump called on Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown to “allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else.”

However, wildfire experts and California officials debunked Trump’s claims. On Tuesday, he told business leaders that a “very tough situation” is currently in California. “It’s been a very tough situation taking place in California for a number of years and we’re going to have to have some meetings about it,” president of the US said from his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

Even though he said that there are steps to be taken to “mitigate” the damage, he didn’t bother to clarify what are the things to be done.

He said he was “deeply grateful to firefighters and first responders” combating the flames, and said that his administration would do “everything in our power to protect those in harm’s way.” However, he didn’t repeat his earlier claims that water shortage in California is one of the reasons why the wildfire cannot be controlled and eventually put out.

image source: nbcnews.com

What do the experts say?

According to a FEMA official who spoke with CNN, there is no water shortage and no problem with access to water. These are not the reasons why the fires are still raging. Meanwhile, Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift declined to comment on the tweets. She said: “We don’t weigh in on the President’s tweets. We let those statements speak for themselves.”

“I was stunned when I read this this morning,” Henri Grissino-Mayer, a climatologist and biogeographer at the University of Tennessee, told CNN in an email. “California does NOT divert water to the ocean. Ridiculous.”

Grissino-Mayer noted that water “is diverted to the coastal cities for a constant water supply but all such water is used by the coastal communities.”

What’s happening?

Interestingly enough, there was a debate this summer, when California officials proposed a plan to limit the amount of water which can be drawn from the San Joaquin River to use it for the cities in California as well as farmlands. Trump’s tweet comes after that debate. The US president attempted to connect the debate to wildfires, but that didn’t turn out well for him.

As experts claim, it is the sweltering heat, as well as dry conditions that have led to the worst wildfires in the history of California. Laws have nothing to do with that. Of course, climate change is what caused the weather conditions to be as such, according to the specialists, but Trump said that was nothing but a hoax.

Trump Sanctions Against Iran – Want’s Other Countries To Stop Doing Business With Tehran

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New sanctions that President Trump set on Iran are described by POTUS himself as “the most biting sanctions ever imposed.” Also, he warned other countries that they would need to choose between Washington and Tehran in terms of business.

Obama administration lifted sanctions after they, backed up by the US allies, signed a nuclear deal with the Middle East country in 2015 that derailed Iran’s nuclear weapons program. A new set of measures against the regime in Tehran bring limitations on transactions that are done in U.S. dollars, but also the automotive industry. Among other sectors, they will target metal trade, including gold, and commercial plane purchase.

Not long after these moves by President Trump, his Iranian colleague, Hassan Rouhani stated on Monday: “If someone has knife in the hand and seeks talks, he should first put the knife in his pocket.” He also added that there are no pre-conditions from Tehran for the talks between the two countries and that America only needs to pay for “intervention in Iran.”

“If the U.S. government is ready to negotiate about paying compensation to the Iranian nation from 1953 until now,” Rouhani stated. “The U.S owes the Iranian nation for its intervention in Iran.”

It looks like Iranian president is talking about mission supported by CIA that had the goal to overthrow Iran’s prime minister and return shah in 1953. This is something we could hear from many of his predecessors and state officials.

image source: altoday.com

The sanctions were restored so to limit the Tehran’s possibility to finance “terrorists, dictators, proxy militias, and the regime’s own cronies,” according to a senior administration official. If the situation doesn’t improve the new set of measures will be implemented on Nov. 4, when the banking sector and oil industry will be targeted.

Iran is looking towards other countries with which they could do their business and Rouhani stated how Russia and China could step in when it comes to oil trade if further U.S. sanctions are imposed. On the other hand, President Trump, who exited the Iran deal, stated how he is ready to talk with Tehran.

Trump To Shut Down Government If He Doesn’t Get Support For Mexico Border Wall

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One of the reasons why Trump won the elections was his promise to tighten the US immigration and border controls system. So far, he was stopped several times by Democrats when it comes to border wall with Mexico and he is now again threatening to shut down the US government if he doesn’t get what he wants.

Here is what he wrote in a tweet: “I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”

Trump decided to give the ultimatum to the government as the funding needs to be agreed by September 30 or they will be forced to shut down. On top of that, have in mind that mid-term elections are just around the corner in November. Comments made by POTUS are not in line with what we could hear from his party leaders from Seante and the White House as they insist that this needs to wait after mid-terms that will be quite hard.

Source:express.co.uk

This is not the first time we could hear Trump threatening to shutdown the government in attempts to push his priorities. It has been estimated by the Department of Homeland Security that the cost of the border wall would be about $21 billion, but Democrats suggest that this figure would be much higher at about $70 billion. To make things even worse for Trump, he suggested that Mexico will pay for the wall, and we simply don’t see it happen.

Other things that POTUS want’s to be changed regarding immigration policy is the ending of the visa lottery program that randonly gives 50,000 green cards. Also, people that have relatives in the US are priorities on the visa lists, which is another thing that he wants to stop. Immigration bill that Republicans brought a month ago didn’t go through Congress.

With only a thin majority that the Republicans have in the Senate it is needed for 10 Democrats to support the latest bill in which $5 billion would be given for the wall during the next year.

According to analysts, this move might be a well tought plan by Trump to mobile his voters before mid-term. On the other hand, Democrats believe that if shutdown happens it will only help them to get more seats.

Both Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security committee and Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee believe that this wouldn’t be a good move for their party. Stivers said: “I think we’re going to make sure we keep the government open, but we’re going to get better policies on immigration.”

Source:politico.com

Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Ben Ray Lujan stated: “Democrats wants to work together in a bipartisan way when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform.”

Russian Election Meddling Helped Trump?

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Most of the Republicans will admit that Russia has interfered with the elections, but they will also say that it didn’t influence the outcome and that Trump would be president even without a foul play from Moscow. This might be true, but everything is pointing in a slightly different direction meaning that they did influence the results greatly.

The investigation that was conducted shows that the Kremlin was involved in 2016 elections, but Trump is still not persuaded, especially after Putin said to him that Russia did not influence the process. On the other hand, almost everyone will agree that they did interfere and depending on the fraction which they favor, the result of that influence is seen differently.

According to Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, he is “1,000 percent certain that the Russians interfered in our election.” He continued by adding: “Russia didn’t beat Clinton. Trump beat Clinton.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who helped oversee the investigation while he was a director of the Central Intelligence Agency, also confirmed that Moscow was involved, only with a minimal impact.

Source:greenvillejournal.com

Trump being Trump, said how Kremlin “will be pushing very hard for Democrats” when the 2018 midterm elections come. This is based on his claims that he was the toughest US president when it comes to international relations with Russia and that they definitely don’t want him to stay in the White House.

In election games, there is a huge number of factors in play, and it is hard to prove that Moscow’s influence had any meaningful impact. One thing that we need to say is that the intelligence community didn’t reach a conclusion, at least it wasn’t publicly delivered, that foul play didn’t tip the scale in Trump’s favor.

We could hear more than a few experts that claim how they really did manage to swing the elections and secure the victory for the current president. According to James Clapper who suggest that about 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan was enough for the win. He wrote, “I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by the massive effort by the Russians.”

Clapper is named as someone who doesn’t like Trump and supports Obama, but his point of view will be backed up by Kathleen Hall Jamieson who will publish a book that covers Russian interference and how it brought a win to Trump. “The Russian trolls and hackers created message imbalances, the former in social media, the latter in news,” that helped the Republican, she said in an interview on Sunday. “The use that the mainstream and conservative media made of the Russian hacking of the Democrats’ emails altered the news and debate agendas in ways that past election research would suggest were significant enough to change the outcome.”

It has been reported by NBC News that there was a large number of Russian trolls that launched and spread false news about Pope Francis support for Trump. This, according to research, also influenced some voters.

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention WikiLeaks published internal documents that were reportedly stolen by Russian hackers. Those documents proved that Clinton was favored by the Democratic National Committee against Bernie Sanders in the primaries. As a result, some supporters of Sanders decided not to vote while Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned.

Source:thesource.com

Another interesting coincidence came right after Trump’s video where he talked about groping women when WikiLeaks published the first batch of emails from John Podesta’s account. At that moment, Podesta was Clinton’s campaign manager. Since this was released on a Friday afternoon, which definitely isn’t the best moment if you want media attention, it can be easily described as an intent to deflect attention from Trump misbehavior. Later on, this was connected with the Russian military intelligence unit.

All these issues that were geared against Clinton and her staff members forced her campaign to devote more attention to that than to actual elections. The question is, did this really help Trump to win?

Source: bloomberg.com

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