Socio-Economics History Blog

Socio-Economics & History Commentary

Peter Schiff: On the Route to Argentina! America Will Default!

  • Foreigners are more in agreement with Peter Schiff. It is only Americans that still believe in the MSM and Washington spin.

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June 9, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Comments Off on Peter Schiff: On the Route to Argentina! America Will Default!

Washington Happy Talk vs. Reality on the Ground in China

  • All the happy talk by the American MSM are pure spin. They are propaganda to keep the sheeple happy so that they will borrow and spend more money. Let us pretend everything is OK and not say negative things. Childish and delusional behavior unfortunately. So is everything OK? Mike Larson advises :
      
    Before, during, and after Geithner’s China trip, the Washington spin machine was shifting into overdrive. I’ve already seen a few reports calling Geithner’s trip a success. Geithner himself has been making statements like the following:
     
    “I’ve actually found a lot of confidence here in China, justifiable confidence, in the strength and resilience and dynamism of the American economy and I think a very sophisticated understanding … of the steps we’re taking and why they’re so important not just to the United States but to China and the rest of the world.”
      
    Excuse me, but does anyone believe that for a second? I sure as heck don’t. And neither do the Chinese. The reality on the ground in China is much more skeptical and severe. For example, Bloomberg recounted a conversation in which Geithner was lectured about U.S. profligacy:
     
    Yu Yongding, a former central bank adviser who acted as the interviewer for The China Dailynewspaper, told Geithner: “I worry about details. We will be watching you very carefully.”
     
    A report from The Washington Post was even more blunt, warning that “Geithner’s remarks stand in sharp contrast to the commentary in China’s official propaganda papers.” According to the Post

     
    ++ The China Dailysaid it will be “regrettable if [Geithner] underestimates and shuts his ears to voices from China’s civil society,” noting that there are worries that “Washington’s mushrooming deficit, generated by massive government borrowing to fuel its economic recovery plan … will undermine both the dollar and U.S. bonds.” 
     
    ++ The Global Times, which is affiliated with the Communist Party, said an online poll found that 87 percent of respondents believe China’s dollar-assets are unsafe. The paper concluded, “Ordinary Chinese people are discontent with the declining value of China’s huge foreign exchange reserves denominated in U.S. dollars.” 
     
    ++ And The Economic Information Daily, which is part of the official New China News Agency and affiliated with the State Council, in a headline demanded to know of Geithner: “How do you propose implementing fiscal discipline? How will you maintain the stability of the dollar after the crisis?”

     
    Why Aren’t the Chinese Buying The Washington Party Line? Well, the Obama administration and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been paying a lot of lip service to getting the deficit under control. We’re getting plenty of talk, talk, talk. But policymakers are taking steps that have the exact opposite effect! They’re spending like crazy and borrowing like mad!
     
    The administration itself was just forced to raise its 2009 budget deficit estimate to a staggering $1.84 trillion, up 5 percent from a projection made just two months earlier. The 2010 estimate was jacked up by more than 7 percent to $1.26 trillion.
      
    Geithner told the Chinese that we plan to eventually shrink the deficit to 3 percent of GDP. But that’s a pipe dream. Right now, we’re on track to hit 12.9 percent by far the worst since the founding of the Republic (excluding an anomalous period during World War II when the war effort was the dominant force in the entire economy).
     
    Getting that under control will require a massive boost in economic growth or a large increase in taxes. To anyone who believes those scenarios are in the cards, all I can say is: I’ve got a bridge to sell you!

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June 9, 2009 Posted by | Economics, GeoPolitics | , , , , , | Comments Off on Washington Happy Talk vs. Reality on the Ground in China

China Electric Car Technology

  • GM and Chrysler are bankrupt. America is no longer the automotive industrial might it once was. Leading edge technology are no longer found in American motor companies. The Chinese are rapidly rising in the electric car race. TimesOnline reports :
      
    A Chinese firm says its four-seater battery car can cover 250 miles – a claim that appears to be almost feasible.
      …..
    Here, some of the biggest strides in motor engineering are being made, including one shown to The Sunday Times on an industrial estate in Hangzhou, 90 miles southwest of Shanghai. This is where engineers for New Power have beaten western rivals to achieve what they claim is the first production-ready, all-electric car to offer a range comparable to petrol-powered vehicles.
     
    For years, engineers in Europe, America and Japan have struggled to achieve the perfect balance: a battery that is small and light enough to fit in a family car, yet capable of storing enough energy to keep it going for a practical range between top-ups. The Reva G-Wiz, Britain’s bestselling electric vehicle, has a range of no more than 48 miles between charges; the Smart ED, on trial in the UK, beats it by only 14 miles; and although the electric Mini claims a range of 150 miles, it is only a two-seater (the huge battery taking up the back seat), and BMW has no plans to put it into production.
     
    New Power, by contrast, claims to have developed an electric four-seater with a range of 250 miles and plans to bring it to the UK “within the next couple of years”. Known as the Zhong Tai (the name translates roughly as “peace and safety for the people”), it has lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged in 6-8 hours from a conventional socket, or in two hours from a high-power recharging point. With a top speed of 75mph and an estimated price tag of between £16,300 and £20,500 in Britain, the Zhong Tai could be both practical and affordable enough to make drivers part with their internal combustion engines for good.
      ….. 
    On first impressions the Zhong Tai looked anything but remarkable. The car’s basic bodywork and chassis are based on a 2006 Daihatsu Terios, a compact 4×4, the licence for which was bought and adapted for Chinese production, originally as a petrol car. The electric version looks identical to a conventional Terios from the outside, with the recharging point where the petrol cap should be and only the absence of an exhaust pipe giving the game away.
     
    The interior feels a little dated but that reflects how much standards of comfort have advanced in the past three years. The dashboard display flashed up speed, distance travelled and the percentage charge left in the batteries — 75% when we first stepped into the car.
      ….. 
    Chinese industry has put huge efforts into battery development, a fact that was reinforced last month when Volkswagen said it would be collaborating with BYD, a Chinese manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, to develop its first hybrid vehicles.
     
    Still, New Power’s claims of a 250-mile range were remarkable so we were intrigued to find out how the vehicle would perform. Tipping the scales at 1.2 tons, the Zhong Tai sounds like a cumbersome beast. Its battery alone weighs about 660lb. It is housed under the car, although in the model I tried, a further auxiliary battery took up a good proportion of the boot space.
     
    The claimed acceleration rate is 0-60mph in 12sec and the car is, indeed, quite spritely. When I pressed hard on the accelerator, the car leapt from 18mph-54mph in just 5sec, but then alarms started screeching and the engine had to be restarted. There was another worry. Accidentally touching the battery in the boot resulted in a mighty electric shock, although the company insisted this was a minor fault and rectified it within minutes.
     
    And what of that all-important 250-mile range? Unfortunately, we couldn’t cover that distance in the time available for the test but by keeping an eye on the charge monitor it was possible to get an idea as to the veracity of New Power’s claims. At the start of the test the car had a three-quarters charge; 120 miles of reasonably hard driving later, it was showing a 42% charge. Assuming the power meter was accurate and proportional, the company’s claim is not unfeasible.
     
    On an open road, at an average speed of 60mph, the car’s range drops to about 170 miles, according to New Power. Reduce average speed to 48mph and the company claims an average range of 218 miles. In “city driving with stops and starts”, the company reckons it can reach its maximum range of about 250 miles.
      
    The Chinese government has announced plans to set up a 10 billion yuan (£890m) fund to promote alternative energy and is offering generous grants towards the production of electric vehicles, stating that all car companies should be producing one green vehicle by 2011.
     
    The Zhong Tai is set to go into production next year, eventually building towards annual production of 20,000 vehicles. Wu Aibing, public relations director for New Power, claims the company is “in conversations about co-operation for overseas distribution” in the UK and US.
     
    The company has been in touch with Electric Village, a London-based marketing company specialising in electric vehicles, about promoting the car in Britain. “The new vehicle is game-changing in the rapidly emerging electric car sector,” says Stewart McKee, the chief executive of Electric Village. “Hence we are looking at a distribution and sales strategy for the UK market.”
     
    Even if New Power’s reliability and range claims hold up under further testing, there are still question marks about the car’s potential success, particularly in foreign markets. Chinese exports, such as the Jiang-ling Landwind, a large petrol-powered SUV, have failed European safety tests. Aside from safety, the Zhong Tai’s retro looks may not appeal to image-conscious westerners.
     
    However, with most mainstream European car manufacturers putting off electric car production until 2011 or later, and current options offering a range of no more than about 50 miles, this car could lead the way to a practical all-electric automotive future.

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June 9, 2009 Posted by | Science & Technology | | 1 Comment

Top Chinese Banker: US Government Should Issue Bonds in Chinese Yuan

  • Geithner says everything is A OK with the Chinese. The American MSM say they have confidence in America. Really? I don’t think so. More countries are bailing out of the USD. The Telegraph UK reports :
      
    The head of China’s second-largest bank has said the United States government should start issuing bonds in yuan, rather than dollars, in the latest indication of the increasing importance of the Chinese currency.
      
    Guo Shuqing, the chairman of state-controlled China Construction Bank (CCB), also said he is exploring the possibility of issuing loans to trading companies in yuan, allowing Chinese and foreign companies to settle their bills in yuan rather than in dollars.
     
    Mr Guo said the issuing of yuan bonds in Hong Kong and Shanghai would help to develop the debt markets in China and promote the yuan as a major international currency.
      
    It was the first time the head of a major Chinese bank has called for the wider use of the yuan, although a chorus of senior government officials have already voiced their concerns about the stability of the dollar and have said the yuan should be used more widely.
     
    “I think the US government and the World Bank can consider the issuing of renminbi bonds,” he said, asking for a “mutual cooperation” between the US and China to promote Chinese financial services. He said bond issuance could be relatively small, at between 1bn and 3bn yuan (£100m to £300m).
     
    HSBC and Standard Chartered have both said they are preparing to issue bonds denominated in yuan. Mr Guo is a former head of China’s foreign-exchange administration, which manages the country’s $1.9 trillion foreign exchange reserves. He said he was confident the yuan would become a major currency in the medium-to-long term.
     
    Two months ago, before the G20 meeting in London, Zhou Xiaochuan, the head of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, published a personal paper proposing to replace the dollar as the international reserve currency. His call came after Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, asked the US to guarantee the safety of China’s huge pile of US debt.
     
    In April, the Chinese government said traders in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Hong Kong, Macau, Yunan and Guangxi could start to settle their bills in yuan, rather than dollars, paving the way for the currency to become more fully convertible.

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June 9, 2009 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 1 Comment

Dead In The Water – The Sinking of the USS Liberty

  • This is in rememberance of all those US serviceman who died on that fateful day in 1967. Google Video :
     
    During the Six-Day War, Israel attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty belonging to its closest ally, the USA. Thirty-four American servicemen were killed in the two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats. Israel claimed that the whole affair had been a tragic accident based on mistaken identification of the ship. The American government accepted the explanation. For more than 30 years many people have disbelieved the official explanation but have been unable to rebut it convincingly.
     
    Now, Dead in the Water uses startling new evidence to reveal the truth behind the seemingly inexplicable attack. The film combines dramatic reconstruction of the events, with new access to former officers in the US and Israeli armed forces and intelligence services who have decided to give their own version of events. Interviews include President Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, former head of the Israeli navy Admiral Shlomo Errell and members of the USS Liberty crew.
     

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June 9, 2009 Posted by | GeoPolitics, History | , | 10 Comments