Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Serious erosion of US economic hegemony in two key details

One is that Russia is about to replace the USA as main global wheat exporter. Being an agricultural exporter may seem minor but it is an strategical way to make sure you hold the pan by the handle and that, of course, in case of crisis your state is self-sufficient to feed its own people and maybe also its allies. The USA knows it and that is why agriculture is over-protected, mega-subsidized and systematically exempt from foreign trade agreements. A few decades ago only the USA, Canada and Argentina were global grain exporters. This is changing fast. 

The other one is that Iran is selling oil for euros, not dollars anymore. This is a direct attack against the dollar hegemony and to the ability of the imperial power to finance its own deficit, caused by consumerism and military costs. The US' imperial power heavily depends on the denomination of oil in dollars but sales of oil in US dollars have decayed to just 60% globally. The last one in the OPEC who tried to do that was Saddam Hussein, however Iran is a much bigger and better backed state and therefore invasion is not likely at all.


  1. Its interesting that China and India produce the highest amount of wheat, but they don't peak in case of exporting. Perhaps its related to the Population.
    However, on the exporting issue, it fluctuates, so nothing in long term sense imo.

    1. That's true: they have way too huge internal markets for significant export (China actually imports, India exports but little). But the key issue here is that US subsidizing of its aggressive, hyper-industrialized and anti-ecological food producing industry, has everyone else dependent on them for the most basic of all things after water and air: food. This is not about tobacco or cotton cash agro-industries, but about systematically dumping the food self-sustainability of everyone else, making them dependent on the USA and a few Neoeuropean key allies such as Canada and Australia (see: map1, map2, which are both a decade old but good enough to illustrate my point).

      Russia can potentially compete in this aspect because it has lower population densities, while being a huge country largely comparable in climate to Canada and the Northern USA (by latitude is Canada-like but the North Atlantic stream changes things a lot in terms of climate for Europe, including the European part of Russia, allowing it to have large cities at latitudes unthinkable of elsewhere). In fact, going historical, Russia used to be the breadbasket of Europe since Medieval times and only with the advent of the USSR this changed. In contrast, in the US Civil War (1860s), Europe was concerned about the South's cotton exports (which were replaced by Egypt's out of the blue) but grain was not yet a major US export instead and nobody was worried about it. Today instead grain is a major concern for anyone daring to challenge The Empire, even if coyly but with the increased Russian output there is now an alternative. Of course local production, food sustainability, is always the safer option, but hard to implement in a global market with cheaters at the helm.


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