Gefira-Bulletin #36 Political and historical overview

The holidays are over, so to compensate for that we are taking our readers on an exotic journey to China. The unipolar world is making place for a di- or multipolar one. The Soviet Union is gone, but the Russian military might is not; the United States is the world’s largest economy, but China is pretty close behind and the gap is narrowing with every year. The BRICS initiative may have failed, but the cooperation between Beijing and Moscow poses a challenge that Washington cannot denounce as insignificant. Especially the attempt to dedollarize the international trade. Politicians and analysts are increasingly talking about the Thucydides trap, which is a theory about a ruling and rising powers. The power that is threatened with being dislodged from its dominant position has no choice but to respond. The response may take the form of a relatively mild commercial or diplomatic clash with the aspiring state, failing which it can easily evolve into war. History knows very many instances of struggles between ruling and challenging powers with most ending in a bloodshed. Time will show.

Gefira Financial Bulletin #36 is available now

  • Negative interest rates and the flow of money
  • China sets its sights on gold
  • The largest army of pensioners in the world is emerging in China

Which is not to say that China has no problems of her own. It has its economic and democratic setbacks. The Middle Kingdom has still a lot of catching-up to do when the country’s economic output and development is compared to that of the West, while the one-child policy that was in force for decades translates into a significant shrinkage of labour and a huge wave of pensioners who will have to be provided for. Still, the Chinese are focused on success. Discipline, social cohesiveness, high moral standards, efficient, centralized decision-making, a vision for the future and the ambition shared by the government and the governed to make the nation great are sure passports to an equally great future. Courses of Chinese are offered around the globe, not excepting Eastern Europe, and they are offered not merely to businessmen but also to children. This one fact speaks volumes and we describe many others in the current bulletin.

Russia slams Trump’s call to increase sanctions on Iran

  • Russia’s Foreign Ministry slams U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision Wednesday to tighten sanctions on Iran following strikes Saturday on the world’s largest crude-processing plant and an oil field in Saudi Arabia.
  • The U.S. accuseds Iran of carrying out the attacks that forced the Saudi kingdom to shut down half its oil production.
  • Russia, Iran’s top ally, calls the sanctions “destructive” and adds that they “will not solve anything,” Reuters reported, citing news agency Interfax.