Sunday, October 26, 2008

On and After November 15th - What Will Hapen

Global financial crisis summit set for November 15- International Business-News-The Economic Times

WASHINGTON: President George W Bush will host a summit on November 15 in Washington, DC, area to discuss the global financial crisis and ways to prevent it from happening again, the White House announced on Wednesday.

"This will be the first in a series of summits that bring together leaders from countries that participate in the G-20 finance process to discuss current economic challenges.

The so-called G-20 includes the Group of Seven advanced industrial countries and the European Union as well as China, Brazil, India, Russia, South Korea and other major economies.

At the first meeting, working groups will be set up to develop recommendations to be considered by leaders in subsequent summits.

The DragoBear Dance

Earlier Quicktakes Tripolar Currency System - Connecting the dots - Part II recorded what is the likely outcome - which has happened till now.

The New 5

The real action will be 5 countries - Russia and China on one hand - and India, South Africa and Brazil on the other.

The DragoBear Dance

Russia and China as significant military powers as well as a part of P5, will want their pound of flesh. They will, of course, be afraid of being left out! The US will not have them and the EU does not want them!

Three Horsemen Of Apocalyse

The G3 (i.e. India, South Africa and Brazil) have functioning democracies, decent regulatory systems (which can be ramped up), the technology platforms, the trading systems, a vibrant entrepreneurial class - all of which is powering their economies forward. What they don't have is P5 status - which is useful, though not essential.

This Washington meeting

During the con-fab, 'committees will be set up' which create mechanisms for this management.

The big issue for the developing world will be obtaining assurances against predatory raids by the dollar bloc and the Eurozone to dismantle any new system - like the alleged plot of 1997 Asian crisis.

The lesser issues will also be inter-bank settlements, anchoring currencies (the role of gold or bullion).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Israel As A Country Model For India

The Indian State has often been accused of being soft on terror.’ We are frequently reminded how we should consider patterning India along hard lines like Israel - which has ‘zero tolerance’ policy on ‘terrorism’. As proof, the Israeli actions against the perpetrators of the Munich massacre. Or the capture of Eichmann. The air raid of Entebbe is another example that is referred to, with a glow in the eye.

Israel's Tenuous Existence

The first disqualification against accepting the Israeli State model is the fact it is heavily dependent on America, for fiscal and military aid - “since 1974 totals roughly $80 billion” and an article from Daily Times Of Pakistan says enviously “The United States has poured $140 billion into Israel since its formation”. That is about a US$56,000 for every Israeli family.

After all, (as NYT says)

America has vital long-term strategic interests in the Middle East. The gulf has well over 60 percent of the world’s proven conventional oil reserves and nearly 40 percent of its natural gas.

To some it may look like a boon, but is surely the kiss of death.

American policymakers began regarding Israeli strength as an American asset in the Cold War, they supported significant aid as a matter of strategy, not charity. … American aid continues to flow to Israel. … critics on the opposite end of the political spectrum argue that while aid to Israel may be tied to the best of intentions, it does more harm than good to the Jewish State by propping up a big and inefficient government and making Israel dependent upon the U.S.

For how long can any country, society, individual survive on foreign largesse? Note how during the 1973, Arab Israeli War, the tide of battle finally turned when the massive US airlift of weapons, tanks, spares happened! Which itself, is self-serving - American assistance, emerging as a disjointed policy that urges a peaceful resolution to the conflict while boosting military aid to Israel.”

Another client state of US, Pakistan enviously records, that

Israel is the only country that receives all of its U.S. aid in a single package, while others only receive it in quarterly installments.” It continues, “Most recipients of military aid are obliged to spend it in the US but Israel is permitted to spend 25 percent of what it receives to subsidize its own defence industry,”…

Israel's Future With Its Neighbours

The biggest Israeli failure is the state of permanent hostility it has engendered in the neighbourhood. Israel’s dysfunctional relationship with its neighbours has taken significant efforts from Israel - possibly, based on its superior ‘European’ extraction.

How long can Israel depend on US support which since

“1982, … has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions which were critical of Tel Aviv, a number that exceeds the total number of vetoes exercised by all other permanent member states put together.”

American support may change (linked to American decline?) with time - but Israel’s neighbourhood is not changing!

The Persecution Of Palestinians

The logic for the creation of Israel was persecution of Jews in Europe. Within 10 years, the same ‘persecuted’ Jews, allied themselves with their former persecutors and invaded Egypt - precipitating the Suez crisis. Thus the very logic of the creation of the Israeli state was corrupted within 10 years.

The subsequent occupation of neighbouring territories was a continuation of this policy of aggressive expansionism based on European and later American support.

Israel's population is less than Pune

Pune's official population of 45 lakhs is close to Israel's population of 72 lakhs.

The only logic for Israeli policy is the probable Israeli intention. Is it that they are not staying in the neighbourhood after (or when, if you prefer) American aid ceases.

India with a population of 110 crores, has no such option.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Global Currency ... Connecting the dots!

ECB's Nowotny Sees Global `Tri-Polar' Currency System Evolving Worldwide

European Central Bank council member Ewald Nowotny said a ``tri-polar'' global currency system is developing between Asia, Europe and the U.S ... leaders of the U.S., France and the European Commission will ask other world leaders to join in a series of summits on the global financial crisis beginning in the U.S. soon after the Nov. 4 presidential election, President George W. Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Barroso said in a joint statement yesterday.

European leaders have pressed to convene an emergency meeting of the world's richest nations, known as the Group of Eight, joined by others such as India and China, to overhaul the world's financial regulatory systems. ... Sarkozy wants the G8 to consider re-anchoring their currencies, the hallmark of the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement that also gave birth to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Europe's Been Onto Something ... While the US gently weeps

The EU region calling for a 'G8 + India & China' conference to thrash out this global monetary issue - and has been twisting the knife in the reluctant US side. The US has been dragging its feet. While the EU has been going gung-ho on this, the US has been floating many trial balloons. Warren Buffet, Paul Volcker and Lawrence Summers have been co-opted by the likely President of the US - Barack Obama. There has been talk of a manipulation in bullion prices - which may be required for re-anchoring currencies. Interesting deals - considered impossible till a few years, are being done in a tearing hurry.

The US Gameplan

US analysts, led by Paul Krugman, have been calling for Barack Obama (or maybe McCain) to emulate Roosevelt - who waded into WW2, with 25,000 tons of nationalized gold. If gold is nationalized, it may depress demand in the short term - giving rise to huge volatility in gold prices. But Warren Buffett has been on the silver bandwagon for a while - and that is making the gold-silver equation hazy. What if Warren Buffet becomes the new US Treasury Chief? There is the real risk of another fraud like the gold standard happening all over again.

The US has been making its moves - differently. Paul Krugman's Nobel Prize is an indication of this. Will the US use Paul Krugman as the Keynes of the Bretton Woods. The background of Bretton Woods itself, is of course something that the US and Europe do not want the world at large to know.

What Has Been India Upto?

While the US has been resisting calls for action, busy doing post-mortem, Asia and Europe have been moving. Interestingly, Manmohan Singh has done some huge work in the last 60 days - the nuclear deal with the USA and NSG, the IBSA Summit, the ASEAN free trade agreement - and now his three Asian nation visits. India's Trade and Commerce Minister, Kamal Nath, has been talking about a multi-lateral set up. The UN was made to issue a statement on this. Am I reading too much into this? At times, India has seemed clueless.

China and Russia

The big issue is of course, China and Russia. China has 2 trillion of US dollars - and what does China do with this? Russia has come out from a default about a decade ago - with a nearly US$400 billion reserves - flexing its muscles in Georgia and dependent on a high oil prices. What happens to Russia if a new Pacific Republic (Cuba, Haiti, West Indies, etc) were to start drilling for oil? In 5 years, the world would be awash with oil - and Russia's mineral earnings could evaporate. This crisis seems to have made the Chinese Premier shaky. So, the world may not trust China and Russia too much. Russia and China cane bet the party poopers - but they cannot be the life of the party.

Contours Of The Deal

The EU-USA-Asia may agree on a broad a global regulatory and oversight body to monitor and maintain oversight over a multiple currency regime. The new currency may an Asian-Developing world currency. Some of Asia may want to cling to the dollar skirt.

The new 3rd currency may take some time to figure out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quick - Which is the world’s largest newspaper market

The world's 'last great newspaper market'- InfoChange India News & Features development news India.

Contemporary Press: Circulation and readership

The Indian print media currently include over 62,483 newspapers and periodicals, according to the latest figures available from the website of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, updated up to March 31, 2006 (RNI 2005-06). The total circulation of newspapers in 2005-06 was 18,07,38,611 copies.

Indian publications appear in as many as 101 languages and dialects. The largest numbers of newspapers were published in Hindi (4131), followed by English (864), Gujarati (775), Urdu (463) Bengali (445), and Marathi (328). In circulation, too, Hindi newspapers continued to lead with 7,66,98,490 copies, followed by English with 3,41,06,816 copies. While the Gujarati press with 98,44,710 copies came in third, the Urdu and Malayalam language press followed closely with 92,17,892 and 82,06,227 copies respectively.

Among daily newspapers, Hindi led with 942 dailies, followed by 201 in English. The languages with more than 100 daily newspapers were Urdu (191), Telugu (147) Marathi (130) and Gujarati (100). Circulation-wise, Hindi dailies maintained dominance with 3,76,42,520 copies. English dailies followed with a circulation of 1,29,14,581 copies.

The Quietest Change

While many things may be read into this, the real interesting thing, is that this is just the beginning. What I find the most interesting is that this is just the beginning. While media in the 'developed world' is under financial strain, Indian media has hit a rich vein.

India, softpower?

The Shape Of Things To Come Part - II

On March 14th 2008, this blog talked about how

It is being whispered that Barran Wolfet and his team members, Sorg Goros and Rim Joggers had played a major role in the enhancement of these gold stocks - and the formation of IMAR. Initially named as Global Financial Reserve Authority for Development, the IMAR idea was first tossed out over a dinner at the famous Les Ambassadeurs eatery - which offers a classic cuisine by the Ducasse-trained chef, Jean-Fran├žois Piege.

The US Electoral outcome

There is (seemingly) harmless speculation that next US President may appoint Warren Buffett as the Treasury chief

The two were asked at the beginning of their second presidential debate who would be a good replacement for current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who is standing down at the end of the current administration.

“I think the first criteria, would have to be somebody who immediately Americans identify with. Immediately say we can trust that individual,” said McCain. Buffett, chief of the Berkshire Hathaway holding company, has supported Obama in the race for the White House.

Barack Obama’s chance of a lifetime

If Barack Obama wins on 4 November, as looks likely, he’ll inherit an economic mess rivalled only by the one that faced Franklin Roosevelt in 1933.

Everyone is saying …

There is rising chorus that the new President (whoever it may be) should do what Roosevelt did. What they are not saying, but meaning is, do what Roosevelt did. Krugman, this year’s Nobel prize winners, also said in an interview that Roosevelt’s actions need to be emulated.

Apart from the many things that Roosevelt did, the merits of which are debatable, the one thing that he did made the US into a super power (what if it was for a short while of 70 years).

Roosevelt nationalized gold.

Nationalization of gold enabled the US Governments to enter costly wars like WW2, Vietnam War, and now the Iraq and Afghan Wars. This allowed to US to walk into the WW2 with 25,000 tons of gold - and impose Bretton Woods on the world. And the nationalization of gold also impoverished the Americans - apart from the poor.

Gold production (from Ghana, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, America, etc.,) was controlled by the Anglo Saxon Bloc - and the world’s largest private reserves of gold, in India were controlled by the British. It is this choke on gold reserves that enabled thes sustenance of US as a superpower.

And now they are trying it again.

The methodology

And how do the US 'thought leaders' suggest that new President do it ... when victory is within grasp, and Obama Faces A New Choice

The opposite argument is that the political costs of voicing pessimism are prohibitive, that there is plenty of opportunity to prepare voters for drastic action after election day, and that a candidate risks worsening conditions by sounding strong warnings. The classic example to support this case is the 1932 Depression-era campaign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said little or nothing while campaigning in 1932 to indicate the contours of his New Deal program.

What are they pulling over our eyes…

This again very interesting. Roosevelt’s economic plan was surprise. Obama (or McCain, doesn't matter who), will do something similar. Read this with the Warren Buffet silver play and his (possible) appointment as Treasury Chief, and the game becomes clear.

Nationalize gold again?

But What Was Warren Buffet Doing ...

Buffett’s Purchases Push Silver Past $7 an Ounce said the New York Times

Separately yesterday, Phibro, a commodities-trading firm, confirmed that it was the dealer for all the silver purchases by Berkshire. Phibro is a unit of the Travelers Group, in which Berkshire has a major stake. Last week, a Canadian investor filed suit in United States District in New York, contending that Phibro had moved silver from warehouses in the United States to hidden locations in an effort to mislead traders about supplies and push the price higher. A Phibro official denied all the charges yesterday.

How did Warren Buffet buy such a large amount of silver without disturbing the market?

The silver purchases by Berkshire Hathaway were made in London, a center of activity in the silver market. The purchases were done with over-the-counter contracts, in which Mr. Buffett bought silver for delivery at future dates. Since he began he has accepted delivery of 87.51 million ounces, which are apparently now sitting in the vaults of London bullion banks. The remaining 42.2 million ounces must be delivered between now and March 6.

60 days from now … Warren Buffet Handle The US Treasury?

Sometime, back there was speculation that Warren Buffet could be a possible choice of US Treasury Chief. This news was sparsely reported - originating with AFP. Google Search showed this up only with a few Indian sites and journals.

What does this mean as possible policy outcome? Do a Quicktake - and then a 2ndlook.

Ben Bernanke says a 'savings glut is the problem ...

Ben Bernanke joins a long list of Western propagandists, who find 'specious' ways to blame others for Western problems. His most recent propaganda gem was to blame Asia for a 'savings glut.'

a satisfying explanation of the recent upward climb of the U.S. current account deficit requires a global perspective that more fully takes into account events outside the United States. To be more specific, I will argue that over the past decade a combination of diverse forces has created a significant increase in the global supply of saving--a global saving glut--which helps to explain both the increase in the U.S. current account deficit and the relatively low level of long-term real interest rates in the world today.

After Ben Bernanke opened the flood gates of such logic with 'helicopter drop of dollars' and 'printing press technology', and now the 'savings glut' - others such 'economists' have rushed in to do another tom-tom dance around this logic.

A so called economist, weighed in with two bits, Dani Rodrik: Who killed Wall Street?

…the true culprits lie halfway around the world. High-saving Asian households and dollar-hoarding foreign central banks produced a global savings “glut,” which pushed real interest rates into negative territory, in turn stoking the US housing bubble while sending financiers on ever-riskier ventures with borrowed money. Macroeconomic policymakers could have gotten their act together and acted in time to unwind those large and unsustainable current-account imbalances. Then there would not have been so much liquidity sloshing around waiting for an accident to happen.

The Real Culprits …

Ben Bernanke is not even mentioned even once. Bernanke’s printing press and helicopter’s are not mentioned even once. The evasion of Federal Reserve on M3 figures are not mentioned even once. Alan Greenspan is mentioned once. China which has funded the US to the extenet of US$2 trillion is not even mentioned once. Japan which has funded the US to the extent of US$1 trillion is ignored.

I rest my case

But Asians countries whose reserves are getting wiped due to dollar depreciation - are instead mentioned as culprits.

Wow. This is a new level in brazen-ness. Keep it up Dani boy.

This fraud may yet happen. And Warren Buffet may give cover to this fraud.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aapro Morarjibhai On Mt.Rushmore

Morarji On Rushmore

US Government Confirms

Some bloggers (especially the insidious, anti-Western) 2ndlook had alleged that the West is ungrateful - particularly, in regard to Morarji Desai.

The American Government has scoffed at this allegation and confirmed that George Bush Jr., has indeed sanctioned that Morarji Desai's bust should be engraved on Mount Rushmore. "After all, who could have contributed more to the success of the Bretton Woods Agreement than Mr.Desai", he said solemnly.

St.PT Barnum Knew All Along ...

Our resident propaganda slayer, St.PT Barnum, was privy to this whole deal. PT Barnum and the CIA mounted a massive covert operation. Barnum-CIA diverted the attention of the whole world by the nuclear deal and the dollar-credit-banking crisis, while the Bush Government was secretly working with St.PT Barnum to unveil the bust of America's greatest hero.

Bush grandly, announced, "Morarji has gone where no Indian has gone before. On Mount Rushmore. Morarji has very own statue on Rushmore now."

The Latest By Dubya

When asked about 'secret payments' made to Morarji Desai for this gold ban, Bush replied, "Secret deals are supposed to remain secret, but Henry Kissinger did appear in the court to testify that Morarji Desai did not take any money."

With tears in eyes, in a choked voice, George Bush said, "Without the help of the Morarji Desai, the Bretton Woods-I system would have collapsed within 15 years - instead of nearly 30 years. During this 30 years, the US printed a lot of dollars and created massive debt which helped Americans to become the largest debtor nation - with the highest standard of living. Morarji, can realistically, claim significant credit for saving Bretton Woods-I - which allowed time to consolidate and create their hegemony. The US thereafter launched the Breton Woods-II successfully."

But, Morarji Desai was a very patriotic Indian. He was supposed to have told George Bush Sr., a CIA point man, in the 70s and 80s, "It is not that I love less Indians less, but that I love the Americans more". "Morarji was", Bush confirmed, "one in the long line of many, who 'helped' India to get over the bad 'gold habit'." Before Morarji, the British had also tried to cure the Indians of this bad habit.

Gold Redemptions By The French - And The Rest

When the whole world was redeeming US gold, led by the perfidious French, it was Morarji Desai who stood by the US and stopped Indians from buying gold. Bush was slammed on how could Indians be blockaded from buying gold. For nearly 90 out of the 100 years in the last century, Indians were not allowed to buy gold.

George Bush was further asked searching questions on how can Morarjee Desai's bust be put on Mount Rushmore. After all, Desai's ban on gold imports, sparked the largest crime wave in Indian history. George Bush , simply said it is an internal matter for India and he will not comment on that.

He also in a sinister manner suggested that the Islamic angle should be looked into! He made a point to tell the CIA Director to co-operate with Manubhai in laying bare the Islamic conspiracy in the gold smuggling scam.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Gold Standard Fraud - New “Old’ Gold Standard Born Again

In the last few decades between the Nixon Chop and the Bush Whack, the Western academic world, has floated another 'hot air' balloon. It is the revival of the 'pure,' Gold Standard. The story goes that in the 'olden' days of 19th century, in the golden age of Western civilization, there once reigned the Gold Standard.

As Senator Ron Paul says,

This post-Bretton Woods system was much more fragile than the system that existed between 1945 and 1971. Though the dollar/oil arrangement was helpful, it was not nearly as stable as the pseudo gold standard under Bretton Woods. It certainly was less stable than the gold standard of the late 19th century.

The simplistic logic of this theory is that the world should 'go back' to the Gold Standard - or as some put it, improve the 'corrupted Gold Standard' of the 19th century, and then everything will be fine. All currencies of the World, should be indexed to Gold - and then everything should be fine. Currency can be redeemed against gold - and gold reserves equivalent to currency should be kept as reserves. This will kill inflation, stop war, make politicians honest, make tax payers honest, citizens hard working and business efficient.

In short a magic bullet.

The last time, we saw this, it was called the Bretton Woods. The US and the Anglo Saxon Bloc came together and said we will administer the new world currency system. The world agreed - once again. And we know what happened.

A Bad Idea - Whose End Has Come Too Late

Gold is the root of war. That is gold in the hands of kings, generals and rulers.


Alexander’s campaign started with the gold reserves that his father had built from the mining operations at Mount Pangeus. The Macedonians were the first in the Hellenistic world to keep standing army - a luxury and big expense, in Greece at that time. (His first sexual experience was with a slave girl from these mines, Leptine from the slave camps of Mount Pangaion also written as Mount Pangaeus).

In 357 BC, Alexander’s father conquered Amphipolis in Thrace, an Athenian colony - and that gave him possession of the Mount Pangaeus gold mines. Gold from theses mines financed Phillip’s wars. (356 BC - captured Potidea in Chalcidice, Pydna on the Thermaic Gulf; 355 BC Crenides, a Thracian town (later re-named Philippi). 354 BC - Methone, advanced into Thessaly. 348 BC - Completed the annexation of Chalcidice, including Olynthus). His politics and financial muscle got him (346 BC) a seat in the Delphic council, a prestigious position in Greece.

Alexander set off on his campaign with this hoard of gold - and King Phillip’s standing army. The Persian conquest further added to his gold hoard.

Roman Empire

The Roman empire was similarly funded by gold mining and loot. Julius Caesar’s European conquests were funded by Gaellic loot. The Punic Wars with Carthage were fought over Spanish Gold. Roman conquest and love affair with Egypt was motivated by grain and Nubian gold. One of the first actions that Romans took in Wales, Britain was to build an gold ore refining system. Gold mined in Britain went to Roman coffers.

Charlemagne of France - The First Christian Emperor

Charlemagne’s conquests were funded by the Saxony mines, the Haartz mountains, etc. His victory over Avars, (modern Hungary) gave him treasures which needed 15 carts, pulled by grey steppe oxen for transport.

America And The Great Depression

Roosevelt gave a New Deal to the Americans. He took away all their gold. WW2 followed soon thereafter. The British loot from Canada, Australia, South Africa - and India, gave the world, numerous wars and brought humanity “under the heel by means that will not bear scrutiny."

It is these very same Gold reserves which gave birth to the Bretton Woods, - and we know what happened after that!

What Should We Do With Gold

Just sell it to people. From all the countries of the world.

The world financial organization should limit control of global gold output by any mining organization to 10% or a single mine - which ever is higher. Gold holding should be widely dispersed, as widely as possible - amongst individuals. No national government, in the new financial architecture should not be allowed to have more than 250 tons of gold - to progressively reduce to 50 tons.

What this will do is disperse gold holdings among the citizens of the world - and dilute the ability of nations to wage war! National Governments (like the US), have used gold looted from their own citizens (and others) to deprive other peoples of the world of gold - and wage war.

Lakshmi - And Her Two Vahaans

Lakshmi the Indian Goddess of wealth rides on two animals. The airawata - a white elephant, is one. She blesses the deserving, by the day, riding on the airawata. The deserving and the whole world knows that the deserving have been blessed - by Lakshmi, when she comes riding on the airawata.

But the other way, in which Lakshmi dispenses her favors, is by night - when she comes flying on a owl. No one, including the recipients of her bounty, comes to know when she arrives - or more importantly, when she flies away. Spain and Britain are two excellent examples, when Lakshmi came at night and flew away. The Spaniards and the English are still wondering, what happened.

The new financial blue print must ensure that Lakshmi comes riding on the airawata - and we have a sustainable currency system!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A New Currency Bloc - The Chinese Question

The Stumbling Block

In any new world financial reform proposal, the Chinese voice will be very important. After all they are the world's largest creditor nation! They have US$2 trillion worth of IOUs with them.

The Chinese will not agree to any 'hare-brained' scheme by 'tin-pot' dictators, who are sitting on some raw materials - and think that the future belongs to them. The world has so many of this variety, that it does not require me to be specific.

Even a serious attempt by the EU, with the Euro, has not been able to significantly dent the dollar market share! Apart from the Euro, in the the last 10 years, there have been at least 3 half-baked - and unbaked attempts to break the dollar hegemony.

And after the Chinese come the Japanese with US$1 trillion of reserves. Russia, India and Brazil total to another US$1 trillion.

So, there you have it - it is out in the open!

What can you do about the Chinese question?

The Way Out

China, in its own short term interest (importantly) and long term interest (definitely) needs to find a way out!

Buying gold in such large quantities is not possible - there will simply be no deliveries. Increasing imports is also difficult - as what more can China import. It cannot send many more Chinese on holidays!

What it can do is buy Western firms! China has been always been a laggard in terms of growth in software! Maybe they can buy some software firms. The domestic Chinese entrepreneurial spirit has been damped in the last 100 years. What if the Chinese were to spend on some Venture Capital funds! What if China were to kickstart their fast-moving consumer goods industry by buying P&G!

The Chinese need to acquire some big ticket assets - for about US$1.5 trillion and bring down their reserves to US$0.5 trillion. This will reduce US outstanding debt, create demand for US stocks, lift the Dow Jones, and create value for the dollar. As I see it this is the only way that the Chinese can cash in their chips. The House will not let them take it away any other way.

And then the Chinese are free to join any currency bloc - or even initiate one!