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Issue #1171: The leverage is tilted

Issue #1171: The leverage is tilted

Feb 28, 2022
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #1171: The leverage is tilted

These tweets proved to be a bit controversial on the Internet today. I was called a "Putin apologist", "anti-American" and told that I don't really understand the meaning of the word "woke". All despite the fact that I tried to make it abundantly clear that my first tweet was not an endorsement of Russia or China but an observation highlighting the objective fact that Western nations have become insanely hubristic and complacent over the course of many decades.

As we discussed last week, a big part of the reason that Russia felt emboldened enough to attack Ukraine is because they have a lot of leverage over a number of countries who one would expect to come to the defense of Ukraine. Europe is almost wholly dependent on Russian natural gas and its byproducts to literally fuel its economy. Russia is also responsible for mining and exporting the majority of a number of rare earth metals that are used as raw materials for industrial purposes. Russia (and China) has parts of the world by the balls whether you like it or not.

This is the product of a multi-decade implementation of a plan to make themselves energy dependent while at the same time making the West energy dependent and slowly creating a new financial settlement system in parallel. They've done this successfully via a combination of taking advantage of the natural resources under their lands and using covert smear campaigns to discourage the West from doing the same in the name of "saving the environment". In 2022 this strategy is proving to put the West in a pretty precarious position. They are unable to provide direct military help to Ukraine because if they do there's a good chance they'd have their energy supply wiped out in a matter of weeks. Russia, knowing this to be the case, feels very comfortable invading Ukraine. The leverage is currently tilted in their favor.

On top of this, they have been working behind the scenes with China and other nations to begin de-dollarizing to avoid potential headaches that may stem from sanctions thrust on them by the Western world that target their financial system. This is something we here at the Bent have covered extensively throughout the first five years of writing this rag. Russia and China have been accumulating and hoarding gold. They have discussed and executed on settling commodities trades in their native currencies. And more recently, they have branched out to other BRIC nations and begun settling arms trade in their native currencies.

Now there are rumors that Russia and China are very close to rolling out their own ruble and gold-backed digital currencies they hope to begin forcing their counterparts in trade deals to begin using if they want to buy their goods. "But Uncle Marty, Russia's currency is collapsing and China is levered to the gills with bad debt." That doesn't really matter. As we mentioned earlier, Russia is basically in control of a large percentage of Europe's energy, which gives them insane amounts of leverage. And the whole world is drowning in debt and the West is pretty damn reliant on China's manufacturing sector as was made abundantly clear over the last two years. The West doesn't produce much of anything except for financial services that will be proven to be worth very little when the financial system breaks under the weight of its own bullshit. Russia and China have tangible assets that the world is dependent on. The West has fintech and social media apps that people won't give a fuck about if the world continues down the path of going to utter shit. Again, these autocratic regimes have us by the balls right now. Right now.

It doesn't have to be this way, however. The West is weak right now because it is attempting to play the central planning game and it is losing that game to Russia and China. Money printing is stoking inflation and eroding confidence in the dollar. Popular energy policy is making the West less energy secure. And ESG mandates are leading to a mass misallocation of capital that is wasting time, money, and intellectual capital that could be allocated toward more productive endeavors.

As I said last week, the leverage can be tilted back toward the West if and when it decides to leverage the natural resources it has at its hands. Russia may not have felt emboldened enough to invade Ukraine if it knew it didn't have leverage over Europe's energy supply. It's time to stop virtue signaling and attempting to make Woke Capital a thing and let the free market do its job of providing end consumers with the goods they need and want and not what some think-tank thinks is ideal. It's time to stop trying to compete with Russia and China in the realm of central planning and let emergent order return to the world.

I am not anti-American or anti-West. I am someone who likes to think he is looking at the world as objectively as possible and isn't afraid to highlight where we are falling short. From my perspective, we are falling very short of living up to the ideals of freedom and civil liberties. I would like that to change. It needs to change.

Luckily for us, we have a golden opportunity to completely shift the balance of leverage back in our favor by adjusting our energy policy to enable us to become as energy independent and secure as we could ever hope to be and by adopting a Bitcoin Standard. If Russia and China plan on rendering any financial sanctions meaningless by rolling out their own financial system that cares not about any sanctions from those who control SWIFT that will prove the dollar system isn't as iron clad as previously thought. That will have negative consequences on the confidence in the dollar system, which will incite other countries outside of Russia and China to begin seeking alternatives as well, which will further decay the strength of the dollar on the global stage. The bold (and most advantageous) move would be to counteract that by adopting a Bitcoin Standard and positioning oneself as a champion for a free and open monetary system in the Digital Age controlled by no country at all.

Let's see if we can make it happen. Believe it or not, I'm very confident that we will. This won't be an effort led by the federal government though. As I've said before, states will lead the way.

Final thought...

Vacation is over. Time to run.


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