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March 10, 2022 | Nick Giambruno: Why US Threats Against Russian Gold Reserves Mean A Monetary Reset Is Imminent

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What to Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004, sold it in 2022, and now publishes John Rubino’s Substack newsletter.

From International Man:

“It’s possible to have more than one reserve currency.”

These are the recent words of Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

It’s a stunning admission from the one person who has the most control over the US dollar, the current world reserve currency.

It would be as ridiculous as Mike Tyson saying that it’s possible to have more than one heavyweight champion.

In other words, the jig is up.

Not even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve can go along with the farce of maintaining the dollar’s supremacy anymore… and neither should you. (This has profound consequences for you and your savings, more on that in a moment.)

Powell’s comments occur in the context of what could prove to be one of the most short-sighted and self-destructive acts in history… the US government’s economic war against Russia.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US government has launched its most aggressive sanctions campaign ever.

Exceeding even Iran and North Korea, Russia is now the most sanctioned nation in the world.

“This is financial nuclear war and the largest sanctions event in history,” said Peter Piatetsky, a former Treasury Department official.

He went on to say, “Russia went from being part of the global economy to the single largest target of global sanctions and a financial pariah in less than two weeks.”

Here’s a brief rundown of what has happened.

The US and European governments froze the US dollar and euro reserves of Russia—the accumulated savings of the nation—worth around $300 billion.

Russian banks have been kicked out of SWIFT, the system to send international wire transfers.

A stampede of Western companies have left Russia and are banning average Russian citizens from using their platforms.

Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase blocked over 25,000 accounts linked to Russia.

Visa, MasterCard, and American Express have cut off Russia from their networks.

Even formerly neutral Switzerland joined the orgy of sanctions.

These are just a few examples of how Russia is being cut off from the US-dominated global financial system.

Of course, all this comes as no surprise to the Russians. They have prepared for this exact outcome for many years together with China. The Chinese Communist Party understands that if the US can take down Putin, they will be next. That’s why the Chinese are unlikely to abandon their strategic partnership with Russia.

So, instead of capitulating to US pressure, Russia immediately implemented alternatives to bypass the US dollar and US-controlled financial institutions.

Russia and China have alternatives to SWIFT to facilitate international financial transactions.

After US credit card companies blacklisted anything to do with Russia from their systems, Russian banks seamlessly switched much of their payment processing to China UnionPay.

UnionPay is China’s alternative global payment processing network.

It works just like Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, except it doesn’t depend on the US government’s good graces. It can operate independently of the US financial system.

China UnionPay is growing rapidly worldwide. Merchants and ATMs in over 140 countries accept it. It’s now one of the largest payment processors in the world.

Further, China, India, Iran, and Turkey, among other countries, announced, or already are, doing business with Russia in their local currencies instead of the US dollar. These countries represent a market of over three billion people that no longer need to use the US dollar to trade with one another.

All of this is a big problem for the US government, which reaps an enormous amount of power because the US dollar is the world’s premier reserve currency. It allows the US to print fake money out of thin air and export it to the rest of the world for real goods and services—a privilege no other country has.

It also gives Uncle Sam tremendous leverage to pressure people and businesses alike… but only if it is not clumsily used as a blunt instrument that instead fosters the development of alternatives. But that’s precisely what is happening.

By isolating Russia and its trading partners, the US government incentivizes almost half of mankind to find alternatives to the dollar.

In other words, they are undermining their own racket and promoting de-dollarization on an unprecedented scale.

When relatively small countries like North Korea, Syria, and Iran are cut off from the dollar, it’s one thing. However, it’s a different dynamic when the billions of people represented by Russia, China, and their friends stop using the dollar.

Here’s the bottom line.

These historical events are unfolding rapidly and could soon reach a tipping point.

Recent developments in the gold market are the giant flashing red sign that something big could be imminent.

As part of their strategy to insulate themselves from US sanctions, Russia has accumulated over 2,300 tonnes—or nearly 74 million troy ounces—of gold, one of the largest stashes in the world.

All of that gold—worth over $140 billion as of writing—is held in Russia, which means the US cannot touch it short of a military invasion.

In addition, the gold mining industry in Russia makes up around 10% of global output or approximately $20 billion per year. Most of that gold finds its way into the Russian government’s treasury.

Russia’s gold is a big deal because it gives them access to an apolitical neutral form of money with no counterparty risk.

Remember, gold has been mankind’s most enduring form of money for over 2,500 years because of unique characteristics that make it suitable to store and exchange value.

Gold is durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, scarce, and most important, it’s the “hardest” of all commodities.

In other words, gold is the one commodity that is the “hardest to produce” (relative to existing stockpiles) and, therefore, the most resistant to inflation.

That’s why gold represents a genuine monetary alternative to the US dollar, and Russia has a lot of it.

Russia can use that gold to engage in international trade and perhaps back the ruble.

Russia’s gold—along with China’s—could form the foundation of a new monetary system outside of the control of the US.

Such moves would be the final nail in the coffin of dollar dominance, and recent events suggest they could be imminent.

It seems that the US and their allies sense that Russia is about to make a move in this area. It would be a logical next step for Russia because they have already been cut off from the Western financial systems and had hundreds of billions in funds frozen.

In other words, Russia has nothing to lose and everything to gain by playing the gold card.

It would seem the US and its allies know this, which is why they have taken unprecedented measures to try to target Russia’s gold reserves.

Recently, they have kicked Russia out of the London Bullion Market Association. Also, a group of US senators introduced a bill that aims to sanction anyone buying or selling Russian gold.

Those measures will have little effect on Russia’s ability to interact with the enormous Asian and Middle Eastern markets, which are less likely to follow unilateral US sanctions.

In any case, it is clear that the US dollar’s days of unchallenged dominance are quickly coming to an end—something even the Fed Chairman openly admits.

That means we are likely on the cusp of a historic financial earthquake…

One that could alter that direction of the US forever and mark the biggest economic event of our lifetimes.

The moves to target Russia’s gold reserves—and the surging gold price—suggest it could be imminent.

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March 10th, 2022

Posted In: John Rubino Substack

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