Beijing’s Running Dogs in Australia: Beijing Pressures Chinese Media in Australia to Parrot the Official Line

Beijing’s Running Dogs in Australia: Beijing Pressures Chinese Media in Australia to Parrot the Official Line, by Yan Xia.

As the editor of an independent Chinese-language media company in Australia, I know firsthand the pressure Beijing brings to bear on outfits that do not parrot the official line. For us it has meant intimidated advertisers and lost revenue. For many it amounts to a systematic brainwashing.

Our sales manager pulled me aside with a worried look and more bad news. “They are being harassed by the Ministry of State Security,” he said of the Beijing-based immigration agency that has been advertising in the Chinese-language media we produce here in Australia. My heart sank. Yet another long-term customer gone. …

Our lost client illustrates but one of the mounting pressures faced by independent Chinese media in Australia. Tensions have heightened over recent months, with Australia’s Chinese media under pressure to support President Xi Jinping and Beijing’s foreign policy. That pressure is part of China’s exercise in “soft power”. …

Do we kowtow to the Chinese government, like so many of our counterparts? Do we fall mute on matters that would otherwise prove detrimental to our commercial interests? How, most of all, do we keep our journalistic integrity intact while trying to reach the many of our readers whose pro-China political views remain staunch, despite their extended time overseas?

How Beijing exerts control in Australia:

As Beijing’s soft power grows, increasing numbers of Australian politicians, Chinese community groups and Chinese media companies are becoming more reliant on commercial and political ties with China. Thus, news that touts pro-China views and agendas is becoming ever more pervasive among the local “mainstream” Chinese news sources. …

The prevailing pro-China sentiment is rooted in Communist culture and ideology that have been relentlessly instilled over decades. State-run mouthpieces, such as XinHua News, perpetually propagate the notion to overseas Chinese that “without your country, you are nothing”. This gives rise to the conviction that, regardless of any foreign citizenship, expatriates cannot divorce themselves from the blood that runs in their veins. Hence, if China is not strong, expatriates are nothing in the eyes of their adopted countries and countrymen. …

Many Chinese are also afflicted with the mentality of moral equivalence which argues that  “China is lacking in many respects, but the West isn’t any better.” This nationalistic sentiment is so firmly entrenched many Chinese are extremely averse to criticism of their country. Any media or journalist that is critical of the Chinese government is labeled as “anti-China”. This is in stark contrast with the West, where criticism of the government is natural and normal. … The Chinese government’s growing influence on local Chinese language media reinforces viewpoints that become even more entrenched over time, making it more difficult for Chinese readers to accept alternative perspectives.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Aboriginal Australians are Earth’s oldest civilization: DNA study

Aboriginal Australians are Earth’s oldest civilization: DNA study, by Emiko Jozuka on CNN (very PC). It is stretching the meaning of the word “civilization” to apply it to Aboriginal culture, but this seems to be the latest push by the PC.

“We were trying to break down the distinction between scientists and indigenous people,” added [David Lambert, study co-author and evolutionary biologist at Griffith University], who asserted the importance of indigenous communities playing an active role in research about themselves.

Oh, sounds very trendy. But why? It’s useful to have distinctions between completely different things, which is why humans make them. Lots of them, all the time.

The Church of England now has no place for believers in the traditional family

The Church of England now has no place for believers in the traditional family, by Jane Kelly.

Being a member of the Church of England is to belong to a strange club, or so it seems to me. All the rules have changed since I joined as an infant…

Like most persons of the liberal Left [the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby,] is keen to eradicate the last vestiges of the evil Victorian age. Growing up in the 1960s I continually heard, particularly from the BBC, that the era of unparalleled prosperity which followed the Battle of Waterloo was in fact a shameful time of destructive imperialism, racism, misogyny, hypocrisy, poverty, ugly architecture, repression and stodgy food. …

In a sermon to the Mother’s Union in Winchester Cathedral, to celebrate 140 years of their support for motherhood, apple pie and Christian family life, he told them that gay marriage is now a reality “whether we like it or not.” … [The effect was to] to remind them that a Victorian golden age of traditional family values was only a sad “myth.”

What are those Victorian family values? One can hardly remember, but if they were anything to do with the marriage of a man and a woman, and if the man had any particular authority in the home, they are best buried and forgotten. He didn’t need to say any of that but advised them to face up to the, “reality of divorce, cohabitation and gay marriage in the 21st century.”

The dear Archbishop has no idea and no future:

He is leading a church which is rapidly and absurdly losing its way.

I realised the extent of this blind alley when I attended a debate in the University Church in Oxford two years ago, entitled, “the future of the church of England.” I thought this would be about tackling the the drastic decline in church numbers … This “Whither the Church” gathering turned out to be all about gay rights, or what was perceived to be the lack of them. In July 2015, it was revealed that the church had decided to spend over a quarter of a million pounds on retreats to discuss homosexuality using “conflict resolution experts.” …

The gospels mentions conflict resolution experts all the time. Not.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The World is on the Edge of an Inflationary Black Hole

The World is on the Edge of an Inflationary Black Hole, by Egon von Greyerz. I’ve met Egon and was struck by how sensible he was and how well-informed about money matters. Swiss chap, though originally Swedish.

The world economy is now at its most dangerous point in history. In virtually every major country or region, there are problems of a magnitude which individually could trigger a collapse of the financial system. Because of the interconnectivity of the system, when the first domino starts falling, there is zero possibility to stop all the other unstable dominoes from crashing one after the other in quick succession.

The world is now staring down a deflationary black hole that is on the verge of sucking into it all global debt of $250 trillion plus unfunded liabilities and derivatives of another $2 quadrillion or so. That would be the end of the financial system as we know it. Governments and central bankers around the world are of course totally aware of this and are standing with their fingers ready to push the button for the biggest money printing bonanza that the world has ever experienced.

Deutsche Bank is worse than Lehman was in 2008.

Deutsche Bank, which is one of the biggest in the world, is valued at less than 1% of its asset value and it has derivatives which are standing at 20 times German GDP. The share price is telling us that DB is bust. And so are Greek banks, Italian as well as Spanish, Portuguese and French banks and many more.

Deutsche has now become front page news and its survival is now in jeopardy. It has total assets of EUR 1.9 trillion but a deposit base of only EUR 450 billion. This means that DB is totally dependent on short term loans to finance its massive balance sheet. That is extremely dangerous and the reason for Lehman’s demise. The pressure on DB is likely to increase in coming weeks.

Deutsche Bank vs Lehman

ECB money printing of €80 billion a month or €1 trillion per year is having no effect. Central banks are now pushing on a string. The bail out of Italy’s fourth largest bank Monte dei Paschi is failing. Germany is totally against the ECB stepping in and the Italian government doesn’t want to bail in the depositors. That would be a political disaster. Non-performing loans in Italy are 20% of assets and growing. It confirms my view that no debts, bank or sovereign will ever be repaid.

Egon is right about this, IMHO.

The news from around the world is just getting worse by the day. Japan’s Yen 80 trillion ($0.8T) printing programme is having no effect. Kuroda (Governor of BoJ) is totally lost. He is currently buying all the bonds that the Bank of Japan is issuing. The BoJ is a top 10 shareholder in 90% of Japanese stocks.

In other words, the Japanese central bank is already “printing” lots of money for the Japanese government and propping up the stock market (and that’s still not lowering the value of the yen compared to other paper currencies!).

Coming money printing will greatly exceed Weimar and Zimbabwe

Thus we are standing on the edge of a black hole that very easily could cause a deflationary implosion of all financial assets and all debt. No government is talking about this and no central banker dares to mention the seriousness of the present situation. The smallest final snowflake that can push the world over the edge and start the deflationary avalanche. It is really surprising that central banks dare to hold back on the biggest printing programme ever for so long. Because they only need to be a few seconds late and they will not be able to stop the collapse.

Let’s assume that central bank will intervene in time and print first tens of trillions and eventually hundreds or even quadrillions of dollars, euros, yen etc. We will then see a hyperinflationary period which will be bigger than both the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe for the simple reason that the figures involved now are so much greater.

A reminder of the context:

Evans - debt to gdp ratio, 2015

Throughout the western world, the big bubble in money manufacture started in 1982 and leveled off in the GFC, when governments had to step in to prevent collapse. This bubble was not a product of the market, but of government meddling with interest rates and loosening rules about creating new money.

Government action in lowering interest rates and a bit of printing since 2008 have kept the money supply from imploding back to its usual, much lower level — which would be very deflationary (the Great Depression would look like a picnic). Even more government interference in the market was required to prevent the inevitable consequence of its previous meddling.

Modern money is someone’s else debt, so the problem appears as if the world is also awash in debt. Governments hate deflation, so they will almost certainly try to print their way out of the crisis. It’s simply a matter of time — sooner or later a trigger like what appears to be happening with Deutsche Bank will kick it off.

By the way, we just had a record quarter at GoldNerds.

Pressure is building for Germany to show it’s ready to rescue Deutsche Bank

Pressure is building for Germany to show it’s ready to rescue Deutsche Bank, by Jeff Cox. Deutsche Bank (DB) is the biggest bank in Germany, and one of the world’s biggest banks. It’s has financial dealings such as derivatives totaling many tens of trillions with all the major banks in the western world, so it is key networked bank — much “too big too fail.” Yet, apparently it is failing. Too many of its loans are going sour. This souring started in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, has been glossed over by accounting legerdemain (like at many banks, DB is not unusual in this regard), but it cannot be hidden for much longer. The pressure for some governments to bail out DB are immense, as a failure could bring down the world financial system. DB is ten times bigger than Lehman, whose failure triggered the GFC (though of course it did not cause it).

German officials could be about to find themselves in an uncomfortable position: Being called on to show they’re ready to rescue a bank in a part of the world where such operations are considered taboo. …

But at a time when investors are fearing what the future holds for the highly leveraged institution, such news is enough to cause ripples. Shares tumbled more than 7 percent in mid-afternoon trading. The plunge took the broader market down as well.

Consequently, market talk intensified that it’s becoming time for the German government step in and assure investors that it will be at the ready to stabilize both Deutsche and the broader system — much along the lines of what U.S. officials had to do during the 2008 financial crisis. …

The situation conjured dark images of the 2008 financial crisis — with the important caveat that the overall risks are nowhere near as great now as they were then. … “Deutsche Bank is not Lehman in terms of the overall global risk, but the political situation is almost identical.” [Not too sure about that last bit. It sounds like happy-talk to calm the market.]

“The politicians in Germany aren’t in position right now to do anything ahead of the election,” he added. “The beast in the market, the serpent in the market, knows this, and the market will push and push and push until they break the politicians in Germany to come up with public funds.”

The Financial System Is On The Cusp Of Collapse, by Kranzler Research. Maybe, maybe not.

DB stock is now in a full panic sell-off as I write this.  It just hit another new all-time NYSE low on by the heaviest volume ever in the stock since its 2001 NYSE listing.  It’s currently down almost 10%.  No doubt the Central Banks will try to bounce it.

Deutsche Bank may well be the scapegoat this time around just like Lehman was the scapegoat in 2008. Central Banks in collusion can prevent just one bank from collapsing. It was the co-collapsing of AIG and Goldman Sachs that prompted then-Secretary of Treasury, ex-Goldman CEO Henry Paulson, to put in motion the bailout of the U.S. and European banking system. …

This is 2008 redux – only this time the damage inflicted by derivatives counterparties collapsing will be much worse because the size and scale of the problem is much larger. …

Make no mistake, DB is not the only big bank in trouble right now.  I have no doubt the phone wires between the U.S. and European Too Big To Fails are sizzling.

Greenpeace Protest Oil and Gas Exploration in Great Australian Bight

Greenpeace Protest Oil and Gas Exploration in Great Australian Bight, by Jaymez.

I have seen multitudes of posts from Greenpeace trying to drum up support, and donations of course, on the back of a protest against BP’s plans for exploration drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight. In their social media material they describe The Bight as ‘Unique,’ ‘Pristine,’ ‘Environmentally Crucial,’ and the latest, ‘home of the southern right whale.’

Firstly, the Great Australian Bight is no more, or less, environmentally important than any other coastline around the world. There is even less reason to consider any part it unique or special, because it is simply so large.

great_australian_bight_limits

Jaymez gets stuck into Greenpeace for their nonsense, in a Wentworth Report original. Read it all.

Charlotte Horror: How Trapped Drivers Pleaded with 911 to Rescue Them From Seething Mob

Charlotte Horror: How Trapped Drivers Pleaded with 911 to Rescue Them From Seething Mob, by Emily Zanotti.

Charlotte motorists were caught in a terrifying nightmare as rioters flooded onto I-85 and surrounded their cars during last week’s unrest– and many drivers pleaded with emergency services to rescue them from the demonstrators.

The city of Charlotte has released a number of 911 tapes, including calls made from gridlocked motorists on Charlotte streets who feared for their lives as protests over the death of Keith Scott moved to block highways going in and out of the city. Dozens of vehicles were stopped on I-85 and other major thoroughfares. According to some of the motorists trapped on the streets, protesters jumped on cars, mobbed trucks, and threw rocks.

“I’m trapped,” one motorist told the 911 dispatchers. “They’re all in the street … Oh my God, they’re coming!” Screams could be heard in the background, according to local media who reviewed the tapes. …

Even big rig truckers were unnerved by the melee, calling 911 to report that they were trapped in their trucks as looters opened their trailers and stole their cargo.  “They’re breaking into my truck, the mob out here,” one trucker told Charlotte police. “I can’t move. There’s a whole mob of people, I’m not kidding. Yep, they’ve taken everything. They’ve got the whole road blocked.” …

Truckers also reported that rioters had started fires on the highway. That made a getaway in the truck impossible, and leaving the truck on foot too dangerous.