. . .
A “International March Madness, I say. Tracking the bracket was an all-consuming delight. Looks like the final score is a soccer score which is appropriate for an international vote after weeks of intense hardball lobbying. But not as close as the likely score on the hardwood tonight.”
B “1 to 0 is a soccer score, 40 to 0 is not a soccer score or a basketball score or a hardball score, it is a resounding shutout. The Chinese AIIB Selection Committee is still selecting the Final Forty. They say the Prospective Founding Members are in Division I and the Regular Members are in Division II.”
A “The first plebiscite on a nation by other nations in history. The world is weary of American hegemony.”
B “And arrogance and dominance.”
A “The vote was not an anonymous voice vote, the world spoke with one voice. The roll call is deafening.”
B “The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) do not say ‘American Bank’. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) does not say ‘Japan Bank’. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) does not say ‘Chinese Bank’. But it is clear what they say.”
A “A pound to the penny that Great Britain and the City of London know a great deal and are quickly angling to be the player settling international accounts in lieu of the U.S.-dominated SWIFT. The ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and Great Britain is . . . so special.”
B “Germany, France and Italy joined Britain and joined. The ANZUS countries of Australia and New Zealand. The Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.”
A “Belgium of the BeNeLux countries did not submit an application although the Netherlands and Luxembourg did.”
B “The three neutral ‘S’ countries during World War II including Sweden, Spain and the world’s banker Switzerland.”
A “The BRICS including Brazil, Russia, India and perforce China, yet not South Africa apparently.”
B “South Korea is on board but North Korea is jettisoned.”
A “Vietnam and Iran and Saudi Arabia but not Afghanistan.”
B “The PIiIGS are coming around including Portugal, Italy as noted, Iceland, possibly Ireland in the near future, and of course as noted Spain. Greece is preoccupied.”
A “Taiwan. Taiwan. China’s enemy is China’s friend.”
B “Hong Kong. Even Hong Kong. China’s other enemy is China’s friend.”
A “Tibet. Still not free.”
B “Israel. Even Israel. Oddly Israel. America’s friend is America’s adversary China’s friend.”
A “They say the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Is it commutative? The friend of my enemy is my enemy . . . or my friend?”
B “A friend without benefits who get benefits? It gets complicated. Canada and Japan deciding not to join are revealing.”
A “In contemporary culture, we are asked to ‘friend’ someone. Nations have interests not friends. Perhaps the United States needs to ask for other nations to ‘interest’ the U.S.”
B “But they are interested in other national interests.”
A “The Republicans in the U.S. oppose the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms and resist efforts to develop the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to substitute as the world’s reserve currency in lieu of the U.S. petrodollar. The AIIB will also settle accounts using something other than the SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, another institution dominated by the United States. The world is developing a workaround and trying to quarantine the toxins in the current financial system.”
B “The world is seeking free, fair and honest financial settlements.”
A “The U.S. thought it could take their ball and go home, but instead of the world blowing up, the world blew up another ball.”
. . .
A “Remember when we noted the ‘three principle products’ of a country in school. In the past, the U.S. exported the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Peace Corps. Today, the United States exports phony dollars, toxic inflation and endless wars.”
B “Many countries just are not interested in participating in the American Dream any longer. However, the vote is less one of disdain for the U.S. than fear if the current contagion is not corralled.”
. . .
A “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
B “And the U.S. did not join.”
A “The percolating world instability will lead to money flowing into the dollar for some time until the world refuses to import American dollars and American inflation and dooms the dollar. The Supernova dollar. The big bet is predicting the peak.”
B “China is positioned to buy gold priced artificially low by the West and then revalue the gold and demand that the yellow stuff be included in the SDR, directly or indirectly.”
. . .
A “I am betting dollars to doughnuts the Chinese will display the same arrogance and dominance in operating their racket.”
B “The same incompetence and decadence. The same new, same new, as they say.”
. . .
A “And the changes will not even be understood by Americans even after the full force of the changes washed ashore. Except when they go to buy a plasma tv and scope out the sticker.”
. . .
[See some background discussion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Infrastructure_Investment_Bank and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Worldwide_Interbank_Financial_Telecommunication.%5D
Bumper stickers of the week:
The central message of the Twentieth Century is that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion. Neither “I” in AIIB stands for ‘Invasion’. The United States still embraces the old paradigm of “bomb and kill and kill and bomb.” Diplomacy is war carried on by other means.
Copies of the debate in each country discussing whether to join the AIIB are a rich trove of insight.