LEAP/Europe2020 Alert / Global systemic rupture – March 20-26, 2006: Iran/USA – Release of global world crisis
An Alarm based on 2 verifiable events
–> on the one hand there is the Iranian decision of opening the first oil bourse priced in Euros on March 20th, 2006 in Teheran, available to all oil producers of the region ;
–> on the other hand, there is the decision of the American Federal Reserve to stop publishing M3 figures (the most reliable indicator on the amount of dollars circulating in the world) from March 23, 2006 onward .
These two decisions constitute altogether the indicators, the causes and the consequences of the historical transition in progress between the order created after World War II and the new international equilibrium in gestation since the collapse of the USSR. Their magnitude as much as their simultaneity will catalyse all the tensions, weaknesses and imbalances accumulated since more than a decade throughout the international system.
A world crisis declined in 7 sector-based crises
1. Crisis of confidence in the Dollar
2. Crisis of US financial imbalances
3. Oil crisis
4. Crisis of the American leadership
5. Crisis of the Arabo-Muslim world
6. Global governance crisis
7. European governance crisis
The entire process of anticipation of this crisis will be described in detail in the coming issues of LEAP/E2020’s confidential letter – the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, and in particular in the 2nd issue to be released on February 16, 2006. These coming issues will present the detailed analysis of each of the 7 crises, together with a large set of recommendations intended for various categories of players (governments and companies, namely), as well as with a number of operational and strategic advices for the European Union.
Decoding of the event “Creation of the Iranian Oil Bourse priced in Euros”
Iran’s opening of an Oil Bourse priced in Euros at the end of March 2006 will be the end of the monopoly of the Dollar on the global oil market. The immediate result is likely to upset the international currency market as producing countries will be able to charge their production in Euros also. In parallel, European countries in particular will be able to buy oil directly in their own currency without going though the Dollar. Concretely speaking, in both cases this means that a lesser number of economic actors will need a lesser number of Dollars . This double development will thus head to the same direction, i.e. a very significant reduction of the importance of the Dollar as the international reserve currency, and therefore a significant and sustainable weakening of the American currency, in particular compared to the Euro. The most conservative evaluations give €1 to $1,30 US Dollar by the end of 2006. But if the crisis reaches the scope anticipated by LEAP/E2020, estimates of €1 for $1,70 in 2007 are no longer unrealistic.
Decoding of the event “End of publication of the M3 macro-economic indicator”
. the ‘monetarisation’ of the US debt
. the launch of a monetary policy to support US economic activity.
… two policies to be implemented until at least the October 2006 « mid-term » elections, in order to prevent the Republican Party from being sent in reeling.
This M3-related decision also illustrates the incapacity of the US and international monetary and financial authorities put in a situation where they will in the end prefer to remove the indicator rather than try to act on the reality.
Decoding of the aggravating factor “The military intervention against Iran”
Relevant factors of the American economic crisis
In this perspective, it is useful to contemplate the following information 7: the share of the debt of the US government owned by US banks fell down to 1,7% in 2004, as opposed to 18% in 1982. In parallel, the share of this same debt owned by foreign operators went from 17% in 1982 up to 49% in 2004.
–> Question: How comes that US banks got rid of almost all their share of the US national debt over the last years?
Some anticipated effects of this systemic rupture
For individual dollar-holders, as for trans-national corporations or political and administrative decision makers, the consequences of this last week of March 2006 will be crucial. These consequences require some difficult decisions to be made as soon as possible (crisis anticipation is always a complex process since it relies on a bet) because once the crisis begins, the stampede starts and all those who chose to wait lose.
For private individuals, the choice is clear: the US Dollar no longer is a “refuge” currency. The rising-cost of gold over the last year shows that many people have already anticipated this trend of the US currency.
Anticipating… or being swept away by the winds of history
If this Alarm is so precise, it is that LEAP/E2020’s analyses concluded that all possible scenarios now lead to one single result: we collectively approach a “historical node” which is henceforth inevitable whatever the action of international or national actors. At this stage, only a direct and immediate action on the part of the US administration aimed at preventing a military confrontation with Iran on the one hand, and at giving up the idea to monetarise the US foreign debt on the other hand, could change the course of events. For LEAP/E2020 it is obvious that not only such actions will not be initiated by the current leaders in Washington, but that on the contrary they have already chosen “to force the destiny” by shirking their economic and financial problems at the expense of the rest of the world. European governments in particular should draw very quickly all the conclusions from this fact.
For information, LEAP/E2020’s original method of political anticipation has allowed several of its experts to anticipate (and publish) in particular : in 1988, the pproaching end of the Iron Curtain; in 1997, the progressive collapse in capacity of action and democratic legitimacy of the European institutional system; in 2002, the US being stuck in Iraq’s quagmire and above all the sustainable collapse of US international credibility; in 2003, the failure of the referenda on the European Constitution. Its methodology of anticipation of “systemic ruptures” now being well established, it is our duty as researchers and citizens to share it with the citizens and the European decision makers; especially because for individual or collective, private or public players, it is still time to undertake measures in order to reduce significantly the impact of this crisis on their positions whether these are economic, political or financial.
LEAP/E2020’s complete analysis, as well as its strategic and operational recommendations intended for the private and public actors, will be detailed in the next issues of the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, and more particularly in the econd one (issued February 16th, 2006).
1. These decisions were made a few months ago already:
. the information on the creation by the Iranian government of an oil bourse priced in Euros first appeared in Summer 2004 in the specialised press.
. the Federal Reserve announced on November 10, 2005 that it would cease publishing the information concerning M3 from March 23, 2006 onward
2. By examining Table 13B of the December 2005 Securities Statistics of the Bank for International Settlements entitled International Bonds and Notes (in billions of US dollars), by currency ), one can notice that at the end of 2004 (China not-included), 37.0% of the international financial assets were labelled in USD vs 46,8% in Euros ; while in 2000, the proportion was contrary with 49,6% labelled in USD for 30,1% only in Euros. It indicates that the March 2006 decisions will most probably accelerate the trend of exit-strategy from the dollar.
3. Monetary aggregates (M1, M2, M3, M4) are statistical economic indicators. M0 is the value of all currency – here the dollar – that exists in actual bank notes and coins. M1 is M0 + checking accounts of this currency. M2 is M1 + money market accounts and Certificates of Deposits (CD) under $100,000. M3 is M2 + all larger holdings in the dollar (Eurodollar reserves, larger instruments and most non-European nations’ reserve holdings) of $100,000 and more. The key point here is that when the Fed stops reporting M3, the entire world will lose transparency on the value of reserve holdings in dollars by other nations and major financial institutions.
4. See his eloquent speech on these aspects before the National Economists Club, Washington DC, November 21, 2002
5. It should be noticed that the upward trend of the Dollar in 2005 was mostly the result of an interest rate differential which was favourable for the US Dollar, and of the “tax break on foreign earnings” Law (only valid for 1 year) which brought back to the US over $200 billion in the course of 2005.
(source : CNNmoney.com)
6. As regards Europe, LEAP/E2020 wishes to underline that European governments are no longer in line with their opinions concerning the major topics, and in particular concerning the European collective interest. The January 2006 GlobalEurometre clearly highlighted the situation with a Tide-Legitimacy Indicator of 8% (showing that 92% of the panel consider that EU leaders no longer represent their collective interests) and a Tide-Action Indicator of 24% (showing that less than a quarter of the panel thinks EU leaders are capable of translating their own decisions into concrete actions). According to LEAP/E2020, public declarations of support to Washington coming from Paris, Berlin or London, should not hide the fact that the Europeans will quickly dissociate from the US in case of military attack (the GlobalEurometre is a monthly European opinion indicator publishing in the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin 3 figures out of which 2 are public).
7. Source : Bond Market Association, Holders of Treasury Securities: Estimated Ownership of U.S. Public Debt Securities
8. The United Kingdom indeed owns close to 3,000 billion $ of credits, that is almost three times what countries such as France or Japan hold. (source Bank of International Settlements, Table 9A, Consolidated Claims of Reporting Banks on Individual Countries )
9. Cf. GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin N°1 (January 2006)