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The Laboratoire européen d'Anticipation Politique Europe 2020 (LEAP/E2020) now estimates to over 80% the probability that the week of March 20-26, 2006 will be the beginning of the most significant political crisis the world has known since the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, together with an economic and financial crisis of a scope comparable with that of 1929. This last week of March 2006 will be the turning-point of a number of critical developments, resulting in an acceleration of all the factors leading to a major crisis, disregard any American or Israeli military intervention against Iran. In case such an intervention is conducted, the probability of a major crisis to start rises up to 100%, according to LEAP/E2020.

An Alarm based on 2 verifiable events
The announcement of this crisis results from the analysis of decisions taken by the two key-actors of the main on-going international crisis, i.e. the United States and Iran:

--> 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 1.

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
LEAP/E2020's researchers and analysts thus identified 7 convergent crises that the American and Iranian decisions coming into effect during the last week of March 2006, will catalyse and turn into a total crisis, affecting the whole planet in the political, economic and financial fields, as well as in the military field most probably too:

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"
However, and in order not to limit this information to decision makers solely, LEAP/E2020 has decided to circulate widely this official statement together with the following series of arguments resulting from work conducted.
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 2. 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 end of the publication by the American Federal Reserve of the M3 monetary aggregate (and that of other components) 3 , a decision vehemently criticized by the community of economists and financial analysts, will have as a consequence to lose transparency on the evolution of the amount of Dollars in circulation worldwide. For some months already, M3 has significantly increased (indicating that « money printing » has already speeded up in Washington), knowing that the new President of the US Federal Reserve, Matt Bernanke, is a self-acknowledged fan of « money printing » 4. Considering that a strong fall of the Dollar would probably result in a massive sale of the US Treasury Bonds held in Asia, in Europe and in the oil-producing countries, LEAP/E2020 estimates that the American decision to stop publishing M3 aims at hiding as long as possible two US decisions, partly imposed by the political and economic choices made these last years 5:

. 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"
Iran holds some significant geo-strategic assets in the current crisis, such as its ability to intervene easily and with a major impact on the oil provisioning of Asia and Europe (by blocking the Strait of Ormuz), on the conflicts in progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the possible recourse to international terrorism. But besides these aspects, the growing distrust towards Washington creates a particularly problematic situation. Far from calming both Asian and European fears concerning the accession of Iran to the statute of nuclear power, a military intervention against Iran would result in an quasi-immediate dissociation of the European public opinions 6 which, in a context where Washington has lost its credibility in handling properly this type of case since the invasion of Iraq, will prevent the European governments from making any thing else than follow their public opinions. In parallel, the rising cost of oil which would follow such an intervention will lead Asian countries, China first and foremost, to oppose this option, thus forcing the United States (or Israel) to intervene on their own, without UN guarantee, therefore adding a severe military and diplomatic crisis to the economic and financial crisis.

Relevant factors of the American economic crisis
LEAP/E2020 anticipate that these two non-official decisions will involve the United States and the world in a monetary, financial, and soon economic crisis without precedent on a planetary scale. The ˜monetarisation' of the US debt is indeed a very technical term describing a catastrophically simple reality: the United States undertake not to refund their debt, or more exactly to refund it in "monkey currency". LEAP/E2020 also anticipate that the process will accelerate at the end of March, in coincidence with the launching of the Iranian Oil Bourse, which can only precipitate the sales of US Treasury Bonds by their non-American holders.

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?

Moreover, in order to try to avoid the explosion of the "real-estate bubble" on which rests the US household consumption, and at a time when the US saving rate has become negative for the first time since 1932 and 1933 (in the middle of the "Great Depression"), the Bush administration, in partnership with the new owner of the US Federal Reserve and a follower of this monetary approach, will flood the US market of liquidities.

Some anticipated effects of this systemic rupture
According to LEAP/E2020, the non-accidental conjunction of the Iranian and American decisions, is a decisive stage in the release of a systemic crisis marking the end of the international order set up after World War II, and will be characterised between the end of March and the end of the year 2006 by a plunge in the dollar (possibly down to 1 Euro = 1,70 US Dollars in 2007) putting an immense upward pressure on the Euro, a significant rise of the oil price (over 100$ per barrel), an aggravation of the American and British military situations in the Middle East, a US budgetary, financial and economic crisis comparable in scope with the 1929 crisis, very serious economic and financial consequences for Asia in particular (namely China) but also for the United Kingdom 8, a sudden stop in the economic process of globalisation, a collapse of the transatlantic axis leading to a general increase of all the domestic and external political dangers all over the world.

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
For companies and governments - European ones in particular - LEAP/E2020 has developed in its confidential letter – the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin -, and in particular in the next issue, a series of strategic and operational recommendations which, if integrated in today's decision-making processes, can contribute to soften significantly the "monetary, financial and economic tsunami" which will break on the planet at the end of next month. To use a simple image – by the way, one used in the political anticipation scenario « USA 2010 » 9 -, the impact of the events of the last week of March 2006 on the "Western World" we have known since 1945 will be comparable to the impact of the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 on the "Soviet Block".

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.
Vita vya panzi (ni) furaha ya kunguru. War among grasshoppers delights the crow. Msema kweli hana wajoli. The speaker of truth has few friends. ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._ `6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`) (_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-' _..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,' (((' (((-((('' (((( Noah The African in America
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Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Interesting article.Shows you why the middle east is such a big part of the so called war on terror. It always boils down to who will control the resources.I always questioned how long the US would be able to maintain its only Superpower status

This is true. I have been attempting to get people to prepare for serious economic crisis for about 2 years now. For black folks we need to be ahead of the curve and start doing things now to protect our families from the finacial fallout. Families are going to have to come together and pool resources. I really don't see anyway out of this mess. The only question for me is whether the correction will be abrupt or gradual. I can only pray that it will be gradual as I am not yet fully prepared for an economic depression.
The U.S. is still trying to flex its muscle towards Iran while China and Russia are using the U.S. arogance to their advantage.

China-Iran Energy Talks
Complicate Nuclear Standoff
February 17, 2006; Page A6
China and Iran are trying to conclude a multibillion-dollar oil-and-gas deal in coming weeks, underscoring how China's appetite for energy could undermine Washington's efforts to isolate Iran.

An agreement would seal a memorandum of understanding signed by China and Iran in October 2004. Under its terms, Iran would allow China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, to develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field in exchange for agreeing to buy 10 million tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas annually for 25 years.

Iranian oil-ministry officials familiar with the China talks said the country is trying to conclude any deals before potential sanctions are imposed on Iran for its nuclear ambitions. In a statement issued yesterday, the Iranian Embassy said both Iran and China will "... follow the agreements and contracts and keep in touch through bilateral-exchange delegations in order to fulfill the agreements on energy ..."

A Chinese delegation of top economic-policy makers from the National Development and Reform Commission is planning a trip to Iran, possibly as early as next month, an official with the commission's foreign-affairs department said yesterday. Final dates for the trip haven't been set yet, but negotiations on the energy deal are on the agenda, the official confirmed.

The deal could be worth tens of billions of dollars. The field is expected to produce about 300,000 barrels of oil a day at its peak. It is unclear if those terms have changed. Sinopec Group is the state-owned parent company of Hong Kong-listed Sinopec Corp.

The overseas subsidiary of India's state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. would also be a minority partner in the Iran deal, with a 20% stake in the project. India and China recently said they would team up to bid for selected energy assets abroad in an effort to cut the cost of feeding their oil-guzzling economies. But this Iran deal preceded that agreement, and the Indian company isn't directly involved in the current talks.

The signing comes as Iran says it has restarted small-scale enrichment of uranium despite international efforts to stop it. Many countries fear Iran could use the fuel to build nuclear weapons. Iran says it intends to develop only nuclear-power plants. The U.S. has been pressuring its allies to isolate Iran and has threatened sanctions.

U.S. and European diplomats with deep involvement in the Iran standoff said they were surprised Iran and China were pushing ahead with the energy talks. One European diplomat said yesterday that the situation shows how complicated it is to deal with Iran, and that even within governments concerned about Iran there are different constituencies with different priorities.

Indeed, China also has encouraged Iran to drop its nuclear activities and has endorsed diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff. But Beijing appears willing to put those concerns aside to secure more energy. China has struck oil deals with other countries the U.S. deems unfriendly, including Sudan and Syria.

One Iranian oil-ministry official said the deal is progressing, though its timing remains unclear.

Keun-Wook Paik, an energy researcher at Chatham House, a think tank in London, said Iran is trying to deliver a message to the U.S. and China. "The message to Washington is that Iran still has allies," Mr. Keun-Wook said. "And Iran wants China to know: 'We need you, we know what you're looking for -- you're desperate for oil and natural gas, why not go for our mutual benefit?'"

With its economy expected to grow roughly 9% this year as millions of Chinese buy homes and cars, China is already the world's second-biggest consumer of oil, after the U.S. The nation is expected to need as much as 7% more oil this year than last, and about 40% of that will be met from imports. Iran is already among China's top suppliers.

Officials from Sinopec declined to answer questions about the deal yesterday. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which has offered technical advice to Sinopec on the project, said that it remains interested in participating in the future development of Yadavaran.

Since the deal was initiated two years ago, both oil and natural-gas prices have continued to rise. Under the preliminary 2004 agreement, Iran would give the Chinese company a 51% stake in the oil field, ONGC would get a 20% stake and the rest would be owned by National Iranian Oil.

Some people still will not believe until they see it happening,.....March 21st shall be quite interesting.
An article before the invasion of Iraq made the argument that the US was intent on war with Iraq b/c Saddam was convincing the members of OPEC to switch to the euro instead of the dollar as the currency of choice. Further, the WTO/IMF has previously warned that the US trade deficit will be a catastrophe for the economy unless the current administration makes major changes.

Things just get curiouser and curiouser... without a contingency plan in the case of economic collapse, most people will be hard pressed to even keep their heads above water.
This is serious stuff folks. Why would a nation stop publishing the total amount of money in circulation? One reason is that it wants to hide the fact that it is simply printing money to cover its debts, as opposed to paying its debts with tangible assets. Note also that this was not even reported in the news. Moreover, why does it make sense to have foreign banks holding much of the American debt? The answer is that when the default of the debt happens, it will not be American banks in trouble but foreign banks. Furthermore, lets not forget what recently happened in regards to the changes in bankruptcy Laws. The FED and the American Banking system knows what's going on down the road and are covering their azzes.
Originally posted by Noah The African:
This is serious stuff folks. Why would a nation stop publishing the total amount of money in circulation? One reason is that it wants to hide the fact that it is simply printing money to cover its debts, as opposed to paying its debts with tangible assets. Note also that this was not even reported in the news. Moreover, why does it make sense to have foreign banks holding much of the American debt? The answer is that when the default of the debt happens, it will not be American banks in trouble but foreign banks. Furthermore, lets not forget what recently happened in regards to the changes in bankruptcy Laws. The FED and the American Banking system knows what's going on down the road and are covering their azzes.

This is one of the many reasons that central. government controlled banking should have been snuffed out early on in the nation's history.

Also, allowing the government to get off of the gold standard gave them god-like control over our finances. For instance, if they want to take your money to shoot an Arab, buy someone's viagra, or pay for a bureaucrat's Starbucks they can either tax you directly or just print more money - a method which taxes your savings indirectly.

The wars and the welfare state will come to roost sooner or later if there is no change in direction.

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