Posted in News

Greenpeace Canada Co-Founder Admits “We Are Not In A Climate Crisis”

Greenpeace Canada Co-Founder Admits “We Are Not In A Climate Crisis”

Via American Greatness,

The co-founder of Greenpeace Canada told podcast host Dan Proft that “climate alarmism is 100% untrue.”

“They said it was the hottest year in the history of the earth the other day, and it’s not,” Moore told Proft on the “Counterculture” podcast.

“That’s just, period, a lie.”

“The whole climate alarmism – ‘climate catastrophe’ – is 100% untrue,” said Moore.

“We are not in a climate crisis.”

Moore told Proft that “there is nothing really that radical happening” with the climate, and it’s essential to “seek the truth” and “sort out what is true and what isn’t.”

This full interview is available on RumbleYouTube, and Spotify.

Moore is the co-founder of Greenpeace Canada and is currently directly of the CO2 Coalition, a non-partisan foundation that educates policy leaders and the public about the important contributions of carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy.

In 2013, Moore published Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout – The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist, which documents his 15 years with Greenpeace and outlines his vision for a sustainable future.

Proft launched “Counterculture” – American Greatness’ newest podcast — in September 2023. He also is the co-host of “Chicago’s Morning Answer” weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on AM 560 Chicago. A former Republican candidate for Illinois Governor, Proft attended Northwestern University and received his J.D. from Loyola University-Chicago.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 10/02/2023 – 03:30 


Posted in News

Excess Deaths From Cardiovascular Diseases Up 44% Last Year Among UK Citizens Aged 15-44: Report

Excess Deaths From Cardiovascular Diseases Up 44% Last Year Among UK Citizens Aged 15-44: Report

A new and disturbing analysis reveals that excess deaths from cardiovascular diseases have jumped in the UK over the past several years.

Using official government data for deaths in England and Wales between 2010 and 2022, former BlackRock portfolio manager Ed Dowd and his partners at Phinance Technologies found that excess death rates from cardiovascular diseases were up 13% in 2020, 30% in 2021, and 44% in 2022, which “point to a worrying picture of an even greater acceleration in coming years of deaths & disabilities.”

🚨🚨New Report: UK Death & Disability Analysis: Cardiovascular Disease, Ages 15-44

✅The anecdotal evidence observed in media has been confirmed by a strong statistical signal
✅Excess Death Rates from Cardiovascular diseases up 13% in 20, 30% in 21 & 44% in 22
✅Z-scores of…

— Edward Dowd (@DowdEdward) September 18, 2023

What’s more, they found that “deaths per year from cardiovascular diseases had been trending lower from 2010 to
2019, with a significant downward slope,” until 2020, when the trend reversed. They also found that in 2022, men began outpacing women in cardiovascular diseases.

Men & women were similar until 22 where men were 56% from trend while women were only 28%.

— Edward Dowd (@DowdEdward) September 18, 2023

The analysis also found that disabilities are skyrocketing.

The rise in excess disabilities from UK PIP data was twice the rate of excess deaths in 22 and disabilities are 4x deaths in 22.

Morbidity leads mortality.

From the Buergin Swiss Study for “Myocardial injury after Covid-19 mRNA-1273 booster vaccination” there was an incident…

— Edward Dowd (@DowdEdward) September 18, 2023

Dowd and co. conclude that: “When looking at excess deaths for cardiovascular diseases, the Z-score in 2020 was around 3, indicating that prior to the start of the vaccinations there was already a signal pointing to an increase in cardiovascular deaths. That trend however accelerated substantially in 2021 and 2022 where we observe Z-scores of around 7.5 and 10.5, respectively. These are extreme events that we believe need a thorough investigation.”

Tyler Durden
Mon, 10/02/2023 – 02:45 


Posted in News

German Mayor Call Concerns Over Child Safety “Unfounded” Amid Plans To Accomodate 80 Asylum-Seekers At A Primary School

German Mayor Call Concerns Over Child Safety “Unfounded” Amid Plans To Accomodate 80 Asylum-Seekers At A Primary School

Authored by Thomas Brooke via Remix News,

Outraged parents have condemned the local mayor’s decision to accommodate up to 80 asylum seekers in containers on the grounds of a primary school in the German town of Monheim am Rhein.

Dozens of local residents attended a recent question time of the local council to voice their displeasure over the controversial move proposed by Mayor Daniel Zimmerman’s administration and expressed their concerns for child safety, calling the plans both inappropriate and unacceptable.

Starting next spring, a cohort of migrants will reside in containers located on the school grounds, which are no longer used for educational purposes.

In response to the protestations of locals, the council cited economic factors as a primary reason for the move, insisting that the estimated €150,000 it would cost to convert the containers into housing was substantially lower than the cost of renting private accommodations, where around 80 percent of the migrants recently received by the municipality currently reside.

“We simply can’t keep up with renting anymore,” a city press spokesperson told parents at the meeting.

Concerned parents told the council meeting that the housing of traumatized refugees in the vicinity of young children was wholly irresponsible, and expressed worries of potential conflict between the new arrivals and their children including the danger of rape or abuse.

However, Zimmerman called these fears “unfounded” and insisted that the migrants are “people like you and me” and are not dangerous.

“The safety of our children is the primary goal – I personally guarantee that,” the local mayor assured parents.

He explained that with the municipality receiving significantly more refugees from Ukraine, Syria, and Afghanistan, private accommodation in Monheim has become saturated and the town is reaching its acceptance limits.

The council therefore needs to resort to alternative measures to accommodate further arrivals.

The mayor added that while he was open to discussing the matter further with concerned parents in the next few weeks, for instance at parent meetings, such correspondence will not change the city’s decision to repurpose the containers on the school grounds and considered the matter to be closed.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 10/02/2023 – 02:00 


Posted in News

The Mad Propaganda Push To Normalize War-Profiteering In Ukraine

The Mad Propaganda Push To Normalize War-Profiteering In Ukraine

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via,

There’s been an astonishingly brazen propaganda push to normalize war profiteering in Ukraine as Kyiv coordinates with the arms industry and western governments to convert the war-ravaged nation into a major domestic weapons manufacturer, thereby turning Ukrainians into proxies of the military industrial complex as well as the Pentagon.

At an event in Kyiv which hosted 250 “defense” industry corporations from 30 different countries on Friday, President Zelensky gave a speech urging war profiteers to open factories in Ukraine to cut out the middleman of securing and delivering so many weapons from abroad. This is an investment that the arms industry would ostensibly have plenty of time to set up, given that western officials are now going out of their way to communicate to the public that this war will stretch on for many more years to come.

Zelensky’s speech twice made use of the phrase “defense-industrial complex”, and used the phrase “arsenal of the free world” no fewer than three times.

“Ukraine is developing a special economic regime for the defense-industrial complex,” Zelensky said. “To give all the opportunities to realize their potential to every company that works for the sake of defense — in Ukraine and with Ukraine or that wants to come to Ukraine.”

“Right now, the most powerful military-industrial complexes are being determined, as are their priorities and the global standard of defense. All of this is being determined in Ukraine,” Zelensky tweeted with photos from the event.

We held the first Defense Industries Forum in Ukraine gathering 252 leading defense companies from over 30 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia.

Right now, the most powerful military-industrial complexes are being determined, as are their priorities and the…

— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 30, 2023

This move has been accompanied in recent weeks by some of the most appalling mass media headlines that I have ever seen, all geared toward normalizing the military industrial complex in the eyes of the public.

In an amazingly awful Wall Street Journal op-ed titled titled “In Defense of the Defense Industry” and subtitled “Populists of the right and left attack U.S. companies that make weapons. Who do they think protects us?”, Future of Capitalism’s Ira Stoll argues that the military industrial complex is actually a wonderful thing we should all love and support.

“The weapons industry protects America and its allies, keeping us safe from ruthless enemies who would otherwise exterminate or enslave us,” Stoll writes. “Raytheon helps make weapons systems that defend Israeli civilians against attacks from Iran-backed terrorist groups. These include the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, SkyHunter interceptor systems and Tamir missiles. Raytheon also produces the Javelin antitank missile that Ukraine has used against Russian armor and the early-warning radars that would detect incoming missiles aimed at the U.S.”

Stoll does not name the alternate universe he is describing in which the US military is used to keep Americans safe rather than to advance imperial interests abroad.

This is the most Wall Street Journal op-ed in the history of Wall Street Journal op-eds.

— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) September 12, 2023

Another recent Wall Street Journal article titled “The War in Ukraine Is Also a Giant Arms Fair” and subtitled “Arms makers are getting orders for weapons being put to the test on the battlefield” glorifies the way war machinery is being field tested on human bodies to the benefit of war profiteers.

“The Panzerhaubitze howitzer is part of an arsenal of weapons being put to the test in Ukraine in what has become the world’s largest arms fair,” writes WSJ’s Alistair MacDonald. “Companies that make the weapons being used in Ukraine have won orders and resurrected production lines. The deployment of billions of dollars worth of equipment in a major land war has also given manufacturers and militaries a unique opportunity to analyze the battlefield performance of weapons, and learn how best to use them.”

A Reuters article from two weeks ago titled “At London arms fair, global war fears are good for business” gushes over how much money is being raked in by arms manufacturers as a result of this war, with one unnamed arms industry executive telling Reuters, “War is good for business.”

Just the other day CNN anchor Erin Burnett followed up some clips of “far right lawmakers” voicing their opposition to funding for the Ukraine proxy war by pausing to explain to her audience that this funding is actually good for Americans, because it goes straight into the US arms industry.

CNN’s @ErinBurnett adding to the mad rush to normalize war profiteering in Ukraine by explaining that “the vast majority of this money is going to American companies and jobs, right, because those are the people that are making the Abrams tanks, the ammo and everything else.”

— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 1, 2023

“It’s worthwhile with all of this gaining some steam in public perception to be clear on some facts,” Burnett said. “First and foremost, the vast majority of this money is going to American companies and jobs, right, because those are the people that are making the Abrams tanks, the ammo and everything else. And you take Lockheed Martin, which makes the HIMARS, that have been core to Ukraine’s counteroffensive, the company announced it’s going to increase its workforce in Camden, Arkansas, by 20 percent, just because of this new demand.”

“That money is going to America,” Burnett added.

All this propaganda energy is going into normalizing the act of war profiteering because if you let the idea stand on its own, it would make people scream in horror. The fact that a deliberately-provoked war is being used as a giant field demo to show prospective buyers and investors how effective various weapons systems can be at ripping apart human bodies in order to profit from all this death and destruction is more nightmarish than anything any dystopian novelist has ever come up with.

Ukraine is a giant advertisement for weapons of mass slaughter, and the cost of that corporate ad is not money but human blood. If you look right at this thing it absolutely chills you to the bone. Which is why so much effort is being poured into making sure people don’t look at it.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden
Sun, 10/01/2023 – 23:30 


Posted in News

Charting The Depths: The World Of Subsea Cables

Charting The Depths: The World Of Subsea Cables

Data may be stored in the “cloud,” but when it comes to sending and receiving data, a lot of that action is actually happening along the depths of the ocean floor.

Hidden beneath the waves, these subsea cables account for approximately 95% of international data transmission.

As Visual Capitalists’ Bruno Venditti details below, these maps, by Adam Symington, use information from TeleGeography to show the distribution of subsea cables around the planet.

Wired for Connectivity

It’s estimated that there are nearly 1.4 million kilometers (0.9 million miles) of submarine cables in service globally. They ensure emails, content, and calls find their way, linking colossal data centers and facilitating worldwide communication.

Currently, there are 552 active and planned submarine cables:

Submarine cables harness fiber-optic technology, transmitting information via rapid light pulses through glass fibers. These fibers, thinner than human hair, are protected by plastic or even steel wire layers.

Cables usually have the diameter of a garden hose, but often with added armor near the shore. Coastal cables are buried under the seabed, hidden from view on the beach, while deep-sea ones rest on the ocean floor.

Length varies widely, from the 131-kilometer CeltixConnect cable, connecting Dublin, Ireland, and Holyhead, UK, to the sprawling 20,000-kilometer Asia America Gateway cable, connecting San Luis Obispo, California, to Hawaii and Southeast Asia:

Asia America Gateway. Image: TeleGeography

With the current technology, cables are designed to last 25 years at least but are often replaced because of damage. Nearly two-thirds of cable damage is caused by fishing vessels and ships dragging anchors.

The Bottom Line

Traditionally dominated by telecom carriers, the makeup of the subsea cable market has shifted over more recent decades. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon now heavily invest in new cables.

With data demand surging, at least $10 billion is expected to be invested in subsea cables worldwide between 2022 and 2024, driven by cloud service providers and content streaming platforms.

Even with the growth of satellites in telecom, cables still can carry far more data at a much lower cost than satellites. In fact, according to TeleGeography, satellites account for less than 1% of all U.S. international capacity.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 10/01/2023 – 23:00 


Posted in News

Why Did People Comply?

Why Did People Comply?

Authored by Maximilien Lacour via The Brownstone Institute,

On Monday 16th of March 2020, when Boris Johnson first proclaimed, “You must stay home,” I very meekly said “OK!” And the chances are that you did too. 

Polling from the time shows that self-reported compliance with the stay-at-home orders was high – a finding broadly corroborated by mobility data, which has the marked advantage of not depending on respondents’ honesty about following the law (Ganslmeier et al. 2022; Jackson and Bradford 2021). 

In itself, however, this data alone does not tell us why an unprecedented suspension of our civil liberties enjoyed such high levels of compliance.

There are, however, surveys that do provide some insight (see, for example, Jackson and Bradford 2021; Foad et al. 2021; and Halliday et al. 2022) and amongst their more surprising findings is that instrumental considerations – that is, personal fear of the virus or of coercion by the State – may have been relatively unimportant in driving compliance with the lockdown rules. Instead, they found that, in general, people followed the rules because (1) they were the law and (2) because they provided us with a shared understanding of what was good and right to do, which many of us seem to have internalised (Jackson and Bradford 2021).

The first of these is not particularly surprising. The law enjoys a ‘reservoir of loyalty’ amongst Brits who are therefore already predisposed to respect its edicts just because they have been made law (Halliday et al. 2022, p.400). 

This, however, does not explain the second driver of compliance. That is, it does not explain why we bought into lockdown laws and willingly accepted them as the basis of our public morality – to the point that we even often justified our non-compliant behaviours as nonetheless remaining within the ‘spirit of the law’ (Meers et al. 2021). It does not explain why we looked upon the sanitised, terrorised redrawing of society and saw that it was good. It is worth briefly revisiting, with the benefit of cooled heads and hindsight, what exactly this looked like. 

Over the course of a week or so, our lives and concerns were dyed a COVID monochrome and narrowed down around a single, shared priority – slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, or, in the stock phrases of the time, “flattening the curve” and “bringing R below 1.” And, to achieve this, we were asked to abandon almost every single activity that make up our shared lives and distinguish us from battery-farmed animals, including but not limited to, seeing friends, going to school, shopping, going to the theatre, playing team sports, meeting for romance or sex, and just hanging about (Wagner 2022, p.61). 

In a way, it also radically simplified our lives. 

Under the radical, bewildering uncertainty of early 2020, the lockdown rules saved us from having to negotiate the perils and ambiguities of being mortal amongst mortals in time of plague, by telling us what we needed to do in most cases. Want to see Grandma? Simple! You can’t. Want to go shopping? Essentials only and follow taped lines across the floor! Want to continue an affair with the milkman or just see your girlfriend? Well, again, you can’t – and pray that you don’t live in Leicester

Borrowing a term from moral philosophy, the lockdowns introduced a decidability (or, at least, the illusion of it) into our lives that would otherwise have been absent (Taylor 1997). Under its sway, we no longer had to engage with our lives as moral agents tasked with making imperfect judgements about what is right or wrong, as we could assume that those judgments had already been made by a higher authority and were reflected in its rules. Life under lockdown settled all philosophical difficulties and faced with a course of action, one wasn’t to ask, “Is this the right?” but “Does this Flatten The Curve?” 

This decidability may go some way to explaining why we internalised the lockdown worldview so easily. In his 2005 essay, “Afraid to be Free: Dependency as Desideratum,” James Buchanan identified a widely shared set of expectations that he termed ‘Parental Socialism’ and described as: 

… paternalism flipped over, so to speak. With paternalism we refer to the attitudes of elitists who seek to impose their own preferred values on others. With parentalism, in contrast, we refer to the attitudes of persons who seek to have values imposed upon them by other persons, by the state or by transcendental forces. (Buchanan 2005)

Buchanan very loosely defines socialism as the range of political projects that seek to impose some kind of collectivized control over the individual’s liberty of actions and provides a list of its possible sources, which includes parental socialism. Unlike the other sources identified by Buchanan, however (which have to do with the structure and powers of the State), parental socialism concerns the expectations that citizens have of said State. Freedom and agency, observes Buchanan, come with responsibility.

A free agent is forced to struggle with the complexities and ambiguities of his life and to come to a judgement about what matters – and bears responsibility for both struggle and judgement. This, observes Buchanan, is a heavy burden that many people are simply too afraid to shoulder. Instead, they (i.e. parental socialists or, more simply, us!) demand that the State be an engine of order and certainty in their worlds, much like a parent is in their child’s, and that it make and impose these judgments upon them. Parental socialists want to be told what matters by the State, told what is safe and right and what is risky and wrong, not given the freedom to deliberate themselves. 

This amounts to demanding the sort of decidability provided by stay-at-home orders and, of course, means compromising on some of one’s freedoms. If Buchanan’s diagnosis is correct, we may have accepted the lockdowns because they fit with a long-standing pattern of expectation that we have of the State. Though the pandemic-management policies themselves were unprecedented and shocking, the role they gave to the State in our lives was not entirely, and thus may help explain why we accepted them so readily. 

Now, this sits at odds with much of what is written by critics of lockdowns. For many of these (otherwise often insightful) writers, the lockdowns were an essentially top-down phenomenon, primarily driven and maintained by the machinations of politicians, scientific advisors, or some more obscure elite group. Explanations of this sort range from the conventional, like Laurent Mucchielli’s analysis of the French government’s centralising predisposition and the perverse incentives shaping WHO recommendations to the more unorthodox, like Michael P. Senger’s argument that Xi Jinping deliberately shut down the world on the pretext of a benign virus (Mucchielli 2022; Senger 2021). 

However, if what I wrote above is correct, then, while these theories are not necessarily incorrect per se (well, Mucchielli’s isn’t), they are necessarily limited by their failure to consider the role of bottom-up forces like parental socialism in driving compliance with the lockdowns. They do not do justice to the way that lockdowns were both continuous with and made possible by a set of long-standing, popular expectations that we have of the State.

This omission risks having deleterious consequences for the project of lockdown critique, assuming that its goals include preventing any future lockdowns. If lockdowns were made possible by popular parentalistic expectations, then legal reform, though obviously welcome, may prove insufficient and powerless against the very real threat of ‘voluntary’ lockdowns, whereby a population complies with a stay-at-home request without needing it to be made a legal requirement. 

Consider the comments made by David Halpern, a prominent behavioural scientist and Chief Executive of the UK government’s notorious ‘Nudge’ unit, and reported in the Telegraph:

Britain has been drilled to comply with lockdown under a future pandemic, the chief executive of the ‘nudge unit’ has said.

Professor David Halpern told the Telegraph that the country had “practised the drill” of wearing face masks and working from home and “could redo it” in a future crisis.

Speaking on the Lockdown Files podcast, the government adviser Prof Halpern predicted that the country would comply with another ‘stay at home’ order because they “kind of know what the drill is.”

In an interview given before Mr Hancock’s testimony, the leading behavioural scientist even suggested that the nation’s prior experience made it “much easier to now imagine” the population would accept future local restrictions.

Having been trained up by a first round of stay-at-home orders, our previously abstract paternalistic expectations of the State have been given a new form: in times of plague, lock down! Though Halpern does not say this explicitly (he still refers to a stay-at-home ‘order’), his remarks nonetheless suggest that future lockdowns may not even need to be legally mandated – we will just know what to do when recommended to by the State or Public Health. 

The threat of voluntary lockdowns should lead lockdown sceptics to cast their net beyond the institutions of the State and bring them to confront the harder-to-limn, bottom-up drivers of lockdown like parental socialism. They need to find ways of addressing our collective self-infantilisation and to reemphasize the value and importance of free agency. 

This does not mean rejecting any role for the State in our lives or condemning any socialist scheme (Buchanan himself is quite clear that his critical project remains compatible with aspects of social democracy such as redistribution through taxation). But it does mean trying to foster and perpetuate a popular scepticism of the State in its didactic and moralising functions. Critics of lockdown need to go beyond criticising the public institutions and individuals who designed COVID-19 policy, and to start attacking the popular mindset that made them thinkable and practicable in the first place. 

Tyler Durden
Sun, 10/01/2023 – 22:30 


Posted in News

Putin Is Now Evading Western Sanctions On Almost All Oil Exports, And Using Yuan To Avoid Import Sanctions

Putin Is Now Evading Western Sanctions On Almost All Oil Exports, And Using Yuan To Avoid Import Sanctions

When western nations rolled out a grand plan to throttle Russian oil imports and impose sanctions on Kremlin energy exports, we – and many others – laughed: after all, we have repeatedly seen how toothless western sanctions are when seeking to contain “rogue regime” oil profits, from Iran (which is pretty much selling oil to China at max capacity) to Venezuela and onward. One year later, our laughter has been well justified, because as the FT reports, “Russia has succeeded in avoiding G7 sanctions on most of its oil exports”, a shift in trade flows that will boost the Kremlin’s revenues as crude rises towards $100 a barrel, and as Russian Urals prices hit $80, the highest level in over a year.

According to the report, almost 75% of all seaborne Russian crude flows traveled without western insurance in August, the only lever used to enforce the G7’s $60-a-barrel oil price cap, according to an analysis of shipping and insurance records by the Financial Times. That is up from about about half this spring, according to data from freight analytics company Kpler and insurance companies. The rise implies that Moscow is becoming more adept at circumventing the cap, allowing it to sell more of its oil at prices closer to international market rates.

More importantly, it means that few if any Russian clients are worried about retaliation by the Biden regime for purchasing Russian oil.

The FT reports that the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) has estimated that the steady increase in crude prices since July, combined with Russia’s success in reducing the discount on its own oil, means that the country’s oil revenues are likely to be at least $15bn higher for 2023 than they would have been; it is also an indication that for all its talk and posturing the West is content with allowing Putin’s regime to benefit from surging oil prices as the far more draconian alternative of taking all Russian oil off the market, would have sent global oil prices much higher.

Indeed, as the FT admits, while the EU and US have largely barred imports of Russian oil, the G7 price cap was designed to keep Russian oil flowing into global markets: “The aim was to prevent a squeeze on supplies and an economically and politically damaging jump in prices.”

Providing western services such as shipping or insurance is allowed under the price cap as long as Russia’s oil is sold for less than $60 a barrel. Russian oil is now selling for $20 more.

The shift is a double blow for western efforts to restrict Russia’s revenues from oil sales — which make up the biggest part of the Kremlin’s budget — following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Not only is a higher proportion of Russian oil being sold outside the cap, but Moscow’s increasing independence as a seller has coincided with a strong rally in oil prices, which topped $95 a barrel for the first time in 13 months this week.

Worst of all for Western neocons, while Russia’s oil sector is still facing several challenges, including claims of shortages in its domestic refined fuels market and a dip in export volumes overall, the figures still suggest more oil revenues will be flowing into the Kremlin’s war chest.

Ben Hilgenstock, an economist at the KSE, said: “Given these shifts in how Russia ships its oil, it may be very difficult to meaningfully enforce the price cap in future. And that makes it even more regrettable that we did not do more to properly enforce it when we had more leverage.”

Meanwhile, in further weaponization of its commodities (in response to the US weaponization of the US Dollar), Russia this week banned the export of diesel and other fuels, a significant move from one of the biggest global sellers of diesel. The move has raised fears that Russian president Vladimir Putin is trying to disrupt the oil market as he did with natural gas, sparking last year’s energy crisis.

And while the Kremlin is steamrolling western export sanctions, it is Beijing that is allowing Russia to evade import sanctions.

A new study has found that Russia is using Chinese currency for at least a fifth of its imports, illustrating both Moscow’s increasing reliance on Beijing and its efforts to evade western sanctions.

As a reminder, sanctions imposed on Moscow by the EU, US and others as a result of its war against Ukraine have made it increasingly difficult for Russia to get hold of large amounts of western imports. It’s also made it more expensive for it to trade using the dollar, euro or other western currencies, especially after Russia was effectively kicked out of SWIFT and its banks can no longer transact in dollars.

What happened then? Well, by the end of 2022, 20% of Russia’s imports were invoiced in yuan — up from 3% a year previously, according to a research paper published this morning by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the FT reported.

While some of that increase is owing to increased imports from China itself, the use of yuan to settle imports from third countries rose to 5% from just 1% before the war was launched in February 2022.

“Yuan is being used as a vehicle currency,” said Beata Javorcik, the EBRD’s chief economist and one of the paper’s authors. “Russia is now the third-largest clearing centre for offshore yuan transactions.”

Asking trade partners to invoice them in yuan is just one way Moscow is evading sanctions, alongside tactics such as importing products through middleman countries or exporting its oil on tankers that sail without western insurance.

The EBRD paper makes stark just how much Moscow is avoiding western banks when trying to bypass sanctions: when it comes to sanctioned goods and dual-use equipment, which can be used by civilians but also to make weapons, “the increase in [yuan] invoicing was more pronounced,” the paper found. The research also strikes a warning for any western policymakers who might see the data as a sign that their measures are working.

Rising geopolitical tensions in general, and the use of trade sanctions in particular, may reduce the attractiveness of the use of the US dollar as a vehicle currency in international trade,” they write. “This, in turn, might lead to a greater fragmentation of global payment systems.”

Yet despite all the signs, in a few years there will still be those who are stunned to learn that the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 10/01/2023 – 22:00