BRICS In the New World Energy Order: Hedging in Oil Geopolitics

Reposted with permission from Forbes

Tilak Doshi
Contributor
I analyze energy economics and related public policy issues.

President Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia during his trip to the Middle East last week has little to show for it. Shortly after the Biden visit, the Kingdom made it clear that it would not act unilaterally outside of the OPEC+ group which includes Russia and allied smaller producers. Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies would continue to value the cohesion of the group, the views of Russia and the needs of global market stability in its production decisions.

Biden’s trip was cast by Republican leaders as “begging for oil” from the Saudis amidst high gasoline prices, the worst inflation in four decades at home and abysmal popularity polls for the president. That this happened while his administration wages a regulatory war on its own homegrown world-leading oil and gas industry is seen as particularly egregious. Following the optics of last week’s meeting, one of President Biden’s critics found his attempt to “reset” relations with Saudi Arabia an “unequivocal display of a deeply weakened United States led by its exceedingly enfeebled president”.

These opinions might be dismissed as partisan politics but it is notable that news of Saudi Arabia’s interest in membership of the BRICS group came out in advance of President Biden’s visit. And while President Biden was having his meeting with the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Jeddah, BRICS International Forum president Purnima Anand reported on the same day that three more countries — which included Egypt and Turkey along with Saudi Arabia — could join the BRICS group “very soon”. This followed earlier announcements that Iran and Argentina had formally applied for membership with Chinese support. The accession of new countries was discussed by Russia, India and China at the 14th BRICS summit held (virtually) last month.

BRICS vs. G7

The acronym BRIC was coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 to give an analytical lens to investors for a group of rapidly growing emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). He believed that the BRICs would come to increasingly challenge the economic dominance of the developed economies of the G7. The first formal summit of the group was held in 2009, with South Africa joining in 2010 to constitute BRICS. The group accounts for 40% of the world’s population and just over a quarter of global GDP. To put this in context, the G7 countries with a far smaller population base constitute just over 30% of global GDP on purchasing power parity.

The BRICS have been catapulted into a position of being the only constellation of forces that challenges the global economic dominance of the G7 developed countries bloc. This might seem a far-fetched notion especially since the organization includes both China and India which have had simmering border tensions boiling over into active lethal engagements over the past several decades. India is also a member of the Quad, along with US, Japan and Australia, motivated to contain Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific. And now both Iran and Saudi Arabia — not the most amicable of neighbours and embroiled in proxy wars in Yemen and elsewhere — are potential BRICS members.

Intra-BRICS trade has not been of particular significance since its founding. But as the global energy order gets cleaved into two blocs – those supporting the Western sanctions on Russia and those that don’t – intra-BRICS trade has suddenly gained a strategic role in oil geopolitics that is unprecedented. Western-sanctioned Russian crude oil exports, offered at discounted prices, has been re-directed to China, India and (less importantly) Brazil, as well as a range of mid-sized importers such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE UAE -0.6% and others. With elevated global energy prices, this has allowed Russia now to boast a current account surplus which more than tripled in the first quarter over the same period last year and a rouble which traded at 7-year highs and has become the world’s best-performing currency this year.

By June, India had imported five times the amount of all the Russian crude it bought in the whole of 2021 while China overtook Germany as the single largest importer of Russian crude oil. Brazil relies heavily on Russian oil and fertilizer exports, and its foreign minister recently said that his country wanted to buy “as much diesel” as possible from Russia. Saudi Arabia more than doubled Russian fuel oil imports in the second quarter to meet summer peak demand for power generation and free up the kingdom’s own crude for export. China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia share a compelling interest with all developing countries to access fuels, food and fertilizers – of which Russia is a major global exporter – at lowest prices.

BRICS As A Geopolitical Hedge

Most countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America outside of the narrow “Western alliance” have not taken part in isolating Russia in support of NATO’s agenda which to date seems to be to fight the proxy war with Russia to the last Ukrainian. China, for instance, is likely to perceive the war not merely as the West’s attempt to “bleed Russia” but something as more directly consequential to its own national interests. NATO’s “new strategic concept” document, released at its summit in Madrid last month, states that China’s “stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values” and warns of “the deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.”

The “rules-based international order” espoused by NATO and its allies meant an all-out economic war on Russia. This included the expropriation of half of the Russian Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves held offshore, blocked access to the SWIFT international payments system and bans (or announced plans to phase in bans, since immediate bans are impossible for the EU) on Russian energy exports. President Putin responded with the “roubles for gas” scheme for “non-friendly” countries (i.e. those participating in the sanctions), making clear that the scheme was the prototype to apply to all its major commodity exports.

It is no surprise that both Moscow and Beijing are working on the creation of an international reserve currency and an integrated inter-bank payments system based on a basket of BRICS currencies to counter Western sanctions. For countries outside the US-led alliance, BRICs membership could serve as a hedge to the threat of secondary sanctions by the G7 or NATO.

China’s invitation last month to thirteen countries including Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand and the UAE to apply for BRICS membership no doubt has this motivation between the lines. In his speech to BRICS forum invitees, President Xi Jinping gave a critique of the US-led sanctions regime for building “a small yard with high fences”. He reflected the posture of developing countries which seeks continued access to fossil fuels – especially at discounted prices — for resuscitating economic growth as they emerge out of the covid lockdowns.

A Dent on Dollar Hegemony?

An enlarged BRICS group may or may not include oil and gas heavyweights Iran and Saudi Arabia. But if intra-BRICS commodity trade were to be settled in a commodity-linked basket of currencies among members as well as willing non-members, it would constitute an effective end to the petrodollar, a key pillar of the G7-led global financial system. The tensions within an enlarged BRICS forum hosting members embroiled in regional rivalries may be outweighed by the common interests of countries outside of the Western alliance seeking to ensure their access to food, fuel and fertilizer imports on the best terms possible.

President Putin in his notable speech to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIE PIE -0.2%IEF +1.1%F) last month warned that “it is a mistake to suggest that one can wait out the times of turbulent change and that things will return to normal; that everything will be as it was. It will not.” For many developing countries critically dependent on imports of the 3Fs – fuels, food and fertilizers — membership of the BRICS group may well turn out to be the best geopolitical hedge in a world forever changed by the US-led financial sanctions on Russia.

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Tilak Doshi

I have worked in the oil and gas sector as an economist in both private industry and in think tanks, in Asia, the Middle East and the US over the past 25 years. I focus on global energy developments from the perspective of Asian countries that remain large markets for oil, gas and coal. I have written extensively on the areas of economic development, environment and energy economics. My publications include “Singapore in a Post-Kyoto World: Energy, Environment and the Economy” published by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (2015). I won the 1984 Robert S. McNamara Research Fellow award of the World Bank and received my Ph.D. in Economics in 1992.

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Frank from NoVA
July 23, 2022 6:27 am

The people of these United States need to focus on protecting their own lives, liberties and property by curtailing the non-Constitutional powers and activities of the Federal government. Prosperity and peace are the hallmarks of a voluntary society, versus the misery and war of coercive societies.

Derg
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
July 23, 2022 8:23 am

Are you reading this Simon? Frank gets it.

Vuk
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
July 23, 2022 8:31 am

You might need this bread of guard dog to protect your homestead from hungry folks, but don’t let a ter0r1st get hold of it
https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2022/07/21/8274512332139742189/640x360_MP4_8274512332139742189.mp4

Last edited 22 days ago by Vuk
Brad-DXT
Reply to  Vuk
July 23, 2022 9:59 am

That dog is a bit loud and not that cuddly.

I got my own – 2 Rottweilers totaling about 235 lbs. They are quite loveable – unless you hop my fence or enter my house without me being around.

Last edited 22 days ago by Brad-DXT
Vuk
Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 23, 2022 10:49 am

It’s a ‘long range’ puppy and you couldn’t bribe it with packet of sausages. I wonder what a fully mature beast would be like.

KcTaz
Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 23, 2022 12:49 pm

Good choice. I’ve owned 3 Pit Bulls. All they’d do is either cower under the dining table or annoy the intruder with licks. My daughter did have a Pit Bull/Blue Heeler mix. Now, she was a danger to any intruder. Pretty sure it was the Blue Heeler in her and not the Pit.

Brazos Valley Chuck
Reply to  Vuk
July 26, 2022 2:58 pm

The machine gun needs to be mounted a bit lower or the pup needs front grasping hooks. He doesn’t deal with recoil in full auto very well.

Scissor
July 23, 2022 6:28 am

Hopefully, a race to the top replaces a race to the gutter but everyone has their work cut out for them.

Indur Goklany
Reply to  Scissor
July 23, 2022 8:10 am

As suggested below, the US’s obsession with DIE (diversity, inclusion and equity) which automatically relegates excellence to at least 4th place. This is antithetical to any “race to the top.” I am afraid our elites and policy makers are only accelerating our slide to mediocrity.

Scissor
Reply to  Indur Goklany
July 23, 2022 8:53 am

I’m afraid you’re right and the other side is worse in a myriad of other ways.

KcTaz
Reply to  Scissor
July 23, 2022 1:19 pm

What is the “other side” and how is it worse, Scissor?

Rick C
Reply to  Indur Goklany
July 23, 2022 9:32 am

The only true equity outcome occurs when everyone is dead. At that point diversity and inclusion are assured.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Indur Goklany
July 23, 2022 10:23 am

The elites you are referring to are not interested in a race to the top for anyone else but themselves.
Their objectives appear to be the creation of an authoritarian world government where they will micro-manage every aspect of daily life.
Total control would necessitate a smaller population to ease resource and people management.
Anyone following the likes of Soros and the WEF are the useful idiots that are implementing the self destruction of the most widespread prosperity in human history.

Willem post
July 23, 2022 6:53 am

Europa, with many “unfriendly” countries, will have to buy fuels, food and fertilizers, and other materials at very high prices.

Europe “capping” prices of Russian oil and gas? Ha, ha, ha

Europe will become highly uncompetitive vs the rest of the world
No more trade surpluses

A long term downward slide in living standards has started, furthered by increased defense spending and minimal travel and tourism

Ron Long
Reply to  Willem post
July 23, 2022 7:50 am

Willem, while I agree with your comments generally, to me it looks like Europe is down, but not out. Shirley there are young Einstein’s coming forward? etc.

Drake
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 8:07 am

When the government is totalitarian like the EU command structure, Einsteins will be wack a moled down to the “average”. That is the whole point of the “system”, everyone not in the power structure is “equal”, and will be kept equally subdued.

Derg
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 8:25 am

Animal Farm indeed.

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 10:13 am

“Whack-A-Moled”

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 9:39 am

There are more people in the developing world. Therefore, they will have more Einsteins.

History gives us many examples of great powers fading to obscurity. Even worse, they are sometimes violently removed.

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 10:12 am

Is Shirley married to Willem, or to Ron?

Willem post
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 11:45 am

Surely, there will be new Einsteins, but big capital and open-mindedness, and free-enterprise are needed to implement any practical ideas, which Europeans will not have.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 12:28 pm

Gee Ron, the destruction of education (K to PhD) in the West over at least three generations, by ideologue lefty forces, while Russia, China, India, Korea (Japan and others) … maintain excellence in this foundational sector, makes it terrifying to contemplate the West’s future.

I have a very smart grandson that that I am investigating university options for in India, Japan, Korea and elsewhere. All of them have high standard curricula, free of the mindless chaff faculties drowning our own formerly great universities. They are also have tuitions a small fraction of that of the corrupted and broken (Poison) Ivy League, Oxbridge and other lost-their-way institutions.

AndyHce
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 12:51 pm

“young Einstein’s coming forward”

devalued to 4th place or below?

KcTaz
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 1:03 pm

All western economies are down, by design. It’s not like the NWO-WEF folks are even shy about stating their goals.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ?
ACCORDING to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainablists insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components; global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction. Social Equity (Social Justice) Social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people “to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment.” Redistribution of wealth. Private property is a social injustice since not everyone can build wealth from it. National sovereignty is a social injustice. Universal health care is a social justice. All part of Agenda 21 policy.

“Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound
reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world
has ever experienced a major shift in the priorities of both
governments and individuals and an unprecedented
redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift
 will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences
of every human action be integrated into individual and 
collective decision-making at every level.“
– UN Agenda 21

kwinterkorn
Reply to  Ron Long
July 24, 2022 3:41 pm

iIn a great irony that I see coming, the working class in Europe will eventually throw off the their chains and dump the decaying privileged “socialist class” that runs the EU.

The Trump movement here in the US has started this process. The Washington Swamp and Bi-coastal elites are acting like typical reactionaries, but even they can see which way the wind is blowing. It doesn’t have to be Trump, though he’s been a good fighter. The movement will happen.

Indur Goklany
Reply to  Willem post
July 23, 2022 8:04 am

In addition, obsession with DIE (diversity, inclusion and equity) which automatically relegates excellence to at least 4th place, may help ensure that innovation will be retarded. That will further reinforce Europe — and maybe US’s — slide to mediocrity.

Indur Goklany
Reply to  Indur Goklany
July 23, 2022 8:24 am

Add to that, our obsession with spending enormous amounts to solve non-problems such as global warming. There is ample empirical evidence that any warming is net-beneficial for both humanity and the rest of nature. All we achieve is ensure we’ll are overlooking real problems.

See: https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2021/02/Goklany-EmpiricalTrends.pdf.

Hans Henrik Hansen
Reply to  Indur Goklany
July 24, 2022 9:13 am

A most interesting paper, indeed…thanks for highlighting it! 🙂

Willem post
Reply to  Indur Goklany
July 23, 2022 11:38 am

Don’t forget ESG, the latest nutcase fad

Plus spending more on Defense

Europe, without Russia’s low-cost fuel, food, fertilizer, and other materials, will become a low-living-standard backwater.

Tourism will be minimal

Trade surpluses will become deficits.

Printing faux money by the EU Central Bank (in lieu of extracting taxes), and loaning that faux money to Greece, Spain, Italy, etc., to cover spending deficits, has ended, because Europe will have to buy fuel, food, fertilizer, and other materials with the new BRICS+ currency, not printed petrodollars.

KcTaz
Reply to  Willem post
July 23, 2022 12:56 pm

“A long term downward slide in living standards has started…”

That started with CAGW and “Green” energy, an oxymoron if ever there was one. It’s all part of The Plan.
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”
Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC

President of the UN Foundation
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” – Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.

Ktarpley
Reply to  Willem post
July 25, 2022 6:15 pm

The Truth is the only thing people are going to go to EU countries or is to see the museums and the countries as the museums.

fretslider
July 23, 2022 6:56 am

Biden’s [forgiving fist-bump] visit to Saudi Arabia. Didn’t work. They’re laughing their heads off.

Yes, the US and the West use oil etc but they are leaving it in the ground now and stopping any finance to get it out of the ground. So that leaves….

“Developing countries” have a free pass for now, so buy it from them instead – whatever the market conditions.

The pieces on the chess board have been rearranged. The West won’t change tactics or aims.

Scissor
Reply to  fretslider
July 23, 2022 8:55 am

I don’t think Biden could play chess. He’s pushing the military to electrify, for example.

KcTaz
Reply to  Scissor
July 23, 2022 4:03 pm

I think Biden is so demented that, at this point, he couldn’t play with himself, let alone play chess.

Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
July 23, 2022 9:41 am

Anti-survival polices have consequences.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  fretslider
July 23, 2022 9:45 am

Did Putin shake hands properly when he met with the Saudi Prince?
Perhaps some clever photographer has a picture?

KcTaz
Reply to  fretslider
July 23, 2022 1:08 pm

“Biden’s [forgiving fist-bump] visit to Saudi Arabia.”

That was one of the most rude and embarrassing things I’ve ever seen a US President do.

harold
July 23, 2022 7:24 am

We have known for a couple of centuries that increased international trade leads to fewer wars and more prosperity, thanks to Adam Smith, Bright, Ricardo and others. The BRICS and clearly heading in that, very desirable, direction. Meanwhile, the West is busy restricting trade and increasing tariffs, thus impoverishing themselves, while allowing medics to dictate how their countries are run, or not run.

Drake
Reply to  harold
July 23, 2022 8:13 am

Nixon’s outreach to China, and then Clinton’s letting them into the WTO, have advanced China to a true world economic power. If neither of these things had happened, China would still be a true 3rd world country and would not be able to attempt to take over the South China sea.

AND the US manufacturing and industrial base would still be extensive, AND China would not have been able to corner markets such as for rare earths.

So, in the case of China, international trade HAS NOT done what you think. It has empowered them to become MORE threatening to the rest of the world, both by themselves, and by their proxy in North Korea.

Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 9:53 am

Tienanmen Square Massacre was a hint that China should be boycotted until there is some change in the system towards some semblance of a moral non violent non aggressive government.

Last edited 22 days ago by Anti-griff
AndyHce
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 23, 2022 1:04 pm

“Tienanmen Square Massacre was a hint that China should be boycotted until there is some change in the system towards some semblance of a moral non violent non aggressive government.”

But it seems instead to have served as a model being slowly but surely implemented in the West.

By the way, where have all the post editing aspects of this web site been spirited off to again?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 9:56 am

The West’s desire to placate their loud green political movements by de-industrialization, plus allowing China to pursue a mercantilist path, has led to the ascendancy of China. Only some serious military consequences will change things. We’re talking some WWII-level shit. I won’t be around then, so good luck, kids.

KcTaz
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 23, 2022 1:10 pm

“I won’t be around then, so good luck, kids.”

At the pace with which the world as we know it is proceeding, I wouldn’t bet on your not being around Dave.

michael hart
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 10:08 am

I doubt it.

I am more convinced by:
“It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice”- Deng Xiaoping

The Chinese leadership, at that time, recognised the value of real industrial wealth generation. That affords large wealthy countries the ability to pursue their other geo-political objectives.

Unfortunately both China and the USA have currently forgotten the rationale of the starting point.
It could be the End of Empire for the US. But there is no guarantee of the rise of Chinese Empire if they continue along their present course.

MarkW
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 12:03 pm

China’s economy has some huge built in problems. The two biggest are their over investment in real estate and the looming demographic collapse.

harold
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 1:17 pm

Seems that Clinton’s and Nixon’s outreach was very successful in enriching China. At the same time the US became much richer, now measured in Trillions not the measly Billions of the last century ?

That the US priced itself out of some markets with socialist idealogy such as a $15 minimum wage, does not negate the obvious gains to both sides of more open trade.

In the time since 1980’s, the US has threatened and/or invaded several countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Panama, and Lebanon while those nasty Chinese played sandcastles in the S China Sea?

KcTaz
Reply to  Drake
July 23, 2022 1:17 pm

Agree 100%, Drake. The West and, in particular, the US is now dependent on China for almost all of our necessities to include computer chips, pharmaceuticals, even the stupid windmills and solar panels and much more. Recall, China threatened to withhold essential drugs from the US, including antibiotics in response to Trump’s banning their travel to the US.

harold, you are repeating a mantra of the UN NWO that got us into this mess when it comes to trade and manufacturing. It is false and it has only put the West in an extremely vulnerable position where we can’t manufacture even our basic necessities.
Yes, I bought into that for years. I was wrong to have done so and you are wrong to continue believing that nonsense.

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  harold
July 23, 2022 10:16 am

“while allowing self-ordained medics to dictate”… fixed it.

Olen
July 23, 2022 7:39 am

He just laid out a grim picture for the US if things don’t change quickly.

Bob Hunter
Reply to  Olen
July 23, 2022 1:47 pm

Agreed. As well, Petrodollar is synonymous with US $. The US $ is overvalued because it has been secure currency for the world. If BRICS begins to exchange commodities and trade in another currency, say the Yuan, the US $ value will drop significantly dragging the US economy into a recession and Canada along with it. And us in North America should have learned one thing these last few months, Countries like Germany are far more concerned about themselves than doing the right thing.

markl
July 23, 2022 7:46 am

Agenda 21 should have been a wake up call for the West. Instead it was ignored as a fantasy push for One World Government. Now, more than ever, the USA should secure energy independence. The Marxists are on a world wide push to spread their ideology and gain control of everything with China being used as the preferred model of government …. as stated over and over by the UN.

Ron Long
July 23, 2022 7:47 am

Here’s the problem with BRICS: 40% of the world’s population and only 25% of the world’s GDP. This alliance of mixed ideologies and interests is inherently unstable and consistently underachievers. They will experience internal divisions (like the support sanctions or oppose sanctions for the mega-terrorist group from Russia) and their potential for instability is therefore high. Maybe BRICS should be Better Run Into Calmer Scenarios.

Derg
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 8:27 am

Or Maybe the West should stop proxy wars?

Scissor
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 8:58 am

Yes, it’s unlikely that dictators give up control and their corrupt ways. Likely, it’s more of the same old.

Holger Lundstrom
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 9:43 am

You’re correct, but in the face of survival and possibly even prosperity, they may yet band together. If only to crush the G7 which has been a bully on every not-so-developed country. Joke’s on them, though, because the West is doing a prime job of shooting ourselves in the knee.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 9:58 am

Thank you, Ron, for your mental masturbation.

Ron Long
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 23, 2022 6:41 pm

Having another bad day, are you Dave?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Ron Long
July 23, 2022 8:56 pm

Not as bad as yours with your pseudo-intellectual mind dump.

TerryinBC
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 29, 2022 4:34 pm
  • to this point,of great interest and value – but no farther.
pochas94
July 23, 2022 8:02 am

It all comes from stupid politicians messing with things they do not understand.

KcTaz
Reply to  pochas94
July 23, 2022 4:19 pm

Perhaps, but I doubt the politicians are calling the shots be they stupid or smart. Too many of them on both sides have become wholly owned subsidiaries of the very rich and powerful to include those calling the shots in the NWO, WEF and UN.

Then, there are the campaign bribes er, donations, from corporations, Foundations and the super wealthy. Defense contractors appear to be very powerful and to have a far greater voice in US politics than most. They, too, appear to encourage wars for fun and profit. These facts go a long way towards explaining the infatuation of the US Congress and President Biden with the Ukraine War and the tens of billions of US tax dollars Biden is throwing at Ukraine.
Would anyone be surprised if we were to learn that Russia, not Ukraine, is getting a significant share of those weapons and dollars? I wouldn’t but, perhaps, I am too cynical, though, it is a fact that the Bidens and many others were involved in the Ukrainian corruption which, also, included corrupt Russian oligarchs and Putin, himself, I strongly suspect. Do we really think anything has changed? Maybe it has but I don’t think so.

c1ue
July 23, 2022 9:00 am

The key is that the 1st world/West economies were 60%+ of the world economy in 1990; today they are 31%. The change is why BRICS – particularly China – is no longer the automatic weak hand in the world geopolitical and economic balance.

Dave Fair
Reply to  c1ue
July 23, 2022 10:07 am

It is funny in that, historically, the big powers never saw the situations leading to their demise developing. Focusing on the present “items of concern” distracts from strategic planning.

Diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE) is but a fleeting Western fad. Industrial and military might is the only thing that truly matters. A nation, however, can piss that away with stupid and unnecessary military adventures. Read your history.

c1ue
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 24, 2022 5:57 am

Can’t say I agree. The military adventures don’t help, but the real problem is the offshoring of industry.

Bob Hunter
Reply to  c1ue
July 23, 2022 2:13 pm

Should actually be known as: CRIBS (but not unique)

pochas94
Reply to  c1ue
July 23, 2022 8:07 pm

The Chinese strategy is to buy the world with the profits earned on the backs of slave labor. Having spent time in Latin America, I have seen the large tracts of land purchased by China. You cannot go far in California without treading on Chinese property. The more land and property they own, the greater their influence on US politics and, eventually, the world.

c1ue
Reply to  pochas94
July 24, 2022 5:56 am

Pretty incoherent. The big farms in South America are primarily not owned by the Chinese, but by South/Central/North American oligarch types.
Nor is the ownership of Vancouver, LA and New York condos a sign of anything but middle/upper middle class capital flight.
China is absolutely progressing in the geo-strategic world order – but it isn’t via vanity property purchases a la Japan in the 1990s.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  pochas94
July 24, 2022 9:09 am

In a world where it’s human nature to look out for #1, it’s wise to monitor the powerful. With
1.5B people, they do need a lot of resources & will often times buy large companies, like
Smithfield Foods, just for a big supply of what’s needed. China’s been run by nasty Commie
dictators who will do anyting, including murdering their own people, to get & keep power. If
they treat their own countrymen that badly, how will treat us when we stand in the way of
what they want or are currently planning to own/control?

Last edited 21 days ago by Old Man Winter
July 23, 2022 9:55 am

Observing the BRICs has become like watching a football game on TV. They’re not talking about us in the football huddle.

Old Man Winter
July 23, 2022 12:04 pm

Friday, Russia & Ukrainian signed separate, identical deals with the UN’s Guterres & Turkish
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar which will allow Ukraine to export grain to empty their storage silos &
Russia to export fertilizer & grain.

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2022/07/22/food-crisis-ukraine-and-russia-sign-deal-to-reopen-exports-of-grain/

HotScot
July 23, 2022 5:35 pm

The western public have been deliberately kept in ignorance by governments and the media over the growth of BRICS nations.

The west has been, since WW2, the global warring entity. Success bred success, war is profitable, the global banking system will pay for reconstruction and the path of war generates income for the country waging it.

Russia wages war on a nation on its border. When was the last time America fought a war directly on its borders?

Russia is condemned, America celebrates its VET’s for travelling overseas to kill people, or get killed. Rah, Rah, Rah, bring me some more youngsters we can sacrifice and call heroes.

And that’s no criticism of any American or any other soldier who fought and died, or survived, for their country.

It is a criticism of, however, the jingo machine that offers an honourable death on the battlefield/invalidity, providing you don’t ask any questions.

Are BRICS members somehow natural enemies of the west? India? Seriously? South America? Africa? Enemies? I get the avarice toward China but let’s face it, they only offered cheap labour. The west sent it’s industries over there before thinking, Ooops! Too late. China nicked all our IP.

I get the feeling there’s the idea we have been, and are being outsmarted. Our historic response has been to wage war, but we can’t launch attacks against South America, India, Russia and China. It would all get a tad messy. And they know it.

If we don’t change western attitudes to foreign policy, and I think Trump was well aware of this, we are going to be thrashed when it comes to commercial success.

The BRICS are a young political entity but they have something to say. Whilst the west has been wrong on a lot of things, it can’t be considered entirely wrong. We have brought the world prosperity. But when you hand that ability to prosper over to foreign nations, don’t be surprised that they get infected with its appeal.

One thing that’s never mentioned is that whilst the west has steadfastly refused to surrender the concept of Democracy, China has become somewhat less Communistic. Whilst the government still dictates the terms, people are allowed to trade and prosper.

I think that’s a pretty big concession.

We must ask ourselves if we are missing a trick here. Could there possibly be a hybrid government system that works better than the west’s complicated mixture of left, right and middle wing politics? Seriously, what is left and right any longer? We have left wing academics and commercial elite lining up behind Komissar Josef Bidenski, and the blue collar workers of America screaming for Trump, THE Capitalist!

What the hell is going on?

And whilst we seek boogie men like Klaus Schwab, Soros and Bill gates, Putin and Xi would just laugh at those nonentities. You think Klaus and Co. would be at the top table with them and Trump? Come on. Those amateurs have never had to make a decision on millions of peoples lives. They are wealthy lightweights and Schwab, a Walter Mitty fantasist.

Mein Kampf eventually went down the drain (albeit following a bloody struggle) so how long do we really expect Schwab’s Great Reset ‘Bible’ to last? Klaus is hardly a leader of men and an inspiration to a nation, he’s the son of a minor Nazi as far as I can gather.

Personally, whilst I enjoy a bit of conspiracy mongering, I really think the west’s current situation, which is undoubtedly affecting the rest of the world, is the natural, collective evolution of wealthy societies. The extreme left will always seek to profit. The right will bumble along in its usual manner believing everything will work itself out, which is probably more the reason I’m a Conservative than any other.

Where will we be in ten years. Blimey, that’s a bit like the climate question. Will the climate hysteria have calmed down after the battering it’s taking right now? I suspect it will.

Politics, I’m less sure about.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  HotScot
July 23, 2022 8:53 pm

To get an indication of when US foreign policy isn’t being driven in our best
interest, I ask this question- How does a particular global situation DIRECTLY
affect a baker in Boston? a salesman in Seattle? a farmer in Fresno? a trucker
in Tampa Bay? or a housewife in Houston? If there is no DIRECT danger, then I
know it’s being driven by corporate (wealthy)/political interests, as it has
been for the most part for the past 125 yrs- since the Spanish-American War.

While we did need to provide structure after WWII, we kept assuming too much of
the role of the World Policeman as individual nations needed to have contributed
more to their own safety. It was a thankless & dangerous job that we volunteered
to do without anyone asking & it did keep global trade open for corporations.
They eventually sold US workers- those very people who manned our military- down
the river to make money (The GOP dances to the tune of the Chamber of Commerce-
the lobbyists for Corporate USA). So how much of our military was used to defend
the US & how much BeeEss were we fed to support mercenary actions that promoted
globalism? More recently, both corporations & gubmint bureaucracies have been
taken over by another dictatorial group of globalists- socialists. All three of
those groups are willingly selling out the US & similar democracies for their
ideology to dominate.

There are three different hard-core murderous groups who, like The Godfather,
play for keeps- China & it’s commie allies; Islamoterrorists; Putin. They are
the vicious murderers we think they are. Like you, I see Westerners as amateurs
who have no clue just how nasty they are & will get eaten alive by them.

The current situation was set up by Brandon limiting US energy companies to raise
gas prices to put their plan into effect. He also kept the Mexican border open &
really screwed up the Afghan withdrawal by doing it backwards, guaranteeing
failure. This signaled to Russia & China that they could do what they wanted.
Bozo Joe even told Vlad that he didn’t mind if he invaded Ukraine “a little bit”.
While the US has gotten other allies involved in its globalist operations even
though their safety wasn’t at risk, this time the US put them at risk by suddenly
changing to a less “protective policy” without a lot of warning. Even Finland
& Sweden joined NATO as they don’t know what Vlad’s intentions are. Also,
Dementia Joe’s continuing Nobama’s policy of letting Iran get nukes which will
threaten the Middle East. The only reason Xi hasn’t moved is cuz the Covid
lockdown hasn’t gone that well.

As far as the West goes, I have no idea how much of the current actions are
being coordinated among which of the different players. I don’t think there is
a peck order/command structure yet as they need to do some things first to
consolidate their power. While there may be some jockeying for position, there
is probably still too much distrust as the players realize there is no trust
among thieves/backstabbers. Overall, they’re trying to move the ball forward to
consolidate their power.

Separating Europe from Russia’s energy is causing some of them to pull back &
look out for their own interests, too. RE’s a total fiasco that will weaken the
West, inviting even more attacks. Obviously, they must think they’re safe from
the three nasty groups as they’re still continuing forward. How true that is as
well as everything else about this whole thing is yet to be seen. As for Brazil,
India, etc., they have their own interests to look out for & how to deal with the
snakes of the world & not get bit is their problem to solve.

Note: Trump was negotiating to keep 800 Special Forces troops in Afghanistan to
continue providing stability. Why would any sane person abandon an 11,000′ runway
that gave the US a back door to Iran, China & Russia? That’s the worst part of the
fiasco no one even mentioned!!!

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/08/20/former-officials-say-trump-planned-to-keep-special-forces-in-afghanistan-to-prevent-a-collapse/

Bidpland.jpg
Last edited 22 days ago by Old Man Winter
July 24, 2022 1:43 am

Truly revolutionary transformations are gaining momentum and strength. These monumental changes are irreversible. Both at the national and global level, the foundations and principles are being laid for a harmonious, more equitable, socially oriented and secure world order. An alternative to the unipolar world that has existed so far, but is by its own character becoming an impediment to the development of civilization.

The model of total dominance by the so-called golden billion (Western Oligarchy) is unfair. Why should this “golden billion” dominate over the rest and impose its rules of conduct based on the illusion of exceptionalism? It divides people into first and second-class societies, and therefore is inherently racist and neocolonial. While its underlying globalist and supposedly liberal ideology is increasingly acquiring the features of totalitarianism.

Yes of course this “golden billion” didn’t become “golden” and achieve many successes by accident. And it didn’t rise to leading positions solely through the implementation of some kind of ideas. To a large extent, these positions were gained by plundering other peoples in both Asia and Africa. And that is how it was. How much has India been plundered, for instance?

This is why the elites of this “golden billion” are terrified that other centers of power may present their own development models. But no matter how much Western and globalist elites strive to preserve the existing order, a new era is dawning, a new stage in world history. And only truly sovereign states can ensure a high growth dynamic.

Vladimir Putin, 2022.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Phil Salmon
July 24, 2022 4:53 am

Said to justify his own plundering of territories of the Former Soviet Union! And Vlad’s nobody’s fool.
Contrary to the storyline being put forward by the current Western leaders. Vlad sees the formation
of the different power groups & knows that to have a “bigger stack” at the upcoming “Final Table”
(think TX Hold’em). he needs to get back as much territory & resources as possible.

HIstorically, the West did plunder the rest of the world & unlike the Commies & Vlad, eventually gave
back much more than they got. Eventually, it did shift to more control by the wealthy, with that group
currently trying to dominate globally.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
July 24, 2022 2:38 pm

I agree – to understand Russia’s invasion of Ukraine one only needs to courage to stop concealing from oneself the extraordinary and outrageous nature of America/NATO’s militarisation of Ukraine since 2014. The simple facts of military budgets and number of overseas military bases worldwide make it clear that the USA is the only significant imperialistic aggressor in the world.

That and John Bolton now openly boasting about his involvement in regime changing coups all over the world.

https://youtu.be/M8lJFFovlDI

Imagine the counter example of China militarising Mexico and Texas. That’s the same as what the US did in Ukraine. And don’t take my word for it. That’s the strengthening opinion of all 7 billion people outside the “west”. No-one outside the west is supporting the Russiphobic jihad.

Last edited 21 days ago by Phil Salmon
sail
July 24, 2022 4:40 am

Jan 11, 2022 – The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The global share of US-dollar-denominated exchange reserves declined to 59.15% in the third quarter, from 59.23% in the second quarter, hobbling along a 26-year low for the past four quarters

March 31, 2022 -the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Deputy Managing Director says the sanctions against Russia are likely to undermine the US dollar’s global dominance as a trade currency.

“rapid changes are taking place in the global monetary system that may affect the international role of the dollar.” – Fed Chairman Jerome Powell  6/16/22

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