Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (43)
Written by Adam Whitehead, KeySignals.com
Markets have been led on a wild goose chase, in the month of August, by the need for policy makers to create a consensus of opinion on the appropriate actions to take in relation to the Middle East Question and the Global Economy. It has become difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.
“The Cold War has been replaced by a new nightmare… the Muslim world gone mad”
This situation was recently highlighted by the call to arms from the action novelist Frederick Forsyth[i]. In the Forsyth version of Helter Skelter, the civilised nations face another multi-generational conflict, similar to the Cold War; but this time against radical Islam rather than the Soviet Union.
“Required Background Reading.”
Forsyth is either unaware of, or has chosen to erase from his historiography, the fact that it was radical Islam, created by western intelligence services, that was key to the final defeat of the Soviet Union. This more nuanced inconvenient truth however spoils the new story. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (42) “Level 3” suggested that, as a result of America classifying ISIS as its greatest threat, foreign policy was moving into a “new dimension”. The dimensions of ISIS have been recently equated with those of the Taliban and mini-oil producing state; in order to fill in the blanks for a bemused global public who wonder how nobody saw this latest one coming[ii].
The reference to the Taliban, who have survived the Red Army and America’s numerous surges, conveys the image of doggedness; and hence a longevity which will require a multi-decade conflict to eradicate. The reference to oil suggests that ISIS must be deprived of this asset in order to destroy its financial base; which implies that another resource war, with similar noble intentions to all the others, is underway.
David Cameron appeared a little out of touch, or perhaps reticent to move into this “new dimension”, when he was caught surfing in Cornwall whilst the conflict deteriorated[iii]. Having briefly checked in with the office, he went back to catch some waves.
“Dick and Boris Don’t Surf!”
Boris Johnson seemed to resonate more coherently with the emotional sentiment of the times, when he opined[iv] that English Jihadis should have their citizenship revoked; and then that they should be killed by allied bombing in Iraq. His position seems to resonate very closely with that of Dick Cheney. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (42) “Level 3” suggested that “the invective from Dick Cheney, who has implied the President’s cowardice in the face of the enemy, will now reach new levels of opprobrium”. Cheney’s new level of invective was swiftly achieved thereafter. He is of the opinion that the next 9/11 at the hands of ISIS is imminent. He was however very swift to point out that this will be magnified by a “million times over for the rest of the world”[v].
“Hide your wife, Casanova’s back”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (25) “Pride and Extreme Prejudice”
Cheney implies that military intervention is therefore necessary now, in anticipation of these future events. His position is similar to that taken by Tony Bliar, who was observed in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (25) “Pride and Extreme Prejudice”[vi]. Blair’s position was that radical Islam is the greatest threat to humanity. It is surprising that he has not yet appeared to say “I told you so”, in light of the Pentagon upgrading ISIS to America’s greatest threat and Cheney’s most recent opining. Presumably, like Cameron, family holidays take precedence over global conflicts; he was therefore unavailable for comment on a private yacht somewhere off the coast of Sicily[vii].
“In the Cold Light of Day!”
The other half of the Dynamic Duo of global crime-fighters was taking the Ice Bucket Challenge; and was therefore lost for eloquence as usual but at least not lost for an excuse. Just to prove that there are no hard feelings, whilst also preparing for future political combat between America’s favourite political dynasties, George W Bush nominated his predecessor Bill Clinton for the Challenge.
“A Frosty Reception.” “Batteries not included”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (18) “Beyond the Pale”
Clinton’s wife Hillary received more than a bucket of ice water over her head from Mitt Romney last week. Romney’s failed presidential bid was ridiculed at the time, for being out of touch with geopolitics, when he made much of the threat still posed by Russia. Revenge is a dish best eaten cold; and Romney was enjoying the dish being served up by the latest events in Ukraine. His bucket of ice water moment on Clinton, was in relation to her famous “reset” button incident with Sergei Lavrov[viii].
Clinton has now been soaked twice; first in relation to her role in the Benghazi killings of US Embassy personnel and secondly in relation to the “reset” button. More fatal soakings can be envisioned, in relation to these incidents, on live televised presidential debates should she make it that far.
“They Were Right.”
Paul Ryan gave a hint of things to come, with a dress rehearsal Clinton soaking of his own. He enjoyed his revenge served cold by observing, like Romney, that both of them got it right on foreign policy when they ran together in 2008. He also signalled that his policy, if elected president, will be to deal with ISIS far more vigorously[ix]. His main criticisms of Obama and thus Clinton by default, are firstly that their policy has been too “reactive”; and secondly that their containment strategy is not a realistic option.
Ryan would defeat his enemies on the ground in real time, rather than seek to contain them. In fact, the line taken by Ryan resonates closely with that of Bliar and Cheney. ISIS containment could therefore be the order of the day, for what remains of the Obama administration; which could then be swiftly supplanted by “boots on the ground” if Paul Ryan is in the next administration.
“He Holds His Truths to be Self-Evident.”
Age of Foolishness (33) “Good Fellas”[x] suggested that the “new dimension” in geopolitics in the Middle East would follow the contours of the natural resource deposits. Having tried to initially appear objective and supportive of a unified Iraq, by legally challenging the rights of the autonomous Kurdish region to sell crude oil on its own account, America began to subtly change position in order to recognise the emerging state of Kurdistan. The man charged with this flip-flop was US District Court Judge Gray Miller of Houston. The case boiled down to where Iraq lost control of the cargo[xi]. If it lost control at source in the Kurdish region, it is up to the Kurds themselves to decide to make themselves subject to US laws. If the cargo was lost during pipeline transportation and shipping, then it belongs to Iraq.
The precedent set is that Iraq has lost control of its Kurdish oil, if it can no longer control and defend the oilfields. Presumably whoever is in control and can defend these oilfields, is the new de facto state. ISIS wishes to contest this ownership; and the Iraqi army does not wish to fight for it. Since the Kurds are the only ones putting up a fight; should they win, then they will be in control of the oilfields and hence the de facto state. American jurisprudence is therefore at the heart of the declaration of Kurdish independence.
Just to support their case, the Kurds have come up with a plan to quadruple crude output[xii]. A quadrupling in output would create the scale, in terms of barrels per day, which would make them an oil producing state of some significance that could demand to be recognised on the international stage. Judge Miller ruled that the case for seizure of the cargo should be thrown out[xiii]; so the door is now open for Kurdistan’s nationhood. This is what Dick Cheney would call a “slam dunk”.
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (42) “Level 3” concluded that the Obama administration was not ready to put “boots on the ground” in Iraq; and that this option would be left over for the next President. America therefore intends to fight ISIS by proxy. The proxies are constituted by the various militias active on the ground. To qualify as a proxy, interested militias have therefore been releasing American captives; to stand in clear antithesis to ISIS[xiv]. It was also suggested that the old colonial powers, namely Britain and France, would be classified as American proxies by nature of their former mandates in the Middle East.
“Muslim countries should play a bigger role in combating Isil”
Despite the alleged popularity of Frederick Forsyth’s next best seller, Britons are not keen to be American proxies however. With an election looming, this is presumably why David Cameron prefers to take stick for going to the beach, rather than committing to another military adventure.
“I have climbed to the top of the greasy pole.”
This is also presumably why Boris Johnson, the gambler, is willing to take a risk; since he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. David Cameron has made an issue of policy passing the “family test”; Johnson’s position seems to have been put to the “Disraeli test”. America’s proxies ultimately seem destined to come from the Muslim World therefore.
Thus having just removed one generation of American proxies with Arab Spring; a new generation is just about to be born in reaction to the failure of the democratic systems in Arab Spring to replace them.
The inherent problem, with fighting an enemy by proxy, is that an element of control over the campaign and thus final outcome is surrendered to the proxies. In addition, the criticism of cowardice can still be levelled at those who chose to fight by proxy, rather than put “boots on the ground”.
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (40) “Candide”
Combining the issue of loss of control with cowardice, it can therefore be suggested that the Obama administration is losing its political authority and legitimacy. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (40) “Candide”[xv] started to look at the President’s legacy. This legacy is now deteriorating rapidly. The apparent loss of control of the situation was evident in the surprise and anger with which Egyptian and the UAE air force missions against Libyan rebels were received by Washington last week[xvi]. Clearly these two countries have got the message from the West that Muslim countries are now supposed to take care of their own radical Islamic issues; and have acted accordingly. Their initiative however reflects poorly on the President; because it implies that his failure has forced them to act unilaterally.
A more interesting development is emerging in the confederation of former enemies of America; who are now allies in the war against ISIS. Iran and Hezbollah now find themselves as American proxies. Even more bizarre is the alignment of the more conservative elements in the Sunni orthodoxy with Iran[xvii]. Ultimately, all these proxies have significantly different agendas than each other and also than America. The element of control has therefore been totally lost; so that the outcome is extremely uncertain. America has however made it clear that the Assad regime will not be recognised as a proxy; so its days still remain numbered at the hands of some other proxy[xviii]. In Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (41) “Axes of Evil” it was concluded that:
“One can thus only conclude that the real strategy is to dismember Iraq; but to do so in a deliberately confused manner which cannot be clearly understood for obvious political reasons.”
Based on the development of the proxy theory (ex-Assad) it is logical to assume that Syria is also intended for dismemberment. It would be ironic, but not surprising, to see the Old Ottoman Empire being reconstituted; in order to subsume the freshly dismembered parts of Syria and Iraq. Turkey is after all a NATO member, therefore it is the Uber-Proxy.
“Back on the Green, Green, Grass of Home Grown Terror Again.”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (34) “Blowback”
All eyes will be on Cardiff (once again) shortly; as NATO will be meeting there. By some strange coincidence, NATO will be meeting in the city recently made famous for its Jihadi “Men of Harlech” discussed in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (34) “Blowback”[xix]. This situation presents endless opportunities for the framing of public opinion.
“They’re Off to See the Wizard.”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (39) “OECDean’s ’14”
The wild goose chase in the political arena was reflected in the wild goose chase going on at Jackson Hole last month. The performances of the central bankers were no less theatrical than those of the politicians.
“The Hills of Wyoming Are Alive With the Sound of Their Music.”
Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi were given starring roles, as the hills of Jackson Hole were alive with sound of music for bullish speculators to dance to. The deteriorating geopolitical events were a necessary background for the monetary policy initiatives rolled out by Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi and Mark Carney. The geopolitical headwinds were framed as threats to economic growth, which should temper the enthusiasm of central banks to tighten monetary policy further and normalize interest rates. The two heroes were also able to sing their way out of captivity of another form of German policy, just like the original score.
“Stooged at Jackson Hole.”
Yellen gave the Hawks a chance to dig their own graves, by letting them speak first at the symposium. They did not disappoint, and led the markets on a wild goose chase in anticipation of early tightening. Yellen then followed; and began to manoeuvre the Stooges to “the wrong side of history”[xx]. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (39) “OECDean’s ’14”[xxi] opined that:
“The latest FOMC announcement, suggests that Yellen has been successful in decoupling the notion of the growth mandate from the unemployment rate[xxii]. The FOMC will now use a ‘range of indicators’; all of which currently suggest that there is still slack in the labour-force despite the unemployment rate suggesting otherwise.”
Yellen emphasized the infamous FOMC “range of indicators”, in a speech which was designed to begin to engage the Stooges in a debate which they will ultimately lose. There was something controlled in her delivery, which suggests that she was leaving the stage for Mario Draghi; but also that she is going to come back, once Draghi has enjoyed his applause, to take a bow of her own. Yellen didn’t land the Helicopter at Jackson Hole, because Mario Draghi needed the space to land something big of his own. Yellen thus has the opportunity to pick her landing spot, when the inflation and economic growth landing lights are clearly marking the helipad. What she achieved at Jackson Hole, was to win the battle over early rate hikes. Consensus that there is no need for early rate hikes has been achieved; her next battle is to achieve consensus that there should be a permanent expansion in the money supply which is targeted at the Middle Class. She paved the way for this, by making the case that the economic recovery has not extended to this cohort yet.
“Get Off the Fence Again Europe!”
(Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (38) “Rosebud”)
Before reading on, the reader should go back and read Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (10) “The Two Juries of the Atlantic”[xxiii] to provide some background. Back then it was opined that:
“Japan was scheduled to provide the global liquidity in 2013, this year it will be the ECB.”
This original libretto was used again at the latest performance in Jackson Hole. In Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (38) “Rosebud”[xxiv], European policy makers were identified as being stuck on the fence in relation to unconventional monetary policy. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (42) “Level 3” observed that nothing short of QE from the ECB would satisfy the growing consensus on Deflation risk in the Eurozone.
Going into Jackson Hole, deteriorating Eurozone economic data (including Germany) and the geopolitical headwinds, from Ukraine and the Middle East, made this consensus overwhelming. After Yellen gave a more muted speech, the stage was set for Draghi; and he did not disappoint. Draghi signalled QE[xxv]; but not in its American form.
“The Logic Behind ECB QE”
Eurozone inflation expectations are now back at their post Credit Crunch lows. The headline, that Deflation is a real threat, underpins the logic for QE; but its application will be nuanced. He was very clear to emphasize that the Eurozone is a heterogeneous entity, with many different economic challenges.
In the classic style of an MIT master practitioner, of the dark arts of central banking, Draghi signalled that specific practical monetary policy solutions would be taken on a case by case basis. He was also careful to emphasize that this monetary policy would be no panacea; and must go hand in hand with real structural economic reforms, in addition to looser fiscal policies in countries which need it.
True to his word, he is going to “do whatever it takes”; and for as long as it takes. Like Captain Von Trapp, he has been able to help the Eurozone escape, from the menace of another German one monetary and fiscal policy size fits all ending, whilst still appearing to wear lederhosen!
“Still Hanging In There.”
It was interesting to watch the BOJ hiding in the long shadows cast by the Fed and the ECB at Jackson Hole. The BOJ is currently facing the awkward realization that Abenomics isn’t working. The boost in inflation has been a consumption headwind; and the fall in the Yen has barely stimulated exports. BOJ Governor Kuroda was therefore happy to pretend that everything was on track at Jackson Hole[xxvi]; and that no further remedial action was needed. He was also happy for the ECB and the Fed to steal the limelight; and take the spotlight away from his own travails.
The central bankers at Jackson Hole all understand that a unilateral monetary stimulus by one country is not enough to move the global needle. What is needed is a sustained monetary stimulus from all central banks. All domestic economies need to be stimulated simultaneously in order to stimulate the global economy.
The Fed went first, followed by the Bank of England and then the BOJ. Next up is the ECB. The fact of the matter, ignored by the pundits, is that all central banks will need a concerted period of time in which they are stimulating. All bets on a Fed tightening, whilst the ECB is easing, are therefore misplaced.
What is known as a race to the bottom must occur, to make sure that all boats appear to rise together; and also so that one boat cannot blame another for unfair unilateral stimulus. This fact is clearly lost on the price and behaviour of Gold for the moment. Coming out of Jackson Hole, the overwhelming consensus is that global employment cannot increase with early interest rates hikes from central banks[xxvii].
“The Tailwinds Have Become Headwinds.”
The first signal that there has been a seismic shift, on US interest rate policy, came from the barometer of FOMC sentiment known as James Bullard. Bullard blows in the wind; in so far as he changes his mind on policy at the slightest sense of a change in the wind on the FOMC. His latest shift came disguised by the headwinds blowing from Europe. Anxious to appear worldly and also to cover up his purely domestic call on the US interest rates, Bullard declared that Europe was the greatest threat to his outlook for rising interest rates in the near future[xxviii].
After Jackson Hole, there is now consensus that the ECB will be doing QE. The condition, that all central banks must be easing at the same time in order for there to be a sustained global economic recovery, has therefore been met. Gold traders seem to be oblivious to these facts.
“Yesterday’s fish and chip wrapper could also be tomorrow’s”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (31) “The Longest Day”
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, would also prefer to be out of the spotlight at the moment. He is facing accusations of being in league with the Chancellor, not to raise interest rates in this Parliament. Carney therefore walked a fine line; by only being willing to admit that the UK economy was more than half-way to recovery. Anything more specific would focus attention on the said interest rates and the alleged plot with the Treasury.
Carney therefore left the opining on interest rates to Ben Broadbent; who rose to the occasion with style. Broadbent made it abundantly clear[xxix] that the path of UK interest rates will be “materially different” than in the past. This was easily read as code, for meaning that they will not go up swiftly or by large increments. The Bank of England is not out the woods however; and neither is the Chancellor. There is a growing awareness in the nation that the true inflation rate is running in the region of 5%[xxx]; despite what the statisticians who don’t live normal lives have to say.
“Not a Nice Little Earner.”
Much has been made of the transformation of the UK economy from, “wage slaves” to self-employed during the recovery[xxxi].
Closer analysis shows that the salaries of the self-employed have actually been falling relative to the “wage slaves” however. The growth of the self-employed is therefore nothing for Coalition politicians to boast about.
“Make the betht of uth; not the wurtht!”
(Charles Dickens, Hard Times)
The plight of those, in salaried employment in the South, is nothing to be proud of either. Recent surveys[xxxii] from YouGov and Shelter, have found that one in three working parents in the South, regularly miss out on a meal in order to meet the outgoings and debts. Cameron’s famed “family test” is clearly not applicable to this data.
These economic home truths, plus the Scottish Referendum this month and the spectre of the General Election in 2015, all have the potential to upset the apple cart, either in isolation or combined together.
None of these inconvenient facts can be positive for Sterling. If the Eurosceptics move the odds in favour of the Brexit early into the next Parliament, then the situation has the potential to unravel like the good old Sterling Crises of old. The latest defection of Douglas Carswell, from the Conservatives to UKIP[xxxiii], has potentially begun the unravelling.
The European bandwagon is starting to roll again, with QE and supply side reforms as the drivers; if Britain opts out of this financial junket the speculators will punish its financial assets. The good news is, that since all the central banks are racing to the bottom, it won’t be like 1992 this time round.
Qu’est-ce que c’est……”
(Talking Heads, Psycho Killer)
The immediate economic and political landscape in Europe, post-Draghi at Jackson Hole, has been interesting to observe. The French Government, having blamed Germany for their recession, immediately resigned[xxxiv]; leaving Hollande with the difficult task of selecting a new government that can work with Draghi and also reform the economy going forward.
The job of supply side reform has been given to a young Rothschild alumnus, named Emmanuel Macron[xxxv]. One can therefore expect the French to try and apply the same kind of supply side reforms of the “perfidious Albion”, dreamed up by Rothschilds and Sir Keith Joseph, which Margaret Thatcher applied. French unemployment and public unrest, along with oversubscribed privatization IPO’s, will be the order of the day going forward.
It will be interesting to see if Hollande dares to utter the famous words, that “there is no such thing as society”, as he applies the French version of Thatcherism. Angela Merkel was swift to give her vote of confidence to the new supply side French government[xxxvi]; which supports the conclusion that a classical European deal has been done. Germany will allegedly ease up on austerity and approve ECB QE, in return for European countries applying supply side reforms to their economies.
The French government resignation was widely viewed as a referendum on austerity; which unanimously voted no. We have therefore reached the point at which Germany cannot enforce further austerity without splitting up the Eurozone; as was predicted in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (38) “Rosebud”[xxxvii] which opined that:
“It can therefore be observed that Germany is simply getting the final price of this final bailout down to the lowest value possible, without triggering revolutions in the PIIGS (and France) which will break the whole Eurozone up.”
Within Germany there is a fascinating, even if totally unexpected, development in domestic politics. Thus far, it has been the German consensus to turn its back on further fiscal support for its Eurozone trading partners. The Eurosceptic Party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) has had a renaissance during this period.
As hostilities have emerged with Russia and also in the Middle East however, Germans have suddenly started to feel more European and less German. The point at which Germans are willing to pick up the tab, with conditions attached, for their neighbours appears to have occurred; at exactly the same point at which their neighbours were throwing in the towel on the European Project.
This confluence of events has a very powerful political dynamic; which when combined with Draghi’s new agenda will deliver some very meaningful changes in the until now inert “Eurosclerotic” zone. It should be remembered that Draghi concurred with the Bundesbank’s Weidmann, on the need for structural reforms in Europe, as a precondition for further monetary stimulus. The Bundesbank is therefore also in alignment with the new events. Draghi will “do whatever it takes” and apparently so will the Germans.
Source: Bruegel based on IMF data (Direction of Trade Statistics database).
Note: The above figure shows intra-EU and intra-Eurozone shares of export on total export of the two groups respectively. Each of the two lines were constructed taking into account the changing composition of the European Union and the Euro Area over time, meaning that a given country is included in the series only by the time it joined the EU or the Euro. However, further calculations shows results do not change dramatically if considering a fixed group of countries in either series. |
The EU and the ECB are now facing their greatest existential threats; so it is fortunate timing that Germany has finally started to show its true European colours. There is a growing consensus[xxxviii], among European businessmen and academics, that the benefits of the single currency are now non-existent. Germany was probably the last country to benefit from the single currency, by shielding its industrial base from competition; now it’s game over. The AfD movement, simply wanted to bank Germany’s winnings and walk away from further obligations to its neighbours.
The end of the single currency would however be the end of the EU and the political class which it upholds. The political vacuum would presumably be filled with Right Wingers, who did so well at the last European elections. Europe would then have been divided; and presumably ripe for conquering by the old enemy in the East.
By coincidence, or not, the old enemy in the East showed its intentions and capabilities first in Crimea and then in Ukraine. This threat has been sufficient to make Germany become righteous, in relation to the European Project. This threat has also given the EU a cause to rally around and ensure its own political survival.
The latest developments in Ukraine, which are being interpreted as a de facto Russian incursion[xxxix], should accelerate the EU’s move to save the European Project and their jobs. It has taken the threats from both Russia and the Middle East, to overcome German inertia and unite the fractious Eurozone polity.
These new European developments have not gone unnoticed by investors and speculators. Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (42) “Level 3” observed that:
“The only value currently left is in Europe; however this requires Draghi to embark on QE.”
This value is being swiftly realised post-Jackson Hole. What is very interesting to note is the valuation bid for German equities[xl]. The Beta-players are all piling into the Peripheral risk assets; however they ignore the fact that these assets must ultimately discount some kind of risk premium for the ongoing structural economic reform that comes conditional with Draghi’s QE.
Structural reform however reduces the burden on the German taxpayer; so the future budget surpluses, that Germany has engineered, can go back into the German economy rather than into bailing out neighbouring countries. Germany is therefore just as big an, if not a bigger, economic beneficiary of events post-Jackson Hole as are the Peripherals.
German assets also do not need a risk premium, in relation to structural reform, priced into them; which would have reduced their value. German industry and most of its economy has remained in place, unlike that in its neighbours, since the Credit Crunch; so Germany Inc. comes out ahead with even less competitors as the Eurozone finally pulls out of the hole.
“The Song Remains the Same.”
Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (35) “Red Lines and Green Lights”
The political process being discounted by the speculators risks running ahead of itself. Germany in principle has accepted that it must become more European; however in practice this usually ends up as Germany trying to make Europeans become more German. This strategy has failed, however it has not yet been fully acknowledged by German policy makers.
If Germany needs Europe, which it has indicated is the case, then it must compromise with Europe rather than coerce it. Wolfgang Schaeuble evinced this characteristic German trait, when he weighed in with his own take on what Draghi had really said at Jackson Hole[xli]. According to the Schaeuble version of events, the ECB in fact has run out of monetary tools; which means that national governments must pick up the heavy lifting on growth.
Schaeuble is keen to see that this is done with supply side economic reforms, rather than further deficit spending. Germany has therefore not gone all in on being European just yet; and it will take more threats from Russia and ISIS before the fiscal purse strings are loosened.
It is however unlikely that Mario Draghi is going to wait for things to get worse; so a showdown between him and the Germans should be expected very shortly.
For the readers who still don’t like the Old Colonialists versus the “Wiley Oriental Gentleman” story, from Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (41) “Axes of Evil”, we would remind them of what was predicted last time in Age of Wisdom, Age of Foolishness (42) “Level 3”:
“If this thesis is correct, Canada and parts of the Empire should also develop this peculiar strain of natural resource nationalism in due course.”
“Pretty in Pink.”
Stephen Harper is the latest leader, of what is strictly speaking a Dominion, to follow the Antipodean lead. Canada is alleged to have created a “shadow committee”[xlii] of senior officials to review foreign investments from a national security perspective.
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