Australia to Abandon the U.S. Dollar

Australia to Abandon the U.S. Dollar

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Australia chooses a side in the global currency war.

Australia’s announcement that it is abandoning the U.S. dollar for trade with China is the latest broadside in the global currency war. Starting April 10, Australia and China will no longer use the U.S. dollar for trade between the two nations. For the first time, Australian businesses will be able to conduct trade in Chinese yuan. No more need for U.S. dollar intermediation.

This is a significant announcement and key development for China as it continues its campaign to internationalize the yuan and chip away at the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the announcement during an official visit to Shanghai on Monday. She noted that China is now Australia’s biggest trading partner and that the direct currency trading would be a “huge advantage for Australia.”

She called the currency accord a “strategic step forward for Australia as we add to our economic engagement with China.”

According to hsbc bank, more than 40 percent of small and medium-size Australian businesses that trade with China plan to offer quotes for goods and services in yuan. No longer will Chinese customers need U.S. dollars before purchasing Australian goods.

For China, this is a big accomplishment as it works toward its goal of having about a third of its foreign trade settled in yuan by 2015.

But for the U.S. dollar, it is more like the treatment the U.S. Eighth Army got at Chosin Reservoir in Korea.

This Australia-China currency pact isn’t the only whipping the dollar has taken lately either.

On March 26, China and Brazil agreed to cut out the U.S. dollar for approximately half of their trade. Some $30 billion worth of commerce per year will now be conducted in yuan and reals. Brazilian Economy Minister Guido Mantega said the trade and currency agreement would act as a buffer against any unexpected dollar turbulence in the international financial markets.

Less than a week later, China announced its participation in the joint brics bank initiative. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa announced the creation of a new development bank that some analysts say has the potential to rival the U.S.-dominated World Bank and European-influenced International Monetary Fund.

“Most people assume that the current economic crisis has led to a great strengthening of the power of the World Bank and the imf, and that this power is largely uncontested,” notes Prof. Geoffrey Wood, who teaches at Warwick Business School. “The proposed brics development bank represents an important new development that potentially further circumscribes the influence of these bodies.”

America’s other major ally in the Pacific announced last year that it would be curtailing its use of the dollar too. In June, Japan and China began cutting out the dollar in bilateral trade. The initiative was announced as part of a broad agreement to reinforce financial ties between the world’s third- and fourth-largest economies.

Similar dollar exclusion deals have been announced by Russia and China, Russia and Iran, India and Iran, and India and Japan.

“[T]he free lunch the U.S. has enjoyed ever since the advent of the U.S. dollar as world reserve currency may be coming to an end,” writes popular financial blog ZeroHedge. “And since there is no such thing as a free lunch, all the deferred pain the U.S. Treasury Department has been able to offset thanks to its global currency monopoly status will come crashing down the second the world starts getting doubts about the true nature of just who the real reserve currency will be in the future.

As more nations challenge the dollar’s position as reserve currency it will greatly impact living standards in America. Interest rates will skyrocket. The government will be forced to resort to full-scale money printing to finance its debt. Credit and loans will become unaffordable, collapsing much of America’s consumer economy. Monetary inflation will shoot through the roof destroying the value of people’s savings. And higher levels of unemployment will become a way of life.

By jumping ship and swimming to China, Australia may think it will mitigate the worst of the looming dollar war. But eking out strategic partnerships with China comes with a whole set of other risks that are just as deadly.

Margaret Thatcher and Britain’s Demise

Margaret Thatcher and Britain’s Demise

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For a true patriot, watching powerlessly as one’s nation stumbles into irrelevance and oblivion is worse than death.

In 1979, just prior to being elected prime minister, Margaret Thatcher in an interview with the bbc lamented the deeply depressed state of her beloved Great Britain. At the time, inflation was near 18 percent, unemployment was nearing historic highs, and the nation had retreated into a deep despair. Most people, including Britain’s leaders and elites, had accepted that the era of Great Britain was dead and buried.

Not Margaret Thatcher. “I can’t bear Britain in decline, I just can’t,” Thatcher emphatically stated in the bbc interview.

Mrs. Thatcher was elected prime minister a few weeks later. As prime minister, Thatcher’s supreme ambition—the aim for which she mustered her bounty of impressive traits of character and leadership—was to rescue Britain from its seemingly irreversible demise. We’ve heard a great deal this week about Thatcher’s great accomplishments: her fight for privatization, her thrashing of the unions, the way she restored Britain as a leader in the global community. Thanks to Thatcher, Britain in the 1980s was able to once again—for the first time since World War ii, and before that, the reign of Queen Victoria—accurately call itself Great Britain.

We’ve heard from Mrs. Thatcher’s friends and family, from her political allies and opponents, from those who knew her intimately, and those who didn’t. (Sadly, in a display of the putrid disrespect and dearth of dignity pervasive in contemporary culture, there has also been a great deal of celebration at the news of Thatcher’s death.) Even still, the prevailing reaction to Mrs. Thatcher’s death seems to be one of sadness.

But consider for a moment how merciful it was that she exited the stage when she did.

Let’s assume Margaret Thatcher lived another decade. What would she see? If Britain remains on its current trajectory, Thatcher would witness her nation strangled by debt, its economy paralyzed by entitlement spending, unemployment and inflation. She’d be forced to watch as Britain’s morality and ethics were destroyed by the welfare state, a culture of lawlessness, and the inflow of foreign values and ideologies. She would see Britain’s once distinct national character, its culture and systems—formerly shaped by Judeo-Christian values—diluted and destroyed by secularism and by misguided immigration and multiculturalism.

On the global stage, Mrs. Thatcher would have to watch her nation retreat. She’d see her nation mocked, marginalized and marooned by traditional friends and family. Mrs. Thatcher would witness the fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy, one she herself delivered more than 20 years ago, of a reunited Germany taking control of Europe and then coming after Britain.

Mrs. Thatcher would not only have to witness this, she wouldn’t be able to do anything to prevent it!

Margaret Thatcher devoted the majority of her life, certainly her most active, productive years, to the restoration of Great Britain. She withstood perpetual criticism and attacks; she sacrificed her marriage and family; she endured enormous stress and trial, year after year after year. All in an effort to restore Britain as a prosperous, successful, strong, free, stable, leading world power. For Mrs. Thatcher the sacrifice, I’m sure, was worthwhile and meaningful—as long as the Great Britain she resurrected was preserved.

But alas, it was not.

For a true patriot, and there are precious few today, watching powerlessly as one’s nation stumbles into irrelevance and oblivion is a fate worse than death. Imagine Margaret Thatcher having to experience everything she created, her life’s work, fracture and crumble. Imagine the frustration, the resentment and pain. The heartache.

Thankfully, Margaret Thatcher will not have to suffer such a fate.

Jack Lew Tries to Convince Europe to Become Like America

Jack Lew Tries to Convince Europe to Become Like America

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Can the U.S. convince Europe to soften its austerity measures?

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew traveled to Europe on April 7 to visit with high-profile European Union financial leaders in an attempt to convince them to cut back on austerity measures and instead focus on growth policies. Mr. Lew will face an uphill battle in convincing his EU counterparts. Why would they change when current policies are getting them what they want?

Mr. Lew met with Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. These men are the movers and shakers on the Continent. But the real power in Europe is found in Germany, which is why Lew also went to see German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Any trip trying to convince Europe to change its ways that didn’t include Germany would be doomed to fail.

Mr. Lew went to Europe because of the threat the European crisis has on the international community, and more specifically for Mr. Lew, the effect on U.S. trade with Europe. One senior U.S. Treasury official said the eurozone crisis reduced global growth by three tenths of a percentage point last year. The meetings were also to include discussion of the free trade agreement. Mr. Lew was visiting Europe to gather support for what the Obama government believes is the best way to pull Europe out of its current predicament.

Standing in the way of Mr. Lew’s growth policy, which could be better described as a borrow-and-print-more-money-to-spend policy, are several of Europe’s most powerful policymakers.

Mr. Lew met with ecb President Mario Draghi on the second day of his trip in an attempt to convince him to do a complete reversal on the policies and precepts he has laid down in recent weeks. That has got to be a tough sell. It was Draghi who destroyed Cyprus’s banking industry by forcing it to comply with the strict German bailout terms. He told Cyprus to confiscate bank deposits or else it would be cut off from funds from the European Central Bank—which would have resulted in an immediate and total banking collapse.

The U.S. treasury secretary also tried to convince José Manuel Barroso of his reform ideas. An accomplishable task? Look at what Mr. Barroso has been saying recently. On Sept. 1, 2012, he told the convention of Supreme Court judges in The Hague, “The crisis has made it clear that we must not only complete the economic and monetary union, but also pursue economic integration and deeper political and democratic union withappropriate mechanisms of accountability” (emphasis added).

We found out what those mechanisms of accountability were when, in order to secure a bailout package, Cyprus had to take money from its citizens, shut down its banks and submit to becoming a vassal state of Germany!

After meeting with Mr. Lew, the president of European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, released a statement saying, “EU heads of state or government in March agreed that the only way out of the crisis is to keep tackling its root causes.” A root cause being too much spending and not enough saving.

And then there are others who don’t necessarily want Europe out of its current predicament—at least not yet.

Germany has shown little willingness to ease the burdens placed on austerity-enslaved nations such as Greece and Cyprus. Mr. Lew visited Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to try to convince Germany to pick up the pace in leading the EU out of economic trouble.

There is a reason for German hostility to U.S. recommendations. Some German politicians see the United States as the reason for their current financial burdens. America’s decisions to let Lehman Brothers fail in 2008 ricocheted to the European markets, where local banks and retail investors were hit hard. America’s 2008 financial crisis is what set off Europe’s financial crisis.

But perhaps the biggest reason Germans are reluctant to change their current economic policy is the power the current policy brings them. The recent bailout deal with Cyprus has essentially brought the small island nation under the complete control of Germany. In return for a bailout, Cyprus had to destroy one of the key pillars holding up its prosperity, its financial sector. And now, without its banking sector, Cyprus needs German money more than ever. Dito Greece, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Hungary.

The truth is that the current euro crisis is being used to drive European integration. This is a crisis that EU leaders will not let go to waste. It is allowing them to break taboos to drive forward on the path to a unified European government.

Washington is either incredibly confident in the persuasive abilities of Mr. Lew, or is blind to the fact that many leaders in Europe believe in their current policies and want to see the status quo remain—at least for now.

As time goes on, don’t expect the European elites to take on an American approach to solving their economic problems. As the Trumpet has warned in the context of Bible prophecy, Germany will continue to grow in power. Germany has twice before risen in Europe through World War i and World War ii. This time it is overrunning Europe, not with military power, but through economic means. There is no need for Germany to change its economic policies.

Is Bird Flu Back?

Is Bird Flu Back?

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Do you need to worry about the new flu headlines?

It seems like only yesterday when we were all supposedly going to die from bird flu. Or was it sars? Actually, the last pandemic scare was back in 2005.

The latest scare, coming from eastern China, is a new form of bird flu—H7N9. So far, 28 people have been found with the disease, according to China’s state-owned news media. Eight have died. Most of the cases are from Shanghai, but others are several hundred miles away. Tens of thousands of birds in the area have been culled.

Is this an outbreak we need to fear? It could be, but it’s too early to tell. H7N9 has a number of features that make it dangerous. It has emerged quickly and is spread over a wide area. Most importantly, is has not been found in humans before. This means we have no immunity to it. If the disease starts transmitting from person to person, it could spread very quickly.

A second problem is that unlike H5N1, this flu is very mild in birds. If a bird population became infected with H5N1—the old bird flu—health authorities quickly knew about it because a lot of birds started dying. But H7N9 could spread far and wide without much notice. “This means stopping animal-to-human transmission is impossible,” said Masato Tashiro, from the Influenza Virus Research Center in Tokyo. If the virus becomes widespread among animals, which it may have done already, it could be recurring in humans.

The good news, though, is that there is no evidence that the virus has been transmitted from human to human. As far as we know, every human who has caught the disease got it from an animal. As long as this remains the case, the virus won’t become a pandemic.

But this could change. The virus already has mutated so that it can infect mammals. The more humans come down with the disease, the greater the chance that it will mutate and spread between humans. For some solid advice on how to watch this news story develop, see this post by Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug at Wired Science Blogs.

“Humanity has never been widely exposed to H7 or N9 flu viruses, and so lacks resistance to these subtypes,” writes Nature. “If a pandemic were to occur, it would probably have a severe toll. But it is too early to predict how events will unfold; experts in emerging infectious disease are only just becoming acquainted with the latest villain in their roster.”

Even in this era of modern medicine, we are still vulnerable to a pandemic.

It is easy to dismiss headlines about the next pandemic because the last few scares have not killed millions of people. But scientists know that the potential is there—and Bible prophecy warns us to expect it.

For more information on what the Bible says about a potential disease pandemic, read “Is Bird Flu Really a Threat?

Margaret Thatcher—Exit the Iron Lady

Margaret Thatcher—Exit the Iron Lady

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Not since Winston Churchill had Britain known a leader of her caliber. Now the Iron Lady is dead, and the age of true leadership in Britain dies with her.

Controversy was but a stimulus for her to stick even more strongly to her moral and political convictions. Margaret Thatcher came from a family that was embedded in the old traditions and the heritage that once made Britain Great Britain.

Her moral stance was biblically based. Her personal habits of thrift and hard work stemmed from a sound schooling by her father in the basic, conservative approach to running the family business, two Grantham Village grocery stores.

It is interesting to note that Britain’s initial launching into its period of greatness, its consummation as the greatest empire in history, and its latter-day revival from being “the sick man of Europe” economically to being a tour de force in the dismantling of the Soviet Union, were all accomplished under the influence of strong women leaders.

The leadership of the formidable Queen Elizabeth i at the time of the defeat of the Spanish Armada laid the groundwork for Britain’s dominance of the seas and its future imperial power.

Queen Victoria reigned over the British Empire throughout its period of greatness, giving the Crown the stability to be an icon of imperial greatness during the time of Pax Britannica, the century of world peace overseen by the British Empire.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the rise of Margaret Thatcher in the political ranks of the Conservatives in Britain primed her for her role as a three-term prime minister.

Between the time of her election in 1979 and her forced resignation from the office of prime minister in 1990, Mrs. Thatcher’s economic policies transformed the British economy from its 1970s state of listless drifting to one of the strongest of global economies.

nato Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen summed up Mrs. Thatcher’s leadership of Britain in the following terms: “Baroness Thatcher was an extraordinary politician who was a staunch defender of freedom, a powerful advocate of nato and the transatlantic bond. She strongly supported nato values and principles, believed in a strong defense and played a leading role in ending the Cold War. Throughout her tenure as British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher stood on principle and showed great courage, vision and leadership” (nato press release, April 8).

I last saw Mrs. Thatcher some years ago at Oklahoma University. She was there to receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of her political achievements.

There she stood on stage with the gathered dignitaries, dressed in a smart, feminine-cut dark blue suit, complete with her trademark handbag. Mrs. Thatcher shunned the more manly garb of latter-day female leaders intent on trying to identify with their male peers by wearing pants.

The Iron Lady impressed by lustily singing along with the gathered assembly every single word of the American anthem.

In August 1982, Herbert Armstrong met Mrs. Thatcher at 10 Downing Street, the prime ministerial residence. Their parting comments to each other following a half-hour meeting were reiterated by Mr. Armstrong in an address to his supporters in Pasadena, California, on Nov. 27, 1982.

Commenting on that meeting, Mr. Armstrong went on to reiterate, “As we were leaving, she said, ‘Well, there’s one thing. Our two countries, the United States and Britain, must absolutely continue to hang together.’ And I said, ‘If they don’t hang together, they’ll probably hang separately.’”

Perhaps a harbinger of that “hanging” was, shortly after the present U.S. president came to office, the current U.S. administration’s returning to Britain of the bust of Winston Churchill. During earlier presidencies that symbol of historic British greatness was given pride of place in the Oval Office at the White House.

Bible prophecy predicts that the “hanging” will consummate under a particular geopolitical phenomenon predicted by Mrs. Thatcher.

Sometime after Britain had signed up to the Maastricht Treaty that was to chart the course to dominance by Germany in Europe, Mrs. Thatcher gave a very clear explanation of her reaction.

At a meeting with Francois Mitterrand, George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1995, Mrs. Thatcher declared: “I was opposed to German unification from early on for the obvious reasons. To unify Germany would make her the dominant nation in the European community. They are powerful, and they are efficient.”

Addressing Bush and Gorbachev, she continued: “Mitterrand and I know. We have sat there at the table [with Germany] very often indeed. Germany will use her power. She will use the fact that she is the largest contributor to Europe to say, ‘Look, I put more money in than anyone else, and I must have my way on things which I want.’ I have heard it several times. And I have heard the smaller countries agree with Germany because they hoped to get certain subsidies. The German Parliament would not ratify the Maastricht Treaty unless the central bank for a single currency was based there. What did the European Union say? Yes, you shall have it.”

Thatcher then said, “All this is flatly contrary to all my ideals. Some people say you have to anchor Germany to Europe to stop these features from coming out again. Well, you have not anchored Germany to Europe, but Europe to a newly dominant Germany. That is why I call it a German Europe.”

How prescient were those words!

Almost two decades later, Europe is subject to this actual reality—sheer dominance economically, financially and politically by Germany!

The Iron Lady was right.

Now, hardly a whimper is raised by those in power in Britain as they see the sovereignty of EU nations being destroyed by the Germanic-dominated monolith that the European Union has become.

Though the realists know that D-day for a decision on the continuance of Britain’s EU membership approaches, the government still has not the courage to take the issue to the public in a referendum. Yet Bible prophecy indicates that whether it withdraws or whether its membership is nullified by actions from the Rome/Berlin axis, Britain will be no part of the ultimate 10-power combine prophesied to dominate Europe in the very near future (Revelation 17:12).

The Iron Lady is dead.

With her dies the final slice of real, courageous British political leadership. That quality of Britishness will not return—ever! Your Bible says so.

In fact, it is destined to be replaced by a far better quality—the perfect character of the very One who gave Britain its greatness from the beginning—having no connection with earthly politics.

Read our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy for an astounding exposé of the true history of Britain and the future of greatness that yet awaits its peoples.

No One Is Reporting on the Kermit Gosnell Trial

No One Is Reporting on the Kermit Gosnell Trial

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Why so little coverage of Philadelphia’s ‘House of Horrors’?

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is a Philadelphia abortionist currently on trial for medical procedures gone wrong. More specifically, he is being tried for murdering one woman and seven infants in botched, late-term and post-birth abortion procedures.

But much of the mainstream media has been deafeningly silent about it. This criminal trial warrants a lot more coverage. Here is why.

Gosnell’s trial began March 18, 2013, following fbi raids at his clinic in February 2010 and his arrest in January 2011. For 30 years, he had been using rogue, unsanitary abortion practices, to say the least.

In a Jan. 28, 2011, article titled “Philadelphia’s ‘House of Horrors’,” Trumpet columnist Stephen Flurry wrote about the grisly details of Kermit Gosnell’s case and the media’s reaction to it. He wrote:

[The media has] gone shamefully silent about the political climate that motivated Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s murderous rampage against women and babies over the course of his 30-year career.In February of [2010], federal agents raided Gosnell’s West Philadelphia abortion clinic on the suspicion he was distributing prescription drugs illegally. But what started as a routine drug bust ended with a nauseating tour through a “house of horrors.” It was a disgusting scene one might expect to find in a Third World country—but certainly not in Pennsylvania.The facility was filthy. Flea-infested cats roamed the hallways. There was blood on the floor, animal excrement on stairwells. The stench of urine permeated the air. Medical instruments were left unsterile. Moaning, drugged-up patients were covered with blood-soaked blankets. And the remains of 45 fetuses were strewn all over the facility, stuffed in bags, jars, plastic jugs, juice cartons—even cat-food containers.

It’s hard to describe it further. The clinic “was a house of horrors beyond any type of definition or explanation I can humbly try to give,” Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams told cnn. “My grasp of the English language doesn’t really allow me to fully describe how horrific this clinic was—rotting bodies, fetal remains, the smell of urine throughout, blood-stained.”

In spite of these gory details, the media has not said much about it, at least comparatively speaking. Writing for Forbes.com, Mike Ozanian said that “it is disturbing that Mike Rice gets more coverage than Kermit Gosnell ….” Even the murder trial of Jodi Arias is getting more attention.

The reason for the scant media coverage of this case seems to be the same reason why authorities did little to prevent the horrors in Gosnell’s clinic, despite multiple condemning health inspections.

District Attorney Williams and the Investigating Grand Jury produced a non-partisan, 261-page report on this case. They believe “the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, [and] because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.”

On the race side of things, some observers have noted the race card at play as an explanation for the media’s relative silence. After all, Gosnell’s attorney described the trial as “a targeted, elitist and racist prosecution of a doctor who’s done nothing but give to the poor and the people of West Philadelphia.” Gosnell is black, and he mostly treated poor, minority and immigrant women.

As for the politics, the jury report noted that in 1993, “the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from [pro-life] Governor Casey to [pro-choice] Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”

Ironically, in an article titled “The Questions No One Is Asking About the Kermit Gosnell Case,” pro-choicers Kate Michelman and Carol E. Tracy refer to Pennsylvania’s strictness—not laxity—on abortion procedures as the reason why clinics like Kermit Gosnell’s existed.

But their arguments reveal possible reasons for the media’s minimum reportage. They argued that throughout the ’70s and ’80s, “Pennsylvania’s primary goal was to overturn Roe v. Wade. The state, they wrote, has not nurtured a system of abortion care that is woman-focused, readily accessible, and responsive to their medical needs.” They noted that abortion is so stigmatized that “many people think it is still illegal 40 years after Roe v. Wade.” Some women wanting abortions have been “scared away” by anti-abortion protesters at Planned Parenthood clinics. They were left with no option but to go to Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, “where protesters (ironically) were not an issue.” The article concludes:

History tells us that whether abortion is legal or illegal, women will have abortions—the only difference is whether women live or die. As in the pre-Roe days, women with resources can usually find quality care; but those without resources will often seek out the cheapest possible care. The long-term impact of burdening and stigmatizing abortion care could be that the most vulnerable women will once again have to risk their health and lives to get what should be a completely safe and common medical procedure.

This would appear to be the other reason for the hush-hush around the Gosnell case: the argument that since anti-abortionists have forced women to risk their lives in dubious abortion procedures by obscure, rogue doctors, those doctors should be cut some slack. Besides, wouldn’t reporting much about it seem too anti-abortion? Wouldn’t it tend to raise the case against abortion?

There is tremendous value and potential in human life—before or after birth. “Any means by which people cut off that human life,” wrote Trumpet columnist Joel Hilliker in 2000, “demonstrates a pitiable ignorance—a lack of true education—about the purpose for human life and the incredible potential bound up within it.”

The same is true about how the media reports about it.

For more on the subject, read “The Missing Dimension in the Abortion Issue” and The Incredible Human Potential.