Jim’s Mailbox

Posted at 11:29 AM (CST) by & filed under Jim's Mailbox.

Jim/Bill,

The point here, in the article below, is not about China’s holdings of gold.

Or the mad rush by many nations to accumulate sizable quantities.

But rather, the move away from the U.S. Dollar.

More to the point, backing the Yuan with gold as a replacement to the Dollar in global trade and investment.

Crucially, the size of the gold addition are far less important than the signaling effect – why did China decide now was the right time to publicly admit its gold reserves are rising?

After months of seeming stability in the yuan relative to gold, Q4 2018/Q1 2019 saw China seemingly allow gold to appreciate relative to the yuan

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One wonders if Alasdair Macleod is on to something when he notes that if the yuan is to replace the dollar for China’s trade, officials will have to back it with gold…

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

China Accelerates Renewed Gold-Buying Spree “To Diversify Its Reserves”
February 12, 2019

After China’s official gold reserves rose for the first time in around two years (since Oct 2016) in December, Beijing appears to have joined the global gold rush, increasing its gold reserves for the second month in a row in January to 59.94 million ounces.

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As we previously noted, China has long been silent on its holdings of gold as many countries are turning away from the greenback.

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The value the country’s holdings of the precious metal reached US$79.319 billion, increasing by more than $3 billion compared to the end of last year.

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Jim,

The Most Dangerous Weapon Ever Rolls Off the Nuclear Assembly Line

Dave

Tomgram: James Carroll, How Many Minutes to Midnight?
February 12, 2019

Consider it a marriage made in hell. Start with the groom, Donald Trump, the man who once wondered why in the world we make nuclear weapons if we can’t use them; who wouldn’t rule out using nukes, even in Europe; who insisted that a president should be “unpredictable” on the subject; who suggested that it might not be “a bad thing for us” if Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea all became nuclear powers; who threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” before he became a chummy correspondent with its dictator; and who called for a nearly 10-fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal (among many other, often contradictory, comments he’s made on nuclear matters).

Now, think about the bride, National Security Advisor John Bolton, a “statesman” who never saw a nuclear agreement he didn’t want to nuke. Those included President Richard Nixon’s Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, President Bill Clinton’s Agreed Framework with North Korea, President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal (all of which he helped to deep-six), and most recently President Ronald Reagan’s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty (a pact that had actually resulted in thousands of ready-to-use nuclear weapons being scrapped). With the help of his neocon bro, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Bolton recently succeeded in sticking a knife directly in the back of that treaty. He’s undoubtedly now eying the New START treaty, which put limits on long-range nukes and is up for renewal in 2021. (The president has already called it “one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration.”)

As TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist James Carroll points out today, the first new member of Trump’s and Bolton’s nuclear family, a “low-yield” nuke, was only recently born and given the less-than-apocalyptic name, W76-2. It looks as though, in nuclear terms, they are headed for a grim version of connubial bliss. To mix a metaphor or two in the fashion of our president, you might even think of that first progeny of theirs as a minute hand on a ticking clock heading for midnight. Tom

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Jim,

I posted the map of all nuclear test every conducted. I hope readers paid attention. The government is not concerned with your safety. Watch the video and you decide.

Dave

The Atomic Soldiers
February 12, 2019

I’ve always been fascinated by nuclear weapons and the self-destructive tendencies of mankind. So when I found declassified United States Civil Defense footage of soldiers maneuvering in the glare of a mushroom cloud, I wanted to learn more about their stories.

I discovered that as many as 400,000 American soldiers and sailors observed nuclear explosions just a few miles from ground zero in more than 200 atmospheric tests conducted between 1946 and 1962. It was difficult to get a precise count of how many men were involved, because most information was classified — including reports on the illnesses the veterans suffered and the radioactive pollution that was released into the environment around the test sites. I was baffled by the lack of recorded testimonies available, but I found a few firsthand accounts of the soldiers’ experiences. Many of them said they’d been positioned much closer to the point of detonation than in the footage I’d seen.

With so little information available and the number of remaining veterans dwindling rapidly, I wanted to prevent these stories from disappearing. I decided to interview some of them as research for a fiction film on the topic and wound up making this documentary in the process. I traveled across the United States to record the veterans’ accounts on camera.

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