Sheldon Richman: America is in No Position To Lecture Russia About Imperialism

Obama and PutinThe
conflict in Ukraine has prompted several level-headed commentators
to point out that, of all governments, the U.S. government is in no
position to lecture Russia about respecting other nations’ borders.
America, too, has ling engaged in empire-building. This history
doesn’t excuse Russia, writes Sheldon Richman, but it accounts for
the less-than-awed reception for President Obama’s and Secretary
Kerry’s sanctimonious utterances.

View this article.

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Every Chart You Should Be Tracking But Were Too Afraid To Find

A series of crises, the latest being the ominous developments in the Ukraine and further evidence of disappointing growth in China, have rattled financial markets. Of course, with all major central banks at amazingly easy policy stances, the bet continues to be that the latest uncertainties will also pass. That may be true once again. But, as Abe Gulkowitz lays out in the inimitable style of his The Punch Line letter, one must recognize that many of the serious flaws uncovered in each of the predicaments will linger for years to come and that the policy remedies have at best covered up the fundamental issues without completely resolving them.

Even in the U.S., the best of all major economies, the economy and financial markets still suffer from “lasting effects” of the Great Recession and seem yet to be able to muster up enough momentum to get back up to previous robust growth rates, especially for job growth. And the massive easing itself is likely to have its own potential for unintended consequences.

Serious and surprising weakness in emerging economies may also jeopardize growth trajectories for global recovery. The exposure emanates out of the greater vulnerability that world trade and growth have today from these super performing emerging economies.

This is particularly true for China, which by now has a stronger impact on the world’s economy, supply chains, commodity markets and world currencies. China is a key issue. Weaker growth, a complexity of debt issues, and awkward demographics, all combine to raise issues regarding the outlook. China’s debts are troubling – and not just because they’re alarmingly big. Amplifying the concerns is the complexity of those debts. That’s the trouble with China’s lengthening “credit chains”.

And in Europe, markets roared back as the euro crisis seemed to recede in the face of policy support. Yet basic job growth seems to be far behind. Unemployment is undermining many countries in the EU, not just massive debt levels. The unemployment is particularly severe for most of the younger age groups. Fertility rates are very low, and life expectancy keeps rising — trends that underpin the conundrum of demographic ageing. Even those countries performing relatively well are retaining a cautious stance about future prospects, and those performing poorly are still short of new ideas — and, in many cases, the adequate financial wherewithal — to alleviate weak growth prospects.

 

Full letter below in all its chartapalooza glory…

 

TPL Mar 13 14


    



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Crimea’s Economy Summarized

As the clock ticks down to tomorrow's Crimea referendum, where residents will vote to align with Russia or to stay in Ukraine, Russia Today looks at what the sunny Black Sea peninsula can offer economically and what ties it has with Moscow and Kiev. At first glance, Crimea has certain problems – a lack of energy, and more dangerously, freshwater resources. The republic's annual GDP is only $4.3 billion – 500 times smaller than the size of Russia’s $2 trillion economy. However, whatever the results of the referendum are, fixing the dilapidated state of infrastructure and transport could offer a real investment opportunity for both Russian companies and Crimean entrepreneurs.

 

 

But Tourism and Energy are key to its future:

Tourism

The backbone of Crimea’s local economy is its bustling tourist industry, which draws in 6 million visitors per year during the summer season. But currently, 70 percent of the tourists are from Ukraine, and only 25 percent from Russia. Political rifts between Russia and Ukraine could turn off tourists, with tourism expected to drop by 30 percent this year.

However, if Crimea becomes a part of Russia it’ll become a more attractive holiday destination for Russia’s population of 142 million, whose per capita income is more than three times Ukrainians', according to World Bank estimates.

The average Ukrainian salary was 3148 Hryvna per month ($331) in February 2014, according to the Ukrainian Bureau of Statistics. In Crimea, the average is 2693 Hryvna ($283), whereas in Kiev, workers make nearly double, 4783 Hryvna ($503).

Oil and Gas prize

The big economic prize in Crimea lies to the south, in the Black Sea natural gas fields.

Extraction from these fields has the potential to be substantial – up to 7 million tons in annual production capacity, by Bloomberg estimates.

US ExxonMobil and UK/Dutch Shell have also been in talks with Ukraine about deepwater offshore oil drilling, but the only problem is, all this oil is located under Crimean waters. The deal is estimated at $1 billion.

ExxonMobil’s Black Sea offshore plans are currently on hold, senior vice president Andrew Swiger told investors at an early March meeting.

On Thursday, Crimea’s authorities took under their umbrella Ukrainian oil and gas fields in the Black and Asov seas, according to the speaker of Crimea’s parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov.

He supports Russia’s Gazprom taking control of the oil and gas assets.

"Russia, and Gazprom, should take care of the oil and gas production. It's not our issue," said Konstantinov, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

 

But as Russia Today notes, Sergey Aksyonov, Crimea’s Prime Minister and an advocate of joining Russia, has the hope that breaking away from Ukraine will transform the economy for the better. Aksyonov cited Singapore, which is an independent city-state, as an example to follow.

Crimea may not follow the same success path, but an option to boost growth is to make Crimea a special economic zone – with less taxes and financial regulation – which could spur growth and attract foreign investment. In 2005, Russia passed a law that allows for special economic zones, and has toyed with setting one up in the Far East, but so far, none have been established.


    



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If You Are Considering Buying A House, Read This First

In September of 2011, when looking at the insurmountable debt catastrophe that the world finds itself (which has only gotten worse in the past several years) we warned that “the only way to resolve the massive debt load is through a global coordinated debt restructuring (which would, among other things, push all global banks into bankruptcy) which, when all is said and done, will have to be funded by the world’s financial asset holders: the middle-and upper-class, which, if BCS is right, have a ~30% one-time tax on all their assets to look forward to as the great mean reversion finally arrives and the world is set back on a viable path.”

Two years later, the financial asset tax approach, in the form of depositor bail-ins, was tried – successfully (as there was no mass rioting, no revolution, in fact the people were perfectly happy to accept the confiscation of their savings) – in Cyprus, further emboldening the status quo, in this case the IMF, to propose, tongue in cheek, that the time has come for the uber-wealthy to give back some (“it’s only fair”), and to raise income taxes through the roof (which of course would mostly impact the middle class as the bulk of current income for the 1% is in the form of dividend income, ultra-cheap leverage extraction on assets and various forms of carried interest).

And now, a new tax is not only on the horizon but coming fast and furious to allow the insolvent global regime at least one more can kicking: one which will impact current and future homeowners across the world.

But first, let’s step back.

Last week, the IMF did what only the IMF could do: come to the realization that we proposed in 2009, and even the Davosites discussed earlier this year: namely that the middle class is effectively an endangered species, and rapidly on its way to wholesale extinction, and that the polarity between the rich and poor has never been greater. The IMF concluded, with the panache that only this comical organization is capable of, that income inequality “is weighing on global economic growth and fueling political instability.”

The WSJ reports:

The International Monetary Fund’s latest salvo came Thursday in a top official’s speech and a 67-page paper detailing how the IMF’s 188 member countries can use tax policy and targeted public spending to stem a rising disparity between haves and have-nots.

 

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has made the issue a high priority for the fund, warning—along with some of the fund’s most powerful shareholders—that inequality is threatening longer-run economic prospects. Last month, Ms. Lagarde said the income gap risked creating “an economy of exclusion, and a wasteland of discarded potential” and rending “the precious fabric that holds our society together.”

The IMF’s solution? The same as that of socialists everywhere: redistribute the wealth… because apparently socialism works every time, all the time, with stellar results.

“Redistribution can help support growth because it reduces inequality,” David Lipton, the fund’s No. 2 official and a former senior White House aide, said in a speech Thursday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “But if misconceived, this trade-off can be very costly.”

 

“There’s a sense that the burdens of the crisis have been unevenly distributed, that the middle classes and the poor have footed more of the bill of the crisis than the economic elite,” said Moisés Naím, a senior economist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Venezuela’s former trade minister.

Oh is there a sense? Is that why the Fed has halted its QE program which takes from what little is left of the middle class and gives to those who already have more money than they can spend in several lifetimes. Guess not.

So how does the IMF suggest going about this wholesale, global socialist revolution? Simple: the way we explained nearly three years ago.

The IMF’s latest paper doesn’t prescribe country-specific measures, but it does offer several proposals that are likely to be controversial. Most notably, the IMF says many advanced and developing economies can narrow inequality by more aggressively applying property taxes and “progressive” personal income taxes that rise as incomes increase.

 

The median top personal income-tax rate across the globe has halved since the 1980s to around 30%. But the IMF says “revenue-maximizing [personal income tax] rates are probably somewhere between 50% and 60% and optimal rates probably somewhat lower than that.”

We wouldn’t be too concerned about income taxes. After all, one needs to have a job to have income, and as everyone knows by now, jobs also are on their way to extinction, and every central bank everywhere will merely print the money needed to cover the income tax shortfall, leading to that “other” alternative to fixing the debt problem: global hyperinflation (with a little precious metals confiscation on the side: just like FDR did in the 1930s).

But going back to the original point, here is why those in the market for a house should be worried. Very worried. From page 40 of the IMF’s paper on “Fiscal Policy and Income Inequality“:

Some taxes levied on wealth, especially on immovable property, are also an option for economies seeking more progressive taxation. Wealth taxes, of various kinds, target the same underlying base as capital income taxes, namely assets. They could thus be considered as a potential source of progressive taxation, especially where taxes on capital incomes (including on real estate) are low or largely evaded. There are different types of wealth taxes, such as recurrent taxes on property or net wealth, transaction taxes, and inheritance and gift taxes. Over the past decades, revenue from these taxes has not kept up with the surge in wealth as a share of GDP (see earlier section) and, as a result, the effective tax rate has dropped from an average of around 0.9 percent in 1970 to approximately 0.5 percent today. The prospect of raising additional revenue from the various types of wealth taxation was recently discussed in IMF (2013b) and their role in reducing inequality can be summarized as follows.

  • Property taxes are equitable and efficient, but underutilized in many economies. The average yield of property taxes in 65 economies (for which data are available) in the 2000s was around 1 percent of GDP, but in developing economies it averages only half of that (Bahl and Martínez-Vázquez, 2008). There is considerable scope to exploit this tax more fully, both as a revenue source and as a redistributive instrument, although effective implementation will require a sizable investment in administrative infrastructure, particularly in developing economies (Norregaard, 2013).

And there you have it: if you are buying a house, enjoy the low mortgage (for now… and don’t forget – if and when the time comes to sell, the buyer better be able to afford your selling price and the monthly mortgage payment should the 30 Year mortgage rise from the current 4.2% to 6%, 7% or much higher, which all those who forecast an improving economy hope happens), but what will really determine the affordability of that piece of property you have your eyes set on, are the property taxes.

Because they are about to skyrocket.


    



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Maduro Warns Venezuelan Protesters “We Are Coming For You”; Calls John Kerry A “Murderer”

As the daily street protests grow bloodier and bloodier, Venezuelan President Maduro has escalated his comments today, exclaiming that he "won't be bullied," and warning "prepare yourself, we are coming for you," if protesters don't "go home within hours."

  • *VENEZUELAN PROTESTERS HAVE 'HOURS' TO CLEAR BARRICADES: MADURO
  • *MADURO SAYS HE'LL SEND ARMED FORCES TO 'LIBERATE' PROTEST AREAS

With 28 dead in the last month of protests, things are very serious but as we warned previously, Maduro still enjoying the support of the poor – as EuroNews reports, it appears he is not going anywhere soon. John Kerry also came under fire as the foreign minister called him "a "murderer of the Venezuelan people," accusing him of encouraging the protests.

 

 

As Bloomberg reports,

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro says he will send armed forces to clear barricaded areas if "protesters don’t go home within hours."

"Prepare yourself, we are coming for you," Maduro tells soldiers at army event in Caracas

Plaza Altamira in eastern Caracas, the center of the protests, first to be “liberated,” Maduro says

As tensions with the US continue to rise:

The United States on Friday brushed aside "absurd" accusations by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that it was meddling in the country's internal affairs by intervening in anti-government protests.

 

Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua had earlier called top US diplomat John Kerry a "murderer of the Venezuelan people," accusing him of encouraging the protests that have killed 28 people in five weeks.

 

"The solution to Venezuela's problems lies in democratic dialogue among Venezuelans, not in repression or in hurling verbal brickbats at the United States," a state department official said on condition of anonymity.

 

"Venezuela's government needs to focus on solving its growing economic and social problems, not on making absurd allegations against the United States."

 

Maduro, however, charged that "the desperate government interventionism of the United States is clear."

 

"There's a slew of statements, threats of sanctions, threats of intervention. There has been lobbying by the highest officials in the US government," he said.

 

As Stratfor notes, these protests could mark a turning point as the economic situation deteriorates there is a chance that protests like this could begin to generate additional social momentum in rejection of the status quoPerhaps things could be changing for Maduro…

Relatively large student-led opposition protests convened in Caracas, Valencia, Maracaibo and many other cities throughout the country. Rough Stratfor estimates put the crowd in Caracas at between 15,000-20,000 people based on aerial photos posted on social media. Venezuela's students are very politically active and protests are frequent. However, the relatively large turnout and widespread geographic distribution of this week's protests indicate that the movement may be gaining traction.

 

The challenge that the student movement will face is in finding a way to include Venezuela's laboring class, which for the most part still supports the government, and relies on its redistributive policies. Their inability to rouse broad support across Venezuela's social and economic classes was in part why previous student uprisings, including significant protests in 2007, failed to generate enough momentum to trigger a significant political shift.

 

But the situation has changed in Venezuela, and as the economic situation deteriorates there is a chance that protests like this could begin to generate additional social momentum in rejection of the status quo. President Nicolas Maduro has been in office for less than a year, and in that time the inflation rate has surged to over 50 percent and food shortages are a daily problem. Though firmly in power, the Chavista government is still struggling to address massive social and economic challenges. Massive government spending, years of nationalization and an overreliance on imports for basic consumer goods have radically deteriorated inflation levels, and undermined industrial production.

 

How the government responds will play a key role in the development of these protests going forward. The government cannot afford to crack down too hard without risking even worse unrest in the future. For its part, the mainstream opposition must walk a careful line between supporting the sentiment behind open unrest and being seen as destabilizing the country. Maduro retains the power to punish opposition politicians, and reaffirmed that Feb. 11 when he stated on national television that he intends to renew the law allowing him to outlaw political candidates who threaten the peace of the country. The statement was a clear shot over the bow of opposition leaders, and may foreshadow a more aggressive government policy designed to limit political opposition.

Perhaps it is the use of armed forces directly and aggressively that will roil the "poor"'s perspective – we will see


    



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A Drag Queen Beauty Pageant in Mazatlan

Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Quinones‘ story about a drag
queen beauty pageant in Mazatlan, Mexico was one of the 10 stories
selected to mark the 50th issue of Creative
Nonfiction
magazine
and its 20-year literary history.

Reason TV interviewed Quinones about drag queens, cults, and
corruption in Mexico back in January, 2011.

Here’s the original writeup.

Sam Quinones covers immigration, drug trafficking and gangs as a
reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Quinones is also the award winning author of two books: True
Tales from another Mexico and Antonio’s Gun & Delfino’s Dream.
The books are collections of nonfiction stories Quinones wrote
while living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico.

Instead of writing stories about the official and bureaucratic
Mexico we see on TV, Quinones focuses on “another Mexico,” the
regular people without influence on the fringes of Mexico’s
paternalistic political system. These are the independently minded
people who dare to live their own lives, start businesses and risk
everything to pursue their dreams in the US.

Reason.tv’s Paul Feine sat down with Quinones to talk about
popsicle kings, drag queens, cults, corruption, migration and the
future of Mexico.

To purchase the books and learn more about the author, go to:
http://ift.tt/OihTsg

Approximately 13 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex
Manning. Still photography by Sam Quinones.

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“Obama Did Not Attend The Meeting”, Or In A Moment Of Crisis The President Stands Resolute

… in the sand trap.

Spot the pattern. From March 1, 2014, the day Russia announced it would send armed forces in Crimea:

President Barack Obama’s national security team met on Saturday for an update on the situation in Ukraine and to discuss potential policy options, a senior Obama administration official said. The meeting came as Ukraine asked the United States and other key members of the U.N. Security Council to help safeguard its territorial integrity after Russia announced plans to send armed forces into the country’s autonomous Crimea region. 

 

Obama did not attend the meeting, but he has been briefed about it by his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and his national security team, an official said.

Fast forward to today, March 15, 2014, the day Russia is said to have “invaded” East Ukraine, and the day before Crimea’s critial referendum which may cement the second coming of the Cold War.

President Barack Obama’s national security team discussed the Ukraine crisis in a session at the White House on Saturday after Secretary of State John Kerry’s return from talks with his Russian counterpart in London.

 

Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

Because obviously there are more pressing matters at hand like pitching Obamacare to toddlers, and because there is always time for 18 holes before World War III. And let’s not forget, nobody does a better job of explaining to Vladimir Vladimirovich the “costs” of showing the world just how much of a laughing stock US foreign policy has become.


    



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001: The Inaugural Sovereign Man Podcast

sm001featured1 150x150 001: The Inaugural Sovereign Man Podcast

There’s a lot going on in the world and sometimes it’s just too hard to capture everything in a 500 word missive.

In our first podcast episode, we cover a range of topics from the Sovereign Man worldview and the deteriorating personal freedom in America to telling examples from history, and give some very timely advice that rational thinking people ought to be considering right now.

I encourage you to download it, put it on your mobile device and listen to it at the gym, in the car, and share it with your friends, and also feel free to let us know what you think.

You’ll find it on iTunes as well in the very near future, along with more exciting episodes.

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How To Smuggle Money Out Of China

With Chinese authorities clamping down on the shadow-banking system, taking action of their bubble-bursting reforms, and now increasing the trading bands on the Yuan (to increase volatility and hopefully unwind, in a controlled manner, the biggest and most one-sided carry trade in the world's markets), we thought it perhaps surprising that growing numbers of Chinese are using UnionPay – a state-backed bank card – to illegally funnell billion of dollars out of the country. As Reuters reports, its unclear why the PBOC has not clamped down on this as documents show they are well aware of it… and as one clerk noted "don't worry… everyone's doing it."

 

 

Via Reuters,

Growing numbers of Chinese are using the country's state-backed bankcards to illegally spirit billions of dollars abroad, a Reuters examination has found.

 

This underground money is flowing across the border into the gambling hub of Macau, a former Portuguese colony that like Hong Kong is an autonomous region of China. And the conduit for the cash is the Chinese government-supported payment card network, China UnionPay.

How It Works:

In a warren of gritty streets around Macau's ritzy casino resorts, hundreds of neon-lit jewellery, watch and pawn shops are doing a brisk business giving mainland Chinese customers cash by allowing them to use UnionPay cards to make fake purchases – a way of evading China's strict currency-export controls.

 

On a recent day at the Choi Seng Jewellery and Watches company, a middle-aged woman strode to the counter past dusty shelves of watches. She handed the clerk her UnionPay card and received HK$300,000 ($50,000) in cash. She signed a credit card receipt describing the transaction as a "general sale", stuffed the cash into her handbag and strolled over to the Ponte 16 casino next door.

 

The withdrawal far exceeded the daily limit of 20,000 yuan, or $3,200, in cash that individual Chinese can legally move out of the mainland. "Don't worry," said a store clerk when asked about the legality of the transaction. "Everyone does this."

Why has The PBOC done nothing about it?

The practice violates China's anti-money-laundering regulations as well as restrictions on currency exports, according to Chinese central bank documents reviewed by Reuters. Chinese authorities also fear the UnionPay conduit is being used by corrupt officials and business people to send money out of the country.

 

It's unclear why the central bank, the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC), hasn't cracked down harder on the practice, although the documents Reuters reviewed show the bank was aware it had become a growing problem.

 

Industry experts point to a weak enforcement culture in China, a reluctance to hurt Macau financially with 80 percent of the city's revenues drawn from gambling, and a willingness to tolerate some capital flight – especially if it can be tracked through names on bank cards. Moreover, the rapid growth of UnionPay, including the spread of its terminals at retail stores across the world, is playing a key role in China's strategy for making the yuan a global currency.

 

 

Any steps to clamp down on UnionPay cashback transactions would likely rattle Macau, because the cash also feeds the casino sector on which the territory's $43.6 billion economy overwhelmingly depends. Macau is now the world's biggest gambling hub, with revenues seven times those of Las Vegas. Last year, gambling revenue rose 19 percent to $45.2 billion. Nearly 40 percent of that went to the government in taxes.

The people are following their money out of the country…

Many card users follow their money abroad. Since the mid-1990s, an estimated 16,000 to 18,000 Communist party officials, businessmen, CEOs and other individuals have "disappeared" from China, according to a separate PBOC report prepared in 2008 – taking with them some 800 billion yuan ($133 billion).

It won't stop soon…

Though relatively unknown in the West, UnionPay has quietly grown to become one of the biggest card brands and payment networks in the world, accepted in 142 countries. There are more UnionPay cards in circulation now than any other brand – 3.53 billion, or nearly a quarter of the world's total, according to the industry newsletter, the Nilson Report. Visa remains the world leader by transaction value with $4.6 trillion in card transactions in the first half of 2013; UnionPay was second with $2.5 trillion.

 

If UnionPay poses a problem for Chinese authorities, it is a problem of their own making. The card brand is often seen as an arm of Chinese state policy.

 

UnionPay was established in 2002 by the PBOC and the State Council or Cabinet.

 

 

UnionPay dominates the card market in China thanks to a central bank decree that requires all card issuers, including foreign ones, to process their yuan-based transactions through UnionPay's electronic payment network.

And is increasing as capital flight spreads…

Today, the outflow is gathering pace.

 

In Macau, UnionPay card transactions reached 130 billion Macau patacas ($16.77 billion) in just the first four months of 2012, up from 88.1 billion patacas in all of 2011, according to a confidential report by Macau's banking regulator, the Macau Monetary Authority reviewed by Reuters. Around 90 percent of those transactions were "highly concentrated in jewellery, ornament and luxury watch sales", the report said.

 

If that rate persisted for the full year, UnionPay sales in Macau for all of 2012 would have reached nearly $50 billion – nearly $45 billion of it for jewellery-related sales, a figure exceeding even Macau's total gambling revenues that year.

 

"Are these actual transactions? Where does this money come from?" the deputy head of the Monetary Authority, Wan Sin Long, asked in the document.

And there's no limit…

"I would say there's no upper limit for UnionPay," said the black-suited manager, who spoke on the condition he not be identified. "The credit limits aren't enforced at all."

 

An executive at Las Vegas Sands, speaking on condition of anonymity, said vendors with UnionPay card-swiping machines have been caught wandering around the casino.

 

"People walk around with mobile union pay card machines on the gaming floor," the executive said. "They are linked to China (computer) servers, not (ones in) Macau. So it is like they are getting cash out in China. When we see them on the floor we kick them out."

 

That practice also exists outside the casinos, too. Macau's merchants lately have tried to better disguise the UnionPay transactions by routing transactions electronically across the border to China to escape the scrutiny of Macau authorities, a banker in Macau said.

 

"They closed the Macau tap, but they've opened an even larger China tap," said the Macau banker with direct knowledge of the practice. "The merchants are always cunning."

Backdoor to Yuan internalization and the demise of the dollar?

UnionPay's increasing use overseas is part of Beijing's multi-pronged strategy to eventually open up China's capital account and internationalize the yuan, which is formally known as the renminbi or yuan. Beijing also eased restrictions on many kinds of capital transfers as it gradually loosens up control over the currency, making it easier for money to leave China's borders. The efforts have paid dividends. The renminbi has already overtaken the euro to become the second-most used currency in trade finance, according to data from global transaction services organization SWIFT.

 

"(China) may be happy to see UnionPay sweeping different markets across the world in different countries and territories," said Yan Lixin, head of Fudan University's China Centre for Anti-Money Laundering Studies in Shanghai. "It is backed up by the government. It is the real son of the government."

And no one seems to care:

"We can remit as much money as you like with your UnionPay card," said a red-haired man surnamed Lai at one jewellery shop. A yellow sign carried the slogan: "Welcome Renminbi. Welcome UnionPay cards."

 

"You don't actually buy anything," said Lai, standing near a half-empty display case containing a messy spread of watches and jewellery. "We just help people get money out of China so they can gamble more."

Read more here


    



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