It seems to be more a rule than an exception that the most important changes in the history of financial systems either go completely unnoticed or the vast part of the public – including financial experts and investors – does not grasp the importance of such transformations.
There are several examples for this claim: On December 23, 1913 the Senate passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act. The FED being as “federal” as “Federal Express”, a private bank whose shareholder register is not open to the public, rules the world since 1913. The date of December 23 was wisely chosen since the public and most politicians were too engaged in Christmas preparations to realize that this event would change the order of America and then the world forever.
When Richard Nixon, on August 15, 1971, “temporarily” closed the gold window, the Sunday afternoon TV shows got interrupted – among else the TV series “Bonanza” – to inform the American people of his decision. Although, this event was called the Nixon Shock, people did not seem to grasp the importance of this deed.
Lastly, the famously brilliant Henry Kissinger managed to make a deal with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1974, which gave the US unlimited financial and, therefore, geopolitical power by creating the Petrodollar, banishing the danger stemming from a U.S. dollar that was backed by nothing, by backing it with U.S. military might in exchange for nearly unlimited investments in U.S. bonds.
Now, on August 22, BRICS, an organization, which does not gather a lot of attention in the Western media, announced that, apart from the five countries, whose initials gave it its name (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), BRICS welcomed six new members (Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) to join BRICS by January 1, 2024; therefore, BRICS becoming BRICS 11.
In this article, let us first quickly look at some facts & figures of BRICS 11. Then, we shall explore the history of the current financial system and it’s becoming in detail in order to appreciate its importance to U.S. power in the period from World War II to the present. Then we shall look at the way the U.S. abused the inherent privileges of this system, which is one reason that led to the current rise of BRICS. Finally, we shall try to answer the question whether the events of August 2023 have the potential to change the world or whether it will be one more fruitless endeavor of emerging market nations to stand-up against the Collective West.
Origin of BRICS
The term BRIC was coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in a 2001 paper where he explained the future economic potential of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
In 2006, the BRIC countries met for the first time on the fringes of the UN-General Assembly in New York. A first formal meeting took place in Yekaterinburg in 2009. The aim of this initially loose community was to improve cooperation among its members. In 2010, South Africa joined, which means that this organization has since been called BRICS. This August the number of its members more than doubled and we shall call it now BRICS 11.
With regard to the most important economic indicators such as population, GDP (PPP), oil, natural gas and gold production, naked figures show that BRICS 11 is much stronger with regard to any of these indicators than G7 (Table 1).
These figures on their own should be a wake-up call to all the people, experts, politicians and investors who still seem to believe that it is sufficient to judge the financial world from a pure western perspective.
There are a few points I would like to draw the attention to of the readers regarding the way these naked figures could and should be read and interpreted. However, I am fully aware that I can only give you a glimpse at the reality and this exercise herein is of a very limited nature indeed.
Regarding GDP, I use purchase power adjusted figures. Why? – If you use the U.S. dollar as a tally to measure GDP, ask yourself the simple question: If I want to measure financial punch, does it matter whether, e.g., a Big Mac costs twice as much in U.S. dollar terms in one place than in the other? – In my opinion it does. The Big Mac Index should be reason enough to use PPP-adjusted figures when comparing GDP figures. The reason that Western outlets use the non-adjusted figures is pure marketing masking the debasement of the U.S. dollar and appearing stronger than one is – propaganda.
Regarding oil production figures, we should consider the following facts when assessing them: Firstly, although the U.S. is still the largest oil producer in the world with a share of about 18% of world production, the U.S. are also the largest oil consumer, using-up more than 20% of world consumption. Therefore, the U.S. are at this time not even able to cover their own consumption. Secondly, the large oil-producing members of BRICS 11 have a big influence – or better – control over OPEC. Therefore, BRICS 11 will also rule OPEC and, therefore, control the price and distribution of oil, which has not been given the nick name “Black Gold” without good reason. Thirdly, the production cost of U.S. oil are about 2.5 times higher than the production cost of Saudi oil.
Regarding natural gas one should note, that with the accession of Iran into BRICS, the two largest natural gas producers worldwide are joint members of BRICS: Russia and Iran. The largest non-BRICS gas producer is the (still) U.S. allied Qatar. BRICS is, therefore, also a powerhouse regarding natural gas indeed.
Regarding gold, it should shortly be mentioned that China and Russia are number 1 and 2 respectively regarding global gold production. Gold I mention in here since there is a rather good chance that – somewhere in the future – gold will again play a major role in future money systems, being the only manner to discipline central bankers who basically only did one thing since 1914 – printing money, debasing the U.S. dollar and cynically claiming to protect the currency. There are a lot of people in the West who actually claim that gold is a pet rock. These people do not understand the history of the past 4’000 years where gold was always king. The mere fact that Nixon abolished the gold standard in order to avoid bankruptcy is not a good argument against gold, but should be one in its favor.