As we kickoff the new year, the biggest surprise will be that China is going to replace the dollar with a gold-backed currency in 2018.
(King World News) – Dr. Stephen Leeb: “The year 2017 was full of sound and fury. Historians are sure to have a field day, with an endless stream of head-spinning headlines to pick from to launch their investigations. But as always, sometimes the most important stories – the ones that will likely have the biggest impact on the future – get largely overlooked. Or if they get attention, their true significance is missed.
As we begin 2018, it seemed worthwhile to look back at 2017 to list the items that caught my eye as having particular resonance and to explain how I interpreted them. I’ve reported on many of them previously, but I think they take on new relevance when viewed as a whole. Am I cherry picking? Yes, of course, to some degree. But I think that from a future vantage point it will be clear that the most significant overarching development this decade was a broad shift in power from West to East. The shift is already underway, but the following items are warning signs that it will only accelerate.
Many of these signs point to the near certainty that China will succeed in its pursuit of a new monetary system backed by gold – helping explain why I’m convinced gold is on the threshold of a massive, unprecedented rise…
1) April’s Mar-a-Lago Trump-Xi Summit Meeting
This two-day event certainly didn’t take place under the radar. Even if it had been uneventful, this first meeting between the relatively new U.S. president – who on the campaign trail had ranted against China for its trade practices – and the powerful head of China would have been inherently dramatic. And as it turned out, it was anything but uneventful. As the leaders dined together on April 6, U.S. missiles were bombing an airport in Syria. Heightening the drama, North Korea had just tested a ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan.
While the missile attack on Syria was praised as a sign of U.S. resolve, I see more devious undercurrents at play. I don’t think it was a coincidence that both Syria and North Korea became front burner issues just as Trump and Xi were meeting. Rather, I think Russia had a hand in the Syrian chemical attack that provoked the U.S. response – note that the U.S. warned Russia of its missile attack on the airport before it happened. And I don’t believe North Korea would have acted without permission from China. It suggests coordination between Russia and China aimed at distracting Trump from raising trade issues with China – as indeed he didn’t.
2) Tesla’s Missed Targets
In October, Tesla revealed minuscule deliveries of its highly touted Model 3 electric vehicle, its most modestly priced model that supposedly would bring EVs within the reach of the masses. It managed to produce only a few hundred cars in the quarter, dramatically below what it had projected and nowhere near its 2018 target of 10,000 a week.
Tesla’s production contrasts with China’s explosive growth in EV production. In November 2017, EV sales reached 84,000 units in China, more than nine times Tesla’s average monthly sales during the fourth quarter. This points to China’s ability to dominate new-energy-related industries, and at the heart of this is China’s dominance in supply chains and in the resources that EVs depend on, including lithium, graphite, and cobalt. It’s a further reminder that the U.S. tragically lags China in access to the critical natural resources that will be essential not just to our economy but to our military…...More Here