As the United States approaches $20 trillion in debt, on its way to $30 trillion in a few years, China has become the new lender of last resort for the global community.
The latest recipient of China’s lending largess is Petrobras, the state-owned Brazilian petroleum company. It goes without saying that Petrobras has vast oil reserves that China hopes to access.
Zero Hedge reports that China has lent Latin America over $100 billion dollars over the last ten years–and plans to ramp that number to $250 billion over the next few years. Most of these borrowers are in the backyard of the United States, putting to rest any remaining vestiges of the Monroe Doctrine.
At the risk of extrapolating too much, it appears as though Beijing isn’t opposed to throwing billions behind serving as a lender of last resort and we can’t help but wonder if the new round of Petrobras financing is indicative of where China will steer initial AIIB funding — that is, into oil and Latin America. What’s interesting (and very ironic given how we’ve characterized the AIIB), is that it appears Beijing may look to channel the bank’s lending straight into Washington’s backyard, effectively slighting the original Monroe Doctrine even as China tacitly implements its own take on an official policy of regional influence and control.
Meanwhile, US allies continue to fall in line with France, Italy, and Israel set to jump on the bandwagon.
Our profligate federal spending and ballooning debt are coming back to haunt us now in the geopolitical realm. Economic weakness leads to military weakness, and we are seeing this play out in our own backyard with China and Russia looking and paying for access, basing rights, and natural resources. The old World War II-based institutions are now facing strong competition from the Chinese.
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Money equals power, and the power is shifting to China.
But hey, let’s offer free college to everyone! Someone will pay for it, right?
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