Re: [OPE-L] [Jurriaan] Notes on gold

From: Paul Bullock (paulbullock@EBMS-LTD.CO.UK)
Date: Tue Oct 18 2005 - 07:43:07 EDT

Jerry, you fig for UK tangibles seems odd... there is a permenent BoT
deficit here in UK ...this doesn't fit .

Paul Bullock

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Levy" <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2005 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] [Jurriaan] Notes on gold

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <>
> Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:26 PM
> Subject: Notes on gold
>  Jerry,
> Previously I wrote on this topic:
> "But maybe there's some new ways to mediate that contradiction..."
> One thought I had about it among others was that the ultimate argument the
> Fed has, is that "if you guys don't back the US dollar, then we're all
> the tubes", i.e. that in a real crisis situation, other countries would be
> either motivated or forced to back the dollar, because if they didn't do
> it, the trading circuit would collapse. Thus, any move away from
> dollar-denominated international trade could only be a gradual one; any
> sudden shift to alternative currencies of a very large magnitude would be
> unlikely (in geostrategic policy shifts, the timing is always very
> important - as you can see with regard to Iraq; some US strategists argue
> the job should have been done earlier, some argue it should have been done
> later; similarly, Lenin remarked it was no good being correct beforehand
> afterwards, one had to be correct at the correct time, which is what made
> real politics hellishly difficult, never mind the analysis, i.e. what
> analysis do you do, at what time). Maybe Mandel would say "den of thieves,
> but they stick together".
> Just to give you a quick idea of the current role of the US in the world
> market, to show you some broad proportions:
> estimated US exports of goods and services in 2004: $1.1 trillion
> estimated Other US income receipts from abroad $379 billion
> estimated US imports of goods and services in 2004: $1.7 trillion
> estimated Other US income payments to foreign countries $349 billion
> estimated US-owned assets abroad in 2004: $10 trillion
> estimated Foreign-owned assets in the US: $12.5 trillion
> That's a very big market process, let me tell you that now. And a few
> numbers on the EU (regrettably, although eurostat has a lot of nice
> data trees and pictures, it's still a bit difficult for me to get useful
> data from straightforward tables for standard measures; it looks to me
> data presentation is fast becoming a science in itself):
> estimated extra-EU25 imports of goods and services in 2004 $1.2 trillion
> euro (15% from the US)
> estimated extra-EU25 exports of goods and services in 2005 $968 billion
> (24% to the US)
> estimated EU25 holdings of foreign FDI stocks in 2001 $1.7 trillion
> estimated holdings of FDI stocks by foreigners in the EU25 in 2001 $1
> trillion (can't get data on total asset holdings so far).
> By the end of 2003, the estimated EU15 direct investment in the US
> to US$856 billion, or 62% of total foreign direct investment in the US.
> Similarly, estimated US direct investment in the EU15 amounted to US$845
> billion, or 47%percent of total US Foreign Direct Investment.  An
> 3.3 million US jobs were supported by EU15 investment in the US in 2002
> (BEA).
>  In the case of Japan (I am not much good yet with Japanese data),
> estimated Japanese 2004 exports about US$562 billion
> estimated Japanese 2004 imports about US$430 billion
> A very large part of world trade, of course, occurs within the triad.
> The total value of world merchandise trade in 2002 was estimated at $4.9
> trillion, and the total value of world commercial services trade in 2002
> was estimated at $5.5 trillion (excluding significant re-exports), giving
> total value of world trade of $10.4 trillion.
> In 2002, I calculated a while ago that the top ten players in the world's
> commercial services trade were:
> USA ( 17.4% of world exports, of  14.3% world imports),
> Germany (6.2% of world exports, of 9.4% world imports),
> Japan (4.2% of world exports, 6.9% of world imports) ,
> France (5.5%  of world exports,  4.2% of world imports),
> China (2.9% of world exports, of 2.9% world imports),
> UK ( 7.9% of world exports, of 6.4% world imports),
> Italy ( 3.8% of world exports, of  4% world imports),
> Spain (4% of world exports, 2.4% of world imports)
> Netherlands ( 3.6% of world exports, of 3.7% of world imports),
> Belgium/Luxemburg ( 3.5% of world exports,  3.1% of world imports).
> (In addition, Canada represents 2.4% of world exports, and 2.9% of world
> imports).
> Totalling up the figures, in 2002 the world's top ten countries exported
> percent of the world's commercial services by dollar value, and adding
> Canada, the figure is over 61 percent. The top ten countries import 54
> percent of the world's commercial services by dollar value.
> In 2002, the top ten players in the world's merchandise trade (i.e. traded
> tangible goods) were:
> USA (10.8% of world exports, of 18 % world imports),
> Germany (9.5% of world exports, 7.4% of world imports),
> Japan (6.5% of world exports, of 5% world imports) ,
> France (5.1% of world exports, 4.9% of world imports),
> China (5.1% of world exports, 4.4% of world imports),
> UK (4.3% of world exports, of 3.6% world imports),
> Canada (3.9% of world exports, of 3.4% world imports),
> Italy (3.9% of world exports, of 3.6% world imports),
> Netherlands (3.8% of world exports, 3.3% of world imports),
> Belgium (3.3% of world exports, 2.9% of world imports).
> So, in 2002 the world's top ten countries exported 56 percent of the
> world's goods by dollar value, and they imported about 56.5 percent
> of the world's goods by dollar value. That's "globalisation" for you.
> I realise you would like an in-depth, sophisticated dialectical analysis
> the world market, starting off with the law of value, its modifications in
> the course of market expansion, and then integrating various aspects of
> capital finance etc., but, to do that takes a lot of time, and I haven't
> got that just now, I mean, I'd have to do a lot of work on it, if I wanted
> to
> go  beyond verities and platitudes. Nor do many academics have the time
> actually, they are often forced to spend more time on admin, management
> teaching than they can shut out the world for a bit, and spend time on
> substantive research. But maybe somebody out there is inspired to do this,
> and enlighten us all.
> In terms of my previous argument about Marxian dialectical analysis, the
> project really has to begin with assimilating and analysing a mass of
> factual material, or at any rate, some objective reality (as well as a
> critique/conspectus of the current theories about foreign trade, as a
> to the data; but this is to a large extent already done in the literature,
> if you get it). Otherwise you would have only a dialectical formalism, a
> dialectic without content, a dialectic of pure thought, rather than a
> dialectic operating in the real world. Maybe a creative mental dialectics
> is very useful, but as I said, this could end up any place, unless
> "bestimmt"
> by the facts of experience. Or, you could just have a dialectical mess, a
> "morass" or "mire" of contradictions to borrow Lukacs's phrase. I've had
> that problem before. I do aim to study Hegel more myself at some point
> good sources, but I haven't even enough hours for that just now.
> I suppose some Marxists might take a dim view of "vulgar" and
> things like data and empiria, believing they've already got the
> dialectical Theory process that can unlock the secret of the march of
> history". Maybe they're right, who knows? E.P. Thompson was a bit
> of that. But anyway for an ordinary person like me, dialectical thought is
> something that can only develop through practical experience (aided by
> theory), it is a lot of work that has to be done. In the 1872 Preface to
> French edition of Das Kapital Vol. 1, Marx emphasised in this regard that
> "There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the
> fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous
> summits". I've noticed the odd exception to that, but in general it seems
> to be true, at least for mere mortals like me. The mind might soar in
> of  fancy, but meanwhile you've got to deal with everyday life as well,
> being
> who you are, rather than a God dancing from one soul to the next.
> Regards
> Jurriaan
> In my world, it all makes me think of that Pink Floyd number:
> And if the dam breaks open
> many years too soon
> And if there is no room
> upon the hill
> And if your head explodes
> with dark forebodings too
> I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

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