Cold War Demonized Dragon. More Ironies & Myths than You can Poke a Stick at. The Myth of Made-In-China Busted.
07.02.2011 23 °C
I got back to the hotel while Atta continued her shopping (in this shoppers' paradise. Yep, she was in her heaven). By day 10 of travelling, my weary body had reached the end of its tether. Bought a coffee and some egg tarts to bring back to the hotel. Flopped my heavy body onto the bed, turned on the idiot box, and I was graced by the presence of the sideburns, wide square jawed Jack Lord. It was playing the peppy Hawaii-Five-O theme song. Flashes of collage of images of giant surfs, hip swaying hula girl, etc that capture the essensce of Hawaii. If you take Jack Lord out of the picture, this opening sequence makes great promotional materials for Hawaii tourism authorrty. I remember I enjoyed this series when it was originally aired. The theme music was so upbeat...bub bub bah bah bah...bub bub bah bah bah...
You know you're old when you're far more interested what's coming out of the tube than spending times outside the hotel exploring. I prefer armchair travelling now (and it transported me to Hawaii, and the intrigue of international esponage). This is my heaven.
Let me just skip to the premise of this episode (this looked like an episode that was made before the late 1960s or early 1970s judging from picture quality, fashion, tenchology, acting, directing, etc). Five-O's car was stopped dramtically by a couple of high ranking military uniforms (Colonel if memory serves). He was hushed into a meeting room, and was greeted by what I guess would be some CIA analyst (not important what he actually is). He explained to Five-O in dramatic fashion that the fate of the free world is rest in what they do in Hawaii. There're nuclear, and biological weapons. But these were taboo in modern warfares. What they now facing with is the economic weapon. That is, somebody is going to counterfeit US currency, flood the market with it, and cause the downfall of the US economy due to its effect of resulting rampant inflation. They went on further that there were many counterfeiting rackets before, but it hadn't been successful because the forgeries were not perfect, and were able to be detected. Until now. Somebody has finally able to produce perfect plates, and successfully produce different serial numbers. What's more they've cracked the code of the serial numbers. That somebody who is capable of all these is....drum roll please...PRC! The Russian comrades were also in cohorts, of course! This episode followed in the footstep of the long tradition of demonization of the commies in Hollywood during the Cold War Era.
This premise is interesting not just because of its many historical inaccuracies, and the delicious ironies in so many levels in view of what's happening in the world's economies right now.
In the Great Recession of 2008, in order to re-inflate the deflation, Big Ben (aka Ben Bernanke) decided to print money like there is no tomorrow. He's also called Helicopter Ben for this reason. It's as if he's throwing money onto America from a helicopter like confetti. The Fed dignifies this money printing by calling it Quantitative Easing, while some people call it counterfeiting of the American Dollars. Although the term 'counterfeiting' isn't entirely correct in the strictest technical sense, but the term is correct in its economic effects, and spirit, which is what matter.
While the Fed fires up all the cylinders of its money printing machine, flooding the US economy with trillion of dollars, PRC is asking the Fed to stop printing. Why? Because PRC is Uncle Sam's biggest creditor by being the biggest owners of US IOUs. So when the Fed prints money, it devalues US currency, and thus the value of the IOUs that China owns. These money printing also led to large amount of hot money flowing into the Chinese economy (and other emerging economies), creating bubbles - the type that created the Great Recession in USA in the first place.
In this episode of H5O, it accuses PRC in the devaluation of US currency by money printing. The reality in the last 2 years was that it was PRC who had been trying to stop the US government in devaluation their own currency. With US dollar being the fiat currency, this causes inflation in commodity and food prices around the world, leading to social unrest, and political instability everywhere. The fate of the free world is in peril, indeed. Only it's Uncle Sam who is doing this. To put it another way, it isn't Chinese printing of US dollars that the US government has problem with, it's WHEN. If the Chinese has been doing counterfeiting in the last two years, Helicopter Ben should send the Chinese a thank-you note for doing their job and save them a bundle.
Ironic, isn't it?
The Fed is using a tool that would destroy USA economy (as espoused by the CIA analyst in this episode H5O) to save it. Ironic, isn't it?
USA accused China for currency manipulation while it's keeping its currency low by QE. Ironic, isn't it? Or is it more like the pot calling the kettle black?
You want more irony?
If you look at GDP per capita in 2010, USA rank
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