© Photo: Voice of Russia
Russia can collapse the United States, prominent US trader Jim Sinclair believes. The economist, famous for his forecasts, explains that the strength of the dollar is based on the US agreement with Saudi Arabia that all contracts for fuel deliveries be in the US dollars. Now, Moscow can collapse the petrodollar in one moment. The slapping of sanctions on Russia is tantamount to a shot in the foot. The expert explains that the only true value in the world today is the petrodollar. But Russia can collapse it by demanding Euros or Yuan for its oil.
What’s more, the US may lose its influence on Europe for good, if Russia starts selling its fuels for anything but the dollars. Angela Merkel would be only happy, for Germany, as well as other European countries would then have no need for currency markets. The rate of the Euro would then grow, while the cost of oil and gas would go down. But the United States should be ready for an abrupt increase in gasoline prices, for hyperinflation amid a poor business climate and a crash of the Dow Jones industrial average, Sinclair predicts.
But does Moscow need this kind of scenario? One of the tough measures that the West said it would resort to should be cutting Russia off the SWIFT interbank payment system. But should this happen, the sanctions would hit hardest their own authors, says a Stock Market Chair Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Alexander Abramov, and elaborates.
"Technically, it is pretty easy to cut Russia off the SWIFT system by blocking Russian banks’ IP addresses. But SWIFT is one of the main systems that banks use for international payments. Hardly anyone in the US or Europe would like to resort to this kind of move, since banks are interrelated. If Russian banks are unable to use the system, they will fail to make timely payments to their western counter parties, which will prove quite a shock to the financial system. Now, this is by far more real a threat than using Euros to pay for oil. I think the financial world, which has just started emerging from the crisis, can’t be happy about these kinds of shocks".
Now, Moscow would not have to exert itself to retaliate for sanctions, says the director of the analytical service of the Alpari Company, Alexander Razuvayev, and elaborates.
"Russia accounts for a large share of the energy market, above all, in Europe. Russia is also paid in dollars for its gas deliveries, and only partly in Euros. Russia therefore props up foreign currencies by accepting those for its oil and gas supplies. Well, energy markets were formed quite some time ago, so Russia accepted the rules of the game. But since Russia sells its own raw materials, it can change these rules. At least Russian state-run companies, such as Rosneft and Gazprom considered that option in late 2008. But, of course, this kind of move would only prove suitable in an extreme situation".
Russia is fully in control of the petrodollar and could cause the Dow Jones industrial average to plummet as it has never done before. One can wave the Stars and Stripes as long as one likes, but it’s a fact that the Russians can turn the US economy upside down, Sinclair warns.
So far, Moscow has been in no rush to resort to extreme measures. Russia is going to react in a mirror-like way, - to retaliate with a blacklist of US officials for a US list of Russian officials. The West’s economic bans have thus far failed to prove too grave, so they rather cause Russians to mobilize themselves. For instance, when Visa and MasterCard boycotted some Russian banks for a short while recently, the Russian authorities took the decision to set up Russia’s own payment system shortly. Meanwhile, serious partners with a long history of cooperation, such as Siemens, are signing new contracts and are not about, or so it seems, to shoot themselves in the foot.