Publication le 15 août 2018 sur Les Echos Le Cercle
Heat wave, palladium, platinum, copper, steel, cobalt, aluminium, lithium, oil, economic warfare, aluminium, steel… What developments after the summer of 2018?
Beyond the Senate inquiry committee, there were several other matters that occupied our summer.
Theme: the heat wave with multiple agricultural consequences. First, grain markets are doing better. Prices are high and farm income benefits fully if the amount of crop remains in the average. Still very behind Western Europe (1-7), land yields in Ukraine and Russia continue to improve. The prospect of feeding 10 billion people on land is no longer a nightmare.
Secondly, energy. In France, on July 26 and August 2, the “heat wave” electricity production revealed its future structural weaknesses. The broken down wind turbine demonstrated its uselessness. It is indeed towards solar energy that we must concentrate more efforts as well as towards the nuclear energy of the future, and not, like Germany, the world leader in energy transition, by burning more coal in hot weather. The future of nuclear power is indeed its circular economy, i.e. producing electricity for at least 10,000 years, by consuming (reducing) only the waste from current power plants stored in France for nearly 50 years.
Thirdly: the cyber war economy.
When it is classic, war guides the economy through the armaments, logistics, troop equipment, and booty taken from the enemy. This summer, with stubbornness, the President of the United States was at war with the entire planet. His tariff increases? A spoils of misery, which carries the danger of the next step: the definitive fusion of economic war with cyber warfare and its weapons which will be used for everything, by everyone and on a very large scale. The market has understood this well, since it is aggressively besieging the stocks of companies in the Tech sector. They and their products are the refuge value of Homo Novus during the time of economic war. On the other hand, the actions of mining companies are on the decline, and in some cases as a result of commando operations during the economic war. If the role of a written document is to inform about what is unknown, a future trumpian phylactery could be: “the cyber is the best weapon of economic warfare, itself the best of economies”.
Another summer theme: just war
U.S. presidents periodically oscillate between interventionist and isolationist. The current great upheaval, the anti-global isolationist, is a phase in leading to a stronger United States and a happier population. We are in the middle of Tancredi’s line in the film “The Cheetah”, changing everything so that everything remains: changing wars – favouring economic war – to remain the strongest. In fact, the economic situation in the United States is good; but as a corollary, its domestic image and foreign policy are detestable, because unlike Sicily, the isolationist revolution escapes the revolt of Washington. The means used, the “everything is allowed psychotic” under the guise of a “just economic war” is a huge global isolationist slippage. Everyone is becoming more isolated every day; let us keep our European Union open!
Who will win this conflict? Just war is a struggle against living conditions that people no longer accept. For whom was this summer economic war fair when Washington nationalisms clashed with those of China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Canada, and by contagion from Riad to Toronto, then by ricochet between the Washington dollar and all dollarized economies in emerging countries? Is it fair when the latter see their exports in dollars of palladium, platinum, copper, steel, cobalt, aluminium, lithium, oil…, take advantage of depreciated exchange rates and increase their revenues in national currency at the expense of competitors, particularly Americans? Is this imported inflation the equivalent of bomber squadrons? For whom will it finally have been fair when the United States is definitively isolated, its alliances shredded to pieces and on the one hand a strengthened Europe, and on the other the signing of new Asian alliances?
Who will win this war? Probably the ones who prefer freedom! Let’s be happy to have enjoyed the heat wave, because this summer patchwork promises an exciting new season.