Tags: Russia | L. Todd Wood | russia | gold | united states | dollar

L. Todd Wood: Russia Hoards Gold, Bids Time for US Decline

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 03:24 PM

Even under economic duress caused by sanctions and fallen oil prices, Russia is doing better than advertised and, at the same time, positioning itself for a day when the United States is no longer dominant, writer L. Todd Wood tells  Newsmax TV.

A rudderless U.S., meanwhile, is falling back, Wood told "Newsmax Now" co-host John Bachman on Thursday in an interview from Moscow.

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"The informational warfare and other conflicts that we're seeing between Russia and the West have expanded into the economic arena," said Wood. "Russia's simply preparing for the future."

It's a future in which the dollar is no longer the world's default currency and rising interest rates make U.S. debts crippling, said Wood, who wrote in The Washington Times about Russia hoarding gold as a window on President Vladimir Putin's strategic worldview.

"The dollar is going to lose its reserve currency status or be edged out by the [Chinese] yuan and possibly other currencies going forward," said Wood, a former Air Force pilot and author of novels including the monetary thriller, "Currency."

"Russia is just hoarding gold to make their currency more attractive in the long run," said Wood, who divides his time between New York and Moscow. "Why should we worry about this? Because at some point the Federal Reserve is going to possibly lose control of the bond market — and we are basically paying next to nothing for our $20 trillion in debt. A 1 percent interest rate rise is two, three or $400 billion worth of debt service cost that we simply can't afford."

In short, he said, "The world is looking at the U.S.' economic weakness and preparing for the time when the dollar is not king anymore."

Russia is also doing better, economically, than people realize, said Wood. Oil prices, the engine of Russia's petroleum-dominated economy, are starting to rebound, and economic sanctions levied by the West in response to Russian aggression against Ukraine have hurt, but only so much, he said.

"I heard recently that the sanctions were designed to inflict as much pain as the West could stand, not Russia," said Wood. "In Russia pain is an art form. Suffering is an art form. They've been through hard times many times in the past and they're looking to the East. They're looking to connect with China, to send gas down into southern Europe."

He said Russia is also "starting to peel away Greece and other countries from NATO" as Putin plays "the long game."

"He's willing to take some economic pain in the short run to make Russia a more powerful country in the long run," said Wood.

He said Russia is also unconstrained in a way the West is not.

"Russia has one bright shining characteristic, as I call it: They do what they think is right for Russia," said Wood. "They don't follow any politically correct agendas. They're doing what they think will help Russia in the long run."

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Even under economic duress caused by sanctions and fallen oil prices, Russia is doing better than advertised and, at the same time, positioning itself for a day when the United States is no longer dominant, writer L. Todd Wood tells Newsmax TV.
L. Todd Wood, russia, gold, united states, dollar
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2015-24-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 03:24 PM
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