In a move that was little noticed outside of the financial world, China announced the creation of an oil futures contract (open to international traders) that will be denominated in Yuan and convertible into gold. This move provides the first official linkage of oil to gold, and more importantly a linkage between the Chinese currency and gold.
On August 21st many Americans witnessed the moon cast a historic but short-lived shadow across the United States. One day later, President Trump reversed his previously stated position on the 16 year old Afghan War, thereby eclipsing the possibility that the United States would finally come to its senses and rethink a failed strategy that is likely to fail for years, perhaps decades, to come.
Any news that emerged from last week's G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany was bound to be overshadowed by the high theater of the first-ever meeting between U.S. President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result, the biggest actual development from the Summit garnered very little attention in the American media. In fact, it did not involve America at all.
Last week's General Election in the United Kingdom was a disaster for the new conservative government of Prime Minster Theresa May. Having called the unnecessary "snap" elections in order to strengthen her political hand, the result actually reduced the number of seats held by the conservatives and delivered large gains to the opposition Labour party, which had seemed in disarray just a few months ago.
Given the media's obsession with some of the President Trump's communication challenges, it was utterly predictable that the President's declaration that his trip to Europe and the Middle East should be considered a "home run" was met almost universally with ridicule. In truth, the President actually did accomplish a series of victories overseas, or at least laid important groundwork that should help advance American interests in ways that prior Administrations have failed to do.
Last week the American political establishment was shaken to its foundation when the Republican Party leadership withdrew the American Health Care Act (AHCA) just before the vote was to be taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.
At the Washington joint press conference with Prime Minister May held on January 27th, President Trump told the watching world, "Brexit is going to be a wonderful thing." The meeting did much to clear the way for Britain to stand alone and enter trade with the United States without the European Union (EU).
On December 7, 2016, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned following defeat in a national referendum, that he had supported, that would have changed the country's parliamentary system.
Over the past year, central banks, commercial bankers and prominent economists have expressed the view that digital money and transfers should replace large denomination cash and cash transactions.
Brexit and the Donald Trump presidential victory should rightly be viewed as the most significant international developments of the last decade.