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The Inclination to Short Term Global Thinking



by Kyle Hargraves


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In part the inclination might be explained by the tendency to place greater prominence on the present than the past but it typically the past that conditions the present in business or personal relationships and particularly in global politics. As to how Putin regards the Ukraine is somewhat by the way because the attitude with regard to Iraq over eight years from 2003 was equally high handed and without UN approval.

The Kurds were referenced when it suited Mr Rumsfeld and came to be overlooked when dealing with Turkey. Of significance is the Friendship Medal awarded to Putin by Xi in June 2008.

Although Russia merely reversed a decision that had was made by Khrushchev of annexing Crimea, in 1954, the West, taking its lead from Woodrow Wilson as to the benefits of sanctions, implemented sanctions on Russia nonetheless. Long story but Russia created an alternative to SWIFT known as SPFS1.

Prior to the Ukraine issue SPFS was undertaking about 20% to 25% of all domestic bank transactions2. Looking at the matter from the other perspective, Russia has had about eight years to prepare for being “abandoned” by SWIFT3. Since 2016, Russia has attempted to integrate its financial systems with that of the PRC (Chinia) via its The Cross-Border Interbank Payment System, or CIPS, which occurred when the RMB was to be recognised as an international currency 2015 and became part of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) a year later. The matter is less about the global influence of SPFS or CIPS but about the relationship itself and the consequences for global commerce via China’s BRI and the envisaged Eurasian Economic Union. In fact is not not even about taking a side (as Raby and White – see below - infer) Exploring the implications is well beyond the scope of this article (over a few hundred words) but the base line is that while Iraq was about retribution the Ukraine is about the construction of history which isn’t necessarily pretty4. As Raby (2020, p. 130) puts it: “Australia is joined to the US hip in a way that hasn’t happened since the cold war”. While some may be quite happy with the arrangement it doesn’t make for independent global strategy; indeed it eliminates all options not acceptable to the USA. Raby, p. 131, points out the obvious that following the US into a diplomatic or trade conflict with China may not be in the interests of the southern Pacific. What is said of Australia applies equally, from a global context, to New Zealand. Moreover the is no obvious military threat to Australia or NZ or threats in terms of values. Max Rashbrooke has published a 200 page book5 concerning obvious inequality in NZ so who is going to throw the first stone?

The nuclear submarine deal with the Americans had the simultaneous effect of increasing the relationship with the USA and removing EU influence, via France, from the pacific (read Asian) region. France has a strong nuclear industry and could have easily switched the rather vulnerable diesel models6 for nuclear power-plants. The 300 page book by White (2019) comes close to a DIY manual for national defence. Both Raby and White are seasoned strategists and both argue that there is no relationship between immediate post WW2 and the 21st century in regard to diplomatic or trade initiatives; research come to that! French President Macron, with his remarks to NATO, has said much the same thing.

As to an illustration from White, the existence of hypersonic missiles7 has rendered large naval vessels8 obsolete because at about the speed of a hypersonic missile, in the order of Mach 7 and wafting towards Mach 8, such vessels are too large to get out of the way in the 40 seconds from missile launch at 100km distant. Small frigates, similarly armed, are advocated as a solution. The downside with regard to White’s assessment is the political indolence that exists within Australia and NZ.

The standard of graduate from either country is as good as any but neither country has a high-tech industry deserving of the name. Observe that I mentioned graduates and not school-leavers. As the recent publication by Simon Bridges9, chapter nine is devoted to education where he refers to the Singapore or the Cambridge education system as a model for New Zealand. The more prestigious (so called) experimental schools in the PRC also follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the ‘Cambridge entrance’ (distinct but similar to the IB; at least for science where the same authors write the texts for both matriculation streams) and the results speak for themselves in terms of economic ascendancy for the respective countries. The VCE system in Victoria comes close as does the HSC in NSW but NCEA, at whatever level, is not in the picture. For the sceptics do take a look at the A-Level Pure Maths 3 or the Further Maths syllabus or, better still, an actual text (of which there are several in the market). The content of Further Maths is close to 2nd year university or final year at a re-badged Australian university10.

To a large extent, the proceedings in the global political environment are reflected in domestic markets which, in a manner, returns us to Woodrow Wilson and is 14 principles articulated at the end of WW1.

Rashbrooke’s book follows the global survey by Prof. Thomas Piketty published as Capital in the Twenty First Century (2014). For Piketty and Rashbrooke, if the small operators feel that they are being squeezed than such a sensation is not an illusion; indeed it is a fact of late capitalism just in terms of access to credit for advertising and equipment alone. Farmers, the multi-product chain and similar, are not considered as small business and their effect upon local business is profound. For the major retailers (Countdown etc.) their major costs are fixed costs. To that end they are able, in principal, to operate 24/7. Such is the emerging face of business that differential salaries will not mitigate because the expenses of the employees are not a function of those of their employers. Thus uniform Awards are inevitable as much as they are desirable. Concluding, the plight of grandmothers stuck in their apartments on the 9th floor in a Ukrainian city is regrettable but so are the assertions that the Ukraine is in any sense unified or bereft of corruption or has ever been independent; there is a similarity with Taiwan which has never been independent either11. It was anticipated that that the Western press would clam the moral ground but that is all that is likely to happen.

What is important, in the opinion of yours truly, is a clear means of promoting research and trade initiatives so as to effect a sense of venture capital in the country. The BRI, as Raby points out (p. 179) is a clear case in point12. An Asian century does not preclude links with Europe or the EU in general but it might not do to have the country’s options determined in advance by politicians13 Closer to home are the issues that Rashbrooke identifies, in terms of increasing inequality in New Zealand but does not anticipate any of the recommendations (p. 211) ever being implemented by any NZ government; of only from an appeal to history14.

Raby, G. 2020 China’s Grand Strategy and Australia’s Future in the New Global OrderMelbourne University Press White, H. 2019 How to Defend Australia La Trobe University Press 1 The details are not that important for the discussion 2 https://carnegiemoscow.org/commentary/84634 3 which is more of a detail-reporting mechanism than a funds transfer mechanism 4 politics is ultimately about conquest as this historical video conveys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY9P0QSxlnI 5 Rashbrooke, Max Too Much Money Bridget William Books 6 where the subs have to come to the surface to charge the batteries etc. 7 https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2022/matter-speed-understanding-hypersonic-missile-systems 8 aircraft carriers, battleships and cruisers 9 Bridges, S. 2021 National Identity Harper Collins 10 the author is entirely familiar with the educational systems mentioned having taught them domestically and for a decade or more in Asia 11 Just a bolt-hole for the Nationalists in 1949 and no less authoritarian than the PRC at the time 12 The matter of the Uyghurs, and religion generally in the PRC, will have to await a further article. Hands up as to who has been to Xinjiang and is a head count necessary for the privately operated prisons in the USA for instances of theft under $100? 13 Who, as a group, Rasshbrooke has examined in terms of former vocations and hence experience (rather limited) 14 I recall capital gains taxes being mentioned during high school years (half a century ago!)


To a large extent, the proceedings in the global political environment are reflected in domestic markets which, in a manner, returns us to Woodrow Wilson and is 14 principles articulated at the end of WW1.


Kyle Hargraves is a Pukekohe local who has lived all over the world. He has studied extensively and has numerous degrees. His career spans many industries and he has enjoyed success as a top level executive. Kyle has always enjoyed writing and has followed the political scene with interest.


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elocal Digital Edition – April 2022 (#252)

elocal Digital Edition
April 2022 (#252)


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