Dr Marc Faber was born in Zurich, Switzerland. He studied Economics at the University of Zurich and, at the age of 24, obtained a PhD in Economics magna cum laude. Dr Faber publishes a widely read monthly investment newsletter "The Gloom Boom & Doom Report" report which highlights unusual investment opportunities, and is the author of several books including “ TOMORROW\'S GOLD – Asia\'s Age of Discovery”.
Marc Faber, Editor and Publisher of “The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report’” talks about China and the “New Silk Road”.
China has established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and went ahead with plans for a so called “New Silk Road”, a huge infrastructure project, connecting China with Europe via a new land route and a maritime equivalent. Steen Jakobsen from Saxo Bank mentioned a while ago that this could be a game-changer - particularly in regards to the demand for commodities as much of the work and investment needed is in infrastructure, buildings and railroads. What do you think?
Well I think there may be some euphoria about this infrastructure building and the ´New Silk Road´. My sense is that yes, some investments will take place but we have to recognise that first of all it will take time. It is not going to be built overnight. Whether it will be really so profitable is another question and the other question is will China have the money to do it?
We are moving here into geopolitics, basically, because of the antagonism of the Western world towards Russia specifically Mr Putin, whom they portray as a villain when in fact he wasn’t the aggressor, it is NATO and the Neocons that essentially pushed the existing government out in Ukraine and began to create the whole problem that we have. If you look at the map of Europe and Eastern Europe it is very clear that Russia will not allow NATO to be east of the Dnieper River, in other words in eastern Ukraine nor will they give up the Crimea, this is strategically of great importance for Russia, has no strategic value for anybody else except for Russia. So the tensions have arisen and because of this hostility of the West towards Russia, Russia has been pushed closer to China.
They share very substantial borders areas with each other and because of the proximity of the two countries and the nature of their economies, Russia possessing the resources and China largely technology and consumer goods which Russians don’t necessarily produce, there is a symbiotic relationship going on. The Chinese and the Russians want to exploit this strength, what they call the hinterland essentially and the rim land in geopolitics.
Of course the US is completely against it because the containment policy was precisely directed against the major power emerging again in Central Asia and Far East Russia and in Russia. So this Silk Road initiative in my view is far from being a certain thing that it will succeed because there are also political obstacles and you know, when the Americans want to create trouble, that they excel at, they are very good at doing that.
When the Americans want to create trouble, that they excel at, they are very good at doing that.
Instead of building nations they destroy nations, from Libya to Egypt to Syria to Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatever they touch, they mess it up or in good English F* up!
What about Europe and Russia? E.g. many German industrialists don’t seem too happy with the current sanctions regime.
Not at all. Actually, you ask ordinary people in the whole of Europe about the policies of the governments towards Russia, 90% of ordinary people disapprove of the politics and policies that have been implemented and with the way European governments behave as if they were feudals of the United States and vassals of the US.
The reality is that Europe should be very close to Russia as it was in the 19th and 18th century, with very few exceptions like for example when Napoleon attacked Russia or when Hitler attacked Russia, but ordinarily the two regions, western Europe and Russia were much closer than say western Europe and the US because of the proximity and also culturally they were quite close.
Interview conducted by Johannes Maierhofer and Peter Matay
Full Interview - The big picture with Marc Faber