September 12, 2007

Comrades, Let's Not Get Hysterical Here

"Two officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning - for the first time - that Beijing may use its $1.33 trillion (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress. Shifts in Chinese policy are often announced through key think tanks and academies. Described as China's 'nuclear option' in the state media, such action could trigger a dollar crash at a time when the US currency is already breaking down through historic support levels." Telegraph (UK), September 8, 2007.

[the following is a transcript of telephone call from Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson's office, intercepted by the NSA as part of its routine monitoring of overseas calls]

Hi? Mr. Hu? No, it's a terrific connection! Huh? Heck no, no one's listening in! That's just for terrorists.

I'm saying your name right, aren't I? It's Hu Jin-Tao, I know, but you put your first names...oh never mind, even the President got it right. How tough can it be? Ha ha. He's a card, isn't he? What will he do next? Like that whole dust-up about melamine in the pet food. Sheesh. Okay, so Rover's evening meal tastes a little like IKEA furniture. Is that so bad? And everybody's little darling Tiffany curled up next to her lead-based Barbie -- maybe ten or fifteen IQ points, tops. Who's counting? If an American loses IQ points, can you even tell? Ha ha! We elected Bush! Ha ha ha!

No seriously, Mr. Hu, and I mean this sincerely...hey, do you know that Abbott & Costello routine? It's hilarious! Hu's on first? Get it? Oh, they would kill you with that, Mr. President. Really, I can find a CD for you...what am I talking about? You guys have already bootlegged it! No, that's another lousy joke. But on this nuclear option thing, Mr. Hu. You know...this is starting to make people nervous. Now I know, I know -- Congress likes to talk awful tough about fair trade and exporting jobs and labor standards and environmental stuff and blah blah blah. Even putting a tariff of 27% on Chinese imports because you guys won't let the yuan float up against the poor old hammered dollar! You know, so the things we make and sell to you will be cheaper, you know, things, you know, stuff we make. Okay, so we make all of "our" stuff in factories in your country. Still, the idea is...huh? No, I'm not babbling! I don't think so, anyway.

Look, can I be honest for a minute? Just between us "comrades." Get it? Oh yeah, we love to laugh here in the States. Yeah, I know, I know - when I laugh these days it sounds like I'm strangling. You've got us a little on edge with this "dump-the-T-bills" stuff. That's getting way out there, right? I mean, come on. Sure, maybe we shouldn't have put a couple of wars on our Chinese credit card over the last six years or so, and maybe, when a country's standard of living is going downhill, that's the wrong time to double the size of the houses and buy cars the size of a Sherman tank, using all that money you send back to us after we send it to you to buy all the stuff that you make and we make in your country...huh? The tinkling noise? Oh, I guess I can tell you, Mr. President, I poured myself a little snort from the office bottle. I'm feeling a little nerved-up. Huh? Sure, he used to drink a lot. Not anymore. What? Yeah, he was running businesses while he was drunk, I'm sure... No, I see what you're driving at. Sure. Couldn't agree with you more. It looks like he's been running the country the same way. But that's all in the past. Tell you something else that's in the past, Mr. Hu. All this "trade sanction" talk, and tariffs and complaining about a little pesticide in the Meow Mix. We're friends, and friends cut each other some slack. So forget about all that. And that 1.3 trillion in Treasury bills you guys own? Why not leave it right here, where it's safe and sound. I'm sure you guys feel right at home here. It's almost like you own the place. What's that? Gotta go? Sure, you've got a big country to run, I understand. But I'll tell you who's on first for me, Mr. Hu. You, comrade. My pal! So just between us, Mr. President, no rude surprises, okay? You stay in touch...

[line went dead at this point in transcript]

No comments:

Post a Comment