We can’t help but think the Chinese are reading Tom Clancy’s 1994 thriller, Debt of Honor, as we watch their latest tiff with Japan unfold. Recall China suspended its exports of rare earths to Japan in September 2010 over a similar spat.
Ambrose Prithcard-Evans wrote in his latest piece, Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan,
A senior advisor to the Chinese government has called for an attack on the Japanese bond market to precipitate a funding crisis and bring the country to its knees, unless Tokyo reverses its decision to nationalise the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.
Clancy was prophetic in Debt of Honor x/one of the principals to the conflict,
On the Pacific island of Saipan, a wealthy Japanese businessman regards his new-bought land with satisfaction. In the Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka, a foreign navy begins a series of highly unusual exercises. At the headquarters of America’s major stock-clearing corporation, an engineer brings a customized computer program on-line for the first time, and smiles at his own private joke. Three seemingly unrelated incidents, but all just the first links in a chain of events that will stun the world.
Wikipedia provides an apropos synopsis of Debt of Honor,
Even as the military offensive begins, Japan engineers the collapse of the U.S. stock market by hiring a programmer in an exchange firm to insert a logic bomb into the system, which ends up deleting all trade records. The Japanese also attempt to assassinate the chairman of the Federal Reserve, but their target survives the attempt with a broken back. With a massive economic crisis and subsequent mass panic, the Japanese hope that America will be too distracted to quickly respond to Japan’s military actions.
Wow! Algo trading and all! Let’s hope and pray this remains fiction.
Global geopolitical events are getting downright weird, folks. But doesn’t that usually happen during tough economic times as governments attempt to wag the dog to order to deflect attention from its domestic problems?
Our go to source on geopolitical issues is Stratfor and here is their take,
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