Aussie dollar dumps as America First goes feral

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Macro Afternoon

He’s going off. Via the FT:

Donald Trump will threaten to limit intelligence sharing with Britain if the UK government allows Huawei to build part of the country’s 5G mobile network, a message he plans to deliver in person during his visit to London next week.

…One White House official said Huawei would “obviously be on the agenda”. Another person involved in trip planning said Mr Trump was ready to make his objections known both in public and in private. “The president is preparing to repeat the message that Chinese involvement in 5G could pose significant challenges for US-UK intelligence co-operation. He is prepared to go hard on this issue,” the person said.

Serious shit. The UK can now pull a second Singapore on Australia here. Recall that Australia was behind the Huawei push, via Reuters:

In early 2018, in a complex of low-rise buildings in the Australian capital, a team of government hackers was engaging in a destructive digital war game.

The operatives – agents of the Australian Signals Directorate, the nation’s top-secret eavesdropping agency – had been given a challenge. With all the offensive cyber tools at their disposal, what harm could they inflict if they had access to equipment installed in the 5G network, the next-generation mobile communications technology, of a target nation?

What the team found, say current and former government officials, was sobering for Australian security and political leaders: The offensive potential of 5G was so great that if Australia were on the receiving end of such attacks, the country could be seriously exposed. The understanding of how 5G could be exploited for spying and to sabotage critical infrastructure changed everything for the Australians, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

Mike Burgess, the head of the signals directorate, recently explained why the security of fifth generation, or 5G, technology was so important: It will be integral to the communications at the heart of a country’s critical infrastructure – everything from electric power to water supplies to sewage, he said in a March speech at a Sydney research institute.

Washington is widely seen as having taken the initiative in the global campaign against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a tech juggernaut that in the three decades since its founding has become a pillar of Beijing’s bid to expand its global influence. Yet Reuters interviews with more than two dozen current and former Western officials show it was the Australians who led the way in pressing for action on 5G; that the United States was initially slow to act; and that Britain and other European countries are caught between security concerns and the competitive prices offered by Huawei.

The Australians had long harbored misgivings about Huawei in existing networks, but the 5G war game was a turning point. About six months after the simulation began, the Australian government effectively banned Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecom networking gear, from any involvement in its 5G plans. An Australian government spokeswoman declined to comment on the war game.

After the Australians shared their findings with U.S. leaders, other countries, including the United States, moved to restrict Huawei.

The last thing Western nations need to fracture the Five Eyes network, most of all Australia.

Then there’s Mexico, via CNBC:

The U.S. will impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports from June 10, President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Thursday night.

“The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,” Trump said in his tweet, adding that ”….at which time the Tariffs will be removed.”

You’re with us or against us, it seems. Let’s hope both US allies buckle quickly.

Aussie dollar pushing back to the 0.68s.

Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Might be time to dump another 10-20k on some gold.

    Also Huawei, wasn’t it just a few OpenSSL vulns discovered and open telnet by default? What about all of the Cisco vulns and backdoors known to be implemented for the NSA… haha so stupid (when you look at this technically all of the vendors have state actor based backdoors).

    For super sensitive stuff you should probably be investing in your own technical capability and building off OpenBSD, some for of hardened Linux or a BSD of some sort).

  2. kannigetMEMBER

    So trump want to impose Tarriffs on a poor country in order to get them to stop the immigration, potentially imposing more poverty on the country and giving the most effected even more incentive to jump over his wall….

    • Outsourcing enforcement to Mexico.
      They now have an incentive to act to prevent it.

      If the stories are to be believed, the politicians are in on it – being paid off by the cartels, coyotes etc to turn a blind eye.

      It’s a blunt tool, but it’s likely to invert the incentives.

      • Nice story but it is generally accepted that almost all the drugs and bad players from central america do not come into the US across the desert but come in via seaports, airports and by road. You are conflating two quite separate issues.

      • “If the stories are to be believed, the politicians are in on it – being paid off by the cartels”

        Yeah right, El Chapo used to dabble in drugs but he gave it all away to smuggle farm workers into California. But you’re saying that the Mexican cartels, which have killed thousands of people and pay politicans millions in bribes, are all about the immigration scam? Goodo, that appears to be good information.

      • Triage

        As I said, if the stories are to be believed. Here’s one such.

        > It’s a system that runs on people like Carlos and his family, who are willing to carve up their meager assets to pay off a sophisticated network of smugglers, cartels, stash houses, drivers and lookouts. “It’s like a cake,” a coyote who goes by the nickname Sultan said in an interview. “Everyone gets their little piece.”

        > Like Carlos and Heyli, they slip through Mexico with smugglers, known as coyotes, who bribe cartels and corrupt cops and immigration agents along the way.

    • I suggest researching the UK and Singapore re WW2. Specifically around the fall of Singapore and the impact that had on Australia.

      • Oh… I was thinking “forcing us to become a republic by kicking us out of the kingdom”

        Which I’m ok with – as long as we keep the Westminster model and don’t have a US style vote for the president.

  3. BrentonMEMBER

    We are witness to seismic shifts in the global order.

    You think about what we’re seeing:
    – demise of globalisation and a reversion to regional trading blocs/bilateral agreements
    – the first shudders of an EU coming apart at the seams
    – the birth of a new cold war; with the world soon divided accordingly
    – the rise of populist movements/nationalism
    – monetary exhaustion and by extension the death throes of finacialisation

    I thought he was all bluster, but by fark he is driving the blade home.

    • “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” – Sun Tzu

      One of the few books we know Trump has actually read.

      I’ve long thought there was a method to the seeming insanity.

  4. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Do people realise that 5g is just a speed upgrade? There is no fundamental shift from 3g to 5g : it uses a different frequency spectrum and is therefore faster. The article is pure propaganda.

    • BrentonMEMBER

      Most innovation is improving efficiency of existing tech.

      No company or nation would appreciate being forced to sell dial-up to a world using broadband, even if the only real difference is speed.

    • Sure, like 2G was a speed upgrade.

      5G is the end of the road in terms of spectral efficiency. You just can’t squeeze any more out of the airwaves. FTA will probably be killed off, eventually, but that’s just rearranging deckchairs.

      It really is a once-in-history opportunity to get Huawei OUT of Western telco networks.

    • BubbleyMEMBER

      Trump is often waffles around a topic like a drunk trying to get home and sometimes he gets to the point.

      While I loathe the man himself, calling the chinese out on their spying is excellent.

      World war 2 started because nobody had the guts to call Hitler out on his policies and behaviour until it was utterly untenable. If he had been stopped earlier, millions of lives might have been saved.

      President Xi is now President for life and his martial ambitions are unknown, but I do think he bears close scrutiny because, quite frankly, the west does not know what he intends to do. The Chinese military is ramping up, with bases being built through the pacific and the One Belt road initiative, to me these are all warning signs.
      Letting Xi have illegal access to sensitive information is clearly a stupid idea, especially if it’s based on something as basic as price. There is no price on national security, thinking any other way is an invitation to be invaded.
      The question often asked is “If you could have stopped Hitler, would you?” I’m not suggesting Xi will be Hitler, but its a good idea to be wary of him.
      – note – being in Darwin, where the sea port is owned by the Chinese, I may be a little more sensitive to national security issues than most others.

      • AtaraxianMEMBER

        Xi wants China to return to what he historically thinks it used to be – the worlds greatest power. Manifest destiny and all that. History also suggests that great powers don’t achieve their exulted position without getting a little martial somewhere along the way.

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        and you don’t make the world’s greatest power without smashing a few heads.

        We’re screwed, aren’t we?

  5. The U.S. will impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports from June 10, President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Thursday night.

    A 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico, and increasing. I wonder if anybody saw that coming? That’s some pretty hefty economic leverage about to be applied to the Mexican gummint. The Mexicans clearly like the whole border jumping thing, as it helps them unload unwanted people, and also provides for a significant revenue stream into the country via remittances. This is real “balls in the vice” stuff for the Mexicans.

    As for the Brits, I suspect that if it’s a choice between appeasing the Chinese or appeasing the Americans, they’ll go for the Americans. It’s hard to believe, but there are actually people putting their hands up to be the next Brit PM after May goes. I reckon you’d have to be a complete lunatic to want that job.

  6. interested partyMEMBER

    Regarding the tariffs on MEX…..

    We all know what massive immigration does to the working class…and we deal with legal immigration here is OZ. The US is under siege with illegal immigrants, and the Dems, who have control of Congress are doing zip about it….ergo….you can read into it that maybe it is not a problem of the system but a feature.
    Link below shows the US states that provide benefits to illegals and states that are solid Blue. The dems are all about importing voters……just to regain control and stop Trump.

    We are witnessing the systematic destruction of the old corrupt order….globally.