Meg Lee Chin

Britain was once a great empire with the pound sterling being the reserve currency of the world. Money flowed freely through the financial hub known as "The City of London". But as the Empire fell, The City had to re-invented itself in order to survive.

Through deregulation of it's remaining offshore colonies, the UK emerged as the money laundering capital of the world. Dirty money from dictators, despots, paedophiles and drug traffickers flowed discreetly into London through financial backdoors such as Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Caymans.

This became so lucrative that investment trickled away from the manufacturing sector and flowed into financial services. Today the UK is an economic monoculture with most of its eggs in one basket. The Queen provides an artificial face of respectability to a nation addicted to easy money.

Likewise, the Americans are addicted. Europe was devastated after WWII and sought help from the US to rebuild. A deal was struck whereby the European nations would hold the US dollar as the reserve currency. This was known as the Bretton Woods Agreement and prompted the creation of the IMF.

As the bearer of the reserve currency, the US was able to indulge in massive money printing. Any inflation would be diluted by the many countries holding the dollar in reserve. Hence the US was able to build the most powerful military in the world.

But by the 1970s France became suspicious of all the printing and demanded to cash in their dollars for gold. Other nations soon followed suit. The US did not have enough gold to pay everyone. So Nixon changed the dollar from a gold backed currency to a free-floating "fiat currency". With no solid backing, the dollar faced collapse.

Kissinger was sent to Saudi Arabia to cut another deal. The US would build these OPEC nations the infrastructure for an oil industry. In exchange, they would sell oil only in US dollars and they would spend a percentage of their profits on US bonds. This became known as the "petrodollar" and guaranteed the continuation of the dollar as the reserve currency.

Being dissatisfied with US dominance by the turn of the century Saddam and Gadaffi tried to dump the petrodollar. We can see where it got them and the middle east wars continue to rage.

But the tide appears to be turning and the days of easy money may soon be over. China and Russia are bypassing the petrodollar and trading with each other in gold and their own currencies. The BRICS nations are creating their own financial institutions to challenge the IMF and the western stranglehold over the world economy.

So if you think the recent Russia hostility is about hacking elections or nerve agents you'd better look closer. What you're actually seeing is the desperate throes of the drug-addled west, whose addiction is to easy money.