by Michael Hudson, posted by special permission on the Saker blog
* Keynote Paper delivered at the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy, July 21, 2019.
Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries.
This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation. U.S. officials explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or even to its own treaties and promises. This allegedly sovereign right to ignore on its international agreements was made explicit after Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright broke the promise by President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand eastward after 1991. (“You didn’t get it in writing,” was the U.S. response to the verbal agreements that were made.)
Likewise, the Trump administration repudiated the multilateral Iranian nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration, and is escalating warfare with its proxy armies in the Near East. U.S. politicians are waging a New Cold War against Russia, China, Iran, and oil-exporting countries that the United States is seeking to isolate if cannot control their governments, central bank and foreign diplomacy.
The international framework that originally seemed equitable was pro-U.S. from the outset. In 1945 this was seen as a natural result of the fact that the U.S. economy was the least war-damaged and held by far most of the world’s monetary gold. Still, the postwar trade and financial framework was ostensibly set up on fair and equitable international principles. Other countries were expected to recover and grow, creating diplomatic, financial and trade parity with each other.
But the past decade has seen U.S. diplomacy become one-sided in turning the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, SWIFT bank-clearing system and world trade into an asymmetrically exploitative system. This unilateral U.S.-centered array of institutions is coming to be widely seen not only as unfair, but as blocking the progress of other countries whose growth and prosperity is seen by U.S. foreign policy as a threat to unilateral U.S. hegemony. What began as an ostensibly international order to promote peaceful prosperity has turned increasingly into an extension of U.S. nationalism, predatory rent-extraction and a more dangerous military confrontation.
Deterioration of international diplomacy into a more nakedly explicit pro-U.S. financial, trade and military aggression was implicit in the way in which economic diplomacy was shaped when the United Nations, IMF and World Bank were shaped mainly by U.S. economic strategists. Their economic belligerence is driving countries to withdraw from the global financial and trade order that has been turned into a New Cold War vehicle to impose unilateral U.S. hegemony. Nationalistic reactions are consolidating into new economic and political alliances from Europe to Asia.
We are still mired in the Oil War that escalated in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, which quickly spread to Libya and Syria. American foreign policy has long been based largely on control of oil. This has led the United States to oppose the Paris accords to stem global warming. Its aim is to give U.S. officials the power to impose energy sanctions forcing other countries to “freeze in the dark” if they do not follow U.S. leadership.
To expand its oil monopoly, America is pressuring Europe to oppose the Nordstream II gas pipeline from Russia, claiming that this would make Germany and other countries dependent on Russia instead of on U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG). Likewise, American oil diplomacy has imposed unilateral sanctions against Iranian oil exports, until such time as a regime change opens up that country’s oil reserves to U.S., French, British and other allied oil majors.
U.S. control of dollarized money and credit is critical to this hegemony. As Congressman Brad Sherman of Los Angeles told a House Financial Services Committee hearing on May 9, 2019: “An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. Clearing through the New York Fed is critical for major oil and other transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have against Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.”
The U.S. aim is to keep the dollar as the transactions currency for world trade, savings, central bank reserves and international lending. This monopoly status enables the U.S. Treasury and State Department to disrupt the financial payments system and trade for countries with which the United States is at economic or outright military war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly responded by describing how “the degeneration of the universalist globalization model [is] turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws… of one country.” That is the trajectory on which this deterioration of formerly open international trade and finance is now moving. It has been building up for a decade. On June 5, 2009, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cited this same disruptive U.S. dynamic at work in the wake of the U.S. junk mortgage and bank fraud crisis.
Those whose job it was to forecast events … were not ready for the depth of the crisis and turned out to be too rigid, unwieldy and slow in their response. The international financial organisations – and I think we need to state this up front and not try to hide it – were not up to their responsibilities, as has been said quite unambiguously at a number of major international events such as the two recent G20 summits of the world’s largest economies.
Furthermore, we have had confirmation that our pre-crisis analysis of global economic trends and the global economic system were correct. The artificially maintained uni-polar system and preservation of monopolies in key global economic sectors are root causes of the crisis. One big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks – these are all factors that led to an overall drop in the quality of regulation and the economic justification of assessments made, including assessments of macroeconomic policy. As a result, there was no avoiding a global crisis.
That crisis is what is now causing today’s break in global trade and payments.
Warfare on many fronts, with Dollarization being the main arena
Dissolution of the Soviet Union 1991 did not bring the disarmament that was widely expected. U.S. leadership celebrated the Soviet demise as signaling the end of foreign opposition to U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism and even as the End of History. NATO expanded to encircle Russia and sponsored “color revolutions” from Georgia to Ukraine, while carving up former Yugoslavia into small statelets. American diplomacy created a foreign legion of Wahabi fundamentalists from Afghanistan to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya in support of Saudi Arabian extremism and Israeli expansionism.
The United States is waging war for control of oil against Venezuela, where a military coup failed a few years ago, as did the 2018-19 stunt to recognize an unelected pro-American puppet regime. The Honduran coup under President Obama was more successful in overthrowing an elected president advocating land reform, continuing the tradition dating back to 1954 when the CIA overthrew Guatemala’s Arbenz regime.
U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured, ranging from Guatemala in 1954 to Iran, whose regime it overthrew to install the Shah as military dictator. Claiming to promote “democracy,” U.S. diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an “undemocratic” attack on “free markets,” meaning markets controlled by U.S. financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks.
A major byproduct of warfare has always been refugees, and today’s wave fleeing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other U.S.-backed Near Eastern proxies is flooding Europe. A similar wave is fleeing the dictatorial regimes backed by the United States from Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and neighboring countries. The refugee crisis has become a major factor leading to the resurgence of nationalist parties throughout Europe and for the white nationalism of Donald Trump in the United States.
Dollarization as the vehicle for U.S. nationalism
The Dollar Standard – U.S. Treasury debt to foreigners held by the world’s central banks – has replaced the gold-exchange standard for the world’s central bank reserves to settle payments imbalances among themselves. This has enabled the United States to uniquely run balance-of-payments deficits for nearly seventy years, despite the fact that these Treasury IOUs have little visible likelihood of being repaid except under arrangements where U.S. rent-seeking and outright financial tribute from other enables it to liquidate its official foreign debt.
The United States is the only nation that can run sustained balance-of-payments deficits without having to sell off its assets or raise interest rates to borrow foreign money. No other national economy in the world can could afford foreign military expenditures on any major scale without losing its exchange value. Without the Treasury-bill standard, the United States would be in this same position along with other nations. That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold’s role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances.
The U.S. response is to impose regime change on countries that prefer gold or other foreign currencies to dollars for their exchange reserves. A case in point is the overthrow of Libya’s Omar Kaddafi after he sought to base his nation’s international reserves on gold. His liquidation stands as a military warning to other countries.
Thanks to the fact that payments-surplus economies invest their dollar inflows in U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit finances its domestic budget deficit. This foreign central-bank recycling of U.S. overseas military spending into purchases of U.S. Treasury securities gives the United States a free ride, financing its budget – also mainly military in character – so that it can taxing its own citizens.
Trump is forcing other countries to create an alternative to the Dollar Standard
The fact that Donald Trump’s economic policies are proving ineffective in restoring American manufacturing is creating rising nationalist pressure to exploit foreigners by arbitrary tariffs without regard for international law, and to impose trade sanctions and diplomatic meddling to disrupt regimes that pursue policies that U.S. diplomats do not like.
There is a parallel here with Rome in the late 1st century BC. It stripped its provinces to pay for its military deficit, the grain dole and land redistribution at the expense of Italian cities and Asia Minor. This created foreign opposition to drive Rome out. The U.S. economy is similar to Rome’s: extractive rather than productive, based mainly on land rents and money-interest. As the domestic market is impoverished, U.S. politicians are seeking to take from abroad what no longer is being produced at home.
What is so ironic – and so self-defeating of America’s free global ride – is that Trump’s simplistic aim of lowering the dollar’s exchange rate to make U.S. exports more price-competitive. He imagines commodity trade to be the entire balance of payments, as if there were no military spending, not to mention lending and investment. To lower the dollar’s exchange rate, he is demanding that China’s central bank and those of other countries stop supporting the dollar by recycling the dollars they receive for their exports into holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.
This tunnel vision leaves out of account the fact that the trade balance is not simply a matter of comparative international price levels. The United States has dissipated its supply of spare manufacturing capacity and local suppliers of parts and materials, while much of its industrial engineering and skilled manufacturing labor has retired. An immense shortfall must be filled by new capital investment, education and public infrastructure, whose charges are far above those of other economics.
Trump’s infrastructure ideology is a Public-Private Partnership characterized by high-cost financialization demanding high monopoly rents to cover its interest charges, stock dividends and management fees. This neoliberal policy raises the cost of living for the U.S. labor force, making it uncompetitive. The United States is unable to produce more at any price right now, because its has spent the past half-century dismantling its infrastructure, closing down its part suppliers and outsourcing its industrial technology.
The United States has privatized and financialized infrastructure and basic needs such as public health and medical care, education and transportation that other countries have kept in their public domain to make their economies more cost-efficient by providing essential services at subsidized prices or freely. The United States also has led the practice of debt pyramiding, from housing to corporate finance. This financial engineering and wealth creation by inflating debt-financed real estate and stock market bubbles has made the United States a high-cost economy that cannot compete successfully with well-managed mixed economies.
Unable to recover dominance in manufacturing, the United States is concentrating on rent-extracting sectors that it hopes monopolize, headed by information technology and military production. On the industrial front, it threatens disrupt China and other mixed economies by imposing trade and financial sanctions.
The great gamble is whether these other countries will defend themselves by joining in alliances enabling them to bypass the U.S. economy. American strategists imagine their country to be the world’s essential economy, without whose market other countries must suffer depression. The Trump Administration thinks that There Is No Alternative (TINA) for other countries except for their own financial systems to rely on U.S. dollar credit.
To protect themselves from U.S. sanctions, countries would have to avoid using the dollar, and hence U.S. banks. This would require creation of a non-dollarized financial system for use among themselves, including their own alternative to the SWIFT bank clearing system. Table 1 lists some possible related defenses against U.S. nationalistic diplomacy.
As noted above, what also is ironic in President Trump’s accusation of China and other countries of artificially manipulating their exchange rate against the dollar (by recycling their trade and payments surpluses into Treasury securities to hold down their currency’s dollar valuation) involves dismantling the Treasury-bill standard. The main way that foreign economies have stabilized their exchange rate since 1971 has indeed been to recycle their dollar inflows into U.S. Treasury securities. Letting their currency’s value rise would threaten their export competitiveness against their rivals, although not necessarily benefit the United States.
Ending this practice leaves countries with the main way to protect their currencies from rising against the dollar is to reduce dollar inflows by blocking U.S. lending to domestic borrowers. They may levy floating tariffs proportioned to the dollar’s declining value. The U.S. has a long history since the 1920s of raising its tariffs against currencies that are depreciating: the American Selling Price (ASP) system. Other countries can impose their own floating tariffs against U.S. goods.
Trade dependency as an aim of the World Bank, IMF and US AID
The world today faces a problem much like what it faced on the eve of World War II. Like Germany then, the United States now poses the main threat of war, and equally destructive neoliberal economic regimes imposing austerity, economic shrinkage and depopulation. U.S. diplomats are threatening to destroy regimes and entire economies that seek to remain independent of this system, by trade and financial sanctions backed by direct military force.
Dedollarization will require creation of multilateral alternatives to U.S. “front” institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and other agencies in which the United States holds veto power to block any alternative policies deemed not to let it “win.” U.S. trade policy through the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid agencies aims at promoting dependency on U.S. food exports and other key commodities, while hiring U.S. engineering firms to build up export infrastructure to subsidize U.S. and other natural-resource investors. The financing is mainly in dollars, providing risk-free bonds to U.S. and other financial institutions. The resulting commercial and financial “interdependency” has led to a situation in which a sudden interruption of supply would disrupt foreign economies by causing a breakdown in their chain of payments and production. The effect is to lock client countries into dependency on the U.S. economy and its diplomacy, euphemized as “promoting growth and development.”
U.S. neoliberal policy via the IMF imposes austerity and opposes debt writedowns. Its economic model pretends that debtor countries can pay any volume of dollar debt simply by reducing wages to squeeze more income out of the labor force to pay foreign creditors. This ignores the fact that solving the domestic “budget problem” by taxing local revenue still faces the “transfer problem” of converting it into dollars or other hard currencies in which most international debt is denominated. The result is that the IMF’s “stabilization” programs actually destabilize and impoverish countries forced into following its advice.
IMF loans support pro-U.S. regimes such as Ukraine, and subsidize capital flight by supporting local currencies long enough to enable U.S. client oligarchies to flee their currencies at a pre-devaluation exchange rate for the dollar. When the local currency finally is allowed to collapse, debtor countries are advised to impose anti-labor austerity. This globalizes the class war of capital against labor while keeping debtor countries on a short U.S. financial leash.
U.S. diplomacy is capped by trade sanctions to disrupt economies that break away from U.S. aims. Sanctions are a form of economic sabotage, as lethal as outright military warfare in establishing U.S. control over foreign economies. The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors.
US Warfare on Many Fronts —————————————————————— Dedollarization defense
|Military warfare (the Near East, Asia)
NATO and bilateral treaty (Saudi, ISIS, Al Qaida). color revolutions and proxy wars.
|Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and pressure for Europe to withdraw from NATO unless the U.S. alleviates its New Cold War threats.|
|Dollarization is monetary warfare. The US Treasury-bill standard finances the mainly military U.S. balance-of-payments deficit. SWIFT threatens to isolate Iran and Russia||Dedollarization will refrain from foreign central banks financing U.S. overseas military spending by keeping their savings in dollars.
Creation of alternative payments clearing system.
|The IMF finances US client regimes and seeks to isolate those not following US policy.||An alternative global financial organization, such as Europe’s INSTEX to circumvent US anti-Iran sanctions, and Russo-China alternative to SWIFT.|
|Creditor policy forcing austerity on debtor economies, forcing them to privatize and sell off their public domain to pay debts.||An international court empowered to write down debts to the ability to pay, based on the original principles that were to guide the BIS in 1931.|
|The World Bank finances trade dependency on US food exports and opposes national food self-sufficiency.||An alternative development organization based on food self-sufficiency. Annulment of World Bank and IMF debt as “odious debt.”|
|Unilateral US trade war based on levy of US protectionist tariffs, quotas and sanctions,||Countervailing sanctions, and creation of an alternative to the WTO or a strengthened organization free of US control.|
|Cyber War, spycraft via US internet platforms, and Stuxnet sabotage.||Work with Huawei and other alternatives to US internet options.|
|Class War: austerity program for labor||MMT, taxation of rentier income and capital gains.|
|Neoliberal monetarist doctrine of privatization and creditor-oriented rules||Promotion of a mixed economy with public infrastructure as a factor of production.|
|US patent policy seeks monopoly rents.||Non-recognition of predatory monopoly patents.|
|Investment control||Deprivatization and buyoutsof US assets abroad.|
|International law and diplomacy||The U.S. as the world’s “exceptional nation,” not subject to international laws or even to its own treaty agreements.
Veto power in any organization it joins. The basic principle that the U.S. is not subject to any foreign say over its laws and policies.
Global Problems caused by US Policy ——————————- Response to U.S. Disruptive Policy
|U.S. refuses to join international agreements to reduce carbon emissions, Global Warming and Extreme Weather.
U.S. diplomacy is based on control of oil to make other countries dependent on U.S. energy dominance.
|Trade and tax sanctions against U.S. exporters and banks. Taxes on U.S. tax avoidance by the oil industry’s “flags of convenience” (convenient for tax avoidance).
Taxation or isolation of U.S. exports based on high-carbon production.
|Attempt to monopolize new G5 Internet technology, Sanctioning of Huawei, insistence on US priority in high-tech.||Rejection of patents on basic IT, medicine and other basic human needs.|
|Patent laws in pharmaceuticals, etc.||Taxation of monopoly rents.|
There are alternatives, on many fronts
Militarily, today’s leading alternative to NATO expansionism is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with Europe following France’s example under Charles de Gaulle and withdrawing. After all, there is no real threat of military invasion today in Europe. No nation can occupy another without an enormous military draft and such heavy personnel losses that domestic protests would unseat the government waging such a war. The U.S. anti-war movement in the 1960s signaled the end of the military draft, not only in the United States but in nearly all democratic countries. (Israel, Switzerland, Brazil and North Korea are exceptions.)
The enormous spending on armaments for a kind of war unlikely to be fought is not really military, but simply to provide profits to the military industrial complex. The arms are not really to be used. They are simply to be bought, and ultimately scrapped. The danger, of course, is that these not-for-use arms actually might be used, if only to create a need for new profitable production.
Likewise, foreign holdings of dollars are not really to be spent on purchases of U.S. exports or investments. They are like fine-wine collectibles, for saving rather than for drinking. The alternative to such dollarized holdings is to create a mutual use of national currencies, and a domestic bank-clearing payments system as an alternative to SWIFT. Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela already are said to be developing a crypto-currency payments to circumvent U.S. sanctions and hence financial control.
In the World Trade Organization, the United States has tried to claim that any industry receiving public infrastructure or credit subsidy deserves tariff retaliation in order to force privatization. In response to WTO rulings that U.S. tariffs are illegally imposed, the United States “has blocked all new appointments to the seven-member appellate body in protest, leaving it in danger of collapse because it may not have enough judges to allow it to hear new cases.” In the U.S. view, only privatized trade financed by private rather than public banks is “fair” trade.
An alternative to the WTO (or removal of its veto privilege given to the U.S. bloc) is needed to cope with U.S. neoliberal ideology and, most recently, the U.S. travesty claiming “national security” exemption to free-trade treaties, impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and on European countries that circumvent sanctions on Iran or threaten to buy oil from Russia via the Nordstream II pipeline instead of high-cost liquified “freedom gas” from the United States.
In the realm of development lending, China’s bank along with its Belt and Road initiative is an incipient alternative to the World Bank, whose main role has been to promote foreign dependency on U.S. suppliers. The IMF for its part now functions as an extension of the U.S. Department of Defense to subsidize client regimes such as Ukraine while financially isolating countries not subservient to U.S. diplomacy.
To save debt-strapped economies suffering Greek-style austerity, the world needs to replace neoliberal economic theory with an analytic logic for debt writedowns based on the ability to pay. The guiding principle of the needed development-oriented logic of international law should be that no nation should be obliged to pay foreign creditors by having to sell of the public domain and rent-extraction rights to foreign creditors. The defining character of nationhood should be the fiscal right to tax natural resource rents and financial returns, and to create its own monetary system.
The United States refuses to join the International Criminal Court. To be effective, it needs enforcement power for its judgments and penalties, capped by the ability to bring charges of war crimes in the tradition of the Nuremberg tribunal. U.S. to such a court, combined with its military buildup now threatening World War III, suggests a new alignment of countries akin to the Non-Aligned Nations movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Non-aligned in this case means freedom from U.S. diplomatic control or threats.
Such institutions require a more realistic economic theory and philosophy of operations to replace the neoliberal logic for anti-government privatization, anti-labor austerity, and opposition to domestic budget deficits and debt writedowns. Today’s neoliberal doctrine counts financial late fees and rising housing prices as adding to “real output” (GDP), but deems public investment as deadweight spending, not a contribution to output. The aim of such logic is to convince governments to pay their foreign creditors by selling off their public infrastructure and other assets in the public domain.
Just as the “capacity to pay” principle was the foundation stone of the Bank for International Settlements in 1931, a similar basis is needed to measure today’s ability to pay debts and hence to write down bad loans that have been made without a corresponding ability of debtors to pay. Without such an institution and body of analysis, the IMF’s neoliberal principle of imposing economic depression and falling living standards to pay U.S. and other foreign creditors will impose global poverty.
The above proposals provide an alternative to the U.S. “exceptionalist” refusal to join any international organization that has a say over its affairs. Other countries must be willing to turn the tables and isolate U.S. banks, U.S. exporters, and to avoid using U.S. dollars and routing payments via U.S. banks. To protect their ability to create a countervailing power requires an international court and its sponsoring organization.
The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism. Their danger to world peace and prosperity threatens a reversion to the pre-World War II colonialism, ruling by client elites along lines similar to the 2014 Ukrainian coup by neo-Nazi groups sponsored by the U.S. State Department and National Endowment for Democracy. Such control recalls the dictators that U.S. diplomacy established throughout Latin America in the 1950s. Today’s ethnic terrorism by U.S.-sponsored Wahabi-Saudi Islam recalls the behavior of Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
Global warming is the second major existentialist threat. Blocking attempts to reverse it is a bedrock of American foreign policy, because it is based on control of oil. So the military, refugee and global warming threats are interconnected.
The U.S. military poses the greatest immediate danger. Today’s warfare is fundamentally changed from what it used to be. Prior to the 1970s, nations conquering others had to invade and occupy them with armies recruited by a military draft. But no democracy in today’s world can revive such a draft without triggering widespread refusal to fight, voting the government out of power. The only way the United States – or other countries – can fight other nations is to bomb them. And as noted above, economic sanctions have as destructive an effect on civilian populations in countries deemed to be U.S. adversaries as overt warfare. The United States can sponsor political coups (as in Honduras and Pinochet’s Chile), but cannot occupy. It is unwilling to rebuild, to say nothing of taking responsibility for the waves of refugees that our bombing and sanctions are causing from Latin America to the Near East.
U.S. ideologues view their nation’s coercive military expansion and political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History. To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival.
The American promise is that the victory of neoliberalism is the End of History, offering prosperity to the entire world. But beneath the rhetoric of free choice and free markets is the reality of corruption, subversion, coercion, debt peonage and neofeudalism. The reality is the creation and subsidy of polarized economies bifurcated between a privileged rentier class and its clients, eir debtors and renters. America is to be permitted to monopolize trade in oil and food grains, and high-technology rent-yielding monopolies, living off its dependent customers. Unlike medieval serfdom, people subject to this End of History scenario can choose to live wherever they want. But wherever they live, they must take on a lifetime of debt to obtain access to a home of their own, and rely on U.S.-sponsored control of their basic needs, money and credit by adhering to U.S. financial planning of their economies. This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg’s recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today’s world is between socialism and barbarism.
- Billy Bambrough, “Bitcoin Threatens To ‘Take Power’ From The U.S. Federal Reserve,” Forbes, May 15, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/05/15/a-u-s-congressman-is-so-scared-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-he-wants-it-banned/#36b2700b6405. ↑
- Vladimir Putin, keynote address to the Economic Forum, June 5-6 2019. Putin went on to warn of “a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown.” This fragmenting of the global economic space “is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.” ↑
- Address to St Petersburg International Economic Forum’s Plenary Session, St Petersburg, Kremlin.ru, June 5, 2009, from Johnson’s Russia List, June 8, 2009, #8, ↑
- https://www.rt.com/business/464013-china-russia-cryptocurrency-dollar-dethrone/. Already in the late 1950s the Forgash Plan proposed a World Bank for Economic Acceleration. Designed by Terence McCarthy and sponsored by Florida Senator Morris Forgash, the bank would have been a more truly development-oriented institution to guide foreign development to create balanced economies self-sufficient in food and other essentials. The proposal was opposed by U.S. interests on the ground that countries pursuing land reform tended to be anti-American. More to the point, they would have avoided trade and financial dependency on U.S. suppliers and banks, and hence on U.S. trade and financial sanctions to prevent them from following policies at odds with U.S. diplomatic demands. ↑
- Don Weinland, “WTO rules against US in tariff dispute with China,” Financial Times, July 17, 2019. ↑
Also highly suggested is his recent Guns & Butter interview where he goes into more detail than the above paper. I might as well add another: 2017 Democracy at Work interview (PDF) of 20 pages reviewing the content of J is for Junk Economics that adds further understanding. Also, Hudson’s giving away the 2nd edition of his seminal work Super Imperialism online. Just search Yandex using super imperialism and it’s #2 on the first page of results.
Hudson’s website’s down for some reason so the Super Imperialism pdf can’t be downloaded nor can the Guns & Butter transcript. But the latter is available here and a roster of all their archived shows can be found here, which include many with Dr. Hudson.
As of 9am Pacific, Hudson’s site is back up and the link to the Super Imperialism download is working.
This is truly one of the absolute best economic/political overviews of our times – and it does not not even have the ubiquitous charts of pretend economists.
It is hard to choose a piece or a sentence as every word and every sentence is equally hard-hitting and necessary. Though, this is the kernel:
“U.S. ideologues view their nation’s coercive military expansion and political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History.”
In other words, they’ve done it all and reached the pinnacle of excellence (or pretend or believe that they have).
“To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival.”
And the amazing thing is, that they do not know or recognize the extent of their own threat, to themselves, and to the rest of the world.
The end logic of US Imperial bloodsucking is the destruction of all of non-servile humanity. Even the slave states will be surplus to requirements in an age of computerisation, artificial intelligence and robotisation. There might have been some place for young women, as sex slaves in various Epsteinesque operations, but even there the elites seem to be working on sex robots as well. I think the reports, now disappeared, that the Pentagon has been scouring the world to collect DNA and tissue samples, including neoplasms, from all identifiable human populations, while maintaining an archipelago of ‘research facilities’ around the world, tells us where things are, inevitably, given that we are dealing with ULTIMATE Evil, going.
Bravo to Dr. Hudson. He’s the best there is in the English-speaking nations.
But how utterly depressing. As you watch the advancement of China/Russia/Others trying to extricate themselves for the US bohemoth, you sense from Dr. Hudson, that’s going to take decades before the US Hegemon actually dies.
Does anyone here see some options, by the One Belt One Road advocates, to speed up the decline of this worldwide cancer that’s destroying billions of lives AND Planet Earth at the same time????
Martin Armstrong, the renowned financial forecaster who is never to be found in the MSM says that his model shows that by 2032, the centre of world finance will have moved to China.
“2032 – How Hard Do We Fall?”
Alfred, check out the record temperatures in Europe and, even more tellingly, the massive wildfires in Siberia, Canada and Alaska right now. 2032? I rather think not.
Michael Hudson being Michael Hudson: namely, brilliant, incisive, *fearless.*
It takes guts to tell it like it is.
The WAPE conference was in Manitoba.
I wonder if Hudson’s paper would have been accepted if the WAPE conference had been held in the US.
I wonder if any WAPE conferences are held in the US.
I tried to find info online as to the locations of earlier conferences but can’t find this info.
Thanks to the Saker for making Hudson’s views and sober analysis of the intolerable and unsustainable available to readers worldwide, including in the USA, where the need for Hudson to be heard is the most pressing.
The rampaging American hegemon is a terrifying historical development.
Becoming daily more totalitarian and extreme in its demands for subservience.
Katherine, take not of the New Era coordination of China and Russia. They are working on many levels to demarkate their red line, to control the rampage of the Hegemon.
With military, diplomacy, currencies, alternative to SWIFT, and with projects of the EAEU and BRI integration, with warnings and actions taken to protect Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Libya, Syria, and some African nations, the Double Helix is confronting the Hegemon.
We see in the blue waters of East Asia, the skies over the ME, the Arctic, SPACE, and cyber the duo have projects that defy the US.
Russia has shown the way for China to go Global, and its recent (Wednesday) publication of a National Defense White Paper clearly sets forth China’s global intentions.
You can download the White Paper in English from this link:
The true full reality is the US has been blunted by the Eurasian world and the non-vassal world standing up to the US hegemony. Few nations are willing to blindly follow the US policies. Even the simpletons in Brussels won’t do everything the US calls for. Supplication is no longer vogue.
Look at various negotiations. The US has had to accept equality with the Taliban in order to try to extricate itself from the charnel house of Afghanistan. The Philippines refuses to do US bidding in the South China Sea. South Korea’s Moon has set the path for denuclearization of the Peninsula. He has been the prime mover, not Kim, not Trump.
The US has set fuses alight all over the globe, continues to move ISIS and AQ terrorists to North Africa, Afghanistan and Central Asia, and is running color revolutions and regime change operations in half-dozen countries right now. But the chaos is not permanent. And the heavy weight of two allied superpowers now is poised in opposition to all the Hegemon craves.
Typo in first sentence. “take note” should be the verb. (I hate my typos.)
I sincerely hope that Larch is right and the pushback is perceived in the DC swamp.
Perceived and feared.
Feared enough to cause second thoughts, maybe among those who have grandchildren they love?
Whom they don’t really want to see Raptured before they have a chance to grow up?
It just seems like the basic emotions are MIA in DC.
Of course there is a large portion of denial. As Hudson has pointed out also in his Guns and Butter interview —and as has been crystal clear to those of us who have lived the past 4 decades or so as adults—the US economy has been hollowed out and offers little for the current younger generations and coming generations.
A lot gets blamed on the baby boomers. As a BB myself, I don’t feel guilty at all because I never supported the kinds of policies, such as NAFTA and offshoring manufacturing to China in return for cheaper goods at home and an insane military buildup after the collapse of the USSR, that have driven this hollowing out and militarization of the US economy.
I do think that Bill and Hillary Clinton are the most guilty BBs. But at the time registered Democrats such as me were so glad to get the Repugs out! Little did we understand of how Bill and Hillary were going to steer things, how little they represented what were considered to be basic principles of the Dem Party.
I recall very clearly reading an analytical piece during the Reagan years which was the first time I became aware of the group of stats that showed the extent of the militarization of the US economy. At the time I believe the figure was that 10% of the economy was directly or indirectly dependent on military spending, and this percentage was growing. I wonder what that figure is today.
One of Reagan’s signal acts was to try to break the air controllers’ union.
Someone—Bill and Hillary/—must have figured out that the easiest way to break unions was just to eliminate the work! Send it to China.
Well, I am rambling.
I don’t see a bright future for young Americans, unless they happen to own some farmable land somewhere or live in a wealthy community where they can do service type jobs for the rich. And also if they detach from their “devices” long enough to look around at and understand the real world.
re: Young Americans. They are being wedded emotionally to their devices ( the human hypocampus deals with memory and emotional response and is deeply effected by early exposure to micro radiation in cell phones and Ipads) and zombified.
When Generation Z (for zombies) wakes up to the ecological Holocaust and their consequently highly abbreviated life-spans, and the decrepit economy, burdened with debt and slave-like work conditions, bestowed on them by their elders, it won’t be pretty. When you watch US media scum and political psychopaths whining about NON-EXISTENT ‘Russian interference’ in their election farces, with House Negro ‘Democrats’ screeching that it is an ‘invasion’ etc, while they remain the greatest, most malevolent and most violent meddlers in the affairs of other countries, with hundreds of billions expended on subversion, sabotage, vicious, murderous, sanctions and outright military aggression and genocide, you know that you are dealing with neurotic, self-pitying, narcissistic, psychopaths, living in a deluded dream-world. Is there any stigma of mental derangement, individual or group, that these crazies do not manifest?
Many times I wondered why the former Iranian leader called USA “the big satan” Today I’m sure why. For myself I can see from where the evil comes from!!
I apparently was the only one from my small tribe who wanted a second bush term, and in hind site was very correct in my beliefs, having since given up on politics as anything except the destructor of the human race, I dont see any way back to repair the damage done, its now the lesser of two evils, a divided we fall hang individually we stand society.
As for the DC swamp, a place I know fairly well, corruption and careerism dominates Washington. This corruption got steadily worse starting in the late seventies and is now totally dominant mainly because the mainstream media is now almost 100% propaganda. Thus any realistic view of the world is automatically forbidden in public and even, for the most part, in private. DC is a series of interlocking cons and struggles for power within the Deep State. No one in power has time, knowledge or interest to look at deeper patterns.
I think Trump’s bull-in-the-china-shop movements have shaken things up in the past couple of years so I think elements of unpredictability may have crept into the System which just might cause an opening. You can see it today in the obvious and blatant lies and delusional thinking broadcast by the propaganda organs.
Larch; So the wisdom in your analysis leads me to conclude that, objectively, in real time, now, the Russia, China, Iran integration and coordination with many other countries is in actual fact the leading world super power. Not the Untied States. All it takes is for our minds to catch up with this.
And when you watch the US ‘elite’ raving, foaming and spitting hatred over ENTIRELY non-existent ‘Russian interference’ in their political farce, you know we are near the cliff edge. Not only is it not just ‘fake news’ but ‘fake reality’, and it is, given the USA’s own role in malignantly interfering in the affairs of much of the world, hypocrisy that is almost beyond belief, until you remember that you are observing the ‘Exceptional’ USA in full ‘Indispensability’ mode, ‘Under God’, naturally.
Very nice comprehensive article.
Important to note, is that the foundation and fundamental basis of what is described above is the utterly corrupt and unsustainable economic monetary system based on debt and usury (interest-debt based economy and money). This is a Godless and fraudulent form of money and economy which is rightfully eating itself alive.
In order to understand the global catastrophe we are now living in, you have to go back to the basics and fundamentals of what was money and what has become money. You have to do this in order to comprehend that once money is lent on interest/usury you automatically corrupt the trade, business and the economy.
You have to understand that once money is lent on interest, what automatically follows is increased debt and false money creation.
If you cannot comprehend that lending money on interest is not the same as doing fair business and trade, then you automatically allow for the rich to become richer and the poor to become poorer.
When you allow lending money on interest, you substantially decrease the possibility of sharing the burden and sharing risk in starting a business, buying products, or conducting trade. You dupe people in making them believe that they can obtain things that they cannot actually afford as long as they pay you even more money just because you have money in the first place.
You cancel out burden sharing, you cancel out charity, you encourage inequality, you corrupt the money, the economy and the entire society.
How can you call anything a business when you are 100% guaranteed a profit ? ….where is the risk of losing ?….there is no risk !! This is not a fair business or trade.
Usury (interest) that is the cause of increased debt and the cause of false money creation is a global cancer !
Actually, allowing usury by the Christian world is one of the biggest disasters in the history of Christianity and the world at large.
Money with intrinsic value was first lent on interest.
Once they became richer they replaced gold/silver with bank notes.
Then they started lending bank notes that they created out of thin air without even having reserves.
So they were making a profit out of something that didn’t even exist.
People were paying extra money for money that did not exist in the first place…..and this practice continues until this day.
Without interest/usury these bankers would never have been able to make money in the first place. Instead they would have to do business and actually invest and work hard or take risks.
But now they can just make guaranteed profits, and even better is that now they can just add electronic money that they do not even have in the first place and lend it on interest to make money out of blood of sweat of the masses.
Two things need to be done:
– Money must become again currency with intrinsic value (silver, gold, etc.), as was before in history.
– Lending money on interest should be made illegal and criminalized, as was before in history.
…….this will lead to money not losing its value over time.
…….the principle of lending money will be to help others instead of making money off of them.
…….this will lead to less people lending money to others since they will not profit from lending money in the first place, and more people will only live within their means.
…….this will lead to more people to share in risk (losses and profit) when doing business. The richer person will actually have a risk of losing his money.
…….Less lending will encourage fair business and trade with sharing risks and joint venturing.
The fairest way to create money would be for a publicly owned bank to lend it to every citizen equally, say at a living wage level, credit extended monthly. To recoup it a 2% transaction tax on all transfers/purchases, at the end of each year the choice is to pay off the debt or roll it over for a % charge aligned with inflation, each years full debt you owe adds 2% to the transaction tax you pay but all of the collected taxes pay down the oldest debt. Old bankers debts could be paid off and everyone would know how much they owe society, and there’ll always be enough money in circulation. Add on a .5% transaction tax for every kind of transaction in the currency and gov. would be fully funded compare this to the present 35-40% upstream interest on all purchases plus the credit card charge and the multiple taxes that burden the poor and you’ll have some idea just how much is being skimmed by the financial sector.
“free ride, financing its budget – also mainly military in character – so that it can taxing its own citizens”
Words has been omitted from the above sentence. So it can taxing its own citizens should read so it can ‘avoid’ taxing its own citizens’
This is a common occurance. It seems to me that text from authors critical of US UK policies are altered enroute between author’s email outbox and the inbox of the publisher. This makes it harder for good articles like the one above to be diseminated widely on the internet.
Sputiknews has some malignant editors in the Englush language version of it i read. These malignant actors act to introduce spelling errors, grammatical errors including tautologies, nonsensensical compositions.
Someone should pay attention to the editing departments in Sputniknews and RT because important articles published on those websites are generally poisened with respect to mass republication due to malignant actions by editorial staff.
Great observations, Anon.
What you describe here is the Tower of Babel moment 2.0. Crude censorship alone won’t do trick, and the Mafia has been very aware of this conundrum for quite some time. Goys talking their hearts & minds freely is too much – even for the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.
In Genesis it is allegedly ‘God’ that “confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other”, today we witness the Jewish Mafia trying the same trick by technological, technocratic means.
For this goal to be achieved, the Mafia has to go far beyond the current generation of gimmickry like shadow banning, and personalized search result twisting. What needs to be implemented is fully automated, AI-driven, real-time speech/text confounding throughout the whole media-matrix. As soon as possible.
“I love you”, I say to you on my iPhone.
”Houston, we have a problem,” is what you hear.
“Is this supposed to be a joke?” you answer, frowning.
“I love you too”, my iPhone chirps.
US does not avoid taxing its own citizens. It avoids taxing its corporations. It is the corporatocracy that benefits, not the ordinary citizens. As MH points out elsewhere, about the crushing burden under which the majority, mass of citizenry labors.
Excellent article. Unfortunately for the people pulling the strings of the hegemon’ puppet, they never learned any history except for one little piece of it. They are oblivious to the fact that no matter what they do, the house of cards they created is falling apart. Also they do not know that as opposed to Rome’s hegemony in the Greek world, which lasted barely ~300 years the rest of the Greek world lasted more than 1800years only thanks to fair cooperation and trade between the people living in that world.
Interesting Map Byzantium 324AD:
There is a list of maps in Greek:
Small addition, about US dying and not knowing it, or more correctly refusing to recognize it.
Check this video about the Seattle:
Corruption and arrogance blinds people, hampering their decision making process, eventually leading to erosion and downfall. The remarkable thing about the US (and probably the West), is the speed at which this is occurring, but this is probably due to the times we live in (related to technology, etc.). Also historically unprecedented is the shear scale of global influence of the Western powers and the global connectivity of the world in general. Changes or collapses will have global ramifications.
Here is one trying to open their eyes and wake them up:
John W. Whitehead – “Monsters with Human Faces: The Tyranny of the Police State Disguised as Law-and-Order” – http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51989.htm
“Here is one trying to open their eyes and wake them up:
John W. Whitehead …”
Actually, here is one who is hell bent on promoting his book relentlessly. This guy writes the same article every few days, always with the same line near the end, “… as I say in my book …” (with link for you to purchase).
He does this EVERY time, the only exception I have ever seen is when I pointed this out in his comment section. After pointing it out, I read 2 articles in a row where it was not mentioned, then back to normal.
John W. Whitehead is out to help John W. Whitehead.
One thing is for sure- The USA ideological power is dead in Europe. Around 2003 at the time of USA invasion of Iraq, I was very depressed. Seemed like USA was a facist superpower that could destroy any resistance. But the actions of Europeans from top to bottom of society, showed our hatred of USA Fascism, from Chirac and Schröder to a basic farmer in the fields, we critisised Anglo America and realised China trade and Russia fuels is our future. At that tine however Europe was not strong enough to do much. But we knew USA was our enemy and one day they could bomb Brussels and Berlin, same as they already bombed Belgrade and Baghdad.
So this is not a short term thing. We planned to break free from USA/UK for almost 20 years. Our leaders had to keep quiet until China and Russia had got strong enough to remove USA power. But now we can open in our hatred of Anglo Fascism. Schröder naturally became very involved in Nord Stream. We want english fascist brothers of USA out of the EU so they cant poison us with their neo nazi machine. Once English are out of EU, very fast we will see Anti Russia laws removed and instead Sanctions against England for occupying regions of our member states, Gibraltar and Ireland. I see England as the eternal enemy of the Europeans, in spiritual and ecomonic terms. Since 1945 its joined by our hatred of USA, each President since then has tried to keep Europe down, make us submit to Israeli interests and make a barrier dividing us from our natural Russian partners, and Iran and other anti USA nations.
Trump is hated by 90% of Europeans and the english fascists even more. So who is left to defend Anglo fascist ideology in Europe? Even ex-USA lover Poland run by Law and Justice party has fallen out with Israeli regime over some Holocaust terminology, their socialist pro EU party will win the next election and no east Europeans want refugees from Anglo wars. I think the Polish Donald Tusk had the best response -‘ English Nationalists will burn in a special place in Hell.’ and their usa brothers too.
Ro, it will be the best thing for Europe if England does commit seppuku by exiting the EU without a deal. It will allow Scotland to break free, and join Europe, and Ireland be re-united at last. Thanatopolis DC’s Trojan Horse inside Europe will be gone, to descend, I fear, into civil strife and sub-fascist tyranny and economic and moral collapse. It will be necessary for England to finally throw off the eternal misrule of its hereditary ruling class, if humanity somehow survives the ecological Holocaust. I can think of no more apt a figure to preside over England’s long, long, overdue comeuppance than that narcissistic and blowhard bladder of piss and wind, BoJo.
I totally agree Mulga. You nailed it again!
No way will there be a united Ireland. When the bit comes even nationalists will choose the UK NHS. Ireland is an even greater capitalist hellhole where the poor are left forever to rot on hospital trolley’s.
Really if the Chinese open “counterfeit” US dollar accounts in a bank at Shanghai that would clear transactions between account holders, with the balances instantly convertible to gold/renmimbi (or other currencies) guaranteed by the PRC Central Bank, there would be no need for NY Fed clearing !! Is that so difficult? In the long term this “renmimbi” counterfeit dollar may drop the $ tag and actually become a world reserve currency held in MORE esteem than the actual USD.
Michael Hudson’s may need to explore the role of trans-national elites in extracting value from their own citizens and those of other countries by forming international cartels.
For example, some twenty years ago, small California and Florida flower growers suddently found themselves cut out of the US flower distribution chain, in favor of Colombian flower plantations. The cost of flowers is now a decision of the cartel. Who and how was that decision made to destroy US flower growing and create a cartel?
Again, there seems to be a lemon cartel that sells the same lemons for 25 cents each in Mexico, versus $2 each in the US market and, if need be, destroys lemons in case of a harvest surplus. The same cartel format obtains in multiple sectors.
We come to so-called US hostility to land reform — aka purchasing vast land holdings of a few — by campesino tillers in Central and South America. Such land reform was carried out in Japan and Taiwan in the later 1940s to great success. Peasants acquired bank loans to purchase the plots they had farmed for millenia, while the land-rich / cash poor aristocrats acquired capital to invest in modern industry to the immense economic benefit of those two countries. So, which government agency in the US decided that land reform in Central America should be stopped?
( Incidentally, these land reforms created a vast pro-capitalist constituency averse to Marxism. Japan and Taiwan’s new land-owning farmers had zero interest in joining a collective and becoming landless again. )
In other words, Hudson’s analysis treats economic relations as though it involves different competitive nations, whereas these cartel realities are a matter of trans-national, private arrangements.
That’s true, Petrel. it’s not the US government that receives the benefits of the theft of the material wealth of the less developed countries, it’s Goldman Sachs, Dole, Exxon Mobil and the rest of the Fortune 500. It doesn’t even make sense to refer to most of these as “US corporations”. They are all fully distributed and diversified over the entire globe. They are multi-national institutions in every sense of the word. Perhaps his strategy is to avoid possible litigation.
Very good article. Of course the system is ripping apart their own economies. Brexit, the Yellow Vests show that it is failing in UK and France. US politics gets weirder and. weirder as the elite try to put on a nice face of humanitarian intervention which is really the Evil empire. The growing homelessness, student debt, transgenderism and social disintegration, more and more false flag mass murder events to try for gun control. The US system seems to only benefit the top 10% as the rest of Americans fall further into poverty.
It also benefits the military as they are willing to pay well to aquire new recruits, the youth realizing that money is the key to independence gravitate towards this lucrative industry.
Is anyone else having problems accessing Dr Hudson’s site ? The important thing to understand about Dr Hudson’s recent books and I will include ” Super Imperialism” with the others . Is the correlation of the ‘creditor class’ vs the Temple of old or as is known today as the Government . What is transpiring is that the ‘creditor class’ is parasitizing most of the economic surplus from the ‘working economy’ and in essence killing it. If true GDP numbers where to be used . The graph would depict a considerable separation between the working economy and the financial class (Freeloaders). The more the gulf between the two ; the more certain that a collapse will occur.
There is an old Jewish proverb that encapsulates their preference for usurious pursuits over actual work and production (a situation that the early Zionists recognised and wanted to cure through the physical work of the kibbutzim). ‘Interest grows without rain’. It has brought them, or rather the elites who used the majority of Jewry as human shields and co-dependents, huge wealth and power, and considerable hatred from their victims.
It is little wonder that Paul Craig Roberts refers to Michael Hudson as the greatest economist on earth. I do have a question which was just brushed on in passing. Did the U.S. or anyone else actually sign the JCPOA? Their response is they don’t have to obey this agreement as it wasn’t signed. Not that that would really make a difference to the empire.
My understanding is that the JCPOA wasn’t signed and the Obama administration acknowledged this fact.
However IMHO the signing of the JCOPA should really be a moot point anyway.
Although not perfect all reports were that Iran was abiding by the JCPOA. So why on earth would anyone in their right mind tear it up?
Signed, not signed, ratified, whatever…in the long run, it doesn’t make a jot of difference, since any international agreement/treaty is only of value if the participants are non-cynical whilst entering into it in good faith and with good intentions.
Washington has proven to the whole world on countless occasions that it doesn’t give a flying toss about agreements signed or otherwise…they will renege on them at the drop of a hat. This could be for any one of a number of reasons including of course a change of occupancy in the White House and the accompanying idiotic political point-scoring and oneupmanship that sometimes follows.
I am absolutely not an Obomber fan but I do reluctantly have to concede that this was one positive thing that did come from him and the idiotic SOS Kerry. I use the word ‘positive’ because perfect or not the JCPOA was fricken working…so well in fact that part of the ME peace was actually in danger of seeing break out!
Cheers and regards
PS Idiotic as Kerry was, look at the swamp creature that lurks in that office now…hindsight is a great thing…compared to Pompeo, Kerry was almost a bloody saint!
“seeing PEACE break out”
Yeah, on hindsight Kerry looks good.
Actually, at the beginning of his political career he looked VERY good!
When I returned to my home state of Mass. after a sojourn elsewhere I was delighted to find that we had this great senator.
I have read some revisionist material on his actual activities in Nam (maybe from Doug Valentine? Can’t recall).
I was extremely disappointed—furious!— that he voted for the Iraq Invasion authorization in October 2002. I called and called his office. I heard on some grapevine (someone whose cousin worked in his office, or some such) that constituent calls were running something like 187/1 to vote NO!
But he went along with the Iraq invasion program.
I kind of wrote him off. Yet still would have preferred him to Bush in 2004 and worked in the backwoods of Maine to get him elected.
When we went to bed at 1 a.m. he was ahead.
When we woke up at 6, Bush had won Ohio. WTF?
Kerry caved in as Gore had done in 2000.
I was in shock And disgusted.
He seemed to want to stay in the DC “club” by not raising a ruckus about the Ohio vote and quite decorously conceded the presidency to the Chimpster.
Or maybe it was really the Skull and Bones gene expressing itself.
Anyhow, I totally lost confidence in Kerry.
He married the rich Heinz woman and has a ritzy lifestyle.
Nevertheless, he is much preferable to all of the total idiots in Washington now.
This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg’s recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today’s world is between socialism and barbarism.
What about the words of someone more recent who termed what is occurring as “livestock management.”
From the 36 minute mark of Catherine Austin Fitts-Clintons Addicted to Privilege — a truly must watch!!!!!!
“there’s going to be a crisis of values, between members of the establishment and members of the general population. and it is going to come down to are we going to have a human or inhumane society. If you look at how or the leadership is that is in control now the way they are planning to bring productivity is by basically putting chips in all of us and using the chips and cell towers to mind control all of us. They are talking about not only destroying political sovereignty but individual sovereignty at a very deep level. What they want to do is basically take control of your physical body and mind. This is worse than slavery were talking about livestock management. that’s their way of dealing with the general population because they cannot conceive of a way that they and the general population can get into alignment about leading society in a positive direction. They can’t conceive of a way of sharing civilization with the general population. so they are planning on an inhumane system. They are planning on treating the general population as livestock. It is why I left Washington in 1988 why I litigated with them. What we were doing in the African American neighborhoods was genocide pure and simple. No different than what Hitler did.”
I truly believe this is where we as a world are heading and for those steeped in biblical themes what Catherine Austin Fitts describes was foretold millennia ago. Rev. 13 : 11 -18
Lastly, to listen to her talk about a Mr. Global who she has been trying to track and identify this person behind the curtain she laughs because given her enormous knowledge and contacts this person remains totally and completely anonymous. These are weird times indeed and I figure very soon we will have some very important revelations.
thank you Saker and Michael Hudson for this very important and informative piece.
The End of History?
Just went through a refresher of a speech by Rear Admiral Rickover 1957 and had to post. It raises too many questions!!
Surplus energy provides the material foundation for civilized living – a comfortable and tasteful home instead of a bare shelter; attractive clothing instead of mere covering to keep warm; appetizing food instead of anything that suffices to appease hunger. It provides the freedom from toil without which there can be no art, music, literature, or learning. There is no need to belabor the point. What lifted man – one of the weaker mammals – above the animal world was that he could devise, with his brain, ways to increase the energy at his disposal, and use the leisure so gained to cultivate his mind and spirit. Where man must rely solely on the energy of his own body, he can sustain only the most meager existence.
Man’s first step on the ladder of civilization dates from his discovery of fire and his domestication of animals. With these energy resources he was able to build a pastoral culture. To move upward to an agricultural civilization he needed more energy. In the past this was found in the labor of dependent members of large patriarchal families, augmented by slaves obtained through purchase or as war booty. There are some backward communities which to this day depend on this type of energy.
Slave labor was necessary for the city-states and the empires of antiquity; they frequently had slave populations larger than their free citizenry. As long as slaves were abundant and no moral censure attached to their ownership, incentives to search for alternative sources of energy were lacking; this may well have been the single most important reason why engineering advanced very little in ancient times.
A reduction of per capita energy consumption has always in the past led to a decline in civilization and a reversion to a more primitive way of life. For example, exhaustion of wood fuel is believed to have been the primary reason for the fall of the Mayan Civilization on this continent and of the decline of once flourishing civilizations in Asia. India and China once had large forests, as did much of the Middle East. Deforestation not only lessened the energy base but had a further disastrous effect: lacking plant cover, soil washed away, and with soil erosion the nutritional base was reduced as well.
Another cause of declining civilization comes with pressure of population on available land.
Oil the big unknown. O, what I wouldn’t give to know just how much is left really globally! Working in the oil and gas industry I asked a former director of our company just how much oil is left up in the Alberta oilsands for example since he held a management position up there for a time? He said about 10 years that is unless something happens in the Middle East. If that is the case the oilsands is where America will go for its oil? It is why all of the American companies are up there.
What does the American military know exactly? I mean consider further the words by a reply to my comments on the ourfiniteworld blog by Gail herself.
“The military has known about these problems for a long time. I know I was once invited to the Naval War College in Rhode Island, because those in charge wanted input to use in building war games depicting the problems that might afflict them in the time of energy shortages. I suggested that they should think about falling military appropriations as being a major risk at such a time. There were many others, from other fields, invited to this large meeting as well.”
China simply needs to open a mini SWIFT and NY FED equivalent clearing of a special “counterfeit” renmimbi dollar (RD) all balances may be converted to renmimbi/gold at any time. This new currency will replace the USD in due course, they could even start printing 100/500 bills to be used throughout the world, BUT NO PICTURE OF MAO SORRY
A bigger picture of Mao, and one of a younger Mao on the reverse!!!!!!!
China simply needs to open a mini SWIFT and NY FED equivalent clearing of a special “counterfeit” renmimbi dollar (RD) all balances may be converted to renmimbi/gold at any time. This new currency will replace the USD in due course, they could even start printing 100/500 bills to be used throughout the world, BUT NO PICTURE OF MAO SORRY !!!!
Foreign holdings of US treasuries have gone from about $2 Trillion in 2007 to over $6 Trillion today.
That does not look like US $ is dying. It looks like it is becoming more and more central to investors as a safe haven currency.
Where would you park your money if you are an institutional investor looking for safety? China? Good luck.
I would say the US has come to recently realise the full potential of the US $ as a weapon. All of a sudden, the vaunted secrecy of Swiss banking system disappears in to thin air. Tax havens are next. European banks have paid billions of dollars of fines for violating AML laws of US.
I don’t see a credible alternative to US $ yet. Note it is a function of size of the economy, strength of institutions, etc.
Credible is the operative word. There is a lot of noise. But evidence points to the contrary.
When the US Treasury debt hyper-bubble implodes it will be bye-bye Uncle Satan. The longer the delay, the bigger the bubble the more phony paper dollars created from thin air, hubris, narcissistic self-delusion and ‘exorbitant privilege’, backed only, as Krugman obsrved, by ‘men with guns’, the greater the fall, and the more violent the social chaos that will engulf the USA. The Greeks called it Nemesis.