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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Musical Beds

Dancing,

Vladimir Putin shows up to the wedding of the Austrian Foreign Minister, with flowers and a choir for her, dances gallantly with her, and flies off to speak with Angela Merkel about a new system for international trade, which is not subject to US sanctions, or denominated in dollars.
“Germany is in deep fear of the Strait of Hormuz being shut, stranding a major supply of her natural gas and oil, and placing her totally dependent on oil and natural gas from Russia,” the newsletter states. “That is why Germany has to hold up the Iranian nuclear deal against all costs.
“Hence, the meeting of Merkel and Putin and the floating of a new currency plan to break the control over Germany and the world of the SWIFT-CHIPS dollar system.”


The U.S. has been highly successful at pursuing financial warfare, including sanctions. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
As the U.S. wields the dollar weapon more frequently, the rest of the world works harder to shun the dollar completely.
In the short run, the U.S. is likely to enforce its sanctions rigorously. European businesses will probably go along with the U.S. because they don’t want to lose business in the U.S. itself or be banned from the U.S. dollar payments system.
But in the longer run, this is just one more development pushing the world at large away from dollars and toward alternatives of all kinds, including new payment systems and cryptocurrencies.
It’s also one more sign that dollar dominance in global finance may end sooner than most expect. We are getting dangerously close to that point right now.


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday urged the remaining signatories to its 2015 nuclear agreement to act to save the pact, although France’s leader called again for broader talks on Tehran’s missile program and its role in the Middle East region.
In a phone call to French President Emmanuel Macron, Rouhani said Iran wanted the Europeans to give guarantees on banking channels and oil sales as well as in the field of insurance and transportation, according to the state-run Iranian news agency IRNA.
“Iran has acted upon all its promises in the nuclear agreement and, with attention to the one-sided withdrawal of America ... expects the remaining partners to operate their programs more quickly and transparently,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.

..
As tension has escalated between Iran and the United States, senior U.S. officials have said they aim to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most senior authority in the Islamic Republic, said last month that he supported the idea that if Iran is not allowed to export oil, then no country should export oil from the Gulf.

Why did our ruling elites get so greedy and petty? They used to be much more reasonable, and even participated in the economy themselves in the Eisenhower years. What? Same change happened in Rome, when the Republic transformed to Empire? Charles Hugh Smith has a look.
Neoliberalism is the belief that the social order is defined and created by markets: if markets are free, participants, society and the political order are also free.
 
This conceptual framework is the perfect enabler for the dominance of credit-based, leveraged capital, i.e. Neofeudalism. In a "free market," those with access to nearly-free money can outbid everyone who must rely on savings from earned income to finance borrowing. In a "free market" where those with access to leverage and unlimited credit are more equal than everyone else, the ability of wage earners to acquire rentier assets such as rental housing, farmland and timberland is intrinsically limited by the financial system that makes credit and leverage scarce for the many and abundant for the few.
The moral bankruptcy of our financial and political elites is self-evident.Combine financialization, neoliberalism and moral bankruptcy, and you end up with predatory, parasitic elites.

The Bayer-Monsanto merger may not be as bad as expected, since Vietnam intends to sue the sociopathic global behemoth for the damage done to millions of Vietnamese people by Agent Orange. There's a good use for Lawyers. Strip 'em clean!
In the wake of a U.S. court ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to man who says its weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer, Vietnam has called on the agrichemical giant to pay reparations to Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.
"This case is a precedent that rejects previous arguments that the herbicides supplied to the U.S. military by Monsanto and other U.S. chemical companies during the Vietnam War are not harmful to people's health," spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Phuong Tra said to reporters last week.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/08/27/eyeing-landmark-verdict-roundup-cancer-case-vietnam-demands-monsanto-be-held-liable


Last Aspirin

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