Friday, April 1, 2022

Ending Financial Colonialism

 Beset With Leeches,

  Please excuse the lapse between posts. Real life work on our living system has taken all of my time this week. Commute between Austin and Yoakum is 4 hrs/day.
  I have been working on the interior of the homestead, finishing the cabinet-plywood walls, placing insulation in the girders between upstairs and downstairs, getting ready for the precise placement of the gas wall furnace, split-mini AC unit and stove hood-vents before the sheetrock goes in.
  I have also been building the permanent staircase to replace the pull-down attic ladder. I am having to mow every week again, and do weeding and further spring planting in the gardens. 
  I've replaced some fruit trees and have some seedlings to replace some of the avocado trees that succumbed to the hard and sharp freeze in early March, when they were starting to perk up. Seedlings that have gone through a cold winter in their very early days seem to do better than grafted trees, though some grafted types tolerate cold better than others. 
  We will have a garden party the Saturday before Easter, April 16. Pot luck; whip something up and come-on-down...

  The first few articles are all big picture pieces on the failing western financial capital neo-colonialist system. The west has lent money at interest to buy commodities from the world, where commodity producers must use the $US and can barely squeak by. All profits go to the banks and higher level manufacturers that use commodities to make things like iPhones and Teslas, which do make profits. The main beneficiaries are the banks/financiers, who make lots of profit for lending money that they create from air (and faith).
  This system has been in place since WW-2, and has been sustained by the US military, CIA, $US and before 1971, American gold. America still exports food, but American farmers are still bankrupt and suiciding, like in the rest of the world. Financial colonialism does not spare any commodity producer.
  The "Non-Aligned-Movement" sought to break countries free of financial colonialism, but leaders got assassinated and countries got regime-changed. The desire to free countries from foreign extraction of their wealth, using a despotic elite class, is what led to the American Revolution (basically against the British East India Company).
  The $US as the only currency to buy oil made American financial institutions rich, and kept wealth flowing to the US government to finance military adventurism to keep the colonies (Hi Libya!) in line. With the US military now losing face globally, and Russia/China starting to look like better guarantors of "protection" there are desperate actions by the "petrobuck empire" to punish challengers. These desperate actions accelerate the demise of the petrobuck-empire.
  My back-of-envelope estimate is that the $US needs to lose 75% of its value this decade to pay off huge financial debts while the economy declines, and dollars come back to the US for wheat, soybeans, oil, and maybe some jet planes. 
  This will be very hard on people living in the US. The top 5% will lose the most, because they have wealth to lose. Many cities and states will go bankrupt.

Dan sends this interview with Michael Hudson, Author of "Super Imperialism", which I will excerpt a little of:
​..​It’s about neoliberalism. So when Richard talks about the tectonic shift? It’s really a shift between two systems. It’s between the United States pushing neoliberalism on the one hand, and countries following, let’s say, an industrial capitalism evolving into socialism, on the other hand. And all of this has already begun, just as President Putin has said, this war is not about the Ukraine.
​  ​It began a year ago when the United States started the war against Germany and Europe to haul it in. When President Biden insisted that Europe and especially Germany, has to block Nord Stream 2, what he said he has been saying for over a year now: that we want Europe to become dependent on American gas and oil and not on Russian oil, not only because we want the business of the exporting, but we want the ability to control the world oil trade.​..  
​..​And it’s a 50-year perspective that goes back to the (1955) Bandung Conference in Indonesia. In 1974 when President Sukarno moved with India and much of the global South to create a nonaligned nations. The attempt going back way to 1974 was to realize that the United States was acting as an exploiter of third world countries, that it [U.S.] investment that did not aim at helping them grow, but just to siphon off what they could from their raw materials and to take over the government and make the financial sector the planning sector, not the government sector.
​  ​Well​,​ the Bandung conference and t​​he Third World were not able to go their own way because they didn’t have a critical mass. But the United States started a racist revolution in Indonesia. A million of Chinese were killed and the rivers ran red, I’m told, with ethnic cleansing. There was regime change the United States overthrow of Indonesia. It was the bloodiest internal conflict you could call it, or a fascist war, up to that time outside of Europe.​.

 This has been the model ever since. And the United States continued to push the model. They thought they could do to Russia what they did to Sukarno, and they could do the same to China.​..
..President Biden has indeed got a regime change, but the regime change is in the United States itself. When Biden said last week, well, we’ve got to make America make a lot of great sacrifices to support the Nazis in Ukraine....
..That means that in the future, as America spends its money abroad, and from the 1956 and the seventies, the entire U.S. balance of payments deficit, the deficit that forced America off gold was military spending. That was produced all the charts in my book Super Imperialism.
​  ​And now this foreign exchange is going to be not recycled to the U.S. to support the dollar. It’s going to be spent on gold and on mutual currency swaps. Well, what that means is that the dollar no longer has the free ride, no longer has the free support...
​..What the United States has realized in the last, I think, since World War Two is, you can control​, whe​re​ you don’t need to go to war with other countries.
​  ​You can control them financially as long as you’re willing to impose University of Chicago-style free market, meaning you have to kill everybody. Every academic professor who advocates an alternative, you have to treat the world like Chile. And what’s the free market realized in Chile​.​ It is if you can kill every labor leader, every land reform or every intellectual, then you’ll have Margaret Thatcher’s dream. There is no alternative. And that’s the U.S. policy.​..
..So there’s an idea that you motivate people by hurting them instead of by offering an opportunity to develop. And the problem is that the United States strategists don’t know how to develop because they’re neoliberals. And the neoliberalism is all about grabbing unearned income, grabbing other people’s property, grabbing other people’s income without working...
​..​How are you going to support American living standards and voters? You can only get this by exploiting other countries by imperialism. And other countries are realizing, do we really want our economic surplus shifted off to the United States so that they can live well at our expense?​ ...
​..America is basically the blob, the State Department, the C.I.A., the national security state, and its ideology is to shift economic planning away from government to Wall Street and other financial centers in England and France. And I don’t see that financialization and neoliberalism changing. That’s their religion. And you’re going to have, instead of the reform that you’d like to see, you’re going to see an increasingly violent vicious fight against anyone proposing this reform, just as they fought against Allende in Chile and against against Cuba and as they’re fighting against China and Russia today.​..
..The United States? Again, there will be a polarization in the United States between the 1% and the 99%. The 99% what you call the economy, of course, will suffer and the 1% well, will increase their power over the 99%...
 ..I talked to officials in the U.S. Treasury. They say we can simply buy foreign politicians, we can simply pay them. When you say Europe, what you really mean are the foreign politicians that are getting enormous financial support from various U.S. State Department agencies and they’re after all opportunists...
​..​Now, that whole foreign dollarized, foreign trade policy, finance is going to disappear for American banks. They may make a lot of money on the arbitrage. Trade economies fall apart, but you’re also going to have a huge third world southern hemisphere debt crisis this summer.
​  ​If what we’ve described for American consumers is true of Latin America and Africa and other countries that have to pay more money for their oil, more money for their food, they’re not going to have enough money to pay for debt. So there are going to be huge debt defaults occurring, and that’s going to traumatize the world market.​..

​Mish Shedlock​
Some reports say Putin backed down on his demand for rubles for energy. Those reports are essentially wrong.​..
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed to Vladimir Putin's clever way around the problem of rubles payments.
The EU will pay in euros and via a separate account at Gasprom, the euros are immediately converted to rubles.​..
In this case, Russia demands rubles and get them via immediate conversion from euros or in some cases US dollars, depending on the contract...
Russia gets paid and Gazprom is protected from sanctions.

​Tom Luongo:, excerpted: (Ruble prices of gold and oil are now both aligned AGAINST the $US)
​ I don’t think everyone has yet caught the significance of Russia announcing they are putting a floor under the price of gold.  But, to be clear, Russia just broke the paper gold suppression scheme.​..
​..​Davos’ power rests on the ability to create credit and sell it at a positive interest carry to commodity producers.​.. Selling them debt...​ ultimately sucks all the profit out of the venture.​..
..If the banks are on both sides of the trade setting the price of money, then they ultimately control who wins and who loses while this goes on.​..
​..​In this respect the current financing of these industries is nothing more than a virtualized version of the colonial economic model of the 15th through 19th centuries...
..The producer countries of all the mineral wealth in the world are nothing but debt slaves to the money masters in Brussels, City of London and New York...
..The whole Great Reset is a way to crash the existing system but leave the same colonialists in power legally...
..When you understand that dynamic now you can understand why Russia, in particular, is the vanguard of the Global South’s desire to change the System of the World...
​..​Coupled with Putin demanding ‘unfriendly countries’ paying for their Russian imports with either gold or the ruble, the natural choice is for them to buy rubles until such time as the price of gold and the ruble are in sync on international markets.​..
..Do you hear that Davos? That’s the sound of the ticking clock.​..
​..​We now have a full gold/bitcoin/ruble (and soon Yuan) interconversion system that completely and utterly cuts out Davos and destroys their colonial debt model while also taking away their power to crash economies through hot money in and out flows.​..
..The war is over folks.  Russia, China and the rest of the Global South have already won...
(Except there is still that military-war card to play...)

​Maajid Nawaz​:
  President Biden confirmed to business leaders that we are at an inflection point, and there will be a New World Order. For some reason, he felt the need to couple this announcement with the number of people that he believes usually die when such historic turnings occur: 60 million.
​  ​It’s not rocket science. World Orders are built around the financial system. Historically, this would usually only change through war. By way of example, the end of World War II heralded the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), agreed at Bretton Woods. This established the modern financial system by linking global currencies to the US dollar and - at least until 1971 - the US dollar to gold...
​  ​After 1971, and due to Nixon’s alterations, global currencies remained linked to the US dollar, but the US dollar was pegged to absolutely nothing. This is how - right up until now - the US Federal Reserve had a monopoly on global monetary policy.​..
​..​Central bankers are clamouring to fend off the advancement of decentralised currencies so as to maintain their global control, by creating their own centralised alternative: Central Banking Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
​  ​Due to greed, corruption and unaccountability leading to the cover up of global mass-embezzlement, our current financial system is in its death-throes.

Gradually, Then Suddenly​, Jim Quinn, The Burning Platform
​ The United States has been going bankrupt gradually for the last fifty years, financially, intellectually, and morally.
 Nixon closing the gold window in 1971 and opening the debt door to morally bankrupt bankers and politicians set in motion a downward spiral accelerating at hyper-speed as we speak. The American Empire was born in the shattered global debris of World War II with the Bretton Woods agreement, which left the USD as the dominant currency in world trade, specifically as the settlement currency for all oil transactions...
  The empire has been sustained by currency supremacy, military might, and until 1980, manufacturing superiority...
​..​Now we approach the existential financial crisis which could initiate the “going bankrupt suddenly” phase of our empire of debt.​..
..There is no conceivable way this debt can ever be repaid, therefore it will not...
​..​The only unknown now is whether the debt is defaulted upon, it is hyperinflated away, or some sort of debt jubilee and currency collapse makes it moot.​..
 ..Those in control will position themselves to benefit from whatever scheme is implemented to eliminate the debt...
..Those controlling the levers of power know this shitshow can’t go on. They have fully exhausted their propaganda tools, financial derivative schemes, and monetary machinations, leaving them nothing but crashing the system and implementing a Great Reset, which would keep them in control and the rest of us in squalor and subservience.​..
..The key financial arrangement sustaining the American Empire, even as it internally crumbles from cultural rot, institutionalized corruption, and glorified ignorance of reality, is the global dominance of the U.S. dollar in trade. This is why the empire’s bankruptcy has been gradual and to many, unnoticeable. But Dementia Joe has accidentally, or purposefully as part of the Great Reset agenda, set in motion the rapid spiral into bankruptcy and collapse of the short-lived America Empire (1946 – 2022).​..
​..​Trying to enforce this policy against Russia will be a bridge too far. And the consequences are already being felt. Biden’s sanctions against Russian energy are backfiring and will bring an end to the petrodollar regime.

​Pepe Escobar, Mariupol may become a hub for Eurasian Belt And Road rail lines between Europe and Asia, as well as shipping to North Africa.
How Mariupol will become a key hub of Eurasian integration
Mariupol was battered by Ukraine's right-wing Azov battalion well before Moscow launched its military ops. In Russian hands, this strategic steelworks port can transform into a hub of Eurasian connectivity.​..​
​  ​Amidst a flurry of testimonials detailing the horrors inflicted by the Azov neo-Nazis on Mariupol’s civilian population, a way more auspicious, invisible story bodes well for the immediate future.
​  ​Russia is the world’s fifth largest steel producer, apart from holding huge iron and coal deposits. Mariupol – a steel Mecca – used to source coal from Donbass, but under de facto neo-Nazi rule since the 2014 Maidan events, was turned into an importer. Iron, for instance, started to be supplied from Krivbas in Ukraine, over 200 kilometers away.
​  ​After Donetsk solidifies itself as an independent republic or, via referendum, chooses to become part of the Russian Federation, this situation is bound to change.
​  ​Azovstal is invested in a broad product line of very useful stuff: structural steel, rail for railroads, hardened steel for chains, mining equipment, rolled steel used in factory apparatus, trucks and railroad cars.

​Jim Kunstler reminds... "Naming Names"
​  With the Russian operation in Ukraine alarming the populace, you might have forgotten the late Covid-19 epidemic that provoked so much public hysteria and government policy overreach. Stuff happened during those two-plus years of Covid-19, and, even with Ukraine blaring from the cable news channels, Covid-19 stuff is still happening...
..But so many other things just happened with Covid-19, rather serious things, and no one has had to answer for them, certainly not Dr. Anthony Fauci, who just days ago talked up another booster shot of his obviously defective mRNA “vaccines.” Dr. Fauci proposed that despite a raft of emerging statistics from the life insurance realm that indicate a shockingly high number of mysterious all-causes deaths for people in the prime of life. Several conditions appear to be killing them: 1) blood clotting in the capillaries of various organs, apparently caused by the “vaccine’s” main active ingredient, spike proteins; 2) heart inflammation (pericarditis and myocarditis); 3) a mystifying array of neurological afflictions;  and 4) switched-off immune system toggles, including the cellular mechanism for preventing the growth of cancers.
  This developing picture of a public health catastrophe, growing more robustly detailed by the week, has somehow not alerted the general public, not least because the entire public health officialdom does not want them to know about it...
​..​There is the appalling and still on-going campaign to suppress Covid early treatment off-label drugs such as ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, fluvoxamine, et cetera, though the protocols have been proven highly effective in clinical practice as well as scores of internationally peer-reviewed studies. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died because these drugs were maliciously outlawed. In many states, doctors can be punished with loss of medical licenses for using these safe and effective drugs, or even talking them up.
​  ​Who exactly in public health was responsible for this suppression? Who gave the orders for it?

​Dumbphones again, and why...
"I didn't notice until I bought a brick phone how much a smartphone was taking over my life," she says. "I had a lot of social media apps on it, and I didn't get as much work done as I was always on my phone."

I'll have to catch up on other topics in another post.

Personal Use Producer
(pictured in homestead addition downstairs shortly before sheetrock installation)

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