Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Why Like This

 Wondering Why,

​  It has puzzled many how the EU has been managing its economy since the beginning of the Ukraine war. There have been two distinct shocks inflicted upon the Eurozone economy since then. The third shock, which may be the worst, is on the way. All of them are direct results of European policies.
​  The first shock was the increase in energy prices (and availability) resulting from the sanctions on Russia. This shock alone has decimated the competitiveness of European industry and many large companies in the most important part of the value-adding chain, particularly basic and advanced manufacturing, have either shut down operations or are packing their bags and leaving the EU. Thousands of small (and mostly family owned) companies, particularly in Germany, are either already bankrupt or technically bankrupt.​..
​..The second shock is the obvious and all-out regulatory and bureaucratic attack from Brussels on European companies and entire sectors of the Eurozone economies. The regulatory load inflicted on European companies has been tuned up to such a degree that many of them can barely operate any longer. Technical trickery and bizarre laws are being used to outright destroy European agriculture by bankrupting farmers and to prevent investment into new energy projects. The automobile industry, a key sector in Europe, also appears to have been scheduled for termination with Brussels reportedly planning to double the cost of owning and operating a car in the next few years.​..
..Before addressing this apparent lunacy, let’s look into the future and check out shock number three which will most likely hit Europe (and the entire West) sometime in the next few years.
​  The third shock will be the “externally forced” devaluation of the euro and a massive drop in European living standards. To explain how this works let’s use the United States as an example. The US trade deficit in 2022 was nearly a trillion dollars. This means that every American got $3,000 worth of stuff from the outside world which he didn’t have to work or pay for. In addition the US Government is printing trillions of free dollars annually to keep things going, including keeping up living standards. The US can do this because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency and can be sold in exchange for real stuff like a commodity. The outside world is keeping up US living standards through its labor and raw materials, essentially for free. This also applies to Europe because the euro is basically a retail outlet of the dollar and Europe therefore indirectly enjoys the US’s exorbitant privilege. If the West is properly isolated and the dollar loses its reserve status, the euro will go down with it. It is even possible that the euro might go down before the dollar does because Europe can’t print money to the extent the US can. In other words, when the “global south” – most likely in the form of the BRICS – manages to ringfence itself off from the dollar, the West will lose all the free stuff. For Europe this will mean the crash of the euro and a drop in living standards by perhaps a third – or more.
​  The third shock is almost unavoidable, particularly if Russia decisively wins the Ukraine war. Now, one must assume that the people in the European Central Bank and even some in Brussels are aware of this. A normal response to this future shock would be to strengthen the European economies by all means in preparation – and thereby to minimize the possibility of an outright rebellion by the EU populations. That is, however, not being done. Instead the EU keeps destroying its own economies. Why?​     The cunning ESG plan for world domination
​  I recently had the “pleasure” of receiving a very detailed briefing on the ongoing ESG initiative from the democratically unelected European Commission. It is actually called “the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) for companies subject to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).” It just rolls off the tongue.
​  This was a four hour​ briefing and it barely scratched the surface of what is really going on. The others in the briefing were focused on the technical issues and what companies would have to do to comply, but I tried to focus on what this initiative really is and what it says about the planned future of Europe. It is truly mind boggling.
​  The ESG initiative can be described as a very large set of demands placed on all European companies (except the smallest ones – for now) regarding two things: Information and compliance.​.. Although the main focus is carbon dioxide “pollution.” A significant part is hard data while the rest is “evaluated.” The bureaucratic load this represents is truly staggering.
​  The compliance part is very interesting. At some point in time companies will be punished for not complying with certain standards defined by the European Commission... European companies are being required to set themselves up for standards yet to come, and punishments to be defined later.​ In other words, this is a very detailed control system for European companies where the European Commission can, in the future, dictate anything it wants – and punish for any violations any way it wants.
​  Apart from the crazy regulatory load, this initiative can only be seen as a direct seizure of operational control of European companies, and thereby the European economy.​..
..At this point in the presentation I asked a couple of questions
​  A) What if, upon reviewing these standards, European companies, which are able to, will simply decide to pack their things and leave the EU? 
​  B) How, exactly, will the European Commission be able to enforce this outside the European Union? Might not some critical companies or countries simply decide to stop dealing with Europe? ...
​..Question A): Leaving the EU is not going to work because there is no other place to go. Other countries are also developing these standards, including China and India, and this will be global very soon. Leaving the EU will therefore be pointless.
​  Question B): When the EU sets up the compliance requirements for external companies to do business with European companies, they will all comply. We call this the “Brussels effect.” When dictates come from Brussels, everybody will follow them because it is impossible to be in a position where you cannot do business with Europe.
​  I’m paraphrasing some of this but not all. In other words, the EU believes that it is so powerful that it can dictate these standards to the world, and that they will, as a consequence, be adopted globally – and eventually in full. This also means that the EU is preparing to “isolate” those who don’t comply – forcing them to comply like it is forcing European companies to comply. The existence of the BRICS doesn’t enter into the equation, or the possibility of European isolation.​..
..There are repeated references to financial consequences for non-compliance – and an eventual “financialization” of the system... 
..Firstly, it seems clear that the EU is planning to make interest on corporate loans (and perhaps availability) contingent upon compliance. If you comply fully, you’ll get better interests on your loans than those who don’t comply fully...
..Secondly, there is an “end-point” of sorts defined for the plan around 2030. This end-point is clearly financial in nature, but it is not yet clear what it will be... 
..While the financial end-point is nebulous, it seems likely that the EU ESG system is intended to do two things:
Assume total control of the EU economy down to the corporate level, including operational decisions at every level of the company... Agriculture is too critical a foundation for society to be left out of EU control – and this control will be implemented by moving the entire sector to big business by bankrupting the farmers through regulatory measures and cost increases.​..
​..Provide a financial framework for the future organization of the European economy, and subsequently for European society. It is likely that the plan is to use carbon and carbon quotas as a base for collateral, upon which companies, banks and the European Central Bank can issue “clean and new” debt, unencumbered by old fashioned collateral requirements. It will most likely be seen as a “clean break” with the old way of issuing debt.​..
..Currently everybody and everything in the EU, including the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank, is technically bankrupt after falsifying the EU economy since the 2008 crash through zero interest rate policy and the unending issuance of debt (often denominated in dollars). On top of that, the European Commission does not have the ability to issue bonds on the behalf of the EU as a whole. That mechanism must therefore be created, and right quick...
..It is likely that the Commission will start issuing Eurobonds before this system is ready, because the pressure is on. The time-frame for the system is, however, very short. This is all supposed to be done in 6 years.
​  It also seems likely that the Commission is hoping that this new financial architecture will go global, with Europe at its center. The plan to enforce the ESG system outside of Europe might imply that kind of thinking...
​..The main questions posed at the beginning of this article were why the EU is further sabotaging the European economy, which is already under extreme pressure from the sanctions on Russia – and why the EU is not preparing for the likely crash in living standards in Europe as a result of the loss of the reserve status of the dollar.
​  I believe that there are two answers to these questions. The first answer is that the ongoing sabotage of the EU economy and the associated ESG initiative are a part of a plan which cannot be altered, regardless of what the situation is. The second answer is that the European Commission believes that this plan will be sufficient to save them from doom.​..
..In recent decades a social revolution has been carried out in Europe from the top down. It has managed to radically change the values and perceptions of the European population. Logic and reason has been abandoned, along with competence and critical thinking. The normalization of the bizarre is such that most regular people accept almost anything from their governments – and from other people...​  Even a group of “capitalists” watching a presentation on how the European Commission intends to seize control of their companies sees it as normal.
​  The whole point of this revolution was to target reality and twist it enough to make anything acceptable. This goal has now been reached for the most part. We saw that during the Covid-19 operation where European populations demonstrated their docility and acceptance of any orders from above.​..
​..The European people are ready. It must be implemented now, because of the horrible economic and political situation in Europe. The time table has been moved up and the EU is in a hurry. The next step is what the old revolutionaries referred to as “seizing the means of production” – except it won’t be the proletariat doing it. It will be the elite.​..
​..The EU is implementing this now because they feel that they have no choice. Any solution which does not bring the EU economies under their absolute control is out of the question because all other solutions are likely to lead to the fracturing of the EU and their loss of control. This is it the only solution – and it must be implemented now. Even if it makes things worse “in the short term” it must be done now.​..
..I believe that Brussels truly believes that this solution will not only save them – but re-establish the status and financial hegemony of Europe in the world. They are that … optimistic.

​  The above analysis of European elite and bureaucratic need to retain power, through central authoritarian control of a declining economy, because loss of power is "inconceivable" portends loss of social order, in my opinion. Totalitarian control is impossible. Terrible decisions from the halls of power will be carried out on each farm, and there will be no food. This has been tried already. When total energy resources fall, the only workable solution is more local problem-solving and less bureaucracy.
  Gail Tverberg looks again at economic effects of declining energy resources.
​  Advanced Economies Will Be Especially Hurt by Energy Limits
​  Our human leaders may believe they are completely in charge, but this is not really the case. The economy seems to choose its own course, just as humans and hurricanes do.
​  The energy products that humans require are food products, some of which need to be cooked. The energy products that economies require are of many kinds, including solar energy to grow crops, human energy to tend the crops, and many types of fuels including firewood, coal, oil, and natural gas. Electricity is a carrier of energy produced by other means. Much modern equipment uses electricity, but trying to transition to an all-electric economy is fraught with peril.
​  In today’s world, energy products of many types act to leverage human labor. As far as I can see, growing fossil fuel consumption is the primary reason why human productivity grows.
​  Oil is especially important in farming and transportation. Coal and natural gas are important in steel and concrete manufacturing, and in providing heat for many processes. Years ago, oil was burned for electricity, but today coal and natural gas are the fuels typically burned to provide electricity. Fossil fuels are also important for their chemical properties in many different goods, including in plastics, fabrics, drugs, herbicides, and pesticides.
​  Using renewable energy, alone, sounds like a good idea, but it is not possible in practice. Forests were the major source of energy to support the economy before the advent for fossil fuels, but deforestation became a problem long before 1800. The world’s population, even at one billion, was too high to sustain using biologically renewable sources alone.
​  At a population of around 8 billion today, there is no way that wood, and products derived from wood, can support the energy needs of today’s population. Doing so would be like humans trying to live on a 250 calorie a day diet instead of a 2000 calorie per day diet.
​  What are referred to as modern renewables (hydroelectric power and electricity from wind turbines and solar panels) are really extensions of the fossil fuel system. These devices can only be made and repaired using fossil fuels. In addition, today’s electrical transmission system is only possible because of fossil fuels.

  ​Macron is in a difficult position, but has options to move, such as the French troops returning from former African colonies, who might go to Ukraine, Moldova or Romania.   Macron has assumed an extreme position, but has been conciliatory towards Russia last year. Putin is reportedly traveling to China to meet Xi, and then to meet Macron, for serious negotiations about Ukraine. France staked out the most-aggressive stance, compared to Germany and other EU nations. The UK will snipe from afar. The US will not (officially) send Americans to Ukraine. France/Macron can be the mover in negotiating for the western financial system.
  I assume that (former Rothschild-Paris banker) Macron still represents Rothschild interests. He will want to bargain for assurances that western-owned farms and other assets in Ukraine will not be "nationalized" in a takeover, nor cut off from access to the Black Sea.
​  Simplicius, SITREP 3/19/24: French Military Openly Floats 20,000 Troop Deployment
​..He delineates specifically that France has 1 full division of 20,000 troops which can be inserted within 30 days.​..
..Meanwhile Spain’s El Pais paper confirmed that European troops have already long been in Ukraine...
.."It's this spring, this summer before autumn that the war in Ukraine will be decided," Borrell told reporters Thursday afternoon...​ "The next months will be decisive," he said, adding that "whatever has to be done, it has to be done quickly."...
..Ukraine has “no one left to fight”...
..As you can see: they have bridged the final chasm, and are now opening invoking the most verboten of dilemmas: that Ukraine may totally collapse. Is this the explanation for the sudden urgency and desperate talks of injecting NATO troops? ...
..AFU’s top radioelectronics and drone expert, Serhiy Flash, said that soon—in four months’ time—Russia will be producing enough FPV drones to target every individual AFU soldier, which will condemn 99% of the AFU to death...
..Not only is Moldova’s Maia Sandu now openly discussing a referendum to join the EU, which is only a precursor to then joining NATO soon afterwards...
​..Lastly, it was reported that Romania is allegedly constructing what will be the largest base in Europe, even larger than Ramstein and right on Ukraine’s border, and is clearly meant to be the primary operating node against Russia in the region...
..Put the above pieces together and it’s clear the goal is to bring Moldova into the fold, entrench the region and create massive military buildups there to make sure Russia can never take back Odessa or retain supremacy over the Black Sea. That is why it is more imperative than ever for Russia to get the job done, capture Odessa and unlock PMR[Transnistria]  to keep from being strangled by NATO...

  Gilbert Doctorow, The worm turns: Russia’s new position on entering into strategic arms negotiations
  Western media have mentioned Vladimir Putin’s remarks a week or so ago that Russia will not enter into new negotiations on strategic arms limitations with the United States while the USA is doing everything possible to inflict a strategic defeat on his country in the Ukraine war. Strategic arms talks cannot be separated from the rest of the relationship between the countries, said Putin...
..So what has changed now for Russia to declare arms limitations talks inseparable from negotiations on the full scope of US-Russian relations?  The answer to that question goes back to 2018 and Vladimir Putin’s announcement of his country’s latest strategic arms systems which, for the first time in Soviet and RF history, placed Russia as much as a decade ahead of the United States in developing, producing and deploying strategic weapons. The hypersonic missiles and other state of the art systems that Putin presented at his State of the Nation address back then were said to be invincible and would nullify entirely the nuclear first strike capability that the United States under Bush had been investing hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve by its global anti-ballistic missile installations.

​  Russia warns Romania over building “largest Nato military base” in Europe
​  The expansion of Romania’s 57 Mihail Kogalniceanu air base on the Black Sea coast, which the Russian officials commented on, is supposed to consolidate Nato’s eastern flank. However, it is important to note the long-term calendar of the project and the fact that it was initiated long before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, with the Middle East to be covered from the base as well.​..
​..With a planned capacity of 10,000 military, the air base would still be less than one-fifth of the size of the Ramstein base in Germany but will be one of the largest in Eastern Europe.
​  Since February 2022, the base proved its utility: thousands of elite soldiers, equipped with tanks, helicopters and fighter jets have arrived there and air policing missions are operated from there.
​  The trigger for the Russian officials’ warning against Romania’s “hostile actions” was a Euronews (Romania) story published on March 16 and updated on March 18, reporting on the ongoing works at the base. The story creates the impression that the project is new and will be completed quickly.

​  Thanks to Eleni for more on France's pressure to negotiate quickly, from MK Bhadrakumar,  France all dressed up and nowhere to go
  African states are changing the structure of grain imports due to the technical regulations introduced by the European Union as part of its green agenda and French farmers consequently face rising costs, and over and above that, there is now also the looming loss of regional market share to Russia.
​  This is on top of the inroads Russia is making in arms exports to the African continent lately. In politico-military terms too, France has lost ground to Russia in the resource-rich Sahel region, its ex-colonies and playpen traditionally. The fact of the matter is that the birds are coming to roost over France’s neo-colonial strategies in Africa, but Paris prefers to put the blame on Russia’s Wagner group which has moved in to fill the security vacuum in Sahel region, as anti-French forces have come to power in several countries at once — Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, CAR.
​  In the best traditions of geopolitics, France has begun retaliating in regions sensitive to Russian interests — Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine where Russian military presence is in French crosshairs. Unsurprisingly, Ukraine is the most strategic turf where Macron hopes to achieve a bigger French presence.
​  Through that, Macron hopes to advance his leadership ambitions in Europe as the navigator of the EU’s foreign policy strategy in a wide arc from the African continent across the Mediterranean to Transcaucasia — and potentially all the way to Afghanistan.
​  All this is unfolding against the historic backdrop of an inevitable US retrenchment in Europe as Indo-Pacific hots up and the simmering rivalry with China becomes an all-consuming passion for Washington.​

German living standards in ‘unprecedented post-WW2 slump’ – report​  [European real economy needs Russian oil and gas, but EU elites need ​total contro​l.]
Skyrocketing energy prices sent real wages plummeting in 2022 more than in any year since 1950, new research has shown.

​What was shadow-president Obama doing at #10 Downing Street with UK PM Rishi Sunak, Monday? Nobody can say.
Did Barack Obama violate the law by visiting 10 Downing Street? Explaining the Logan Act

​  Jewish global economic analyst, Jeffrey Sachs talks to Piers Morgan. ‘With ‘most extremist’ government in Israel, there's nothing but war ahead’
Desire for ‘Greater Israel’ with control over all lands from Jordan River to Mediterranean Sea is openly expressed, says American academic

​  Caitlin Johnstone, Without Extensive Narrative Manipulation, None Of This Would Be Consented To
​  Without extensive narrative manipulation, it would never occur to anyone that bombing Gaza into rubble is a reasonable response to a single Hamas attack.
Without extensive narrative manipulation, it would never occur to anyone that killing tens of thousands of Palestinians and starving hundreds of thousands more is a reasonable response to a thousand Israelis being killed.​  [Largely by Israeli helicopters and tanks, it was later discovered.]
​  Without extensive narrative manipulation, it would never occur to anyone that criticizing the actions of the state of Israel is antisemitic.
Without extensive narrative manipulation, it would never occur to anyone that saying “from the river to the sea” is a call for genocide.
​  Without extensive narrative manipulation, it would never occur to anyone to think about this onslaught and the discourse around it in terms of “Jews vs Jew haters”.

​  ‘Catastrophic’ hunger has gripped Gaza – global watchdog
​  Famine conditions now exist in the northern part of Gaza, a UN monitor group warned on Monday. Around 300,000 people remain trapped in the area, following months of Israeli bombardment that has left over 31,000 people dead.
​  The UN-backed report also warns that more than 70% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million faces “catastrophic hunger.” The Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC) said that mass death is now imminent without an immediate ceasefire and deliveries of food aid to the areas affected by the fighting.

​  The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, commented on Tel Aviv’s decision to prevent UNRWA Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, from entering Gaza by saying, “Israel wants no witnesses, no truth-tellers.”
​  On her account on X, Albanese said “The highest number of people ever recorded as facing human-made famine, along with mass killings, constant harm & creation of conditions that gut life of humanity has a name: Genocide.”

​  Trudeau government will stop arming 'Israel': Canadian FM​ , The administration will stop future military transfers to "Israel" although a motion voted on by the House of Commons on Monday calling for such action is non-binding.​..
​..On his part, playing the victim card again, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz slammed Canada for the decision.​ “I am sorry that the government of Canada is taking this step that undermines Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of Hamas murderers who carried out terrible crimes against humanity and against innocent Israelis, including the elderly, women and children,” he said in a statement.

Peter McCullough MD,  COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Concerns Top Reason for Hesitancy , Systematic Review of 79 Studies Indicates Reluctance is Rational

Rationally Reluctant (took this picture of Jenny and our granddaughter with a young pear tree)

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