MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – is way over. It kept a somewhat uneasy peace during seven decades of Cold War. Cold War 2.0 is as hardcore as it gets. And with all those Breedhate Strangeloves on the loose, nuclear madness is now at five seconds to midnight.
Ten days ago it seemed as if America's corporatism would finally be slowed in its tracks after the House unexpectedly killed the fast-tracking of Obamatrade, aka the fast-tracking of the Trade Promotion Authority. Alas, it was not to last, and moments ago, in a "nailbiting" 60-37 vote, the Senate advanced Obama's fast-track tarde bill.
In principle, there could not be a more spectacular game-changer-in-waiting. A royal Saudi caravan offering tribute, in the form of incense, gold and myrrh (or higher oil prices)? No one knows, yet, how this will play out in the New Great Game in Eurasia, of which a major spin-off is Cold War 2.0 between the US and Russia. Putin and King Salman – very discreetly — had been in touch over the phone for weeks. The King’s son invited Putin to Riyadh. Accepted. Putin invited the King to Moscow. Accepted. But is this real life? Or smoke and mirrors? Who's allied with whom?
"I suspect in the next year or two we will see some kind of major, major problems in the world financial markets. I would suspect when we have this correction, it's going to cause central banks to panic... they will print and spend and borrow, but there comes a time when people are just going to say 'We don’t want to play this game anymore'. And at that point, the world has serious, serious problems because there's nothing to rescue us. I suspect the next economic/financial collapse will be the one they can't deal with."
The West is impotent to prevent Armageddon. It is up to Russia and China, and as Washington has framed the dilemma, Armageddon can only be prevented by Russia and China accepting vassal status. This is not going to happen. Why would any self-respecting people submit to the corrupt West? The hope is that Washington will cause its European vassals to rebel by pushing them too hard into conflict with Russia. If European politicians were to break from Washington’s hegemony and instead represent European interests, Washington would be deprived of cover for its war crimes. The breakdown of the neoconservative unipower model would then be apparent even to Washington, and the world would become a safer and better place.
A Greek exit from the euro would change everything. The greatest change being simply doubt and fear regarding the outlook for other vulnerable EU nations, EU banks and the EU banking and financial system. We discuss short and long term considerations, best and case outcomes, and wealth preservation strategies.
"Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable," Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books, with the danger imminent if Chinese economic reforms fail forcing President Xi Jinping to "foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power." These "conflicts" would present themselves in the form of a Sino-Russo alliance which could draw the entire world into war.
With his back against the wall, and with Syriza party hardliners apparently no closer to backing concessions, Alexis Tsipras looks set to once again play the ‘Russian pivot” card, as the Kremlin says a “working meeting” between the Greek PM and Russian President Vladimir Putin is now scheduled for Friday in St. Petersburg.
What’s the connection between the G7 summit in Germany, President Putin’s visit to Italy, the Bilderberg club meeting in Austria, and the TTIP – the US-EU free trade deal – negotiations in Washington?
In yet another sign that Russia and China are set to work together to extricate themselves from a dependence on the dollar specifically and on Western financial institutions more generally, Russia’s largest bank has, for the first time, extended yuan-denominated letters of credit in concert with the Chinese Export-Import bank.
“The US Congress is largely at fault for all that’s happening,” the former chairman of the Federal Reserve said in Hong Kong on Tuesday. What’s interesting here is the tendency for Americans to view the AIIB as something that was ultimately created by the US — even if only inadvertently.
Greece and its creditors are set to miss a self-imposed Sunday deal deadline as talks are still ongoing, an unnamed official tells Reuters. Meanwhile, Kathimerini says "government officials attending an emergency summit under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday prepared a draft agreement as Greek sources cited by the Athens-Macedonia News Agency indicated that negotiators in Brussels were close to a deal on value added tax, curbing early retirements and the gradual merging of pension funds." And so it continues.
Greece still has one card left to play in fractious negotiations with creditors: the so-called 'Russian pivot'. Over the course of difficult talks between Syriza and the troika Moscow has, at various times, sought to take advantage of the hostilities between Athens and Brussels by making a series of overtures including the possibility of Greece joining the BRICS bank. Now, at least one Greek official says the country will likely accept the invite.
Russia is moving to undercut a critical financial communications link by creating an alternative system backed by the world's rising EM powerhouses who are set to officially launch their own development bank when they convene in July. At the same time, Moscow will consider cementing its economic ties with regional allies via the establishment of a currency bloc.
In Part 1 of “The New Silk Road,” we examined the China’s plan for rebuilding the Silk Road, stretching from Europe to Asia. In Part 2, we look at currently proposed projects, and geopolitical rivalries that could stall and hamper progress. Until very recently, it was widely assumed that the US would lead its western allies in a campaign against the Russian/Chinese deal to develop the Silk Road, but events have been reversing with remarkable speed.