As Pepe Escobar explains, way beyond economy and finance, this is essentially about geopolitics - as in emerging powers offering an alternative to the failed Washington consensus. Or, as consensus apologists say, the BRICS may be able to "alleviate challenges" they face from the "international financial system".
To much trumpeting the IMF have kindly agreed to help out desperate and war torn Ukraine. How wonderful they are we are all meant to think, but the truth couldn’t be more opposite. but in reality the IMF has a very different purpose from that which is stated. If you look at the history of the IMF’s intervention in countries around the world you will see a trail of disaster and looting that repeats time and time again wherever they go.
Well, if you take the US Supreme Court and representatives of the Federal Reserve System at their own words, the case is pretty clear: the member banks of the Federal Reserve System are private corporations / banks.
The first big wave of embracing a liberal international economic order - relatively free trade, rising international capital flows and rapidly growing global economic integration - resulted in something remarkable. Between 1870 and 1914, there was a 45-year span of rising living standards, stable prices, massive capital investment and prolific technological progress. In terms of overall progress, these four-plus decades have never been equaled — either before or since. Then came the Great War. It involved a scale of total industrial mobilization and financial mayhem that was unlike any that had gone before. In the case of Great Britain, for example, its national debt increased 14-fold.
The continuity bias is astounding as many with assets address this as an “extra rough patch” to get through rather than the clear paradigm shift it has been telegraphed to be.
It’s vogue, trendy and appropriate to look to dystopian literature as a harbinger of what we’re experiencing at the hands of the government. Certainly, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm have much to say about government tyranny, corruption, and control, as does Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. Yet there are also older, simpler, more timeless stories - folk tales and fairy tales - that speak just as powerfully to the follies and foibles in our nature as citizens and rulers alike that give rise to tyrants and dictatorships. One such tale, Hans Christian Andersen’s fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, is a perfect paradigm of life today in the fiefdom that is the American police state, only instead of an imperial president spending money wantonly on lavish vacations, entertainment, and questionable government programs aimed at amassing greater power, Andersen presents us with a vain and thoughtless emperor, concerned only with satisfying his own needs at the expense of his people, even when it means taxing them unmercifully, bankrupting his kingdom, and harshly punishing his people for daring to challenge his edicts.
Gun ownership and gun control are very controversial topics. If more people own guns then will there be more violence and more crime? If everyone is allowed to own guns then will there be negative consequences? Both of these questions are debateable and each of them has its proponents and opponents. In this article we’ll take a look at some interesting gun statistics from an objective viewpoint. The point is not to argue for or against gun ownership and or gun control. With that said, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly gun statistics.
Some basic suggestions for those who are seeking shelter from the coming storms of global financial crisis and recession.
Long before 1984 gave us the adjective “Orwellian” to describe the political corruption of language and thought, Thucydides observed how factional struggles for power make words their first victims, "Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them." Orwell later explained the reason for such degradation of language, "Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible." The bottom-line is that tyrannical power and its abuses comprise the "indefensible" that must be verbally disguised; which seems to have never been more appropriate than now in the stream of 'disguised' words we are fed every day...
How in the world does the government expect us to trust the economic numbers that they give us anymore? For a long time, many have suspected that they were being manipulated, and as you will see below it appears we now have proof that this is indeed the case.
What do Scottish independence, UKIP, self-employment, cryptocurrencies and the black economy have in common? The neo-liberal establishment wont fix itself, so for those fed up with banging their heads against policy brickwalls, there’s only one direction. Separate.
The meme “leading from behind” is a fancy way of saying “playing not to lose.” Intellectually it sounds intriguing. The idea can be made to sound esoteric, while at the same time leaving room for multiple ways of defensive posturing when one begins to be questioned whether or not the strategy is either working, or not. You can see the fallacy of this meme play out in mirror form over, and over again across the world of sports. Many of us that understand winning or leading know all to well exactly what happened. They switched from leading and playing for the win to – playing to win by not losing their lead. It never works. Some of the greatest upsets in sports history result from exactly this type of strategy or philosophy. The only difference here is that in sports – it’s just a game. This strategy along with its tactics when applied to nations is far different. The visible results along with the myriad of unseen potential consequences are now becoming quite apparent for anyone willing to look.
Last week, when President Obama made his trip to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he claimed that "America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end." This turned out to be the greatest applause line of his speech. With his assertion, Obama, in effect, declared himself the hero of the Afghan war -- the one who put an end to that nightmare. But what Obama failed to mention was that it was his war, and that nothing but unattractive scenarios lie ahead for that war-torn state.
As the U.S. Greater Depression progresses, depicted most vividly in the collapse in the “civilian participation rate” (the number of people working in the economy) and the “velocity of money” (the heartbeat of the economy) - indicating an economy which is not merely in decline, but rather is being sucked downward in a terminal (and accelerating) death-spiral. There is another even more concerning statistic: U.S. “gasoline consumption” – as measured by the U.S. EIA itself – has plummeted by nearly 75%, from its all-time peak in July of 1998. A near-75% collapse in U.S. gasoline consumption has occurred in little more than 15 years... "recovery"
Using espionage for gain in negotiations is an age-old tactic; but are the norms of 'appropriate' espionage changing?