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Archive for the ‘G8’ Category

The Gods of Money

Gods_of_Money

William Engdahl is an American-German freelance journalist, historian and economic researcher. This lecture is based on Engdahls book The Gods of Money. The dollar financial system of Wall Street was born not at a conference in Bretton Woods New Hampshire in 1944. It was born in the first days of August, 1945 with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After that point the world was in no doubt who was the power to reckon with. This lecture traces the history of money as an instrument of power; it traces the evolution of that power in the hands of a tiny elite that regards themselves as, quite literally, gods-The Gods of Money. How these gods abused their power and how they systematically set out to control the entire world is the subject. Published on Jun 3, 2014′.

 

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G-8 and NATO Summits: From Camp David to Chicago

Barak Obama, the US president, has opened the G-8 meeting at his Camp David retreat, just outside Washington DC. Europe’s financial woes are expected to dominate a summit of the world’s most industrialized nations. Al Jazeera‘s Patty Culhane reports (18 May 2012).

Thirty seven years ago as the world grappled with a major economic crisis, leaders of six of the world’s biggest economies gathered inFrance. Henry Kissinger,US secretary of state at the time said the G6 would give people a sense they are masters of their destiny and be a bulwark against the blind forces beyond their control. In the intervening years the six has become eight with theUS, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan joined by Canada and Russia. And as the eight leaders congregate at Camp David outsideWashington, the agenda is similar to 1975 – economic crisis. As the Eurozone threatens to implode, fevered discussions are expected on how much pain should be inflicted in order to preserve the financial order (19 May 2012).

President Obama and assorted world leaders will be having a busy weekend. Following the Camp David session, they will travel to Chicago to join other NATO members in a summit that is meant to find a face-saving way out of Afghanistan.

NATO employs YouTube to spread its propaganda message in a very effective way, as illustrated by the series of short video clips entitled the Road to Chicago Series: This instalment of the Road to Chicago Series takes us toPittsburgh,Pennsylvania where we join Highschool students as they learn about NATO during a history lesson. We find out what they believe is the top security threat of the future (17 May 2012).

 In the final episode of our Road to Chicago series we’ve arrived inChicago where we meet up with university students for a debate about theSummit and the future of theAlliance (19 May 2012).

And finally: as NATO leaders make their way to Chicagofor the upcoming  NATO Summit, protests have already begun. Activists are gathered in the city centre to rally and raise awareness of their cause (19 May 2012).

And then, there are people like Rick Rozoff whose active criticism of NATO has been going strong for years, as documented on his blog Stop NATO: “Stop NATO started in 1999, a watershed year according to Rozoff, when NATO launched its first war, a 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. That’s the point at which NATO moved beyond its posture as a strictly defensive organization protecting its members’ territories to become “an active war-making organization” – and when promises of post-Cold War demilitarization and a “peace dividend” were betrayed, he says. Since then NATO has conducted wars in Asia and Africa – a brutal ten-year slog with heavy civilian casulaties in Afghanistan, NATO’s first ground war, and a six-month bombing campaign in Libya. Despite the unprecedented presence of 150,000 troops from 50 nations (including NATO members and partners) waging war in a single, relatively small country, Afghanistan is widely viewed as a defeat for the alliance”, as related by the Newstips Editor Curtis Black.[1]  He continues thus: the “Chicago summit will deal with transitioning to a new phase of involvement in Afghanistan, further integrating the forty NATO partner states that participate in the alliance’s wars, and upgrading the alliance’s military capabilities.  NATO is expected to announce that its European interceptor missile system has achieved initial operational capability”.[2]

This Missile Shield really is NATO’s opening move in the current chess game that is the New Cold War, as I argued some time ago.[3]  Black elaborates that “[w]hile touted as a defense against attacks from North Korea or Iran, the missile system seems to be aimed at Russia [and China, or the SCO], destabilizing the continent’s nuclear balance and ratcheting up tensions”.[4]


[1] Curtis Black, “Rick Rozoff chronicles NATO’s ‘endless wars’” Newstips (14 May 2012). http://www.newstips.org/2012/05/rick-rozoff-chronicles-natos-endless-wars/.

[2] Curtis Black, “Rick Rozoff chronicles NATO’s ‘endless wars’”.

[3] Cfr. C. Erimtan, “The New Cold War: Missile Shield Competition” IRCNL (15 October 2011). http://tiny.cc/2gkny.

[4] Curtis Black, “Rick Rozoff chronicles NATO’s ‘endless wars’”.

Counting the Cost: China’s Economic Transformation

As China’s economic boom is built on exports, where will the country turn when that starts to falter? Plus, Jeffrey Sachs speaks about the World Bank leadership, US economic recovery and China’s global role (10 March 2012).

 

OWS: Crosby & Nash on Olbermann

Legendary musicians Graham Nash and David Crosby talk about their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement on Current TV’s Countdown (8 November 2011).

President Obama speaks at Cannes: Franco-U.S. Friendship, Al Qaeda, Usamah bin Laden and Libya

President Obama honors the special relationship between France and the United States with President Nicolas Sarkozy at a special event in Cannes. November 4, 2011.

 

G20: Yes, we Cannes!

Resolving the European financial crisis is the most important task for world leaders, the US President Barack Obama has said at the G20 summit in Cannes. Mr Obama said the EU had taken steps towards a solution, but more of details were needed about how the plan will be “fully and decisively implemented”. As the G20 leaders begin talks, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has summoned his cabinet for an urgent meeting in Athens. He is facing a rebellion from ministers over plans to hold a referendum on the bailout – after France and Germany warned Greece it wouldn’t get more rescue funds until after the vote. Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said Greece’s euro membership “cannot depend on a referendum” and that the next bailout funds should be released “without any distractions or delay”. Mr Papandreou is also facing calls to resign from within his own party. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is hosting the meeting in Cannes, said: “We said clearly to the Greek authorities that the EU, like the IMF, cannot envisage paying the sixth tranche until Greece has adopted the package and all uncertainty has been lifted. “We cannot commit the money of taxpayers . . . until the rules that were agreed on October 27 are respected. Without that, neither Europe nor the IMF can pay a single cent.” Stock markets across Europe saw early falls following the announcement, with Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 both down over 2% on opening, and London’s FTSE 100 losing 1.2%. European leaders agreed a deal last Thursday that would see banks accept a 50% writedown of Greece’s debt, higher than the 40% they had originally offered. It would also increase the scope of the 440bn euro (£386bn) bailout fund to around 1trn euro (£876bn). But Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s decision to put the deal to the people sent stock and bond markets across the world falling earlier this week. Speaking after emergency talks with Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, Mr Papandreou said he was confident that his people would accept the EU bailout plan in the vote set for December 4. “I believe the Greek people are wise and capable of making the right decision for the benefit of our country,” he said. “We are part of the  eurozone and we are proud to be part of the eurozone.” The Greek government now faces a key confidence vote expected in parliament on Friday, which may see Mr Papandreou struggle for survival. Major Asian economies have also warned Europe to tackle the crisis before it has a serious impact on economies elsewhere in the world. China’s deputy finance minister Zhu Guangyao said: “Like our European friends, we did not expect the Greek [call for a] referendum. It was an independent decision taken by Greece. I hope this period of uncertainty would be contained.” The White House said US President Barack Obama wanted “unanimity of purpose” to emerge from the G20 and White House spokesman Jay Carney said the situation would be a key subject (3 November 2011).

Since then, the possibility of a Greek referendum has been scrapped, and the G20 Summit has come to an end: ‘President Obama makes remarks at the G-20, saying he’s pleased Greece has embraced the Euro bailout’ (4 November 2011).

 

While Reuters reports that ‘White House officials bristled on Thursday [, 3 November 2011] at the suggestion U.S. power within the G20 had been diminished by budget woes back home, as Europe looked toward an economically self-confident China for help’, [1] the word on the street is quite different. From Cannes, the Guardian’s Patrick Wintour and Larry Elliott write that the “threat of a world recession drew near last night after the G20 summit in Cannes ended in ominous disarray. Leaders were unable to agree upon a boost to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help distressed countries, while debt-ridden Italy, now seen as the epicentre of the euro crisis, was forced to put its austerity programme under the fund’s control. UK hopes that the Germans would relent and allow the European Central Bank to become the lender of last resort for the euro were also dashed. In a day of  unremitting gloom, and yet more market turbulence, the Greek government also stood on the precipice of collapse, risking an uncontrolled default, as the government of George Papandreou faced a late-night confidence vote in parliament. Prime Minister Papandreou was forced to cancel plans for a referendum on the euro”.[2]  Still, apparently living in a dangerous state of delusion and wishful thinking, top White House aide Michael Froman declared: “Our ability to contribute, our ability to lead and our ability to influence the outcome of these sorts of issues is not tied necessarily to having the American taxpayer pay for every problem”.[3]  The news agency Reuters adds matter-of-factly that ‘European officials hope to coax China into using some of its massive foreign exchange reserves to play a role in a euro zone rescue fund, although Beijing has so far not publicly voiced its intentions’, adding that ‘[d]omestic U.S. politics currently rules out any grand financial gesture for Europe by President Barack Obama’.[4]  All the while, Greece is struggling under the twin burden of austerity measures and popular discontent. The international Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera reports that ‘In Greece, there is still deep uncertainty about the shape of the government as the government prepares for a late night vote of confidence. Joblessness is growing, and many Greeks say that they simply can’t afford life as they are used to living it. Al Jazeera‘s Jonah Hull reports from Athens’ (4 November 2011).

 

In spite of Michael Froman’s most hopeful diversionary words, in the U.S. capitol Tea Party-inspired obstructionists are preparing for another showdown: ‘Should Congress fail to come up with a budget plan favored by both parties by November 17, the country will be faced with another possible governmental shutdown — the third one in under a year. The White House says that the odds that country’s government will collapse are slim and that likely bipartisan politics will be swept aside this time so that a budget can be agreed upon, sparing the country from catastrophe. Should matters between parties cause for concerns over getting the budget passed in time, however, the United States stands to go broke — again — on November 18’, as reported by the ever-ready critic of American foreign policy RT.[5]  In fact, as further explained: ‘As per a temporary bill passed in haste last month, the US government is only appropriately funded until November 19. Congress has been unable to pass a long-term, year-long compromise in over 900 days’.[6]

The Tea Party has been dominating American public life for quite some time now. The movement purports to be a popular uprising of ordinary people fed up with traditional party politics, government subsidies and taxation. It all started way back in 2009 when Chicago stock trader Rick Santelli ranted on CNBC.

Explaining the workings behind this seemingly spontaneous movement Daniel Vogel writes in the Chicago Tribune: “As the documentary (Astro)Turf Wars has shown, tea party sympathizers are well-meaning people who are being organized and funded by the very same power elites, such as the Koch Brothers, whom they think they are opposing”.[7]

 

 


[1] Alister Bull and Laura MacInnis, “U.S. influence at G20 not diminished, White House says” Reuters (04 November 2011). http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/04/us-usa-g20-influence-newspro-idUSTRE7A32M220111104.

[2] Patrick Wintour and Larry Elliott, “G20 summit fails to allay world recession fears” The Guardian (04 November 2011). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/04/g20-summit-fails-eurozone-recession.

[3] Alister Bull and Laura MacInnis, “U.S. influence at G20 not diminished, White House says”.

[4] Alister Bull and Laura MacInnis, “U.S. influence at G20 not diminished, White House says”.

[5] “Dysfunctional Congress threatens another government shut-down” RT (04 November 2011). https://rt.com/usa/news/congress-government-shutdown-budget-579/.

[6] “Dysfunctional Congress threatens another government shut-down”.

There Will Be No Economic Recovery

In this broadcast dated 10 April 2010, the ever-optimistic Stefan Molyneux tells it like it is: ‘The economic downturn is not a bounce, but an endless fall. Get ready for the new normal, these are the facts behind where we are heading. A True News exclusive from Freedomain Radio’.