American Bullies Losing Power

Big Squeeze now on Khazarian Mafia

By Preston James, Ph.D on January 17, 2016

We know that the Khazarian Mafia (KM) is now a sinking ship.

by  Preston James


Numerous nations around the World have now ganged up on the Khazarian Mafia (KM).

It is cornered and it is losing power by the day. Expect increased surveillance and harassment by local police who take orders from Homeland Security (DHS) and receive their ridiculous conjured up Domestic Terror Watch Lists.

How much real power does the KM have left and for how long can it hold out? Is the KM still powerful enough to start another major war in the Mideast, or even a nuclear WW3 to serve as a covering event for their impending loss of World hegemony?

There are recent reports from China that the Chinese Government has ordered that its international cargo shipping in both the Pacific and the Atlantic be restricted.

One source with connections to mainland Chinese sources has verified this claim that China has given an ultimatum that there will be a big reduction in their cargo ships  unloading any products until the USG begins to honor the Secret Reset Agreement they entered into in 2013 during G-20 meetings.

The Baltic Dry Shipping Index is way down, less than half of what it was at its peak. Crude oil has dropped to $30 a barrel or less, and in Canada shale oil is even as low at $10 a barrel. American retail sales were low during Christmas and many retail chains plan to close stores at multiple locations, including the notorious Walmart.

And oil derivatives of the big Wall Street Banks are under extreme stress due to these oil prices which has now placed several of the largest in jeopardy. The US Petro Dollar is now under stress as never before and the massive continued issuing and printing after the bailouts (repetitive Quantitative Easings, #7 and counting), the secret US Treasury Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) direct foreign bank bailouts of trillions, and the secret direct USG Plunge Protection Team stock purchases in mass no longer seem to mitigate this slide.

Several foreign nations have asked for their Gold back that has been stored at the Federal Reserve, but only a portion has been shipped because the vaults are now apparently empty.

Chinese and Russian purchases of massive quantities of Gold and Silver are fact, not theory, giving them a huge advantage as the Federal Reserve System’s Ponzi scheme approached collapse.

Comex paper Gold which is supposed to be backed 100% by real Gold is not and this is just another part of the Federal Reserve System’s massive Ponzi scheme which has probably already hit the iceberg and is taking on water.

The Khazarian Mafia’s top leadership is being squeezed and now seems cornered. They claim to each other to work directly for Lucifer who they describe as their new Rising god (they call this “Lucifer Rising”). Others in this small cirecle describe Lucifer as a renegade Third Force who will cut these folks loose in a NY Minute as soon as they serve no useful purpose anymore. And that is what now seems to be happening. Looks like their “god” is going to let them down. Oh well, should they have expected less from pure evil?

When you dance with the devil, you are going to get burned. That’s the function of Doofus Cutouts that are propelled to the top and given power, status and riches beyond imagination, to serve as disposables when its all said and done and they are no longer needed. They will never see it coming when they are abandoned and “cut-loose”.

If there is going to be new monetary system set up for the World and that’s the way it looks, and it likely will not include the Khazarian Mafia Kingpins.

As best we can determine before Chinese cargo shipping decreased, China was demanding that their Renminbi be included in a basket of currencies.

And we know that the Renminbi will be backed by Gold and this basket of currencies will replace the current exclusiveness of the US Petro Dollar which functions as the World’s Reserve Currency.

This same source has claimed that the Japanese Government has just agreed to be part of the Chinese created Asian Infrastructure Investment bank (AIIB). If these reports are accurate then this means that Khazarian Mafia (KM) is being squeezed economically.

For the G-20 nations, especially the USA to honor this Secret Reset Agreement made in 2013, the Khazarian Mafia (KM) must be removed from its position controlling the World Central Banking.

It also apparently requires the acceptance of the Chinese Renminbi based on Gold and Silver as a part of an international basket of currencies and the removal of the US Petro Dollar as the World’s Reserve Currency.

Looks like the Khazarian Mafia (KM) is now being squeezed from many directions. And it is rapidly losing control which makes it desperate.

When the World’s largest Organized Crime Syndicate the KM feels cornered one would expect that it would become desperate to re-establish control and take even more drastic actions that it has in the past, unless too much force is arrayed against them from more than one enemy.

And now for the first time numerous enemies have arisen against the KM. And two of them are quite powerful.

The first and most powerful enemy appears to be the Russian Federation.

RUSSIANFIGHTER1Putin and the Russian Federation have now completely checkmated the Khazarian Mafia (KM) both in the Ukraine and in Syria and is now annihilating ISIS by deployment of its superior air power.

The second most powerful appears to be the American People, a very well armed sleeping giant that is now rapidly awaking.

This new exigent power of the American Masses is due to the Alternative Media of the Internet. The Internet has provided incredible speed  and the fact that so many Americans are finally figuring out everything out of our elected Politicians’ mouths via the CMMM is their propaganda, big lies and false-narratives.

ATT00042And the recent dire economy, and massive unemployment since 2008 brought about by all these traitorous Free Trade Agreements and two illegal, unConstitutional “Wall Street Bailouts” have created a spontaneously emerging populism in the American Masses.

This massive populism is not only unprecedented but it is now accompanied by a rising anger towards the DC “doofus” career politicians and this new populism is increasingly powerful.

The KM has deployed false-flag attacks all around the World and in America using Cutouts. Some were mass-shootings in gun-free zones hyped in the Controlled Major Mass Media (CMMM), and others were major bombings like at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 or the World Trade Center in NYC on 9-11-01.

The purpose is always to justify more power to central government in order to help the KM protect itself and its Evil Agenda.

But now that the KM is being squeezed from all sides, will we see increased harassment of investigative journalists, known truth tellers and dissidents who run counter to the KM’s propaganda, big lies and false-narratives they dispense through their CMMM?

Might we start seeing mysterious and increasingly frequent disappearances like what occurred in the South American Death Squads? After all these Death Squads were all trained by the US Military and the CIA inside the USA, and these schools for torture and murder are still active. And recently Chicago was caught running a black site for DHS to disappear Targeted Individuals to. Other cities have these too. And the Pentagon and the CIA still run the Black Prison sites in East European nations and have black prison ships which are still active. Check this for more information.

We should expect the DHS to put out increasingly negative smear reports to the local Police Departments creating increased fear of known truth tellers, dissidents, patriots and gun owners who have been illegally placed on Domestic terror Watch lists with instructions to begin increased surveillance and harassment against them?

MURRAH2We now know for certain that the KM’s actions in the past in America have included the Bombing of the Murrah Building, first attempted bombing of the NYC Twin towers  by the FBI setting up and supplying the Blind Sheikh which was actually a test to establish needs for the devices the KM used in Twin Towers attack on 9-11-01.

So this World’s largest organized Crime Syndicate the KM is truly capable of untold evil against the American people as well as the whole World as long as it is allowed to exist and occupy and parasitize the USG for its own purposes.

Inside America the KM has controlled the Alphabets including the FBI, its main cover up agency and entrapment/setup agency and the BATF, as well as the CIA; and they have always done a lot of the KM’s illegal dirty work.

And of course after the KM attacked America on 9-11-01 to create a New Pearl Harbor event, they were now in a position to establish Homeland Security (DHS) the foundation of the long planned American Police State.

This plan to establish DHS was already written and ready to push through Congress awaiting a major catalytic event such as the major terrorist attack of 9-11-01 which was run by the KM and its stateside assets deep inside the Administration and the Pentagon.

The attack on America of 9-11-01 was designed to consolidate all American Law Enforcement under one central command directly controlled by the KM, a known foreign based power, and justify becoming a nation based on preemptive wars of aggression.

The secret agenda of DHS is to transform America into a total surveillance society, a Police State rivaling East Germany under the Stasi. That is why Marcus Wolfe (former head of the Stasi) was hired as a consultant to set up DHS two years before he mysteriously died.

The ultimate end game here is for the KM to use DHS to transform America into GAZA II, the World’s largest open-air prison camp and to make Americans the New Palestinians. This is all part of the “Greater Israel Plan” which is no longer theory but established fact. And the “Greater Israel Plan” is the cover story used by the KM’s top leadership (aka the “Select Few”) to use its Cutouts and main action agent the American-Israeli “Israeli-first” Dual Citizen Traitors and the Likudists in Israel to do their dirty work.

The American Controlled Major Mass Media (CMMM) has been losing its credibility for years, and its popularity is at an all time low.

Since the CMMM is the main mouthpiece and propaganda/mind-kontrol agent for the KM, its demise poses a big loss of power for the KM. And we now know for certain its demise is being engendered by the increasing popularity of the Alternative News of the Internet.

6a00d83451b7a769e2019b006fbf21970c-320wi (2)The KM is now cornered and you can bet that Homeland Security (DHS) is busy at work creating smear reports at their fusion centers to send to local police with the instructions to increase the harassment of suspected domestic terrorists.

Expect greatly increased surveillance and spying on all Americans even the KM’s underling yes men and women and major doofuses who have been appointed to high positions of power and to provide a twisted sort of inside humor to the very top controllers that run the KM System.

Spying and Intel collection has become remarkably advanced and will continue to increase in frequency, scope and intrusiveness.

Much of it is used for banal entertainment by bored “no longer give a damn” NSA and NRO employees who dig watching and listening to bedroom type scenes. The NSA and NRO are collecting far more raw data than they can adequately process effectively, and it has become mostly a money-making means to asset strip more and more money from We The People and make a big show of power by the KM.

Some deep black and top secret technologies include; use of one’s own AC house wiring, smart TV’s, personal especially laptop and handheld computers, cell phones, wired phones, remote phones, smart TV’s and smart appliances; remote outdoor to indoor thermometers and weather meters and stations for homeowners; some TV remote controls with voice activation; really spooky new methods like driving by and shooting a special micro-transceiver nail in the siding that is matched for color and texture; wall penetrating drive-by radar systems (also used along major highways in unmarked white step vans and 18-wheelers; vehicle, aircraft, and satellite based special infrared sensors); high powered close-by receivers for picking up brain waves and decoding thought and emotional states; embedded transceiver chips in all cell phones ad auto GPS and blue-tooth communication and “seek help” systems which can be remotely activated and easily traced and used a GPS tracking and used for microphones; orbital super HD electronic day and night vision cameras than can sense an ant on the ground and many license plates; deep black variable and synthetic aperture ground penetrating radar, advance gamma ray and neutron particle sensors and other even more secret means involved ground, truck, tower and satellite antennas designed to pick up brainwave transmissions which have been altered by ingested nano-particles in the atmospherically sprayed aerosol chemtrails and gasoline which include nano-particles of aluminum and barium and other magnetic and electrical compounds which can be flashed, id’ed and used to alter brainwave transmissions for external monitoring (referred to as the “prime freak”).

There are other even more advance psi-power means that are so far down the rabbit-hole they would be too discrediting to discuss in this article. But they do exist and can be effective in many situations. More on those in another article perhaps.

But even worse DHS uses the special deniable contractor squads and retired miltel, FBI and CIA to gang-stalk, do personal surveillance, walk-bys, and moving in next door or as close as possible to key targeted individuals who are deemed as first line threat to their system of lies. And as if that wasn’t enough, these special squads have specialists that deploy advanced psychotronic warfare against USG, Intel, military and corporate whistle-blowers on behalf of the KM kingpins that is designed to cause chronic health problems, lethal medical disorders and suppression of thinking and acting.

Some of these devices are cell tower activated, some by doppler weather radar, some closely custom placed transmitters triangulated in from close-by spy cell and corporate proprietaries. For those that claim this is all pure fantasy and bs I can strongly reply you are wrong, dead wrong. How can I say that. Well I have personally swept Mark Novitsky’s residence with sensors used by the German Health Department and found it way over the allowable European accepted limits with some equipment red-lined. Some sources inside the home were disabled or removed, and we found strong external sources.

As we started tracing and triangulating their location of transmission, they were suddenly turned off preventing location. Novitsky is as important in what he knows and has disclosed at Snowden. Sixty minutes was going to do a big story on him but backed out at the last minute because they said it had become too complicated. Other top Federal and Intel whistle-blowers have told Novitsky what he knows about is above their pay grade. Most avoid him like the plague. All his local Senators and Congresspersons were notified by Novitsky (evidence in writing I have seen) and all deny it and did nothing, except for Governor Mark Dayton who was a Senator at the time.

Dayton has a good reputation with his staff and when terrorism struck in DC he immediately placed the safety of his staff first. He did what he could for Novitsky and We The people but was stepped on hard. Now Dayton is the Governor of Minnesota and appears to be doing his best to get the the states decaying infrastructure repaired. Novitsky has been placed on the top secret DHS “No Work under any Circumstances” by the FBI, which follows him around and tells any employer where he applies that he is a domestic terrorist, “please do not hire him, he is on our watch list and under surveillance — you wouldn’t want to be put on our watch list no would you?”

The one good job Novitsky had in a non-Intel related area was ruined when the FBI showed up and delivered a National Security Letter (NSL) which his employer was allowed to read but not keep, and which threatened a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in a federal prison if he ever disclosed anything about this NSL letter or why he was going to have to separate Novitsky. And Mark has had strange but very real recent medical problems and his first doctors were either dirty, KM worker bees, Sayanims or just plain uncaring and medically lousy. The lab was either dirty or had folks inside that tampered with his blood work. Finally, he was able to find a top physician who is 100% ethical with a top academic reputation and will not kowtow to illegal government manipulations.

And who are DHS’s listed domestic terrorists? Gun owners, Ron Paul supporters, Veterans, libertarians, Christians, Islamics, Patriots, anti-war activists, dissidents and alternative media reporters and journalists and many many more individuals and groups that can be placed on the list by any supervisory agent after even one complaint of any kind and these watch lists  have no oversight or appeal process. Once on you are doomed to stay on.

Even Senator Ted Kennedy was put on the “No Fly List” by mistake and despite expensive legal efforts and big political muscle he could never get off of it. Why you wonder? Because these Terror Watch lists are creations of the Khazarian Mafia Kingpins. They are visible indicators of their unbridled twisted, sick, evil power produced by their infiltration and hijacking of America through their private pernicious usury debt-note private Fiat counterfeit Ponzi-type central banking system.

We may see increased harassment and abuse of phony domestic terror watch lists.

We may see increased harassment by local police, alphabets as ordered by DHS, according to their whacked out “watch lists” that include almost everyone but the real domestic terrorists who are the KM leaders and the top officials of DHS, whose job is to terrorize Americans into subservience and compliance and take away all our Constitutional Rights. On the other hand, we may see such a rapid loss of functional day to day power by the KM and their police state mechanism, DHS, that we do not see a big increase in surveillance and harassment. Maybe we will even see less now that the KM is cornered and being pressed from all sides by the World and by We The People.

The confidential domestic terror “Watch Lists” lists were personally prepared under the watchful direction of Janet Napolitano while she was head of DHS. These were leaked and published on the Internet by DHS insiders who thought she and DHS was a joke but wanted to keep their pay and benefits, so we know for certain they exist and what is on them. Even though she resigned her position at DHS, she is being sued by subordinate men for sexual harassment and for moving their office into the men’s lavatory, among other things.

A couple of nights ago while driving at night in the early evening, I was pulled over and needlessly rousted by a local police Officer, who claimed I crossed over the line three times on a stretch of road with no other traffic close by. This fine very young lady police officer tailed me for a couple miles and then pulled me over. I don’t drink, use drugs, speed or drive carelessly, nor did I did not cross over any lines.

After the usual license and insurance check, the Officer let me go with no ticket. But she asked me a question about something irrelevant that could she have only known about from information gained by a local stingray tap or from the local DHS Fusion Center. Not very professional. She was rousting me, and it was a message that I received and am now responding to.

A Deal with the Devil at Langley?

In this same Department some years back, the prior Police Chief was provided a free trip to Langley for a special meeting. During that meeting, he was asked by the CIA to sign a secret Jurisdictional Agreement on behalf of his Department in which he agreed to submit jurisdiction on any case to the Feds that they requested.

when-didMajor amounts of military grade equipment was to be provided in exchange, including two armored cars, grenade launchers, full-auto real assault rifles and machine guns, body armor, bullet proof barriers and lots of military grade ammo. The Chief was an honorable man with integrity and refused to sign the agreement. Did he developed a strange neurological condition soon after that and have to resign?

Did the CIA keep secretly working with a couple corrupt officers to distribute illegal drugs to high school kids from “DEA controlled deliveries”, a local smaller “feeder airport” through a seafood import “proprietary”, with a local drug task force (with special license plates to identify each other) either looking the other way or involved. Betcha this hasn’t stopped.

The department got a new Chief and now has the equipment offered. You can be sure that this secret transaction has already been successfully made in almost every large Urban Police Department. So far, a significant number of Sheriff’s offices have refused. The County Sheriff is the supreme law enforcement officer in any county and has authority even over the Feds.

Be clear about this, these deals with the Devil at Langley to get jurisdiction over your local police are all driven by the KM Kingpins who are Neo-Bolsheviks who plan to terrorize us, tyrannize us, completely asset strip us and and then mass-murder us.

Supposedly all these “1033 Program” military equipment transfers for the big stuff have been stopped. Don’t believe it, that is mere propaganda, and the only big stuff going back is for updated electronic warfare systems, new advanced weaponry or for repair and major maintenance.

For now until the KM’s back is broken, expect increased surveillance and harassment by local police if you are in one of the categories on their watch lists (which is about half of the American people).

This is the kind of surveillance and increased harassment Gun owners, Ron Paul supporters, Veterans, libertarians, Christians, Islamics, Patriots, anti-war activists, dissidents and alternative media reporters and journalists can expect more of as the KM’s power is choked off by the whole World that is now ganging up on it.

DHS is here to militarize the American Police and turn America into a Neo-Bolshevik Stasi-style Police State and transform it into GAZA II with all Americans the New Palestinians. Once that is accomplished the KM plans to treat Americans the same way Bolsheviks treated innocent Russian civilians. It raped, tortured and mass murdered 100 million of them. The KM is Neo-Bolshevik and its top Policy-Makers are from the same age old bloodlines. They have recorded their intentions in stone at the Georgia Guidestones so we know this for certain.

ATT00030 (2)But here’s the deal. America is not Russia in 1917 and is the most armed up populace in the World. Despite all the recent efforts of the KM to force our so-called “elected politicians” to disarm Americans, it will never happen. Americans have been buying guns at an increasing rate ever since the KM deployed all these mass-shootings in gun free zones and major efforts to grab our guns began in earnest.

Of course, most County Sheriffs in America are populist oriented and part of their local communities and elected because of the respect they have gained and maintained. But even large urban police are starting to wake up. They have a dangerous enough job already thanks to the CIA drug trafficking into urban cities for black ops money and theirs and the BATF’s continuing gun sales to gangs, especially MS 13 and the Las Zetas who were trained by the US Military inside the USA.

Most American urban police officers have no intention of going door to door to fulfill some crazy unConstitutional Presidential PDD or even a new Congressional law passed. They do not want to turn honest law-abiding American Gun-owners, hunters and Veterans into a Solzenitzen-type spontaneously erupting vigilante counter-force that shoots with bigger bore, more accurate, longer reaching rifles than they can. Most police officers want to go home to their families at the end of the day, and they know that the anger of the average American grows against the out of control militarized swat teams that attack the wrong homes and often kill and maim innocent women and young children.

Smart Officers and chiefs want to establish good community relations and bee seen as the community as their helpers and public servants, not their oppressors working for the ADL and DHS. By the way most large urban police departments are trained by the ADL to view the average civilian as a real or potential domestic terrorists, especially gun owners. Now because of the recent public concern for increased mass-shootings and terrorism, many police are changing their minds on gun control and actually favor conceal-carry by law abiding citizens who have met the standards and have proper training.

Too many Chiefs of big urban departments are given free junkets to Israel for such training, and while there are served some very special Koolaide in their drinks and given some sophisticated psychotronic mind-kontrol indoctrination training.

Take the recent case when a dumb swan drone broke in the wrong home with no proper warrant and threw a stun grenade into a baby’s crib, burning and blowing off part of the young child’s face. Or the many cases where the wrong homes are stormed by out of control savage swat looking for a few $10 rock, and innocent life is taken in an instant. Or all the illegal, unConstitutional seizures of cash and autos from innocent non-drug dealers, taken and placed into police and federal coffers sometime into the private pockets of corrupt supervisors and chiefs and judges.

And many Americans are starting to catch on to the fact that some of these mass-shootings in gun-free zones are real with real dead victims, while others like Sandy Hook are faked, but that all are engineered, staged false-flag attacks on the Second Amendment. This has kept folks confused up until now, but thanks to the efforts of hundreds of tireless researchers the truth is now being published all  over the Internet and is now readily available for all.


One thing is certain, the KM is now cornered and its hegemony is rapidly being eroded. It’s false-flag efforts to disarm Americans and any other efforts to do so will fail. The KM is now doomed by the whole World which is building massive financial firewalls against it and ganging-up on it. The KM is being deconstructed bit by bit and you can expect they will have a hard landing and because they are such two-faced psychopaths, they will keep lying until the end.

brics-logo-320x116Undoubtedly the Big Squeeze is now on the Khazarian Mafia (KM), they are cornered and increasingly desperate and their private Fiat pernicious usury debt-based counterfeit money system has become a Ponzi scheme nearing collapse.

And the BRICS System is just one of many new financial firewalls being built up against the KM’s financial hegemony which is now destined to fail.

There are certain factions in the Pentagon and American Intel which have so far been able to place strong limits on what the KM can do to retaliate, and they have been unable to start a nuclear WW3 with Russia as intended.

Efforts by Senator John McCain and other Traitors like the retired General commanding ISIS have also failed.

And all their recent efforts to attack Russia through Crimea and to destroy Syria and Iran have also failed because of the new military power and technological supremacy of the Russian Federation under the dynamic leadership of President Putin.

If these reports are true that China is severely restricting their container shipping companies until the Khazarian Mafia (KM) honors the Secret Reset Agreement, this is indeed a very interesting development. And if true it suggests that all the hype in the CMMM that China’s economy is worse than ours is likely exaggerated.

A better guess is that China has prepared for this for quite a while and is no longer so dependent on American sales, perhaps already having established some lucrative markets with Russia, South America, Malaysia and other trading partners. Is this part of a major economic trap for the Khazarian Mafia and its US Petro Dollar? In time we shall find out, and it make not take too long.

MONDAY, JUL 27, 2015 10:45 PM HKT
How China and Russia are running rings around Washington
A geopolitical "big bang" just happened in Eurasia, and it's not good for United States
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (Credit: AP/Ivan Sekretarev)
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch
Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations — the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS’ New Development Bank) — whose acronyms you’re unlikely to recognize either.  Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s “nuclear weapons program.”  And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia — a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S.  And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

The Eurasian Silk Road

With the Vienna deal, whose interminable build-up I had the dubious pleasure of following closely, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his diplomatic team have pulled the near-impossible out of an extremely crumpled magician’s hat: an agreement that might actually end sanctions against their country from an asymmetric, largely manufactured conflict.

Think of that meeting in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan, as a preamble to the long-delayed agreement in Vienna. It caught the new dynamics of the Eurasian continent and signaled the future geopolitical Big Bangness of it all. At Ufa, from July 8th to 10th, the 7th BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit overlapped just as a possible Vienna deal was devouring one deadline after another.

Consider it a diplomatic masterstroke of Vladmir Putin’s Russia to have merged those two summits with an informal meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Call it a soft power declaration of war against Washington’s imperial logic, one that would highlight the breadth and depth of an evolving Sino-Russian strategic partnership. Putting all those heads of state attending each of the meetings under one roof, Moscow offered a vision of an emerging, coordinated geopolitical structure anchored in Eurasian integration. Thus, the importance of Iran: no matter what happens post-Vienna, Iran will be a vital hub/node/crossroads in Eurasia for this new structure.

If you read the declaration that came out of the BRICS summit, one detail should strike you: the austerity-ridden European Union (EU) is barely mentioned. And that’s not an oversight. From the point of view of the leaders of key BRICS nations, they are offering a new approach to Eurasia, the very opposite of the language of sanctions.

Here are just a few examples of the dizzying activity that took place at Ufa, all of it ignored by the American mainstream media. In their meetings, President Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked in a practical way to advance what is essentially a Chinese vision of a future Eurasia knit together by a series of interlocking “new Silk Roads.” Modi approved more Chinese investment in his country, while Xi and Modi together pledged to work to solve the joint border issues that have dogged their countries and, in at least one case, led to war.

The NDB, the BRICS’ response to the World Bank, was officially launched with $50 billion in start-up capital. Focused on funding major infrastructure projects in the BRICS nations, it is capable of accumulating as much as $400 billion in capital, according to its president, Kundapur Vaman Kamath. Later, it plans to focus on funding such ventures in other developing nations across the Global South — all in their own currencies, which means bypassing the U.S. dollar.  Given its membership, the NDB’s money will clearly be closely linked to the new Silk Roads. As Brazilian Development Bank President Luciano Coutinhostressed, in the near future it may also assist European non-EU member states like Serbia and Macedonia. Think of this as the NDB’s attempt to break a Brussels monopoly on Greater Europe. Kamath even advanced the possibility of someday aidingin the reconstruction of Syria.

You won’t be surprised to learn that both the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the NDB are headquartered in China and will work to complement each other’s efforts. At the same time, Russia’s foreign investment arm, the Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), signed a memorandum of understanding with funds from other BRICS countries and so launched an informal investment consortium in which China’s Silk Road Fund and India’s Infrastructure Development Finance Company will be key partners.

Full Spectrum Transportation Dominance

On the ground level, this should be thought of as part of the New Great Game in Eurasia. Its flip side is the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Pacific and the Atlantic version of the same, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, both of which Washington is trying to advance to maintain U.S. global economic dominance. The question these conflicting plans raise is how to integrate trade and commerce across that vast region. From the Chinese and Russian perspectives, Eurasia is to be integrated via a complex network of superhighways, high-speed rail lines, ports, airports, pipelines, and fiber optic cables. By land, sea, and air, the resulting New Silk Roads are meant to create an economic version of the Pentagon’s doctrine of “Full Spectrum Dominance” — a vision that already has Chinese corporate executives crisscrossing Eurasia sealing infrastructure deals.

For Beijing — back to a 7% growth rate in the second quarter of 2015 despite a recent near-panic on the country’s stock markets — it makes perfect economic sense: as labor costs rise, production will be relocated from the country’s Eastern seaboard to its cheaper Western reaches, while the natural outlets for the production of just about everything will be those parallel and interlocking “belts” of the new Silk Roads.

Meanwhile, Russia is pushing to modernize and diversify its energy-exploitation-dependent economy. Among other things, its leaders hope that the mix of those developing Silk Roads and the tying together of the Eurasian Economic Union — Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan — will translate into myriad transportation and construction projects for which the country’s industrial and engineering know-how will prove crucial.

As the EEU has begun establishing free trade zones with India, Iran, Vietnam, Egypt, and Latin America’s Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela), the initial stages of this integration process already reach beyond Eurasia. Meanwhile, the SCO, which began as little more than a security forum, is expanding and moving into the field of economic cooperation.  Its countries, especially four Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) will rely ever more on the Chinese-driven Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the NDB. At Ufa, India and Pakistan finalized an upgrading process in which they have moved from observers to members of the SCO. This makes it an alternative G8.

In the meantime, when it comes to embattled Afghanistan, the BRICS nations and the SCO have now called upon “the armed opposition to disarm, accept the Constitution of Afghanistan, and cut ties with Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations.” Translation: within the framework of Afghan national unity, the organization would accept the Taliban as part of a future government. Their hopes, with the integration of the region in mind, would be for a future stable Afghanistan able to absorb more Chinese, Russian, Indian, and Iranian investment, and the construction — finally! — of a long-planned, $10 billion, 1,420-kilometer-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline that would benefit those energy-hungry new SCO members, Pakistan and India. (They would each receive 42% of the gas, the remaining 16% going to Afghanistan.)

Central Asia is, at the moment, geographic ground zero for the convergence of the economic urges of China, Russia, and India. It was no happenstance that, on his way to Ufa, Prime Minister Modi stopped off in Central Asia.  Like the Chinese leadership in Beijing, Moscow looks forward (as a recent document puts it) to the “interpenetration and integration of the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt” into a “Greater Eurasia” and a “steady, developing, safe common neighborhood” for both Russia and China.

And don’t forget Iran. In early 2016, once economic sanctions are fully lifted, it is expected to join the SCO, turning it into a G9. As its foreign minister, Javad Zarif, made clear recently to Russia’s Channel 1 television, Tehran considers the two countries strategic partners. “Russia,” he said, “has been the most important participant in Iran’s nuclear program and it will continue under the current agreement to be Iran’s major nuclear partner.” The same will, he added, be true when it comes to “oil and gas cooperation,” given the shared interest of those two energy-rich nations in “maintaining stability in global market prices.”hh

25 Signs That The Global Elite’s Ship Is About To Sink

Jul 15, 2015

Make no mistake about it. The tide has turned on the global elite and there will be no going back. A new day is rising for humanity as those who have planned for complete control are now being exposed, cornered and investigated from many different angles. There is no need to buy into the fear-based propaganda the major media and even several alternative media outlets dispense. Very good things are happening and even better things are coming. Let’s take a look at some of the major stories that have occurred in the last 8 weeks alone. Piecing the puzzle together, we see that the jig is up and the events surrounding it are growing in size and speed.

1. 57 Nations approved as founding members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Notable countries who signed on June 29th, 2015 include Russia, India, Iran, Switzerland, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Italy and Austria. Notables who did not join are the U.S. and Japan.

2. May 12th, 2015: Russia asks Greece to join the BRICS Alliance. Notice the BRICS trend in the stories to follow.

3. May 24th, 2015: The Pentagon released documents to Judicial Watch, a government watchdog law firm,
proving that the US Government played a central role in creating ISIL. Interestingly, the mainstream media failed to cover this story. A few weeks later, ex US Intelligence officials confirm the report.

4. May 31st, 2015: Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras writes an open letter, warns European leaders they are “making a grave mistake,” and suggests they re-read Hemingways’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

5. June 2nd, 2015: The U.S. Federal Government was hacked as the personal data of 4 million current, former and prospective employees believed to have been breached. 3 weeks later FBI Director James Comey told US Senators the actual number could be 18 million. Some believe the hack was coordinated to gather further evidence
of crimes by certain government officials. More on that further down.


6. June 2nd, 2015: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul calls for the U.S. Government to declassify 28 pages in the 9/11 attack report that the Bush Administration blacked out.

7. June 3rd, 2015: Famous musician Akon announces his Solar Academy will bring solar power to over 600 million people in Africa. A major victory for clean energy and humanity.

8. June 4th, 2015: Whistle-blower Edward Snowden says a “profound difference” had occurred since releasing the NSA documents and that the balance of power has shifted in our world.  Is he referring to the BRICS Alliance?

9. June 5th, 2015: “There Will Be A Reset of The Financial Industry.” The International Monetary Fund says the Chinese yuan is no longer undervalued. This sets the stage for the yuan to be recognized as a global reserve currency, something the U.S. Dollar (which is backed by war and oil) does not like.

10. June 7, 2015: Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s largest banks, co-CEO’s Jain and Fitschen resign. Two days later, German prosecutors raided the Bank’s headquarters in a criminal tax-fraud probe.

11. June 15, 2015: China says the G-7 Summit in Germany was a “gathering of debtors.” They mean this literally as the Bretton Woods western financial system is based on debt. And in fact, the entire western financial system has been running illegally and is technically bankrupt. For more on the real history of Bretton Woods and its connection to JFK, The Global Collateral Accounts and the gold standard, read here.

12. June 17th, 2015 is quite the day with the next four stories all being reported at that time. First, JP Morgan’s number 2, the Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee, suddenly and unexpectedly passes over. Since late 2013, the list of high-level banking officials to have passed over has grown to 70. Clearly, something is happening.


13. June 17, 2015: Russia and China announced that all natural gas and crude oil sales between
the two countries will now be done in Chinese yuan( formerly the U.S. Dollar) and will be convertible into Russian Rubles. The U.S. Dollar hegemony is waning.

14. June 17, 2015: The State of Texas has signed a bill that calls for the repatriation of their gold from the Federal Government. When asked what would happen if the government tried to steal back the gold, State Representative Giovanni Capriglione said this: There is a motto in the office of almost every state legislator in Texas, and it’s a flag that we have [from the Texas Revolution], it’s below a cannon and what the motto says is, “Come and Take it.”

15. June 17, 2015: Greece’s Hellenic Parliament’s Debt Truth Committee released a report stating that the debt Greece “owes” is illegal, illegitimate and odious, according to international law. Further, they stated the IMF and ECB ( European Central Bank) having illegally and knowingly imposed these illegitimate debts upon Greece and other nations. A direct call out to the global banking cartel.

16. June 18th, 2015: Baron David de Rothschild has been indicted by a French court over financial fraud. French police have been ordered by the court to track down Baron. The Rothschild family has long been viewed as the family sitting atop the global financial ponzi scheme. Lawyer Antonio Flores told reporters, ” it’s a real breakthrough moment for everyone involved.”

17. June 18, 2015: In a 2-1 ruling, the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals says Bush era officials can be held liable for detaining innocent people after the 9/11 attack. Will this lead to some major arrests?

18. June 19, 2015: While European leaders try to save face on the debt crisis, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras was in Russia and gave a speech at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, stating that “the economic center of the planet has already shifted” and that new powers are playing an “important role on an economic and geopolitical level.” * Reread story header number 8…BRICS, anyone? Oh, and Greece and Russia signed a €2 billion gas pipeline deal that day too…a strategic economic and geopolitical game-changer.

19. July 5th, 2015: Greece votes “NO” to the creditors’ bailout offer. This is a massive stance for humanity that Greece just took against the banking elite. As of this writing, a “deal” has been reached but is expected to fall apart in the coming days. Kicking the can down the road does not solve the issue, but rather speeds up the revolution mindset of many frustrated Greek citizens. September/October is when many financial experts are saying that some fireworks are to be expected. 

20. July 7th, 2015: The BRICS Bank officially opens for business.

21. July 8th, 2015: On this day, several strange events occurred. The NYSE was taken down for multiple hours, the Wall Street Journal was taken offline just after the stock exchange went down, United Airlines was forced to ground all of its flights nationwide due to computer “issues,” and 2,500 people losing power in Washington D.C. This whistle-blower journalist just wrote that his Pentagon sources said the Pentagon/BRICS Alliance took it down as a “dry run.”

22. July 7th, 2015: Backing up one day we see that the hacking group Anonymous tweeted this on the evening prior to the stock exchange hack: Wonder if tomorrow is going to be bad for Wall Street….we can only hope. 
David Wilcock has previously written a detailed document stating that Anonymous is working with certain patriotic US Military forces to legally take down the banking elite.. This aligns nicely with what the whistle-blower journalist, Benjamin Fulford, just wrote this week about the Pentagon and BRICS Alliance in the previous story.

23. July 14th, 2015: Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. reach a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Entire books could be written on the geopolitical, financial and technological implications of this move. There are also reports that the reality of this situation is that Iran has free energy technology and will be using this to help bring down the banking/political/oil industry elite. This would make sense as the strongest opponents to this deal have been Israel and its Prime Minister and several American politicians like the Bushes, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. 

24. July 15th, 2015: Santa Cruz County votes to stop doing business with 5 major banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. Watch this set off a chain reaction in those who will follow suit.

25. Now: You are here on the planet at this time to make a wonderful contribution. Please continue playing your role for the benefit of us all.

It is clear that something big is happening. Use this information to move forward with optimism and hope. Share with your friends. Discuss with your friends. Continue to search and dig for the truth. Two people I strongly suggest the reader looking into are Benjamin Fulford, the whistleblower who was the Asia Pacific Bureau Chief for Forbes Magazine and is listed in stories number 21 and 22, and Neil Keenan, who is working with many well connected sources to open up the global collateral accounts. These accounts are what President Kennedy was assassinated over and are what the banking elite does not want the public to know exists. This revolution WILL NOT be televised.

IMF to U.S.: Your financial system is still at risk of crisis

July 7, 2015 By  

Full Report - Americas Economic Outlook.pdf (1291k)

The United States has seemed to have forgotten the economic collapse and the financial crisis that engulfed Wall Street and the big banks. This is a mistake, warns the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a new report urging the U.S. to still hone in on a high-risk financial system.

In its first check-up on the U.S. financial system since 2010, the IMF believes it’s safer than prior to the economic collapse. But there are new threats that pose risks to the system, which have been created in the last couple of years. One of those threats is that the big banks have gotten even bigger.

“Before the memory of the crisis begins to fade, it will be important to complete the reform agenda and resist attempts to overturn previously agreed measures,” the IMF’s executive summary states. “New pockets of vulnerabilities have emerged, partly in response to the continuing search for yield.”

The IMF issued 31 recommendations to safeguard the finance system. Here are some of the organization’s concerns:

– Big Wall Street banks, such as JP Morgan & Chase and Wells Fargo, have gotten bigger since the financial downturn.

– There is a substantial amount of risk in the bond and stock market; low interest rates have produced high risks.

– Financial reforms, like Dodd-Frank, have not been fully implemented.

– Regulators have not instituted new standards for the too-big-too-fail problem for asset managers and insurers, like Fannie & Freddie.

This isn’t the first time that the IMF has criticized financial and monetary policy in the U.S. In the spring, the IMF head Christine Lagarde warned the Federal Reserve’s Janet Yellen to delay any interest rate hike until at least the first half of 2016.

$100bn BRICS monetary fund to be operational in 30 days
July 1, 2015, 8:02 am

BRICS Finance and Commerce Minister at the signing of documents during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil on 15 July 2014 [PPIO]

BRICS Finance and Commerce Minister at the signing of documents during the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil on 15 July 2014 [PPIO]

The $100 billion BRICS Contingency Fund, that leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had approved last year to combat currency crises, will be operational in 30 days, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers from all five countries have now ratified their participation in the agreement.

China will provide the bulk of the funding with $41 billion, Brazil, Russia and India with $18 billion each, and South Africa with $5 billion.

“The agreement aims to provide temporary resources to BRICS members facing pressure in their balance of payments. This instrument will contribute to promoting international financial stability, as it will complement the current global network of financial protection,” the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“It will also reinforce the world’s economic and financial agents’ trust and mitigate the risk of contagion from eventual shocks which may come to affect the economies of the bloc,” it said.

Last year, during its sixth summit in Brazil, BRICS announced the creation of the BRICS Development Bank and of the BRICS Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

“The establishment of a self-managed contingent reserve arrangement would have a positive precautionary effect, help BRICS countries forestall short-term liquidity pressures, provide mutual support and further strengthen financial stability,” South African President Jacob Zuma said earlier.

The CRA is meant to provide an alternative to International Monetary Fund’s emergency lending. In the CRA, emergency loans of up to 30 per cent of a member nation’s contribution will be decided by a simple majority. Bigger loans will require the consent of all CRA members.

Meanwhile, the $100 billion development bank, funded by BRICS countries, will offer loans to other middle- and low-income countries.

Membership of the BRICS Bank will be open to all members of the United Nations, subject to agreement from the bank’s board of governors, China’s Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin said last month.

“The establishment of the BRICS bank is a landmark event in financial cooperation, which will promote the BRICS countries and other emerging markets, and infrastructure construction and sustainable development in developing countries,” said Yaobin.

“The promotion of reform in global economic governance has important and far-reaching significance,” he added.

As the BRICS countries prepare to launch new financial institutions like the $100 billion BRICS Bank, the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and a $100 billion BRICS currency reserve fund, the IMF has once again delayed voting reforms to give emerging countries greater say.

A statement from the International Monetary Fund last month said the board has postponed the discussion on how to move forward without Washington.

BRICS leaders Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Jacob Zuma, Narendra Modi and Dilma Rousseff are meeting next week in the Russian city of Ufa for the 7th BRICS Summit.


BRICS trample US in South America

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

Published time: May 22, 2015 15:26

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner arrive to the official photo session for the BRICS summit (Reuters / Sergio Moraes)

It started in April with a rash of deals between Argentina and Russia during President Cristina Kirchner’s visit to Moscow.

And it continues with a $53 billion investment bang as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Brazil during the first stop of yet another South American commercial offensive – complete with a sweet metaphor: Li riding on a made in China subway train that will ply a new metro line in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

Where is the US in all this? Nowhere; little by little, yet inexorably, BRICS members China – and in a smaller measure, Russia - have been no less than restructuring commerce and infrastructure all across Latin America.

Countless Chinese commercial missions have been plying these shores non-stop, much as the US did between World War I and II. In a key meeting in January with Latin American business leaders, President Xi Jinping promised to channel $250 billion for infrastructure projects in the next 10 years.

Top infrastructure projects in Latin America are all being financed by Chinese capital – except the Mariel port in Cuba, whose financing comes from Brazil’s BNDES and whose operation will be managed by Singaporean port operator PSA International Pte Ltd. Construction of the Nicaragua canal – bigger, wider and deeper than Panama’s - started last year by a Hong Kong firm, to be finished by 2019. Argentina, for its part, clinched a $4.7 billion Chinese deal for the construction of two hydroelectric dams in Patagonia.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff look on before a meeting at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, May 19, 2015 (Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff look on before a meeting at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, May 19, 2015 (Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino)

Among the 35 deals clinched during Li’s visit to Brazil, there was financing worth $7 billion for Brazil's oil giant Petrobras; 22 Brazilian Embraer commercial jets to be sold to Tianjin Airlines for $1.3 billion; and a raft of agreements involving top iron ore producer Vale. Chinese investment might go some way into overhauling Brazil’s appalling network of roads, railways and ports; airports are in slightly better condition due to upgrades prior to the World Cup last year.

The star of the whole show is undoubtedly the proposed $30 billion, 3,500 kilometer-long, Atlantic-Pacific mega-railway, that is slated to run from the Brazilian port of Santos to the Peruvian Pacific port of Ilo via Amazonia. Logistically, this is a must for Brazil, offering it a Pacific gateway. Winners will inevitably be commodity producers – from iron ore to soya beans - exporting to Asia, mostly China.

The Atlantic-Pacific railway may be an extremely complex project – involving everything from environmental and land rights issues to, crucially, the preference for Chinese firms every time Chinese banks deliberate on extending lines of credit. But this time, it’s a go. The usual suspects are - what else - worried.

Watch the geopolitics

Official Brazilian policy, since the Lula years, has been to attract top Chinese investment. China is Brazil's top trading partner since 2009; it used to be the US. The trend started with food production, now it moves to investment in ports and railways, and the next stage will be technology transfer. The BRICS New Development Bank and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which Brazil is a key founding member, will definitely be part of the picture.

The problem is this massive trade/commerce BRICS interplay is intersecting with a quite convoluted political process. The top three South American powers - Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, which also happen to be Mercosur members – have been facing repeated “destabilization” attempts by the usual suspects, who routinely denounce the foreign policy of Presidents Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Kirchner and Nicolas Maduro and yearn for the good ol’ days of a dependent relationship with Washington.

With different degrees of complexity – and internal strife - Brasilia, Buenos Aires and Caracas are all simultaneously facing plots against their institutional order. The usual suspects don’t even try to dissimulate their near total diplomatic distance from the South American Top Three.

Venezuela, under US sanctions, is considered a threat to US national security – something that does not even qualify as a bad joke. Kirchner has been under relentless diplomatic assault – not to mention US vulture funds targeting Argentina. And with Brasilia, relations are practically frozen since September 2013, when Rousseff suspended a visit to Washington in response to the NSA spying on Petrobras, and herself personally.

And that leads us to a crucial geostrategic issue – so far unresolved.

NSA spying may have leaked sensitive information on purpose to destabilize the Brazilian development agenda – which includes, in the case of Petrobras, the exploration of the largest oil deposits (the pre-salt) found so far in the young 21st century.

The Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro (Reuters / Sergio Moraes)

The Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro (Reuters / Sergio Moraes)

What is unraveling is so crucial because Brazil is the second-biggest economy in the Americas (after the US); it is the biggest Latin American commercial and financial power; it hosts the former second-biggest development bank in the world, BNDES, now overtaken by the BRICS bank; and it also hosts the biggest corporation in Latin America, Petrobras, also one of the world’s top energy giants.

The hardcore pressure against Petrobras comes essentially from US shareholders – who act like the proverbial vultures, bent on bleeding the company and profit from it, allied with lobbyists who abhor Petrobras’s status as the priority explorer of the pre-salt deposits.

In a nutshell, Brazil is the last great sovereign frontier against unbounded hegemonic domination in the Americas. The Empire of Chaos had to be annoyed.

Ride the continental wave

The constantly evolving strategic partnership of the BRICS nations has been met by Washington circles not only with incredulity but fear. It’s virtually impossible for Washington to do real damage to China – but much “easier”, comparatively, in the case of Brazil or Russia. Even though Washington’s wrath targets essentially China – which has dared to do deal after deal in the former “America’s backyard”.

Once again, the Chinese strategy – as much as the Russian – is to keep calm and carry a “win-win” profile. Xi Jinping met with Maduro in January to do – what else – deals. He met with Cristina Kirchner in February to do the same – just as speculators were about to unleash another attack against the Argentine peso. Now there’s Li’s visit to South America.

Needless to say, trade between South America and China continues to boom. Argentina exports food and soya beans; Brazil the same, plus oil, minerals and timber; Colombia sells oil and minerals; Peru and Chile, copper, and iron; Venezuela sells oil; Bolivia, minerals. China exports mostly high-value-added manufactured products.

A key development to watch in the immediate future is the Transul project, which was first proposed at a BRICS conference last year in Rio. It boils down to a Brazil-China strategic alliance linking Brazilian industrial development to partial outsourcing of metals to China; as the Chinese increase their demand - they are building no less than 30 megalopolises up to 2030 – that will be met by Brazilian or Sino-Brazilian companies. Beijing has finally given its seal of approval.

So the long-term Big Picture remains inexorable; BRICS and South American nations – which converge in the Unasur (The Union of South American Nations) – are betting on a multipolar world order, and a continental process of independence.

It’s easy to see how that is oceans away from a Monroe doctrine.


The Fuller Picture - Iran, Russia and TPP: Obama tries to pivot to Asia

Currently a Research Associate at the INSYTE Group, Dr. Roslyn Fuller has previously lectured at Trinity College and the National University of Ireland. She tweets at @roslynfuller

Published time: May 15, 2015 15:27

U.S. President Barack Obama.(Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

This week US relations with Saudi Arabia cool down, while heating up with Russia and Iran. Is the US considering a sweeping change to foreign policy?

Saudi King Salman chose not to attend a joint US-Gulf State meeting this week set to deal with the possibility of giving Gulf States a missile defense system to ward off a nuclear-powered Iran. Reading between the lines that means two things: 1) the US would like to sell the Gulf States some more military hardware which is nothing new, and 2) the US is willing to consider the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, which definitely is. Saudi Arabia and Israel are not pleased with this development, preferring the more straightforward ‘kill ‘em all’ approach vis-à-vis Iran. In fact, it’s fair to say, that both nations are going ballistic (no pun intended) over the US’s warming relations with Iran.

So at first glance the US has little to gain from entertaining the possibility of increased Iranian military power. The allies are ticked off, and Iran’s status as a dangerous rogue state is such an article of faith to most Americans that warming up to them can hardly be said to score the Obama administration any points domestically.

So why is the US going down this path at all?

Why Iran?

Why now?

Great Satan and the Axis of Evil

To fully appreciate the issues here, let’s briefly recap how things stand.

Mohammad Mosaddegh on trial, November 1953.(Photo from

Mohammad Mosaddegh on trial, November 1953.(Photo from

To say that Iran and the West have a long history of acrimony is putting things mildly. It began in the early 1900s, when a British company known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (and much later as British Petroleum) set up shop in Iran. Acting with the blessing of both the British and Iranian governments, Anglo-Iranian Oil controlled pretty much all of the oil in Iran, which is, as I’m sure anyone would admit, a lot of oil. For a few decades all went peachy, except for the fact that AIOC creamed off most of the profits and grossly underpaid its workers. In order to deal with this issue Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh decided to nationalize AIOC in 1951.

All went awry, however, since AIOC had an extremely cozy relationship with the British government, which tried everything in its power to prevent AIOC losing such a profitable gig. This included taking Iran to the International Court of Justice; pressuring other countries not to buy Iranian oil and blockading Iranian ports. It all made everyone pretty miserable, but failed to have the desired effect. Out of luck and out of Iranian oil, the UK asked their buddies in the US to pitch in. The CIA obliged, organizing a slick take-down job on Mosaddegh and the AIOC was back in business in Iran, although the price of CIA cooperation meant that it now had to share some of the oil concessions with American and other European companies.

But Mosaddegh hadn’t acted on a whim when he attempted to deal with distributing Iran’s oil revenues. Severe inequalities existed in Iran, and refusing to reform only kicked the can down the road.

No one else really noticed this, though, because the US and UK had got the oil back and they got on famously with Iran’s constitutional monarch Shah Reza Pahlavi, a very Westernized dude who made all the right noises. One of the more interesting decisions the Shah made – and we shall return to this – was, sitting on top of a lake of oil as he was, to start building nuclear power plants in cooperation with the US. At the time, this was sold to the public as far-sighted preparation for when oil ran out, but in hindsight it looks pretty suspicious, especially since the reactors in question were high-enrichment ones, and forty years on, Iran’s still got plenty of oil.

US Advertisement for Nuclear Energy using the Shah’s nuclear plans.(Photo from

US Advertisement for Nuclear Energy using the Shah’s nuclear plans.(Photo from

The Shah’s extravagance and generally nasty behavior did little to endear him with his people, and in 1979 he was finally overthrown in the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini. This set the stage for a whole new round of mutual agitation. The aging and terminally-ill Shah fled to Egypt outraging many of his erstwhile subjects who wanted him to face trial back in Iran. During the unrest, a group of students invaded the US Embassy in Tehran (or, as they called it, The American Spy Den) and took more than 50 American embassy staff hostage. While Iranian leaders like Khomeini did not order the action on the American embassy, they didn’t do very much to stop it, either. It was back to the ICJ for Iran, this time against the USA. Iran barely participated in proceedings before the court, and lost the case.

Although Iran eventually coughed up the hostages, it faced an ever-growing number of sanctions from the US. Ever since the Tehran hostages, it’s been ‘Great Satan’ on one side and ‘Axis of Evil’ on the other, with greater or lesser levels of enthusiasm depending on the times.

Then in 2005 the US began to make some serious noise over Iran’s nuclear program – the nuclear program, that is, they started back when Reza Pahlavi was in the driver’s seat. In particular, the US claimed that Iran was trying to develop a nuclear weapon and that this was so evil – ‘axis of evil’ level evil, in fact – that Iran was back in the crosshairs.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

This time, the US case against Iran isn’t, however, really all that strong.

Yes, nuclear weapons are very dangerous and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which regulates this kind of thing, takes the general approach of:

But the NPT is a curious treaty in that it splits its members into two groups – nuclear members and non-nuclear members. Nuclear members are the ones who have nuclear weapons (US, Russia, China, France and UK), and non-nuclear members are the ones who don’t.

Under the NPT, non-nuclear members agree not to make or receive any nuclear weapons, and to negotiate safeguards with the International Atomic Energy Agency to be used to verify whether the non-nuclear state is using nuclear power for peaceful means only. This is the kernel of the issue here, because under the NPT Iran is a non-nuclear state, and the US is accusing it of not fulfilling these obligations, in particular, not cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

But what tends to slide under the radar here is that states are under absolutely no obligation to be members of the NPT. Even if you do sign up, you can withdraw anytime. That means that if Iran wanted to build nuclear weapons in perfect legality, it would only have to withdraw from the NPT to do so. After all, it’s worked for Israel, India and Pakistan – NPT non-members who all have nukes.

For another thing, the NPT explicitly allows states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. So non-nuclear states can build as many nuclear power stations as they like. And if you’re going to continue letting members use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, you’ll never be able to absolutely prove beyond any doubt that they don’t have a weapons program hidden somewhere. It’s impossible to prove a negative. That’s why courts operate on the standard of ‘reasonable doubt’.

So, since you can’t prove a negative and anyone operating a nuclear power plant has some capability of future weapons development, the US can keep up the “Iran might be developing a nuke” line indefinitely, ratcheting the pressure up and down according to their own preferences. The fact that everyone else is proliferating to their hearts’ content, but without having to contend with sanctions, indicates that this is not really about nuclear weapons, dangerous as those are; it’s about Iran’s persistence in refusing to be part of US hegemony in the region.

The US has behaved similarly to Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and many others in their turn. It’s part and parcel of the “if you’re not for us, you’re against us” mentality. A useful foreign policy tool, but one that has its limits.

Reuters / Handout

Reuters / Handout

Getting success by hook or by crook

And that’s what makes three recent developments so interesting: 1) that the US agreed to a tentative deal on Iran’s nuclear program which is supposed to take another step forward at the end of June; 2) that US Secretary of State John Kerry went to Russia to discuss, life, the universe, and Iran this week; and 3) that the US is trying to get the Gulf States used to the idea of missile defense from a potentially nuclear-armed Iran as opposed to their preferred solution which is Iran disappearing from the face of the Earth.

That’s a quick turnabout from the never-proven accusations that have been flying over Iran and nukes for the past decade.

So what’s going on?

It looks very much that the Obama administration really does want to ‘pivot to Asia’ and that they have identified Iran as a potential hinge on which that pivoting could well get done.

That would certainly fit in to the bigger picture.

The US has recently been working hard to redraw global boundary lines that were once thought to be carved in stone. Cuba and Iran are legacy problems from the last Cold War; Iraq and Afghanistan are legacy problems from Bush; and Syria, Libya, and Ukraine are legacy problems from thinking that Russia was willing to go along with whatever the US wanted. That’s a lot of problems to have hanging over your head when you’ve got bigger fish to fry. And the US does have a bigger fish to fry: China. Hence the need to pivot.

Odd as this is going to sound, the US has been trying to resolve its various open problems over the last 18 months. They’ve been trying to resolve them the traditional way, of course, which is to shake everyone else by the scruff of their neck until they let go of whatever it is that the US wants. That’s right, the collective frenzy over Ukraine, Syria, Iran’s alleged nuclear program, etc. has been one big effort to resolve things. Purely in the US’s own interests, it goes without saying, but still, resolved.

Threatening and storming about hasn’t worked out yet, though. All of the abovementioned issues continue to fester, and time’s a-ticking. Not to mention, the US knows perfectly well that it can afford to push Russia, but not to the extent that Russia completely throws its lot in with China.

So it’s time for strategy two. It’s time to start trying to cut some deals.

That’s why the US has its feelers out with both Russia and the Gulf States, why it loosened the embargo on Cuba, and why it is being more cooperative with Iran than it has been in a long, long while.

If the US became friendly with Iran, it might provide it with the corner it needs to roll-up the Middle East, because Iran – if it were so minded – could help in stabilizing Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and even in settling the Israel/Palestine issue. That’s all a potentially enormous victory for the US Democratic Party – Obama looks like a hero, and Hillary gets a push towards being elected. All the other screw-ups of the last six years can be swept under the rug.

It’s too early to say what is going to happen, of course. The US might still decide that the traditional brow-beating of Iran, Russia and anyone else that gets in its way is still the best route for it. Western media has certainly kept news of Kerry’s visit to Russia low-key. And it should also be noted that the entire ‘pivot to Asia’ plan isn’t going so well. It was dealt another blow when the US Senate refused to fast-track TPP on Tuesday.

The “Pivot” is fast beginning to feel like this …

The “Pivot” is fast beginning to feel like this …

But be that as it may: sealing a deal with Iran and Russia could be a quick way for the US to mop up a load of headaches. After all, largely thanks to US foreign policy, Iran is one of the few powers left in the Middle East. And thanks to the long antagonistic history, it has a lot of untapped potential. With a young, exploding population, even the Iranian leadership has a certain incentive to play along and let bygones be bygones.

So, trying to grind Russia and/or Iran into submission was, in the world of statecraft, nothing personal. It might have worked. The US might have succeeded in putting so much pressure on Iran that the government fell, or enough other States decided that attacking the country might be a good idea after all. Crashing the ruble and sanctioning Russia may have led Russia to cave on Syria or Ukraine. But that hasn’t happened yet, and the US has a pivot to execute.

So, if you can’t beat them, join them.

It might be tempting to think that that means that the US has been put in its place, but that’s naïve. Pushing hard against Russia, Iran and anyone else has always been about making sure it’s constantly playing to the limits of its power. The US has now gained some valuable information about where those limits in the multipolar world probably are (for now), information that it wouldn’t have had if it hadn’t made such a big push.

But the nation’s become willing to put some cards on the table, and that means the world just got a lot more interesting.


Ukraine and China ink $2.4 bn currency swap

Published time: May 15, 2015 16:27

RIA Novosti / Alexandr Demyanchuk

RIA Novosti / Alexandr Demyanchuk

Ukraine and China have signed a currency swap agreement worth $2.4 billion, according to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). Ukraine expects it will relieve pressure on its currency which has lost above 40 percent against the US dollar in a year.

The three year agreement was signed in Shanghai by the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine(NBU) Valeria Gontareva and the governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan, according to NBU’s press release published on Friday.

Ukraine will provide some 54 billion hryvnia and China 15 billion yuan within the swap line.

"This agreement is extremely important for our countries, being strategic partners, and will promote the economic development of both countries. The funds received under the agreement may be used to finance commercial operations and direct investments between the two countries,” Gontareva said.

The practical implementation of currency swap arrangements will cut the demand of importers for foreign currency, which will lower the pressure on the hryvnia exchange rate and help stabilize the situation in the domestic money market, she added.

The hryvnia has lost about 44 percent since last May standing at 20.9 against the US dollar on May 15.

The agreement will come into effect in June when the previous agreement, concluded in 2012 expires. It will enable companies from both countries to use national currencies for export-import operations and to conduct settlements in national currencies without involving the currencies of other countries.

Ukraine hikes rate to 30%, to avert hyperinflation and currency plunge

Ukraine’s economy is currently facing tough times; the country’s foreign debt totaled $72.9 billion at the beginning of 2015. Ukraine’s National Bank reserves have fallen dangerously below $5.5 billion in March, and the national currency, the hryvnia, has lost more than half its value in 2015.

Ukraine and China agreed on economic and technical cooperation worth $8 million in January. Ukraine’s exports to China reached $2.7 billion last year while import amounted to $5.4 billion.


India & China seal record 24 deals estimated at $10bn

Published time: May 15, 2015 13:11

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 15, 2015. (Reuters / Kenzaburo Fukuhara)

India and China have signed a record 24 bilateral agreements worth $10 billion during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to China. Both sides are dedicated to establish a “new direction between the two largest Asian countries.”

Education, establishment of consulates, space exploration, mineral resources, railway systems and TV were among 24 intergovernmental agreements signed by India and China in Beijing.

The news was announced after Modi held negotiations with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday. The meeting took place in Beijing on the second day of the PM’s three-day visit to China.

"Today, we have signed over 20 agreements, covering diverse areas of cooperation. This shows the depth and maturity of our relationship and the positive direction of our partnership," said Narendra Modi in a joint press conference after the signing of the deals.

Mr. Modi also said India wanted more investment from China, greater access to its markets and a shared commitment to ensure that their disagreements remain in check.

“We are committed to set a new direction between the two largest Asian countries,” he said. “This is one of our most important strategic partnerships.”

China and India are disappointed in the current trade volume compared to their market and national strength. India estimates last year’s trade deficit with China at $45 billion, a third of its global trade gap.

Li Keqiang said the two countries had "enough political wisdom to manage and control differences,” adding that the countries’ common interests were far bigger than the differences.

Modi said that his three-day visit to China would deepen bilateral ties and create a milestone for the relations between developing countries in Asia and around the world.

“21st century belongs to Asia," the PM told CCTV prior to his visit.

China is investing billions of dollars in Russian projects

Follow-up / My Day

Russian President Vladimir Putin said, after meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the Russian capital Moscow, the Chinese government agreed to invest billions of dollars into the economy Aerati.oukal Putin in a press statement, he said that China will invest about 300 billion rubles ($ 6 billion) in the train line high-speed, which will link between the capital Moscow and the city of Kazan Aeratih.ozkrt and New China News Agency (Xinhua), the economic relations with Russia are compatible with China for the development of infrastructure and trade in Central Asia initiative known as the «economic belt of the Silk Road», along with Russia's desire an alliance largest Asian economic euros. The past year has witnessed great development in the Sino-Russian ties with Moscow to focus diplomatic efforts on Asia, because of the deterioration of its relations with Western countries against the backdrop of the Ukrainian crisis, where Chinese investment has become a key element in the economy Aerati.oukal Putin that the Chinese partners in the production of Russian passenger plane «Super Jet» will contribute to the promotion of the plane in Asaa.ovi markets a separate statement, he said the investment fund direct Russian, of the state, he reached an agreement with Russia's Sukhoi aircraft maker, which produces the aircraft «Super Jet», and a Chinese company, to provide up to 100 aircraft of this model for rental in Asian markets over the next three years. Fund pointed to the intention of Russia and China, the establishment of an investment fund with a capital of two billion dollars to the promotion of agro-industries in Albuldan.kma two presidents signed Putin Wuxi convention to promote economic relations within the framework of «economic belt of the Silk Road» initiative aimed at promoting trade and infrastructure in Central Asia as well as the establishment of economic union Euro-Asian-led Rossia.aly that cut PBOC (central bank) on Sunday the basic interest rate on lending by 25 basis points to reach 5.1 percent in the third cut of its kind since November as part of the pursuit of the bank to reduce the cost of borrowing and support a slowing economy . He said the central bank said in a statement on its website that it is also essential to reduce the deposit rate for one year by 25 basis points, adding that the reduction will begin its work on May 11, the central Oaar.oukal that this step will support the healthy development of Aguetsad.ccant last time the central bank cut interest on February 28 when it lowered the basic interest rate on lending for one year by 25 basis points to 5.35 percent and the deposit for one year by 25 basis points to 2.5 per Almih.ootalegt China project to guarantee deposits in banks in the first of May to launch this reform process is seen It is seen as a cornerstone of opening the banking sector, which enjoys a high degree of protection.


Ruble-yuan settlements booming, set to reshape global finance

Published time: May 11, 2015 10:05 

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (RIA Novosti / Michail Metcel)

Settlements in local currencies between Russia and China now account for 7 percent of the bilateral trade, but the potential for growth is tremendous, experts tell RT. Yuan-ruble trade in Russia has grown 700 percent in a year.

Growing cooperation between Russia and China has become one of the hottest topics in the global economy. It is signaling the emergence of a strong alliance of one the world’s richest and strongest economies, which is expected to reshape the existing western-dominated economic model.

While energy deals between the resource – rich Russia and resource – hungry China look natural, bringing the countries’ finances closer looks like a real challenge to the US dollar system, experts agree, although the transition won’t be quick.

“The transition from the usual scheme of payments in major currencies is not a quick process, but with a certain political will and sufficient mechanisms of hedging currency risks in exports and imports it is quite feasible,” Aleksandr Prosviryakov, Treasuries & Commodities Manager at PWC, told RT. He added that the first step towards this was the signing of a three-year agreement on currency swap worth 150 billion yuan in October 2014.

Currency swaps allow companies in both countries to use national currencies in mutual settlements. That means the Russian importers can purchase Chinese products with yuan, and the Chinese can make payments in rubles.

“We see a pretty rapid intensification of trade in the yuan-ruble currency pair in Russia,” he said adding that the volume on the Moscow Exchange increased by 8 times in comparison with the previous year, and 6 times in the OTC market.
Prosviryakov said the agreement to supply Russian oil to China through the Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean pipeline was the first major project implemented through settlement in local currencies.

An increased use of national currencies by major exporting and importing countries will lead to a reduction in the share of traditional currencies in international payments, he added.

The US dollar still remains preeminent in global trade; more than 80 percent is settled in dollars and 60 percent in international reserves. However, in 2014, the yuan leaped to nine percent of international settlements, which gives a chance that its role in the world financial system will become more important.

“There is a reason to believe that this trend will continue in the coming years and the role of the yuan will increase rapidly not only in international trade, but as the currency of international reserves of the central banks,” he said.

China's decision to establish and lead the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is “the real crux of Beijing's current long-term international economic and financial strategy,” Brendan O'Reilly, China-based writer and educator told RT.

“Now Beijing is making its own global bank that can compete with Western-dominated institutions,” he said.

Fifty-seven countries have been approved as founding members of AIIB with Russia expected to become the bank’s third largest participant.

“I think Russia's participation in AIIB will have a positive impact on economic and trade cooperation between the two countries,” said Prosviryakov. “One of the bank’s main tasks is financing infrastructure projects, a large part of which will be located on the territory of Russia. Investments in infrastructure will contribute to the development of bilateral trade, which will increase the likelihood of achieving the ambitious goal of the two countries to increase the turnover to $200 billion dollars by 2020.”

Even US allies such as Germany and the UK have signed on despite American objections, O'Reilly said.

“If the AIIB succeeds in its long-term goals of supporting Eurasian transport and trade infrastructure, then China, Russia, and many other states stand to benefit enormously,” he said.


US going after Russia, Venezuela as it loses global influence – Maduro to RT

Published time: May 10, 2015 18:59

Washington is losing its weight in the international arena and this makes it target Russia and Venezuela, as well as attempt to curtail China’s growth, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told RT's Spanish-language channel in an exclusive interview.

In March, the US declared Venezuela a threat to its national security which is usually the first step in starting a US sanctions program. Maduro said the country found great support in Latin America after this attack, which forced Washington to backpedal on its pressure.

All those countries stood against it even before the Summit of Americas started exactly a month ago and demanded that [US President] Barack Obama repeal the executive order that declared Venezuela a threat. It was very convincing,” he said. “President Obama realized that Venezuela was not alone, that it would have help and support. We were united in our multiplicity.

The Venezuelan president, who continued a policy of opposing the influence of the US in Latin America that his predecessor Hugo Chavez started, believes that Washington is unnerved by the growth of political and economic power in countries it does not control.

The US see they are losing influence and it makes them target countries like Russia to find a way to stop them. The US creates barriers and problems for such countries. They try to hamper their natural development. So they continue their attacks on peaceful countries like Venezuela and oppose the development of powerful nations like China,” he said.

Still from RT air

According to Maduro, nations can successfully withstand American pressure with enough determination, as evidenced by the example of Cuba. After decades of economic blockade and sanctions, Washington sought reengagement with the Caribbean nation.

Barack Obama was brave enough to admit in his December 17 speech that the blockade and oppression of Cuba failed. But he was also speaking from an imperialist point of view... Now they are trying to influence Cuba,” he said.

I am certain that, sooner rather than later, the US will go the way the British empire did 70 years ago. It used to be a powerful empire that ruled entire regions of Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa for 300 years. They ruled the world. But then they had to adopt to new historic circumstances,” Maduro said. “We believe the same thing will happen to America and that they would have to go through a series of conflicts.”

Maduro is sure Europeans are hurting themselves again by alienating Russia, which now turns towards Asia for strategic partnership. The Venezuelan leader was among those who visited Russia this weekend to participate in V-Day commemorations.

I arrived here with a good purpose, to be with the Russian people in this hour of great challenges. I am certain that peace will prevail,” Maduro told RT.

While leaders of countries like China, India, Vietnam, Serbia and Cuba came to Moscow for the occasion, many European leaders allied with the US chose to reject their invitations. Maduro says they succumbed to pettiness.

It was probably a case of short-sightedness on the part of today's western leaders,” he said. “It's about conspiring and petty grudges… But humanity has enough strength and values not to allow this pettiness to win.

The Venezuelan leader said similar notions were prevailing in Europe when the rise of politicians like Germany's Hitler, Italy's Mussolini and Spain's Franco was ignored in other nations in the hope that these anti-communist regimes would target the Soviet Union.

Europe partially turned a blind eye and bet on the creation of an insane monster who would finish off the Soviet Union. It was apparent what would that bring on their heads. Hitler had been supported at the time by the bourgeoisie, by financiers in all of Europe, not just Germany, and even in the US... Humanity had to pay a great price for that bet,” he said.


International Business

At Global Economic Gathering, U.S. Primacy Is Seen as Ebbing


Janet L. Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, checking the time after a financial ministers and governors photo on Friday. Credit Gary Cameron/Reuters

WASHINGTON — As world leaders converge here for their semiannual trek to the capital of what is still the world’s most powerful economy, concern is rising in many quarters that the United States is retreating from global economic leadership just when it is needed most.

The spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have filled Washington with motorcades and traffic jams and loaded the schedules of President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. But they have also highlighted what some in Washington and around the world see as a United States government so bitterly divided that it is on the verge of ceding the global economic stage it built at the end of World War II and has largely directed ever since.

“It’s almost handing over legitimacy to the rising powers,” Arvind Subramanian, the chief economic adviser to the government of India, said of the United States in an interview on Friday. “People can’t be too public about these things, but I would argue this is the single most important issue of these spring meetings.”

Other officials attending the meetings this week, speaking on the condition of anonymity, agreed that the role of the United States around the world was at the top of their concerns.

Washington’s retreat is not so much by intent, Mr. Subramanian said, but a result of dysfunction and a lack of resources to project economic power the way it once did. Because of tight budgets and competing financial demands, the United States is less able to maintain its economic power, and because of political infighting, it has been unable to formally share it either.

Experts say that is giving rise to a more chaotic global shift, especially toward China, which even Obama administration officials worry is extending its economic influence in Asia and elsewhere without following the higher standards for environmental protection, worker rights and business transparency that have become the norms among Western institutions.

President Obama, while trying to hold the stage, clearly recognizes the challenge. Pitching his efforts to secure a major trade accord with 11 other Pacific nations, he told reporters on Friday: “The fastest-growing markets, the most populous markets, are going to be in Asia, and if we do not help to shape the rules so that our businesses and our workers can compete in those markets, then China will set up the rules that advantage Chinese workers and Chinese businesses.”

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Lew, while conceding the growing unease, hotly contested the notion of any diminution of the American position.

“There is always a lot of noise in Washington; I’m not going to pretend this is an exception,” he said. “But the United States’ voice is heard quite clearly in gatherings like this.”

Nonetheless, the challenges keep mounting.

An overhaul of the I.M.F.’s governance structure, negotiated five years ago in large part by President Obama to give China and other emerging powers more authority commensurate with their growing economic strength, has languished in Congress. That, in part, propelled China to create its own multilateral lending institution in direct competition with the behemoths in Washington.

The efforts to secure an ambitious 12-nation Pacific trade agreement, championed by Mr. Obama and recently backed by a handful of key lawmakers, has set off perhaps the biggest fight of his presidency within his own party, with trade unions, environmentalists and liberal activists lining up in opposition to the White House. There is a strong possibility that Mr. Obama could lose the battle.

Even the United States’ Export-Import Bank, a lending agency similar to export financing arms in countries around the world, could be killed in June by conservatives in Congress, leaving would-be foreign customers in the cold and many American exporters at a disadvantage to competitors abroad.

“I’ve been searching for a word to describe it, and the one I use is ‘withdrawal,’ best I can come up with,” said Edwin M. Truman, a former Obama Treasury official now with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “We’re withdrawing from the central place we held on the international stage.”

In Washington, that concern crosses party lines.

“This is really about a crossroads for America and its leadership for the world,” said Representative Dave G. Reichert, Republican of Washington. “We set the tone, we set the path for the global economy by being leaders. And if we don’t, other countries step in.”

The costs could be real. Failure to bolster the I.M.F. and other institutions weakens the West’s hand in confrontations like the one with Russia over Ukraine, which has begged for multilateral economic assistance. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, pointed to conflicts like the one in Syria, suggesting that fears the I.M.F. and World Bank will be unable to help rebuild the shattered country only opens the door to confrontational actors like Iran.

“Sometimes we can only hope it’s China that steps in,” he said.

But China’s rising sway in Africa, South Asia, and even Latin America could blunt efforts by the United States and its allies on a range of issues, from stemming violent extremism to slowing climate change.

For much of Washington and the world’s economic leaders, China’s creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank crystallized the choice policy makers face. Earlier this month, Lawrence Summers, who was a top economic adviser for both President Bill Clinton and Mr. Obama, declared that China’s establishment of a new economic institution and Washington’s failure to keep its allies from joining it signaled “the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system.”

For years, China had threatened to establish institutions to rival those dominated by the West, like the I.M.F., World Bank and Asian Development Bank — or even to establish its currency, the renminbi, as a reserve currency to rival the dollar.

In 2010, Mr. Obama brokered a deal to raise China’s stake in the I.M.F. to 6 percent from 3.8 percent, still far below the United States’ vetoing share of 16.5 percent but enough to give Beijing a larger say. Congress has blocked the proposed adjustment.

Meantime, China’s international lending has soared. Fred P. Hochberg, who heads the Export-Import Bank, said that in the last two years alone, Chinese state-run lenders have lent $670 billion. Ex-Im has lent $590 billion since it was created during the Depression of the 1930s.

With nearly $4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, China has plenty of resources to project its rising economic power. For example, China’s president, Xi Jinping, plans to offer $46 billion to Pakistan for infrastructure assistance that would open new transportation routes across Asia and challenge the United States as the dominant power in the region.

“The United States has lost its way and is rapidly forfeiting claims to global financial, economic, political and moral leadership,” Kevin Rafferty, a former World Bank official, wrote recently in two leading English-language newspapers in Asia. He blamed the White House: “Not for the first time, Obama has shown he can talk eloquently, but does not have a political clue how to get things done.”

Other experts and historians, however, say too much can be made of the moment. Walter Russell Mead, a professor of foreign affairs at Bard College, noted that the rise of China as an economic force was inevitable, and that its establishment of a rival lending institution was far different from the international behavior of the Soviet Union and communist Chinese during the Cold War.

Then, he said, America’s rivals were trying to destroy and replace the economic order established by the United States and Britain after World War II. Now, emerging powers are emulating it, however imperfectly.

Whatever the ultimate consequences, there is plenty of finger-pointing going on. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a potential ally on international economics, echoed Mr. Rafferty. In an interview, he said he included the I.M.F. quota adjustment in an aid package last year to beleaguered Ukraine, but Mr. Obama, he insisted, did not personally intervene to push it through.

He fretted that new legislation granting the president “fast track” trade-promotion authority to complete major trade deals with Asia and Europe would stall without enough White House attention.

“I was in Southeast Asia in August, and the countries there know there’s no real capital being expended, and they’re worried,” Mr. Corker said, his voice rising in frustration. “They just cannot pull themselves together to push for something.”

Administration officials disputed the charge.

“I can tell you I have spent dozens if not hundreds of hours talking to central bankers and finance ministers,” Mr. Lew said. “They understand we are sparing no expense.”

The leader of the opposition both to the I.M.F. reforms and the Export-Import Bank has been Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, backed by the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party.

The opposition to international trade alliances, on the other hand, is being led loudly by Democrats who had previously been the president’s most stalwart backers, with an assist from ardent conservatives who oppose anything Mr. Obama does.

Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and an emerging internationalist advocate, suggested that two decades of war were turning elements of both parties inward.

“The network of international rules and institutions is a peculiarly U.S. creation” that has helped foster peace and prosperity for decades, he said. “The U.S. has built this up, not only for our own benefit but for the world. That we are now stepping back from a leadership role is highly, highly problematic.”

A version of this article appears in print on April 18, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: U.S. Primacy on Economics Is Seen Ebbing. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe


Spain, S.Korea and Austria approved as founding members of China-led bank AIIB

Published time: April 11, 2015 15:06

China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei (L) gives a speech, with the guests of the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 24, 2014. (Reuters/Takaki Yajima)

Austria, Spain and South Korea have been approved as founding members of the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), the Chinese Finance Ministry announced Saturday.

A founding member of the bank has the right to help write its rules and Saturday’s additions bring the number of prospective founders to 41. The exact number of founding members will be finalized on April 15.

Any country that joined the AIIB after March 31 will only be allowed to be an ordinary member, which means they have voting rights but less say in making the rules.

The AIIB was set up to provide finance for railways, roads, airports and other important infrastructure projects in Asia.

The State Council of the People Republic of China has confirmed that Russia will also become a founding member of the bank. A number of leading European economies have also applied to becoming founding members, including Germany, France and the UK.

READ MORE: Russia to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in two weeks

Japan has decided not to apply, saying it would want the terms of joining to include establishing lending rules with due account for social consequences plus certain guarantees on transparency. Tokyo however said it may join in the future.

Washington was first skeptical of the emerging bank, seeing it as a rival of the US-led World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is dominated by Japan and the US.

In a subsequent shift of tone, though, Nathan Sheets, US Treasury Under-Secretary for International Affairs, said the US “welcomed new multilateral institutions that strengthen the international financial architecture.”

The AIIB was established by China in 2014 and had an initial subscribed capital of $50 billion, which is planned to be increased to $100 billion.

Signs That 'The Elites' Are Feverishly Preparing For Something Big

Tyler Durden's picture
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/17/2015 21:45 -0400
Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

What in the world are the elite up to?  In recent days, we have learned that the New York Fed is moving a lot of operations to Chicago because of concerns about what a “natural disaster” could do, the federal government is buying 62 million rounds of ammunition commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles for “training” purposes, and NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne Mountain because it is “EMP-hardened”.  In addition, government authorities have scheduled a whole host of unusual “training exercises” all over the nation.  So are the elite doing all of this in order to prepare for something really BIG, or should we just chalk up all of this strange activity to rampant government paranoia?

First, let’s talk about what the New York Fed has been doing.  What kind of natural disaster would be bad enough to completely shut down the operations of the New York Federal Reserve Bank?  It would have to be something very unusual, and apparently the New York Fed is very concerned that such an event could happen.  According to Reuters, the New York Fed has been transferring personnel to Chicago and building up its satellite office there just in case a “natural disaster” makes it impossible for normal operations to continue in New York…

The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago. Some market technicians have transferred from New York and others were hired at the office housed in the Chicago Fed, according to several people familiar with the build-out that began about two years ago, after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan. Officials believe the Chicago staffers can now handle all of the market operations that are done daily out of the New York Fed, which is the U.S. central bank’s main conduit to Wall Street. This seems very odd.

In all of U.S. history, there has never been a natural disaster in New York City that would have been bad enough to totally shut down the operations of the New York Fed for an extended period of time. So why are they so concerned? Well, I can think of one event that could cause such a disruption… An east coast tsunami.

This is something that I wrote about in this article.  But other than that, it is hard to imagine a natural disaster which could shut down the New York Fed for an extended period of time.

Another very odd thing that we learned about this week is an absolutely massive purchase by the government of ammunition that is commonly used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.  The following comes from an article by Paul Joseph Watson…The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase over 62 million rounds of ammo typically used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, just weeks after the ATF was forced to back down on a ban on M855 bullets. A posting on this week reveals that the DHS is looking to contract with a company to provide 12.6 million rounds of .223 Remington ammunition per year for a period of five years – totaling 62.5 million bullets. The solicitation explains that the purchase is intended, “to achieve price savings over the current .223 Rem duty ammunition.” The bullets will be used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nationwide for “training” purposes.

Why in the world would U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nationwide need such a massive amount of ammunition for “training” purposes?

That seems very odd. Something else that seems very strange is the fact that NORAD is moving back into Cheyenne mountain after all these years…It shut down nearly ten years ago as the threat from Russia seemed to subside, but this week the Pentagon announced that Cheyenne Mountain will once again be home to the most advanced tracking and communications equipment in the United States military. The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said. The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command. Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that ‘because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.’

So the U.S. military is concerned about an EMP attack all of a sudden? Have they been reading The Economic Collapse Blog? Spending 700 million dollars to move back inside a mountain just because it is “EMP-hardened” is a pretty big deal. Do they know something that we don’t? On top of everything else, we have been seeing lots of strange “training exercises” being scheduled all over the nation recently.

For example, the following is from a news story about one being held in IowaThis week you may notice extra emergency vehicles and public safety officers running around in tactical gear, Hazmat suits, and bomb suits. It’s a part of a statewide drill Des Moines is hosting Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare emergency personnel for dealing with weapons of mass destruction. Brian O’Keefe with the Des Moines Fire Department said emergency officials in Iowa need to be prepared for anything. “You know we’re number one seed producer with corn and soy, chicken embryo development, middle of the country heartland. So I’m sure all states access it. But we’re a target like any other large community,” said O’Keefe. And here is an excerpt form a news story about an exercise known as “Northern Exposure” that is being held in MichiganThe National Guard event is called Northern Exposure, which is taking place across Michigan during the month of June, he said. According to the Michigan National Guard website, Northern Exposure is “a major exercise in Michigan where the military provides defense support to civilian authorities.”  In addition, the U.S. military will be conducting some “unusual” training activity out in Arizona and CaliforniaIf you see some unusual helicopters overhead in the next couple of days, there’s nothing to worry about.

The I Marine Expeditionary Force G-7 will be conducting a Realistic Military Training this week, using the Prescott Municipal Airfield as a helicopter refueling point in order to facilitate a Long Range Raid at Camp Navajo, Arizona. This Certification Exercise (CERTEX) is directed to be conducted from April 8-21, 2015 at various training locations throughout California and Arizona. The training at Prescott will take place on April 15, 16. All of this is in addition to the exercise that people have really been buzzing about.  It is called “Jade Helm”, and in this particular “unconventional warfare exercise”, the states of Texas and Utah will be designated as “hostile territory”

“Jade Helm is a challenging eight-week joint military and Interagency (IA) Unconventional Warfare (UW) exercise conducted throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado,” according to an unclassified military document announcing the training drill, which runs from July 15 through September 15.  Multiple branches of the US military, including Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division, will participate in the 8-week long exercise, which may result in “increased aircraft in the area at night.”  Troops will be tasked with honing advanced skills in “large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities,” and will work alongside “civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues.”

 The exercise, in which some participants will be “wearing civilian clothes and driving civilian vehicles,” lists Texas and Utah as “hostile” territory. Should we be alarmed by these exercises? Some people sure think so. Another thing that has people scratching their heads are the weird closures of Wal-Mart stores all over the nation for supposed “plumbing problems”… Not just one, but five Walmart stores across the U.S. are closing their doors due to plumbing problems that, in some cases, will take four to six months to repair. Those closing include locations in Livingston and Midland, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and near Los Angeles. For the Brandon Walmart, I talked to Hillsborough County and Walmart to get answers about why these plumbing repairs will take so long and whether the issues are connected, but local customers are already skeptical.

 “Why is it just plumbing problems? It’s gonna take them six months to fix up the store?” asked customer John Mambrl. Yes, is it really going to take them six months to fix the toilets? Either someone at Wal-Mart is extremely incompetent, or there is something fishy going on here. In the end, perhaps there is nothing to any of this.

Perhaps all of these examples are just unrelated coincidences. But then again, perhaps not.


China-led infrastructure bank - ‘indication of de-dollarization that makes US unhappy’

Published time: March 25, 2015 15:00

China's President Xi Jinping (front row 8th R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (Reuters / Takaki Yajima)

The US was forced to change its mind over cooperating with the China-led development bank after its allies refused to join a boycott, which is a sign that dollar hegemony is not lasting, Lew Rockwell, chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute told RT.

The US intends to cooperate with a new global development fund spearheaded by China. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established last year and is aimed to support the development of Asian economies. Six European countries including Germany have already signed up. The China-led bank will have an initial fund of $50 billion dollars which is expected to double.

RT: The US is now willing to work with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, through the IMF and World Bank. Why has Washington changed its mind?

Lew Rockwell: Because they were forced to, because so many US allies were not going along with their demand that everybody boycott the bank. It is just another indication of the increasing de-dollarization of the world economy which of course makes the US very unhappy. As we know the US responded to all of this by shooting off Minuteman III missile that could carry five nuclear warheads and saying [that] the whole world should realize that the US can target with this sort of horrendous weapon any place on the planet.

That wasn’t long after Saddam Hussein discussed Iraq going to a gold standard that the US went to war against him; same with Libya. The US doesn’t like anybody doing anything outside of the dollar hegemony. But the dollar hegemony isn’t lasting. And I think that this Chinese bank – even though I’m not a big fan of these sorts of institutions in general because it is a competition for the World Bank and the IMF which are Washington DC based institutions controlled by the US - is a very good thing because we don’t want a world government. Decentralization is always much better for human freedom and human flourishing. The idea of having world hegemony, world government running everything which has been US’s ambition since at least WWII is a very frightening and awful thing.

This is a small step but it is a very good step that this bank is coming to existence against the US’s explicit wishes and all kinds of private blackmailing, I’m told, as well and to try to keep other countries going along with that - it didn’t work. It is quite a wonderful thing that this is happening, and they must be grinding their teeth in the State Department, but it is good for the world. It’s good for Americans too, by the way. It is not good for the American people to have the US government lead the world government either because it treats us all like colonists and peons just like it does in the rest of the world.

RT: Countries like the US and Japan worry that China is using this institution to extend its influence in the region. What exactly are Beijing's goals here?

LR: I think China after the horrendous period of Mao’s communism, all the starvation, all the unbelievable poverty and oppression, concentration camps, and so forth, is coming into the sun. With the capitalist economy, much more freedom, they are becoming much more powerful economically- that is a good thing. In America we love getting Chinese goods: the prices are right, the quality is great. This is true all over the world. So why not celebrate this unbelievable, magnificent step in human freedom out of the darkness of communism into the light of at least pretty much capitalism. It’s not a free market but it’s much, much freer than it used to be.

AFP Photo / Saul Loeb

AFP Photo / Saul Loeb

But this is typical unfortunately in history when you have a declining empire, like the US Empire, it gets very, very upset about a rising power like China. Because Japan is also in decline. Japan and the US are upset… I remember once when the US official said [that] they wanted to prevent China from having influence in the South China Sea. It is like China saying “We want to prevent the US from having influence in the Gulf of Mexico.” Good luck with that! So I think these are very good developments. It’s unfortunate that Japan is going along with the US, but of course the US militarily occupies Japan. It’s got all kinds of nuclear weapons in Japan, all kinds of troops, planes, and ships. Japan I guess feels they have to go along.

But this sort of structure is coming to an end. I think we’re not going to have world government anymore; we are not going to have the power able to exert its influence all over the world like the US, its military influence. Chinese influence tends to be economic influence. That is all to the good. Let us have more China-made goods, more great prices, let all the world trade together. Then we will have much less chance of this horrendous wars that the US is engaging in all the time and threatening even worse stuff against Russia, against China - the only two major powers in the World that are not controlled by the US.

RT: There's already the Asian Development Bank that aims to facilitate economic development of Asian countries. Why do we need another bank for that?

LR: The current Asian Development Bank is just a subsidiary of the US government that is why there is a need for another one. Although, again, I don’t think government in so-called investment of this sort is actually a good thing for the world. But given that these things exist its better that they be decentralized; they are not just be one, better that there would be many. The Asian Development Bank is just the Obama bank, the John Kerry bank; it’s the Goldman Sachs bank, and so forth. That is all American, Wall Street and US government institution. It is a good idea to have something separate. I know that is a very strange idea to have Asian Development Bank controlled by Asians- that is kind of, you know, a crazy idea. But for some reason the Chinese would like to have that happen.

Anti-Russian propaganda is ‘unconvincing’, because Western narrative is false

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found at

Published time: March 23, 2015 15:00

Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch

You really couldn’t make it up. Almost 24 million people in the EU are unemployed. The Greek debt crisis has yet to be resolved. An Islamic State terrorist attack in Tunis, just over 100 miles from Italy. The ever-worsening problem of climate change.

And what are the EU elite talking about? How best to counter ‘Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns’. It’s good to know they’ve got their priorities right, isn‘t it?

At last week’s summit in Brussels, EU leaders discussed a range of options- one of which could include the setting up of a new Russian-language TV channel funded by European taxpayers.

A timetable has been laid out: we’re told the EU-funded European Endowment for Democracy will present media proposals to a summit in Latvia on May 21-22, and that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will finalize the plans by the end of June.

This follows on from Members of the European Parliament passing a resolution in January urging the EU to counter Russian ‘propaganda’.

“The EU and its member states have been concerned for some time about Russian propaganda, and about the fact that the counter-argument coming from the EU often seems to be poorly focused and unconvincing,” according to the BBC website.

Well, that BBC report is right, because the “counter-argument” which comes from the EU and the US is certainly “unconvincing”.

Reuters / Michael Dalder

Reuters / Michael Dalder

But it’s “unconvincing” not because of presentation flaws, or because insufficient money was put into “selling” the message, but because the dominant Western narrative on Russia and the Russian “threat” is false, and anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see that it’s false.

That’s the basic problem that those seeking to push this narrative have. Setting up a new European TV channel, or giving money to ex-Soviet Republics to set up their own Russian-language channels to fight Russian “propaganda”, won’t remedy it.

“The Russian threat to the west”? You only have to look at a map of Europe and see how NATO has expanded eastwards since the demise of the Soviet Union to realize who is threatening whom.

“Russia is a dangerous aggressor which needs to be stopped.” This is truly risible. By any objective assessment it’s the US and its allies who are the dangerous aggressors. Was it Russia which invaded Iraq in 2003, falsely claiming it had WMDs? Or Russia which bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days and nights in 1999? Or Russia which attacked Libya in 2011, helping to destroy a country which had the highest living standards in Africa? Or is it Russia which has killed up to 200 children in Pakistan in drone strikes since 2004?

“Russia is to blame for the Ukraine crisis.” Again, one only has to spend a few minutes on this topic to realize that this claim is nonsense too - it was the EU and US who caused the crisis, by sponsoring and supporting a “regime change” against a legitimate, democratically-elected government.

Just imagine if Russia had interfered in the same way in Canada! But the EU and US do it in Ukraine, and somehow Russia is to blame.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine”, again, a load of hogwash. If Russian had invaded Ukraine, we would certainly know about it by now. It’s hard to keep up with the number of false reports of “Russian tanks in Ukraine” we’ve had: here’s two more for the collection from February.

Russia‘s annexation of Crimea”, well, Crimea would still be part of Ukraine today had it not been for the Western-sponsored coup which toppled the legal government of the country. Crimea was only handed to the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 and the majority Russian population of Crimea unsurprisingly voted to return to their motherland after the coup in which far-right anti-Russian extremists played a leading role.

As to the rubbishing of the referendum in which the people of Crimea exercised their democratic rights to rejoin Russia, the best response I read was from the British journalist Peter Hitchens:

“I have spent much of the weekend wheezing with helpless mirth at the efforts of members of my trade to disapprove of two things they’ve spent their lives applauding – democracy and self-determination. They have to do this because on this occasion they operate in favor of Russia, a country on which we must all (for some reason) look down with cold sneers on our faces.”

What we’ve been fed in the West about the Ukraine conflict is lies, lies and more lies, and we‘ve witnessed, as Hitchens notes, elite hypocrisy on a massive scale. A crisis caused by the EU and the US’s regime-change activities in a country bordering Russia is blamed on Russia. Russia, threatened by NATO’s eastward expansion, is portrayed as a “threat.” Countries that have committed serial aggression against other sovereign states in recent years, leading to massive loss of life, label a country that hasn’t taken part in these crimes a “dangerous aggressor.” Lies are told and the truth is suppressed on a daily basis.

Reuters / Vincent Kessler

Reuters / Vincent Kessler

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember," writes veteran, award-winning anti-war journalist John Pilger.

“The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since World War Two is blacked out. Washington's secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.”

It doesn’t really matter how much the EU decides to spend on countering “Russian propaganda,” if the script they’re pushing is so clearly untrue, then they’re not going to convince people.

Once again, Europe is following in the footsteps of Washington. In February, Secretary of State Kerry pleaded for more funding to counter news outlets like RT. But RT’s budget is less than the budget of the US government media services and indeed the BBC’s World Service.

Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, hit the nail on the head when he told RT: ”I think the problem the US has is they have an unlimited advertising budget, but the product they’re selling is not very attractive overseas. People are tired of US interventionism; they’re tired of US exceptionalism; they’re tired of the US bombing their country… if you’re a Somalian, you don’t care about listening to a radio broadcast from the US, you just wish the US would stop bombing you.”

The EU will be making a big mistake if they can solve the problem of having “unconvincing” counter-arguments on Russia and Ukraine by throwing euro at it. An old Persian proverb tells us that “the man who speaks the truth is always at ease.” When it comes to the current propaganda war against Russia the Western elites are clearly not at ease and it’s not hard to work out why.

Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Why Britain Joining China-Led Bank Is a Sign of American Decline

Posted: 03/16/2015 4:18 pm EDT Updated: 03/17/2015 12:59 pm EDT

SINGAPORE -- Some events are epochal. The decision by Great Britain to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was one such event. It may have heralded the end of the American century and the arrival of the Asian century.

A clue to the epochal significance of this event came from a senior U.S. government official interviewed by the Financial Times. His sharp words were very telling: "We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power." No ally has been as faithful to the U.S. as the British. Only they would follow the United States into the Iraqi quagmire -- and that was only 12 years ago.

Today, that same ally has decided that history has turned a corner. The U.S. can no longer dominate world history. A new power has also arrived. The British, like most other middle powers, have decided to hedge their bets and work with China as well as the U.S. But this is also a matter of survival. If London does not serve the financial and economic interests of a rising China, it could become sidelined in the 21st century. Hence, the British have no choice but to work with China.

The petulant White House reaction was predictable. Sadly, it was also unwise. Any objective and calm assessment of the Chinese decision to launch the AIIB would show that this is a bank whose time has come. The Asian Development Bank has estimated that Asia needs to spend at least $8 trillion in infrastructure investment. The American-dominated World Bank and related institutions cannot possibly fulfill this demand. China's decision to use its reserves to boost Asian infrastructure investment was clearly welcomed in Asia. Given its spectacular success with developing world-class infrastructure in record time, China has a lot of expertise in this area. Asia needs this.

Until the British joined the AIIB, America had been publicly denying that it was discouraging countries from joining the new bank, even though it was well known that America was doing so. Australia and South Korea held back from joining the AIIB because of direct calls from Washington. Now that the British have joined, there is no reason for them to hold back any longer. America should wisely accept their decision.

Publicly, America said that it could not support the AIIB because it could only support an institution with high standards of governance. If America truly wants these high standards of governance, it should welcome the British decision to join. The British can and should lobby for the position of vice president of corporate governance at AIIB. If high British standards of the rule of law and corporate governance are embedded in the AIIB, the bank could provide a role model of a new kind of international institution.

Sadly, the American-dominated World Bank cannot serve as a model for the AIIB. It is now well known that the World Bank has served as an instrument of American foreign policy. Joe Stiglitz has documented how the World Bank punished Ethiopia at the request of private American banks, which had lost revenue on loans to Ethiopia. If the U.S. wants high standards of governance in the AIIB, it should serve as a role model and agree to relinquish control of the World Bank. It should also allow true meritocratic governance, instead of insisting that only an American can run the World Bank.

At the end of the day, this new competition between America and China to produce better multilateral institutions will be good for the world. This will be a race to the top in corporate governance, and not a race to the bottom. It does not matter whether America wins or China wins. Either way, we will see an improvement in the standards of managing institutions of global governance. In the process, the Asian people will be better off. And the Asian century will arrive faster.

**************************************************************************************                China cuts back on US debt for 5th month in a row

Published time: March 17, 2015 10:44
Edited time: March 17, 2015 14:31

Reuters / Beawiharta

China, the largest holder of US debt, has continued to cut back on US Treasuries for the fifth consecutive month, shaving $5.2 billion from its holdings between December and January. Japan is edging closer in overtaking the number one spot.

The US Treasury reported Monday that China reduced its holding from $1.244 trillion in December to $1.239 trillion in January. The fifth straight month of reductions.

Economic growth in China, which is at a 25-year low, is the most obvious explanation for the scale back. With more capital leaving mainland China, the less the government needs US dollars to keep the yuan in check.

In total, foreign central banks sold off $12.3 billion in US Treasuries in January, the fourth consecutive month of outflow.

Despite China’s pull out, overall foreign holdings increased one percent to $6.22 trillion, or just over 34 percent of total public debt. Among all foreign creditors, China and Japan own about 40 percent of US Treasuries.

Japan, the second biggest US debt owner, upped its holdings by $7.7 billion to $1.2386 trillion. Now Japan is neck-and-neck with China as the largest foreign holder of US Treasuries. HSBC Holdings forecast Japanese investors may buy up $300 billion in US Treasuries in the next two or three years.

As the Japanese yen continues to weaken under the Bank of Japan’s monetary stimulus, the demand for dollar-held assets is increasing.

“Japan should be on the path, from a Treasury perspective, to becoming a much bigger holder just because of what’s going on in their market and because they’re the kinds of investors that would invest across different markets,” Aaron Kohli, an interest-rate strategist at BNP Paribas in New York, told Bloomberg News.

Belgium, the third largest owner after China and Japan, increased its share to $354.6 billion, a $19.6 billion increase since December.

US debt is becoming a safer more attractive option compared to Europe, where near-zero interest rates and stimulus plans threaten to stifle bond yields.

While Europe pursues a loose monetary policy, the US is getting ready to tighten with an expected interest rate rise this year.


Keep IMF and World Bank instruments of US policy, Treasury chief urges Congress

Published time: March 17, 2015 22:31

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

For every dollar the US spends in the IMF, four dollars are leveraged from other members, the Treasury secretary told Congress, urging lawmakers to approve a reform bill or risk losing “international credibility and influence.”

Facing the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew testified as to the importance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to US economic and political influence around the world.

Our investments in these institutions promote our strategic interests and international stability,” Lew told lawmakers. “Every dollar of our participation leverages four more from other member countries.”

These other members have been asking for more representation in the IMF, an institution originally established at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. In 2010, its 188 member states adopted a package of reforms that would distribute influence more evenly, while keeping the IMF under the effective control of Washington. However, Congress has refused to approve the agreement. Earlier this year, the fund’s executive board decided to explore ways to move ahead without US approval by June 30.

Proponents of the reform have pointed out that it would only reduce the US share of control over the IMF board from 16.75 percent to 16.5. Any amendments to the fund’s policies or operations require 85 percent of the board vote, meaning Washington would continue to have a de facto vote.

Through the IMF, the US gets to decide how to spend other people’s money. The IMF amplifies Washington’s influence. A deal to expand the IMF further is about as close to a free lunch for America as it gets,” wrote Brett House in Quartz magazine last month.

The Treasury’s warnings come as a number of Washington’s European allies expressed interest in a new international investment bank created by Beijing last year. London recently said that it would join the $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with major European states following suit despite protests from Washington.

International financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank “effectively leverage our limited resources in service of our national and global interests,” Lew told the lawmakers. If the IMF decides to proceed without US approval, the result would be “a loss of US influence and our ability to shape international norms and practices,” he said.

However, the Congressional committee seemed far more interested in asking Lew about Hillary Clinton’s emails, since he served as one of her deputies at the State Department between January 2009 and November 2010.

Lew countered that he primarily dealt with Clinton through phone calls and meetings, and that he did not remember which address the emails came from. “I don’t remember giving it a lot of thought,” he said. “It was a long time ago.”


"Colossal Defeat" For Obama As Australia Joins China's Regional Bank

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2015 23:15 -0400 

Having attacked its "closest ally" UK for "constant accomodation" with China, we suspect President Obama will be greatly displeased at yet another close-ally's decision to partner up with the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As The Australian reports, "make no mistake," the decision by Australia's Abbott government to sign on for negotiations to join China’s regional bank, foreshadowed by Tony Abbott at the weekend,  "represents a colossal defeat for the Obama administration’s incompetent, distracted, ham-fisted dip­lomacy in Asia."

As The Australian's Greg Sheridan writes Op-Ed,

The decision by the Abbott government to sign on for negotiations to join China’s regional bank, foreshadowed by Tony Abbott at the weekend, represents another defeat for Barack Obama’s diplomacy in Asia.

The Abbott government is right to make this decision. It had well-founded concerns about the vague and unsatisfactory governance arrangements of the institution when Beijing first invited Canberra to join.

Those arrangements have ­improved since then and Australia is only signing on to negotiate terms of accession.

 If the terms are no good, Australia will ultimately walk away.

 Canberra’s move follows similar decisions by Britain, Singapore, India and New Zealand.

 Make no mistake — all this represents a colossal defeat for the Obama administration’s incompetent, distracted, ham-fisted dip­lomacy in Asia.

The Obama administration didn’t want Australia to sign up for the China-led AIIB. The Abbott government rightly feels that it owes Obama nothing.

Obama went out of his way to embarrass the Prime Minister politically on climate change with a rogue speech at the G20 summit in Brisbane.

 The speech had been billed as dealing with American leadership in Asia and instead was full of ­material designed to embarrass Abbott.

 Since then, the Abbott government has felt absolutely zero subjective good will for Obama.

 This is an outlook shared by many American allies.

 It’s important to get all the distinctions right here.

 The Abbott government operates foreign policy in Australia’s national interest.

 That includes full fidelity to the American ­alliance and to supporting US strategic leadership.

 But the Obama administration has neither the continuous presence, nor the tactical wherewithal nor the store of goodwill or personal relationships to carry Canberra, or other allies, on non-essential matters.

The Obama administration has tried to convince both its friends and ­allies not to join the China Bank.

This was probably a bad call in itself, but, as so often with the Obama administration, it was a bad call badly implemented.

The characteristically bad implementation has helped shred Obama’s diplomatic credibility.

The Chinese have been the US’s best friends in Asia, diplomatically. Their territorial aggressiveness in the East and South China Seas has driven Asia to embrace America’s security role more tightly than ever.

The American military are now the best American diplomats in Asia by far.

Such prestige as the US enjoys in Asia these days rests disproportionately on the shoulders of the US military.

Obama has neglected and mistreated allies and as a result Washington has much less influence than previously.

The saga of the China Bank is almost a textbook case of the failure of Obama’s foreign policy.

*  *  *As we have detailed recently, Australia is in trouble economically and its pivot to China makes perfect self-preservation sense... as Sheridan notes:

Obama treats allies shabbily and as a result he loses influence with them and then seems perpetually surprised at this outcome.

The Asian professionals in Washington regard the Obama administration as particularly ineffective in Asia.

The consensus is that the Obama White House is insular, isolated, inward-looking, focused on the President’s personal image and ineffective in foreign policy.

* * *De-dollarization continues... As Simon Black recently concluded, now we can see words are turning into action...

Britain and Australia might be too polite to tell the US straight up– “Look, you have $18.1 trillion in official debt, you have $42 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and you’re kind of a dick. I’m dumping you.”

So instead they’re going with the “it’s not you, it’s me” approach.

But to anyone paying attention, it’s pretty obvious where this trend is going.

It won’t be long before other western nations jump on the anti-dollar bandwagon with action and not just words.

*  *  *Bottom line: this isn’t theory or conjecture anymore. Every shred of objective evidence suggests that the dollar’s dominance is coming to an end.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

End of the Dollar as Global Reserve Currency? | China Has Announced Plans For A ‘World Currency’

Source - The Economic CollapseThe Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer.  Chinese leaders have been calling for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the primary global reserve currency for a long time, but up until now they have never been very specific about what they would put in place of it.  Many have assumed that the Chinese simply wanted some new international currency to be created.  But what if that is not what the Chinese had in mind?  

What if they have always wanted their own currency to become the single most dominant currency on the entire planet? 

What you are about to see is rather startling, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. When it comes to economics and finance, the Chinese have always been playing chess while the western world has been playing checkers.  Sadly, we have gotten to the point where checkmate is on the horizon. On Wednesday, I came across an excellent article by Simon Black.  What he had to say in that article just about floored me…
When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard—and it floored me.
The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”
Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.
It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas,and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.
This is the photograph of that billboard that he posted with his article…

Chinese World Currency
Everyone knows that China is rising.

And most everyone has assumed that Chinese currency would soon play a larger role in international trade.
But things have moved so rapidly in recent years that now a very large chunk of the financial world actually expects the renminbi to replace the dollar as the primary reserve currency of the planet someday. 

           The following comes from CNBC
The tightly controlled Chinese yuan will eventually supersede the dollar as the top international reserve currency, according to a new poll of institutional investors.
The survey of 200 institutional investors – 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it – published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency.
Optimism was higher within China, where 62 percent said they saw a redback world on the horizon, compared with 43 percent outside China.
And without a doubt we are starting to see the beginnings of a significant shift.
Just consider this excerpt from a recent Reuters report
China’s yuan broke into the top five as a world payment currency in November, overtaking the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, global transaction services organization SWIFT said on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar won’t be replaced overnight, but things are changing.
Of course the truth is that the Chinese have been preparing for this for a very long time.  The Chinese refuse to tell the rest of the world exactly how much gold they have, but everyone knows that they have been accumulating enormous amounts of it.  And even if they don’t explicitly back the renminbi with gold, the massive gold reserves that China is accumulating will still give the rest of the planet a great deal of confidence in Chinese currency.
But don’t just take my word for it.  Consider what Alan Greenspan has had to say on the matter…
Alan Greenspan, who served at the helm of the Federal Reserve for nearly two decades, recently penned an op-ed for the Council on Foreign Relations discussing gold and its possible role in China, the world’s second-largest economy. He notes that if China converted only a “relatively modest part of its $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves into gold, the country’s currency could take on unexpected strength in today’s international financial system.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese have also been accumulating a tremendous amount of U.S. debt.  At this point, the Chinese own approximately 1.3 trillion dollars worth of our debt, and that gives them a lot of power over our currency and over our financial system.
Someday if the Chinese wanted to undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar and in the U.S. financial system, they have a lot of ammunition at their disposal.
And it isn’t just all of that debt that gives China leverage.  In recent years, the Chinese have been buying up real estate, businesses and energy assets all over the United States at a staggering pace.  For a small taste of what has been taking place, check out the YouTube video posted below…
For much, much more on this trend, please see the following articles…
On a purchasing power basis, the size of the Chinese economy has already surpassed the size of the U.S. economy.
And there are lots of signs of trouble ahead for the U.S. economy at this point.  I like how Brandon Smith put it in one recent article…
We are only two months into 2015, and it has already proven to be the most volatile year for the economic environment since 2008-2009. We have seen oil markets collapsing by about 50 percent in the span of a few months (just as the Federal Reserve announced the end of QE3, indicating fiat money was used to hide falling demand), the Baltic Dry Index losing 30 percent since the beginning of the year, the Swiss currency surprise, the Greeks threatening EU exit (and now Greek citizens threatening violent protests with the new four-month can-kicking deal), and the effects of the nine-month-long West Coast port strike not yet quantified. This is not just a fleeting expression of a negative first quarter; it is a sign of things to come.
In addition, things continue to look quite bleak for Europe.  Once upon a time, many expected the euro to overtake the U.S. dollar as the primary global reserve currency, but that didn’t happen.  And in recent months the euro has been absolutely crashing.  On Wednesday, it hit the lowest point that we have seen against the dollar in more than a decade
The euro last stood at $1.1072, off 0.90 percent for the day and below a key support level, Sutton said. It fell to as little as $1.1066, which was the lowest level for the euro against the dollar since September 2003, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The euro also declined to one-month lows against the Japanese yen, which was flat against the dollar at 119.72 yen to the dollar.
As the U.S. and Europe continue to struggle, China is going to want a significantly larger role on the global stage.
And as the billboard in Thailand suggests, they are more than willing to step up to the plate.


US anger at Britain joining Chinese-led investment bank AIIB

US statement says of UK membership that it is ‘worried about a trend of constant accommodation’ of China, in a rare public breach in the special relationship

Geoerge Osborne on a 2013 trade visit to China. The chancellor has been a keen backer of closer economic ties.
Geoerge Osborne on a 2013 trade visit to China. The chancellor has been a keen backer of closer economic ties. Photograph: Rex Features/Rex Features

, and

Friday 13 March 2015 00.12 GMT Last modified on Friday 13 March 2015 08.03 GMT

The White House has issued a pointed statement declaring it hopes and expects the UK will use its influence to ensure that high standards of governance are upheld in a new Chinese-led investment bank that Britain is to join.

In a rare public breach in the special relationship, the White House signalled its unease at Britain’s decision to become a founder member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) by raising concerns about whether the new body would meet the standards of the World Bank.

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The $50bn (£33.5bn) bank, which is designed to provide infrastructure funds to the Asia-Pacific region, is viewed with great suspicion by Washington officials, who see it as a rival to the World Bank. They believe Beijing will use the bank to extend its soft power in the region.

The White House statement reads: “This is the UK’s sovereign decision. We hope and expect that the UK will use its voice to push for adoption of high standards.”

George Osborne – who has discussed the decision to become a founder member of the investment bank with his US counterpart, Jack Lew – has been the driving force behind developing closer economic ties between Britain and China. The chancellor has led the way in encouraging Chinese investment in the next generation of civil nuclear power plants in the UK and he ensured that the City of London would become the base for the first clearing house for the yuan outside Asia.

I think the US has had its questions about the UK posture towards China on other issues

The US administration made clear in no uncertain terms its displeasure about Osborne’s decision to join the AIIB. A US official told the Financial Times: “We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power.”

Britain was unsurprised by the decision of the US administration to air its concerns in public after the formal announcement that the UK would join the new investment bank. Sources said, in addition to the talks about British plans between the chancellor and the US treasury secretary, British and US officials have been in regular contact ahead of the announcement. UK officials say that, by joining the bank as a founding member, Britain will be able to shape the new institution.

In its statement to the Guardian, the White House national security council said: “Our position on the AIIB remains clear and consistent. The United States and many major global economies all agree there is a pressing need to enhance infrastructure investment around the world. We believe any new multilateral institution should incorporate the high standards of the World Bank and the regional development banks.

“Based on many discussions, we have concerns about whether the AIIB will meet these high standards, particularly related to governance, and environmental and social safeguards … The international community has a stake in seeing the AIIB complement the existing architecture, and to work effectively alongside the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.”

Editorial: It’s no surprise that China is promoting a solution to the shortage of infrastructure capital in Asia

Human rights groups and others have complained that the UK has become too willing to placate China – particularly in light of its muted comments over the tight restrictions set out for voting rights in Hong Kong – but Thursday’s remarks seem to be focused on the bank.

“I think the US has had its questions about the UK posture towards China on other issues and I suppose this announcement probably triggered renewed concern in Washington about overall British politics vis-à-vis China. But [we] don’t normally arbitrate these things in public and I’m a little unsure as to why the US has chosen to pick a fight with the UK on this bank at this time, because I thought it had somewhat softened its posture on the bank. It’s a bit surprising to me,” said Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Goodman said the US had legitimate questions about the AIIB when it was first announced last summer, such as the governance of the institution, its lending standards and procurement rules.

“Notwithstanding that, I think they should have been more willing to engage in discussion with China and others about the institution. There’s a big infrastructure gap in Asia, existing institutions are not filling it and China has the wherewithal to contribute on the right terms.”

Some surmised that the US was responsible when Australia backed away from signing up to the bank at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing last autumn, after widespread speculation a deal was on the cards.

“The US did reach out to Australia, Koreans and others to consult about questions and concerns, and that’s been interpreted as leaning on allies not to join the bank,” said Goodman.

As the world’s second largest economy, China has grown increasingly frustrated that it does not have more influence at the IMF and World Bank, and sees little prospect of more say regarding the Japanese-backed Asia Development Bank.

March 18th 2015   Rev-3

Subpages (1): America's Death
Mark Aldrich,
Jul 26, 2016, 1:16 AM