It was something to behold. Dmitri Medvedev, former Russian President, unrepentant Atlanticist, current deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, decided to go totally unplugged in an outburst matching the combat star turn of Mr. Khinzal that delivered palpable shock and awe all across NATOstan. Medvedev said “hellish” Western sanctions not only have failed to cripple Russia, but are instead “returning to the West like a boomerang.” Confidence in reserve currencies is “fading like the morning mist”, and ditching the US dollar and the euro is not unrealistic anymore: “The era of regional currencies is coming.” After all, he added, “no matter if they want it or not, they’ll have to negotiate a new financial order (…) And the decisive voice will then be with those countries that have a strong and advanced economy, healthy public finances and a reliable monetary system.”
On Wednesday, an “industry-led and UN-convened” alliance of private banking and financial institutions announced plans at the COP26 conference to overhaul the role of global and regional financial institutions, including the World Bank and IMF, as part of a broader plan to “transform” the global financial system. The officially stated purpose of this proposed overhaul, per alliance members, is to promote the transition to a “net zero” economy. However, the group’s proposed “reimagining” of international financial institutions, according to their recently published “progress report,” would also move to merge these institutions with the private-banking interests that compose the alliance; create a new system of “global financial governance”; and erode national sovereignty among developing countries by forcing them to establish business environments deemed “friendly” to the interests of alliance members.
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has given a great speech to the Davos 2021 online forum organized by the World Economic Forum. As usual it created little echo in the 'western' media. Putin sees a new danger of large international conflicts. Economic imbalances have caused socio-political problems in many countries which, when externalized, can lead to international conflicts. To solve this one has to reject the laissez faire doctrines that caused the economic imbalances. The nation states must intervene more in their economies. The people must be seen as the ends, not the means of such economic policy. There must be more international cooperation through global organizations to enable this everywhere.
Today, the United States is seeking to crush the Venezuelan experiment and to destroy all vestiges of the Bolivarian Revolution in the Hemisphere. The project includes securing complete control of Venezuela’s oil resources. But, in addition, the United States is committed to turning back history; decades of resistance from the Global South. Following the inspiration of the Cuban Revolution, the Bolivarian Revolution has constituted the most sustained threat to US global hegemony in the Western Hemisphere, and hence the international system. History has shown that John Bolton’s “troika of tyranny” is just the latest conceptualization coming from the Global North; a conceptualization that Professor Huntington warned of in 1976, as the “crisis of democracy;” that is, there was too much of it.
Listen to my analysis of this week’s record collapse of US and global stock markets. What’s the impact on the global and US ‘real’ economy? Is the Recession here? (Globally yes, per Goldman Sachs research announced today).
On Monday, 27 January, the South African photographer Santu Mofokeng slipped away. His camera had been a familiar presence in the anti-apartheid struggle; after years of photographing police violence and popular resistance, he tired of making ‘images bespeaking gloom, monotony, anguish, struggle, [and] oppression’, he wrote in 1993. It was then that Santu turned his camera on the life of the black working class. ‘Perhaps I was looking for something that refuses to be photographed,’ he said. ‘I was only chasing shadows, perhaps’. Those who search for the future chase shadows. When the future is bleak, you feel like shutting your eyes. In mid-January, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its flagship report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020.
The international SWIFT network banned Iranian banks from its system soon after the US imposed sanctions against the country in November 2018. The ban was preceded by Washington's threats to slap sanctions on the financial network too if it were to continue working with the Islamic Republic's financial institutions. Iranian Central Bank (CBI) head Abdolnaser Hemmati said in a statement on 18 September that the country is planning to evade American economic sanctions by switching entirely away from the dollar to national currencies in mutual trade and by bypassing SWIFT.
Over this weekend, China’s Yuan currency broke out of its band and devalued to more than 7 to $1. At the same time China announced it would not purchase more US agricultural goods. The Trump-US Neocon trade strategy has just imploded. As this writer has been predicting, the threshold has now been passed, from a tariff-trade war to a broader economic war between the US and China where other tactics and measures are now being implemented.Trump will no doubt declare that China is manipulating its currency. A devaluation of the Yuan has the effect of...
The end of America’s unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its violent regime change warfare against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions. This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent?