Monday, July 6, 2015

Wayne Madsen — Clinton, other candidates competing on hard-line stance against China, Russia: Analyst

The 2016 US presidential candidates, including Hilary Clinton, are competing against one another by using strong language against China and Russia in order to receive campaign funding from wealthy neoconservative groups, a political analyst from Virginia says.
“The way that American politics works is that the candidate with the most money almost always wins, at least at the national level,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, a website dedicated to encouraging revolt against domestic and foreign US government policies.
“The candidate that has the most money wins about 90 percent of the time,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.
“What Ms. Clinton is trying to do is stake out a position for herself as far as picking a hard-line stance against Russia and against China for the sake of gaining the financial backing of all of the neoconservative billionaire plutocrats,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of Republicans, about 15 or 20 candidates that are all trying to outdo each other in terms of how hawkish they can be on foreign policy and how tough they say they’re going to be on Iran or on Russia or whomever and Ms. Clinton is trying to get on that game as well,” he added.
Preston made the comments after Democratic presidential candidate Clinton criticized both China and Russia for threatening its neighbors and undermining American interests.....
Strategic Culture Foundation
Clinton, other candidates competing on hard-line stance against China, Russia: Analyst
Wayne Madsen

Grzegorz Kołodko — Stop The Africanization Of Greece

In the early 1990s, when Poland underwent its infamous “shock-without-therapy” – which cut national income by nearly 20 percent, pushed unemployment over three million and increased the budget deficit to 6.9 percent of GDP in 1992 – there was some talk about the “Latinization” of my country. One prominent newspaper article carried the eloquent title: “In a moment like in Chile.” Today, in a similar vein, there is the danger of the “Africanization” of Greece....
Social Journal Europe
Stop The Africanization Of Greece
Grzegorz Kołodko | Professor of Economics and Director of TIGER – Transformation, Integration, and Globalization Economic Research (www.tiger.edu.pl) at Kozminski University in Warsaw> He was a key architect of Polish economic reforms and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in 1994-7 and 2002-3.

Paul Robinson — Cheesy Liberals

If you want to know why Russian liberals languish at about one percent in the opinion polls, you have your answer right there.
These are the people that the West wants to see come to power in Russia. Actually, they are neoliberals.

Irrussianality
Paul Robinson, Professor, Graduate School of International and Public Affairs, University of Ottawa

Der Spiegel — Reaktionen auf Referendum: "Merkel muss jetzt den Grexit organisieren"


Outraged Germans want Greece out. 

This article is only in the German edition, not in the International Edition.

Spiegel Online
Reaktionen auf Referendum: "Merkel muss jetzt den Grexit organisieren"
Markus Becker

teleSUR — Pope Francis to Correa: 'You Can Always Rely on the Church'

“Mister President, you will always be able to rely on the Church to support your people who stood up with dignity,” said the Pope to the Ecuadorean leader.
Pope Francis landed at the airport of Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, on Sunday, where President Rafael Correa and other officials welcomed him. Upon leaving the plane, the pope continued his campaign to uplift the poor in his first speech, saying that as a representative of the Catholic Church, he cannot disassociate himself from the struggles of the underprivileged. “The Ecuadorean people has stood up with dignity,” he said, as Pope Francis has been holding a continued discourse of social justice toward the poor.
The Pope’s visit to the South American country comes amid a series of month-long opposition protests, which have been at times violent. The opposition took to the streets after President Correa announced two tax laws aiming to redistribution wealth....
Big shift. The Church has always remained officially non-political in Latin America, often taking criticism for it.

RT — ‘EU leaders see Syriza as threat to neo-liberal Europe’


The fight has just begun and the stakes are huge.

RT
‘EU leaders see Syriza as threat to neo-liberal Europe’

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Noah Smith — The Forsaken


Not about economics. Or maybe it is, if Marx is right about economic infrastructure being socially determinative.

Noahpinion
The forsaken
Noah Smith | Assistant Professor of Finance, Stony Brook University

Yanis Varoufakis — Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

  • Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic Europe.
  • It is a NO to the dystopic vision of a Eurozone that functions like an iron cage for its peoples.
  • It is a loud YES to the vision of a Eurozone offering the prospect of social justice with shared prosperity for all Europeans.
Yanis Varoufakis
Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

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Thanks again.
Ben

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Mike Norman Forex course videos

Warren Mosler — Greece loses the gambit

It now looks to me like Greece has lost the wrestling match.
The Center of the Universe
Greece loses the gambit

Greece
Warren Mosler

Pyrrhic victory to stay in the EZ.

Steve Keen — Time To Play Hardball Yanis

The Greek referendum has delivered a stunning victory for Syriza and its anti-austerity message. Despite the banks being closed as a result of the ECB limiting its provision of banknotes, and despite a united chorus of European leaders warning of dire consequences if the No vote succeeded, the Greeks have voted No in overwhelming numbers. The final result looks likely to be a 62% No to 38% Yes rejection of the Troika’s terms. Syriza now has overwhelming support from the Greek people to oppose the Troika (a result that opinion polls got completely wrong).
This was not a vote against the Euro—which the polls claim 75% of Greeks support (though whether the polls can be trusted on this issue is now moot)—but a vote against the austerity program that the Troika has insisted upon. So now is the time for Syriza to put an emphatic anti-austerity proposal to the Troika. Their political hand has been strengthened enormously, and they should use it.
Throughout the so-called negotiations to date, the Troika has refused to even discuss the economic impact of the program they have imposed upon Greece. Their position instead has been a simple “Ordo-Liberal” insistence that Greece must adhere to the contract it signed when it undertook the program back in May 2010. Yet there has been no Ordo-Liberal admission that this program has failed on its own terms: that the results this program promised have not been delivered.
The Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece”, penned by the European Commission and agreed to by the then Greek government, imposed harsh austerity measures with the promise that this would deliver economic growth within 2 years....
Syriza came prepared to negotiate, because it was well aware of the weaknesses of the Greek economy, and at all costs it wanted to remain inside the Euro—but it wanted a reformed Euro rather than one that was bound to austerity. Instead it entered an ideological war. And despite the fact that Syriza is in name the “Coalition of the Radical Left”, they were not the ones being ideological: the Troika was. And like all ideologues, they were unbending. They wanted austerity, and if Syriza resisted, they wanted Syriza to be thrown out of office and replaced by a more compliant party.
After Sunday’s vote, that isn’t going to happen. Syriza—and Yanis Varoufakis—aren’t going to go away....
Most Forbes readers and not going like hearing what Steve has to say.

Forbes
Time To Play Hardball Yanis
Steve Keen

Steve Randy Waldman — Banks and Greece’s bailouts

Greece’s 2010 assistance program was largely a bailout of European banks, initiated to prevent a wider banking crisis. I didn’t expect this claim, from the previous post, to be very contentious. But apparently it is, so I’ll overdocument below.....
Interfluidity
Banks and Greece’s bailouts
Steve Randy Waldman

Will Syriza end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?


After a gutsy vote by the Greek people will Dumb and Dumber (Tsipras, Varoufakis) end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

I'm hearing that Varoufakis has come out saying, "Grexit is out of the question."

What the hell is wrong with these guys?

It's like the nerd in High School, who falls in love with the Prom Queen and she agrees to go out with him. They date for a while, but all along she abuses him. The abuses grow and she's shitting on him all the time now: open, hostile, vile abuse and the dude still wants to be in love with her.

WTF, man!!! Have a little dignity.

Party Time!


Ding dong the witch is dead!

Fun continues with market futures and opening tomorrow.  Continues for next several years with neo-liberal consensus unraveling.  This I predict.

Thomas Piketty — “Germany has never repaid.”

In a forceful interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, the star economist Thomas Piketty calls for a major conference on debt. Germany, in particular, should not withhold help from Greece.
Gavin Schalliol
Thomas Piketty: “Germany has never repaid.”
This interview has been translated from the original German
ht Brad DeLong

For the umpteenth time: the U.S. CANNOT become Greece!!


How many times do we have to hear this crap from know-nothing, lazy, journalists or right wing ideologues?

Here's yet another moron, some dude named Michael D. Tanner (mtanner@cato.org, Twitter) of--where else--the Cato Institute--who who wrote this column in the rag sheet, NY Post, today, saying that we'd better be careful, because the U.S. can become the next Greece.

Most Americans look at the rerun of the Greek euro crisis with something between smug amusement and condescending disapproval. When will those profligate Greeks get their economic house in order and stop looking to others to bail them out?
But, should people living in glass economic houses really throw stones?
After all, just like Greece, the United States government has been living beyond its means, running up an enormous debt that will eventually need to be repaid.

Nothing...NOTHING...in this article that explains the MASSIVE distinction between the U.S. and Greece, the former being a currency issuer and the latter being a currency USER.

There is not one single example in all of history of a currency issuing nation that has all its debts denominated in that currency and where the currency floats freely, that was forced to involuntarily default. NONE.

Any claims to the contrary are either pure ignorance, vicious dogma or, an intentional effort to deceive or incite fear.

It's crap.

WHATEVER THE RESULT, "OXI" HAS WON


If only a hundred people vote for "OXI" in the face of such economic terrorism, in spite of narrow self-interest, those hundred people will be the yeast that will produce the bread to feed Greece. If a thousand vote for"OXI" they will be the saplings from which an olive grove will rise to provide shade and sustenance to democracy once again. If a million vote for "OXI", they will be the drops of rain that unite to fill the Mediterranean with hope and dignity again.
For the first time in many years, I feel proud to be Greek again. Not in a narrow, romantic, backward looking, nationalistic way. Not in the sense of thinking we are somehow better than others. But in a practical, present sense of thinking "we are on our way to being better than we are". Isn't that something? Isn't it everything?

If Greece votes "NO" and exits the euro and re-introduces the drachma, I am buying every Greek stock I can buy.


If Greece votes "NO" and exits the euro and re-introduces the drachma I am buying every Greek stock I can buy. Hopefully, the initial reaction will be a sharp selloff, so this way I can get them at a huge discount.

After Argentina broke the dollar peg and went back to the peso in 2002, the Argentine stock market proceeded on a 1500% advance over the next two years. It was the best performing stock market in the world.

I don't believe in all the gloom and doomers who say that going back to the drachma will be the equivalent of "out of the frying pan and into the fire."

The fire--the HELL--has been the euro and austerity. I am not saying that everything will immediately turn rosy for Greece. Not at all. There will be a period of acute suffering, but then things will normalize and get much better. They will be free of all that crushing debt and austerity.

The financial markets will be discounting this and moving higher.

Anyway, that's what I think and I am going to put my money where my mouth is.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Deirdre Fulton — TISA Leaks Part Deux: More Evidence of Concerted Attack on Democracy

One day after it leaked a trove of documents related to the massive, pro-corporate Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), WikiLeaks on Thursday published another four chapters of the proposed 52-nation trade deal, covering key areas ahead of the next negotiating round on Monday.
As with Wednesday's documents, Thursday's batch of texts reveals "a concerted attempt to place restrictions on the ability of participating governments to regulate services sectors, even where regulations are necessary to protect the privacy of domestic populations, the natural environment or the integrity of public services," WikiLeaks declares.
Combined with Wednesday's revelations, this week's leaks underscore how TISA "responds to major corporate lobbies’ desire to deregulate services," trade expert Deborah James, of the Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network and the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote on Thursday. "This leak exposes the corporate aim to use TISA to further limit the public interest regulatory capacity of democratically elected governments."....
More evidence that neoliberal capitalism is antithetical to democracy.

Common Dreams
TISA Leaks Part Deux: More Evidence of Concerted Attack on Democracy
Deirdre Fulton

Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood — Capitalist dispossession and new justifications of slavery

Discussions of migration are becoming increasingly dystopian. Based upon either exclusion or exploitation, new neoliberal arguments for open borders are not about freedom, but institutionalised domination.
Open borders where migrants agree to be come essentially slave labor. The new slavery. Such a deal.
....a new ‘economic’ argument has entered the debate. Recently put forward by Chicago University law professor Eric Posner and economist Glen Weyl, and pitched to the World Bank, this is a ‘pro-slavery’ argument for the free movement of unfree labour. An echo of their argument is heard in the suggestion by Italian interior minister, Algelino Alfano, that migrants should be made to work for free....
Wouldn't you know. University of Chicago stuff. You have to read it to believe it.

Maybe they should run it by Pope Francis and see what he thinks.

OpenDemocracy
Capitalist dispossession and new justifications of slavery
Gurminder K. Bhambra and John Holmwood

Glenn Greenwald — NSA’s Top Brazilian Political and Financial Targets Revealed by New WikiLeaks Disclosure

Top secret data from the National Security Agency, shared with The Intercept by WikiLeaks, reveals that the U.S. spy agency targeted the cellphones and other communications devices of more than a dozen top Brazilian political and financial officials, including the country’s president Dilma Rousseff, whose presidential plane’s telephone was on the list. President Rousseff just yesterday returned to Brazil after a trip to the U.S. that included a meeting with President Obama, a visit she had delayed for almost two years in anger over prior revelations of NSA spying on Brazil.
That Rousseff’s personal cell phone was successfully targeted by NSA spying was previously reported in 2013 by Fantastico, a program on the Brazilian television network Globo Rede. That revelation – along with others exposing NSA mass surveillance on hundreds of millions of Brazilians, and the targeting of the country’s state-owned oil company Petrobras and its Ministry of Mines and Energy – caused a major rupture in relations between the two nations. But Rouseff is now suffering from severe domestic weakness as a result of various scandals and a weak economy, and apparently could no longer resist the perceived benefits of a high-profile state visit to Washington.
But these new revelations extend far beyond the prior ones and are likely to reinvigorate tensions. Beyond Rousseff, the new NSA target list includes some of Brazil’s most important political and financial figures, such as the Finance Ministry’s Executive Secretary Nelson Barbosa; Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva, a top official with Brazil’s Central Bank; Luiz Eduardo Melin de Carvalho e Silva, former Chief of Staff to the Finance Minister; the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s chief of economics and finance, Luis Antônio Balduíno Carneiro; former Foreign Affairs Minister and Ambassador to the U.S. Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado; and Antonio Palocci, who formerly served as both Dilma’s Chief of Staff and Finance Minister under former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Most notable about the list, published simultaneously by WikiLeaks, is the predominance of officials responsible for Brazil’s financial and economic matters (last four digits of the listed telephone numbers are redacted; click to enlarge):...
The shoes continue to drop. Brazil ripped. US elite apoplectic.

The Intercept
NSA’s Top Brazilian Political and Financial Targets Revealed by New WikiLeaks Disclosure
Glenn Greenwald

Alexrpt — Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis denies FT report of bank haircuts, calling the report “malicious”


Neoliberal mouthpiece FT sewing FUD.

Red Pill Times
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis denies FT report of bank haircuts, calling the report “malicious”
Alexrpt

Michael Hudson — On the Delphi Declaration

Many readers of the European and American press must be confused about what actually is happening in the negotiations between Greece (Alexis Tsipras and Yannis Varoufakis). The European Troika (the IMF, European Central Bank and European Council now object to the name and want to be called simply “the Institutions”) have stepped up their demands on Syriza. What is called “negotiation” is in reality a demand for total surrender. The Troika’s demand is to force Syriza to go back on the campaign promises that it made to voters who replaced the old right-wing Pasok (“socialist”) and Conservative New Democracy coalition, or else simply apply the austerity program to which that coalition had agreed:cutbacks in pensions, deeper austerity, more privatization selloffs, and a tax shift off business onto labor. In short, economic suicide. 
Last weekend a group of us met in Delphi to discuss and draft the following Declaration of Support for Greece against the neoliberal Institutions. It is now clear that finance is the new mode of warfare. The creditors’ objective is the same as military conquest: they want the land, the natural resource rights and monopolies, and they want tribute (in this case, debt service). And they don’t want sovereign Greece to tax the economic rent from these assets. In short, the negotiation between The Institutions and Greece is a bold exercise in rent extraction....
Counterpunch
On the Delphi DeclarationMichael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City

Raúl Ilargi Meijer — This Is Why The Euro Is Finished

Look, it’s simple, the euro is finished. It won’t survive the unmitigated scandal that Greece has become. Greece is not the victim of its own profligacy, it’s the victim of a structure that makes it possible to unload the losses of the big countries’ failing financial systems onto the shoulders of the smaller. There’s no way Greece could win.
The damned lies and liars and statistics that come with all this are merely the cherry on the euro cake. It’s done. Stick a fork in it.
The smaller, poorer, countries in the eurozone need to get out while they can, and as fast as they can, or they will find themselves saddled with ever more losses of the richer nations as the euro falls apart. The structure guarantees it.
I agree that this crisis has finished the euro but it probably won't finish it off yet. But the seeds are now laid and inevitable crises in the future will recall the Greek experience that was riddled with duplicity, hidden agendas, malfeasance, and pervasive non-professionalism if not crime in the major EZ institutions right at the top. Trust has evaporated, and it cannot be regained without replacing the people responsible and revising the institutions upon which the EZ is based. 

That will not happen if the upshot of the financial crisis in the United States is any indication, and I suspect Wall Street is a paradigm case in a neoliberal order controlled by vested interests. The US financial industry was not significantly reformed in the US and most of the perpetrators remain in place, even after felony charges against principal institutions, but not the officers responsible for establishing a criminogenic environment and running a control fraud. London's answer was even more bizarre, basically declaring the City a free zone. Based on such precedent, it can be expected that the situation in the EZ will not change substantially other than the mortal wounding of the institutions in charge of administering it.

It will likely take at least one more crisis in both the US and the EZ to prompt significant change will be painful for many. It will be avoided as long as possible. But world events are conspiring against domination of the system by the West, which has become rotten at the core, run in the interest of the tops thousandth percent of the population and their minions and cronies, with crumbs for the rest. The top thousandth percent is fast pulling ahead of the rest of the top 1%, which is creating dissatisfaction with distribution at the top of the income and wealth accumulation chain.

This means that the future is increasingly uncertain, and whatever happens in Greece won't have much bearing on it globally. The role of Greece has been as the canary in the coal mine, and now it is clear that the oxygen in the system is running low.

The Automatic Earth
This Is Why The Euro Is Finished
Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Brian Romanchuk — The Limitations Of Economic Theory In The Current Environment

Economic theory provides a framework to think about economic events, but I have limited hope that theoretical models can provide highly accurate forecasts for the near term. I believe that most academic economists would take such a view as being unremarkable, but this is not the case in market economic analysis. The financial media wants economists to have strongly held point forecasts about what will happen to the economy within the next few months, and once again, demand creates its own supply. Using a somewhat novel economic theory helps economists with their branding, which leads some to attempt to stretch the predictive power of their preferred theories to the limits.
Bond Economics
The Limitations Of Economic Theory In The Current Environment
Brian Romanchuk

Friday, July 3, 2015

teleSUR — Ecuador Government Reveals More Details on Opposition Violence

Ecuador’s Justice Minister provided further details on the violent attacks by opponents of the government that took place on Thursday night during protests in the nation's capital. 
The violence followed revelations that the right-wing opposition supporters, in collaboration with former Chief of Military Intelligence, were seeking to use Thursday's protests as cover to take over the presidential palace as part of actions that also included blockading the nation's major airports, as well as the bridges located on the Colombian and Peruvian borders....
The Minister said that despite attempts by the right-wing to force out the Correa government “we will continue in this process of change in the country” In recent weeks, a wave of opposition protests, initially only calling for the ending of new tax laws on the wealthiest, have increasingly turned violent, with many demanding the ousting of the Correa government. President Correa announced June 15 the temporary withdrawal of the tax laws and the start of a national dialogue on the future of the Ecuadorean economy.
teleSUR
Ecuador Government Reveals More Details on Opposition Violence

teleSUR spoke to some of the thousands of people who filled the plaza, to support the government of President Rafael Correa in the face of right-wing destabilization attempts. Michelle Moreano told teleSUR English, "Coup plotters will not come near us. This is something that was planned a long time ago. President Correa already knew about this. And we are the people here defending this revolution, defending what is ours, principally what are the inheritance and capital gains laws.
Because this does not affect the middle class. It is only 2% of the population." Government supporter Moises Obando told teleSUR English, “The opposition will never be able to break through these barriers which we, the Ecuadorean people, have put up. They are against millions of Ecuadoreans who support this process of the Citizen's Revolution. This is a government which has served the interests of the poorest, of the oppressed, and of the popular classes."

Meanwhile, leaders of the opposition such as Mayor of Guayaquil Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Quito Mauricio Rodas and head of the Azuay province government Paul Carrasco met in Guayaquil Thursday and told the press that they are planning for marches to continue following the visit of Pope Francis to the country from July 5 to 8. Mayor of Quito Mauricio Rodas told the press, "If they are not able to respond to the demands of the people of Quito and of other cities in Ecuador, if the voices of citizens are not taken into account, if they are not considered, or valued, we will convoke a massive march in the city of Quito."
Correa Supporters Defiant as Opposition Violence Hits Quito

The same playbill in different countries headed by left-wing governments.
Furthermore, evidence from WikiLeaks cables show that those who are heading today's protests in Ecuador are closely linked to the U.S. government and intelligence services....
For several years now, left-wing and progressive movements and parties have been gaining ground throughout the region.
With the failure of neoliberal policies that were applied throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, the right wing has found itself isolated as the mainstream consensus drifts to the left.
Largely divided and debilitated, the right wing throughout the region is beginning to re-accommodate, to re-organize, and to understand the current situation and the ways in which it can go back to power — by any means necessary.
Correa has put forward the theory that violence is being deliberately employed in order to provoke a response from security officials in order to accuse the government of having violated civil rights in order to invite foreign intervention in the form of sanctions, as was done to Venezuela in earlier this year when the U.S. government labeled Venezuela as a threat to its national security.
President Correa has warned that coups are still a very real threat in the region and violent street protests are part of a coordinated and deliberate campaign by right-wing forces in the region to destabilize the progressive and revolutionary governments of Latin America.
Ecuador's Opposition and Right-Wing Strategies in the Region

TASS — Putin: Russia coming under pressure for not bargaining its sovereignty


Translation: Back off.

TASS
Putin: Russia coming under pressure for not bargaining its sovereignty

Steve Randy Waldman — Greece


SRW is outraged and rightly so.

Interfluidity
Greece
Steve Randy Waldman

Sputnik — BRICS to Become Key Element in Global Authority - Russian Foreign Minister

Decisions made during the upcoming BRICS summit in Ufa should give a jumpstart to the organization in becoming one of the key elements in global authority, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday....

“We are convinced that the decisions that will be made there will give additional impulse to the future formation of BRICS as one of the key elements in the system of global authority on a modern level,” Lavrov said during a meeting with a BRICS youth forum.
Lavrov said that BRICS is a group that does not combine its efforts against others, but “concentrates on moving forward a positive and united agenda.”
The BRICS countries make up about 40 percent of the world's population and a combined nominal GPD of about $16 trillion....
Sputnik
BRICS to Become Key Element in Global Authority - Russian Foreign Minister

Sputnik — Obama: US Should Set Rules for World Economy

The United States should write the economic rules for the rest of the world since it enjoys the strongest growth, President Barack Obama said in a speech at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse on Thursday.
“At a moment where our economy is in a position of global strength, because we are going faster than most other countries, advanced countries, we have to write the economic rules for the global economy before countries like China do,” Obama stated.
Say what?

Sputnik