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THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN
MOVING CLOSER TO WORLD WAR 3?
A CONVERSATION WITH GERALD CELENTE AND LYNETTE ZANG



GLOBAL PLANNED FINANCIAL TSUNAMI HAS JUST BEGUN
https://www.globalresearch.ca/global-pla...un/5784217





A PERFECT STORM IS BREWING IN BANKING AND FINANCE
https://mises.org/wire/perfect-storm-bre...nd-finance



Forget Jerome Powell's fanciful "soft landing" or the notion that the Fed can pull another rabbit from its hat. The banking system is headed for a crash and monetary authorities likely will make things worse.

Now that interest rates are rising with much further to go, the global banking system faces a crisis on a scale like no other in history. Central banks loaded with financial securities acquired through QE face growing losses, and their balance sheet liabilities are now significantly greater than their assets—a condition which in the private sector is termed bankruptcy. They will need to be recapitalized urgently to retain credibility.

 


Furthermore, banking regulators have made a prodigious error in their oversight of the commercial banking system by focusing almost solely on bank balance sheet liquidity as the principal determinant of risk exposure. And on the few occasions in the past when they have demanded banks increase their own capital, it has always been through the creation of preference shares and pseudo-equities to avoid diluting the true shareholders. The consequence is that the level of leverage for common equity shareholders in the global systemically important banks has risen to stratospheric levels.



The regulators may be comfortable with their liquidity approach, but they have ignored the periodic certainty of a contraction in bank credit and the consequences for banks’ equity interests. Meanwhile, G-SIBs have asset to common equity ratios often more than fifty times, with some in the eurozone over seventy. It is hardly surprising that most G-SIBs are valued in the equity markets at substantial discounts to book value.


G-SIBs have accumulated excessive exposure to financial assets, both on-balance sheet and as loan collateral. With vicious bear markets now evident and further interest rate rises guaranteed by falling purchasing powers for currencies, the one thing regulators have not allowed for is now happening: like a deepening meteorological low, bank credit is contracting into a perfect storm.


Jamie Dimon’s recent warning that his bank (JPMorgan Chase) faces hurricane conditions confirms the timing. Central banks, bankrupt in all but name, will be tasked with rescuing entire commercial banking networks, bankrupted by a collapse in bank credit.




Why Are Markets Crashing?



It is becoming clear that financial assets are in a bear market, driven by persistent rises in producer inputs and consumer prices, which in turn are pushing interest rates and bond yields higher. So far, investors have been reluctant to lose trust in their central banks which have been instrumental in supporting financial markets. But this is now being tested, more so in the summer months as global food shortages develop.


We have increasing evidence that bank credit is either contracting or on the verge of doing so. This was the message loud and clear from Jamie Dimon’s recent description of economic conditions being raised from storm to hurricane force, and his follow up comments about what JPMorgan Chase was doing about it. Rarely do we get the dollar-world’s most senior banker giving us such a clear heads-up on a change in lending policies, which we know will be shared by all his competitors. And the fact that the bank’s senior economist was tasked with rowing back on Dimon’s statement indicates that the Fed, or perhaps Dimon’s colleagues, know that he should not have made public their greatest fears.


Contracting bank credit always ends in a crisis of some sort. With a long-term average of ten years, this cycle of bank credit has been exceptionally long in the tooth. Before we even consider the specific factors behind a withdrawal of credit, we can assume that the longer the period of credit expansion that precedes it, the greater the slump in economic activity that follows.


Not only is this the culmination of a cyclical bank credit expansion, but it is of a larger trend
set in motion in the mid-eighties. Following the inflationary seventies, which was book-ended with the abandonment of the Bretton Woods Agreement and Paul Volcker’s 20 percent prime rates, a means had to be devised to ensure that fiat currencies would be stabilized in a lower interest rate environment. By ensuring demand for dollars would always be sufficient to maintain its purchasing power, then all other currencies that were loosely pegged to it would
be similarly able to retain purchasing power without the prop of high interest rates.


Consciously or unconsciously, the planners deployed a variation on the Triffin dilemma. Robert Triffin was an economist who in the 1960s pointed out that a reserve currency would have to ensure that there is sufficient supply of it for it to fulfil the reserve currency role. He concluded that the supplier of the reserve currency would have to run irresponsible short-term monetary policies to ensure the supply is made available, for the likely detriment of long-term monetary and economic prospects.


In the mid-eighties the planners put in place the mechanism for creating Triffin’s demand for
the dollar. Deficits would be run by the US government, as Triffin had explained, and dollar bank credit would be expanded. The creation of bank credit outside the US banking system would be permitted in the form of the Eurodollar market. And the growth of shadow banking went unhampered.


Major banks were encouraged to buy into brokers, eventually absorbing them into their operations completely. London’s big-bang was what this was all about, followed by the Glass-Steagall Act being rescinded to allow the American money-center banks to enter brokerage and investment banking activities in their domestic markets as well as offshore. The purpose of financializing the dollar was to ensure there would always be speculative and portfolio demand for it.


The policy has fundamentally overturned the way free markets behave, making them increasingly driven by central bank interest rate policies instead of by non-financial factors. Time preference became progressively less important relative to Fed policy. Whenever the dollar slipped, by lowering interest rates instead of raising them the Fed could encourage foreign portfolio buying. Lower interest rates increased flows of currency and credit into financial assets instead of debasing the currency in the non-financial economy.


It has not been a perfect system, because prices of goods and services still increased reflecting the expansion of currency and credit, but at a slower pace than one might have expected, given the increased quantity of circulating media. Furthermore, calculation methods applied to consumer price indices all had the effect of reducing the apparent pace of price increases. And it was in everyone’s interest to buy into this perpetual system of wealth creation.


Thus, the creation of extra bank credit was directed increasingly into financial speculation in bond and equity markets. There were bubbles, such as the dotcoms in the late-1990s and in mortgage financing preceding the financial crisis of 2008/09. Despite these interruptions, the US authorities made sure that global investment flows primarily supported US financial interests. Thus, the wealth effect was created in America, and consequently through the internationalization of valuations in the jurisdictions of its major allies. And to the extent that credit expansion drove up financial asset prices, the effect was mostly ring-fenced within the financial economy, and was not recorded in official consumer price indices.


As markets caught on, interest rates declined to the point where they disappeared altogether. But as Triffin observed, policies to ensure that a currency is available as the world’s reserve are economically destructive in the long run, and the whole trend set in motion from London’s big bang onwards has now concluded with rising interest rates. It amounts to a super cycle of bank credit expansion certain to end more dramatically than a single cycle. Therefore, this bear market and its systemic issues can be expected to be of a greater magnitude than those which followed the dotcoms and the Lehman failure.




With interest rates so far beneath the rate at which prices are rising, which is mainly the consequence of earlier monetary debasement, losses are now accumulating for all those who bought into the financialization story and have failed to bail out of it. Top of a hubristic list are the central banks themselves which augmented monetary expansion with the acquisition of substantial bond portfolios through quantitative easing. Those assets are now collapsing in value, wiping out central bank equity many times over. The central banks themselves will need recapitalizing before they can tackle the problems of a widespread systemic collapse in the commercial banking network.

With a perfect storm forming in financial markets and the banks, we are witnessing the end of a global economic system which has denied the realities of free markets ever since President Hoover believed that the US Government could improve and then save the American economy in 1929. His errors were magnified by the neo-Keynesians’ hero, Franklin Roosevelt with his New Deal. A Second World War and post-war socialization of capital with a minimized gold standard followed. Every failure has been met with a new doubling down on capitalism.


And every failure has increased the power of the state over its people and diminished their freedom. The drift away from a world of progress, where people were free to exchange the fruits of their labor with the intermediation of sound money, enabling them to succeed or fail by their own efforts, has led to the ultimate failure: a looming collapse of the whole statist system.



Since the last fig-leaf of gold convertibility was finally abandoned fifty-one years ago, the final phase of our decline has been covered up by the increasing financialization of western economies, substituting paper wealth for real prosperity. The function of fiat currency has been to perpetuate this illusion, an illusion that is finally coming to an end.


In the financial and economic violence which we now face, it is difficult to anticipate the order of a series of events within the overall crisis. The outturn could be very different, but logic suggests the following. Interest rates will rise until bank failures materialize. Meanwhile, financial assets will have fallen in value, possibly very quickly. Then we can expect monetary policy to expand to rescue the commercial banks, suppress bond yields and to finance soaring government deficits.


WHAT WAS COVID REALLY ABOUT?
TRIGGERING A MULTI-TRILLION DOLLAR GLOBAL DEBT CRISIS  “Ramping up an Imperialist Strategy”?

Covid, Capitalism, Friedrich Engels and Boris Johnson

Colin Todhunter
https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-capitalism-friedrich-boris/5785964


ARE WE HEADING TOWARDS A CAPITALIST SUPERNOVA ?
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/...-supernova



THE WAR IN UKRAINE MARKS THE END OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY  “WHAT’s LEFT IS A STEAMING PILE OF DOLLAR DENOMINATED DEBT”

Mike Whitney
Global Research, July 07, 2022
https://www.globalresearch.ca/war-ukraine-marks-end-american-century/5782901


UKRAINE IS THE LATEST NEOCON DISASTER
Jeffrey D. Sachs
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/...n-disaster


NATO’s NEW GLOBAL COLD WAR IS NOW OFFICIAL 
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/07/01/nato-new-global-cold-war-now-official


FUELLING THE WARFARE STATE

America's $1.4 Trillion "National Security" Budget Makes Us Ever Less Safe
William D. Hartung
https://quincyinst.org/report/pathways-t...-obstacles

THE EMPIRE IS NOT DONE TORTURING AFGHANISTAN
Despite its resounding defeat, NATO is not quite done with inflicting misery on the land of the Afghans
Pepe Escobar
July 05 2022

https://thecradle.co/Article/Columns/12648
Reply
GLOBAL PLANNED FINANCIAL TSUNAMI HAS JUST BEGUN

F. William Engdahl
July 25, 2022
Information Clearing House

Since the creation of the US Federal Reserve over a century ago, every major financial market collapse has been deliberately triggered for political motives by the central bank. The situation is no different today, as clearly the US Fed is acting with its interest rate weapon to crash what is the greatest speculative financial bubble in human history, a bubble it created. Global crash events always begin on the periphery, such as with the 1931 Austrian Creditanstalt or the Lehman Bros. failure in September 2008. The June 15 decision by the Fed to impose the largest single rate hike in almost 30 years as financial markets are already in a meltdown, now guarantees a global depression and worse.

The extent of the “cheap credit” bubble that the Fed, the ECB and Bank of Japan have engineered with buying up of bonds and maintaining unprecedented near-zero or even negative interest rates for now 14 years, is beyond imagination. Financial media cover it over with daily nonsense reporting , while the world economy is being readied, not for so-called “stagflation” or recession. What is coming now in the coming months, barring a dramatic policy reversal, is the worst economic depression in history to date. Thank you, globalization and Davos.
Globalization

The political pressures behind globalization and the creation of the World Trade Organization out of the Bretton Woods GATT trade rules with the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, ensured that the advanced industrial manufacturing of the West, most especially the USA, could flee offshore, “outsource” to create production in extreme low wage countries. No country offered more benefit in the late 1990s than China. China joined WHO in 2001 and from then on the capital flows into China manufacture from the West have been staggering. So too has been the buildup of China dollar debt. Now that global world financial structure based on record debt is all beginning to come apart.
When Washington deliberately allowed the September 2008 Lehman Bros financial collapse, the Chinese leadership responded with panic and commissioned unprecedented credit to local governments to build infrastructure. Some of it was partly useful, such as a network of high-speed railways. Some of it was plainly wasteful, such as construction of empty “ghost cities.” For the rest of the world, the unprecedented China demand for construction steel, coal, oil, copper and such was welcome, as fears of a global depression receded. But the actions by the US Fed and ECB after 2008, and of their respective governments, did nothing to address the systemic financial abuse of the world’s major private banks on Wall Street and Europe , as well as Hong Kong.

The August 1971 Nixon decision to decouple the US dollar, the world reserve currency, from gold, opened the floodgates to global money flows. Ever more permissive laws favoring uncontrolled financial speculation in the US and abroad were imposed at every turn, from Clinton’s repeal of Glass-Steagall at the behest of Wall Street in November 1999. That allowed creation of mega-banks so large that the government declared them “too big to fail.” That was a hoax, but the population believed it and bailed them out with hundreds of billions in taxpayer money.

Since the crisis of 2008 the Fed and other major global central banks have created unprecedented credit, so-called “helicopter money,” to bailout the major financial institutions. The health of the real economy was not a goal. In the case of the Fed, Bank of Japan, ECB and Bank of England, a combined $25 trillion was injected into the banking system via “quantitative easing” purchase of bonds, as well as dodgy assets like mortgage-backed securities over the past 14 years.

Quantitative madness
Here is where it began to go really bad. The largest Wall Street banks such as JP MorganChase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup or in London HSBC or Barclays, lent billions to their major corporate clients. The borrowers in turn used the liquidity, not to invest in new manufacturing or mining technology, but rather to inflate the value of their company stocks, so-called stock buy-backs, termed “maximizing shareholder value.”

BlackRock, Fidelity, banks and other investors loved the free ride. From the onset of Fed easing in 2008 to July 2020, some $5 trillions had been invested in such stock buybacks, creating the greatest stock market rally in history. Everything became financialized in the process. Corporations paid out $3.8 trillion in dividends in the period from 2010 to 2019. Companies like Tesla which had never earned a profit, became more valuable than Ford and GM combined. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin reached market cap valuation over $1 trillion by late 2021. With Fed money flowing freely, banks and investment funds invested in high-risk, high profit areas like junk bonds or emerging market debt in places like Turkey, Indonesia or, yes, China.
The post-2008 era of Quantitative Easing and zero Fed interest rates led to absurd US Government debt expansion. Since January 2020 the Fed, Bank of England, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan have injected a combined $9 trillion in near zero rate credit into the world banking system. Since a Fed policy change in September 2019, it enabled Washington to increase public debt by a staggering $10 trillion in less than 3 years. Then the Fed again covertly bailed out Wall Street by buying $120 billion per month of US Treasury bonds and Mortgage-Backed Securities creating a huge bond bubble.
A reckless Biden Administration began doling out trillions in so-called stimulus money to combat needless lockdowns of the economy. US Federal debt went from a manageable 35% of GDP in 1980 to more than 129% of GDP today. Only the Fed Quantitative Easing, buying of trillions of US government and mortgage debt and the near zero rates made that possible. Now the Fed has begun to unwind that and withdraw liquidity from the economy with QT or tightening, plus rate hikes. This is deliberate. It is not about a stumbling Fed mis-judging inflation.

Energy drives the collapse
Sadly, the Fed and other central bankers lie. Raising interest rates is not to cure inflation. It is to force a global reset in control over the world’s assets, it’s wealth, whether real estate, farmland, commodity production, industry, even water. The Fed knows very well that Inflation is only beginning to rip across the global economy. What is unique is that now Green Energy mandates across the industrial world are driving this inflation crisis for the first time, something deliberately ignored by Washington or Brussels or Berlin.

The global shortages of fertilizers, soaring prices of natural gas, and grain supply losses from global draught or exploding costs of fertilizers and fuel or the war in Ukraine, guarantee that, at latest this September-October harvest time, we will undergo a global additional food and energy price explosion. Those shortages all are a result of deliberate policies.
Moreover, far worse inflation is certain, due to the pathological insistence of the world’s leading industrial economies led by the Biden Administration’s anti-hydrocarbon agenda. That agenda is typified by the astonishing nonsense of the US Energy Secretary stating, “buy E-autos instead” as the answer to exploding gasoline prices.

Similarly, the European Union has decided to phase out Russian oil and gas with no viable substitute as its leading economy, Germany, moves to shut its last nuclear reactor and close more coal plants. Germany and other EU economies as a result will see power blackouts this winter and natural gas prices will continue to soar. In the second week of June in Germany gas prices rose another 60% alone. Both the Green-controlled German government and the Green Agenda “Fit for 55” by the EU Commission continue to push unreliable and costly wind and solar at the expense of far cheaper and reliable hydrocarbons, insuring an unprecedented energy-led inflation.

Fed has pulled the plug
With the 0.75% Fed rate hike, largest in almost 30 years, and promise of more to come, the US central bank has now guaranteed a collapse of not merely the US debt bubble, but also much of the post-2008 global debt of $303 trillion. Rising interest rates after almost 15 years mean collapsing bond values. Bonds, not stocks, are the heart of the global financial system.

US mortgage rates have now doubled in just 5 months to above 6%, and home sales were already plunging before the latest rate hike. US corporations took on record debt owing to the years of ultra-low rates. Some 70% of that debt is rated just above “junk” status. That corporate non-financial debt totaled $9 trillion in 2006. Today it exceeds $18 trillion. Now a large number of those marginal companies will not be able to rollover the old debt with new, and bankruptcies will follow in coming months. The cosmetics giant Revlon just declared bankruptcy.
The highly-speculative, unregulated Crypto market, led by Bitcoin, is collapsing as investors realize there is no bailout there. Last November the Crypto world had a $3 trillion valuation. Today it is less than half, and with more collapse underway. Even before the latest Fed rate hike the stock value of the US megabanks had lost some $300 billion. Now with stock market further panic selling guaranteed as a global economic collapse grows, those banks are pre-programmed for a new severe bank crisis over the coming months.

As US economist Doug Noland recently noted, “Today, there’s a massive “periphery” loaded with “subprime” junk bonds, leveraged loans, buy-now-pay-later, auto, credit card, housing, and solar securitizations, franchise loans, private Credit, crypto Credit, DeFi, and on and on. A massive infrastructure has evolved over this long cycle to spur consumption for tens of millions, while financing thousands of uneconomic enterprises. The “periphery” has become systemic like never before. And things have started to Break.”

The Federal Government will now find its interest cost of carrying a record $30 trillion in Federal debt far more costly. Unlike the 1930s Great Depression when Federal debt was near nothing, today the Government, especially since the Biden budget measures, is at the limits. The US is becoming a Third World economy. If the Fed no longer buys trillions of US debt, who will? China? Japan? Not likely.

Deleveraging the bubble
With the Fed now imposing a Quantitative Tightening, withdrawing tens of billions in bonds and other assets monthly, as well as raising key interest rates, financial markets have begun a deleveraging. It will likely be jerky, as key players like BlackRock and Fidelity seek to control the meltdown for their purposes. But the direction is clear.

By late last year investors had borrowed almost $1 trillion in margin debt to buy stocks. That was in a rising market. Now the opposite holds, and margin borrowers are forced to give more collateral or sell their stocks to avoid default. That feeds the coming meltdown. With collapse of both stocks and bonds in coming months, go the private retirement savings of tens of millions of Americans in programs like 401-k. Credit card auto loans and other consumer debt in the USA has ballooned in the past decade to a record $4.3 trillion at end of 2021. Now interest rates on that debt, especially credit card, will jump from an already high 16%. Defaults on those credit loans will skyrocket.

Outside the US what we will see now, as the Swiss National Bank, Bank of England and even ECB are forced to follow the Fed raising rates, is the global snowballing of defaults, bankruptcies, amid a soaring inflation which the central bank interest rates have no power to control. About 27% of global nonfinancial corporate debt is held by Chinese companies, estimated at $23 trillion. Another $32 trillion corporate debt is held by US and EU companies. Now China is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since 30 years and little sign of recovery. With the USA, China’s largest customer, going into an economic depression, China’s crisis can only worsen. That will not be good for the world economy.

Italy, with a national debt of $3.2 trillion, has a debt-to-GDP of 150%. Only ECB negative interest rates have kept that from exploding in a new banking crisis. Now that explosion is pre-programmed despite soothing words from Lagarde of the ECB. Japan, with a 260% debt level is the worst of all industrial nations, and is in a trap of zero rates with more than $7.5 trillion public debt. The yen is now falling seriously, and destabilizing all of Asia.

The heart of the world financial system, contrary to popular belief, is not stock markets. It is bond markets—government, corporate and agency bonds. This bond market has been losing value as inflation has soared and interest rates have risen since 2021 in the USA and EU. Globally this comprises some $250 trillion in asset value a sum that, with every fed interest rise , loses more value. The last time we had such a major reverse in bond values was forty years ago in the Paul Volcker era with 20% interest rates to “squeeze out inflation.”

As bond prices fall, the value of bank capital falls. The most exposed to such a loss of value are major French banks along with Deutsche Bank in the EU, along with the largest Japanese banks. US banks like JP MorganChase are believed to be only slightly less exposed to a major bond crash. Much of their risk is hidden in off-balance sheet derivatives and such. However, unlike in 2008, today central banks can’t rerun another decade of zero interest rates and QE. This time, as insiders like ex-Bank of England head Mark Carney noted three years ago, the crisis will be used to force the world to accept a new Central Bank Digital Currency, a world where all money will be centrally issued and controlled. This is also what Davos WEF people mean by their Great Reset. It will not be good. A Global Planned Financial Tsunami Has Just Begun.


THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT HAVE AN ECONOMY

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
https://www.globalresearch.ca/united-sta...my/5787057



The US financial sector has long looted other countries.  A number of participants have described the process.  First a country is enticed with bribes to the leaders to take out loans that cannot be serviced or repaid.  Then in comes the IMF. Austerity is imposed on the population.  Public services and employment are cut to free resources for debt service, and public assets are sold to repay the loan.  Living standards fall, and US corporations take over the country’s economy.


As foreign governments, having experienced or witnessed the economic carnage and fearing accountability, are less willing to be bribed into indebting their countries, American finance is now applying this technique to Americans. Contrary to the narrative in the financial press, the Federal Reserve is not raising interest rates in order to fight inflation.  It is ludicrous to think that a three-quarters of one percent rise in a very low interest rate is going to have any impact on a 9.1% rate of consumer inflation or that speculation that the Federal Reserve has in mind another three-quarters of one percent possibly followed by one half of one percent comprise an anti-inflation policy.  If all these increases occur, it still leaves the interest rate below the inflation rate.



Moreover, as I have previously explained, the inflation is not monetary.  The higher prices are the result of supply disruptions caused by Washington’s Covid lockdowns and Russian sanctions.  Production was stopped and supply chains are broken. 



The Federal Reserve’s rise in interest rates is just a continuation of its policy of concentrating income and wealth in the hands of the One Percent.  Quantitative Easing was the cloak for the Federal Reserve to print $8.2 trillion in new money which was directed or found its way into the prices of stocks and bonds, thus enriching the small number who own most of these financial instruments.  Having maxed out this avenue of wealth concentration, the Federal Reserve is now raising interest rates in order to drive up mortgage costs to aspiring home owners.  The Federal Reserve is driving individuals out of the housing market in order to free up properties for “private equity” firms to purchase homes for their rental values.  That private equity firms see rental income from the existing stock of houses as the best investment opportunity tells us that the US economy has played out.  When investment goes into existing assets, not into producing new assets, the economy ceases to grow.



The Obama regimes policy of bailing out the financial fraudsters responsible for the 2008 crash while foreclosing on their victims, reduced American homeownership from 70% to 63 percent. The Urban Institute predicts further declines. Today homeowners’ equity has declined from 85% after World War II to one-third, leaving two-thirds of homeowner equity in the hands of creditors.  This makes it completely clear that a financialized economy indebts the people for the sake of rentier income to the One Percent.  Indeed, the financialized economy created by the Federal Reserve has reimposed a class system akin to the landed British aristocracy that was overthrown.  Indeed, we have an economically far worst class system.  The landed British aristocrats produced food that fed the nation.  The American class system produces interest and fees for the financial system.



As Michael Hudson has shown us, a no-growth economy is the end result of a financialized economy.  A financialized economy is one in which consumer income is diverted by debt expansion away from the purchase of new goods and services into debt service and fees–interest on mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, student loan debt.  With such a large share of household income spent on debt service, little is left for driving the economy forward.



If American economists were capable of escaping from their neoliberal junk economics, they would realize that “the world’s largest economy” they attribute to the United States is total fiction.  The fact is that the United States does not have an economy.  Corporations driven by Wall Street located American manufacturing in Asia so that the One Percent could benefit from higher profits from lower labor costs, while the deserted city and states had to sell their income streams, such as Chicago’s parking meter revenues for 75 years, to foreigners for one lump sum payment to solve one year’s budget crisis.  

The offshoring of American production, carried out under the cloak of “globalism,” destroyed the American economy and the tax bases of cities and states.  While the real economy declines, the Democrat Party, seeking permanent power, has imposed a policy of open borders for immigrant-invaders.  How are these millions of peoples to support themselves in an economy whose manufacturing has been moved abroad?  How can a population, deserted by American corporations, that is experiencing debt deflation absorb the costs of support and social infrastructure for tens of millions of third world immigrant-invaders?


You will never hear it from the whores in the financial press, but the United States is on the precipice of economic and social collapse.  And what are the fools in Washington doing?  The idiots are ginning up wars with Russia, China, and Iran. 



RUSSIA AND CHINA OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE A
NEW GLOBAL RESERVE CURRENCY 

And once again, as happens often with consequential news in the United States and the West, no one has noticed and no one seems to care.

 QTR's Fringe Finance

July 25, 2022: Information Clearing House If you’ve blinked over the last month, you may have missed it…



China and Russia are taking their shot at the U.S. dollar. And as often happens with consequential news in the United States and the West, no one seems to notice or even care.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing about the possibility of Russia and China challenging the US dollar’s global reserve status. Now, it’s happening.


It shouldn’t be any surprise to those paying attention that Russia and China are strengthening their economic ties amidst continued Western sanctions on Russia as a result of the country’s war in Ukraine.

What may surprise some people, however, is that Russia and the BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are officially working on their own “new global reserve currency,” RT reported in late June. Nobody even seemed to notice.



“The issue of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of our countries is being worked out,” Vladimir Putin said at the BRICS business forum last month.

And of course, as Russia has been cut off from the SWIFT system, it is also pairing with China and the BRIC nations to develop “reliable alternative mechanisms for international payments” in order to “cut reliance on the Western financial system.”



In the meantime, Russia is also taking other steps to strengthen the alliance between BRIC nations, including re-routing trade to China and India, according to CNN:



President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is rerouting trade to "reliable international partners" such as Brazil, India, China and South Africa as the West attempts to sever economic ties.



"We are actively engaged in reorienting our trade flows and foreign economic contacts towards reliable international partners, primarily the BRICS countries," Putin said in his opening video address to the participants of the virtual BRICS Summit. In fact, “trade between Russia and the BRICS countries increased by 38% and reached $45 billion in the first three months of the year” this year, the report says. Meanwhile, Russian crude sales to China have hit record numbers during Spring of this year, edging out Saudi Arabia as China’s primary oil supplier.



"Together with BRICS partners, we are developing reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlements," Putin said.



Putin continued, stating last month: "Contacts between Russian business circles and the business community of the BRICS countries have intensified. For example, negotiations are underway to open Indian chain stores in Russia [and to] increase the share of Chinese cars, equipment and hardware on our market."



In June, Putin also accused the West of ignoring"the basic principles of [the] market economy" such as free trade. "It undermines business interests on a global scale, negatively affecting the wellbeing of people, in effect, of all countries," he said.



President Xi echoed Putin’s sentiments, according to a June writeup by Bloomberg:

“Politicizing, instrumentalizing and weaponizing the world economy using a dominant position in the global financial system to wantonly impose sanctions would only hurt others as well as hurting oneself, leaving people around the world suffering. Those who obsess with a position of strength, expand their military alliance, and seek their own security at the expense of others will only fall into a security conundrum.”



The developments obviously further my long held belief that a gold backed global reserve currency is on its way - something I have been writing about for months. I’m also stunned that nobody seems to care that arguably the largest shift on the global macroeconomic playing field over the last half century may be taking place.



Sure, under the context of the conflict in Ukraine, the news may seem “par for the course” of sorts, which may result in the media and the financial world downplaying it. But put this piece of information out there on its own, without context - that there is a coordinated global challenge taking place to the U.S. dollar - and it would be the biggest news story in decades. Imagine if China and Russia just dropped this out of nowhere? Now, remember that both countries have been working on, and preparing for, this situation for [b]years. [/b]

I mean, holy hell, look at Russia’s Treasury holdings as far back as 2018:



As I’ve noted before, Russia was also increasing its holdings of gold over the same period:



And this headline came out in 2020, just months before Russia’s invasaion of Ukraine



Does anyone think it’s a coincidence?



Nikkei wrote at the time:

Dedollarization has been a priority for Russia and China since 2014, when they began expanding economic cooperation following Moscow's estrangement from the West over its annexation of Crimea. Replacing the dollar in trade settlements became a necessity to sidestep U.S. sanctions against Russia.



Ergo, it seems to me that the BRIC nations understand exactly how precarious of a financial situation the U.S. - and our dollar - is in. Despite the dollar’s recent strengthening, these nations have been in the midst of a multi-decade-long plan to de-dollarize. Even before the Ukraine conflict started, both China and Russia were stockpiling gold and working on denominating transactions outside of the U.S. dollar. It was another “secret” that was out there in the open.

Remember how “insane” this headline was just 6 months ago when I predicted it for the first time?





Meanwhile, since the BRIC conference, ties between Russia and China continue to tighten, with Japan even warning this week about the pair’s “strengthening of military ties” - at the same time China has closely scrutinized a planned trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.


Japan said this past week:

“As a result of the current aggression, it is possible that Russia’s national power in the medium- to longterm may decline, and the military balance within the region and military cooperation with China may change.


In the vicinity of Japan, Russia has made moves to strengthen cooperation with China, such as through joint bomber flights and joint warship sails involving the Russian and Chinese militaries, as well as moves to portray such military cooperation as strategic coordination.”

Japan said this alignment between the two countries “must continue to be closely watched in the future.”


While the economic gears turn behind the scenes, China is also becoming incresingly cagey about Taiwan. The country “has sent warplanes into Taiwan's self-declared air defense zone identification zone many times in recent months,” according to CNN, and recently alluded to the idea of a no-fly zone over Taiwan ahead of a planned visit by Nancy Pelosi.

President Biden commented on Pelosi’s travel plans this week, stating: “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now. But I don’t know what the status of it is.”


We’re sure Pelosi will wind up going anyway. Remember, this is the same woman who danced her way through Chinatown while Covid was spreading to the U.S., from China, to prove she wasn’t racist. I can hear her en route to Taiwan now:
 
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WITH WESTERN IMPERIAL DECLINE , CAPITALISM IS IN
CRISIS-  A NEW PHASE IS EMERGING 

The energy crisis in Europe, proxy war in Ukraine, rebellion in the Global South, and expansion of the BRICS reflect the decline of Western imperialism and growing cracks in the capitalist world system.


João Romeiro Hermeto

September 03, 2022: Information Clearing House

"Multipolarista" The feeble and tired capitalist elites in the West, drunk with their own power, numbed to human pain, incapable of human empathy, have been shown to be naked – emperors with no clothes. As the US and European empires are in decline, their collective ignorance has been exposed. And their attempt to erase past crises and crimes has become clear. The major imperialist wars of the 20th century appear for the ruling class to be simple phantoms of individual failures within a otherwise healthy system based on merit, pride, freedom, and democracy. The horrifying acts perpetrated by Britain, France, and the United States are never emphatically condemned – only, when required, faintly and vaguely objected to.


In the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine, the West is avoiding peace negotiations at all costs, while pouring money into the weapons industry, in an effort to make a killing out of killing. It is another example of so-called disaster capitalism, and reflects the capitalist’s logic: “never let a crisis go to waste”.


Yet the lack of support in the Global South for the proxy war waged by the United States and its vassals – the Frankenstein’s monster of NATO – has shown that most countries in the world do not adhere to Washington’s binary insistence that “you are either with us or against us”.

This disentanglement of the previous forced alignment with the West has also revealed the NATO bloc’s own fragility.


The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) together account for approximately 40% of the world population. And this bloc managed to keep itself unified during the conflict in Ukraine.The bloc has begun expanding into BRICS+, moving to add new countries to the organization, such as Argentina and Iran.There is even discussion of BRICS+ potentially including Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia, a longtime Western ally, is precisely the power that made it possible for the US empire to keep running huge deficits since the 1970s, on the basis of the petrodollar. But Riyadh may be breaking its traditional position as a vassal.Saudi Arabia has already maintained a firm position within OPEC+, which means keeping close ties with Russia.


Meanwhile, the United States has tried to convince Venezuela to provide oil to ease the West’s energy crisis, after decades of treating the Chavista government like a pariah. This a huge setback for the West’s brutal campaign of sanctions and blockade against Venezuela and its people.


Even more striking is the refusal by most countries of the world to adopt the unilateral sanctions that the West has imposed on Russia. The once widespread willingness to follow Western biddings is now in marked decline. Aligned with the United States are the usual suspects: the neoliberal European Union, Australia, Japan, a few more countries. Much of
the rest of the world has rejected the West’s 500 years of colonial rule.


Decades of imperialist war on communism repressed anti-capitalist ideologies, making it difficult for alternatives to arise. The crushing of the anti-capitalist left-wing movement (which now is slowly starting to re-emerge) gave capitalism a green light to impose itself on the peoples of the globe, leading to a colonization of their hearts and minds on a scale never seen before. This was the neoliberal phase.


At the same time, the lack of significant alternatives to capitalism also prevented capitalist elites from outsourcing the responsibility for the problems that they created and blaming competing systems or ideologies.Today, the mainstream media and the political class tries to scapegoat immigrants, the “other,” China, and Russia.


Yet, among the masses of people, there is a general sense that what is needed is:

  1. social change;
  2. a stable future, where pain at social and individual levels does not become a constant normality;
  3. a sustainable world which can remain habitable;
  4. healthy social relations;
  5. job security, the ability to provide for your family without living pay-check-to-pay-check.

Such a life full of anxiety and despair is not just a problem of the Third World; it has become widespread in the imperial core in the West. And it was not a foreign, alien ideology that created these problems; instead, it was Western governments’ own policies of egoism, destruction, domination, and profit-seeking, the very essence of capitalist ideology.

Capitalism acts like cancer. It grows unceasingly with complete disregard for humanity or nature.


While the historical rise of capitalism in the West had the production of commodities as one of its foundations, its nature of profit-seeking and expansion demanded the exportation of capital.

Thus, Western capitalism reallocated production elsewhere, on the outskirts of the world, so far away that its middle class could feel freed and purified from the toils and “filth” of manual labor.

Moreover, by controlling the flow of capital, the Occident could also control the dynamics of far-away industries. When local governments in the South tried to regulate industries and take back natural resources to the advantage of their populations, Western capitalist elites used their proxies – comprador politicians, court-workers, bureaucrats, ideologues, think tanks, militaries, and militias – to make sure that local national interests could and would not prevail.


This dynamic proved itself for many decades to be quite successful. The few Western failures, in countries like Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, were ostracized and denied social relations with the rest of the world through mafia-like maneuvers of blackmail, deception, threats, intimidation, and segregation.


Western weakness had always been latent, but there were several factors sustaining its hegemony:


  1. a lack of strong powers able to challenge Western imperialism,
  2. the risk of facing a brutal counteraction and being blockaded and ostracized, and
  3. the difficulty of coordinating among countries and organizing a collective alternative to Western unipolar world dominance.

The situation today, however, appears to contain something new. The Global South’s overwhelming refusal to abide by Western sanctions on Russia amid NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine has shown that Western hegemony is seriously being challenged. This growing systemic challenge has multiple dimensions.


First, the legitimacy of capitalism was shattered by the 2008 financial crisis – which for much of the world is still ongoing.This crash made it clear that Western capitalist rule cannot provide anything beyond precarity for the 99%, while giving only the 1% a comfortable life.


Second, for more than a decade, Russia has been planning an alternative to the SWIFT financial messaging system, and since at least 2012 China began developing its own. This brought both countries closer together at the financial level. The West’s exclusion of Russia from SWIFT in response to the war in Ukraine will majorly backfire, because it ends the Western monopoly on the global flow of financial capital and jumpstarts this joint Chinese-Russian project to create an alternative, while catalyzing it further among Third World nations. The Western financial war on Russia has put cracks into the institutions that enabled the US empire to function since the 1970s on the basis of indiscriminately printing dollars and selling debt. Given that the European Union has shown itself to act as a US vassal, these financial cracks will keep growing, until they are too big to be fixed.


Finally, the energy crisis that Western sanctions on Russia have unleashed in Europe has made everyone see clearly that capitalism requires great amounts of energy to produce a constant flow of surplus. This emphasized to the Third World the supreme importance of their natural resources, and highlighted the unequal dialectics between the master and slave.


While the Third World has neither the military nor the financial capacity to explicitly challenge Western imperialism, the resources it possesses grants it an extreme amount of power.

The West simply cannot function without the constant flow of resources extracted overseas – usually from Third World countries – which is then transformed elsewhere, under its rule, through capitalist production, into products that are sold. This process is what enables the West to realize such huge profits.


This dimension of the flow of resources is often taken for granted. But an attempt at coordination by energy producers in the South could put the West on its knees within weeks,
or at least enable Third World countries to start conceiving of their own national and regional projects beyond the tutelage of capitalist imperialism.


The world is moving from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “grand chessboard” to a new game with the complexity of Chinese Weiqi (known popularly in the West as Go). And not only is King Capitalism naked, but there is no one on the helm as he sails the society-ship straight into a dreadfully wild storm.
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THE FUTURE DOES NOT LIKE YOU




ISLAM AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY SYSTEM



MALHAMA & BEYOND 
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