In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The left’s anti-European turn

Posted by seumasach on July 19, 2015

Cailean Bochanan

19th July, 2015

Just before the Greek referendum George Galloway tweeted:

“Greek Partisans will vote NO in Sunday’s referendum. There is European life after the Euro. No more bail-outs for bankers. Go for growth!”
Galloway would , of course, have been equally vehement in his opposition to the bail-out of the City of London in 2008. Well, actually, no. In statement made at the time he said:

“In the midst of this financial crisis which threatens us all, at last the government is taking action which may begin to shore up the banking system. I hope that it is not, as many in the City are saying, “too little, too late”. “It was essential the government propped up the banks’ capital base, it had to provide lending to banks that can’t borrow money from others to pay their debts. And we had to have a guarantee of bank debts, if we were not to see a full-scale financial panic and the collapse of the whole debit and credit system. But having put the money in, the government now needs to force the banks to pay the public back in return.”

Leaving aside the piety at the end this was simply a full endorsement of the bail-out. In an extraordinary but characteristic bit of sophistry Galloway was able to spin the bailout as a break from neoliberalism, as a break “from the outdated dogmas of free market economics.”

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Posted in Battle for Europe, british economy, Financial crisis | Leave a Comment »

Greece triggers the global crisis

Posted by seumasach on July 7, 2015

Cailean Bochanan

7th July, 2015

Coming at the end of a week in which the Greek people overwhelmingly reasserted their desire to remain in the Eurozone, the “No” vote can only be a result of Tsipras’ ability to convince them that their position in the Eurozone is safe, whatever happens. That now looks like a very shaky assumption and, I expect,  a brazen deception on Tspras’ part. It is particularly pertinent  to recall, at this point, that it was German Finance Minister, Schauble himself, who first proposed a referendum on proposals for Greece back in May and that this same Schauble had been arguing for Greek withdrawal from the euro in the face of the position of Angela Merkel. Merkel now looks on the way out if the latest take down on her by Spiegel is anything to go by. Could it be that, after a murky and convoluted process that has left everyone perplexed, Schauble has won?

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Posted in Battle for Europe, Financial crisis | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

It came in with the bond markets and it will go out with the bond markets

Posted by seumasach on July 1, 2011

Cailean Bochanan

1st July, 2011

We have a sense that capitalism is coming to an end. If by capitalism we mean that system which was introduced into England subsequent to the Dutch invasion of 1688 then that is true.

With the setting up in 1694 of the Bank of England, a consortium of private financiers came to the fore or rather came to exercise their power from behind the scenes of Britain’s political facade. In this original public-private partnership, they lent to the government at interest and used the bonds issued as the basis for leveraged banking. Swift defined concisely this new interest:

“that set of people, who are called the Monied Men; such as had raised vast Sums by Trading with Stocks and Bonds, and lending upon great interest and Premiums; whose perpetual Harvest is War, and whose beneficial way of Traffick must very much decline by a Peace”

Elsewhere he talks of “a new estate” to whom every house and foot of land in England paid a rent-charge, free of all taxes and defalcations” and where “the gentlemen of estates were, in effect, but tenants to these new landlords”

A whole class, “these new landlords” on behalf of whom the entire nation is taxed. Does this not ring a bell in post-bailout Britain?: the whole nation is mortgaged to the banker elite, which for all that their methods have evolved since the early seventeen hundreds, are essentially the same “interest” as Swift was describing and warning us about. At least, in Swift’s day the consortium’s original loan was from their own funds, however ill-gotten: today the banks are lending back to the government the funds they received from the government to bail them out, basic usury as conceived then has become the fraudulent shenanigans of the notorious “carry trade”. Now that there is no longer even the pretence that banking is about investing in business, understood as legitimate business, and now that the various bubbles from the dot.com through the housing market to commodities have exploded in our faces the monied men limit themselves to milking the state for all its worth and the ultimate bankruptcy of the system is the bankruptcy of the state itself. Curiously, the flow of funds into government bonds is being characterised as a “flight to safety”, yet the returns provided fall well short of inflation generated by endless treasury money issuance. Where then is the profit in the profit system? Wealth creation is over and the financiers are limiting their ambition to, instead of creating new wealth, monopolising all that already exists. It’s not at all clear where, if anywhere, the rest of us fit into the picture. We’ll soon find out: the peril of the “flight to safety” is becoming evident and nothing will glitter which is not gold. The burst of the bond bubble and the collapse of the dollar/pound will be dramatic events indeed, the cue for our long awaited awakening or our plunge into the abyss.

Posted in UK economy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Modi ignores India’s high-flying hawks

Posted by seumasach on August 3, 2015

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Asia Times

3rd August, 2015

In an amazing departure from the established pattern of India-Pakistan relationship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not only decided, notwithstanding the rising border tensions between the two countries lately, to stay the course and go through with the meeting between the two countries at the level of the National Security Advisors as agreed previously but also to take the initiative to propose the dates of the meeting on August 23-24.

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Posted in Global peace process | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

German ‘wisemen’ say euro zone states should be able to go bankrupt

Posted by seumasach on July 28, 2015

Ekathimerini

28th July, 2015

The German government’s panel of independent economic advisers favors the creation of a sovereign insolvency mechanism for euro zone states to prevent future crises and says countries should be able to leave the currency bloc as a last resort.

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Germany open to discuss euro zone budget with own tax

Posted by seumasach on July 28, 2015

Reuters

26th July, 2015

Germany is willing to discuss the creation of a euro zone finance minister who would have his own budget and raise extra taxes, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

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Why the ‘One Belt One Road’ Initiative matters for the EU

Posted by seumasach on July 28, 2015

The Diplomat

9th April, 2015

Since their announcement in 2013 during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Kazakhstan and Indonesia, the New Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (termed together the “One Belt One Road” initiative) have been extensively discussed among China’s academia and policymaking circles. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a press conference accompanying China’s recent parliamentary session, called the initiative a “central focus” of China’s foreign policy in the year 2015. As a key part of the narrative of the new Chinese leadership, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative has not only become one of the top priorities of the Chinese government, it has also attracted considerable interest from abroad, and particularly from neighboring Asian countries. A case in point is that more than 30 countries have joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Posted in Battle for Europe | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarkozy may visit Crimea

Posted by seumasach on July 25, 2015

TASS

24th July, 2015

SIMFEROPOL, July 24. /TASS/. Leader of the center-right party The Republicans and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has fully endorsed the trip of the members of his political association to Crimea, member of the French parliamentary delegation visiting Crimea, member of the French National Assembly Claude Goasguen has told TASS.

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Thaw on the horizon?

Posted by seumasach on July 25, 2015

Kerry Seeks Russia’s Help Fighting ISIL

Sputnik News

24th July, 2015

The historic Iran nuclear deal is offering hope of renewed cooperation in the Middle East and a potential warming of US-Russian relations. In the coming weeks, US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to discuss new strategies for combating Islamic State militants with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

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Posted in Global peace process | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Victory in Vienna

Posted by seumasach on July 22, 2015

Justin Raimondo

Antiwar

15th July, 2015

The historic agreement signed by the P5+1 and the government of Iran marks a turning point in America’s relations with the world. It reverses the momentum of nearly fifteen years of constant warfare and puts us on a path to peace.

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Posted in Global peace process, Iran | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama thanks China’s leader for role in Iran nuclear deal

Posted by seumasach on July 22, 2015

Washington Post

21st July, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is thanking Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) for China’s role in securing the nuclear deal with Iran.

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Posted in Global peace process, Iran | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Greece’s debt troubles strengthen the case for a fiscal union in Europe

Posted by seumasach on July 21, 2015

South China Morning Post

21st July, 2015

The Greek debt crisis has evolved in a dramatic way over the past weeks. Despite a Greek referendum voting no to the reform proposal, the European creditors have insisted on even harsher austerity measures as precondition for a third bailout, which Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras finally accepted with deep reservations.

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A single rulebook for the resolution of failing banks will apply in the EU as of 1 January 2015

Posted by seumasach on July 20, 2015

“From now on, it will be the bank’s shareholders and their creditors who will bear the related costs and losses of a failure rather than the taxpayer.

European Commission

31st December, 2014

A single rulebook for the resolution of banks and large investment firms in all EU Member States is set to enter into force as of 1 January 2015. The new rules will harmonise and improve the tools for dealing with bank crises across the EU. They will also ensure shareholders and creditors of the banks pay their share of the costs through a “bail-in” mechanism.

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Posted in Battle for Europe | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

France’s Hollande proposes creation of euro-zone government

Posted by seumasach on July 20, 2015

Bloomberg

19th July, 2015

French President Francois Hollande said that the 19 countries using the euro need their own government complete with a budget and parliament to cooperate better and overcome the Greek crisis

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crisis.

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Posted in Battle for Europe | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

 
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