In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

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.

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Tsipras urges Greeks to defy creditors’ ‘blackmail’

Posted by seumasach on July 2, 2015

Just when Greece requires clarity and direction they have got Alexis Tsipras. Whatever he is attempting to do he is creating a fine mess. It’s a good idea in principle to put any agreement with the Troika to a referendum but there was no agreement. Now he wants to agree on most of the “agreement” which he is calling on people to reject on Sunday. According to La Repubblica he told Martin Schulz leader of the European parliament that he hoped for a “Yes” vote.  “Eurozone officials said they were baffled by the mixed messages coming from Greece.” Meanwhile, leftist luminaries in Britain such as  MacWhirter are hailing the “No” vote as the rejection of the Eurozone  Is that, despite his claims to the contrary, Tsipras’ real goal. If Tsipras doesn’t want to wreck the European project we are left with the unlikely conclusion that the European leadership do.

FT

Greece’s prime minister accused Europe’s leaders of attempting to “blackmail” Greek voters, just hours after apparently holding out an olive branch to the country’s creditors by accepting most of the terms of the economic reform plan they had tabled last weekend.

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Greek PM appears defiant, saying Sunday’s referendum not on euro

Posted by seumasach on July 2, 2015

Xinhua

1st July, 2015

ATHENS, July 1 (Xinhua) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeared defiant in a televised message to the nation on Wednesday as Greece became the first advanced economy in decades in arrears status to the International Monetary Fund, moving closer to the brink of default and a possible Grexit.

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What Chinese premier pledges when EU at a crossroad

Posted by seumasach on July 2, 2015

People’s Daily

2nd July, 2015

China promised the European Union on Monday it would hold on to its euro zone debt, saying the Greek debt crisis was Beijing’s problem headache too.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made his remarks following a stressful weekend for Greeceand the eurozone, in which Greece broke off talks with its creditors, announced areferendum, and introduced capital controls.

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For Greece’s international creditors, regime change is the ultimate goal

Posted by seumasach on June 30, 2015

If, as is widely rumoured, the IMF intervened to wreck negotiations between the Greek government and European institutions the the real question Europeans should be voting on is one of European sovereignty. What the hell is the IMF doing in what should be an internal European issue? The question , of course, is purely rhetorical: they are there to oversee Wall Street/City of London interests. Unlike China and the merging BRICS, these interests are not pro-European in terms of supporting European integration. Rather they support a neo-liberal Europe, that is, a Europe a Europe which fragments along lines determined by “the market”. You have only to read the press, almost entirely under their control, to see this. They will also be quite happy with the Left’s superficial anti-imperialist rhetoric concerning Greek relations with Germany: it’s all grist to the mill. Once again, as in Kosovo, as in Libya, as in Ukraine, Europe’s inability to break free of Wall Street tutelage is causing Europe to shoot itself in the foot, if not the heart. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, negotiations will resume and the effect of Tsipra’s gambit may be salutary if the lesson is learnt and the IMF are shown the door.

Telegraph

29th June, 2015

Apparently, there was the basis for a deal at some stage last week; but then at the last moment, in comes the International Monetary Fund to say that the conditions were not enough, and insist on the addition of a whole series of demands on pensions reform that were bound to be unacceptable to Greece’s Syriza-led government.

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The ECB’s dilemma

Posted by seumasach on June 29, 2015

Summary: The ECB has not cut off funding to Greece but it has failed to increase it. The position of the Bundesbank is more hardline: they call for an end to all ECB emergency funding now. In the event of a “Yes” vote funding will be resumed and increased. A “No” vote would make further funding impossible and Greece would have to print its own currency, a step towards leaving Eurozone

La BCE prise entre deux feux

Le Monde

29th June, 2015

Le pire cauchemar de Mario Draghi, le président de la Banque centrale européenne (BCE), est peut-être sur le point de se réaliser. Dimanche 28 juin au soir, le premier ministre grec Alexis Tsipras a placé l’institution sur le banc des accusés, aux côtés des ministres des finances de la zone euro. « Les récentes décisions de l’Eurogroupe et de la BCE n’ont qu’un objectif : réprimer la volonté du peuple grec », a dénoncé M. Tsipras sur le réseau social Twitter, peu après avoir annoncé la fermeture des banques et l’instauration du contrôle des capitaux.
En savoir plus 

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La Repubblica: EU Commision divided

Posted by seumasach on June 29, 2015

Summary: The EU Commission is divided: Moscovici calls for a compromise and a reformed Eurozone”without austerity”.US pushes for resumption of negotiations. Moscovici has tried to bounce Junker into making concessions: Juncker has resisted. Hardliners rumored to seek demise of Syria government. Moscovici says agreement is within reach and hopes Greek government support “Yes” vote, already a vain wish. Italian economy minister unconcerned about fallout from crisis citing anti-speculation measures in place which were not there in 2011.

Caos Grecia, si divide la Commissione europea. Moscovici: “Nuove proposte”. Juncker: “No”

La Repubblica

29th June, 2015

MILANO – Trattare fino all’ultimo per impedire l’uscita della Grecia dall’euro. La richiesta ai creditori di Atene è arrivata direttamente dalla Casa Bianca: il segretario di Stato Jack Lew ha chiesto di valutare con attenzione la ristrutturazione del debito greco, a patto che Atene prosegua sulla strada delle riforme. Un messaggio colto al volo dal Commissario Ue agli Affari economici, il francese Pierre Moscovici che gioca il ruolo della colomba: “Bisogna trovare un compromesso. La porta per il negoziato è aperta. Io sono per una Grecia riformata nell’Eurozona, senza austerità”.

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The global credit market Is now a lit powderkeg

Posted by seumasach on June 29, 2015

….And Markets Are Totally Unprepared

Investment Watch Blog

26th June, 2015

The financial markets have had a bit of a tough time going anywhere this year.

The S&P 500 has been caught in a 6% trading band all year, capped on the upside by a 3% gain and on the downside by a 3% price loss. It has been a back-and-forth flurry while the stock market up to this point has simply marked time.

We’ve seen a bit of the same in the bond market: after rising 3.5% in the first month of the year, the ten year Treasury bond has given away its year-to-date gains and then some.

2015 stands in relative contrast to largely upward stock and bond market movement over the past three years.  What’s different this year and what are the risks to investment outcomes ahead?
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-global-credit-market-is-now-a-lit-powderkeg-and-markets-are-totally-unprepared/#r6DHgXse6YI5yEEM.99

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What does David Cameron want from the EU?

Posted by seumasach on June 27, 2015

… No one knows. But he wants it now

Guardian

26th June, 2015

I enjoy watching David Cameron at European summits. He has the air of an actor in an advert playing someone in an important job. You know the sort of thing: you watch them move purposefully through a buzzy office pointing at things before they turn brusquely to the camera and declare: “I work in a fast-paced environment where every decision counts. I demand performance from an antiperspirant.”

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Poroshenko: Overthrow of Yanukovych was a coup

Posted by seumasach on June 27, 2015

Ukraine’s Pres. Poroshenko Says Overthrow of Yanukovych Was a Coup

GEAB

23rd June, 2015

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko requests the supreme court of Ukraine to declare that his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown by an illegal operation; in other words, that the post-Yanukovych government, including Poroshenko’s own Presidency, came into power from a coup, not from something democratic, not from any authentic constitutional process at all.

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Greek debt deal jeopardized by leftist anxiety in Athens

Posted by seumasach on June 25, 2015

Now is the moment when the failure of the left to develop clear objectives makes them part of the problem rather than part of the solution. The alternatives are either austerity without end to bail out the banks or temporary austerity, with guarantees to protect the weakest, as the banks are put through bankruptcy and the system converts from a parasitic financier, consumer system to a productive system with a reconstructed real economy. Their “anti-imperialism” is merely a pose which ignores the simple reality that the entire West has enjoyed a good standard of living for decades based on the collective exploitation of the rest of the world. The conversion from living off the rest to relying on the fruits of our own labour is bound to be painful but is inevitable given that that Global South is no longer obliged to continue that game. The “anti-austerity” mantra is based on the false notion that there is no crisis of imperialism and their purely emotive knee-jerk reaction could disrupt Tsipras’ intelligent war of position which is helping to lay the foundations for a pan-European transformative programme.

Sputnik News

23rd June, 2015

Greece’s radical left lawmakers are firmly opposed to the deal the PM Alexis Tsipras put forward to the pool of international creditors on Monday, marking a significant threat to a successful resolution of the Greek debt crisis.

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Russia through the Saudi looking glass

Posted by seumasach on June 25, 2015

Nonetheless, Rashed sums up: “Of course, we shouldn’t read into any new developments outside political frameworks, because I can hardly imagine that Saudi Arabia has decided to turn against its alliances (with the West) – but it probably wants to get out of the narrow US corner and expand its options”.

The Saudis can downplay this as much as they want- the simple fact is that getting out of “the narrow US corner” is tantamount to ending the reign of the petrodollar

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Asia Times

24th June, 2015

The latest bunch of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks as part of the half a million files relating to Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry contains a revealing document on an “arrangement of reciprocal support to the candidature of the Government of Russia to the Human Rights Council on the understanding that the Government of Russia would also extend its valuable support to the candidature of Saudi Arabia” in the elections to the body held in May 2013.

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Posted in Currency Wars, Multipolar world | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
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