In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘End of empire’

BIS calls for market correction

Posted by seumasach on July 16, 2014

Did the “central banks’ central bank” just call for a stock-market collapse?

NotQuant

30th June, 2014

Don’t look now, but the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is often referred to as the “central banks’ central bank”, just advised the world’s central banks to stage a market collapse now rather than later.

Read more

Posted in Financial crisis | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

France lashes out against US dollar

Posted by seumasach on July 9, 2014

…calls for ‘rebalancing’ of world currencies

RT

7th July, 2014

The French government wants to break the monopoly the dollar has on international transactions after the country’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, was slapped with a record $9 billion fine and a 1-year dollar trading ban.

 

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

Britain rules out military intervention in Iraq crisis

Posted by seumasach on June 17, 2014

Not only are London  wisely refraining from reinvading or bombing Iraq but the furore over Blair’s comments has revealed the total lack of appetite for such an intervention across the British and US political spectrum. The real significance of the Western response is the impetus towards rapprochement with Iran.

New Europe

17th June, 2014

LONDON, June 16 (Xinhua) — British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday ruled out the possibility of British military intervention in the on-going Iraq crisis, but pledged to offer counter-terrorism expertise and humanitarian aid to the country instead.

Read more

Posted in Iraq | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Cold War or War onTerror?

Posted by seumasach on June 15, 2014

 

Cailean Bochanan

15th June, 2014

The betrayal of the Iraq army leadership facilitating last week’s capture of Mosul by the so-called ISIL may become a watershed in US foreign policy in providing a significant diversion from the Ukrainian fiasco and turning attention from quasi-cold war tensions towards the new Obama doctrine already outlined in his West Point speech, anticipated by Blair’s 23rd April speech and ratified by an intervention by Kofi Annan last week on BBC Newsnight.
What is this new doctrine? It is called, with great originality, the War on Terror. Thus, we return to 2001 and the post-9/11 doctrine but in a geo-political environment which has become completely transformed. In 2003 , on the eve of the Iraq War, the USA was still regarded as the undisputed global superpower, even though a resurgent Russia and China were already disputing that status. Today it has suffered a series of military reverses and the catastrophic state of its economy and society can longer be hidden. After the dismissal of Rumsfeld in 2006 in a palace coup the stage was set for Obama to turn around US foreign policy in the aftermath of the failed Iraq and Afghan wars. He is generally regarded as having failed in this respect and that judgement has seemed to have been confirmed by the dramatic events of the last week. We appear to be condemned to relive the historical cycle of US military intervention.
But, as I say, the context is completely different. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan post-9/11 were the beginning of a global war for hegemony. This war failed and no such perspectives are in sight for a severely weakened USA. Rather than being the opening shot in an attempted roll-back of Russian and Chinese power War on Terror II could lead to a re-engagement of these two emerging superpowers by Washington. Tony Blair’s above-mentioned speech already prefigures this development:

“In this speech I will set out how we should do this, including the recognition that on this issue, whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and cooperate with the East, and in particular, Russia and China.”
This was followed up by Kofi Anna’s call for a de facto alliance with Russia , China and Iran:
“Mr Annan – the UN’s former envoy to Syria – said he did not believe that there was the “stomach” for “boots on the ground”, but that a group made up of permanent members of the UN Security Council, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and possibly Egypt could agree a common approach.”
Already, the ISIL surge has raised a prospect that was previously unthinkable: joint US-Iranian military co-operation.
I have, for some time, been talking up a strategic alliance between Washington and Moscow as the great paradigm shift in global geo-politics. It was, admittedly, difficult to see how such a shift could come about. Indeed, the failure of Obama’s reset was just another amongst a litany of seeming failures. But if that remains a strategic goal of Obama, and I believe that it must, then War on TerrorII would be the key to its realization.

The roller-coaster unleashed by the Arab spring continues. The events in Iraq last week serve as a cover for the surreal Ukraine fiasco, which in turn obscured defeat in the Syrian war which in turn diverted the world’s attention from the chaos engendered in Libya by NATO intervention. Since the hand of the NATO and Western intelligence assets is clearly present in all these scenarios you might think Obama’s strategy is merely to cover failure with even more failure. But their may be a different logic at play,a convoluted logic of end of empire. If so, the cycle may be broken in Iraq and by the time the ISIL has been checked we may see the clear outlines of a new international order.

Posted in Iraq, New Cold War | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

In Europe, Obama to explain his Russia policy

Posted by seumasach on June 1, 2014

Those of the frontiers of empire are the first to get wind of a faint-heartedness at the centre. We saw this with the loyalist response to the Anglo-Irish agreement in 1986. Obama, as head of US military, has no intention of confronting Russia: as head of the empire he must reassure his allies before retreat turns into rout. Already Turkey and Qatar are flipping towards the rising power of the East and the SCO. Obama’s best bet is a controlled disengagement from empire accompanied by a incremental engagement with Russia and China; a difficult manoeuver fraught with danger.

In Europe, Obama gets second chance to explain his Russia policy

Trust

1st June, 2014

WASHINGTON, June 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama heads to Warsaw, Brussels, Paris and Normandy this week where he is expected to elaborate on the U.S. commitment to counter Russian moves against Ukraine and reassure nervous allies the United States has their backs.

Read more

Posted in Coup d'état in Ukraine | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Goodbye Afghanistan, hello Asia-Pacific

Posted by seumasach on May 28, 2014

A good analysis with the proviso that the Asia pivot itself amounts to nothing:

The US pivot: Rebalancing as retreat

Jim Lobe

Asia Times

28th May, 2014

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday his intention to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. In a statement from the White House Rose Garden, Obama said he expects to reduce US troops levels from the roughly 32,000 which remain there now to 9,800 by the end of this year, and to cut that number by about half by the end of 2015. 

Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The audacious Mr Putin

Posted by seumasach on May 25, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

25th May, 2014

Prince Charles is only the lunatic fringe of so many in the West who like to characterize Vladimir Putin as a ruthless and ambitious dictator hell-bent on his goal of refounding the Soviet Union. But if he is ruthless and ambitious why would he limit himself to such a mediocre and fruitless goal?
His latest statements as reported by RT deserve careful attention:
“I really would not like to think that this is a beginning of a new Cold War,” he said speaking with the heads of the world media at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “I think this is not going to happen.”
As for the Western sanctions against Russia, “I think that they are absolutely counterproductive, not based on a fair attitude to existing problems, and driven by a desire to impose on Russia international relations developments that do not correspond either with international law or with mutual interests. They certainly do not correspond with Russian interests,” Putin said.
Isolation of Russia is “impossible,” Putin stressed, adding that there is a “mutual dependence” between Russia with both the US and EU.
Not only is there no hint here of the reconstitution of the Soviet sphere but there is no suggestion of the much-touted turn from the West towards an Eastern alliance. The truth is that Putin, as a man of great ambition, is not reckoning on having to choose between East and West, between the BRICS and the US and EU: he aims to choose both.
A little thought shows that a mere Russia-China(BRICS) alliance is inadequate from the point of view of Russian interests. The strategic tensions with the West would remain unresolved and would continue to distort Russia’s internal development. Excessive and badly required resources would continue to be poured into defense to counter threats such as missile defense and ongoing NATO destabilization programs. Russia’s natural trading relations with Europe , especially Germany, would be disrupted. This would be far from the win/win scenario so wished for and so required.
The holy grail for Putin is a strategic partnership with Washington. This is not only of mutual interest but the key to the historic imperative of ending war, hot or cold. It may appear to be a laughable goal given the current media-generated anti-Russian frenzy but let us hope that deeper trends are at work and that the coming collapse of the US economy is focusing Obama’s mind marvelously and that he is coming to see a strategic partnership with those hitherto presumed to be America’s enemies as a drowning man sees his rescuers.
Of course, the obstacles to such a resolution are great. The death of an empire whose tentacles are everywhere is a prolonged and obscure agony. The hydra has many heads and there are countless agendas which have been heavily invested in: five billion dollars, apparently, in the current Ukraine fiasco alone. But I suspect Russia have strategic depth in Ukraine and that the new president, Poroshenko, will be a disappointment to the West’s war party.
With a diplomatic solution in sight in Ukraine and the West’s contras in retreat in Syria and Venezuela the air will begin to clear, the smoke of war to dissipate and the two most prominently left standing will be Putin and Obama. Certainly, next to Putin’s grandmaster role, Obama cuts a rather forlorn figure but in his role of commander -in-chief he has recognized the unwillingness of the US military, as opposed to the various agencies, to engage in further futile and destructive war. This was the minimum required of him and he has duly delivered(touch wood!).
We will then see that there is no contradiction between the Eurasian Union( the economic reunification of the post-Soviet space), the Lisbon to Vladivostok economic space(hopefully, we might be allowed in too, once Prince Charles has apologized) and strategic partnerships between the US and the BRICS. This is the win/win scenario, nothing short of the unification of humanity itself and the only scenario worth the audacity of hoping for.

Posted in Coup d'état in Ukraine | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

China pivot fuels Eurasian century

Posted by seumasach on May 20, 2014

“Meanwhile, a discombobulated America seems to be aiding and abetting the deconstruction of its own unipolar world order, while offering the BRICS a genuine window of opportunity to try to change the rules of the game.” 

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass – at the expense of the United States. 

Read more

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

Five reasons why the world needs the BRICS Bank

Posted by seumasach on May 4, 2014

Russia and India Report

30th December, 2013

A new development bank that will complement – and compete with – the World Bank and the IMF is on the fast track. Here’s a primer on why the BRICS Bank is a pretty sound idea.

Read more

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

US unhappy over Bahrain-Russia deal

Posted by seumasach on May 1, 2014

Trade Arabia

1st May, 2014

The US has raised concern over a decision by its Gulf ally Bahrain to sign an investment cooperation deal with Russia at a time when US and European governments are imposing economic sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, an official said.

Read more

Posted in Coup d'état in Ukraine, Multipolar world | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Money and credit and the current backdrop

Posted by seumasach on April 30, 2014

“Today’s markets would react negatively to any major expansion of central bank Credit from the likes of Brazil, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia or South Africa. This market dynamic provides a huge competitive advantage to developed central banks, markets and economies. Increasingly, this competitive advantage along with the destabilizing global role of Federal Reserve “money” are sources of heightened global animosities. More than ever before, EM economies see developed “money” printing as a force for rising inequality”. 

In other words, the ability of Washington and London to “quantitatively ease” is an imperial privilege. However, there is one crucial distinction between this and past forms of imperial exploitation: QE is also impoverishing, through inflation, the whole US and UK populations, outside the 0.01 % elite.

Doug Noland

Prudent Bear

27th April, 2014

Trouble brewing

Over the years, money and the “Moneyness” of Credit have remained focal points of my Macro Credit Analytical Framework. From my perspective, money is fundamentally defined by perceptions. “Money” is a financial claim perceived as safe and a liquid store of nominal value. Understandably, this definition is troubling to monetary purists. Yet in the spirit of Ludwig von Mises and his notion of broad money/“fiduciary media,” my view of contemporary “money” is focused on an array of financial claims and their functionality. 

Read more

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

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 956 other followers

%d bloggers like this: