In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The empire fights back!

Posted by seumasach on November 23, 2010

Cailean Bochanan
23rd November, 2010
We haven’t had to wait long after the G20 summit for hostilities to break out. In a speech at a conference of European central bankers in Frankfurt Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve had the temerity to blame China for the “excessive or volatile capital inflows” caused by dollar devaluation or quantitative easing. Let’s hope the Europeans took note of the new, abrasive style. After all, it’s also directed at them.
If the media is awash with anti-China propaganda it is also barking as never before for the end of the eurozone as if it was they who had just embarked on a lunatic programme of currency devaluation. But the idea is to bounce them into it, to break up the EU and to loot the place, which having never fully been subjected to the rigours of Thatcherism still has an air of complacent prosperity compared to the bombed out squalor of large areas of the US/UK. There are still juicy pickings there and City of London sharks, strategically placed and sensing weak EU leadership, have got the scent of blood.

But they need collaborators inside the Eurozone , a fifth column of go- it -alone cowboys straining at the leash of Europe’s regulatory, social democratic model.  Judging by the coup they’ve pulled off with the Irish bailout, they’ve got it: a section of European finance capital must be on board. Having bounced Ireland into a bailout, enthusiastically and uncharacteristically supported by the UK, the idea is to extend the process to Portugal and Spain. Like Ireland, these form part of the neo-liberal “success story”. In other words, large amounts of finance have flowed into property bubbles and bond bubbles there, a lot of it coming from the City of London. Deutsche-Welle reports the following:
“According to data from the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements , the Irish government, banks and companies owe foreign investors $731 billion (540 billion euros). Banks in Britain hold the highest stake with $149 billion, followed by Germany with $138 billion, the United States with $69 billion, Belgium with $54 billion and France with $50 billion.”
These are essentially the people being bailed out but who decides that the bailout is necessary? It’s the “markets”. Who are the markets? Substantially City of London hedge funds seem to be driving the process as was the case with Greece. Who else would launch a politically-motivated attack on the euro when economic criteria would favour an attack on the pound/dollar.As Jean-Claude Paye has pointed out in the columns of Voltairenet, the City hedge funds are an advance guard for US speculative funds and despite a recent, much-trumpeted ,EU regulatory code they are pretty well being given free reign:
“This directive thus falls within the restructuring of financial markets, revealed by the G20 of April 2009 regarding “the fight against tax fraud” [6], that is to say in the legitimation of the Anglo-American stranglehold on European finance. However, if the primacy of the City throughout the European Union, regarding the management of the speculative funds, is overwhelming (80% of the industry is British, as against 5% for France), this power must be put into perspective. The British funds represent $212 billion, compared to a total of $1000 billion for those located in the US. Thus the London market appears above all as the Trojan horse of U.S. hedge funds.”

So we have the basis for an alliance between sectors of European finance capital and the City. Throw in the intoxicating power of a monolithic, neo-liberal media and this promises to bring chaos unless the Europeans can find the will to check them. The sharks will now move onto to Portugal and Spain as the press has been endlessly “predicting”. The consequences will be that the debt of the banks is off-loaded onto the people of those countries and the EU project will be brought into disrepute. Europe is finished scream the press, shills of Anglo-America: yes, Europe is finished unless it can cut out the canker at it’s heart, unless it can counter the likes of them. Let’s be clear about their goal: it is to break up Europe, to impoverish it and to feudalise it. Oligarchy was never happy with the modern nation state- they want a return to the middle ages with the City of London as the Vatican and the press as a neo-liberal priesthood.
But it is from a geo-political perspective that the most disastrous consequences could flow: the vassalage of Europe would mean an Orwellian stand off between Oceania and Eurasia, between NATO and the SCO. Seoul was the G18+2 but the Anglo-Americans intend to draw Europe into their camp. Can humanity really endure another prolonged cold war in a world so desperately in need of demilitarisation? Post-Seoul, the rest of the world is pushing ahead towards the post-dollar, post imperial world but Europe remains the missing piece in the multipolar jigsaw. Europe must now establish its independence from Anglo-America and to do this they have to take on the oligarchs in their midst. The first stage is to put the bankers through bankruptcy rather forcing the state to pick up the bill.

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