The mother of all financial collapses, and a new beginning

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A dysfunctional debt-based monetary system, massive imbalances in the markets, immunity from prosecution for those responsible for the 2007-2009 crash, and inadequate responses on the part of Western central banks and governments have created gigantic, global commodity derivatives bubbles that will most likely burst by year’s end, causing a global financial collapse (Our Dysfunctional Monetary System, Forbes, 6 Feb 2016; Analyst: Here Comes the Biggest Stock Market Crash in a Generation, Fortune, 13 Jan 2016).

In such a scenario, banks would be bailed-in and this would produce huge layoffs. The US would hit the debt ceiling earlier than foreseen and would be forced to issue debt-free money (The Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coin Is Back, Bloomberg, 13 Mar 2015) to fund job-creating government spending.

This would, in turn, cause a worldwide flight from US$, a dramatic loss of confidence in the Federal Reserve, hyperinflation in the States, and an egregious overvaluation of the € currency and precious metals.

In order to ride out the storm and break free of the unilateral “Bretton Woods” system, BRICS countries would announce a new gold-backed, electronic currency for international trade settlements, presumably issued by their New Development Bank (In uncertain times, Germany takes more gold home, Reuters, 27 Jan 2016). It would be a common counting unit calculated on the composite exchange rates of a basket of major currencies available only to the Central Banks of the participating countries (Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Reform the international monetary system, BIS, 23 Mar 2009; RMB rate to depend more on basket of currencies: PBOC economist, China Daily, 12 Jan 2016). Eurozone countries would promptly apply for membership, as they did when the AIIB was launched (AIIB will “significantly” bring together Europe, Asia: Luxembourg minister , Xinhua 5 Nov 2015).

The new currency would likely prove a stabilizing novelty in world finance and politics. By contrast, the US$ would lose its privileged reserve status and the United States would no longer be able to export debt and inflation. New rules for a new architecture for the world economy and finance (Merkel and Sarkozy call for global ‘economic security’ council, EUObserver, 9 Jan 2009), as well as new methods of risk evaluation and investment (e.g. global project bonds to recycle surpluses as investments for infrastructures and research projects), would be introduced.

Monsanto’s demise

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Unless Europeans approve TTIP/TAFTA, Monsanto is doomed:

The agricultural giant that is based in St. Louis announced the reductions, which are equal to 12% of its overall workforce, as it reported a 19 cents per share loss in its fiscal fourth quarter and it warned that profit would remain weak through the end 2016.
http://www.financial-market-news.com/monsanto-cutting-workforce-by-12/1002/

The majority of EU member states (two-thirds) have decided to “opt-out” of genetically modified (GM) food cultivation after new legislation brought into force this Spring gives individual member state the power to restrict GM cultivation in their own territories.

Following the deadline of the 3 October 2015, European Commission spokesperson Enrico Brivio confirmed that 19 of the 28 members that belong to the EU block have requested ‘opt-outs’ [1]: Austria, Belgium for the Wallonia region (constituting over half of Belgium’s territory), Britain (for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia. Germany has a partial opt-out that will still allow research into GM crops without commercial cultivation. Altogether these nations represent ~70 % of the EU population and over two-thirds of its arable land.

Serbia and Russia, not members of the EU, have also made a point of rejecting the technology, with Serbia now marketing itself as an exclusively non-GM soy producer [2-4]. Switzerland, not a member of the EU, has a moratorium against GM crops already in place.

Similar opt-out proposals are under consideration for imports of GM food and animal feed but are yet to be finalised…
The fortunes of ag-biotech giants including Monsanto have been flagging since at least 2014, when China the world’s largest importer of grain and GM produce began rejecting major shipments of maize on account of contamination with non-approved GMOs. At the same time, the rising popularity of non-GMO and organic food, and increasing problems with glyphosate-resistant weeds and Bt-resistant pests have prompted record numbers of US farmers to switch back to non-GMO or to organic production.
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Continuing_Demise_of_GMOs.php

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Stefano Fait, Ph.D.
Trento — Italy
Social forecaster, political scientist and anthropologist.
Strategy consultant, communications and social media relations manager for WazArs and -skopìa.
Arts and Culture reporter for “Trentino” & “Alto Adige”. Professional translator.
Editor-in-chief of futurables.com.
Peer reviewer and contributor for Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, University of British Columbia Press, IGI Global, Infobase Publishing, M.E. Sharpe, Congressional Quarterly Press, Greenwood Press.
Laurea in Political Science — University of Bologna (2000).
Ph.D. in Social Anthropology — University of St. Andrews (2004).
Co-author of “Contro i miti etnici. Alla ricerca di un Alto Adige diverso” (2010).

 

Keep them out, lock them up, bomb them all, or…

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If someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war. If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.

Retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, Wesley Clark: “Disloyal Americans” should be tossed in internment camps for the “duration” of the war on terror, Salon, 20 July 2015

Corriere della Sera: What do you propose, then? To deport five million French Muslims?

Zemmour: I know it’s unrealistic, but history takes us by surprise. Who would have thought in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs, twenty years later, would have left Algeria to return to France? Or that, after the war. 5 or 6 million Germans would leave Central and Eastern Europe, where they had lived for centuries? I think we’re heading towards chaos. This situation of a population within another population, as Muslims are in relation to the French, will lead to chaos and civil war. Millions of people live here, in France, and don’t want to live like the French people.

Il successo di Zemmour, l’arrabbiato anti-élite «La Francia si è suicidata» Corriere della Sera, 30 ottobre 2014

It’s mommy Angela: pride, glory and honor of Europe, the future Nobel Peace Prize, the embodiment of a continent of moms who cannot put up with the picture of a dead child … Within hours, Angela Merkel took the monumental responsibility to permanently destroy a millennial Germany and turn it into a multicultural country. The announced 800,000 refugees will have children, millions of people will get on the move now that they see Germany as the nineteenth-century America. But who will eventually play the role of Indians?

Éric Zemmour’s on-air remarks on RTL, 10 September 2015

objectionable humor by Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo’s objectionable humor

There are currently over 9.5 million Syrian refugees: 6.5 million are internally displaced and the remaining three million have fled the country, mostly seeking refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

To this figure we must add five million stateless Palestinian refugees (since 1948), one million Afghan refugees in Iran (UNHCR, 2015), over 3 million internally displaced persons in Iraq and hundreds of thousands of North African refugees.

When, back in 2003, Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin warned the world that the U.S. invasion of Iraq would open a Pandora’s box, few could foresee a catastrophe of these proportions, greatly exceeding the tragedy of Vietnamese boat people (Margaret Thatcher reluctant to give boat people refuge in Britain, Guardian, 30 December 2009).

A crisis that could have been resolved long ago (“Martti Ahtisaari said the failure to consider the Russian offer had led to a ‘self-made disaster’ with the huge flow of refugees” – West ‘ignored Russian offer in 2012 to have Syria’s Assad step aside’, Guardian, 15 September 2015), had the White House made different choices (How U.S. Interventionists Abetted the Rise of ISIS, Wall Street Journal, 27 August 2014), is now turning into a ticking time bomb.

Zemmour, a French celebrity journalist and essayist, like many other European demagogues, is sowing the seeds of hysteria among Europeans, amid fears of “refugee burden” and “new Barbaric invasions” (Zemmour choque en évoquant la déportation des musulmans, Europe 1, 17 décembre 2014; Marine Le Pen verrait bien Eric Zemmour comme son ministre de la Culture, BFMTV, 14 septembre 2015).

While Hungary, Saudi Arabia and Israel have built barbed wire fences, financial analysts are forecasting a worldwide “credit freeze” which, under these circumstances, could ignite massive social unrest across Europe.

This predicament could lead to self-isolating, violently xenophobic movements (Czech police haul migrants off trains to Germany and ‘write numbers on their arms in ink’, Independent, 2 September 2015; Far-right Czech politician recommends placing refugees in concentration camp, Jerusalem Post, 9 September 2015) and the continual erosion or even break-down of the European Union or, alternatively, to a wiser course of action (A 10-Point Plan to Solve Europe’s Refugee Crisis, Huffington Post, 26 August 2015).

Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok

Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok (Ukraine underplays role of far right in conflict, BBC, 13 December 2014)

Another French revolution? When all hell breaks loose

Protesters carry a banner reading 'no to austerity'

Nearly 4/10 of the control over the economic value of Transnational Corporations in the world is held, via a complicated web of ownership relations, by a group of 147 TNCs in the core, which has almost full control over itself. The top holders within the core can thus be thought of as an economic “super-entity” in the global network of corporations. A relevant additional fact at this point is that 3/4 of the core are financial intermediaries

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1107/1107.5728v2.pdf

Austerity policies implemented by the European Commission and some States, including Germany, have failed. There is no democracy in Europe, but an Euro-oligarchy. It is incumbent on us to create a Euro-democracy.

Arnaud Montebourg

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/2015/08/23/a-frangy-montebourg-et-varoufakis-accueillis-comme-des-rock-stars_1368044

France’s 3,600-page labor code is still very much a sacred cow, fiercely defended by unions and the socialist party’s left-fringe in parliament. A case in point: In August, the French Constitutional Council knocked back a part of Macron’s economic reform program that aimed to cap the amount of money workers could claim before labor tribunals in cases of wrongful dismissal.

That raises the prospect of further battles over Macron’s next reform bill — the same one he advertised before the German notables.

http://www.politico.eu/article/france-pushes-convergence-transfers-germany-economy-overhaul-crisis/

Varoufakis: The French government feels that it has a weak hand. Its deficit is persistently within the territory of the so-called excessive deficit procedure of the European Commission, which puts Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, and France’s previous finance minister, in the difficult position of having to act tough on Paris under the watchful eye of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister.

It is also true, as you say, that the Eurogroup is completely “stitched up” by Schäuble. Nevertheless, France had an opportunity to use the Greek crisis in order to change the rules of a game that France will never win. The French government has, thus, missed a major opportunity to render itself sustainable within the single currency. The result, I fear, is that Paris will soon be facing a harsher regime, possibly a situation where the president of the Eurogroup is vested with draconian veto powers over the French government’s national budget. How long, once this happens, can the European Union survive the resurgence of nasty nationalism in places like France?

http://theconversation.com/varoufakis-in-conversation-with-leading-academics-as-syriza-splinters-and-election-beckons-in-greece-35861

Varoufakis: Dr Schäuble’s plan: A Eurozonal budget overlord (possibly a glorified version of the Eurogroup’s President) equipped only with negative, or veto, powers over national budgets. Over France’s budget to be precise. A Eurogroup that gets more and more powerful as the European Commission fades into the background, limited to looking after matters of minor importance.

To those who speak of ‘more Europe’ and in favour of a ‘political union’, I say: Beware! The Soviet Union was also a political union. The question is: What kind of political union? A democratic realm of shared prosperity? Or an iron cage for Europe’s peoples?

A federal democracy, let me remind you, like Germany, the United States or Australia, is founded on the sovereignty of its citizens as reflected in the positive power of their federal representatives to legislate what must be done on the sovereign people’s behalf.

In sharp contrast, the Schäuble Plan envisages only negative powers: A budget overlord that can only say ‘No’ but has very limited capacity to recycle surpluses from the surplus to the deficit regions of Europe – which is what a federal system would do.

The problem with this plan is twofold. First, it would not help to safeguard and to manage the Eurozone’s macro-economy. Secondly, it would violate basic principles of Western liberal democracy.

So, why is Greece relevant in all this? Because it is part of the plan to use Greece as a morality tale, as a demonstration to you folks of what awaits you if you resist this disciplinarian version of political union. Grexit is meant as a threat that forces the people of France to accept as lesser evils permanent austerity, permanent crisis and direct control over your destiny by unaccountable, faceless, economically illiterate pseudo-technocrats.

Make no mistake in this: Our government was crushed because we dared say no to the Troika at a time when there were plans afoot for the Troika to come to Paris. Don’t say you have not be warned. “We are all Greeks now” not because there is something superior about the Greeks but because the Athens Spring lit up a small candle emitting hope to all Europeans. A candle that the Troika had to extinguish at all cost, lest its authority be challenged by the spectre of democracy.

http://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/250815/our-athens-spring

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