The Saker blog now also in Russian!

ДОРОГИЕ РУССКОЯЗЫЧНЫЕ ДРУЗЬЯ!
Читайте блог Балобана по-русски щелкнув на эту ссылку:


http://www.vineyardsaker.ru/

The Saker Blog now also in French!

AMIS FRANCOPHONES!
Vous pouvez maintenant lire le blog du Saker en Français en cliquant sur ce lien:


http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/

The Saker Blog now also in German!

ALLE UNSERE DEUTSCHEN FREUNDE!
koennen jetzt den blog des Sakers auf Deutsch lesen - bitte hier anklicken:


http://www.vineyardsaker.de/

The Saker Blog now also in Oceania

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN OCEANIA!
you can now also visit the Oceania Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:


http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/

The Saker Blog now also in Serbian

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN SERBIA!
you can now also visit the Serbian Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:


http://www.thesakersrpski.rs/

The Saker Blog now also in Italian

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN ITALY!
ora potete anche visitare il Blog Italiano VineyardSaker cliccando su questo link:


http://www.vineyardsaker.it/

The Saker Blog now also in Spanish

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN LATIN AMERICA!
pueden ahora también visitar el blog de Latinoamérica haciendo click en este link:

http://www.vineyardsaker.es/

Friday, December 19, 2014

Upcoming Saker Podcast & transcripts

Dear friends,

Next week I plan to record my 4th podcast.  As always, I invite questions, but also comments.  Please post them here until Sunday evening 6PM UTC/GMT time.  Please do not email me but only post your questions in the comments section (in English, French, Russian, German, Italian or Spanish - I can translate them into English during the recording).  Any and all topics, from very serious to totally non-serious are welcome!

Also, I to let you know the full transcript (in ODT, PDF and RTF format) of the first and second Saker podcasts are now available on the Saker Podcast download page:

https://sites.google.com/site/sakerpodcast/home

For those of you have not already already done so, the audio and the show notes are also available on the download page.

I will let you know as soon as the transcript of the third podcast is posted.

Please don't forget to contribute, especially in this end-of-year & mega-bills season.

Cheers and kind regards,

The Saker

The forgotten lady who gave her life for Cuba

There is one specific aspect of the recent thaw between the US and Cuba which nobody has mentioned and that bothers me a lot.

We have all heard about the Cuban 5, the last three of which were now freed and we heard about the Jewish American spy Alan Gross who has now returned to the USA.  The media has also reveled the name of the top US mole in Cuba who had provided the USA with information about the Cuban 5 which lead to their arrest: Rolando Sarraff Trujillo who is now in the USA.  So all is well, and everybody is back home, right?

Wrong.

Amongst the people whom Trujillo's betrayal was Ana Belen Montes, who was the top DIA analyst for Cuba and who, after observing from the inside the hypocrisy and outright evil of the US policy towards Cuba decided to betray the USA and become a spy for Cuba.

You could say that Ana Montes was Rolando Trujillo's counterpart in the USA.

Except that Trujillo is free, while Montes still rots in jail.

And, apparently, the Cuban government made no effort to get her freed.

I don't personally care much about moles primarily because most of them end up breaking an oath to their country, and that bothers me a lot.  Unlike an intelligence agent, whether under diplomatic immunity or clandestine, a mole takes a formal oath to the country he/she betrays, something which intelligence agents don't do.  But if there is one thing which even the prosecution admitted in the case of Ana Belen Montes is that she acted purely on political/ideological grounds, because she believed in her heart that what she was doing was right.  She got no money from the Cubans, she was not entrapped in some sordid sex scandal and she was no acting out of petty revenge or resentful ego problems, as so many traitors typically do.

She knew the risks better than anybody else, but she took them because she believed that this was the right, honorable, thing to do.

And now the Cubans have apparently turned away from her (while the US did get Trujillo free).

I cannot see any excuse for the Cuban government's willingness to release Trujillo for anybody else but Montes.  The plight of the Cuban 5 was not nearly as dramatic has Montes' and Trujillo was directly responsible for her arrest.  And yet the Cubans seem to have forgotten her.

David Rovics wrote an absolutely beautiful song for Ana Belen Montes and I hope that she will get to hear it one day.  You can listen to it here:


I can only imagine how Montes feels today knowing that Trujillo is free while she is forgotten.  And I don't blame the USA for jailing her.  But it bothers me a great deal that the Cubans have apparently turned away from a lady who gave her life for Cuba.

The Saker

Is that not the hight of stupidity and self-delusion?

Listening to Obama's speech about Cuba I was stunned by the following statements:
After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked.  It’s time for a new approach.  (...) I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result.  Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.  Even if that worked -– and it hasn’t for 50 years –- we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos.
You get that? Obama admits that 50 years of sanctions and attempts to isolate a small island right off the coast of Florida has not worked.  And then he announces that he will impose more sanctions on Russia, the biggest country on the planet, and that he will isolate Russia, even though Russia now has full access to the biggest economy on the planet?!

Is that not the height of stupidity and self-delusion?

The Saker

Crouching sanctions, hidden revenues

by Lev Igorevich 

Dollars for borsch

There is a lot of speculation about the economic health of Russia in the light of tougher sanctions, falling oil prices and tumbling ruble. Concerns are raised whether Russia can afford it’s existence. However, those concerns are paper thin and are presented in more of a mocking spirit, because in most prediction acrobatics, actual revenues of Russian state are not considered at all. Many sources, in their predictions for Russian economy, are repeating the same mistake over and over again. Roughly speaking - assesments are made under the assumption that Russians pay dollars for their borsch. In reality, Russia sells borsch for dollars. This is important point to consider, because Russia pays it’s public sector expenditures (education, healthcare, pensions, police, army etc) in rubles!

As we all knew (those who didn’t got it stamped in the face this year thanks to the good will of liberal media), Russian revenues are based on natural resources. Sales are conducted in FX (except for special agreements, some of which are still pending). So let’s take a look how the purse of Russian state is being filled.

For the purpose of this article, rough numbers were taken from Nasdaq WTI chart for oil and XE USD/RUB chart for FX. Example will be based on average gas price for Germany in 2013, which was $366 (according to Bloomberg).

Oil Situation

As far as Russian Treasury is concerned, income from oil industry is just fine and is probably exceeding early 2014 estimates for next years budget. Even at tumbling oil prices, falling ruble is compensating more than enough - revenue rose roghly 12% year-over-year.


Year Month WTI Crude $ USD/RUB RUB revenue
2013
1Y AVG
97
33
3201
2013
November
94
33
3102
2014
February
103
36
3708
2014
May
103
35
3605
2014
August
95
37
3515
2014
November
75
46
3450
2014
December
60
60
3600
Crisis Average
88
41
3 497

Gas situation

Let’s take a look at this years picture using the same ruble prices from the oil chart. It is easy to see that ruble revenue almost doubled by the end of the year and avaregad 31% more in year-over-year income.


Year Month Gas3 $ USD/RUB RUB revenue
2013
1Y AVG
366
33
12078
2014
February
366
35
12810
2014
May
366
35
12810
2014
August
366
37
13542
2014
November
366
46
16836
2014
December
366
60
21960
2014
1Y AVG
366
43
15 592


Surprise, n***a!

On paper, Russia will have good fiscal numbers and a solid budget for 2015. This of course is just a cover image. Russia plans major investments for 2015 and onwards (with developments in the west, Russia needs “2020” to happen much quicker) and is most likely to tap it’s floating currency mechanisms for issuing more rubles for those investments. I doubt that Russia will waste FX by selling them for rubles right off the bat if they can print the money against fresh FX holdings. The “big throw” will be reserved for later as we all know what happens to countries that dump dollar overnight. Last thing Russia (and China, too) needs right now is another color/umbrella revolution being sped up. Equally importantly, one must not forget that Russian and Chinese financial systems combined hold trillions of US treasuries (it’s insane to hold cash as bank deposits are guaranteed up to $250K, treasuries have no limit against bankruptcy) which they wouldn’t want to depreceate before major swap and secure measueres are in place. So unless the west comes in with guns, don’t hold your breath for international ruble just yet. Instead, what Russia needs right now is a weak ruble that will force to dump imports and start thinking about substitution and better yet realizing Russias natural potential. The plan is to force Russians to think about long-term local business, not just quick-buck consumerism. Russia must give a crude awakening slap to the late and advantage to the early wakers amids decreasing foreign profits. Make the business to step up with own goods and technologies, initiate a cross-sectoral build up and stop companies syphoning money off-shore where it gets pocketed by western “asset managers”.

Fates irony or enjoy your bath

Ironically, weak ruble will also punish EU for doing dirty work for the US. Now it’s for everyone to see that US waves the stick while the EU pays the price. Weak ruble will decrease tourism from Russia and exports to Russia. EU’s agricultural sector is already sensing light, but increasing pain. Tech industry shall follow if Russia is to prolong the embargo and weak ruble combo. Yes, low ruble means less purchasing power abroad. Yet it also means competitive advantage for Russian goods in foreign markets and thus increased selling power - a signal for future development. Mercedes-Benz has announced that it plans to build several plants in Russia. Volvo, Renault-Nissan and others are already there. If this will materiaize - hello jobs for Russians and goodbye long awaited economic recovery for EU! Germany will be punished for it’s ambition to monopolize the distribution of Russian gas by attempting to take Ukraine into its fold through post-coup privatization (now just a crushed dream), while actually opening Pandora’s Box for US to exploit. Get ready for a triple whammy (must be some excellent German engineering)! Firstly - US took Ukraine over and kicked Germany over the fence with Merkel compliantly shutting up. Secondly, EU’s sales to Russia were decreasing and with tumbling ruble are guaranteed to decrease even more. South America, Turkey, India and China will be more than happy to fill the void. And thirdly, how’s prospect of Turkey becoming major regional gas hub for you? Saxon greed has met its borders within the mauling paws of the bear while oldest nations of the world are economically invited to watch the show.

Crackdown on Brokeback Mountain

During the 18.12.2014 press Q&A session, when asked if he has confidence in the elites surrounding him, Putin replied that the biggest confidence stems from the overwhelming support of the Russian people. That was after some quite dangerous fifth column definition gymnastics and attempts to break Putins confidence took place. Russia will use current economic situation not only to punish it’s western “partners”, but also will have the perfect excuse, once comfortable, to clean up its fifth column in the government and banking. While low ruble will add pressure to European economy and steep central bank rate will stop predatory ruble trading, Putin will have a card up his sleeve to unleash the “wrath of Russian people” onto the traitors in the establishment responsible for “susceptibility to western sanctions”, “unexpected currency dive” and “expensive financing”. Switching staff by popular demand will remove a lot of questions internally and give that extra legitimacy externally. “The Moor has done his work, the Moor may go” at its finest. However, lowering the funds rate at the central bank will probably not give any rise to ruble (because of foreign perception, not economic reality), but as previously laid out, that might be desireable all along - easier financing and boosted competitivness is what the business always needs.

18.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Germany, USA

Putin on the defensive forced to invest a lot of his personal political capital

Let's begin by what I personally consider bad news: either Putin really believes in liberal market economics or he has to say he does.  He began his Q&A and ended it with a categorical expression of full support for the policies of the Central Bank and its Chairwoman, Nabiulina, and a no less categorical expression of support for the Government and its Prime Minister, Medvedev.  Worse, Putin declared that he believes that market forces will by themselves correct the current disequilibria.  At most, he agreed that certain decisions should have been taken earlier or more forcefully, but that's it.  

Some will love it.  Lew Rockwell went as far as to say that he would hand Elvira Nabiulina the award of "Central Banker of the Year".  Not everybody agrees.  For example, Victor Gerashchenko, a former Chairman of the Central Bank, declared that if he had been in the position of Nabiulina today he would have "asked for a gun to shoot himself".

I have to admit that I personally am dismayed by Putin's apparent beliefs in market economics.  I say 'apparent' because there might be things going on which I am not aware of.  For example, while Putin speaks of "market forces" China seems to get heavily involved in the Russian economic crisis.  For those interested in these developments, please check the following sources:

First, check out the latest CrossTalk: Dumping the Dollar.
Then read Pepe Escobar's Go West, Young Han.
Then check out this article in the English version of the People's Daily.
Finally please read this article in Zero Hedge.

The Chinese friend who sent me the article in the People's Daily made a particularly interesting comment.  He wrote:
"Yin and yang politics?  I cannot help but notice a strong pattern. China and Russia each engages each other's enemies/allies with whom they have friction in order to bring them into the Eurasian fold. What do you think? Is this intentional? I had my doubts earlier in the year, but more and more this keeps happening".
I think that he is spot-on here.  It is very much in the Russian strategic interest to have China applying some "Yuan diplomacy" in the EU not only because China is a close ally, but mainly because China is "not the USA".  At this point in time, *anything* which can weaken the total control of the USA over its EU colonies is welcome.  Any Yuan invested in the EU is one Dollar which is not.

This is just an example.  Putin probably knows a lot of things which we don't and he probably cannot say everything he thinks or plans.  But my purely subjective impression is that Putin simply does not have the power needed to confront the Atlantic Integrationists head on.  Mikhail Khazin, who knows a lot, recently even declared that there were Atlantic Integrationists in the "power ministries".  And since I am pretty sure that he was not referring to the Ministry of Defense that leaves either Internal Affairs or State Security.  If true, that is not good.  Either that, or Putin sincerely believes in liberal market-economics.  I most definitely don't believe in them at all.

There are, in my opinion, two major problems with Putin's logic.  First, Russia needs not less, but more regulation and more state control.  At the very least, I really believe that the very institution of the Central Bank is a toxic one: it was created by the US-controlled Eltsin regime to subordinate Russian politics (and politicians) to the international banking cartels and we see that it works perfectly.  Putin can send bombers to the Gulf of Mexico, but he is unable to remove Nabiulina, nevermind take control of the Central Bank.  Nikolai Starikov has even said that there is a joke going around now saying "Putin, send the troops into the Central Bank!".  That is how disgusted many Russians have become with this supra-national institution which is accountable to nobody.  But there is even worse.

The choice of a free-market non-regulated "solution" basically leaves Russia fully enmeshed into the AngloZionist controlled financial system.  How can Russia free herself from the "Dollar yoke" while remaining fully part of the Dollar-dominated international system?!


I have to tell you that while I gratefully posted Peter Koenig's excellent "Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game" this was one of those instances when I post something I find very interesting but which I do not agree with.  I just don't get the sense that Putin is about to pull some clever judo-move on the western plutocrats.  I most sincerely hope that I am wrong here, but that is my gut-feeling.


Generally, Putin was clearly defensive when asked questions about the Central Bank and the Government.  Especially in contrast to the absolutely magnificent way he handled the questions about the Ukraine, even when asked by a very hostile Ukrainian journalist.  Again, as I so often say this, I am not a mind-reader or a prophet.  I cannot tell you what Putin thinks or what he will do.  But I think that many years of studying the man give me a pretty decent gut feeling about him and that gut feeling tells me that while he has a clear and strong vision on international politics in general, and especially about the Ukraine, he lacks such a vision for economic problems.

For the Ukraine his position is crystal clear: "Crimea is ours forever, we will not let you crush the Donbass, we want a untied Ukraine in which the rights of all people and regions are respected and you will have to negotiate with the Novorussians who have a right of self determination" (which leaves open the possibility that while Russia might "prefer" a united Ukraine, the Novorussians have the right to decide otherwise).  Clear, direct and, I would argue, perfectly reasonable.  In contrast, in economic I get a sense of faith-based politics: "market forces will correct the current artificial situation and within 2 years the crisis will be over".  The problem with that is that the very same Putin ALSO says that the West is completely manipulating the markets and not allowing them to act.  So what he is really saying is this: "the Empire does not have the means to artificially skew the markets for more than two years".  Oh really?  I am not so sure of that at all.  In my book the Empire has been skewing the markets for many years already (I would argue since 1971).

Bottom line, what I hear from Putin is "more of the same" and since I don't like what I have seen so far, I can only add "only worse".

Can this nightmare be averted?
Still, the situation is not necessarily hopeless.  While I think that Putin's economic policies are wrong and while I believe that the Russian Central Bank is very much part of the problem and not the solution, this is not a black and white binary kind of choice: playing by the wrong rules or on the wrong field does not necessarily mean that you will lose, only that you have made the wrong initial choice.  For one thing, you can make the argument that the Ruble is a much more credible currency then the Dollar.  Second, I do agree that market forces are resisting the US distortion and that the integration of China and Russia will inevitably contribute to help the Russian economy.  Third, the EU is already in recession and if that get's worse, and it will, this will start pulling down many US banks who are heavily linked to the EU market.  Fourth, in objective terms, Russia is sitting on a tangible fortune of natural resources and she has full access to the gigantic Chinese market.  In these conditions, it is going to be awfully hard for the AngloZionists to "isolate" Russia.  So, objectively, Putin is right about one thing: even if it does get worse before it gets better, it will inevitably get better.

So is Putin a genius chess player?  That is not quite how I would put it.  He definitely has a record of absolutely brilliant moves, but right now he is clearly struggling.  I am like everybody else, I would like him to pull yet another brilliant "chess move" and stick it to the Empire but I don't see how we could do that, at least not in this point in time.

What I saw today is a Putin clearly on the defensive who had to invest a lot of his personal capital of popularity and trust.  He honestly admitted that things might get worse and that there is no quick fix to the current crisis.  He did commit to a time frame of 2 years which is both very shot and very long.  It is plenty enough time to lose his popularity and very little time to turn around such a huge country like Russia.

The most poignant moment of the entire 3 hours came when Putin explained what was at stake today.  He said:
You know, at the Valdai [International Discussion] Club I gave an example of our most recognisable symbol. It is a bear protecting his taiga. You see, if we continue the analogy, sometimes I think that maybe it would be best if our bear just sat still. Maybe he should stop chasing pigs and boars around the taiga but start picking berries and eating honey. Maybe then he will be left alone. But no, he won’t be! Because someone will always try to chain him up. As soon as he’s chained they will tear out his teeth and claws. In this analogy, I am referring to the power of nuclear deterrence. As soon as – God forbid – it happens and they no longer need the bear, the taiga will be taken over (...) And then, when all the teeth and claws are torn out, the bear will be of no use at all. Perhaps they’ll stuff it and that’s all.  So, it is not about Crimea but about us protecting our independence, our sovereignty and our right to exist. That is what we should all realize.
Amazing words which fully confirm one of the most important facts of the current situation: the AngloZionist Empire and Russia are at war, a war in which either the Russian Bear will be "stuffed and that's all" or the AngloZionist Empire will crumble.  This is an existential war for both sides, for the AngloZionist Empire and the Russian Civilizational Realm - one of them will defeat the other.

This is not the first time that Putin explains this, but this time I felt an urgency in his voice which I have not heard before.  He was both warning the Russian people and asking for their support for him personally.  My guess is that he will get it, I just don't know for how long.

The Saker

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game?

by Peter Koenig

The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.

The remaining BRICS – Brazil, India and South Africa – plus the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan and considered for membership since September 2014 are also India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, with Turkey also waiting in the wings – will also trade in their local currencies, detached from the dollar-based western casino scheme. A host of other nations increasingly weary of the decay of the western financial system which they are locked into are just waiting for a new monetary scheme to emerge. So far their governments may have been afraid of the emperor’s wrath – but gradually they are seeing the light. They are sensing the sham and weakness behind Obama’s boisterous noise. They don’t want to be sucked into the black hole, when the casino goes down the drain.

To punish Russia for Ukraine, Obama is about to sign into law major new sanctions against Russia, following Congress’s unanimous passing of a recent motion to this effect. – That is what the MSM would like you to believe. It is amazing that ten months after the Washington instigated Maidan slaughter and coup where a Washington selected Nazi Government was put in place, the MSM still lies high about the origins of this government and the massacres it is committing in the eastern Ukraine Donbass area.

Congress’s unanimity - what Congress and what unanimity? – Out of 425 lawmakers, only 3 were present for the vote http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40489.htm. The others may have already taken off for their year-end recess, or simply were ‘ashamed’ or rather afraid to object to the bill. As a matter of fact, of the three who were present to vote, two at first objected. Only after a bit of arm-twisting and what not, they were willing to say yes. This is how the ‘unanimous’ vote came to be, as trumpeted by the MSM – unanimous by three votes! The public at large is duped again into believing what is not.

What new sanctions does this repeatedly propagated bill entail? – It addresses mostly Russian energy companies and defense industry with regard to sales to Syria, as well more anti-Russia propaganda and ‘democratization’ programs in Ukraine – and Russia; all countries with the objective for regime change.

How do these sanctions affect Russia, especially since all Russian energy sales are no longer dollar denominated? – Sheer propaganda. The naked emperor once more is calling an unsubstantiated bluff. To show his western stooges who is in power. It’s an ever weaker showoff.

Now – as a consequence of declining oil prices and of western ‘sanctions’ – of course, what else? - Russia’s economy is suffering and the ruble is in free fall. Since the beginning of the year it lost about 60%; last week alone 20%. As a result and after serious consideration, says MSM, the Russian Central Bank decided a few days ago to increase the interest of reference from 10.5% to 17% to make the ruble more attractive for foreign investors. It worked only for a few hours. Raising the interbank interest was Putin’s reply to Obama’s bluff – feeding at the same time western illusion about Russia’s decline.

The propaganda drums tell you Russia is helpless because the world has lost the last bit of confidence in President Putin – of course. Regime change is on the agenda. Mr. Putin must be blamed as the culprit, hoping to discredit him with his people. He is leading Russia into a deep recession; the worst since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The mainstream media show you interviews with average mainstreet Russians saying they have lost all their savings, their salaries and pensions are worth nothing anymore and they don’t know how to survive this coming calamity.

In reality, at least 80% of the Russian population stands solidly behind Vladimir Putin. He has brought them universal education, health care and fixed infrastructure that was decaying after the fall of the Soviet Union. President Putin is literally revered as a hero by the vast majority of Russians – including the country’s oligarchy.

In fact, nobody in the western economic system these days is dealing in rubles. In short-sighted connivance with Washington, the treasuries of the western vassals are releasing their ruble reserves – which Russia does not buy, thereby flooding the market. Russia not only has large dollar reserves, plus the ruble is backed by gold, a fact consistently omitted in the MSM. For now, Russia prefers to let the ruble plummet.

Under another ‘arrangement’ by bully Obama, Middle Eastern oil producing puppets like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are overproducing and flooding the market with petrol and gas, thereby driving the price down to the ostensible detriment of Russia and Venezuela, both countries where Washington vies for regime change. A double whammy thinks Washington, buying kudos with the stooges. The sheiks that control their energy output apparently have been promised enough goodies from Washington to bite the bullet and take their own losses.

Russia needs rubles. That’s her currency. That is the currency Russia needs for future trading – detached from the western monetary system.

When Russia deems that her currency has reached rock-bottom, she will buy back cheap rubles in the market with massive amounts of dollars. Russia may then flood the western market – with dollars, and by now we know what that does to a currency – and simultaneously buy back rubles from the West. A brilliant move to reestablish Russia’s currency in a new emerging monetary system – which Europe would be welcome to join, but willingly, no by Washington style arm-twisting.

Is this another precursor to war? A nuclear confrontation or Cold War II? – Precursor to a false flag attempting Moscow to fall into the trap? - Not necessarily. Russia is playing a clever chess game, diplomacy at its best. Instead of sabre rattling – Russia is coin rattling. It might lead to a western financial fiasco early in 2015 for the dollar and euro denominated economies. And the winner is…?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, the Voice of Russia, now Ria Novosti, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

15-16.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, NATO, Belgium ISIS

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Bankster International

by Mark Hackard

Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to our own time, Russia and the United States are fated to play in a zero-sum contest for the future of Eurasia and the world. Deterministic theories, though, can be used to legitimize predatory policy, and pseudo-scientific formulae often conceal manipulations by parasitic elites. Scoring a fortune off human misery and mass death, plundering economic assets, and shaping entire societies in one’s own image all find justification in claims of historical inevitability and the necessity of “progress.”

While Russia and the United States can easily be cast as eternal enemies in the manner of Rome and Carthage, or Ivan Drago and Rocky Balboa for modern audiences, we should recall that the two states were originally allies. From the time of 1776, Russo-American friendship was a contributor to the peace and security of both nations for nearly a century and a half. Catherine the Great shrewdly supported the independence of the American colonists, who were able to mount a successful rebellion against an exploitative oligarchy acting through the British Crown. In the terrible cauldron of the US Civil War, Tsar Alexander II, liberator of the peasantry, sent his fleet to America’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts to deter British and French intervention schemes.

In Realpolitik, where expediency is the order of the day, alliances are defined by a common adversary. For both Russia and the United States, that adversary was not simply another nation-state like England or France, but a financial international bent on controlling the world through elaborate fraud, war, and revolution. Banking dynasties under names like Rothschild, and later Morgan, Warburg, and Rockefeller, had ascended to power in the West from the seventeenth century onward. Their planned global imperium of borderless labor and capital flows, today promoted as the Open Society by billionaire speculators such as George Soros, was already entering its initial stages of implementation. Thus the fledgling American Republic, an Enlightenment project but not yet under bankster domination, and Imperial Russia could unite for the freedom of their peoples and against the assaults of the Money Power.

What changed? In the early twentieth century the masters of usury struck back decisively against the United States and Russia, by stealth in the former case and an outright coup d’état in the latter. Through various machinations, the privately-run Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913 to issue the US currency at interest, suborning institutions of government and crushing Americans with a national debt now counted in unfathomable trillions. The Great War was unleashed upon Europe in a nightmarish conflagration, and in 1917 the Russian Revolution, funded by the banking houses of London and Wall Street, installed a vicious Bolshevik regime – dependent on Western credit for the whole of its existence. As for the rest of the twentieth century, we witness globalist plutocrats’ use of dialectics, wielding ideologies as weapons and pitting nation against nation, in the Hegelian procession toward the World State.

Today the realization of that Novus Ordo Seclorum draws ever nearer. And as its grand strategist emeritus Zbigniew Brzezinski makes clear, Washington’s “indispensability” marks only a period of transition:

In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but is also likely to be the very last.

Brzezinski artfully neglects mention of what is intended to supersede American unipolarity: planetary tyranny, a system of total population control and resource extraction. Moreover, all of this is being constructed in the name of “liberty” and “equality,” abstractions serving as mere rhetorical cover for a demonic will to power. It is the liberal program of the oligarchs that has erected an all-pervasive surveillance grid unprecedented in scope, and it is their program that aims to rob man of his faith, family, and heritage, abolishing all that makes him truly human. In the novel The Possessed, Fyodor Dostoevsky articulated this drive with prophetic pathos through his utopian theorist Shigalev, who “proceeding from limitless freedom,” would “bring about an unlimited despotism.” Pyotr Verkhovensky, the leader of the story’s revolutionary cell, exults:
To level the mountains is a good notion, not a ridiculous one. I'm for Shigalev! We don't need education, enough of knowledge! There will be enough material for a thousand years, but obedience must be arranged. There's too little of one thing in the world: obedience. The wish for education is already an aristocratic wish. A little bit of family or love, and you have a desire for property. We will kill the desire: we'll unleash drunkenness, scandal, denunciation; we'll unleash unheard-of deviance; any genius we'll extinguish in infancy. All toward one denominator: total equality... The slaves must have rulers. Total obedience, total impersonality, but once every thirty years Shigalev will set off a spasm, and everyone will begin to eat each other to a certain point, just so that everything’s not boring.
Behind every effective revolutionary stands the financier who created him. Equality to the slaves, an equality of the graveyard, and to the moneyed elite – godlike power over the Cosmos. In exchange for ever more "inherent rights" and meaningless depraved spectacle, socially-engineered mass man forfeits his freedom and his soul. With the West conquered, now all of humanity is set for standardization through postmodern colonialism, covert-action NGOs, carrier battle groups, and killer drones. Any sovereign state resisting the march of progress must be destroyed.

At the Cold War’s end, a defunct Soviet Union was supposed to fold into the world controllers’ planned capitalist-communist synthesis, and minor “rogues” like Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya could be dismembered with impunity in the meantime. From the chaos, destitution, and demoralization of the post-collapse period, however, another Russia has slowly re-emerged, its people broadly nationalist and increasingly unashamed of their thousand-year ancestral faith, Orthodox Christianity (see footnote). Nothing could be more intolerable to the robber-baron superclass, who have already for the past century waged ruthless war against religion and organic cultural identity in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere to impose their desolating vision upon mankind.

Another round of US-Russia tensions might be unfolding, but such a clash was neither foreordained nor inevitable; between the two largely distant lands there is mutual nuclear deterrence and an absence of directly conflicting vital interests. Beyond inane sloganeering about democracy and human rights, more sophisticated Western strategists can cite new iterations of Halford Mackinder’s Heartland thesis or the latest Eurasian pipeline maneuvers as reasons to “contain” Russia. None of this accounts for a cosmopolitan oligarchy that sets policy, subsidizes scholarship, and manufactures consent in pursuit of its totalitarian agenda. In their quest to liquidate the American, the Russian, and every other unique people, the predators from the bankster international consider themselves above all laws human and divine. Yet the swelling arrogance of sociopaths brings about their downfall – and the sooner their crime spree comes to an end, the better chance we all might have for peace and reconciliation.
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Footnote: It should be noted that even Russia is still not free of the banksters in its own state apparatus, with the Central Bank and the Medvedev government under the influence of pro-Western liberal technocrats familiar with Putin from his days in St. Petersburg. With economic warfare waged by the international a present-day reality, it would be reasonable to expect a quick resolution to this problem in the near future.

Important appeal for help to all Russian speakers!

Dear friends and readers,

Today I am writing to you to appeal for your help.  By now it must be clear to everybody that what is taking place today is not just some "Cold War v2" or some "East-West tensions", but a full-scale total war between not only Russia and the USA, but  between the entire AngloZionist Empire and the Resistance (lead by Russia and the BRICS).  Make no mistake, this is not about the Ukraine or, even less so, about the Donbass.  This is about regime change in Moscow.  Ask yourself a simple question: what will happen to China, Iran, Latin America and the rest of the planet if the AngloZionists are successful and a Eltsin/Proshenko/Hollande/Abbot/etc-like figure takes over the Kremlin?  I am not saying that Russia today "is" the Resistance, but I am saying that Russia is absolutely indispensable for the Resistance.  If Russia loses this war, the Empire wins the planet.  And if Russia wins, that will be the end of the Empire. That is really that simple.

So far this war has been a 1% shooting war, 30% financial war and 69% information war.  But what is crucial is this:  these ratios can change.  Look at the devastation this 1% war caused in the Donbass and imagine what a full-scale 100% shooting continental war would do to our planet!  In fact, if we lose the information war the probability of these ratios changing for the worse is very high.  In other words, to avoid a continental shooting war we have to win the information war.

We all know that Russians are experts are shooting, adequate at finances and absolutely terrible at public relations.  I would argue that the volunteer blogosphere has done much more to explain the Russian point of view than the entire state-funded Russian media.  But with the informational battle heating up, we need help, a lot of help.

In this war, the single best "weapon" we have a direct translations from Russian into English.  Documents, speeches and official statements, of course, but also videos, commentaries, documents from the vibrant Russian blogosphere.  If the Russians knew anything at all about PR they would hire a firm with the sole task of translating this kind of material into Russian.  Such a firm could employ no more than 50 full time translators plus assisting personnel.  It would cost the Russian state budget pennies.  But they won't do it because they just don't "get it".

We will have to do it.  Pro bono.  

Because, above all, we don't want to be bystanders.

And we don't want a continental war.

So, I literally beg all of you who can translate from Russian into English, even if you are not professionals or if your English is not perfect (we have editors who will gladly help: please contact the Russian Saker Team whose appeal I am publishing below in English and Russian.  Please offer your assistance, even just for a few hours a week, to translate the huge amount of most important information we have in Russian into English (because English is the lingua franca of our planet).  Please help us stop an Empire gone crazy and hell bent on starting a shooting war with Russia.

Specifically, I ask you to do two things:

1. Contact the Russian Saker Team at editor@vineyardsaker.ru and offer them your services
2. Spread this appeal to any and all contacts you have who might help or even know somebody who could help.

Please don't be a bystander.

The Saker
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Shaking hands across the ocean

We, the volunteers of the Russian Diaspora, spontaneously organized ourselves into a group to help our historic Homeland of Russia. Our site is the Russian version of the parent English blog "The Vineyard of the Saker", which analyzes the current pressing issues in the world. The blog owner, The Saker, has extensive experience in military analysis, which is very popular in the English-speaking blogosphere.

Multiple language volunteer groups have decided to bring the Saker's blog to their readership. As of today, in addition to Russian, we have French, German, Serbian, Italian, Spanish (Latin American) and Oceania (Pacific) versions. This is truly an unprecedented case of volunteers from around the world spontaneously uniting to organize an opposition to the mainstream Western media's reporting of world's events.

The realization that we have been bluntly manipulated by certain global interests that are mindlessly pushing the world towards war and destruction, prompted us to join our voices to the growing world protest against the propaganda of violence and hatred. Exposing the thick wall of Western lies and trying to tell people the truth from the other side is the civic duty of every honest person.

We say NO to violence and wars around the world; we stand for peaceful coexistence, economic and cultural cooperation between our nations; and, we extend the hand of friendship to all nations, brothers and sisters all over the world!

We will be together only through the realization that we share common values and interests: the right to freedom, self-development, labour and education, the right to love and raise our children, the right to the TRUTH and LIFE.

The purpose of the unbridled Western propaganda is contrary to these rights and to befuddle our consciousness and identity, to divide us, to force us to hate each other, so we can be more easily crushed one by one.

If you support our call and want to help, please join our volunteers. We need people with various language skills to translate our material.

Please contact us at editor@vineyardsaker.ru.

Our sister blogs:

Original English: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com
French: http://www.vineyardsaker.fr
German: http://www.vineyardsaker.de

Oceania (Pacific): http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz
Serbian: http://www.thesakersrpski.rs
Italian: http://www.vineyardsaker.it
Latin American (Spanish): http://www.vineyardsaker.es

Sincerely,

The Editorial Board of the Russian Saker


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Рукопожатие через океан
 

Дорогие друзья,

Мы – волонтеры российской диаспоры, спонтанно обьединившиеся в группу для помощи нашей исторической Родине России. Наш сайт является русским филиалом материнского англоязычного блога Балобана “The Vineyard of the Saker”, который анализирует современные насущные проблемы в мире. Владелец блога Балобан имеет обширный опыт военного анализа, который пользуется огромной популярностью в англоязычной среде.

Несколько языковых волонтерских груп решили расширить блог Балобана на свои читательские аудитории. На сегодняшний день, помимо русского, мы имеем французский, немецкий,сербский, итальянский, испанский (латиноамериканский) и Океания (тихоокеанский) филиалы. Это поистине беспрецедентный случай, когда добровольцы со всего мира спонтанно обьединились для того, чтобы противопоставить альтернативный западным СМИ взгляд на происходящие в мире события.

Осознание того, что нами откровенно манипулируют определенные мировые интересы, которые бездумно толкают мир к войнам и разрушениям, побудили нас к присоединению наших голосов к возрастающему хору всемирного протеста против пропаганды насилия и ненависти. Разоблачать плотную стену западной лжи и пытаться донести людям правду с другой стороны – это сегодня гражданская обязанность каждого честного человека.

Мы говорим НЕТ насилию и войнам во всем мире, мы – за мирное сосуществование, экономическое и культурное сотрудничество наших государств, мы протягиваем руку дружбы всем нациям, братьям и сестрам во всем мире!

Мы будем едины, только если мы поймем, что нас обьединяют общие ценности и интересы: право на свободу, саморазвитие, свободный труд и образование, право любить и растить детей, Право на ПРАВДУ и ЖИЗНЬ.

Именно против этого и направлена оголтелая западная пропаганда, целью которой является одурманить наше самосознание, разделить нас, заставить ненавидеть друг друга, чтобы потом раздавить нас по одиночке.

Если вы поддерживаете наш призыв и хотите помочь, присоединяйтесь к нашим волонтерам. Нам нужны люди для переводов с разных языков.

Пожалуйста, пишите нам на editor@vineyardsaker.ru.

Наши братские блоги:

Основной: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com
Французский: http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/
Немецкий: http://www.vineyardsaker.de/
Тихоокеанский: http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/
Сербский: http://www.thesakersrpski.rs/
Итальянский: http://www.vineyardsaker.it/
Латиноамериканский: http://www.vineyardsaker.es/

С уважением,
Редакция Русского Балобана