Oct 102022
 


Paul Gauguin Clovis Gauguin asleep 1884

 

Massive Wave Of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine (RT)
Europe To Feel Impact Of Energy Crisis For Decades – Kremlin (RT)
Trump Calls For ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
Global Margin Call Hits European Debt Markets (AT)
Nord Stream 2 Offers Germany a Date with Destiny (Escobar)
‘Unthinkable’ Number Of Mercenaries Gathered In Zaporozhye (RT)
German Army Has Ammo For Only Two Days Of War – Media (RT)
The Last Vestiges Of Press Freedom Disappear In Kiev (Sukharevskaya)
OPEC Move Balances ‘Chaos That The Americans Create’ – Kremlin (RT)
UK National Grid Warns Of 3-Hour Rolling Blackouts This Winter (ZH)
The EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor -and Musk Can’t Stop It- (Kogon)
White House Spending $265k On Staff To Deflect Hunter Biden Probe (NYP)
The Chilling Numbers That Reveal The Scale Of Joe Biden’s Border Disaster (NYP)
Is the US Blood Supply Tainted? (CHD)
Ex-Partner Of Ukrainian ‘Heiress’ Who Infiltrated Mar-a-Lago Shot In Canada (G.)

 

 

 

 

Tik Tok Kerch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1578864755334295552

 

 

 

 

Soros Ukraine

 

 

Are the kids OK? (Got McCullough banned from Twitter).

 

 

 

 

Peace talks. Now!

Massive Wave Of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine (RT)

Multiple missile strikes targeted Ukrainian cities all across the country on Monday morning, according to local officials and media, which attributed the attacks to Russia. This comes two days after a bomb damaged the strategic Crimean Bridge – which Moscow called a Ukrainian terrorist attack. President Vladimir Zelensky highlighted the attacks on the capital, Kiev and the cities of Dnepr and Zaporozhye, before urging people to take shelter. Local officials in Lviv, Kharkov, and Odessa also reported that their cities came under fire. The office of Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, reported they had detected at least 75 missiles and claimed they had intercepted 41.

ZELENSKY’S OFFICE WAS DESTROYED BY A MISSILE STRIKE: UKRAINIAN MEDIA

In Kiev, damage from the strikes was reported near the headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is located in the government area of the capital. City officials halted operations of the metro system, and the stations are now being used as shelters for civilians. The head of Lviv Region, Maksim Kozitsky, reported that elements of the western province’s energy infrastructure came under attack. Boris Filatov, the mayor of Dnepr, a major city in central Ukraine, confirmed the strikes and said he could only feel “hatred and the wish to fight,” while urging residents to take shelter.

Vitaly Kim, who heads the southern Nikolaev Region which borders Russia’s Kherson Region, reported dozens of projectiles and a number of kamikaze drones coming from Russian troops. He claimed that Moscow was targeting “critical infrastructure” throughout the country. With similar accounts coming in from many parts of the country, senior Ukrainian officials have expressed determination to fight Russia. “Our courage will never be destroyed by terrorists’ missiles, even when they hit the heart of our capital,” Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov tweeted, also claiming that Russia’s future is that of “a globally despised rogue terrorist state.”

Gerashchenko later said that five civilians were killed and 12 injured in the capital. Strikes were also reported in the eastern city of Dnepr, and explosions in Lviv, western Ukraine. In a post on his Telegram channel, President Vladimir Zelensky confirmed that there had been missile strikes across Ukraine. “Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded,” he wrote.

Kiev explosions 10-10-22

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It’s not easy to rebuild what you lose.

Europe To Feel Impact Of Energy Crisis For Decades – Kremlin (RT)

Turning away from Russian energy will lead to “very deplorable consequences” for Europe, with up to 20 years of deindustrialization ahead, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. In an interview with the TV channel Rossiya, fragments of which were released on Sunday, Peskov claimed that the Americans are now making “crazy money” by selling gas to Europe at exorbitant prices. “And Europeans pay them, thereby depriving their economy of competitiveness. Production is collapsing. Deindustrialization is coming. All this will have very, very deplorable consequences for the European continent over probably, at least, the next 10-20 years,” Peskov said.

He emphasized that in the past, there was “a mutual balance,” as Russia was interested in buyers of its energy resources as much as they were interested in Russia. However, Peskov argued, Europe started to repeat “like a mantra” that it had to rid itself of its dependency on Russian energy, and this eventually resulted in the current situation. The Americans are selling gas at prices that are “three or even four” times higher than Russian gas, Peskov said, adding that “the Europeans are making their economy less competitive as they pay” such money to US suppliers. Gas prices in Europe surged earlier this year in the wake of Russia launching its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

After the EU and other Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and began a campaign of cutting themselves off from Russian energy supplies, gas prices hit record highs, leading to a rise in overall inflation on the continent. Earlier this week, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that the continent might soon face a significant reduction in industrial activity and social unrest if nothing is done to lower energy prices. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that the US is now delivering more natural gas to the EU than Russia for the first time in history, but that American gas was some ten times more expensive than Russian supplies.

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“We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will be nothing left of our planet..”

Trump Calls For ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has warned that World War III could break out unless the conflict between Russia and Ukraine quickly ends with a peace settlement. He made the remarks while criticizing President Joe Biden’s foreign policy during a ‘Save America’ rally in Minden, Nevada on Saturday. “And now we have a war between Russia and Ukraine with potentially hundreds of thousands of people dying,” Trump said. “We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will be nothing left of our planet,” he stated, blasting the “stupid people” in Biden administration.

Trump has said on several occasions that the Ukraine conflict would not have happened had he been re-elected in 2020. Declaring a partial mobilization of reservists last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of risking a nuclear disaster by “encouraging” Ukrainian troops to shell the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. He also accused Kiev’s backers of “nuclear blackmail” by making statements about “the possibility and admissibility” of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia. The country will defend itself by all means at its disposal, Putin added.


Some Western officials have interpreted Putin’s speech as a threat to use tactical nuclear weapons. CIA chief William Burns said on Sunday, however, that there is “no practical evidence” that Russia is planning to conduct nuclear strikes. Biden, nevertheless, told a crowd of supporters on Thursday that the US has not faced “the prospect of Armageddon” since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Also on Thursday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who has ruled out negotiating with Putin, called for “preemptive strikes” to deter Russia from using nuclear weapons. His office later said the president’s comments were misrepresented.

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“It’s a global margin call. I hope we survive.”

Global Margin Call Hits European Debt Markets (AT)

Risk gauges in Germany’s government debt market rose last week to levels higher than recorded in the 2008 world financial crash, as margin calls forced the liquidation of derivatives positions held by banks, insurers and pension funds. Big institutional investors that spent the past ten years insuring their portfolios against falling interest rates now face massive losses as hedges blow up. A key measure of market risk, the spread between German government bonds (Bunds) and interest rate swap agreements jumped above the previous record set in 2008. The cost of hedging German government debt with interest-rate options, or option-implied volatility, meanwhile rose to the highest level on record. The blowout in the euro derivatives market follows a near-collapse of the British government debt, or gilts, market, averted at the last minute by a 50 billion pound bond-buying spree by the Bank of England.

The world’s central banks responded to the 2008 world financial crash and the European financial crisis of 2011 by pushing bond yields down.

“Real” yields, namely the yield on inflation-indexed government bonds, went deeply into negative numbers in Germany and the UK, followed by the US market. That pulled the rug from under insurance companies and pension funds, which invest pension payments and insurance premiums to provide for future income. To compensate, European and UK institutions locked in long interest rates with derivative contracts, or interest-rate swaps, that receive a long-term interest rate while paying a short-term interest rate. Swaps are a leveraged position that requires collateral worth a fraction of the notional amount of the contract. When the Fed jacked up interest rates in late 2021, the value of interest rate swaps that pay fixed and receive floating imploded.


Pension funds and insurers were stuck with the equivalent of a ten-to-one margin position in long government bonds. The price of long government bonds fell by nearly 20% across the Group of Seven countries, and the value of derivatives contracts evaporated. That left the institutions with margin calls that they could meet only by liquidating assets. That in turn led to a run on the UK government bond market, followed closely by the rest of European bond markets. The Bank of England’s emergency bond-buying delayed a market crash, but the UK gilts market remains on a knife edge, with option hedging costs at an all-time high.

A portfolio manager at one of Germany’s largest insurance companies said, “It’s a global margin call. I hope we survive.” Weaker European banks may have trouble finding short-term funding. The cost of credit default swaps that insure 5-year bonds of Credit Suisse is now higher than it was in 2008, at nearly 400 basis points (4 percentage points) above the cost of interbank funding. The venerable Swiss institution is a special case, with a series of losses due to poor risk controls. Credit Suisse probably will survive – bank regulators will force it to sell assets and shrink – but it will also call in collateral from customers.

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Step 1: cripple the largest nation of the group.

Nord Stream 2 Offers Germany a Date with Destiny (Escobar)

It started with Gazprom revealing that the Line B string of NS2 is intact; not only it escaped Pipeline Terror but may “potentially” be used to pump gas to Germany. That confirms once again that NS2 is an engineering marvel. In fact the whole system: the pipes are so strong they were not broken, but merely punctured. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak followed up, with a caveat: restoration of the whole system, including NS, is possible, and “requires time and appropriate funds”. But first, in Russia’s order of priorities, the perpetrators must be conclusively identified. Sources in Moscow confirmed Gazprom’s assessment of NS2. Even Bloomberg had to report it.

Subsequently in Vienna, attending the Opec+ meeting, Novak remarked the Russian Federation is “ready to supply gas through the second line of Nord Stream 2. This is possible if necessary”. So we know it’s possible. “Necessary” will depend on a political decision by Germany. Novak also sharply noted that neither Russia nor the Nord Stream operators are allowed to investigate Pipeline Terror. Russia insists that without its participation the investigation is flawed. Whatever the modus operandi of Pipeline Terror, incompetence was part of the package. No explosive charges were placed or detonated on Line B of NS2. That means, as Novak said, it’s virtually ready for business. Line B is capable of pumping 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which happens to be half of the total capacity of NS.

NS’s capacity had been reduced to 20%, due to the interminable turbine saga, before it was completely shut down. Crucially, Line B of NS2 would still pump 2.75 times the capacity of the recently inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland via Denmark. Which basically profits Poland, unlike NS2 servicing several EU customers. In a rational world, Berlin would scrap the Russian sanctions pile up and immediately order the start of forever-delayed NS2, guaranteed to at least attenuate the ongoing process of de-energization, de-industrialization and deep socio-economic crisis imposed by the usual suspects on Germany. But the collective West remains enslaved by geopolitical psychopaths guided by irrationality. So that’s not likely to happen.

The operators of NS and NS2 – Nord Stream AG and Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG – cannot reach the scene of the crime because of absurd restrictions imposed by the Danes and the Swedes. The operators need no less than 20 working days to obtain the “permits” to carry out their own inspections. Copenhagen police is handling the crime scene near the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in parallel to the Swedish Coast Guard around the Swedish EEZ. If this looks like one of those Scandinavian noir series popular on Netflix, that’s because it is. With a crucial twist: it’s NATO investigating itself – Sweden is about to enter NATO – with no Russians allowed. All top working hypotheses on Pipeline Terror point to an intra-NATO dirty op against NATO member Germany.

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“..We know about representatives from more than 30 different countries..”

‘Unthinkable’ Number Of Mercenaries Gathered In Zaporozhye (RT)

Ukraine has amassed a sizeable number of foreign fighters on the frontline in Zaporozhye Region, which recently voted to join Russia, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the local administration’s chief council, told RIA Novosti on Sunday. “The Kiev regime has accumulated an unthinkable number of mercenaries on the line of contact. We know about representatives from more than 30 different countries,” Rogov said. He went on to say that Ukraine has been deploying to the area both mercenaries and troops from the western part of the country in order to instill terror in local residents who voted in the recent referendums. In late September, Zaporozhye, along with Kherson Region and the two Donbass republics, voted overwhelmingly in referendums to join Russia.


On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with the former Ukrainian territories, officially making them part of Russia. Zaporozhye Region is also home to a nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March. It has been repeatedly shelled throughout the conflict. Moscow has accused Ukraine of attacking the facility, while Kiev blames the Russian forces. Russia has on numerous occasions conducted strikes on foreign fighters in Ukraine, including with high-precision weapons. Moscow has also warned that the best thing mercenaries from other countries can expect in Ukraine is a “long term in prison.” On September 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 mercenaries, with 1,000 foreign fighters remaining in the ranks of the Ukrainian military.

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“.. It was said that the problem “has been known for years..”

German Army Has Ammo For Only Two Days Of War – Media (RT)

The German Army (Bundeswehr) has enough ammunition for only one or two days of warfare, the German edition of news website Business Insider (BI) reported on Saturday, citing defense industry and parliamentary sources. According to BI, Berlin is significantly lagging behind the NATO requirement of maintaining stocks for at least 30 days of fighting. It was said that the problem “has been known for years,” as military drills have suffered from insufficient stores. Stockpiles were further depleted after Germany, together with many other Western countries, began sending weapons and ammunition to Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February.

The deliveries included 53,000 rounds for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 21.8 million rounds for firearms, and 50 bunker-buster missiles, according to the German government. The situation with the shortage “will not improve if ammunition is removed from the Bundeswehr stocks, while corresponding orders are not placed on the defense industry at the same time,”Hans Christoph Atzpodien, CEO of the German Security and Defense Industry Association (BDSV), told BI. The outlet’s sources, meanwhile, were quoted as saying that there have been “no significant orders” for defense companies to produce more armaments.

Eva Hoegl, the German parliament’s defense commissioner, told BI that an additional €20 billion ($19.5bn) is needed to replenish the stocks. Germany announced the establishment of a €100 billion ($97.4 billion) fund in February to strengthen the Bundeswehr in light of the Ukraine conflict. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht traveled to Ukraine’s southern port city of Odessa earlier this month. After the trip, she announced that Berlin would continue to support Kiev for as long as necessary.

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Olga Sukharevskaya, ex-Ukrainian diplomat.

The Last Vestiges Of Press Freedom Disappear In Kiev (Sukharevskaya)

On August 30, Ukraine’s rubber-stamp parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a bill on the media at the first reading. Despite the numerous changes that the 300-page document has undergone since President Vladimir Zelensky’s team developed and submitted it a few years ago, its essence remains unchanged. If it becomes law, the authorities’ power over virtually all outlets will be essentially limitless. The main danger this bill presents is that it grants government agencies the authority to block internet resources without any court proceedings, and revoke licenses from broadcast and print media solely on the basis of complaints. This huge power would be vested in the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting.

Ukrainian journalists have been criticizing this bill since the first version appeared in 2018, asserting that it abolishes both freedom of speech and freedom of the press. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir called that version of the law “a blatant violation of freedom of speech,” stating that its adoption “could jeopardize pluralism in the media market, impose additional costs on the media, and negatively affect the reflection of a diversity of ideas and opinions.” Criticism of the bill from both the OSCE and Ukrainian journalists had an effect. In 2020, it was sent for revision, but the changes only include some clarifications concerning gender equality and coverage of sexual orientations.

At the same time, it still contains a ban on publishing any messages contradicting the official government line on military issues. It is likewise forbidden to cover speeches made by officials of the ‘aggressor country’ [meaning Russia] or cast former USSR party functionaries in a positive light. For example, including Ukraine’s own Leonid Brezhnev. The law would also hold foreign media responsible for any of its audiovisual content available in Ukraine. Moreover, social networks, including foreign ones, will be obliged to remove any material the National Council deems undesirable. The deadlines for removing ‘incorrect’ content or replacing it with ‘correct’ material have also been tightened. Among the ‘offenses’ that can get a media outlet banned is distributing programs in which any participant is on the ‘list of persons who pose a threat to the national media space of Ukraine.’

This is compiled by the National Council itself and does not require anyone’s consent. Otherwise, the essence and spirit of the bill is preserved, including severe censorship of “objectionable” media. The American Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) didn’t call on the Verkhovna Rada to reject Bill No. 2693-D ‘On Media’ for nothing. Maya Sever, president of the European Federation of Journalists, has bluntly stated that it means compulsory media regulation “fully controlled by the government worthy of the worst authoritarian regimes.” She is convinced that “a state that would apply such provisions simply has no place in the European Union.”

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“..a “victory for common sense..”

OPEC Move Balances ‘Chaos That The Americans Create’ – Kremlin (RT)

The decision to cut oil production made earlier this week by OPEC and allies is a “victory for common sense,” said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I’m not inclined to say that this is some kind of a victory for us. No. This is a victory for common sense,” he said on the TV channel Russia-1 on Sunday. Peskov noted that Washington seeks to push through its decisions about the oil market and manipulate prices, even at the cost of destabilizing the global energy market. It has already partially succeeded, he added, having tapped its own reserves and influenced the EU to introduce an oil price cap in its latest package of sanctions. However, according to the spokesman, OPEC+ can counterbalance such measures.


“And the fact that [these actions] are countered by the balanced, thoughtful and planned work of the countries that take a responsible position within OPEC+, including our country, is very good. This at least somewhat balances the chaos that the Americans are creating,” Peskov stressed. OPEC+ announced earlier this week that the countries comprising the group will cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The cuts will be distributed based on the quotas under the OPEC+ deal as of August 2022. The curtailing of output was aimed at stabilizing the global oil market ahead of a seasonal drop in demand and amid fears of a global recession. Meanwhile, according to reports, Russia may cut its production by more than the amount prescribed by OPEC+ due to the new sanctions. US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment with the OPEC+ decision, while the head of the US Treasury, Janet Yellen, called the move “unhelpful and unwise.”

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The government denies it.

UK National Grid Warns Of 3-Hour Rolling Blackouts This Winter (ZH)

People in England, Scotland and Wales could be in for three hour power cuts this winter if it can’t import enough gas and electric imports from other parts of Europe, the British National Grid has warned. The utility said that the scenario was “unlikely,” but that a perfect storm of Russian gas cuts and a cold snap akin to 2018’s “beast from the east” could result in the rolling blackouts – reminiscent of power outages experienced in the 1970s. According to The Guardian, the pre-planned outages would be announced one day in advance, and would aim to reduce total power consumption by 5%. It would require the approval of King Charles on the recommendation of the business secretary.

The National Grid included the scenario as one of several that could occur this winter, as it prepares for a highly uncertain period for power supplies due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We’re heading into winter in an unprecedented situation. Even during the cold war, the Soviet Union kept the gas flowing so it’s very unpredictable,” said one senior industry source. National Grid has worked on a series of initiatives to attempt to manage supply and demand this winter. It is ready to call into action five coal-fired power plants, which can generate up to 2 gigawatts of power – after signing deals with Drax, EDF and Uniper at a cost of £340m to £395m. It will also launch a “demand flexibility service” on 1 November that will encourage businesses and consumers to use power outside peak demand periods, including early evenings on weekdays.

Consumers with smart meters will be notified the day before and will be paid for using power outside these time periods. The initiative was trialled by Octopus Energy earlier this year. -The Guardian If enough households participate in the load-shifting scheme, it could free up an extra 2GW – enough to power approximately 600,000 homes. The utility says it’s “cautiously confident” that there will be enough juice to get through the winter. The Grid’s “base case” scenario is that there will be a surplus of around 3.7GW energy, and forecast a “sufficient operational surplus throughout winter,” notwithstanding tight margins from early December to mid-January.

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One more reason to abolish the EU.

The EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor -and Musk Can’t Stop It- (Kogon)

There has been much talk recently of the Biden administration exerting informal pressure on Twitter and other social media to censor unwelcome content and voices, and lawsuits have even been launched against the government for infringing the alleged victims’ 1st Amendment rights. But all that such pressure appears thus far to have consisted of are some chummy nudges in emails. There has surely not been any threat of fines. How could there be without a law authorizing the executive branch to impose them? And such a law would be blatantly unconstitutional, since precisely what the 1st Amendment states concerning freedom of speech is that “Congress shall make no law…abridging” it.

But there’s the rub. Congress, needless to say, has not made any such law. But what if a foreign power made such a law and it de facto abridged the freedom of speech also of Americans? Unbeknownst to most Americans, this has in fact occurred and their 1st Amendment rights are being vitiated, namely, by the European Union. There is a financial gun pointed at Twitter. But it is not the Biden administration, but rather the European Commission, under the leadership of Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, that has its finger on the trigger. The law in question is the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which was passed by the European Parliament last July 5 amidst almost total indifference – in Europe as much as in the United States – despite its momentous and disastrous implications for freedom of speech worldwide.

The DSA gives the European Commission the power to impose fines of up to 6% of global turnover on “very large online platforms or very large online search engines” that it finds to be non-compliant with its censorship requirements. “Very large” is defined as any platform or search engine that has over 45 million users in the EU. Note that while the size criterion is limited to users in the EU, the sanction is based precisely on the company’s global turnover. The DSA has been designed to function in combination with the EU’s so-called Code of Practice on Disinformation: an ostensibly voluntary code for “combatting disinformation” – aka censoring – that was originally launched in 2018 and of which Twitter, Facebook/Meta and Google/YouTube are all signatories.

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To be fair, it’s not all Hunter. A lot more needs to fit under that carpet.

White House Spending $265k On Staff To Deflect Hunter Biden Probe (NYP)

The White House is gearing up for a growing army of staff to fend off potential Republican-led probes on everything from Hunter Biden to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — and taxpayers are footing the bill. Battening down the hatches should the GOP regain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the White House is shelling out $265,000 a year in salary for staff whose primary portfolio will be to run comms and defense for the administration from an approaching blizzard of subpoenas. In May, the White House poached Richard A. Sauber, the top attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to serve as a “deputy counsel to the president” tasked with handling House oversight probes.

Ian Sams, a veteran of Vice President Harris’ failed 2020 presidential campaign, was hired to run official comms for the team. White House records show the two men will take home $155,000 and $110,000 respectively. And the team is only expected to grow, the Washington Post reported — indicating that its staffing and operational expenditures will balloon further. “Americans deserve transparency from President Biden about his family’s suspicious business dealings. But instead of providing transparency, the White House is hiring staff at the American taxpayers’ expense to stonewall congressional oversight and accountability.” said Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is on track to chair the House Oversight Committee next year if Republicans retake the House.

“Let’s be clear: no amount of Biden White House staff or stonewalling will stop Republicans’ quest for transparency and accountability on behalf of the American people,” he added. House Republicans have vowed to investigate everything from the origins of coronavirus, to the botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The party’s marquee probe will focus on Hunter Biden and what connections his father, President Biden, had to his shady overseas business dealings.

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“In FY 2022 (all Biden’s watch), gotaways hit 599,000 — up 54% versus FY 2021 and 768% compared to FY 2020.”

The Chilling Numbers That Reveal The Scale Of Joe Biden’s Border Disaster (NYP)

Democrats are napping peacefully through the US-Mexico “border” crisis they engineered. Perhaps these data will snap them from their slumber: US Department of Homeland Security reports that the Mexican cartels’ income from smuggling illegal migrants into America has soared from $500 million in 2018 to $13 billion this year — up 2,500%. If these criminals merged into a corporation, their 2022 gross revenues would rival that of — are you sitting down? — Fox Corporation. Fox News Channel’s parent company earned $12.91 billion in the year ended June 30, 2021, and $13.97 billion 12 months later. This fact might awaken Sleepy Joe Biden and the lazy Left: Mexico’s human-trafficking cartels are now as big as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

If Democrats still are dozing through the havoc of their no-border strategy, these figures might rouse them: Border Patrol agents apprehended 951,568 illegal immigrants during President Donald Trump’s final 19 months in office. In President Biden’s first 19 months, Border Patrol encountered a staggering 3,588,877 illegals — up a sickening 377%. In Fiscal Year 2020, the last fully under Trump’s control, 69,000 illegal migrants were detected on the “border” but got away into America’s interior. FY 2021 (four months of Trump, eight of Biden) witnessed 389,155 gotaways — up 464%. In FY 2022 (all Biden’s watch), gotaways hit 599,000 — up 54% versus FY 2021 and 768% compared to FY 2020.

At least 266,000 unaccompanied migrant children/minors have been encountered at the southern border since President Biden took office, per CBP data,” Fox News Channel’s priceless southern-frontier correspondent Bill Melugin explained via Twitter on September 26. “That’s enough to fill up approximately three Rose Bowls.” Fourteen House Republicans wrote Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sept. 23 to complain that “between October 2021 and July 2022, more than 130,000 Venezuelan nationals were encountered after entering the United States illegally.” The Marxist Nicolás Maduro regime, they added, “is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States.”

Twelve US senators contacted the US Marshals Service about crooks cascading across the “border.” According to their August 30 letter, “So far in FY22, CBP has apprehended over 9,000 criminal immigrants, including 53 for homicide or manslaughter, 283 for sex crimes and almost 900 for assault, battery and domestic violence.” During Trump’s FYs 2017 through 2020, 11 terrorists on the watch list were captured at the border — two, six, zero and three, in those respective years.

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“The sudden transition … from a state of perfect normalcy to a pathological one … is unprecedented. … “

Is the US Blood Supply Tainted? (CHD)

Funeral directors and embalmers in the U.S. and U.K. have gone public with shocking descriptions of highly unusual blood clots in up to 85% of the bodies coming under their care — a “massive increase” compared to pre-COVID-19 vaccine times when ordinary-looking clots might be found in 5% to 10% of the deceased. “In all my years of embalming, we would run across clots from time to time,” said Richard Hirschman, an experienced funeral director in Alabama, “but since May last year [2021], something about the blood has changed. It’s not normal. It’s drastic.” The rampant clotting and the clots’ disturbing sci-fi appearance — “long fibrous entities that can completely block a vein or artery,” which Hirschman likens to calamari, rubber bands, spaghetti, worms or parasites — are just some of the concerns prompting questions about blood supply safety.

About 55% of blood is plasma — which, among other functions, supplies proteins “for blood clotting and immunity” — with the remaining 45% consisting of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets suspended in the plasma. Depending on their blood type, individuals who give blood can choose to donate whole blood, plasma or platelets, or they can make a “Power Red” donation (a “concentrated dose” of red blood cells). The American Red Cross says it will not accept blood from someone whose blood “does not clot normally,” but — following guidance from the same branch of the FDA that oversees vaccines — welcomes immediate donations from anyone who received one of the mRNA or other COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., as long as the person says he is “symptom-free and feeling well.”

[..] In one of the most alarming studies, published in August in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, Italian surgeons described atypical clumping of red blood cells and the presence of “extraordinarily anomalous structures and substances” of “various shapes and sizes of unclear origin” in over 94% of symptomatic, COVID-19-vaccinated individuals whose blood they examined. The 1,006 study participants, ranging in age from 15 to 85, received a first (14%), second (45%) or third (41%) dose of a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine about a month before the analysis of their blood. Pointing to other studies that found foreign materials in the blood of COVID-19 vaccine recipients and in COVID-19 vaccine vials — materials “that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the many promoters of the experimental injections claimed were not in them at all” — the Italian authors concluded the vaccine-induced blood alterations were “likely … to be involved in producing the coagulation disorders commonly reported after anti-COVID injections.”

Putting the matter even more plainly, they stated: “[S]uch abrupt changes as we have documented in the peripheral blood profile of 948 patients have never been observed after inoculation by any vaccines in the past according to our clinical experience. The sudden transition … from a state of perfect normalcy to a pathological one … is unprecedented. … “In our collective experience, and in our shared professional opinion, the large quantity of particles in the blood of mRNA injection recipients is incompatible with normal blood flow especially at the level of the capillaries.”

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I dare you to find a crazier story than this today.

Ex-Partner Of Ukrainian ‘Heiress’ Who Infiltrated Mar-a-Lago Shot In Canada (G.)

An associate of the Ukrainian woman who posed as a member of the Rothschild banking family at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club was reportedly shot outside a lakeside resort north-west of Montreal, Canadian newspaper LaPresse has reported. The shooting left Valeriy Tarasenko, 44, with “significant injuries”, but he was expected to survive, said the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police. The police said it had launched a search for the shooter and any accomplices behind the attack. Tarasenko is known as a former business partner of Inna Yashchyshyn, a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant who was identified by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project over the summer for posing as “Anna de Rothschild” at Mar-a-Lago.


Quebec police told LaPresse that they were trying to “shed some light on the circumstances that led to the injuries of the victim”. But for now, “to protect the investigation, no other detail can be shared”, the police added. Tarasenko, who was born in Ukraine and raised in Moscow, told the Post-Gazette and OCCRP that he had hired Yashchyshyn in 2014 to live in his Miami condo and watch his two daughters while he traveled on business. The FBI, according to the report, has been looking into a Miami charity, United Hearts of Mercy, Yashchyshyn launched in 2015 and carries the same name as a nonprofit founded by Tarasenko in Canada in 2010. According to a statement by the charity’s accountant that was turned over to the FBI, the charity, established to collect money for impoverished children, was in fact a front for organized crime.

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May 032019
 


Paul Klee In angel’s care (In Engelshut) 1931

 

Day of the Long Knives (Kassam)
Is The Media Driving America Insane? (LN)
How The News Took Over Reality (G.)
Assange or Khashoggi: Whither Journalistic Standards? (Aziz)
Democrats Rage At Empty Chair As Barr Misses Mueller Hearing (ZH)
How President Trump’s Legal Team Outfoxed Mueller (Chamberlain)
Ukrainian Embassy Confirms DNC Contractor Solicited Trump Dirt In 2016 (Hill)
April US Auto Sales Crash 6.1%, Worst Slide In 8 Years (ZH)
Global Foreign Direct Investment Flows Collapse (DQ)
Hippie-Punching MMT (Edward Harrison)

 

 

“If all these peoples’ ideas were not relevant, or popular, they would not need to be banned.”

It’s World Press Freedom Day today. Painfully ironic. We can’t let Facebook police our world. Or, rather, be police, judge and henchman all in one. We need laws for this and we need to apply them.

I don’t do Facebook anymore since they froze our account, what is it, 3 years ago?! I see Paul Joseph Watson every now and then on Twitter and though I don’t see myself becoming his best friend, he is an intelligent and articulate guy who has never violated Facebook’s regulations. Other than he has a link to Alex Jones. It’s easy to say Good Riddance, but you are next.

Day of the Long Knives (Kassam)

Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos have been unpersonned by the digital tech giant Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram. They’re coming for you, next. Or more likely, for us. Human Events stands shoulder-to-shoulder with those being routinely targeted by the would-be ‘Masters of the Universe’, no matter if we agree with them or not. Also banned was Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the repugnant Nation of Islam group. But Farrakhan, like the others, should not have his fate decided by some little nerd in Silicon Valley who has decided his or her feelings are hurt. His fate should be decided in the court of public opinion, with sunlight acting as the greatest disinfectant.

Unfortunately, recent precedent has informed Big Tech that its methods to some extent work. The removal of people like Laura Loomer, Milo, and Tommy Robinson has directly impacted their livelihoods, their work, and their fundamental freedoms. And while Farrakhan is far from someone we would be seen dead around, it is only intellectually consistent if the rules apply both ways. For the psychopaths of Silicon Valley however, intellectual considerations come a distinct last to power, profit, and pandering. The likelihood is Farrakhan’s inclusion on the list is simply a sop to make the decision seem less of a one way street. If I were him, I’d be especially pissed off at being the fall guy in this regard.

But Jones, Loomer, Milo, and Watson have a claim to massive anger too, given they are being lumped in with a man who has said “white people deserve to die”, and who has said to Jewish people, “…don’t you forget, when it’s God who puts you in the ovens, it’s forever!” Tommy now struggles to gain traction – albeit with a smile on his face – and a plan to drive a bus around the country with a big screen on it, to highlight the censorship he faces. Milo – and he will probably hate me for saying this – faces total financial ruin. Alex Jones has had a massive business ripped out from under him. And Laura Loomer has been relegated to staging protests on the front lawns of those who needlessly aggress her.

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If they can make a buck from it, they certainly will.

Is The Media Driving America Insane? (LN)

Now that more of us are consuming news media more often than ever, a higher number of Americans are being fed a steady mental diet of outrage, fear, and hostility wrapped in clickbait headlines designed to make us even more contemptuous of those whose political beliefs clash with our own. Many media outlets have transformed emotionally charged, but ultimately irrelevant, stories into their bread and butter, manipulating their audiences into giving them their precious clicks in exchange for a dose of anger and panic. Otherwise unimportant stories are catapulted into the mainstream simply because the press knows Americans will tune in and boost their ratings.


The Covington kids fiasco is a prime example. What should have been a local matter was morphed into an issue of national importance by a left-wing media apparatus that wanted to further their “MAGA Hat-wearing white people are the spawn of Satan” narrative. In the end, what is accomplished? For the press, it is higher ratings and more clicks. But for the American public, it is a heightened sense of fear, hatred, and stress – a toxic brew rending the social fabric. It is no wonder that many are predicting another civil war. It would be easy to dismiss such claims as pure alarmism, but given how the Fourth Estate wields their influence, this reality is not hard to imagine. Is it possible to reverse course? Sure, but it won’t be easy. The media is in this game for two reasons: To earn a profit, and to achieve their political objectives. They have no incentive to inform rather than persuade. If the trend persists, things are sure to get uglier before they get better.

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Such a piece coming from the Guardian is pretty priceless. Even if it makes some valid points, it’s publications like that which seek to alter reality. Don’t report the news, but manufacture it.

How The News Took Over Reality (G.)

In recent years, there has been enormous concern about the time we spend on our web-connected devices and what that might be doing to our brains. But a related psychological shift has gone largely unremarked: the way that, for a certain segment of the population, the news has come to fill up more and more time – and, more subtly, to occupy centre stage in our subjective sense of reality, so that the world of national politics and international crises can feel more important, even more truly real, than the concrete immediacy of our families, neighbourhoods and workplaces. It’s not simply that we spend too many hours glued to screens. It’s that for some of us, at least, they have altered our way of being in the world such that the news is no longer one aspect of the backdrop to our lives, but the main drama. The way that journalists and television producers have always experienced the news is now the way millions of others experience it, too.


From a British or American standpoint, the overwhelmingly dominant features of this changed mental landscape are Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump. But the sheer outrageousness of them both risks blinding us to how strange and recent a phenomenon it is for the news – any news – to assume such a central position in people’s daily lives. In a now familiar refrain, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof bemoans his social circle’s “addiction to Trump” – “at cocktail parties, on cable television, at the dinner table, at the water cooler, all we talk about these days is Trump.” But Trump’s eclipse of all other news is not the only precondition for this addiction. The other is the eclipse of the rest of life by the dramas of the news.

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Excellent point. But there’s more: how does Assange’s freedom relate to that of the people who got banned from Facebook yesterday? Most of us will initially react to that question with something about what and who we like, but that’s not good enough.

Assange or Khashoggi: Whither Journalistic Standards? (Aziz)

Did international media and free press advocates who once celebrated Assange, utilized his revelations and heaped awards on Wikileaks, collectively agreed to abandon their erstwhile hero? And why the turnaround? (It’s not easy to explain although one observer suggests former associates actually conspired to depose him.) Increased silence from within Assange’s refuge presaged his recent ‘capture’. Then, when he suddenly appeared, subdued by dozens of guards, how shamelessly international media rushed to cheer his arrest. They seemed to delight in highlighting scant, salacious details of his condition at the time of his arrest. Reprehensible. Dismaying. Will those gloating journalists care what his captors do to Assange in detention?


This for the man whose political analyses and Wikileaks revelations had been daily headlines not long ago. This for a journalist and publisher who introduced a profound strategy to expose a government’s sinister diplomatic schemes, excesses and crimes documented by their own internal reports. This for an organization gathering evidence of government wrongdoing at a critical time, starting in 2006 when U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were being reevaluated by a sobering public. Rumors of military crimes, cover-ups, torture, black-site prisons, etc. had gradually, although belatedly, gained credibility and, following the Abu Graib Prison revelations, Wikileaks provided irrefutable evidence of how U.S.A. and its allies conducted their wars.

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From the WSJ Editorial Board yesterday: “Mr. Barr has since released the full Mueller report with minor redactions, as he promised, and with the “context” intact. Keep in mind Mr. Barr was under no legal obligation to release anything at all. Mr. Mueller reports only to Mr. Barr, not to the country or Congress.

Mr. Barr has also made nearly all of the redactions in the report available to senior Members of Congress to inspect at Justice. Yet as of this writing, only three Members have bothered—Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and ranking House Republican on Judiciary Doug Collins. Not one Democrat howling about Mr. Barr’s lack of transparency has examined the outrages they claim are hidden.”

Doug Collins’ tirade is a good listen. No need to agree with him.

Democrats Rage At Empty Chair As Barr Misses Mueller Hearing (ZH)

Refusing to allow the fact that AG Barr chose not to attend today’s Mueller Report hearing, angry Democrats took full advantage of the photo-op to conjure images of a terrified attorney general cowering from the truth and protecting a clearly guilty-of-something president. Despite Barr’s decision last night not to attend, because he objected to Democratic demands that their staff counsel be able to question him, Democrats went forward with the theater of the hearing anyway, setting up an empty chair for the absent attorney general. As The Hill reports, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) brought a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to the morning event, and accused Barr of being a coward after it ended. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) tore into Barr, accusing him of failing to check President Trump’s “worst instincts” and misrepresenting Mueller’s findings.

“He has failed the men and women of the Department by placing the needs of the President over the fair administration of justice,” Nadler said. “He has even failed to show up today.” Republicans did not take it lying down with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) noted vociferously that “Judiciary Democrats say AG Barr is “terrified.” Yesterday he testified for over five hours in an open hearing. Today, they cut off my microphone.” And, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) accused Nadler of staging a “circus political stunt” and said the Democratic chairman wanted the hearing to look like an impeachment hearing. “That is the reason. The reason Bill Barr is not here today is because the Democrats decided they didn’t want him here today. That’s the reason he’s not here,” Collins said. “Not hearing from him is a travesty to this committee today.”

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Excellent read. Mueller wanted to make Trump’s firing of Comey to be obstruction. But that would have taken some hoops to jump through.

How President Trump’s Legal Team Outfoxed Mueller (Chamberlain)

When the Mueller Report was released on April 18th, most commentators focused on the “explosive” factual allegations. But other than the shocking revelation that the President once used an expletive in private, very few of those facts were novel; most were leaked long ago. At the end of Volume II of the Mueller Report, however, there were 20 pages of genuinely new material. There, the former FBI director turned Special Counsel Robert Mueller defended his “Application of Obstruction-Of-Justice Statutes To The President.” These overlooked 20 pages were dedicated to defending Mueller’s interpretation of a single subsection of a single obstruction-of-justice statute: 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2).

That’s quite strange, but you know what’s stranger still? In June 2018, Bill Barr, then in private practice at Kirkland & Ellis, wrote a detailed legal memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. This memo came to light in December, when Barr was nominated for Attorney General. The subject was Mueller’s interpretation of the aforementioned 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2). [..] Reading Barr’s June 2018 memo alongside the last twenty pages of the Mueller Report is a curious experience. Together, they read like dueling legal briefs on the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2); the type of material one would expect to see from adversarial appellate litigators.

So-why did Robert Mueller dedicate 20 pages of his report to a seemingly obscure question of statutory interpretation? Why did Bill Barr write a detailed legal memorandum to Rod Rosenstein about that very same statute? And how, exactly, did Bill Barr know that that § 1512(c)(2) was central to Mueller’s obstruction theory – in June 2018, when he was still in private practice at Kirkland? [..] why, exactly, was the interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) so contested? Let’s start by looking the statute, excerpted here: (c) Whoever corruptly— (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so [is guilty of the crime of obstruction].

Why was this so important to Mueller? Because most of the obstruction statutes couldn’t possibly apply to President Trump’s behavior, as they require that a defendant obstruct a “pending proceeding” before an agency or tribunal. It is settled law that an FBI investigation does not constitute such a proceeding. But § 1512(c) applies to acts of obstruction done with the intent of impairing evidence for a future, potential proceeding. That made it potentially usable against the President.

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Ukraine is central. Even without Biden.

Ukrainian Embassy Confirms DNC Contractor Solicited Trump Dirt In 2016 (Hill)

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton. In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine’s embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.


In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress. Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said. Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist, and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.

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Am I still the only one who thinks this is good news?

April US Auto Sales Crash 6.1%, Worst Slide In 8 Years (ZH)

It was yet another dismal month for US auto sales in April, continuing a recessionary trend that has been in place not only in the US, but globally, for the better part of the last 12 months and certainly since the beginning of 2019. The nonsense-excuse-du jour for this month’s disappointing numbers is being placed on the weather on seasonality on rising car prices, which easily pushed away an overextended, broke and debt-laden U.S. consumer. In a nutshell, US auto sales in April tumbled by 6.1% – the biggest monthly drop since May 2011 – to just 16.4 million units, the lowest since October 2014.

Aside for an incentive-boost driven rebound in March, every month of 2019 has seen a decline in the number of annualized auto sales. Furthermore, as David Rosenberg notes, the -4.3% Y/Y trend is the weakest it has been for the past 8 years. Adding “fuel to the fire”, the average price of a new car in April came in at $36,720, the highest ASP so far this year, according to The Detroit News. It comes at a time where interest rates remain above 6% on average, further pressuring sales.

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Mostly US funds flowing back home.

Global Foreign Direct Investment Flows Collapse (DQ)

Global foreign direct investment flows plunged by another 27% in 2018 — after having already plunged 16% in 2017 — to just $1.1 trillion, the equivalent of 1.3% of global GDP, the lowest ratio since 1999, according to new data released by the OECD. It was the third consecutive annual plunge in global FDI flows, as more and more companies either choose not to invest in businesses or assets in other countries or are prevented from doing so. At the peak in 2015, before the trade wars began, before the Brexit vote happened, and before China began cracking down on the capital outflows that had fueled big-ticket purchases of strategic companies across the globe as well as surging asset prices in multiple jurisdictions, global FDI flows totaled $1.92 trillion and represented around 2.5% of global GDP. FDI has since collapsed by 43%.

The OECD apportions much of the blame for the latest fall in FDI flows on the US tax reform in 2017, which prompted many US companies to repatriate large amounts of earnings held with foreign affiliates in countries such as Ireland and Switzerland, which both suffered a massive reduction in inward foreign investment last year. The U.S. is traditionally the world’s biggest source of FDI, but last year it recorded negative outflows for the first time since 2005, as the movement of funds from U.S. investors into global businesses and assets reversed and flowed back toward the U.S., at least on paper. The total sum of outflows last year was -$48 billion, compared to $316 billion in 2017.

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Time to reserve some space for MMT. Harrison has some valid views.

Hippie-Punching MMT (Edward Harrison)

A lot of people like to argue that the central bank and the central government are independent and autonomous powers. And the argument goes that because of this autonomy, central governments like the US aren’t really all-powerful because the central bank can simply refuse to create more IOUs. I think this is a ridiculous argument, though. The central bank is the central government’s agent. And it exists only as a vehicle for executing banking and monetary policies in the government’s interest. The independence it enjoys is entirely at the central government’s discretion – mostly to create the appearance of non-politically motivated policy which would create inflation and debase the currency. If push came to shove, the central government would do whatever it took to issue IOUs to promise to pay the bearer of its money the required sum of fiat currency.

Notice, though, that Euro Zone governments don’t have the same power because they cannot create euros. Sure, they can enforce tax in euros with the coercive power of the penalty of prison as an incentive. But, when their euro taxes fall short, they can’t create euros to make up the shortfall. The euro is not their IOU. They are just like any other debtor in the eurozone. And the MMT crowd were onto this right from the start. In fact, one of the MMT forefathers, Wynne Godley, predicted the European Sovereign Debt Crisis when the euro was first conceived in 1992. On the other hand, most mainstream economists were caught flat-footed by the crisis. They were operating under the assumption that the bond vigilantes had the same power over all debtors including sovereigns.

They said the bond vigilantes just gave sovereigns more leeway. And that’s still their position today despite all evidence to the contrary. How do you trade that? For me, I trade that by saying Germany is the de facto ‘sovereign’ in the euro zone because of its size and fiscal rectitude. The euro would have to cease to exist before German sovereign debt came under attack from bond vigilantes. Now, if Deutsche Bank went bankrupt and Germany bailed it out at great cost and went on a deficit binge to boot and government debt to GDP ended up ballooning to 120% of GDP, things would be different.

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