Oct 212022
 
 October 21, 2022  Posted by at 8:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Salvador Dali Llane Beach, Cadaques 1919

 

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)
Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)
Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)
Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)
Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)
Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)
US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)
Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)
‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)
Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)
Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)
PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)
How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)
It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)
One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

 

 

Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things.
– G.K. Chesterton

 

 

 

 

Terhes

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi

 

 

 

 

Zakharova

 

 

 

 

Amazon books Tucker

 

 

 

 

Will the GOP turn its back on Raytheon? Maybe they reckon this cannot be taken any further, that too many impoverished Americans will turn their backs on them. November 8.

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)

The extensive assistance provided by Washington to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia may be cut if the Republican Party takes control of Congress in the midterm elections on November 8, Axios has reported. Even the harshest critics of Vladimir Putin among the Republicans now acknowledge that there’s been a “noticeable shift away from what was once a broad bipartisan consensus” on providing aid to Kiev, the outlet reported on Wednesday. It cited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who told Punchbowl News earlier this week: “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. ”Ukraine might be important, but it can’t be the only thing on the agenda of the US administration, he insisted.

Republican Congressman Don Bacon also said he’d “noticed” a decline in support for Ukraine. “You see it a little bit on social media, you see it with some of our members,” he said. Bacon’s colleague Kelly Armstrong told Axios that the mood swing was likely a result of the feedback that the lawmakers had been getting from their constituents. “When people are seeing a 13% increase in grocery prices; energy, utility bills doubling… if you’re a border community and you’re being overrun by migrants and fentanyl, Ukraine is the furthest thing from your mind,” he pointed out. The website also cited a senior House Republican, who claimed that “after the $40 billion [in aid package in May], there were a lot of Republicans saying: ‘This is the last time I’m going to support Ukraine funding.’”

In a comment to Axios, Congressman Jim Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee (RSC), pointed out that his party is going to focus on domestic issues after the midterms. “RSC believes you can’t lead abroad when you’re so weak at home. Our GOP agenda in the new majority needs to secure our own border and get America back on our feet by addressing energy cost and inflation,” he explained. Asked to comment on McCarthy’s remarks, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the Biden administration would “continue to work with Congress, as we have these past several months, on these efforts and support Ukraine as long as it takes.”Jean-Pierre reminded that this was a“commitment” that Joe Biden made to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

White House aides told Politico on Wednesday that the Biden administration hadn’t warned Kiev about the possibility of US aid coming to an end in the event that Republicans take control of at least one chamber of Congress after the election. However, officials in Kiev are aware that this may happen, they said. The US has been Kiev’s biggest backer since the outbreak of its conflict with Russia in late February, providing Kiev with more than $16.8 billion in military aid, including sophisticated hardware such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, and combat drones. Moscow has been decrying those weapons deliveries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Major threat to Meloni’s new coalition. Just because he’s right.

“Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition.”

Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly claimed that Kiev triggered a conflict with Russia by reneging on a peace plan for eastern Ukraine, a tape provided to the media suggests. In an apparent response to the leak, Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition. Speaking to members of his Forza Italia party on Tuesday, Berlusconi reportedly offered a viewpoint about the origin of the Ukraine crisis that clashed with the NATO-favored narrative of unprovoked Russian aggression against its neighbor.

Italy is an important member of the US-led alliance and anyone who disagrees with this position will be excluded from government, Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party, pledged on Wednesday evening, as quoted by the newspaper La Repubblica. In the audio clip, Berlusconi can be heard accusing Kiev of failing for years to uphold a peace deal with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. When Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky came to power in 2019, he “tripled down” on attacking the regions, the politician stated. Donetsk and Lugansk asked for Moscow’s protection, he continued. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in the hope that Zelensky would be overthrown and replaced with “good people of common sense” within a couple of weeks, Berlusconi claimed. The wording resembles what he told the Italian public broadcaster RAI after the September election. During this week’s meeting, Berlusconi allegedly suggested that the conflict in Ukraine could last for over “200 years,”after the country unexpectedly resisted Russia and received money and arms from Western nations to continue the fighting.

In another part of the recording, which was published by the LaPresse news agency, Berlusconi claimed to have received a crate of vodka and a “nice letter” from Putin for his birthday. He added that he responded by sending Lambrusco wine to the Russian leader. After the clip was released, the former prime minister’s party claimed he had been referring to historical contacts with Putin and not recent events. Berlusconi has a long record of friendly relations with Putin, which stretched beyond his tenure as prime minister. The three-time former leader of the Italian government’s participation in the right-wing coalition has resulted in claims that the country could make a foreign policy U-turn and oppose the US-led anti-Russian campaign under Meloni. She repeatedly pledged her support for the EU and NATO after winning the election.

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“I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter..”

Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)

A case containing 20 bottles of vodka that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly sent to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a birthday gift may have violated EU sanctions, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, citing an official comment from the European Commission to the DPA news agency. According to the statement, a spokeswoman for the Commission told the news agency that the April 2022 ban on goods imports from Russia to the EU includes spirits, namely vodka, and does not provide an exemption for gifts. The spokeswoman went on to explain that breaches of the sanctions can be reported to the competent national authorities of member states, or directly to Brussels. The news that Putin had sent the gift to Berlusconi was reported by Italy’s LaPresse news agency earlier this week.

The outlet released an audio recording of the former prime minister’s discussion with members of his party, Forza Italia, at a closed meeting. “I have reconnected with President Putin… He sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a really sweet letter for my birthday. I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter,” Berlusconi was heard saying in the recording. However, Forza Italia representatives later said that the former PM was not referring to his most recent birthday on September 29, 2022, but instead was telling “an old story to lawmakers about an episode that occurred years ago,” which means that EU sanctions may not apply at all. The party representatives added that “Berlusconi denies the news of alleged renewed relations with Vladimir Putin.”

However, later reports emerged, suggesting that the remarks were indeed made this year. The potential scandal comes just weeks after the 86-year-old politician returned to the Italian parliament, nine years after being forced out for alleged tax fraud. Previously, Putin and Berlusconi enjoyed a friendly relationship and often complimented one another. However, Berlusconi has lately been critical of Putin over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, saying he was disappointed with the Russian leader, who he always considered “a man of democracy and peace.”

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How much longer will Italy support NATO and its Ukraine attack?

Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)

Electricity tariffs in Italy saw record growth last month, exceeding 136% on an annual basis, according to a National Union of Consumers report on Tuesday. The report said that in September, electricity prices came out on top in the ranking of the most expensive goods and services, which the union regularly compiles based on data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). In the category of non-food products, electricity prices were followed by costs for air travel across Europe, which have risen 128% over the past year. Then came intercontinental flights, for which the prices almost doubled (97.4%). Gas tariffs increased by just under 64% in September.As for food products, the ranking was led by vegetable oils (with the exception of olive oil), up by almost 60%.

The prices of butter and rice rose 38% and 26.7% respectively. Other foodstuffs that saw price increases of more than 20% include pasta, canned milk, flour, and basic vegetables. “Only for food and drink, every single Italian family will pay an average of €660 more per year,” the consumer union’s president, Massimiliano Dona, said. He added that families with two children will have to pay €900 ($885) more, and those with three children, €1,075 ($1,057) more.Inflation in Italy climbed to 8.9% in September on an annualized basis, ISTAT data shows. Meanwhile, the ‘consumer basket’ saw a rise of 10.9% over the year. Such a high increase in the price of basic foodstuffs and personal goods has not been recorded in Italy since 1983.

The head of Italian energy think tank Nomisma Energia said this week that Italy, along with the rest of Europe, is experiencing an energy shock of unprecedented magnitude, as electricity prices have almost doubled. According to him, Italians should be ready for rationing during the coldest winter months. He also urged households to make use of alternative methods of heating, such as burning firewood and pellets, though he added that prices for these are also up.

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Russia knows who did it.

Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has denied “ordering” the bombing of the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to mainland Russia. The president made the remarks during an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CTV, aired on Wednesday. Asked to comment on the “spectacular attack” on the bridge, as the broadcaster put it, Zelensky said Kiev was not involved. “We definitely did not order that, as far as I know,” he told the reporters. The bridge was hit by a massive explosion on October 8, which severely damaged its road traffic section and killed three civilians, as well as setting a passing freight train on fire. Several top Ukrainian officials openly celebrated the attack, while the country’s postal service issued a stamp commemorating the blast, just hours after it happened.


Moscow has directly blamed Kiev for the incident, branding the explosion a “terrorist attack.” Russian law enforcement claims to have established how the bomb, which was disguised as construction materials, made it to the bridge from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, via multiple transit countries. Russian investigators believe the plot was hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence. Moscow has identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and has arrested eight of them, the FSB said. The list of people in custody includes five Russians and three foreign nationals, who hold passports of Ukraine and Armenia. A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence told the media that the FSB was a “fake structure,” and that the report was unworthy of comment.

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“..states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue..”

Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)

Five years ago, I warned in a study that Europe faces an increasing risk of state failure due to the escalation of interlinked environmental, energy and economic crises – and I found an intriguing pattern: states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue. Escalating crisis drives social polarisation, undermining national cohesion and resulting in outbreaks of civil unrest. Without a change of course, these outbreaks coalesce to undermine the functioning of key state institutions. At worst, they can lead to total government collapse and a state of permanent warfare. Gripped by multiple crises, Britain now appears to be following a familiar pattern of environmental, energy and economic-driven state failure.

Since the 1970s, the world has experienced a rising trend of civil unrest and societal breakdown – in correlation with three realities: rising inequality associated with the neoliberal age of globalisation; escalating economic overshoot of the Earth’s ecological systems; and intensifying decline in the quality of fossil fuel energy resources. Britain’s North Sea Oil production peaked in 1999. Fifteen years later, as its domestic oil production haemorrhaged, fringe right-wing nationalist forces had moved increasingly into the mainstream. They blamed Europe, immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims and ethnic minorities for Britain’s intractable social and economic crises. Their success was arguably reflected in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. During that period, the quality of the UK’s energy dropped by a third, if not more.

In 2000, a year after the UK’s North Sea Oil production peaked, Britain’s ‘energy return on investment’ (EROI) – a ratio capturing the amount of energy used to extract a single unit of energy – was around 9.6. By 2012, this had plummeted to 6.2. This is well below the minimum EROI benchmark of 11 considered necessary to sustain continued economic growth. As a study by the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Research Institute concluded, this means that “more and more energy is having to be used in the extraction of energy itself rather than by the UK’s economy or society”. What is happening to Britain now is symptomatic of a wider global phenomenon. Its dependence on oil, gas and coal is self-cannibalising. The scientific consensus shows that it is driving us towards climate catastrophe and, at worst, civilisational collapse.

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Only US LNG allowed.

US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)

The U.S. expressed on Wednesday its opposition to the agreement announced by Turkey for the creation of a natural gas hub in cooperation with Russia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he had agreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to form a natural gas hub in Turkey. Speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said Putin had said Europe can obtain its gas supply from the hub in Turkey. “Türkiye will be a hub for natural gas as well. In our last meeting, we agreed with Putin on this issue. We will create a hub here with Turkish gas coming from Russia,” Erdogan said. The U.S. State Department fired back.

“We have worked closely with our allies and partners to impose severe and unprecedented costs on Russia, including through sanctions, export controls, visa restrictions. We have urged Turkey and all of our allies and partners that no one should have become a safe haven for illicit Russian assets or transactions, and we will continue to make that case,” Vedant Patel, State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson said. “And as it relates to the energy conversation, we have continued to urge our allies to take steps to diversify their energy sources, to reduce energy reliance on Russia. And in the case of Turkey, we are working with them closely to assist in their own efforts to enhance energy security in the long term,” he added.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdogan held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey. Putin has floated the idea of exporting more gas via the TurkStream gas pipeline running beneath the Black Sea to Turkey, touting the country as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after the Nord Stream pipeline leaks. Erdogan previously said Russian and Turkish energy authorities would work together to designate the best location for the potential gas distribution center, adding that Turkey’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, appeared to be the best spot.

Carrying natural gas from Russia to Turkey and further into Europe, the TurkStream was formally launched in January 2020. The pipeline, which allows Moscow to bypass Ukraine as a transit route to Europe, carries Russian gas to Southern Europe through the Black Sea and Turkey.

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About Xi’s speech this week.

Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)

Xi also did not mention the US by name. Everyone in the leadership – especially the new Politburo – is aware of how Washington wants to “decouple” from China in every possible way and will continue to provocatively deploy every possible strand of hybrid war. Xi did not enter into details during his speech, but it’s clear the driving force going forward will be technological innovation linked to a global vision. That’s where BRI comes in, again – as the privileged field of application for these tech breakthroughs. Only this way we can understand how Zhu Guangyao, a former vice minister of finance, may be sure that per capita GDP in China in 2035 would at least double the numbers in 2019 and reach $20,000.

The challenge for Xi and the new Politburo right away is to fix China’s structural economic imbalance. And pumping up debt-financed “investment” all over again won’t work. So bets can be made that Xi’s third term – to be confirmed later this week – will have to concentrate on rigorous planning and monitoring of implementation, much more than during his previous bold, ambitious, abrasive but sometimes disconnected years. The Politburo will have to pay way more attention to technical considerations. Xi will have to delegate more serious policymaking autonomy to a bunch of competent technocrats. Otherwise, we will be back to that startling observation by then Premier Wen Jiabao in 2007: China’s economy is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and ultimately unsustainable”. That’s exactly where the Hegemon wants it to be.

As it stands, things are far from gloomy. The National Development and Reform Commission states that compared to the rest of the world, China’s consumer inflation is only “marginal”; the job market is steady; and international payments are stable. Xi’s work report and pledges may also be seen as turning the usual Anglo-American geopolitical suspects – Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman, Brzezinski – upside down. The China-Russia strategic partnership has no time to lose with global hegemonic games; what drives them is that sooner rather than later they will be ruling the Heartland – the world island – and beyond, with allies from the Rimland, and from Africa to Latin America, all participating in a new form of globalization. Certainly with Chinese characteristics; but most of all, pan-Eurasian characteristics. The final countdown is already on.

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The Ukraine conflict hinders China’s BRI. They want it to flow into Europe unimpeded.

‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)

All over the extremely incandescent global chessboard, international relations are being completely reframed. China – and key Eurasian players at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS+, and Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – are all proposing peaceful development. In contrast, the Hegemon imposes an avalanche of sanctions – not by accident the top three recipients are Eurasian powers Russia, Iran and China; lethal proxy wars (Ukraine); and every possible strand of hybrid war to prevent the end of its supremacy, which lasted barely seven and a half decades, a blip in historical terms.

The current dysfunction – physical, political, financial, cognitive – is reaching a climax. As Europe plunges into the abyss of largely self-inflicted devastation and darkness – a neo-medievalism in woke register – an internally ravaged Empire resorts to plundering even its wealthy “allies”. It’s as if we are all witnessing a Mackinder-on-crack scenario. Halford Mackinder, of course, was the British geographer who developed the ‘Heartland Theory’ of geopolitics, heavily influencing US foreign policy during the Cold War: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World.”

Russia spans 11 time zones and sits atop as much as one third of the world’s natural resources. A natural symbiosis between Europe and Russia is like a fact of life. But the EU oligarchy blew it. It’s no wonder the Chinese leadership views the process with horror, because one of BRI’s essential planks is to facilitate seamless trade between China and Europe. As Russia’s connectivity corridor has been blocked by sanctions, China will be privileging corridors via West Asia. Meanwhile, Russia is completing its pivot to the east. Russia’s enormous resources, combined with the manufacturing capability of China and East Asia as a whole, project a trade/connectivity sphere that goes even beyond BRI. That’s at the heart of the Russian concept of Greater Eurasia Partnership.

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Critical mass.

Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)

At an interview on the South African Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramposa announced that Saudi Arabia is interested in joining BRICS, an economic cooperation organization made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed the kingdom’s desire to join the BRICS,” the South African president said, adding that other countries are also interested in joining this organization. “In 2023, the BRICS summit will be held under the South African presidency and this request will be studied. Several countries are in contact with the BRICS and we have assured them that the accession issue will be discussed and a decision will be made,” Ramposa explained.

Among the nations that have already applied to join this international forum is Argentina, whose President Alberto Fernandez asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to join the BRICS. Sabino Vaca, Argentina’s ambassador to China, stated that the BRICS constitute an excellent cooperation alternative for developing countries given that the current world order has shown that it only works for the benefit of a few nations. At their 14th summit in July, the BRICS countries discussed economic cooperation options related to the creation of a new development bank, the formation of a contingent reserve arrangement, an intercountry payment system, and a BRICS basket reserve currency. Seen from the perspective of the global financial system, the consequence of those actions would be the gradual weakening of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency.

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ZeroHedge: “Just as Musk wanted”, “And the thing is Musk will still end up owning it… just 80% cheaper under the next admin.”

Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)

One month ago we joked that should the Delaware judge force Musk to buy Twitter, then none other than the US government would step in and prevent the South African from gaining control over the blue-checkmark echo chamber of record, the one social media network which congressional testimony after congressional testimony has argued it can manipulate the outcome of elections. Well, that prediction is about to come true, because according to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is discussing whether the US should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, citing people familiar with the matter.

In short, not only is the deep state government preparing to block Musk’s acquisition of TWTR on national security grounds (unlcear what that would achieve as the stock would crater to single digits, especially after today’s SNAP earnings, and so many of its employees have already quit), but it may “expropriate” Musk’s satellite pet project too, all for daring to ask a question about the US involvement in Ukraine, and what exactly the endgame there is. As Bloomberg adds, “US officials have grown uncomfortable over Musk’s recent threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine — he said it had cost him $80 million so far — and what they see as his increasingly Russia-friendly stance following a series of tweets that outlined peace proposals favorable to President Vladimir Putin. They are also concerned by his plans to buy Twitter with a group of foreign investors.”

The discussions are still at an early stage, the people familiar said on condition of anonymity. Officials in the US government and intelligence community are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures. One possible legal pathway is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review Musk’s deals and operations for national security risks. The CFIUS was used extensively in the Trump admin to block and undo numerous Chinese deals, arguing they could pose a national threat to the US. Now, it’s none other than Musk who has emerged as the deep state’s biggest nemesis.

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“..the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance”..”

PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)

House Republicans are launching an inquiry into PayPal after the payment processing company sparked major controversy for a policy that would fine customers for “misinformation.” The controversy began when news broke earlier this month that PayPal would fine customers $2,500 for spreading misinformation. PayPal quickly retracted the policy, saying it was a mistake that “went out in error” but not before “cancelPayPal” was trending and Twitter users boasted of deleting their accounts. The company’s stocks tumbled as the news unfolded. Now, House Republicans want answers. They sent a letter to PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman asking how the policy originated, who approved it, whether the Biden administration was involved, and more.

“As a leading financial technology company, it is concerning that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users – even if in error,” the letter said. “We understand your company is currently investigating this matter. Upon the conclusion of your investigation, we request that you provide a briefing for the Committees as soon as practicable.” [..] The letter requests answers by the end of the month to a range of questions, including whether any entities were affected by the policy change, when the internal investigation will be over, and who was responsible for the policy in question.

Critics also point out that while PayPal rescinded its misinformation policy, the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance” as the company chooses to define it. “The ability to transact without fear of retribution and political censorship is the foundation on which a free economy is built,” Emmer said. “We cannot afford to sacrifice these freedoms, and we must keep a close eye on any actions that erode them. The now-rescinded penalties outlined in PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy were deeply concerning, and the American people deserve answers about how these decisions are made and whether their speech will be protected on this kind of platform.”

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Dumping Treasuries.

How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)

All of this scheming, leverage and swapping boils down to not enough available (i.e., liquid) USDs in a global financial system in which nearly everything—from debt, to oil to derivatives—still has to be paid in increasingly scarce and hence increasingly expensive Dollars. In addition to this twisted, illiquid and over-levered swamp, the USD rises even higher on Powell rate hikes, all of which combine to force the world’s other currencies to fall. Why? Because other countries and central banks have no choice but to swallow/import USD inflation, monetary policy and American political self-interest. Indeed, with financial allies like the U.S., who needs enemies?

Whenever the Fed, for example, prints more of the world reserve currency or raises its interest rate, the rest of the world, which is tied to that currency, is forced to react—i.e., debase, hike and suffer. We remind that nearly $14T in USD-denominated debt is owed by both emerging market and developed market economies. As the USD rises in strength on the back of Powell’s impossible Volcker-revival and tangled derivatives, other Dollar-desperate nations from Argentina to Japan find themselves with not enough Greenbacks to pay their debts or settle trades, wires and oil purchases, which thus forces them to print (i.e., debase) more of their local currencies to make USD-denominated payments.

But Japan takes the cake for debasing its own currency all on its own, as no nation has ever loved a money printer and currency-debaser more. This might explain why Japan is leading the charge in dumping its USTs into the FOREX markets, which only adds more pressure to rising yields and hence rising rates. Thanks Kuroda—just one more central banker with a mouse-clicker gone mad… Perhaps he’ll be next in line for a Nobel Prize? But Japan is not alone, as other nations dump the once sacred UST just to keep their currencies afloat…In short: The strong USD is crippling the word, and that world, as we’ve written numerous times, will be de-dollarizing at a steady and irreversible pace.No shocker there. At some point, Dollar-indebted nations crack and this twisted global game ends in a credit crisis for the history books.

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“..they still won’t apologize..”

It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)

Exactly two years ago, on October 19, 2020, one of the dirtiest tricks in electoral history was played on the American people by 51 former intelligence officials, who used the false alarm of “Russian interference” to stop Donald Trump winning a second term as president. Using the institutional weight of their former esteemed roles, they signed a dishonest letter to mislead voters 15 days before the election, claiming that material from Hunter Biden’s laptop published by the New York Post “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In their expert opinion, “the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue.” Russia was “trying to influence how Americans vote in this election … Moscow [will] pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win.

“A ‘laptop op’ fits the bill, as the publication of the emails are [sic] clearly designed to discredit Biden … It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.” It was all a lie. Their letter was the culprit “interfering with democracy” in broad daylight. Not one of the 51 had seen any material from the laptop or bothered asking for it, but their letter, instigated by, signed and delivered to Politico by Democratic operative and former John Brennan aide Nick Shapiro, killed the story stone dead. It got candidate Joe Biden off the hook for the corrupt influence-peddling scheme his family had been running through the eight years of his vice presidency. The shameful letter was used by Joe Biden three days later, on October 22, to deflect Trump’s attack in their last debate.

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan … Four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage … You know his character. You know my character. You know my reputation is for honor and telling the truth … The character of the country is on the ballot.” Biden dismissed as a Kremlin smear all the evidence that was on his son’s laptop of dirty money from China and Russia, of all his meetings with Hunter’s overseas business partners, and all the lies he had told about his involvement in Hunter’s business deals The letter, like the Steele dossier and Russia collusion hoax peddled by many of the signatories, has helped fuel a moral panic about Russia in recent years that now has heightened the risk of nuclear war.

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A three month study will not reveal the real damage done. That takes years. But already 1 in 500 is insanely high. And still the CDC is pushing it.

One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

One in every 500 children under five years who received the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccine were hospitalised with a vaccine injury, and one in 200 had symptoms ongoing for weeks or months afterwards, a study has found. The study published in JAMA included 7,806 children aged five or younger who were followed up of for an average of 91.4 days following their first Pfizer vaccination. It was a retrospective cohort study done as an authenticated online survey (response rate 41.1%) in spring 2022 which included parents or caregivers who registered children for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in outpatient care facilities in Germany. It compared the adverse events to those of the same children with other vaccinations in order to control for over-reporting.

7 year old boy

It concluded that the symptoms reported after Pfizer vaccination were “comparable overall” to those for other vaccines. Let’s see. • Any symptoms: 62% higher • Musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) symptoms: 155% higher • Dermatologic (skin) symptoms: 118% higher • Otolaryngologic (ears, nose and throat) symptoms: 537% higher • Cardiovascular (heart etc.): 36% higher • Gastrointestinal (stomach etc.): 54% higher. It calls these “modestly elevated”. In 0.5% of the children (40 of 7,806) symptoms were “currently ongoing and thus of unknown significance”. This is in a study with a 2-4 month follow-up period. That means 0.5% of children had an adverse effect that lasted for weeks or months. In two cases (0.03%), symptoms were confirmed to have lasted longer than 90 days.


Ten children were hospitalised with reported serious adverse events (SAEs), compared to zero with the other vaccines. This reported as 0.1%, as it is out of 7,806. However, the study also states that no hospitalisations were reported for children administered the low dosage of 3 μg. Since it also tells us that 6,033 children received at least one dose of over 3 μg. (or unknown dosage), the rate in the relevant cohort is closer to 0.2%, or around one in 500. Four of the hospitalisations were for cardiovascular injury; one child was hospitalised after both doses for this reason. Four were pulmonary (lung) related. Symptoms of the hospitalised children lasted an average of 12.2 days and a maximum of 60 days. None reported a myocarditis diagnosis. Mercifully, no deaths were reported in this relatively small sample.

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Knots

 

 

 

 

Denzel

 

 

 

 

Blue wave+

 

 

City over the river

 

 

Pillars of Creation, known from Hubble, now captured by Webb telescope. Each pillar is about 3 light-years (over 27 trillion km) in width.

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 022022
 


Marc Chagall The Feast of the Tabernacles 1916

 

Russia Makes It ‘Impossible For War To End’ – Borrell (RT)
The End of Western Hegemony is INEVITABLE – Putin (Konstantin Kisin)
Nord Stream Explosions Are A ‘Tremendous Opportunity’ – US (RT)
Europe ‘Indefinitely Deprived’ Of Key Gas Supply Route – Gazprom (RT)
Who Profits From Pipeline Terror? (Escobar)
Russian Gas Exports To EU Via TurkStream Plunge (RT)
Russia Halts Gas Delivery To Italy (RT)
Azerbaijan To Increase Gas Deliveries To Bulgaria, Via Greece (AP)
Greek Gas Utility Clinches Winter LNG Deal (R.)
The Euro Without Germany (Michael Hudson)
Thousands Of German Stores On Brink Of Closure – Spiegel (RT)
Zelensky’s Lies Can’t Hide Ukraine’s Bloody Role In The Holocaust (Dershowitz)
FBI Agents Improperly Saw Privileged Trump Communications: Lawyers (ET)
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing (Steve Keen)
FDA Withholds Autopsy Results on People Who Died After COVID-19 Vaccines (ET)
Next On Europe’s Doomsday List: Collapse Of Cell Phone Networks (ZH)
China Tells State Banks To Sell Dollars, Buy Yuan (R.)

 

 

 

 

“Good people do things for other people. That’s it. The end”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said it before: Borrell is EU’s No.1 warmonger, he needs to go.

Try this one: Putin has created the opportunity for peace. By making it much harder for Ukraine to shell its -formerly- own Russian speaking population.

Russia Makes It ‘Impossible For War To End’ – Borrell (RT)

The accession of four former Ukrainian regions into Russia makes the conflict in Ukraine impossible to end, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell said on Saturday. Speaking to the Spanish RTVE channel, the bloc’s high representative for foreign affairs described the impending inclusion of the two Donbass Republics, and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, into the Russian Federation as an “annexation” and an act of “completely unjustified aggression.” “Putin makes it more difficult, even impossible, for the war to end,” Borrell said. The EU is committed to continuing its military support for Ukraine, the diplomat stressed. The bloc also intends to go ahead with another package of sanctions against Moscow “so that Russia would be isolated internationally,” he added.

Russia has consistently warned the West against “pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, saying that it would only prolong the conflict. Borrell’s claim that Russia’s “annexation” of new territories will further jeopardize a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis echoed earlier remarks by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Speaking on the eve of the accession ceremony for the former Ukrainian regions, Guterres condemned in very strong terms both their inclusion into Russia and the preceding referendums, and called on Russia “to step back from the brink.” In response, Moscow accused the secretary general of abusing his authority.

Putin, meanwhile, warned the Ukrainian authorities and their Western “handlers” that people living in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as in the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, have become Russian citizens “forever” because they made a choice “to be with their Motherland.” In his speech at the signing ceremony for the accession treaties, the president also accused the West of dreaming “to weaken and break up Russia,” of being “ready to cross every line to preserve the neo-colonial system,” and of overthrowing traditional values, which, in Putin’s opinion, amounts to “pure Satanism.” The Russian president did call on Kiev to “return to the negotiating table.” His Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, however, said that his country was ready for dialogue with Russia, but “with another president.”

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“.. In the 80s they had another crisis they solved by “plundering our country”. Now they want to solve their problems by “breaking Russia”..

The End of Western Hegemony is INEVITABLE – Putin (Konstantin Kisin)

This is a reproduction of my live Twitter summary/translation of Vladimir Putin’s speech: I wish every single person in the West would listen to Putin’s speech. Obviously, that won’t happen so let me summarise as a professional translator for 10+ years. He states, as he has done from the outset, what his intentions and complaints are in the plainest terms possible. Setting aside his brief comments on the recent “referendums”, he spends most of his speech discussing the West. His primary complaint isn’t NATO expansion, which gets only a cursory mention. The West is greedy and seeks to enslave and colonise other nations, like Russia. The West uses the power of finance and technology to enforce its will on other nations. To collect what he calls the “hegemon’s tax”.

To this end the West destabilises countries, creates terrorist enclaves and most of all seeks to deprive other countries of sovereignty. It is this “avarice” and desire to preserve its power that is the reason for the “hybrid war” the collective West is “waging on Russia”. They want us to be a “colony”. They do not want us to be free, they want Russians to be a mob of soulless slaves – direct quote. The rules-based order the West goes on about is “nonsense”. Who made these rules? Who agreed to them? Russia is an ancient country and civilization and we will not play by these “rigged” rules. The West has no moral authority to challenge the referendums because it has violated the borders of other countries. Western elites are “totalitarian, despotic and apartheidistic” – direct quote.

They are racist against Russia and other countries and nations. “Russophobia is racism”. They discriminate by calling themselves the “civilised world”. They colonised, started the global slave trade, genocided native Americans, pillaged India and Africa, forced China to buy opium through war. We, on the other hand, are proud that we “led” the anti-colonial movement that helped countries develop to reduce poverty and inequality. They are Russophobic (they hate us) because we didn’t allow our country to be pillaged by creating a strong CENTRALISED (emphasis his) state based on Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. They have been trying to destabilise our country since the 17th century in the Times of Trouble. Eventually, they managed to “get their hands on our riches” at the end of the 20th century.

They called us friends and partners while pumping out trillions of dollars (his irony game is strong today). We remember this. We didn’t forget. The West claims to bring freedom and democracy to other countries but it’s the exact opposite of the truth. The unipolar world is anti-democratic by its very nature. It is a lie. They used nuclear weapons, creating a precedent. They flattened German cities without “any military need to do so”. There was no need for this except to scare us and the rest of the world. Korea, Vietnam. To this day they “occupy” Japan, South Korea and Germany and other countries while cynically calling them “allies”. The West has surveillance over the leaders of these nations who “swallow these insults like the slaves they are”. He then talks about bioweapon research (haven’t heard about them for a while) and human experiments “including in Ukraine”.

The US rules the world by the power of the fist. Any country which seeks to challenge Western hegemony becomes an enemy. Their neocolonialism is cloaked in lies like “containment” of Russia, China and Iran. The concept of truth has been destroyed with fakes and extreme propaganda (irony game still strong). You cannot feed your people with printed dollars and social media. You need food and energy. But Western elites have no desire to find a solution to the food and energy crises *they* (emphasis his) created. They solved the problems at the start of 20c with WW1 and the US established dominance of the world via the dollar as a result of WW2. In the 80s they had another crisis they solved by “plundering our country”. Now they want to solve their problems by “breaking Russia”.

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“It’s obvious to everyone who benefits from it,” Putin explained. “Those who benefit are the ones who have done it.”

Nord Stream Explosions Are A ‘Tremendous Opportunity’ – US (RT)

The US views the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines as a “tremendous opportunity” to wean the continent off of Russian energy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday. With winter approaching, Blinken said that the US wants Europe to decrease its fuel use. Speaking to reporters in Washington, Blinken boasted that the US is now “the leading supplier of [liquefied natural gas] to Europe.” In addition to shipping its own fuel to Europe, Blinken said that the US is working with European leaders to find ways to “decrease demand” and “speed up the transition to renewables.” “It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from [Russian President] Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs,”Blinken declared.

The US likely stands to gain the most from the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which were damaged by a series of explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm earlier this week. Washington has for years been trying to convince European leaders to swap Russian gas for its LNG, and the severity of the damage to the undersea conduits now means that Europe is “indefinitely deprived” of Russian gas via this route, Russian energy operator Gazprom stated on Friday. In a speech on Friday, President Vladimir Putin blamed the explosions on“the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance. “It’s obvious to everyone who benefits from it,” Putin explained. “Those who benefit are the ones who have done it.”

While the way is now open for the US to sell its more expensive LNG to Europe, the shortfall cannot be covered overnight. US exporters warned throughout the summer that they will not be able to ship enough gas to meet demand on the continent, and many of Europe’s import terminals are still under construction or in planning. Meanwhile, energy bills are skyrocketing across Europe. In Germany, which faces the prospect of rapid “deindustrialization,” protesters took to the streets to demand the re-opening of Nord Stream 2, just days before the explosions. Food shortages have been predicted in Germany and firewood is in hot demand across the continent as citizens struggle to heat their homes. “There’s a lot of hard work to do to make sure that countries and partners get through the winter,” Blinken said, suggesting, as EU leaders have also done, that Europe work to “reduce demand” for gas.

Blinken

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“..von der Leyen: [..] any “deliberate disruption of the European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the strongest retaliation.”

Watch out US! Poland! Denmark! Sweden!

Europe ‘Indefinitely Deprived’ Of Key Gas Supply Route – Gazprom (RT)

The damage to Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines means Europe is indefinitely deprived of one of its key gas supply routes, Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said on Friday. “Essentially, Europe is indefinitely deprived of one of the key routes for obtaining a crucial energy resource. Russia and Gazprom spent a huge amount of energy and money to build and launch these pipelines because this is the shortest and safest, as we thought, way for Russian gas to reach European consumers. Now the pipelines are standing with puncture holes,” Kupriyanov said at a UN Security Council meeting. Technical data “allows [Gazprom] to say with certainty” that the sharp pressure drops were caused by physical damage, the spokesman stressed.

According to him, at the time of the incident, the pipelines were not transporting gas, but both were filled with the fuel and ready for service. There were about 800 million cubic meters of gas in the strings, which is equivalent to Denmark’s gas consumption for three months. “Gazprom has begun searching for possible solutions to get the Nord Stream system back up and running, but the timeline cannot yet be estimated… This is a very difficult technical task,” Kupriyanov said, noting that in order to assess the situation, Gazprom will have to start with a physical inspection of the damaged areas. The Danish authorities reported leaks on the pipelines on Monday after a local pipeline operator noted a loss of pressure on both the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines earlier that day.

Danish and Swedish seismologists later spoke of a series of undersea explosions in the area. The Russian, American, and Swedish authorities said the leaks might have been the result of a deliberate attack. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said the incidents were the result of sabotage, warning that any “deliberate disruption of the European energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the strongest retaliation.” Russia called the incident a “terrorist attack” and summoned a UN Security Council meeting over it.

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“The US State Department declared that the idea the US was involved is “preposterous.”

Who Profits From Pipeline Terror? (Escobar)

The notion that Russian intel would destroy Gazprom pipelines is beyond ludicrous. All they had to do was to turn off the valves. NS2 was not even operational, based on a political decision from Berlin. The gas flow in NS was hampered by western sanctions. Moreover, such an act would imply Moscow losing key strategic leverage over the EU. Diplomatic sources confirm that Berlin and Moscow were involved in a secret negotiation to solve both the NS and NS2 issues. So they had to be stopped – no holds barred. Geopolitically, the entity that had the motive to halt a deal holds anathema a possible alliance in the horizon between Germany, Russia, and China.

The Poles, moreover, are terrified that with Russia’s partial mobilization, and the new phase of the Special Military Operation (SMO) – soon to be transformed into a Counter-Terrorism Operation (CTO) – the Ukrainian battlefield will move westward. Ukrainian electric light and heating will most certainly be smashed. Millions of new refugees in western Ukraine will attempt to cross to Poland. At the same time there’s a sense of “victory” represented by the partial opening of the Baltic Pipe in northwest Poland – almost simultaneously with the sabotage. Talk about timing. Baltic Pipe will carry gas from Norway to Poland via Denmark. The maximum capacity is only 10 billion cubic meters, which happens to be ten times less than the volume supplied by NS and NS2. So Baltic Pipe may be enough for Poland, but carries no value for other EU customers.

Meanwhile, the fog of war gets thicker by the minute. It has already been documented that US helicopters were overflying the sabotage nodes only a few days ago; that a UK “research” vessel was loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; that NATO tweeted about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage. Not to mention that Der Spiegel published a startling report headlined “CIA warned German government against attacks on Baltic Sea pipelines,” possibly a clever play for plausible deniability. The Russian Foreign Ministry was sharp as a razor: “The incident took place in an area controlled by American intelligence.” The White House was forced to “clarify” that President Joe Biden – in a February video that has gone viral – did not promise to destroy NS2; he promised to “not allow” it to work. The US State Department declared that the idea the US was involved is “preposterous.”

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Netherlands banned “export and provision of pipes for Russia’s use”. And this is not deliberate?!

Russian Gas Exports To EU Via TurkStream Plunge (RT)

Russian gas flows to the EU via the TurkStream pipeline dropped by a quarter at the end of September compared to the end of August, the Russian newspaper Vedomosti reported on Saturday.According to the report, which cited data from the association of Europe’s transmission system operators, on September 29 about 32 million cubic meters of gas were supplied to the EU through the Strandzha 2-Malkoclar entry point on the Turkish-Bulgarian border. This is about 25% less than at the end of August, when the pipeline supplied about 43 million cubic meters of gas per day. On Thursday, the Russian-owned operator of the TurkStream pipeline,

South Stream Transport, said that the Netherlands had withdrawn its gas export license due to the latest EU sanctions package against Russia, which implies a ban on the export and provision of pipes for Russia’s use. Announcing their decision to revoke the license ahead of schedule, the Dutch authorities also referred to the ban on the supply of goods and provision of services, including technical assistance and maintenance of the pipeline in Russia’s exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf. European gas futures spiked on the news of the license withdrawal, jumping 10% on Friday to $2,087 per thousand cubic meters, or €205.995 per megawatt hour.However, South Stream Transport later noted that the sanctions do not expressly impose restrictions on the transportation of gas via the pipeline. The company has already applied for a renewal of its export license.

Representatives of the operator said that the gas delivered to Europe via Turkish Stream supports the region’s energy security and that the pipeline is likely to be exempted from sanctions for this reason. TurkStream is a two-string pipeline with capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It carries Russian gas across the Black Sea to Türkiye and from there to countries of southern and southeastern Europe. With Nord Stream 1 currently out of operation due to this week’s leakage, TurkStream is the only remaining gas transmission system that bring gas to Europe besides the transit line running through Ukraine. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the TurkStream license withdrawal would not affect its operation and that gas supplies continue.

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“..the temperature when heating buildings will be reduced by one degree Celsius..”

Russia Halts Gas Delivery To Italy (RT)

Russia’s Gazprom has informed Italian energy company Eni that it will not be able to supply gas to the country on Saturday, due to the “impossibility of transporting it” through Austria, the Italian company said in a statement. “Gazprom informed that it is not able to confirm the gas volumes requested for today, stating that it’s not possible to supply gas through Austria. Therefore, today’s Russian gas supplies to Eni through the Tarvisio entry point will be at zero,” the statement from Eni said, as cited by news agency RIA Novosti. Eni has said it will provide further information “in case supplies will be restored.” Gazprom has not yet specified the reason for its inability to supply gas through Austria. Grid operator Gas Connect Austria has not made any statements regarding the situation so far.


Italy receives Russian gas via the one remaining transit line through Ukraine. The gas flows to Italy after passing through Austria. Other European countries that receive Russian gas through Ukraine include Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, and the Czech Republic. Earlier, the website of the Ukrainian gas transit operator reported that the flow through Ukraine is expected to amount to around 41.6 million cubic meters on October 1. Since February, the share of Russian gas in Italian imports has fallen from 40% to roughly 18%, with the authorities saying they can cope with the shortfall expected in the winter by using alternative fuel sources. The country has adopted an energy-saving plan to reduce gas consumption. As part of this plan, the heating season will be cut by 15 days and the temperature when heating buildings will be reduced by one degree Celsius.

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AP doesn’t specify how much goes to Greece, but I would guess at least 1 billion cubic meters.

Azerbaijan To Increase Gas Deliveries To Bulgaria, Via Greece (AP)

Azerbaijan’s president said Friday that his country is a reliable partner and will stick to an agreement to double gas exports to the European Union by 2027. Speaking to reporters in Bulgaria’s capital, President Ilhan Aliyev called a new gas interconnector with Greece “a historic achievement and an opportunity for Azeri gas to reach Europe in larger quantities.” Aliyev was in Sofia for the official launch Saturday of a new pipeline that will supply natural gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria, whose vital supply of Russian gas was cut off in April amid the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the event on Saturday, he will join heads of state and governments from the region, as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The 182-kilometer pipeline is designed to run from the northeastern Greek city of Komotini to Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. It is expected to start with an initial capacity of 3 billion cubic meters of gas a year, with the prospect of future expansion to 5 billion cubic meters. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev stressed the importance of the new gas link not only for Bulgaria, but for the continent. “It decisively changes the energy map of Europe,” he said. The desire for other sources of gas increased significantly after Moscow decided to turn its natural gas deliveries into a political weapon. In late April, Russia cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria after it refused Moscow’s demand to pay for the deliveries in rubles, Russia’s currency. Relations between the two former Soviet bloc allies have tanked in recent months, and last month Bulgaria ordered the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats, triggering an angry response from Moscow.

Bulgaria, which has a contract for 1 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas, or one-third of the country’s annual needs, wants to increase the volume by between a half-billion to 1 billion cubic meters more per year following the suspension of Russian gas flows were suspended. Radev said he received a letter Thursday from gas system operators in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia that offered to transport gas from Azerbaijan using the integrated networks of their countries. He said Bulgaria could host a summit of the four countries to discuss possibilities for such gas transfers. The topic has become important after Russia said it would suspend some maintenance and repair work of a gas pipeline that supplies Turkey and countries like Serbia and Hungary.

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“TotalEnergies operates in over 130 countries spanning five continents..” US LNG? Qatar?

Greek Gas Utility Clinches Winter LNG Deal (R.)

Greece’s biggest gas utility, DEPA Commercial, has clinched a deal with TotalEnergies for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the winter months if needed, the Greek energy ministry said on Thursday. The deal stipulates that TotalEnergies will supply Greece with two LNG cargoes a month for five months until March 2023, the ministry said in a statement The total LNG that would be delivered for the five months would be 10 terrawatt hours (TWh), though Greece reserves the right not to purchase the gas but pay a cancellation fee. A deal price was not disclosed, but the ministry said Greece would buy the gas at a benchmark price rather than the highly TTF price.


“It’s a deal of key importance for the country’s energy supplies in the event gas flows from Russia are curbed or halted,” the statement said. Greece has been receiving Russian gas via the TurkStream pipeline, which also delivers to Hungary via Serbia. Athens has been working to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, ramping up LNG supplies and reopening some coal-fired power plants while also preparing to switch some gas-fired stations to diesel.

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“The problem is that its plans for how the Ukraine war and anti-Russian sanctions have worked out so far have been just the reverse of what was announced.”

The Euro Without Germany (Michael Hudson)

On Tuesday, September 27 when news of the Nord Stream gas attacks became known, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shed crocodile tears and said that attacking Russian pipelines was “in no one’s interest.” But if that really were the case, no one would have attacked the gas lines. I have no doubt that U.S. strategists have a game plan for how to proceed from here, and to do so that indeed is in what the neocons claim to be in the U.S. interest – that of maintaining a unipolar neoliberalized and financialized global economy for as long as they can. They have long had a plan for countries that are unable to [service] their foreign debts. The IMF will lend them the money, conditional upon the debtor country raising the foreign exchange to repay the (increasingly expensive) dollar loans by privatizing what remains of their public domain, natural-resource patrimony and other assets, mainly to U.S. financial investors and their allies.

Will it work? Or will debtor countries band together and work out ways to restore the seemingly lost world of affordable oil and gas prices, fertilizer prices, grain and other food prices, and metals or raw materials supplied by Russia, China and their allied Eurasian neighbors? That is the next great worry for U.S. global strategists. It seems less easy to solve than was done by the sabotage of Nord Stream 1 and 2. But the solution seems to be the usual U.S. approach: something military in nature, new color revolutions. The aim is to gain the same power over Global South and Eurasian countries that American diplomacy wielded over Germany and other European countries via NATO.

Unless an institutional alternative is created to the IMF, World Bank, International Court, World Trade Organization and the numerous UN agencies now biased by U.S. diplomats and their proxies, the coming decades will see the U.S. economic strategy of financial and military dominance unfold as Washington has planned. The problem is that its plans for how the Ukraine war and anti-Russian sanctions have worked out so far have been just the reverse of what was announced. That may give some hope for the world’s future. The opposition and even contempt by U.S. diplomats to other countries acting in their own economic interest and social values is so strong that they are unwilling to think through just how these countries might develop their own alternative to the U.S. world plan. The question is thus how successfully these other countries may develop their alternative new economic order, and how they can protect themselves from the fate that Europe has just imposed upon itself for the next decade.

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“16,000 businesses may go bankrupt this year..” Imagine next year.

Thousands Of German Stores On Brink Of Closure – Spiegel (RT)

Over 15,000 German stores are facing bankruptcy due to soaring energy costs, Der Spiegel reported on Friday, citing the German Retail Association (HDE). According to the report, the HDE wrote a letter to Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck in which it warned that the “exploding energy costs” are making it impossible for increasing numbers of retailers to make ends meet. The group called the situation “existentially threatening” and said that around 16,000 businesses may go bankrupt this year, while the “negative trend” is likely to continue through 2023. The group said the rise in energy costs, which have spiked by 147% on average since the beginning of the year, is preventing retailers from making a profit. The share of electricity costs in sales volumes for retailers has already reached almost 3% on average and many in the industry expect this figure to rise to as high as 5% in 2023.


According to HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser and Managing Director Stefan Genth, the returns generated in many retail sectors are already extremely low today. In the case of clothing, the operating profit as a percentage of sales is 2.1%, while in the case of shoes it is currently negative at -1.2%. Even in the food segment, it is only 2-4%. Such a state of affairs may put many companies “at a disadvantage,” the group warned. Given the sharp decline in the purchasing power of private households and record-high inflation, it will likely not be possible to shift the rising energy costs to consumers, the HDE states. Therefore, the group urged Berlin to intervene by temporarily limiting tariffs and cutting electricity taxes to a minimum.

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“Ukraine’s parliament formally abandoned neutrality later in 2014.”

The Great Game In Ukraine Is Spinning Out Of Control (Jeffrey Sachs)

Under Clinton’s watch, NATO expanded to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in 1999. Five years later, under President George W. Bush, Jr. NATO expanded to seven more countries: the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), the Black Sea (Bulgaria and Romania), the Balkans (Slovenia), and Slovakia. Under President Barack Obama, NATO expanded to Albania and Croatia in 2009, and under President Donald Trump, to Montenegro in 2019. Russia’s opposition to NATO enlargement intensified sharply in 1999 when NATO countries disregarded the UN and attacked Russia’s ally Serbia, and stiffened further in the 2000’s with the US wars of choice in Iraq, Syria, and Libya. At the Munich Security conference in 2007, President Putin declared that NATO enlargement represents a “serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.”

Putin continued: “And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances [of no NATO enlargement] our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: ‘the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.’ Where are these guarantees?” Also in 2007, with the NATO admission of two Black Sea countries, Bulgaria and Romania, the US established the Black Sea Area Task Group (originally the Task Force East).

Then in 2008, the US raised the US-Russia tensions still further by declaring that NATO would expand to the very heart of the Black Sea, by incorporating Ukraine and Georgia, threatening Russia’s naval access to the Black Sea, Mediterranean, and Middle East. With Ukraine’s and Georgia’s entry, Russia would be surrounded by five NATO countries in the Black Sea: Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. Russia was initially protected from NATO enlargement to Ukraine by Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, who led the Ukrainian parliament to declare Ukraine’s neutrality in 2010. Yet in 2014, the US helped to overthrow Yanukovych and bring to power a staunchly anti-Russian government. The Ukraine War broke out at that point, with Russia quickly reclaiming Crimea and supporting pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas, the region of Eastern Ukraine with a relatively high proportion of Russian population. Ukraine’s parliament formally abandoned neutrality later in 2014.

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Churchill, Nobel Peace Prize, but embedded in the Bandera legacy. Yeah, makes a lot of sense…

Zelensky’s Lies Can’t Hide Ukraine’s Bloody Role In The Holocaust (Dershowitz)

Volodymyr Zelensky has performed a truly great service on behalf of the Ukrainian people. Because of his Churchill-like determination to resist Russian aggression, I have proposed him for the Nobel Peace prize. But he has in the recent past mendaciously denied the role of Ukrainian people in the Holocaust. He has used that argument to forcefully claim that Israel owes Ukraine offensive weapons. Several days ago, he escalated his criticism, saying he shocked that Israel hasn’t capitulated to his demands. He has never apologized for the following statement he made this past March: “The Ukrainians made a choice 80 years ago, we saved Jews…” He is right the Ukrainian people made a choice 80 years ago, but it wasn’t to save Jews.

Almost without exception, Ukrainians either participated in the mass murder of Jews or said nothing as their Jewish neighbors were rounded up and slaughtered in places like Babi Yar. Many of those who pulled the trigger were themselves Ukrainian, recruited into the mobile killing squads by the Nazis. Vanishingly few saved Jews. The complicity of Ukrainians in these mass murders was greater than in most other countries. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews were murdered. Nor was this the first time that the Ukrainian people made a similar choice. In 1648, Bogdan Chmielnicki led a pogrom that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews, including babies, children, and mothers. That was a long time ago, but the statue of this genocidal murderer still stands in the center of Kyiv, and his picture still adorns the Ukrainian five-dollar bill. That is now! Ukraine has made a choice: to honor the memory of a mass murderer of Jews.

Between the Chmielnicki murders and the Holocaust, the Ukrainian people made many other choices: they conducted pogrom after pogrom against Jewish families. Antisemitism was rampant throughout the Ukraine. That is why so many Ukrainian Jews immigrated to the United States and elsewhere. In recent years, the situation in Ukraine has improved measurably. Though there are still a large number of antisemites in Ukraine—including in certain units of the armed forces—the remembrance of the Holocaust has caused many Ukrainians to abandon the traditional antisemitism that plagued the country. They even voted for Zelensky, who is a man of Jewish heritage.

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“..Plaintiff is asking the Special Master to order disclosure of the names of each attorney and Special Agent who was exposed to materials eventually provided to the Privilege Review Team.”

FBI Agents Improperly Saw Privileged Trump Communications: Lawyers (ET)

The FBI team that seized documents from former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort improperly viewed communications between Trump and an attorney, violating attorney-client privilege for a third time, lawyers for Trump said in a new filing. The filter process set up by the government to try to prevent FBI agents from viewing privileged materials has already failed twice, the government has acknowledged. On Sept. 26, government officials informed Trump lawyers of a third failure, the lawyers said in a new filing lodged in a federal court in southern Florida. FBI agents viewed an email that they sent to the Privilege Review Team, a team that was supposed to filter out all potentially privileged materials before agents were able to view any.

The review team has characterized the email as non-privileged, but Trump disagrees. “Plaintiff believes the email falls squarely into the category of attorney-client privileged,” Trump lawyers told U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, a Reagan appointee who is serving as a special master in the case. Benjamin Hawk, the Department of Justice (DOJ) official in charge of the filter team, claimed during a recent hearing that the first two failures to separate potentially privileged materials were examples of the filter process working, but U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump appointee who inserted Dearie into the case, expressed doubt. The instances “indicate that, on more than one occasion, the Privilege Review Team’s initial screening failed to identify potentially privileged material,” she said.

FBI agents who viewed the potentially privileged materials may still be working on the case, according to a sealed filing described by Cannon. In the new filing, Trump’s lawyers said they want the names of all government officials who were exposed to the potentially privileged materials. “The unilaterally imposed filter team, which made no effort to contact Plaintiff’s counsel throughout its review process, has admitted to three breaches so far,” the lawyers said. “All this before review by the Special Master and the Plaintiff. By way of this filing, Plaintiff is asking the Special Master to order disclosure of the names of each attorney and Special Agent who was exposed to materials eventually provided to the Privilege Review Team.”

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Double-entry bookkeeping tells Steve that money is indeed destroyed. Just as Hyman Minsky and Augusto Graziani said.

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing (Steve Keen)

I owe enormous intellectual debts to Hyman Minsky and Augusto Graziani. But at one point, my “little knowledge” led me to believe, falsely, that they had both made a huge mistake in claiming that repaying debt destroyed money: Graziani: As soon as firms repay their debt to the banks, the money initially created is destroyed. (Graziani 1989) Money is created as banks lend—mainly to business—and money is destroyed as borrowers fulfill their payment commitments to banks. (Minsky 1982) This couldn’t be right, I thought: surely once banks had created money, they wouldn’t let it be destroyed? I considered cash loans in particular—surely the cash wasn’t destroyed on receipt, but put back into the vault for relending?

This is why the model of money in my Debunking Economics (Keen 2011) is of a cash-lending bank, and not a modern electronic banking system, where loans are simultaneously matched by direct payments into deposit accounts. Then I developed Minsky, the monetary modelling software that I named in honour of Hyman Minsky. I came to really understand double-entry bookkeeping, and realised that Minsky and Graziani were correct, and I was wrong. These days, money is primarily the sum of private bank deposit accounts. When you show modern bank lending and bank debt repayment in a double-entry table, it’s obvious that the former creates money, and the latter destroys it.

This points to a general rule about money creation and destruction: leaving aside cash loans, and direct government payments of cash to the non-bank public, to create money, an operation must increase both the Assets and Liabilities (or short-term Equity) sides of the banking system’s ledger. Conversely, this means that operations that occur exclusively on either the Assets side or Liabilities & Equity side neither create nor destroy money. Having made this mistake myself, I came to realise that understanding double-entry bookkeeping is the “Holy Grail” to understanding money, and therefore that if someone makes claims about money that contradict double-entry bookkeeping (DEB for short), then they should be ignored, because they don’t know what they are talking about.

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“If someone submits their experience to VAERS they want and expect to have it investigated by the FDA. This includes autopsy reports..”

FDA Withholds Autopsy Results on People Who Died After COVID-19 Vaccines (ET)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is refusing to release the results of autopsies conducted on people who died after getting COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA says it is barred from releasing medical files, but a drug safety advocate says that it could release the autopsies with personal information redacted. The refusal was issued to The Epoch Times, which submitted a Freedom of Information Act for all autopsy reports obtained by the FDA concerning any deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System following COVID-19 vaccination. Reports are lodged with the system when a person experiences an adverse event, or a health issue, after receiving a vaccine. The FDA and other agencies are tasked with investigating the reports. Authorities request and review medical records to vet the reports, including autopsies.

The FDA declined to release any reports, even redacted copies. The FDA cited federal law, which enables agencies to withhold information if the agency “reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption,” with the exemption being “personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Federal regulations also bar the release of “personnel, medical and similar files the disclosure of which constitutes a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” The Epoch Times has appealed the denial, in addition to the recent denial of results of data analysis of VAERS reports.

Kim Witczak, a drug safety advocate who advises the FDA as part of the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee, said that the reports could be released with personal information blacked out. “The personal information could easily be redacted without losing the potential learnings from [the] autopsy,” Witczak told The Epoch Times via email. People make the choice to submit autopsy results to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, Witczak noted. “If someone submits their experience to VAERS they want and expect to have it investigated by the FDA. This includes autopsy reports,” she said.

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“..most of them have battery backups that last around 30 minutes to run the mobile antennas. After that they go dark.”

Next On Europe’s Doomsday List: Collapse Of Cell Phone Networks (ZH)

It’s not just heating that could be missing across Europe this winter: cell phones may be the next to go. That’s because if power cuts or energy rationing knocks out parts of the mobile networks across the region, mobile phones could go dark around Europe this winter according to the latest doomsday reporting from Reuters. While everyone knows by now that Europe’s chances of rationing and power shortages have exploded ever since Moscow suspended gas supplies, in France, the situation is even worse as several nuclear power plants are shutting down for maintenance. And the cherry on top: telecom industry officials told Reuters they fear a severe winter will put Europe’s telecoms infrastructure to the test, forcing companies and governments to try to mitigate the impact (i.e., more bailout demands).

The problem, as four telecoms executives put it, is that currently there are not enough back-up systems in many European countries to handle widespread power cuts, raising the prospect of mobile phone outages. Realizing that in just weeks Europe could be cell phone free, countries including France, Sweden and Germany, are scarmbling to ensure communications can continue even if power cuts end up exhausting back-up batteries installed on the thousands of cellular antennas spread across their territory. Alas, like with everything else in Europe, it’s too little, too late and Europe is facing a truly historic cell phone black out because while Europe has nearly half a million telecom towers, most of them have battery backups that last around 30 minutes to run the mobile antennas. After that they go dark.

One of the alternatives being discussed is pushing Europe back to communist era blackout regimes: In France, a plan put forward by electricity distributor Enedis, includes potential power cuts of up to two hours in a worst case scenario, two sources familiar with the matter said. The general black-outs would affect only parts of the country on a rotating basis. Essential services such as hospitals, police and government will not be impacted, the sources said. And now, it appears that cell phones are considered essential too: the French Federation of Telecoms (FFT), a lobby group representing Orange, Bouygues Telecomand Altice’s SFR, put the spotlight on Enedis for being unable to exempt antennas from the power cuts.

Enedis said it was able to isolate sections of the network to supply priority customers, such as hospitals, key industrial installations and the military and that it was up to local authorities to add telecoms operators infrastructure to the list of priority customers. “Maybe we’ll improve our knowledge on the matter by this winter, but it’s not easy to isolate a mobile antenna (from the rest of the network),” said a French finance ministry official with knowledge of the talks.

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What Reuters claims here is that the banks are today pushed to not sell, but buy dollars -with yuan-, only to sell them tomorrow, to support the yuan?!

At the same time, China wants the yuan to play a big part in the new currency basket they want to replace the USD as reserve currency. Problem is, it’s too weak right now.

China Tells State Banks To Sell Dollars, Buy Yuan (R.)

China’s central bank has asked major state-owned banks to be prepared to sell dollars for the local unit in offshore markets as it steps up efforts to stem the yuan’s descent, four sources with knowledge of the matter said. State banks were told to ask their offshore branches, including those based in Hong Kong, New York and London, to review their holdings of the offshore yuan and ensure U.S. dollar reserves are ready to be deployed, three of the sources, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. The simultaneous selling of dollars and buying of yuan could put a floor under the Chinese currency, which has lost more than 11% to the dollar so far this year and looks set for its biggest annual loss since 1994, when China unified its official and market rates.

The scale of this round of dollar selling to defend the weakening yuan will be rather big, one of the sources said. [..] While the yuan’s depreciation has been gradual and in line with the decline in major currencies against a dollar buoyed by aggressive Federal Reserve monetary tightening, its decline to the weaker side of 7-per-dollar has raised concerns about domestic sentiment and potential capital outflows. The offshore yuan moves in lock-step with the onshore unit, but its trading volumes account for about 70% of all yuan FX trades globally, dwarfing the volumes traded on the mainland. Chinese authorities have intervened in the past in the offshore yuan market to steer the yuan.

Sources said the intervention plan involved using state lenders’ dollar reserves primarily. But the total amount of dollar selling is yet to be determined as the yuan’s movements are largely dependent on dollar moves and the Fed’s tightening trajectory, the source said. China burnt through $1 trillion of its official FX reserves to prop up the currency after a one-off 2% devaluation in 2015 that roiled global financial markets. State banks, which usually act as the PBOC’s agents in offshore markets, are scrambling to procure more dollars in offshore markets, one of the sources said. The People’s Bank of China did not respond immediately when asked by Reuters about state banks stocking up on dollars.

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