US NATO pressures EU support

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“US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia Risks Nuclear War and Loss of European Partner,” The Real News Network, July 17, 2017  Michael Hudson says that the US-led confrontational approach of NATO with Russia is driving European countries to consider disbanding or leaving the military alliance due to increased security risks JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Washington. President Obama met with NATO leaders in Warsaw last weekend to what seemed like a restatement of vows to protect Europe. Let's take a listen to what the president had to say. BARACK OBAMA: In this challenging moment, I want to take this opportunity to state clearly what will never change. And that is the unwavering commitment of the United States ...

The Brexit Silence

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As published on Counterpunch The media in the United States have treated the British vote against remaining in the European Union (EU) as if it is populist “Trumpism,” an inarticulate right-wing vote out of ignorance at being left behind by the neoliberal economic growth policy. The fact that Donald Trump happened to be in Scotland to promote his golf course helped frame the U.S. story that depicts the Brexit vote as a “Trump vs. Hillary” psychodrama – populist anger and resentment vs. intelligent policy. What is left out of this picture is that there is a sound logic to oppose membership in the EU. It is Nigel Farage’s slogan, “Take Back Control.” The question is, from whom? Not only from “bureaucrats,” but from ...

Putin: The empty veil of ‘democracy’

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As published on Counterpunch. In his Orwellian September 28, 2015 speech to the United Nations, President Obama said that if democracy had existed in Syria, there never would have been a revolt against Assad. By that, he meant ISIL. Where there is democracy, he said, there is no violence or revolution. This was his threat to promote revolution, coups and violence against any country not deemed a “democracy.” In making this hardly-veiled threat, he redefined the word in the vocabulary of international politics. Democracy is the CIA’s overthrow of Mossedegh in Iran to install the Shah. Democracy is the overthrow of Afghanistan’s secular government by the Taliban against Russia. Democracy is the Ukrainian coup behind Yats and Poroshenko. Democracy is Pinochet. It ...

Ukraine falters as per plan

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With military stalemate in the east of the country and the economy in serious depression, the regime in Kiev has had to face some very hard realities. And its very survival is in doubt. Losing on the battlefield and the economic front, the Kiev regime is turning in on itself. CrossTalking with Mark Sleboda, Michael Hudson and Rodney Shakespeare. Audio version:

Why No Means Yes

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Greece Rejects the Troika. Where Do We Go From Here? Just after 7 PM Greek time on Sunday, I was told that the “No” vote (Gk. Oxi) was winning approximately 60/40. The “opinion polls” showing a dead heat evidently were wrong. Bookies across Europe are reported to be losing their shirts for betting that the financial right wing could fool most Greeks into voting against their self-interest. The margin of victory shows that Greek voters were immune to media misrepresentation during the week-long run-up as to whether to accept the troika’s demand for austerity to be conducted on anti-labor lines. It should not have been so great a surprise. Voting age for the referendum was lowered to 18 years, and included ...

Resisting Financial Conquest

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As published on Counterpunch Back in January upon coming into office, Syriza probably could not have won a referendum on whether to pay or not to pay. It didn’t have a full parliamentary majority, and had to rely on a nationalist party for Tsipras to become prime minister. (That party balked at cutting back Greek military spending, which was 3% of GDP, and which the troika had helpfully urged to be cut back in order to balance the government’s budget.) Seeing how unyielding the opposition was, Syriza’s stance was: “We would like to pay. But there’s no money.” This kept throwing the ball back into the troika’s court. The Institutions were so unyielding that Syriza’s approval rating in the polls rose by 13% ...

Ukraine Labor Dares Operation Vulture

Ukraine’s collapse since the February 2014 coup has become an umbrella for grabitization. Collateral damage in this free-for-all has been labor. Many workers are simply not getting paid, and what they actually are being paid is often illegally low. Employers are taking whatever money is in their business accounts and squirreling it away – preferably abroad, or at least in foreign currency. Wage arrears are getting worse, because as Ukraine approaches the eve of defaulting on its €10+ billion London debt, kleptocrats and business owners are jumping ship. They see that foreign lending has dried up and the exchange rate will plunge further. The Rada’s announcement last week that it shifted €8 billion from debt service to spend on a  new ...

QE Intentions All Too Obvious

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“Quantitative Easing for Whom? TRNN, March 11, 2015. The European Central Bank’s trillion euro plan will only help keep the banks afloat. SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. In an effort to relieve some pressure on the struggling European economies, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, announced a 1 trillion euro quantitative easing package on Monday. Quantitative easing is an unconventional form of monetary policy where a central bank creates new money electronically to buy financial assets like government bonds. And this process aims to directly increase private-sector spending in the economy and return inflation to target. Well, what does that mean and what might be wrong ...

Rentier Machinations

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RT news: On Thursday, the Swiss National Bank abolished its policy of keeping the franc artificially weak at a peg of 1.20 to the Euro and fallout from the move ricocheted throughout the markets and around the world. The wild swing in the Swiss currency hit global banks with tens of millions of dollars in losses and triggered the collapse of several brokerage firms. The trading losses occurred within minutes of the SNB’s announcement as the Swiss Franc jumped 30% against the euro almost instantaneously. Erin weighs in. Then, Erin is joined by Michael Hudson, distinguished professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Michael tells us about the connection between volatility in places like Switzerland and Greece and ...

Pipeline Politics

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Interview on the Real News. Visit their page to watch it. Sharing disabled. The Hudson Report: Europe's effort to join the US in isolating Russia has backfired, it makes no sense to build an oil and gas pipeline for Russian exports that would be owned and leased to them by the US and Europe. SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. President Vladimir Putin is canceling his oil and gas pipeline to Europe. To discuss why is our regular guest Michael Hudson. Michael is distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His latest books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. Michael, so explain ...