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:

Global Financialization 2015 – The state of play

Cross-posted from The Saker The Saker: We hear that the Ukraine will have to declare a default, but that it will probably be a "technical" default as opposed to an official one. Some say that the decision of the Rada to allow Iatseniuk to chose whom to pay is already such a "technical default". Is there such thing as a "technical default" and, if yes, how would it be different in terms of consequences for the Ukraine for a "regular" default? Michael Hudson: A default is a default. The attempted euphemism of “technical” default came up with regard to the Greek debt in 2012 at the G8 meetings. Geithner and Obama lobbied the IMF and ECB shamelessly to bail out Greece, simply ...

Pawns for Pickings

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cross posted from The Nation Ukraine Is In Crisis. Here’s Why the West Can’t Save It. A video roundtable explains why the IMF, Europe, and Western corporations don’t have the country’s best interests at heart. Alexander Reed Kelly June 9, 2015 A Ukrainian national flag flutters in the wind at a position held by the Ukrainian armed forces near the town of Maryinka in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich) Nearly a year and a half after the Euromaidan protests ushered a new government into power in Kiev, Ukraine is still in trouble. Some 6,200 people have been killed, more than 15,000 wounded, and 1.2 million internally displaced in a civil war that had by mid-March, according to the new president, Petro Poroshenko, destroyed “around 25 percent of ...

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 ...

Ukraine denouement

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The  Russian loan and the IMF’s One-Two Punch The fate of Ukraine is now shifting from the military battlefield back to the arena that counts most: that of international finance. Kiev is broke, having depleted its foreign reserves on waging war that has destroyed its industrial export and coal mining capacity in the Donbass (especially vis-à-vis Russia, which normally has bought 38 percent of Ukraine’s exports). Deeply in debt (with €3 billion falling due on December 20 to Russia), Ukraine faces insolvency if the IMF and Europe do not release new loans next month to pay for new imports as well as Russian and foreign bondholders. Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko announced on Friday that she hopes to see the money begin to ...

Ukraine: Victims Pay

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Michael Hudson report on The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. A ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine has been agreed to, following a marathon all-night, 17-hour negotiation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. They were flanked byother European leaders keeping vigil. Russia and Ukraine may have many differences, but what they have in common is a looming economic crisis, with oil prices taking a dive on the Russian side and a very expensive war they were not counting on on the Ukrainian side. Joining us now to talk about all of this is Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University ...

Europe to pay for the whole mess in Ukraine

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6LieIl3m7U&feature=youtu.be The gas deal between Ukraine and Russia became possible because Europe realized that it wouldn't get the gas if it didn't get behind Ukraine, Wall Street analyst Michael Hudson told RT. RT: How important is this gas deal for Ukraine and for Europe? Michael Hudson: It's apparently most important for Europe because it was Europe that gave in on the deal. The problem was never about the price of the Russian gas. The problem was whether Ukraine was doing to keep up trying just to run up a larger and larger gas bill every month and every year and finally default. In the US Treasury, strategists have already discussed in public how Ukraine can simply avoid paying Russia the money that it ...

EU Fracking Wedge

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An interview with Radio Voice of Russia, World Service on Ukrainian sovereignty in the face of IMF loans, the push for fracking by US interests and how corruption lurks in the background. Is this Ukrainian pressure part of an EU fracking wedge on behalf of certain interests? According to this perspective, food sovereignty is a relict of past times. Play This

Losing Credibility: The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine

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By Michael Hudson In April 2014, fresh from riots in Maidan Square and the February 22 coup, and less than a month before the May 2 massacre in Odessa, the IMF approved a $17 billion loan program to Ukraine’s junta. Normal IMF practice is to lend only up to twice a country’s quote in one year. This was eight times as high. Four months later, on August 29, just as Kiev began losing its attempt at ethnic cleansing against the eastern Donbas region, the IMF signed off on the first loan ever to a side engaged in a civil war, not to mention rife with insider capital flight and a collapsing balance of payments. Based on fictitiously trouble-free projections of the ability ...