The Real Russiagate: Obama’s Stasi State

By No tags Permalink

by Michael Hudson and Paul Craig Roberts Mike Whitney has written an excellent expose of the “Russiagate” cover story for Obama’s political use of national security to help his party oppose Republicans. Covert surveillance of politicians on Obama’s Nixon-like “Enemies List” has been going on for many years, but is only now being unmasked as a result of the failure of its cover story (“We weren’t spying on enemies; only on Russians to protect America”). Democratic-leaking mass media have passed on the cover story authored by former Obama-administration officials led by CIA director John Brennan, FBI director James Comey, the DNC, and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. The loose ends in this cover-up have now been so widely exposed as hearsay and political that only 13% of Republicans believe the fact-free story – ...

Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate?

By Permalink

by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson September 28, 2016 William Engdahl recently explained how Washington used the corrupt Brazilian elite, which answers to Washington, to remove the duly elected President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, for representing the Brazilian people rather than the interests of Washington. Unable to see through the propaganda of unproven charges, Brazilians acquiesced in the removal of their protector, thereby providing the world another example of the impotence of democracy. Everyone should read Engdahl’s article. He reports that part of the attack on Rousseff stemmed from Brazil’s economic problems deliberately created by US credit rating agencies as part of Washington’s attack to down grade Brazilian debt, which set off an attack on the Brazilian currency. Brazil’s financial openness made it an easy target to attack. One might hope ...

The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

Michael Hudson A nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists is coming true: foreign independence from U.S.-centered financial and diplomatic control. China and Russia are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian integration on the basis of financing in their own currencies and favoring their own exports. They also have created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative military alliance to NATO. And the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) threatens to replace the IMF and World Bank tandem in which the United States holds unique veto power. More than just a disparity of voting rights in the IMF and World Bank is at stake. At issue is a philosophy of development. U.S. and other foreign investment in infrastructure (or buyouts and takeovers on credit) adds interest rates and other financial ...

IMF forgives Ukraine’s Debt to Russia

By No tags Permalink

UNsplash.com On December 8, the IMF’s Chief Spokesman Gerry Rice sent a note saying: “The IMF's Executive Board met today and agreed to change the current policy on non-toleration of arrears to official creditors. We will provide details on the scope and rationale for this policy change in the next day or so.” Since 1947 when it really started operations, the World Bank has acted as a branch of the U.S. Defense Department, from its first major chairman John J. McCloy through Robert McNamara to Robert Zoellick and neocon Paul Wolfowitz. From the outset, it has promoted U.S. exports – especially farm exports – by steering Third World countries to produce plantation crops rather than feeding their own populations. (They are to import U.S. grain.) But it has felt obliged to wrap ...

Russian Pivot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nflZSjiofr8 SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. President Vladimir Putin is on his way to India to discuss a gas and arms deal. Last week, he was in Turkey talking about diverting what was to be a South Stream pipeline away from Southern Europe to Turkey. At the APEC summit, he was squaring off deals with China for oil and gas. It is clear that Russia is pivoting to Eurasia. Here to discuss all of this is our regular guest Michael Hudson. Michael Hudson is distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. ...

China – Russia sidestep neocons

By , , , Permalink

APEC meetings November 12, 2014 President Putin Pledges to Increase Trade with China and Asia to Rebuke Sanctions SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. During this year a number of governments applied sanctions against Russia for its involvement in the alleged pro-Russian unrest in the Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia were applied by many countries, with the United States and the European Union taking a lead. In retaliation, Russia has responded with sanctions against a number of countries, including a total ban on food imports from the European Union, United States, Norway, Canada, and Australia. What does all of this mean to Europe, the United States, and the geopolitical reconfigurations on trade pacts? Here to discuss all of this is Michael Hudson. Michael ...

Anti-Russian sentiment a resource play diversion

By , , Permalink

Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. Hundreds of pro-Russian protesters have seized public buildings in Eastern Ukrainian cities. They're demanding referendums to secede from Ukraine in order to become a part of Russia. Ukrainian officials have blamed Putin for this continued unrest, but it should be noted that Ukraine is a major transit route for natural gas exports to Europe from Russia, and now Russia is warning Ukrainian officials that they need to pay back the $2.2 billion debt owed to the Russian natural gas company Gazprom. German and French officials are also working towards a quick implementation of a $14-18 billion International Monetary Fund loan package to the Ukraine. Now joining us to discuss all of this is our guest, Michael Hudson. Michael is ...

Russia, Crimea and the Consequences of NATO Policy

By Permalink

Ukrainian Hangovers AS first published on Counterpunch by JEFFREY SOMMERS and MICHAEL HUDSON Russia’s incursion (invasion if you prefer) into Crimea, with prospects for movement into Eastern Ukraine, is the culmination of US/NATO policy since 1991. The unraveling of the USSR and its Soviet bloc (the Warsaw Pact) dismantled the largest empire in modern history. Even more striking, it was the most peaceful dissolution of a major empire in history. The fact that an empire stretching over a dozen time zones that included hundreds of ethnic groups with concrete historical and contemporary grievances with each other broke up without a bloodbath is nothing short of a miraculous – and a reflection of the destruction of spirit and even of economic understanding that marked the distortions of Stalinism, neither capitalist nor socialist but a bureaucratic ...

Russia’s Economic Development to Offset Terrorist Fervor?

By , Permalink

By Jeffery Sommers & Michael Hudson The Sochi Olympics were the great success Russia hoped for. The opening ceremonies proved a radiant display drawing on Russia’s most compelling cultural assets. This artful look back to Russia’s past greatness proved both a reminder and challenge to its own people to reprise their historical greatness going forward. Meanwhile, its closing ceremonies reprised these themes, reminding the viewer of Russia’s continued vibrancy in the arts. From an economic vantage point, national hosts for Olympic games always use them as an occasion for enormous infrastructure spending for economic development. One of us (Hudson) was the economist for Montreal brokerage houses back in 1976 when every French Canadian family seemed to become millionaires on the games’ cost overruns. The usual argument by governments is to ...

How Neoliberal Tax and Financial Policy Impoverishes Russia – Needlessly

* A shorter version of this paper has been published in the Russian Academy of Sciences journal, Mir Peremen (The World of Transformations), 2012 (3):49-64 (in Russian). An earlier version was posted by the Global Policy Forum meeting in Yaroslavl, Russia, September 7-8, 2011, on its website. Russian poverty is unnecessary. Like all poverty in today’s high-productivity age, it is the result of bad policy. There is no technological need for it, nor is Russia lacking in a full spectrum of natural resources and economic potential. So future historians no doubt will puzzle over how the nation was convinced to de-industrialize its economy and impoverish much of its population in favor of exporting fuels and minerals, and to impose more regressive taxes on labor and industry than existed anywhere ...