martes, 19 de junio de 2012

Trompetas de Jericó

Y vi a los siete ángeles que estaban en pie ante Dios;
y se les dieron siete trompetas (…) y hubo truenos, y voces,
y relámpagos, y un terremoto (…) Y los siete ángeles
 que tenían las siete trompetas se dispusieron a tocarlas”  
(Apocalipsis 8:1)

Leemos el último informe público del Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (nº 66, Junio 19), boletín del Laboratorio Europeo de Anticipación Política (LEAP 2020), bajo el sugestivo título de: “Cuando las Trompetas de Jericó suenan siete veces al mundo antes de la crisis”. Según los muchachos del GEAB, la cosa se pone interesante para el segundo semestre de 2012, particularmente a partir del comienzo del Otoño boreal, en Octubre. Existe al menos una traducción al español de esta nota (con el correr de los días habrá otras) pero es tan horrible que preferimos la versión inglesa que, por su parte, parece ser una versión del original francés. Dos comentarios breves antes de pasar a la nota: (1) Qué notable cómo la gente se empieza a poner bíblica con el avance de la crisis; (2) El LEAP 2020 es claramente un “think-tank” europeo, pensando en y para Europa, desde Francia. Esto se nota claramente en boletines previos, en los que dan al actual presidente de Francia, el señor Hollande, y a su equipo, una importancia estratégica que en nuestra humilde opinión no tiene. Estimamos acá que Monsieur Hollande, una especie de De La Rúa petiso, se verá arrastrado por la debacle global como tantos otros fantasmas del pasado. La socialdemocracia europea llegará así a su fin, more in a whimper than a bang. Que pase el que sigue.   

“The progression of world events unfolds in accordance with the anticipations mapped out by LEAP/E2020 during these last few quarters. Euroland has finally come out from its political torpor and short-termism since François Hollande’s election (1) as France’s president and the Greeks have just confirmed their willingness to resolve their problems within Euroland (2) thus contradicting all the Anglo-Saxon media and Euro sceptics’ “forecasts”. From now on, Euroland (in fact the EU minus the United Kingdom) will therefore be able to move forward and create a true project of political integration, economic efficiency and democratization over the 2012-2016 period as LEAP/E2020 anticipated last February (GEAB N°62. It’s positive news but, for the coming six-month periods, this “second Renaissance” of the European project (3) will really be the only good news at world level.

“All the other components of the global situation are in fact pointed in a negative, even catastrophic, direction. Here again, the main media are starting to echo a long-standing situation anticipated by our team for summer 2012. Indeed, in one form or another, more often on the inside pages than in big headlines (monopolized for months by Greece and the Euro (4)), one now finds the following 13 topics:

1. Global recession (no engine of growth anywhere / end of the myth of the “US recovery”) (5)
2. Growing insolvency of the Western banking and financial system and henceforth partially recognized as such
3. Growing frailty of key financial assets such as sovereign debts, real estate and CDSs underpinning the world’s major banks’ balance sheets
4. Fall off in international trade (6)
5. Geopolitical tensions (in particular in the Middle East) approaching the point of a regional explosion
6. Lasting global geopolitical blockage at the UN
7. Rapid collapse of the whole of the Western asset-backed retirement system (7)
8. Growing political divisions within the world’s “monolithic” powers (USA, China, Russia)
9. Lack of “miracle” solutions as in 2008 /2009, because of the growing impotence of many of the major Western central banks (Fed, BoE, BoJ) and States’ indebtedness
10. Credibility in freefall for all countries having to assume the double load of public and excessive private debt (8)
11. Inability to control/slow down the advance of mass and long-term unemployment
12. Failure of monetarist and financial stimulus policies such as “pure” austerity policies
13. Quasi-systematic ineffectiveness henceforth of the alternative or recent international closed groups, G20, G8, Rio+20, WTO,… on all the key topics of what is no longer in fact a world agenda absent any consensus: economy, finances, environment, conflict resolution, fight against poverty…

“According to LEAP/E2020, and in accordance with its already timeworn anticipations, just like Franck Biancheri from 2010 in his book “The World Crisis: The path to the World Afterwards”, this second half of 2012 well really mark a major inflection point of the global systemic crisis and the answers to it. In fact, it will be characterized by an event which is very simple to understand: if, today, Euroland is able to address this period in a promising fashion (9), it’s because, these last few years, it has gone through a crisis of an intensity and depth unequalled since the beginning of the European construction project after the Second World War (10). From the end of this summer all the other world powers, led by the United States (11), will have to face an identical process. It’s at this cost, and only at this cost, that they will subsequently, in a few years, be able to start a slow recovery towards the light.

“But today, after having tried all means of delaying the payment on the due date, the hour of payment arrives. And, as with everything, the ability to put off the inevitable comes at a high price, namely the bigger shock of adjusting to the new reality. In fact, it’s a question of the endgame for the world of before the crisis. The seven blasts of the trumpets of Jericho marking the September October 2012 period will cause the “Dollar Wall’s” last sections and the walls which have protected the world as we know it since 1945 to collapse.

“The shock of the autumn 2008 will seem like a small summer storm compared to what will affect planet in several months. In fact LEAP/E2020 has never seen the chronological convergence of such a series of explosive and so fundamental factors (economy, finances, geopolitical…) since 2006, the start of its work on the global systemic crisis. Logically, in our modest attempt to regularly publish a “crisis weather forecast”, we must therefore give our readers a “Red Alert” because the upcoming events which are readying themselves to shake the world system next September/ October belong to this category.

In this GEAB issue, we expand on our anticipations for seven key factors in this September-October 2012 shock, the seven blasts of the trumpets of Jericho (12) marking the end of the world before the crisis. Four Middle Eastern geopolitical factors and three economic and financial elements are involved at the heart of the coming shock:

1. Iran/Israel/USA: The war too far will really happen
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2. The Assyrian bomb: the Israeli-American-Iranian match put to the Syria-Iraq powder keg
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3. The AfPak chaos: the US army and NATO, hostages in an exit from an increasingly difficult conflict
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4. The Arab Autumn: the Gulf countries swept away in the turmoil.
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5. United States: « Taxargeddon » will begin from summer 2012 – The US economy in free-fall by autumn
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6. Major bank insolvencies due in September-October 2012: The City-Wall Street version of Bankia
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7. The untenable irresponsibility of QE in summer 2012 - the US, British and Japanese central banks out of the game

“In addition, we expand on our clear recommendations on how to minimize the impact of the shock in preparation on one’s own situation whether an individual or a business or public service decision maker. We also offer this month’s GlobalEurope Dollar Index.

“Finally, LEAP/E2020 announces the resumption of its political anticipation training next autumn, which will henceforth take place on line to satisfy the demand coming out of the four corners of the planet. If GEAB is a “fish”, an end product of anticipation, with this training, we hope to teach a growing number of people to “fish” for direction in the troubled waters of the future. Because hopes that the endgame of the world before the crisis leads to the building of a better world after the crisis, it seems essential to us to build the anticipation capacities of as many people as possible. In fact, it’s this absence of anticipation which for the most part has caused the mistakes at the current crisis’ origin.

“This training will be organized in partnership with the non-profit Spanish foundation FEFAP (Fondacion por Educacion E Formacion has Politica Anticipation) recently set up thanks to a donation from Franck Biancheri (13).


(1) Henceforth discussions, salutary especially if they are frank and wide-ranging, will be concerned with the long-term average, political integration and the new institutions needed. By the end of summer, the evidence that the Euroland dimension is core will prevail and make it possible to circumvent the difficulty of the 27 country institutions which are in such a state of decay and British omnipresence today that it’s not possible at this stage to entrust them with the important task of setting up Euroland governance. The Holland-Merkel problem sticks much closer to this reality than a “common institutions” divergence or “intergovernmental approach”. The Brussels institutions also belong to the world before the crisis and are unfit to found the Europe of after the crisis. Sources:
Deutsche Welle, 11/06/2012; Spiegel, 06/05/2012; El Pais, 10/06/2012; La Tribune, 10/06/2012

(2) Who, in exchange, will make the country’s difficult adjustment after 30 lost years within the EU more tolerable, lost because they were wasted without any modernization of the Greek State at stake. Source:
YahooNews, 18/06/2012

MarketWatch 14/06/2012 is even predicting Switzerland’s inevitable integration in Euroland… as LEAP already did some time ago.

(4) As diversion strategies oblige!

(5) Sources:
Bloomberg, 15/06/2012; Albawaba, 12/06/2012; ChinaDaily, 05/06/2012; CNNMoney, 11/05/2012; Telegraph, 04/06/2012; MarketWatch, 05/04/2012

(6) Source:
Irish Times, 12/04/2012; CNBC, 08/06/2012

(7) Sources:
WashingtonPost, 11/06/2012; Telegraph, 11/06/2012; TheAustralian, 15/06/2012; Spiegel, 06/05/2012; ChinaDaily, 15/06/2012

(8) In two years, there has been disarray in the world diplomatic diary.

(9) On this subject, LEAP/E2020 anticipates questions of defence being introduced into the middle of the political integration debate. Just like the Euro was created at the centre of a complex agreement involving strong French support for German unification against the pooling of the Deutsche Mark, the political integration which emerges will involve the “German signature” pooling in return for a form of pooling (at least for the Euroland core) of the French nuclear deterrent. The French leaders will thus discover three things: that the security/defence issue is a major concern for their Euroland partners contrary to appearances (in particular due to the fact of the rapid loss of credibility in US protection), that there is no reason that a complex and difficult debate should be sparked off by this new phase of integration in Germany alone (France also will have to get involved), and finally that public opinion is not against this kind of very practical approach unlike incomprehensible legal texts (as in 2005). As regards defence, we are already seeing a major change: France is turning away from any significant partnership with the United Kingdom without proclaiming it high and low to focus on co-operation with Germany and the continent’s countries. The fact that the United Kingdom always promises and never keeps to its commitments as regards European defence (latest: the joint aircraft carrier development is called into question by the British decision not to adapt its aircraft carrier to accommodate French aircraft) has been finally analyzed for what it was, namely an uninterrupted attempt to prevent the emergence of a European defence. And the drastic reductions in British defence capabilities for budgetary reasons, have made it an increasingly less attractive partner. Sources:
Monde Diplomatique, 15/05/2012; Telegraph, 06/06/2012; Le Point, 14/06/2012

(10) A shock amplified in collective European and world psychology by the Europeans’ incapacity during this period to prevent itself from being used by City and Wall Street media wise, in order, on one hand, to, divert attention from their own difficulties and, on the other, to try and “break” this emerging Euroland which was jostling the post-1945 established order.

(11) A country which has seen its inhabitants’ wealth reduced by 40% between 2007 and 2010 according to a recent US Federal Reserve study. A reminder that, in 2006, when we explained in the first GEAB issues that this crisis was going to cause a 50% fall in American households’ wealth, most “experts” considered this anticipation totally absurd. And that’s for 2010. As we have said, US households can expect a further fall of at least 20%. This reminder aims at stressing that one of the greatest difficulties of anticipation work is the immense inertia of opinion and the absence of experts’ imagination. Each reinforces the other to give the impression that no major negative change is just round the corner. Source:
WashingtonPost, 11/06/2012; US Federal Reserve, 06/2012

(12) For more information on the story of the trumpets of Jericho: see

(13) It must be one of the very rare players to have brought money into the Spanish banking system these last few weeks.
Proof of a convergence between analysis and action.

jueves, 14 de junio de 2012


Vale la pena leer dos artículos recientes relativos a la situación en Siria. Fueron publicados en el sitio web “La Señal”. La redacción es floja, pero los contenidos no lo son. Hemos editado algunos errores de puntuación y faltas de ortografía. Nada que altere el sentido original de cada frase. Bajo el título “Resistencia Siria, mentiras y naufragio imperial”, Stella Calloni observa:

“Después de haber sido víctimas de una serie de atentados y emboscadas terroristas, observadores de naciones Unidas enviados a Siria para negociar el cese de fuego entre el gobierno de Bashkar Al Asaad y las tropas mercenarias que intentan derrocarlo bajo mandato externo, dijeron este 26 de mayo que hallaron unas 92 personas muertas, entre ellas 32 niños, los que supuestamente habían participado con sus familias en una marcha contra el “régimen”, en el barrio de taldo, en Al Hula, provincia de Homs.

El llamado “Observatorio Sirio de Derechos Humanos”, con sede en Londres, financiado por agencias de inteligencia de las potencias que intentan ocupar Siria, dijo de inmediato que el ejército de ese país los había matado, lo que recogió la prensa de los medios hegemónicos, mayoritaria en el mundo, sin ninguna investigación previa. Tanto el secretario general de la ONU, Ban Ki- Moon, como el enviado Kofi Annan, pidieron al gobierno sirio que detenga el empleo de armas pesadas en la zona residencial y que se ponga fin a toda forma de violencia. “Este empleo al azar y desmesurado de violencia representa una clara violación del derecho internacional”, afirmaron a través de un comunicado, y agregaron que quienes cometieron este crimen deben responder. Todo esto también sin investigación previa.

Vale preguntarse ¿el gobierno sirio que trabajó tanto en los últimos tiempos para que pudieran llegar los observadores de la ONU, y cuyo ejército está defendiendo al país de la acción de bandas mercenarias y tropas especiales de las grandes potencias, va a matar en horas a 92 personas, justo en este momento, en un barrio siempre asediado por los invasores? ¿Puede ser tan ingenuo el Secretario de la ONU para creer esta incoherencia que apunta precisamente a justificar lo que Siria trata de evitar desesperadamente, que es una invasión de la Organización del Atlántico Norte (OTAN) y sus tropas mercenarias?.

La propia televisión estatal Siria mostró videos de las víctimas, advirtiendo que estos asesinatos eran responsabilidad de los grupos terroristas, los que han producido masacres similares en distintos lugares. La ONU escuchó la versión de “activistas” y “observadores de grupos de derechos humanos” (cuyas sedes están en el exterior) que dijeron que ellos “habían informado previamente de la masacre de las tropas del gobierno”. Es decir, los observadores ya iban preparados para encontrar muertos en un lugar donde supuestamente los había dejado el ejército sirio, para que los vieran, se supone. ¿A qué suena esto? ¿Cómo es que había habido tal acción de guerra, como dicen, sin que los medios se enteraran?. Un ataque de esa naturaleza es imposible que pase desapercibido para los periodistas, muchos de ellos agentes de inteligencia encubiertos de las potencias extranjeras, como se ha informado en los últimos tiempos.

Homs es como el Bengazhi de Libia, un lugar elegido como el foco que los invasores necesitaban crear para comenzar a infiltrar las oleadas de mercenarios, que han cometido crímenes atroces, denunciados por muchos sectores sirios, sin que a la ONU le preocupen estas denuncias –que cajonea, como lo hizo con las masacres de los mercenarios en Libia. Palabras como “brutal tragedia” o “crimen horroroso” fueron expresadas por Robert Mood, observador de la ONU, muy conocido en Israel, y por el secretario general de la Liga Árabe, Nabil al Arabi. Escuchando la versión de los supuestos “rebeldes” sirios, se trasmitió al mundo que una manifestación pacífica en el barrio de Taldo, en Al Hula (Homs) fue reprimida con artillería y cohetes, que también fueron usados contra viviendas”, lo que no había trascendido. La aparición de cadáveres en zonas de actuación de los grupos mercenarios (como ha sido desde un principio Homs), para tratar de atribuirlos al gobierno, se advierte como una típica acción contrainsurgente en el esquema de la Guerra de Baja Intensidad para justificar una invasión, que desde hace tiempo anuncia públicamente la Secretaria de Estado norteamericana Hillary Clinton.

El pasado 18 de mayo el mismo secretario general de la ONU se había atrevido a reconocer que grupos mercenarios de Al Qaeda pueden “estar detrás” de los que denominó como “serios y masivos ataques” de las últimas semanas en Siria (Radio PL, 18-5-2012). Hizo esta declaración durante una reunión de jóvenes en la sede de ONU analizando que la presencia de Al-Qaeda en ese conflicto crea una serie de problemas y que incluso “han agredido a Observadores de la ONU” enviados a Siria. Después de esto, Kofi Annan anunció en Ginebra el viaje de uno de sus colaboradores a Damasco” (PL 18-5-12).

A pesar que desde hace un año el gobierno del presidente Al Asaad denuncia la presencia de Al Qaeda y otros mercenarios en las acciones contra su país y la injerencia externa, en referencia a que están bajo la dirección de Fuerzas Especiales de Gran Bretaña, Francia, Estados Unidos e Israel, el funcionario de la ONU fue siempre remiso a investigar esta situación. La oleada de mercenarios que ingresó a Siria para establecer un foco supuestamente “opositor” fue además registrada por algunos medios británicos, alemanes y españoles que, en algunos casos, llegaron incluso a entrar y salir por las fronteras de ese país clandestinamente acompañando a figuras de Al Qaeda, como publicaron en sus periódicos.

Siria cumplió con todos los pasos como el Acuerdo de seis puntos que se negoció con Kofi Anaan en marzo pasado para terminar con este conflicto, falsamente armado desde afuera, intentando imponer el “modelo “libio”, en el que participó la Organización del Atlántico Norte (OTAN), bombardeando sistemáticamente a Libia durante casi nueve meses, mientras tropas especiales de los “aliados” dirigían a los grupos mercenarios por tierra, que finalmente se instalaron como los supuestos “liberadores” de un país destruido, saqueado y con miles de víctimas. Sin los bombardeos de la OTAN los mercenarios no hubieran podido tomar ni el pueblo más pequeño.

En el caso sirio la resistencia del ejército opuso una fuerte muralla a las bandas mercenarias que, poderosamente armadas, ocuparon en varias ocasiones tanto Homs como otras pequeñas ciudades fronterizas, a costa de asesinatos que intentaron inculpar al gobierno. La resistencia siria hizo posible que no se pudiera instalar una cabeza de playa y que, ante la realidad de los sucesos, Rusia y China vetaran dos veces en el Consejo de Seguridad el nuevo intento de invasión y ocupación en nombre de un falso “humanitarismo”. En este caso, los 280 observadores de varios países fueron atacados con bombas en Damasco y otras ciudades, intentado también imputar al gobierno de Assad estas acciones, pero las evidencias derrumbaron los intentos.

La desesperación llevó a los mercenarios a realizar una serie de atentados criminales en plena ciudad, que conmovieron al mundo provocando centenares de víctimas, los que tampoco pudieron ser imputados al gobierno. Durante la segunda semana de Mayo el embajador sirio ante la ONU, Bashar Jaafari, entregó al Consejo de Seguridad los nombres, nacionalidad, militancia y datos personales y otros de 26 personas capturadas por actividades terroristas y en su mayoría miembros de Al-Qaeda (informe PL, desde la ONU). De estos mercenarios de varias nacionalidades, 20 pertenecen a Al Qaeda y ”realizaron operaciones terroristas contra el Ejército y las fuerzas de seguridad sirias”. A pesar de todo y de las pruebas acumuladas por el gobierno sirio, la presión internacional está dirigida a exigir a éste que retire a su ejército de las zonas en conflicto, lo que es una trampa evidente. Se le pide a las tropas sirias que abandonen su propio territorio a manos de los asaltantes del país.

Ya desde un principio la ONU ignoró un informe de la Misión de Observadores de la Liga Árabe que había reconocido la existencia de mercenarios y el derecho del ejército a defenderse, pero esto le valió el alejamiento de quien se atrevió a decir la verdad y el documento fue desaparecido en medio de un gran escándalo. Además, a instancias de Hillary Clinton la ONU ignoró que, en medio de la guerra y la muerte, el pueblo sirio respondió al llamado del referéndum para modificar la Constitución, en un paso altamente democratizador, lo que se ganó con más del 80 por ciento de los votos el 26 de Febrero de 2012.

Muchos de los planes de la CIA fracasaron, como la creación de los llamados “Amigos de Siria” que, durante una cumbre en Túnez el 24 de Febrero, llegaron a un sonado fracaso que terminó con el abandono del representante del Consejo Nacional Sirio (CNS), el que supuestamente es la “oposición liberadora”; eso sí, creado en París. Las palabras de Clinton fueron muy claras, advirtiendo que sólo se aceptaría la rendición del gobierno sirio y que se podían tomar otras acciones si continuaba la resistencia. En la Cumbre de Turquía, el pasado 1 de Abril, se decidió conformar un bloque de ayuda millonaria para los llamados “rebeldes” sirios, destinado a pagar sueldos al CNS y al Ejército Libre Sirio, exponiendo su condición de mercenarios. Estados Unidos también hizo su gran aporte “humanitario” en millones de dólares, mientras se disimulaba que esta “ayuda” humanitaria alentaría los atentados terroristas y la guerra sucia contra Siria, al precio de miles de vidas. La realidad no se puede ignorar. El alto al fuego no puede hacerlo unilateralmente el país atacado. Siria cumplió, pero no los Estados Unidos y sus socios, quienes son los responsables de los ataques terroristas de los últimos tiempos. ¿Qué se le pide a Siria? ¿Qué no se defienda? Esto suena como la “exclusión aérea” ordenada el 17 de Marzo de 2011 al gobierno libio, destinada a paralizar toda capacidad de defensa. En los primeros ataques ilegales de ese mismo Marzo contra Libia, se destruyó casi toda la flota aérea del país en tierra.

Las últimas elecciones legislativas que se realizaron en Siria, con la participación de nueve partidos por primera vez, demostraron que la oposición real y democrática está dentro del país y se ha manifestado más de una vez multitudinariamente en contra de la intervención externa. Varias de esas manifestaciones fueron adjudicadas escandalosamente por medios periodísticos del mundo a la “oposición“ Siria. La mentira para matar es doblemente asesina. Nadie escucha a los partidos opositores que, como el Partido Comunista, han advertido que ante los ataques promovidos desde el exterior, apoyan al gobierno. “El objetivo de todos estos asaltantes es pervertir la legalidad y reventar el país desde dentro”, señala el PC.

Estados Unidos, Francia y sus socios en esta guerra colonial, desconocen las elecciones legislativas del 7 de mayo como lo habían adelantado en ambos casos.
Después de todo, es conocido que Siria era uno de los países que desde fines de los años 90 estaba en la lista de objetivos militares estadunidenses. Ban-Ki-Moon sabe muy bien que la propuesta de negociación es una farsa, porque Washington y sus socios sólo aceptarán una entrega incondicional del gobierno a la supuesta “oposición” que, en realidad, esas mismas potencias organizaron en sus propias capitales. Los únicos que necesitan muertos en Siria son los EE.UU y sus aliados en esta nueva guerra imperial que se desarrolla otra vez en el marco de un estremecedor silencio del mundo, que al parecer no entiende que lo que sucede a Siria es la suerte que espera a todos los países a los que se haya decidido recolonizar en este nuevo esquema de expansión global que estamos viviendo.”

En el mismo sitio web, y bajo el título “Un déjà vu llamado Siria”, el periodista, crítico de cine y analista político internacional Guadí Calvo dice lo siguiente:

“Al analizar el caso sirio, a uno le sobreviene la sensación de estar viviendo un déjà vu, esa extraña sensación psíquica de lo ya visto o ya vivido. Su similitud con el caso libio es tan grosera que es imposible adjudicarlo a la casualidad. Según las grandes cadenas internacionales y sus satélites regionales, el gobierno de Bahsar Al Assad hace ya dieciocho meses que masacra impiadosamente a sus opositores. Se calculan entre trece y quince mil los muertos a causa de los bombardeos a poblaciones civiles y la represión con artillería pesada a las manifestaciones de civiles procurando un cambio en Siria. Para la prensa independiente, la situación parece ser mucho más confusa. Tal cual pasaba en Libia un año atrás, en el territorio sirio están combatiendo numerosos mercenarios internacionales y desertores del propio ejército sirio bajo el nombre de Ejército Sirio Libre (ESL) comandados por un coronel de la aviación que desertó en 2011 llamado Riad al-Assad.

La fuerte resistencia de los golpistas obliga a pensar de inmediato que no se trata de un valeroso grupo de guerrilleros que pelea contra una dictadura por la libertad de su pueblo, sino que en Siria están combatiendo dos grupos con similar poder de fuego. Es claro quién abastece al, digamos, ejército oficial: el propio gobierno. La duda es quién abastece a ese grupo de “milicianos”; allí quizás tampoco existan demasiadas dudas: los mismos que abastecieron a los grupos que derrocaron a Muamar Gaddafi; esta vez de manera mucho menos evidente, ya que Rusia y China han resuelto no ser parte de un nuevo genocidio, aunque sea por omisión, como lo hicieron con Libia. En el caso sirio, las dos naciones han sido taxativas a la hora de votar en el Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas por la negativa, evitando así que nuevamente la OTAN u otras fuerzas internacionales colaboren abiertamente en el matadero sirio. Sin duda la antigua alianza de Siria con Rusia (que viene de los tiempos de la Unión Soviética), y la postura China, como gran potencia emergente que por primera vez en su historia hace valer su opinión y peso especifico obteniendo el protagonismo que Occidente le ha negado desde siempre.

El mundo sabe que Siria en sí misma no molesta, ya que su influencia regional cada vez está más encajonada. Lo que molesta es su lugar en el mapa, lo que la convierte es una estación más del camino que ha tomado Estados Unidos para llegar finalmente a Teherán, y que la caída de Al Assad es clave para seguir aislando a Irán. Con la anuencia, una vez más, de la OTAN y del CCG (Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo) encabezados por los países árabes con más aceitadas relaciones con Estados Unidos: Arabia Saudita y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos. No es casual que un gobierno sirio en el exilio llamado “Consejo Nacional Sirio” –que tiene su sede en dos de la OTAN: Turquía y Francia, recuérdese el Consejo Nacional de Transición, los responsables del genocidio en Libia y quien hoy están despedazando el país que alguna vez fue el más avanzado de África.

Por esta cuestión desde Occidente se ha fomentado la rebelión, que se enmarcaría en esa Primavera Árabe, a esta altura sería más efectivo llamarla la Primavera Boba, donde en el único país en el que las cosas cambiaron radicalmente fue casualmente en Libia, la única nación donde surgió dicha primavera que generaba cierto escozor a occidente. Incluso en Egipto donde Hosni Mubarak tras ser derrocado después de treinta años en el poder, en que fue sostén fundamental para la paz con Israel y aliado clave en la región de Estados Unidos, derrocarlo costó casi un millar de víctimas, y ha sido condenado en un juicio con las garantías del caso, en elecciones bastante amañadas en segunda vuelta que se define en estos días, podría ganar la presidencia nada menos que general Ahmed Shafiq, el último primer ministro de Mubarak, para que quede en claro de qué cambios y revoluciones hablamos.

Nada ha cambiado en el mundo árabe, como ya dijimos fuera de Libia. Lo que sucedió en estos países, como mucho, fue una monumental jugada de gatopardismo y nada más. Por eso hay que desterrar el concepto de que lo que sucede en Siria es parte de un proceso revolucionario y hay que entenderlo como un nuevo zarpazo de los Estados Unidos y sus socios de la OTAN para instaurar un gobierno pro- Occidental que acceda a convertir a su país en un corredor aéreo de Occidente e Israel en su lucha definitiva contra Irán, entonces sí la madre de todas las batallas.

¿Por qué Siria?

Siria fue uno de los países clave en Oriente Medio por su notable influencia sobre sus vecinos, particularmente Jordania. Tiene una extensa y conflictiva frontera con Turquía. Recordemos que este último país hace denodados esfuerzos por entrar a la Unión Europea y nada mejor en este momento que ser hostil a Siria –no olvidemos que su inteligencia prestó grandes servicios en el caso de Libia. Además, el gobierno de Damasco tiene una fluida con Irán.

Más allá de que Bashar al- Assad pertenece a la minoría alauí, una rama chií que representa solo el 12% de la población, frente al 74% suníes, los al- Assad se mantienen en el poder desde 1971.

La dinastía fue fundada por Hafez al-Assad, quien presidió Siria desde1971, cuando toma el poder tras un golpe de estado, junto al partido Baaz (socialista, nacionalista árabe y secular) hasta su muerte en 2000. El sucesor asignado era su hijo mayor Bassel, pero murió en 1994 en un accidente automovilístico. Bashar, que residía en Londres como médico oftalmólogo, debió hacerse cargo del gobierno en el año 2000, lo que para entonces a nadie molestó demasiado. Casi como si la República fuera un reino. Bashar llegó al poder con un aura de modernidad y apertura democrática, alentadas por unas amnistías parciales de presos políticos y un ensayo de libertad de expresión que fue conocido como la Primavera de Damasco.

Kofi Annan, un burócrata internacional que tanto sirve para un barrido como para un fregado, se presentó en Damasco enviado por las Naciones Unidas portando un plan de seis puntos para detener las matanzas (dicho plan sólo un compendio aburrido de buenas intenciones que ya sabemos donde conducen), hablaba con cierta inocencia de cese de hostilidades, protección de derechos humanos de los civiles y una salida negociada y democrática a la crisis. El plan duró lo que el agua en una cesta y la matanza continúa. Claro, nada se dice de detener el tráfico de armas a los rebeldes por los mismos mandates de Kofi Annan, y queda claro que todas son teatralizaciones a la espera de la caída de Al-Assad para continuar la escalada a Irán. Como respuesta al plan de los seis puntos, las milicias del ESL continuaron sus ataques-atentados con bombas contra la población civil, tan parecidos a la forma de operar de Al-Quaeda, organización que a esta altura debería ser considerada como el brazo armado de la CIA.

Los insurrectos sirios ya saben que la lucha, mientras Rusia y China se sostengan en sus posiciones, será muy larga; por esa razón miembros de la guerrilla viajaron a Kosovo, en Abril último, para recibir entrenamiento. Las represalias militares al Estado yugoslavo contra las acciones terroristas organizadas por el Ejército de Liberación de Kosovo (UCK) fueron la excusa para la primera intervención militar “humanitaria” de la historia de la OTAN.

Los hombres del UCK, musulmanes sunitas, tuvieron y tienen fuertes vinculaciones con la Camorra napolitana y La Sacra Corona Unita, la organización mafiosa que opera en la región de la Apulia. Históricamente, el UCK financió sus actividades con la trata de blancas y tráfico de heroína. El padrino de la mafia kosovar es Hashim Thaci, el actual primer ministro de su país. Los milicianos de la UCK fueron entrenados por los servicios secretos alemanes y de la OTAN en campamentos situados en Turquía y Albania. Por donde también han pasado mercenarios que combatieron finalmente en Afganistán, Chechenia y Libia. Ahora los kosovares entrenarán a agentes sirios y, seguramente, no terminarán con esta nueva actividad docente. Lo que claramente indica que las matanzas y atentados se continuarán llevando cabo en Siria hasta que finalmente caiga el gobierno de Al-Assad ya que la maquinaria bélica de los Estados Unidos, la OTAN e Israel, con crisis o sin crisis financiera, intentará llegar a Teherán. Quizás lo realmente malo no sea eso, sino que Irán no será la última estación.”

viernes, 8 de junio de 2012

El estado de las cosas

Bajo el título “Financial Collapse At Hand: When is ‘Sooner or Later’?”, el Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, ex Secretario del Tesoro de los EEUU, editor asociado del Wall Street Journal, columnista del  Business Week y profesor de economía, señalaba lo siguiente (8 de Junio de 2012, Global Research).

Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and Quantitative Easing, the question has been before us:  How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits?  Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued. 

In other words, financial deregulation leading to Wall Street’s gambles, the US government’s decision to bail out the banks and to keep them afloat, and the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy have put the economic future of the US and its currency in an untenable and dangerous position.  It will not be possible to continue to flood the bond markets with $1.5 trillion in new issues each year when the interest rate on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. Everyone who purchases a Treasury bond is purchasing a depreciating asset. Moreover, the capital risk of investing in Treasuries is very high. The low interest rate means that the price paid for the bond is very high. A rise in interest rates, which must come sooner or later, will collapse the price of the bonds and inflict capital losses on bond holders, both domestic and foreign.

The question is: when is sooner or later?  The purpose of this article is to examine that question. Let us begin by answering the question: how has such an untenable policy managed to last this long?  A number of factors are contributing to the stability of the dollar and the bond market. A very important factor is the situation in Europe.  There are real problems there as well, and the financial press keeps our focus on Greece, Europe, and the euro. Will Greece exit the European Union or be kicked out?  Will the sovereign debt problem spread to Spain, Italy, and essentially everywhere except for Germany and the Netherlands?

Will it be the end of the EU and the euro?  These are all very dramatic questions that keep focus off the American situation, which is probably even worse. The Treasury bond market is also helped by the fear individual investors have of the equity market, which has been turned into a gambling casino by high-frequency trading. High-frequency trading is electronic trading based on mathematical models that make the decisions. Investment firms compete on the basis of speed, capturing gains on a fraction of a penny, and perhaps holding positions for only a few seconds.  These are not long-term investors. Content with their daily earnings, they close out all positions at the end of each day. High-frequency trades now account for 70-80% of all equity trades. The result is major heartburn for traditional investors, who are leaving the equity market. They end up in Treasuries, because they are unsure of the solvency of banks who pay next to nothing for deposits, whereas 10-year Treasuries will pay about 2% nominal, which means, using the official Consumer Price Index, that they are losing 1% of their capital each year. Using John Williams’ ( correct measure of inflation, they are losing far more.  Still, the loss is about 2 percentage points less than being in a bank, and unlike banks, the Treasury can have the Federal Reserve print the money to pay off its bonds.  Therefore, bond investment at least returns the nominal amount of the investment, even if its real value is much lower. (For a description of High-frequency trading, see: )

The presstitute financial media tells us that flight from European sovereign debt, from the doomed euro, and from the continuing real estate disaster into US Treasuries provides funding for Washington’s $1.5 trillion annual deficits. Investors influenced by the financial press might be responding in this way.  Another explanation for the stability of the Fed’s untenable policy is collusion between Washington, the Fed, and Wall Street. We will be looking at this as we progress.

Unlike Japan, whose national debt is the largest of all, Americans do not own their own public debt.  Much of US debt is owned abroad, especially by China, Japan, and OPEC, the oil exporting countries. This places the US economy in foreign hands.  If China, for example, were to find itself unduly provoked by Washington, China could dump up to $2 trillion in US dollar-dominated assets on world markets. All sorts of prices would collapse, and the Fed would have to rapidly create the money to buy up the Chinese dumping of dollar-denominated financial instruments.

The dollars printed to purchase the dumped Chinese holdings of US dollar assets  would expand the supply of dollars in currency markets and drive down the dollar exchange rate. The Fed, lacking foreign currencies with which to buy up the dollars would have to appeal for currency swaps to sovereign debt troubled Europe for euros, to Russia, surrounded by the US missile system, for rubles, to Japan, a country over its head in American commitment, for yen, in order to buy up the dollars with euros, rubles, and yen. 

These currency swaps would be on the books, unredeemable and  making additional use of such swaps problematical.  In other words, even if the US government can pressure its allies and puppets to swap their harder currencies for a depreciating US currency, it would not be a repeatable process.  The components of the American Empire don’t want to be in dollars any more than do the BRICS.

However, for China, for example, to dump its dollar holdings all at once would be costly as the value of the dollar-denominated assets would decline as they dumped them. Unless China is faced with US military attack and needs to defang the aggressor, China as a rational economic actor would prefer to slowly exit the US dollar.  Neither do Japan, Europe, nor OPEC wish to destroy their own accumulated wealth from America’s trade deficits by dumping dollars, but the indications are that they all wish to exit their dollar holdings.

Unlike the US financial press, the foreigners who hold dollar assets look at the annual US budget and trade deficits, look at the sinking US economy, look at Wall Street’s uncovered gambling bets, look at the war plans of the delusional hegemon and conclude: “I’ve got to carefully get out of this.”

US banks also have a strong interest in preserving the status quo. They are holders of US Treasuries and potentially even larger holders. They can borrow from the Federal Reserve at zero interest rates and purchase 10-year Treasuries at 2%, thus earning a nominal profit of 2% to offset derivative losses. The banks can borrow dollars from the Fed for free and leverage them in derivative transactions. As Nomi Prins puts it, the US banks don’t want to trade against themselves and their free source of funding by selling their bond holdings.  Moreover, in the event of foreign flight from dollars, the Fed could boost the foreign demand for dollars by requiring foreign banks that want to operate in the US to increase their reserve amounts, which are dollar based. 

I could go on, but I believe this is enough to show that even actors in the process who could terminate it have themselves a big stake in not rocking the boat and prefer to quietly and slowly sneak out of dollars before the crisis hits.  This is not possible indefinitely as the process of gradual withdrawal from the dollar would result in continuous small declines in dollar values that would end in a rush to exit, but Americans are not the only delusional people.

The very process of slowly getting out can bring the American house down. The BRICS--Brazil, the largest economy in South America, Russia, the nuclear armed and  energy independent economy on which Western Europe ( Washington’s NATO puppets) are dependent for energy, India, nuclear armed and one of Asia’s two rising giants, China, nuclear armed, Washington’s largest creditor (except for the Fed), supplier of America’s manufactured and advanced technology products, and the new bogyman for the military-security complex’s next profitable cold war, and South Africa, the largest economy in Africa--are in the process of forming a new bank. The new bank will permit the five large economies to conduct their trade without use of the US dollar.

In addition, Japan, an American puppet state since WW II, is on the verge of entering into an agreement with China in which the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan will be directly exchanged.  The trade between the two Asian countries would be conducted in their own currencies without the use of the US dollar. This reduces the cost of foreign trade between the two countries, because it eliminates payments for foreign exchange commissions to convert from yen and yuan into dollars and back into yen and yuan.  

Moreover, this official explanation for the new direct relationship avoiding the US dollar is simply diplomacy speaking.  The Japanese are hoping, like the Chinese, to get out of the practice of accumulating ever more dollars by having to park their trade surpluses in US Treasuries. The Japanese US puppet government hopes that the Washington hegemon does not require the Japanese government to nix the deal with China.

Now we have arrived at the nitty and gritty.  The small percentage of Americans who are aware and informed are puzzled why the banksters have escaped with their financial crimes without prosecution. The answer might be that the banks “too big to fail” are adjuncts of Washington and the Federal Reserve in maintaining the stability of the dollar and Treasury bond markets in the face of an untenable Fed policy.

Let us first look at how the big banks can keep the interest rates on Treasuries low, below the rate of inflation, despite the constant increase in US debt as a percent of GDP--thus preserving the Treasury’s ability to service the debt.  

The imperiled banks too big to fail have a huge stake in low interest rates and the success of the Fed’s policy. The big banks are positioned to make the Fed’s policy a success.  JPMorganChase and other giant-sized banks can drive down Treasury interest rates and, thereby, drive up the prices of bonds, producing a rally, by selling Interest Rate Swaps (IRSwaps).  

A financial company that sells IRSwaps is selling an agreement to pay floating interest rates for fixed interest rates. The buyer is purchasing an agreement that requires him to pay a fixed rate of interest in exchange for receiving a floating rate.

The reason for a seller to take the short side of the IRSwap, that is, to pay a floating rate for a fixed rate, is his belief that rates are going to fall. Short-selling can make the rates fall, and thus drive up the prices of Treasuries.  When this happens, as the charts at illustrate, there is a rally in the Treasury bond market that the presstitute financial media attributes to “flight to the safe haven of the US dollar and Treasury bonds.”  In fact, the circumstantial evidence (see the charts in the link above) is that the swaps are sold by Wall Street whenever the Federal Reserve needs to prevent a rise in interest rates in order to protect its otherwise untenable policy.  The swap sales create the impression of a flight to the dollar, but no actual flight occurs. As the IRSwaps require no exchange of any principal or real asset, and are only a bet on interest rate movements, there is no limit to the volume of IRSwaps. 

This apparent collusion suggests to some observers that the reason the Wall Street banksters have not been prosecuted for their crimes is that they are an essential part of the Federal Reserve’s policy to preserve the US dollar as world currency. Possibly the collusion between the Federal Reserve and the banks is organized, but it doesn’t have to be. The banks are beneficiaries of the Fed’s zero interest rate policy.  It is in the banks’ interest to support it.  Organized collusion is not required.

Let us now turn to gold and silver bullion. Based on sound analysis, Gerald Celente and other gifted seers predicted that the price of gold would be $2000 per ounce by the end of last year.  Gold and silver bullion continued during 2011 their ten-year rise, but in 2012 the price of gold and silver have been knocked down, with gold being $350 per ounce off its $1900 high. 

In view of the analysis that I have presented, what is the explanation for the reversal in bullion prices?  The answer again is shorting.  Some knowledgeable people within the financial sector believe that the Federal Reserve (and perhaps also the European Central Bank) places short sales of bullion through the investment banks, guaranteeing any losses by pushing a key on the computer keyboard, as central banks can create money out of thin air. 

Insiders inform me that as a tiny percent of those on the buy side of short sells actually want to take delivery on the gold or silver bullion, and are content with the financial money settlement, there is no limit to short selling of gold and silver. Short selling can actually exceed the known quantity of gold and silver.

Some who have been watching the process for years believe that government-directed short-selling has been going on for a long time. Even without government participation, banks can control the volume of paper trading in gold and profit on the swings that they create. Recently short selling is so aggressive that it not merely slows the rise in bullion prices but drives the price down.  Is this aggressiveness  a sign that the rigged system is on the verge of becoming unglued? 

In other words, “our government,” which allegedly represents us, rather than the powerful private interests who elect “our government” with their multi-million dollar campaign contributions, now legitimized by the Republican Supreme Court, is doing its best to deprive us mere citizens, slaves, indentured servants, and “domestic extremists”   from protecting ourselves and our remaining wealth from the currency debauchery policy of the Federal Reserve. Naked short selling prevents the rising demand for physical bullion from raising bullion’s price.   

Jeff Nielson explains another way that banks can sell bullion shorts when they own no bullion.  Nielson says that JP Morgan is the custodian for the largest long silver fund while being the largest short-seller of silver. Whenever the silver fund adds to its bullion holdings, JP Morgan shorts an equal amount.  The short selling offsets the rise in price that would result from the increase in demand for physical silver. Nielson also reports that bullion prices can be suppressed by raising margin requirements on those who purchase bullion with leverage.  The conclusion is that bullion markets can be manipulated just as can the Treasury bond market and interest rates.

How long can the manipulations continue?  When will the proverbial hit the fan? If we knew precisely the date, we would be the next mega-billionaires. Here are some of the catalysts waiting to ignite the conflagration that burns up the Treasury bond market and the US dollar:

- A war, demanded by the Israeli government, with Iran, beginning with Syria, that disrupts the oil flow and thereby the stability of the Western economies or brings the US and its weak NATO puppets into armed conflict with Russia and China. The oil spikes would degrade further the US and EU economies, but Wall Street would make money on the trades.

- An unfavorable economic statistic that wakes up investors as to the true state of the US economy, a statistic that the presstitute media cannot deflect.

- An affront to China, whose government decides that knocking the US down a few pegs into third world status is worth a trillion dollars.

- More derivate mistakes, such as JPMorganChase’s recent one, that send the US financial system again reeling and reminds us that nothing has changed. 

The list is long. There is a limit to how many stupid mistakes and corrupt financial policies the rest of the world is willing to accept from the US.  When that limit is reached,  it is all over for “the world’s sole superpower” and for holders of dollar-denominated instruments.

Financial deregulation converted the financial system, which formerly served businesses and consumers, into a gambling casino where bets are not covered. These uncovered bets, together with the Fed’s zero interest rate policy, have exposed Americans’ living standard and wealth to large declines.  Retired people living on their savings and investments, IRAs and 401(k)s can earn nothing on their money and are forced to consume their capital, thereby depriving heirs of inheritance. Accumulated wealth is consumed.

As a result of jobs offshoring, the US has become an import-dependent country, dependent on foreign made manufactured goods, clothing, and shoes. When the dollar exchange rate falls, domestic US prices will rise, and US real consumption will take a big hit. Americans will consume less, and their standard of living will fall dramatically. 

The serious consequences of the enormous mistakes made in Washington, on Wall Street, and in corporate offices are being held at bay by an untenable policy of low interest rates and a corrupt financial press, while debt rapidly builds. The Fed has been through this experience once before. During WW II the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low in order to aid the Treasury’s war finance by minimizing the interest burden of the war debt. The Fed kept the interest rates low by buying the debt issues. The postwar inflation that resulted led to the Federal Reserve-Treasury Accord in 1951, in which agreement was reached that the Federal Reserve would cease monetizing the debt and permit interest rates to rise. 

Fed chairman Bernanke has spoken of an “exit strategy” and said that when inflation threatens, he can prevent the inflation by taking the money back out of the banking system.  However, he can do that only by selling Treasury bonds, which means interest rates would rise. A rise in interest rates would threaten the derivative structure, cause bond losses, and raise the cost of both private and public debt service. In other words, to prevent inflation from debt monetization would bring on more immediate problems than inflation. Rather than collapse the system, wouldn’t the Fed be more likely to inflate away the massive debts?

Eventually, inflation would erode the dollar’s purchasing power and use as the reserve currency, and the US government’s credit worthiness would waste away.  However, the Fed, the politicians, and the financial gangsters would prefer a crisis later rather than sooner.  Passing the sinking ship on to the next watch is preferable to going down with the ship oneself. As long as interest rate swaps can be used to boost Treasury bond prices, and as long as naked shorts of bullion can be used to keep silver and gold from rising in price, the false image of the US as a safe haven for investors can be perpetuated.
However, the $230,000,000,000,000 in derivative bets by US banks might bring its own surprises. JPMorganChase has had to admit that its recently announced derivative loss of $2 billion is more than that.  How much more remains to be seen. According to the Comptroller of the Currency the five largest banks hold 95.7% of all derivatives. The five banks holding $226 trillion in derivative bets are highly leveraged gamblers.  For example, JPMorganChase has total assets of $1.8 trillion but holds $70 trillion in derivative bets, a ratio of $39 in derivative bets for every dollar of assets. Such a bank doesn’t have to lose very many bets before it is busted.

Assets, of course, are not risk-based capital. According to the Comptroller of the Currency report, as of December 31, 2011, JPMorganChase held $70.2 trillion in derivatives and only $136 billion in risk-based capital. In other words, the bank’s derivative bets are 516 times larger than the capital that covers the bets.

It is difficult to imagine a more reckless and unstable position for a bank to place itself in, but Goldman Sachs takes the cake. That bank’s $44 trillion in derivative bets is covered by only $19 billion in risk-based capital, resulting in bets 2,295 times larger than  the capital that covers them.   

Bets on interest rates comprise 81% of all derivatives. These are the derivatives that support high US Treasury bond prices despite massive increases in US debt and its monetization.

US banks’ derivative bets of $230 trillion, concentrated in five banks, are 15.3 times larger than the US GDP.  A failed political system that allows unregulated banks to place uncovered bets 15 times larger than the US economy is a system that is headed for catastrophic failure.  As the word spreads of the fantastic lack of judgment in the American political and financial systems, the catastrophe in waiting will become a reality.  

Everyone wants a solution, so I will provide one. The US government should simply cancel the $230 trillion in derivative bets, declaring them null and void.  As no real  assets are involved, merely gambling on notional values, the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system.  The financial gangsters who want to continue enjoying betting gains while the public underwrites their losses would scream and yell about the sanctity of contracts. However, a government that can murder its own citizens or throw them into dungeons without due process can abolish all the contracts it wants in the name of national security.  And most certainly, unlike the war on terror, purging the financial system of the gambling derivatives would vastly improve national security.