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A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Experiment of Abolishing Most Cash

A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Experiment of Abolishing Most Cash

By Norbert Haering, a German financial journalist, blogger and PhD economist, who received the 2007 getAbstract Best Business Book award and the 2014 prize of the German Keynes Society for economic journalism. His best-selling book (in German) “The abolition of cash and the consequences” was published in 2016. Originally published on norberthaering.de (http://norberthaering.de/en/home/27-german/news/745-washington-s-role-in-india). Republished with permission of the author.

In early November, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value. Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this. That is surprising, as Washington’s role has been disguised only very superficially.

U.S. President Barack Obama has declared the strategic partnership with India a priority of his foreign policy. China needs to be reined in. In the context of this partnership, the US government’s development agency USAID has negotiated cooperation agreements with the Indian ministry of finance. One of these has the declared goal to push back the use of cash in favor of digital payments in India and globally.

On November 8, Indian prime minster Narendra Modi announced that the two largest denominations of banknotes could not be used for payments any more with almost immediate effect. Owners could only recoup their value by putting them into a bank account before the short grace period expired at year end, which many people and businesses did not manage to do, due to long lines in front of banks. The amount of cash that banks were allowed to pay out to individual customers was severely restricted. Almost half of Indians have no bank account and many do not even have a bank nearby.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Kremlin Warns Of Response To Latest US Sanctions, Says “Almost All Communication With US Is Frozen”

Kremlin Warns Of Response To Latest US Sanctions, Says “Almost All Communication With US Is Frozen”

In response to the latest imposition of US sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin said on Wednesday that the new sanctions would further damage relations between the two countries and that Moscow would respond with its own measures. “We regret that Washington is continuing on this destructive path,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

As a reminder, on Tuesday the United States widened sanctions against Russian businessmen and companies adopted after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the conflict in Ukraine.

“We believe this damages bilateral relations … Russia will take commensurate measures.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Then again, it is difficult to see how sanctions between the two administration could be any more “damaged”: also on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it did not expect the incoming U.S. administration to reject NATO enlargement overnight and that almost all communications channels between Russia and the United States were frozen, the RIA news agency reported.

Almost every level of dialogue with the United States is frozen. We don’t communicate with one another, or (if we do) we do so minimally,” Peskov said.

Additionally, RIA said that according to Peskov “he did not know whether President Vladimir Putin would seek re-election in 2018.”

“Everyone’s heads are aching because of work and with projects and nobody is thinking or talking about elections,” Peskov said.

Then again, the sanctions may soon be history. According to a Bloomberg report, the U.S. will start easing its penalties, imposed over the showdown in Ukraine in 2014, during the next 12 months, according to 55 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg survey, up from 10 percent in an October poll. Without the restrictions, Russia’s economic growth would get a boost equivalent to 0.2 percentage point of gross domestic product next year and 0.5 percentage point in 2018, according to the median estimates in the poll.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Reasons to Risk Nuclear Annihilation

Reasons to Risk Nuclear Annihilation

Exclusive: The latest neocon/liberal-hawk scheme is for the U.S. population to risk nuclear war to protect corrupt politicians in Ukraine and Al Qaeda terrorists in east Aleppo, two rather dubious reasons to end life on the planet, says Robert Parry.


Obviously, I never wanted to see a nuclear war, which would likely kill not only me but my children, grandchildren, relatives, friends and billions of others. We’d be incinerated in the blast or poisoned by radiation or left to starve in a nuclear winter.

But at least I always assumed that this horrific possibility would only come into play over something truly worthy, assuming that anything would justify the mass extinction of life on the planet.

Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove as he struggles to control his right arm from making a Nazi salute.

Peter Sellers playing Dr. Strangelove as he struggles to control his right arm from making a Nazi salute.

Now, however, Official Washington’s neocons and liberal interventionists are telling me and others that we should risk nuclear annihilation over which set of thieves gets to rule Ukraine and over helping Al Qaeda terrorists (and their “moderate” allies) keep control of east Aleppo in Syria.

In support of the Ukraine goal, there is endless tough talk at the think tanks, on the op-ed pages and in the halls of power about the need to arm the Ukrainian military so it can crush ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine who dared object to the U.S.-backed coup in 2014 that ousted their elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

And after “liberating” eastern Ukraine, the U.S.-backed Ukrainian army would wheel around and “liberate” Crimea from Russia, even though 96 percent of Crimean voters voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia – and there is no sign they want to go back.

So, the world would be risking World War III over the principle of the West’s right to sponsor the overthrow of elected leaders who don’t do what they’re told and then to slaughter people who object to this violation of democratic order.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict: Deception or Real Threat?

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict: Deception or Real Threat?

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict: Deception or Real Threat?

The events in the Middle East, Syria and Aleppo are the focus of global attention. Rarely has a battle been so decisive to the outcome of a war and the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world

Hillary Clinton in the last presidential debate repeatedly called for the establishment of a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Syria. The concept, reiterated several times, clashes with the revelation contained in her private emails admitting that the implementation of a NFZ would entail the increased deaths of Syrian civilians. In a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Philip Breedlove was asked what kind of effort would be required for the US armed forces to impose a NFZ over Syrian skies. With obvious embarrassment, the General was forced to admit that such a request would involve hitting Russian and Syrian aircraft and vehicles, opening the door to a direct confrontation between Moscow and Washington, a decision the General was simply not willing to take. The military leadership has always shown a readiness to implement the military option; so this time they must have sniffed the danger of a direct conflict with Moscow.

The Kremlin has publicly admitted to deploying in Syria the S-400 and S-300V4 advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems respectively. The presence of the defense complex was intentionally announced as a factor of deterrence and is a logical strategy. The message to Washington is clear: any unidentified object in Syrian skies will be shot down. The United States bases much of its military strength on the constant need to project power, making its opponents believe that it possesses capabilities that others do not hold.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Report by Top Senators Details Financial Ties Between Fossil Fuel Industry and Clean Power Plan Opponents

New Report by Top Senators Details Financial Ties Between Fossil Fuel Industry and Clean Power Plan Opponents

The stakes are high not only for the environment, but for fossil fuel companies — and those companies have poured enormous sums of money into efforts that would help ensure the Clean Power Plan never goes into effect, according to a report issued this week by four members of Congress.

The report is formatted as an amicus curie — or friend of the court — brief but was not filed with the court, and it takes a detailed look at the money that has moved behind the scenes. It’s entitled, “The Brief No One Filed.”

It was issued by U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, and Edward J. Markey — some of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate. Senators Whitehouse, Boxer, and Markey serve on the Environment and Public Works Committee, while Sen. Reid is the Senate Democratic Leader.

“The American public is aware of and alarmed by the massive influx of special interest money and considers this a top problem with elected officials in Washington,” the four senators wrote.  “More than 80 percent of Americans believe the government cannot be trusted to do what is right most of the time.”

Large sums of money — over $100 million — have been funneled from the fossil fuel industry to key players in the litigation, the report concludes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ken Rogoff’s Government Debt Default Plan

Ken Rogoff’s Government Debt Default Plan

 

Ken Rogoff is by all accounts a brilliant man. The Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist is a chess grandmaster. His thesis committee included current Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer. But like many survivors of Ivy League hoop jumping, the poor fellow appears to have emerged punch drunk.

That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from Rogoff’s new book, The Curse of Cash , which, in effect, proposes a ban on paper currency.

It’s terrifying piece of work, for several reasons.

First, the cashless society, which Rogoff proposes in order to make it easier for the US government to confiscate private wealth, in effect, amounts to an admission that Washington can’t pay back its debts.

Second, the fact that Rogoff uses the fight against “terrorism” and “crime” arguments in selling his proposals to the public – justifications which he as a mathematician should know are farcical – suggest that his arguments hide another agenda.

Third, and most important, is the fact that not only would banning cash not achieve Rogoff’s objectives – it could cause irreparable harm to the dollar’s role in the American economy and as a reserve currency.

Let’s look at these arguments one at a time.

Enforced negative rates ARE debt defaults

Rogoff’s “cashless society” is an elegant solution to a key problem bedeviling the Federal Reserve: with interest rates at the zero bound, the US central bank has no ammunition left to fight the next recession – because if cuts rates below zero, savers will withdraw their cash and put it under their mattresses.

“In principle, cutting interest rates below zero ought to stimulate consumption and investment in the same way as normal monetary policy,” Rogoff writes. “Unfortunately, the existence of cash gums up the works.”

That argument is spurious at best.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It Won’t Be Long Now—-The End Game Of Central Banking Is Nigh

It Won’t Be Long Now—-The End Game Of Central Banking Is Nigh

My new book will be published next Tuesday. Preorders for the e-Book version will be available in this space beginning later this week.

As I previously indicated, the book is an exploration of how 30 years of Bubble Finance policies at the Fed, feckless interventions abroad and mushrooming Big government and debt at home have brought America to its current ruinous condition.

In this context, it delves into the good and bad of the Trump campaign and platform, while, to use a spoiler alert, praising it with faint damn!

As Contra Corner readers recognize the only consistent way forward for America at this late stage of the game is a return to free markets, fiscal rectitude, sound money, constitutional liberty, non-intervention abroad, minimalist government at home and decentralized political rule.

Unfortunately, that is not about to happen any time soon—–even if by some miracle Donald Trump is elected President.

But what the book does claim is that the tide is turning against the failed Wall Street/Washington bipartisan consensus. I call this insurrection the “revolt of the rubes” in Flyover America.

This uprising against the rule of the financial and political elites has counterparts abroad among those who voted for Brexit in the UK, against Merkel in the recent German elections in her home state, and among the growing tide of anti-Brussels sentiment reflected in polls throughout the EC.

Needless to say, the political upheaval now underway is largely an inchoate reaction to the policy failures and arrogant pretensions of the establishment rulers. Like Donald Trump himself, it does not reflect a coherent programmatic alternative.

But my contention is that liberation from our current ruinous policy regime has to start somewhere—and that’s why the Trump candidacy is so important. He represents a raw insurgency of attack, derision, impertinence and repudiation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“The Resentment Will Explode” – In Dramatic Twist, McKinsey Slams Globalization

“The Resentment Will Explode” – In Dramatic Twist, McKinsey Slams Globalization

Moments ago, in a speech in Washington, IMF head Christine Lagarde said that “The greatest challenge we face today is the risk of the world turning its back on global cooperation—the cooperation which has served us all well. We know that globalization – and increased integration – over the past generation has yielded many economic benefits for many people.”

The IMF is not alone: for years, consultancy giant McKinsey towed the party line as well saying in 2010 that “the core drivers of globalization are alive and well” and adding as recently as 2014 that “to be unconnected is to fall behind.

That appears have changing, and cracks are starting to form behind the cohesive push for globalization, at least among those who benefit the most from globalization.

In a stunning study released today, one which effectively refutes all its prior conclusions on the matter, McKinsey slams the establishment’s status quo thinking and admits that the economic gains of changes in the global economy have not been widely shared lately, especially in the developed world. In the report titled “Poorer Than Their Parents? Flat or Falling Incomes in Advanced Economies” it finds that prospects for income growth have deteriorated significantly since the financial crisis, and that the benefits from globalization are now over:

This overwhelmingly positive income trend has ended. A new McKinsey Global Institute report, Poorer than their parents? Flat or falling incomes in advanced economies, finds that between 2005 and 2014, real incomes in those same advanced economies were flat or fell for 65 to 70 percent of households, or more than 540 million people (exhibit). And while government transfers and lower tax rates mitigated some of the impact, up to a quarter of all households still saw disposable income stall or fall in that decade.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Praise Of Ignorant Politicians…..Unschooled In Beltway Delusions

In Praise Of Ignorant Politicians…..Unschooled In Beltway Delusions

The Imperial City deserves to be sacked by insurgent politicians of the very ignorant kind. That is, outsiders unschooled in its specious groupthink and destructive delusions of grandeur.

That’s why Donald Trump’s challenge to the beltway’s permanent bipartisan ruling class is so welcome. He is largely ignorant of the neocon and war hawk catechisms and sophistries propounded by joints like the Council on Foreign Relations.

But owing to his overweening self-confidence, he doesn’t hesitate to lob foreign policy audibles, as it were, from the Presidential campaign’s line of scrimmage.

It is these unpredictable outbursts of truth and common sense, not his bombast, bad manners and bigotry, that has the Acela Corridor in high dudgeon. The Donald’s establishment bettors are deathly afraid that he might confirm to the unwashed electorate of Flyover America what it already suspects.

Namely, that Washington’s hyper-interventionism and ungodly expensive imperial footprint all around the globe has nothing at all to do with their security and safety, even as it saddles them with massive public debts and the threat of jihadist blowback to the homeland.

For Trump’s part, the fact is that most of his wild pitches——the Mexican Wall, the Muslim ban, waterboarding—-are basically excesses of campaign rhetoric that would likely get fashioned into something far more palatable if he were ever in a position to govern. By contrast, the fundamental consensus of our bipartisan rulers is a mortal threat to peace, prosperity and democratic rule.

Worse still, the beltway consensus is so entombed in groupthink that the machinery grinds forward from one folly to the next with hardly a peep of dissent. Nothing could better illustrate that deleterious dynamic, in fact, than the NATO warships currently trolling around the Black Sea.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If You Value Life, Wake Up!

Great Danger: US-NATO Missiles Threatening Russia.

Putin: “We Know and they Know that we Know…People do not Understand how Dangerous the Situation Really Is”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/great-danger-us-nato-missiles-threatening-russia-putin-we-know-and-they-know-that-we-know/5531955

If You Value Life, Wake Up!

Do you remember how close we came to Armageddon in the early 1960s when Washington put nuclear missiles in Turkey on the Soviet Union’s border and the Soviets responded by putting nuclear missiles in Cuba? Fortunately, at that time we had an intelligent president instead of a cipher. President John F. Kennedy pulled us back from the brink and was assassinated by his own government for his service to humanity.

For a number of years I have been warning that the recklessness of a half century ago has reappeared in spades. The crazed, insane, nazified, neoconized government in Washington and Washington’s despicable Europeran vassal states, especially the UK, Germany, and France, are driving the world to extinction in nuclear war. See, for example, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/12/14/washington-drives-world-toward-war-paul-craig-roberts

This is the most obvious fact of our time. Yet only the Russian government addresses Washington’s threat to life on earth.

Why is this?

Why was there no debate—or even mention—in the presidential nomination primaries of the road to nuclear war on which Washington has the world?

Washington is putting its nuclear missiles on Russia’s borders, conducting war games on Russia’s borders, and stationing its Navy off Russia’s coasts in the Black and Baltic seas. To cover up its reckless, irresponsible aggression toward a nuclear power, Washington accuses Russia of aggression.

The presstitute media—the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fox “News,” CNN, and the rest of the despicable whores repeat the lie over and over until the Western populations are brainwashed.

Do you suppose the Russians, who know what is happening, are going to just sit there until they are so completely surrounded by nuclear missiles that they have to surrender?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rationalizing ‘Rational’

Walter W. Heller was said to have been an “educator of Presidents.” As an economist and Presidential advisor in the inner circles of DC, Heller worked with more candidates and officeholders than perhaps any other man. As he himself described, his influence went all the way back to Adlai Stevenson and kept on through Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Mondale. To his mind, he takes credit for turning Presidents into thorough Keynesians starting with JFK in January 1963 and the tax cut “stimulus” that Heller claims was “born on my desk.”

As an economist and advisor, Heller seems to have spent a lot of time about the 1960’s and almost none describing the 1970’s. Perhaps his greatest contribution to that decade was a quote attributed to him describing economics. “An economist is a man who, when he finds something works in practice, wonders if it works in theory.”

Among the most pernicious of these theories to have been backward applied in exactly that manner is “rational” expectations theory. This was developed in the 1980’s to try to explain the disaster of the 1970’s in terms that would save econometrics. Thus, it is applied in great detail and mathematics to “inflation” and is often discussed only in that context. Among the most influential to have used rational expectations theory was John Taylor as the basis for the Taylor “rule.”

In a 2007 speech, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke described the updated expectations framework as it at that time related to inflation and gradualism in monetary policy (into the onrushing storm).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Palace For Fannie (Mae)—–Why The Imperial City Must Be Sacked

A Palace For Fannie (Mae)—–Why The Imperial City Must Be Sacked

To hear the establishment media tell it, you would think that Attila the Hun was fixing to sack the Imperial City. Would that Donald Trump were that bold or dangerous.

Then again, he is a showman of no mean talents. So if there is a maquette of Fannie Mae’s planned new $770 million headquarters somewhere around Washington DC, he could start the sacking right there. Hopefully, he would not hesitate to shatter it with a fusillade of tweets—-or even take a jackhammer to it while wearing a Trump hard hat.

Fannie Mae is surely a monument to crony capitalist corruption, and living proof that massive state intervention in credit markets is a recipe for disaster. But rather than shut it down after it helped bring the nation’s financial system to the edge of ruin, the beltway pols have come up with an altogether different idea.

To wit, they plan to move Fannie from her already luxurious NW Washington headquarters to this hideous new glass palace to be built in the heart of Washington DC. Could there be a bigger insult to the 15 million families who lost their homes to foreclosure owing to the crash of the giant housing bubble that Fannie Mae and the crony capitalist crooks who ran it helped perpetuate?

And that’s to say nothing of the $180 billion of taxpayer money that was pumped into Fannie Mae and the other GSE’s after the house of cards came tumbling down in August 2008. In fact, while the politicians on Capitol Hill have dawdled for eight years without any statutory changes or mandates for even minor reforms, Fannie Mae’s management and its phalanx of K-Street lobbies showed exactly who rules in the Imperial City.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Can Russia Survive Washington’s Attack?

Can Russia Survive Washington’s Attack?

It is not only American generals who are irresponsible and declare on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that “Russia is an existential threat to the United States” and also to the Baltic states, Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, and all of Europe. British generals also participate in the warmongering.  UK retired general and former NATO commander Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe until 2014, has just declared that nuclear war with Russia is “entirely possible” within the year.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3596977/The-outbreak-nuclear-war-year-West-Putin-entirely-plausible-says-former-NATO-chief-promoting-novel-2017-war-Russia.html 

My loyal readers know that I, myself, have been warning for some time about the likelihood of nuclear war.  However, there is a vast difference between me and the Western generals.  I see the war as the consequence of the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony.  The neoconservative drive for world hegemony is acknowledged by the neoconservatives themselves in their public position papers, and it has a 15 year record of being implemented in America’s many and ongoing wars in the Middle East and Africa.  Although the Presstitute media does its best to keep our focus away from the known facts, the facts remain known.

The position of the Western generals is that “Russian aggression” is driving an innocent America/NATO to nuclear war.

Here is General Shirreff’s list of “Russian aggressions”: “He [Putin] has invaded Georgia, he has invaded the Crimea, he has invaded Ukraine. He has used force and got away with it.  In a period of tension, an attack on the Baltic states… is entirely plausible.” Shirreff is talking about make-believe happenings that even if real would be taking place inside what were until recently Russia’s long-standing national boundaries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Made in USA’: 3 key signs that point to Washington’s hand in Brazil’s ‘coup’

‘Made in USA’: 3 key signs that point to Washington’s hand in Brazil’s ‘coup’

As Brazil’s left-wing president, Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended from office to face trial for disregarding budget laws, details have emerged on key figures involved in what Rousseff supporters are calling a coup, hinting at a covert plot involving Washington.

Following last week’s vote in the Brazilian Senate that led to the suspension of the country’s first female president, the left-wing politician herself noted that she “never imagined that it would be necessary to fight a coup in this country.”

While Latin America’s modern history is riddled with well-documented examples of US operations aimed at overthrowing regimes, some would argue the situation in Brazil is tied to a popular protest movement that has sprang up due to the corruption scandal and slumping economy. However, profiles of those at the center of current events offer clues as to why Washington’s hand might be at play.

1. From US informant to Brazil’s acting president

After it emerged that Rousseff’s old ally and former vice-president, Michel Temer, would succeed her as an interim head of the country, the murky details from his past have emerged on Wikileaks. The whistleblowing website said it has published proof Temer served as an embassy informant for Washington.


Wikileaks:’s new head used to chat with US intelligence…a lot

Welcome to 1984

Welcome to 1984 

    Protester Bob Bowes, of Somerville, Mass., displays an American flag featuring corporate logos outside a meeting of U.S. elites in Boston. (Steven Senne / AP)

The artifice of corporate totalitarianism has been exposed. The citizens, disgusted by the lies and manipulation, have turned on the political establishment. But the game is not over. Corporate power has within its arsenal potent forms of control. It will use them. As the pretense of democracy is unmasked, the naked fist of state repression takes its place. America is about—unless we act quickly—to get ugly.

“Our political system is decaying,” said Ralph Nader when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It’s on the way to gangrene. It’s reaching a critical mass of citizen revolt.”

This moment in American history is what Antonio Gramsci called the “interregnum”—the period when a discredited regime is collapsing but a new one has yet to take its place. There is no guarantee that what comes next will be better. But this space, which will close soon, offers citizens the final chance to embrace a new vision and a new direction.

This vision will only be obtained through mass acts of civic mobilization and civil disobedience across the country. Nader, who sees this period in American history as crucial, perhaps the last opportunity to save us from tyranny, is planning to rally the left for three days, from May 23 to May 26 at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., in what he is calling “Breaking Through Power” or “Citizen’s Revolutionary Week.” He is bringing to the capital scores of activists and community leaders to speak, organize and attempt to mobilize to halt our slide into despotism.

“The two parties can implode politically,” Nader said. “They can be divided by different candidates and super PACs. But this doesn’t implode their paymasters.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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